Club Fitting Experience

OK, so, I have completed two sessions to be fit for irons and wedges. 2 and half hours, over 300 iron shots and some interesting points for me, which I thought may be of interest to others.

Background, HCI is 20.2 though I am playing to about 18 so far this year, I have been unable to enter many scores due to some temporary greens. Current irons are TM M4, which I bought having played them on a golf trip to Spain and liked them. Straight off the shelf, stock club, 5i - SW (54).

I have lost some distance of late, partly because I have been working on some problems so focus on the swing and kind of forget to actually SWING but really wanted to see if I can get more distance and better dispersion.

Fairly quickly it came down to two clubs that were really showing promise and we then went through a range of shaft options, length, weight etc.

The club that was a real ‘wow’ when I hit it well was the Callaway Rogue ST. It felt like a rocket launcher and was 20 yards longer than I have now. However it was carrying my current total distance and rolling out 20 yards, as the spin rate was just so low. 25% less than my current irons. So stopping the thing would be an issue. On top I had 3 that just took off and went 10-15 yards further still. So that was a bit of a red flag.

The other option was the new TM Stealth irons. As everything in my bag is TM I actually was hoping to go another brand just so I know I was open minded. about brands. But these just worked. Still a little down on spin but a comfortable 10-15 yard gain. In fact I could match existing performance with a 3/4 swing. On top of that the dispersion was really tight, about two thirds that of the Rogue in both length and width.

I have a tendency to grip too tight and found a midsized grip with less taper helped so added those and the fitter is assembling the clubs to eliminate the manufactures tolerances. This does cost more but I want these in my bag for a long time so seemed worth it.

So, I think I could have bought these stock and seen an improvement for sure but there would always be that little voice doubting if these were the best for me. Now I feel confident that these are now absolutely right for me and can help me hit more GIR over many years to come. 8 weeks till I get them. I will update when I have had a few rounds…

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Yep. It’ll inhibit release a bit too, if you’re handsy. My experience doing it anyway.

Great write-up. I’m doing the Golftec “swing evaluation” thingy next week. Probably calling up Fulkerson after that, LOL, now that I know he can take non-Kingwood CC members.

But a club eval—especially a driver eval—is in my near future. Right after this wedding ring gets bought. Your write up came at just the right time. Thanks!

What is wrong with your current irons ( TM M4) ?
It seems from your statement, you were seeking more distance from the irons , just like the fitting for the driver.
Irons, IMHO is more a game focused on control, with distance and trajectory.
There is no magic bullet for this game, if not improving on the person who swings the golf clubs, then nothing other than go lighter and more length , stronger loft to get more distance.
Realizing that; The fitting is great for indoor data off the Launch Monitor and off the hitting mat. Taking this to the golf course will be a little different and may or may not produce the same result.

M4 is a great G.I. iron, however, if you’re like a lot of us who has the urge to carry something newer, with the pocket book to back it up…then, why not ? Get a new set of golf club will make a golfer feel a bit more confident, especially if you have the “fitting” result to go with the purchasing decision.
I used to look for new golf clubs every 3-4 years, which was the new product cycle back then before they accelerated the product cycle to annually or multiple release per year.
Currently, my iron set is back to the Callaway X14 PS, and my driver is still the 12 year old Adams Speedline Tech, the first generation of the light weight adjustable hosel model. Having it because I made 5 shafts to go with this head ( actually 2 of the same head). Still have not found anything to worth kicking them out of the bag, just yet.
There are a few drivers getting a bit more carry off the L/M but they don’t worth the extra ^$500-$700 for the 5-7 yard more carry. Again, all of these are based on the launch monitor data when I took my bag to compare with the new stuff. I know exactly how my current set plays on the golf course, so there was a true base line to compare with the newer options.
The bottom line is, the shinning new golf club does not excite me as much when I see the price to pay for the small gain it may give.

Some of my friends flood the fitting spot to purchase new Callaway, T/M, PXG… and they’re happy with the purchase. We’ll just have to wait until the “honeymoon” period is over and how they golf with the new purchase then.

