Buyer Beware

Monday February 19th, 2007

Going out to be fit for new clubs can be a really good step to game-improvement. But it doesn't guarantee instant stardom. That's because there are potential pitfalls in the process. We ran regular guys like you through fitting sessions for the past 18 months. More than 90 percent of our test cases report improved performance. But the others didn't have a particularly good experience. Here's what to watch out for.

  • In a couple cases, the manufacturer simply did not build equipment to the exact fitting specs. Don't settle for this. Send it back and have the company correct its error.
  • There's also the challenge of finding a good fitter. There are hundreds of qualified fitters out there. Others say they fit clubs but are little more than club builders. Rogue fitters don't understand the data that's collected by launch monitors or computer simulators. Instead, those guys use high-tech instruments more so as a selling tool. You need someone who understands what the numbers (launch angle, spin rate, backspin, ball speed, etc.) mean for your game. The safe play is to go with someone who's an authorized fitter with a particular manufacturer. Find names/locations on company web sites. (You can also refer to www.proclubmakers.org)
  • The high-tech devices themselves are an interesting lot. Today's launch monitors are wonderful pieces of machinery. They capture data that we simply cannot see with the naked eye. (The machines also make indoor fittings a viable alternative to outdoor fittings.) But launch monitors are not foolproof. They can miss, or misread, shot data. So don't become totally blinded by these like you did with your first high school sweetheart. Instead, work with your fitter, have a constant dialogue during the process, and your fit will be based on good, accurate readings. (He should delete some recorded shots, if necessary.) Again, a smart fitter that knows and understands the capabilities of a launch monitor should produce terrific results for you.
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