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jas80s

My Fitting Experience

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I believe I had a club fitting experience that I suspect was not typical, so I wanted to share and then follow up with a question.  I don't have a true handicap, but just to put my play in some kind of perspective.  I generally shoot in the 80s on fairly easy municipal courses.  I'll throw in an occasional high 70s and I can creep up into the high 80s quite easily if I'm a little off or unlucky.  That's just to give a sense of where I am in the journey.

I arrived for my fitting very excited.  I was looking to purchase a new driver.  My clubs (including my driver) are about 5-7 years old, so I figured why not buy myself a new toy and take advantage of the technology of this game.  There was certainly nothing wrong with my current driver, however.

Upon seeing the clubs I brought, John (the fitter) commented about how my clubs were a little bit older and he excitedly went into how new clubs across the board would be a boon for me.  I dreaded hearing this as I thought I might receive some pressure to drop 1500 dollars when 400-500 was going to be enough to come up with.  Still, I was excited thinking that tech advancement in the last few years might just take my game up a tiny amount.

I started to take some shots and after several I mentioned that I was pleased because, while the shots didn't appear to stellar on the big screen, my swing still felt pretty normal and I thought the contact felt about average for me so that whatever read he got for the various metrics was probably pretty indicative of my general swing.  After that, I started to hit drivers.  I don't exactly crush the ball off the tee and my shots were of the typical unspectacular variety, but again were pretty normal.  At this point, John gave me several different drivers to try, and though they often felt pretty good, the results didn't seem to improve much.  

Personally, I don't really trust the big screen entirely on distance and roll out, so I was still willing to buy.  I wasn't expecting miracles, I understand that the swing dictates the results, but I still figured that a driver that is several generations newer was still bound to offer a slight bump in distance and would perhaps be a bit more forgiving.  However, John, to his credit, told me that my swing was simply too erratic and that I would not be able to glean the benefit of a newer club until I fixed the issues I have with: grip, posture, setup, and overall swing.  

Just to add a bit of context here, most of my numbers were OK, but my spin rate was much too high and none of the clubs he tried could lower the spin rate enough to be worth the money.  This is my guess as to what he saw as he never really got into specifics beyond letting me know that what I needed was lessons, but he did at least go into the numbers in a cursory fashion at one point.  As I say, I actually appreciate the fact that he didn't feel like he could put together a club that would bring about the kind of change that would be worth the investment and thus refused to lure me into what he no doubt considered a waste of money.  It was impressive that he showed that type of integrity.

So, beyond wondering if anyone here has had a fitter refuse to steer them toward a club or type of club to look for, my question is this:  He said himself, that the newer clubs could offer a bit more distance when you hit them right and I have to believe that clubs are always improving in terms of being a little more forgiving on errant shots.  This was all I was expecting, wouldn't a new club still have some value?  It would seem that if you needed a certain level of swing to glean any benefit from newer clubs, than why would anyone other than the top 5-10 percent of players ever buy a new club?  It seemed odd to me, I just have to believe that a better club will still give at least a modicum of improvement regardless of skill level, but what do you think?

As a post script, I headed to the range to work on drills and tips that my lower my spin rate using my old driver.  But, I still can't help but think that the newer technology will bring a little benefit, even to a mid handicap type player.

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@jas80s I bought a new driver a month or so ago 2017 m1. While the fitter is correct about correcting your swing i feel a new driver of the current tech would be instantly beneficial with distance and foregiveness. For instance my old driver was a Callway x hot. Not exactly ancient but the distance gains and accuracy improved dramatically with the m1.  I have a very over the top swing that produced a fade and tiptoed on a slice on any given swing. The new driver and weights helped with this. Did not correct but helped. 

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My wife and I were recommended a fitter 4 years ago. We were both prepared to buy new clubs (been golfing two years with gifted clubs)

Turned out he is old school-some type of flight scope, a couple of manual devices. (You can tell I'm old school). Works out of a local indoor range. 25 years in the biz

He spent considerable time with both of us, bent the wife's putter, gave her clubs a thumbs up (apparently the buyer had a good eye) and suggested my clubs were shite. I purchased new clubs and wedges.

I Ended up with Golf pride grips, matrix shafts and GI KZG heads. 

He probably spent 4 or 5 hours with us, all in

4 years later, I have played into those clubs, they feel like a family friend. Last winter had him fit me for a new driver , also KZG (I didn't want knobs to change as I won't use them) The experience was awesome. Between fitting time and delivery time, I had three hours with this guy. 

I see him regularly at the indoor range in the winter, regularly comes by and checks out my clubs for wear. 

I"m thinking about a new set next year, my last year of work, take advantage of a pay check and before he retires.

Has my golf improved because of the clubs, maybe, but I really enjoy the buying experience better than a box store. Is it expensive, not in my mind.

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Nice post @jas80s.  I agree with your fitter that in many cases, if you’re a mediocre golfer, new clubs will not benefit you much.  You didn’t mention what your old clubs are but, reading between the lines, I assume the fitter thought they were already a decent fit for you.  If they were way off he may have been able to come up with something that performs better, not because of new technology but just from more appropriate specs.  Drivers from 5-7 years ago are pretty similar to drivers today.

In my opinion most of the advances in the last several years have been more options, more adjustability, better looks, and better feel.  It’s hard not to falter under the onslaught of the golf club advertising machine but it really mostly is just marketing.

And going against the grain here, that includes the “get fit” mantra — especially for average golfers.  They might need some general equipment advice, but not a 2 hour trackman session.

Edited by allenc

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On 8/11/2018 at 9:12 AM, allenc said:

Nice post @jas80s.  I agree with your fitter that in many cases, if you’re a mediocre golfer, new clubs will not benefit you much.  You didn’t mention what your old clubs are but, reading between the lines, I assume the fitter thought they were already a decent fit for you.  If they were way off he may have been able to come up with something that performs better, not because of new technology but just from more appropriate specs.  Drivers from 5-7 years ago are pretty similar to drivers today.

In my opinion most of the advances in the last several years have been more options, more adjustability, better looks, and better feel.  It’s hard not to falter under the onslaught of the golf club advertising machine but it really mostly is just marketing.

And going against the grain here, that includes the “get fit” mantra — especially for average golfers.  They might need some general equipment advice, but not a 2 hour trackman session.

To be honest, I left kind of wondering if maybe I had missed the truth that fitting was usually something only sought out by very good players and that mid or high handicap players would not benefit greatly from the experience.  The experience had been a tad humiliating.

I was particularly interested though because I am only 5'5" and thus I had been choking all the way down on my driver.  Moreover, I thought this might finally lay to rest any questions about what flex or type of shaft would be best for my swing, and perhaps what weight would be best for a club head.  As I say, I had hoped for a modest bump in yardage from a newer club, but in reality, I really sought out the fitting to establish just what kind of length, weight, and shaft would work best as well.  If nothing else, I thought at the very least, I would purchase a club that felt really comfortable in my hands.  Alas, my guy didn't really think I was ready for that, but as you say, he also might have felt like the club I had in my hand was the right club for me already.  Though, in point of fact, he never said anything like that.

He did cut my club down by a half inch (at my request), so we did address that.  Maybe that was all that was needed.

The wind up is, I went back to youtube to address high spin rate on my drives and now I am working on hitting up on the ball a bit more, which in the end, is far and away my best chance to pick up any distance off the tee anyway....I honestly DO get that..  😀

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