Last Saturday, I took the opportunity to be fitted by a master golf club fitter. Jeff Stephenson, the Titleist Rep, took 1 hour and 45 minutes to fit me for irons, 3 hybrid, 3 wood, and a driver. He was professional, patient and extremely knowledgeable! I found the entire experience educational, enlightening, and just plain fun!
When I first arrived at Trillium Wood Golf Course, I met with the General Manager Greg Seemungal. He knew I was coming because my home course General Manager, Mike Claire, ensured all was good for my appointment. (Have to love great customer service!) Upon my arrival, Greg set me up with a bucket of balls so I could warm up prior to the fitting. The facilities at Trillium Wood Golf Course are first-rate and I highly recommend it be a golfing destination if you are in the area.
After introductions, Jeff asked me what I was looking for from the fitting. I explained that I was a seasoned golfer, but had never been through the experience of properly being fitted for clubs. We talked about ball flight, distances, and my expectations from the new clubs I intend to purchase. Overall, I was looking to hit my irons with a slightly higher ball flight with the same or more distance. Accuracy was not generally an issue as I hit the ball straight most of the time.
Additionally, I explained that I at 53, I wanted a blade like club that was forgiving like a cavity-back club. I expected to keep these clubs for many years, so I needed them to pass the test of time. After he explained the variety of Titleist clubs available, we both agreed, that Titleist AP2 irons would be a great fit for current and future needs.
Next, he asked me to hit some balls so he could look at my swing. I was so nervous; I kept trying to hit the ball way too hard (as to impress everyone) and as a result either pull the ball or hit it fat. After a bit, I calmed down and started to hit the ball like normal. After about 20 balls, we decided to start with the irons. He handed me a six iron with the standard configuration. After a couple of swings, he changed out the shaft for something a bit lighter and it made a tremendous difference. I normally hit the ball about 165-170 with my 6-rion and the AP2 matched the distance, but the ball flight was higher. Overall, the results were superior and I was really pleased with the feel of the club.
Next we checked the lie of the clubs. As it turns out, the heel of my club hits the ground first during my swing. I never realized this and it could explain why my ball generally misses left. Jeff applied some tape and after about 5 swings we adjusted the lie of the irons to a minus 2 degrees flat. Jeff recommends the SP95 shaft, length S300. What a difference!
Next we discussed a 3 hybrid versus a 5-wood. I was thinking about the 5-wood, but after hitting the 21 degree 915H hybrid I was sold. I hit it about 210 yards on a nice controlled ball flight. We went through the usual changing of shafts, heads and various adjustments to get me into the A1 position. The recommended shaft is the Diamana Blue – Stiff, for this club.
Next was the driver. I feel that I hit my driver very well, but generally do not get much height on the ball off the tee. With the 915D2 driver, I initially was pushing the ball every time! It was a bit frustrating because I could not figure out what was going on; that is when Greg stepped in. Greg explained how I was set up exactly where I was hitting the ball and that my mind compensates my body to make the ball go where I want it to go. Taken aback at first, I realized that Greg was absolutely right and I adjusted my alignment. Thanks Greg for the lesson!
After a couple of hits, Jeff explained about tee height, spin rate, and positioning of the club with respect to the ball on the tee. I have always teed the ball low, but no longer. Jeff explained that my spin rate when the ball was teed low was about 4400 rpm. On a windy day, this was not a good thing. Jeff then explained that by hitting the ball in the middle to slight above the middle of the club face my swing rate drops to around 3200 rpm and I achieve a much better ball flight. Also, he explained that the flatter the club head hits through the ball during contact, the less spin rate. This is something I might have to work on later. As Jeff worked his magic, my ball speed increased from 132 to about 144. Overall, I was very happy with the driver and Jeff recommended a 12 degree, Rogue Silver – stiff shaft at the standard length.
Last club we fit was the 3-wood. We saved it until last because it is my most versatile club. I hit it off the tee quite often and off the fairway just as much. My current 3-wood is very good and I like the look and feel. I found the 915F fairway wood hard to hit at first until Jeff made some adjustments. After a couple of shafts I was hitting it better off the grass. But what sold me was how well I hit it off the tee. It felt awesome and the results were exceptional! Jeff recommended the 16.5 degree, Diamana Blue – stiff shaft in the A1 position!
After about 2 hours, I felt like I was hitting the ball better than I have in years. There were a couple of things that actually surprised me:
- The degree of my driver, 3-wood, and hybrid are higher than I expected;
- How properly fitted clubs can make such a difference in feel and results;
- My ball flight was very low;
- How to lower my spin rate; and
- How my alignment was way off.
I want to thank Jeff and Greg for a fantastic experience. Your professionalism and patience made my fitting first-rate. I never realized how much I would learn and how the right equipment provided by a professional could make that much difference in my swing. If I had realized this sooner, I would have gone for a club fitting years ago.
If you ever have the chance to work with Jeff or Greg, I would recommend you jump at it! It will be well worth your while!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links.