Does a hacker like me really need a club fitting?June 22, 2017 Golf Equipment
NCG’s Joe Urquhart headed to Callaway HQ to see if custom fitting can really help high handicappers or whether it's best left to the experts
I’ve played golf on and off my whole life but it would be safe to say I have never really taken it that seriously.
Until joining the NCG team a year ago I’d never even thought about getting a handicap. Now I’ve got one, it’s all I think about.
Since first getting my handicap in April 2016, I have dropped seven shots and now play off 21.
What I was wondering was whether (and how much) my game might improve further thanks to a proper club fitting.
Maybe, as a high handicapper, it was well beyond my talent. But then again, what if was the key to lower scores?
Let’s just say I didn’t need much convincing when Callaway Golf asked if they could try to change my mind…
The club fitting process
I headed to Callaway’s Chessington HQ to meet their custom fit club-fitting specialist Matt Judd.
It was certainly daunting being thrust into a booth in front of the R&A building in St Andrews – virtual, of course – but Matt helped settle those nerves.
I first hit my own 7-iron to get loose and started building up an idea of what my current shot shape and distances were.
We then broke down the numbers to see where my current set were holding me back. Spin rates, swing speed and consistency were all a worry to me as whenever I heard these terms mentioned in regards to a fitting I would cover my ears and run away – virtually, of course.
I suspect most high handicappers know what I mean.
But with Matt’s help things became clearer. My strikes were inconsistent but on the odd occasion I managed to stripe one out of the middle it gave us both a much better understanding of where my game was at.
— Joe Urquhart (@Joe_NCG) March 22, 2017
The club fitting results
Having seen first-hand how much my spin rates and off-centre hits improved throughout the session I was seriously impressed.
What I learned during the fitting itself was that finding a club that you are comfortable enough to go out and play on course is key – it is just as vital that the club feels and looks good to you as it is that it performs well.
My driver spin rates were far too high. But just by finding the right loft, they came plummeting down. I was fitted into a shaft that was half-an-inch shorter than the one in my old driver, and that improved my striking.
With my irons, the shaft was made a quarter of an inch shorter than standard and the lie angle 2˚ upright.
The whole process has given me the confidence that I have the right clubs for my game. That to me is the most important factor. I know now that my equipment is helping me rather than holding me back.
It takes away any nagging doubt that the gear you’re using isn’t suitable when you are out on course.
WITB after my club fitting:
Here’s what Matt decided was best for my game:
Driver: Callaway GBB Epic Driver 11˚ (Draw lie setting, sliding weight to the heel)
Shaft: MRC Kuro Kage Black TINI 50 regular flex
Fairway: Callaway XR 16 Fairway 4-wood
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder Evo 565 regular flex
Hybrid: Callaway Steelhead XR 22˚
Shaft: Matrix Program F15 Hy regular flex
Irons: Callaway Steelhead XR (5-AW)
Shaft: True Temper XP95 R300
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 3 Satin Chrome 54˚ & 58˚
Now we wait and see
Well, I play golf and see…
Keep an eye out over the coming months: I’ll be providing updates throughout the season on how the new clubs are helping my game. All I need to do now is go and shoot some half-decent scores.