Iron custom fitting with CallawayJune, 2012
NCG's equipment team visited the brand's London-based performance centre to learn more about their comprehensive 2012 iron range
At first glance, Callaway’s 2012 iron range is nothing if not exhaustive.
There are six main models, including three that carry over from 2011, and two very niche products designed for different markets – a tour-style blade and a forged cavity-back, both of which are expensive.
That might sound a little confusing but things soon begin to make sense and each model is clearly targeted at a different player.
For example, though the Razr X and Razr X Black have similar performance benefits, the Black version is sleeker, with a different finish and price point.
It’s aimed at the same style of player but with different budgets and visual preferences.
We were invited down to Callaway’s HQ in Chessington to sample a custom fitting.
Here is what our writers made of both the clubs and the process.
At the end of the session, you are absolutely convinced you have got the right club, shaft and lie set-up.
THE fitting suite is really quite a sight – and packed with technology.
It can be intimidating to walk into an environment like this and start hitting shots you know will be analysed in a hundred different ways but custom-fit specialist Matt Judd offers a reassuringly human touch.
He’s the kind of person you feel comfortable with very quickly and I was soon firing 6 irons into the screen.
It’s crucial to relax and, in my experience, to keep talking to your fitter about what you are feeling and thinking. Don’t worry too much about what it says on a shaft‚ just give it your best swing and offer feedback.
For me, it came down to a choice between two heads‚ Razr X Forged and Razr X Tour. There wasn’t too much difference in terms of the figures but I just felt that I would be more consistent with the Tour, given their slightly larger heads, thicker top lines and softer leading edges. They are exactly what I want an iron to look like – offering forgiveness without compromising on looks and shapes.
THE best thing about the fitting was the non-baffling element rather than getting too bogged down in launch angles. With only four sets of figures to concentrate on it was far easier to understand where the better shots were coming from.
Being 6”4’ I had never considered having my irons set up flatter than standard but, given my swing path, this had me sending it straighter and 10 yards further with the 6-iron.
The other really impressive part of this was the attention to detail, we tried any number of combinations over a period of time so, at the end of the session, you are absolutely convinced you have got the right club, shaft and lie set-up. For me it was the Razr X Tour, which would have been my preference were I buying them off the shelf.
Matt made a point early on that he isn’t there to instruct but, after a mildly desperate plea as to why everything was going left, a very quick solution was put forward adding another layer of confidence to the experience. I could have stayed there all day.
I FIND indoor custom fittings quite worrying. I have a sky and a shank in the locker so am always worried about the ball coming straight back at me after missing the screen.
The simulator at Callaway is very large and unintimidating, though. In fact, the whole thing is very comforting. The soft light and helpful tone from Matt makes you feel at ease and it’s quite encouraging when you change shafts and see instant improvement.
I’ve been using muscle-back irons for months and have noticed my mis-hits are more severely punished. I was therefore determined to get fitted into a game improvement head. So I tried the Razr X Black.
I expected to see a shovel at address but the head was lovely and compact. The performance was definitely game improvement, though, so it was love at first sight. Matt’s knowledge on shafts is exemplary and he quickly decided what would work.
To satisfy my overactive mind, he let me try a few different ones, but it was clear his first choice got the most out of my aggressive swing and I left totally satisfied.
An 90 minute fitting at Chessington costs £50 and is refundable on purchases. Custom fittings are available around the country at selected retailers. www.callawaygolf.com