I know I’m going to get roasted for saying this, but if you think that there is a magic bullet club head that’s going to give u more distance than ure current M4’s you are the exact person the advertising campaigns target. My set of irons are from 1988. I have reshafted 4x. My 42* (9i) goes 145 yds to this day. My Drivers are all newer to me, but are all 10-12 year old “technology”. I spent $157 for all 3 all together. I worked very hard last year to rebuild really bad mechanics because I was only hitting my driver 210-220 with a SS of 85mph. I put in the work and stopped bad habits, I now average 250-260 with 95/96 mph SS. I charted everything in that improvement journey, I hit close to 15000 balls with purpose and invested into swing speed training and exercise. I have a net so 15000 balls cost me squadooche.
Late last season I went to galaxy and tried out an M6 and a G425. They wanted $599 for each. They gave me nothing perceptible in magic distance that was worth that kind of cash. If you have the money to burn good on you! I’m trying not to come across as demeaning and mean spirited here, but if you want more distance buy a shovel and start digging. It takes work, it takes patience, it takes sticktoitiveness! I wish you luck and good fortune on the course. I don’t know you or your game, significant lost distance with M4s that’s 100% a swing mechanics problem and I don’t need to see a thing. I’d be really careful of what the lofts are on the new clubs, I know they really fiddle around with those, so I would compare a 38* club to a 38* club with a specific shaft regardless of what number is stamped on it. If you feel happier with different grips. I’d regrip a couple of my M4s and see how a $15 investment feels. Before I spent that kind of cash, unless they are giving them to you, I’d invest in recording yourself and seeing where your mechanics breakdown is. Get yourself a prgr or other like toy to help u measure your SS, BS, Carry and SF. I would say that’s a better investment into yourself.

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Related-ish question, mainly dealing with etiquette. Callaway is having a demo day at the range I used to spend a bit of time at before I moved. In the email informing me of this, it said to make a reservation for the time you wanted to demo. OK, that’s fine, but am I realistically expected to put in an order at the end of this? Or a “Thank you for the experience, I’ll think about it.”?

In wine-land, go right ahead and make a reservation/appointment to taste, but it’s kind of expected that you’ll be buying a few bottles afterwards. Didn’t know if the same held true here. I actually do need new clubs (or at least, new/different shafts), and I’d totally geek on trying X iron vs Y hybrid, and the shaft combos. But I’m also not realistically going to drop 1500 on a set of Apex 21 DCBs with TT S400s either…

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Sometime ago, I talked with a few guys I knew who had become the factory rep. and one of their duty was to get on the road trip for the Demo at different locations.
At least, back then these guys were on salary pay, not commission. The sale resulted from the Demo will not influence their pay check but, it would look good on the review paper with their boss if there is no other way of verifying how hard they worked at the Demo.
They offered free Demo as a part of the promotion and marketing and it’s all within the planned budget, so don’t feel obligated to make a unnecessary purchase if nothing moved you to do so.
The OEM is betting that some of us will be moved to a pint for impulse buying after the Demo but they’re not expecting instant success.
What the Demo doing is, to get their product out there in the hands of the consumer either for present purchase or to plant a seed for the future business.
If they have competitive products, you’d be motivated to check them out whenever you’re ready for the new new set.

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Yes you will, stick a fork in , it’s done.

Like me, only took me decades to realizing the equipment is only part of the formula. But i sure feels great bagging a new set of the latest golf clubs.
I know a guy in our group who change out his bag every season. Many of the other guys will befriend him, closely, because he would dump his “old” set of clubs from the previous season at 40-60% off the original price to people he knows instead of trading in at 20-30% of what he paid just a year prior. It makes him happy, made the guys around him happy. It’s good all around.

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I’m not sure the exact etiquette on this, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with demoing and not ordering it… What if none of it works for you? If you go to a wine tasting, and the wine is not to your taste, do you still have to order a bottle?

If you are completely unintresested in the clubs, I think it’s a bad move to go demo them, but if you are in the market for new equipment and possibly going to buy SOMETHING, I’d say go ahead and hit the demo.

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On the wine comparison, I’d always thought there was a difference between walking into an open winery, trying samples they were pouring versus calling up the winery ahead of time, and making an appointment to taste there. The first situation, meh. Besides, most places charge to taste now anyways. The second, you’re sort of expected to buy something. Doesn’t have to be a case or ten, but something. And the second is usually a much more informative, and for me, pleasant experience.

I didn’t know whether this sort of demo deal was more like the second or the first. You and Dewsweeper have helped quite a bit with my decision, thanks. I’m going to make an appointment. For wedges, if nothing else.

On the irons…I have no clue. I know I need to make some change—this last range session was like boot camp, “Left! Left! Left-Right-Left!”—and regular Ping steel shafts aren’t cutting it anymore for me. LOL at my 20-22 degree launch from a 5 iron… And certainly a set of some flavor of Apex 21s would be great.

I just don’t know whether they’d be better than something else—and if I’m buying new irons, i only want to do this once—or the problem can be solved with some S300 or S400s swapped in, and the heads of my existing stuff bent 1-2 degrees upright. Which would be a lot cheaper.

