One reader receives a complete club makeover from Hot Stix Golf.
Frank Salerno knows a good investment when he sees one. Seeking dividends for years to come, this intrepid reader embarked on Hot Stix Golf's five step "Game Fitting" process. We tagged along as Frank went through custom fitting sessions for a driver, fairway wood/hybrid, irons, wedges and a putter (turns out his old trusty mallet is an ideal match). Here's what we learned from Steve Grosz, custom fitter at Hot Stix Golf.
Old Driver: Titanium 425cc, 10.5°,extra-stiff flex (6.5 freq.), graphite shaft, 44.75" length, standard grip
Hot Stix says: Frank drives it well but feels outmatched by the newer technology in his foursome. He struggles to get the ball high enough due to the shaft stiffness.
New Driver: TaylorMade Tour Burner, 10.5°, stiff flex (5.8 freq.), Fujikura ZCom TW64 graphite shaft, 45" length, midsize Winn DSI grip
Hot Stix says: Frank can expect appreciably more distance, plus the Tour Burner is more likely to keep him in play on mis-hits. We put him in a less stiff shaft. He launches the ball 3° higher, imparts significantly less backspin and carries it longer.
"Shaft frequency is a measurement of stiffness,"
says Dr. Tom Mase, EVP of R&D and Innovation for Hot Stix Golf. "We use 'frequency' rather than 'flex' because it allows for more accurate fitting."
2 of 5Schecter Lee
Old Fairway Woods: Oversize titanium 3-wood (15°), steel shaft, stiff flex (6.2 freq.), standard length (42.75"), standard grip; oversize titanium 5-wood (18°), steel shaft, stiff flex (6.4 freq.), standard length (42.25"), standard grip
Hot Stix says: Frank rarely uses his 3-wood. His lack of control is due to its mismatched shaft and outdated head.
New Fairway Woods: Callaway FT-i Squareway 3-wood (15°) and 5-wood (18°), Fujikura ZCom TW74 shaft, 5.2 freq., standard length, midsize grip
Hot Stix says: Frank produces consistent contact withsofter shafts. FT-i Squareway is much more forgiving, too.
3 of 5SChecter Lee
Old Hybrid: Steel-headed 19°, graphite shaft, 3.3 freq., standard length, standard grip
Hot Stix says: The shaft is ridiculously soft, less stiff than the majority of irons. Frank can crush the ball one shot and then hit a soft popup the next without feeling even a marginal change in his swing.
New Hybrid: TaylorMade Burner, 22°, Fujikura E380
HB graphite shaft, 3.9 freq., standard length, midsize grip
Hot Stix says: This shaft is the same stiffness as his new irons. He hit 19° Burner consistently well but a little low. We increased the loft (to 22°) to optimize ball flight and to give softer landings.
4 of 5Schecter Lee
Old Irons: Better-player cavity-back, 4-GW, steel shaft, stiff flex, standard length, standard grip
Hot Stix says: Shots come out too low. Frank shuts the face at impact to counteract a slicing problem. His natural draw can also turn into a hard pull. The lie board confirms that 1° flat lie angle is too flat for him. The lofts and shaft stiffness seem arbitrary (see charts at right). We recommend that he increase the loft by 3° in long irons, 4° in mid irons, and no more than 5° in short irons and wedges.
New Irons: Mizuno MX-25, 4-GW, Nippon 95 steel
shaft, 3.9 freq., std. length, Winn DSI6 midsize grip
Hot Stix says: Frank hits these straighter, higher,
and farther. The 2° upright lie angle complements his naturally steep swing. Switching to clubs with proper lie and flex should corral his pull shot. Frank will see improved consistency in direction and distance.
5 of 5Schecter Lee
Old Wedge: 57° loft, steel shaft, 5.5 freq., standard length, standard grip
Hot Stix says: Frank carries one wedge beyond his iron set, so it needs to be versatile for a variety of situations.
New Wedge: Titleist Vokey Spin Milled Oil Can, 56° bent to 57°, Nippon 105 steel shaft, 3.7 freq., standard length, midsize grip
Hot Stix says: It has a high bounce, and we ground the heel (near the hosel). Frank can use it from almost any greenside lie, or the sand.
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