I’m probably going to go down to a company called Golf Principles next month for a full bag fitting. My intention here is not to purchase anything on the day, unless its whats best for my game and is on a ridiculous deal.

My aim is to find out whether:
a) new clubs will actually benefit me enough to warrant buying
b) to target the new clubs, ie do I need wedges more than say a new set of irons or a driver
c) the build required for my height, swing etc so that I can purchase in the future (would be great if I need off the shelf)

Currently my irons are a set of 15 yr old Calloway X20 Irons (4i - PW), a TM R11 Driver, Ping G20 3W, an ancient Howson 22 degree 5W (just works for me), TM 3i hybrid, then another ancient Mitsubishi SW and a TM RAC LW.

I’ve worked really hard on my swing the past yr and now that the lessons have started to take effect I just want to see if I can lessen my dispersion and eek out a few more yards with some shiny new clubs.

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Well, first off you are simply wrong. My own experience shows that the new clubs deliver more distance, consistently. In the Callaway case too much. No one said ‘magic bullet’ Frankly its a meaningless phrase (its should actually be silver bullet anyway). Clubs are one part of the equation, I am having coaching to improve my strike quality and ball speed as well, but this post was about a club fitting, hence I didn’t talk about that, leading you assume I am not doing it. For me, I don’t see why its one or the other, better clubs that help both distance and dispersion as I work on being a better golfer.

Not much wrong with them, a bit of rust on one shaft and slight rattle due to a broken shotscope tab on the 5i but I wanted to see if new clubs would give me a better outcome. If they could then I was in the market, but a few yards here or there would not have been enough to convince me. I saw 15 yards and better dispersion so went for it. Currently don’t hit an iron longer than 160 and short approach shots are what is holding my game back, hence the need for a bit more distance with my irons.

I am also working on my part of the game too, so hopefully both ends hold up and deliver improvements.

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You seem to be exactly where I am. I am working now on some improvements with a coach (it seems to shock people you can do both things, get better and get new clubs) and wanted to see if I could get some external help. My staring point with the fitting was can I get enough of an improvement to justify the spend. I also had a gap in my wedges that I wanted to look at and whilst the M4’s are ok the SW is not a great club.

What I will say about a full bag fitting is watch for fatigue. For irons I hit well over 300 shots (plus warm up and about 50 with my current clubs) so to do that with Driver, fairway woods etc. will make it a long session…take a banana!!

Be good to hear how it goes.

I have had 2 club fittings over the last five years. Here’s what I found. TM M4 7 iron goes 15 yards further than my current 7 iron consistently. BUT it has the same loft as my 6 iron. So when I matched the lofts up there was no discernible difference from my set that is 30 years old. Maybe 3 yds average. Dispersion was about the same. My cavity backs are easy to hit, have a reasonable amount of forgiveness and are still serving me well. I did not feel an investment of $1000 necessary. New clubs would not improve my game significantly. If I could put in 1000 hours worth of work again, that would improve my game the most.

Haha, i’ll do both if i can hide the expense from the wife!

Like you I want to look at putting a gap wedge in (probably in place of the 5W) and I dropped my X-20 SW as the bounce and grind on it simply didn’t work for me.

Thanks for the advice about taking some sustenance with me! I’ll pack a protein bar or 2!

Made sure irons I tried and my M4’s have the same lofts as I am aware of the stronger loft/higher launch issues. Rogue and Stealth both consistently further and Stealth tighter Dispersion. Coupled with improving my swing/contact I am hoping to see a good overall improvement this year. I have my Driver in a decent place in terms of hitting fairways and my short game has improved a lot through some regular practice (still hate bunkers). My hope now is that I wont need to buy anything other than balls for the next 8-10 years…

As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!”

I am told that ‘set’ SW are usually poor. So I went 5i-GW and then bought a separate 54 to go with an existing 58.

feed back how you get on.

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I no longer really go by saying I am hitting PW any longer. All my clubs including a 4 wedge set, 60, 54, 50, 46, then it’s 42, 38, 34, 30, 26, 23, 20, 14 and 9.5 and putter. My old PW was 51, now it’s called a GAP wedge….LOL. I have clubs that I can hit a stock distance with a solid strike. It works for me, if I could buy anything that would truly improve my game it would be the the Al Cervik radar putter.! Some people might remember that! That’s what I want for Christmas, Then I’d break par regularly!

Not expected to buy anything.
Lots of people will demo several different companies before making a decision.
I would suggest writing down things that are important to you. Launch, spin, left or right, ball speed and impressions of feel.

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