Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Fit To Drive
You have the options to get fitted for a driver. Here’s how to go about it
A convenient option, many golf discount shops or sporting-good stores’ golf sections can put you through a brief fitting session for free or for a small charge. You’ll get measured on a launch monitor, but beware of clerks who aren’t properly trained to fit swings—they may steer you to the wrong gear. If it comforts you, many of them have been trained directly by club manufacturers. And some large chains use PGA pros for their clubfitting—they’re a pretty safe choice. But ask around to find a reputable place. If you have reservations about the quality of a store’s fitting experience going in, either trust your instinct and go elsewhere or make sure there’s a liberal return policy. You don’t want to get stuck with a driver that isn’t right for you.
An independent custom-fitting studio uses all of the latest high-tech, high-speed fitting gear to find a customized name-brand driver that’s perfect for you, making precise measurements of everything pertaining to your swing and ballflight. Special software additionally determines your optimal shaft flex, weight and kick point—to fine-tune your accuracy, ballflight and trajectory. To be honest, it’s almost overkill to go to one just for a driver fitting. And it’ll cost you a little bit more, but it’s well worth the investment. While some national clubfitting specialist chains, such as Hot Stix and Cool Clubs, offer outdoor fitting sessions on ranges, many private studios are indoors, where you can’t follow ballflight. If it is indoors, you’ll need to trust the very accurate technology that predicts where shots would have gone. Granted, it’s not the same as looking up and seeing genuine ballflight.
If you know which brand driver you want to play—or maybe even the exact model—then do yourself a favor and get fitted by the club manufacturer. They will dial you in to the perfect specs. Many of the major manufacturers have clubfitting systems at their retailers around the country. Some of them go above and beyond, including these four.
You have several fitting choices with Callaway. First off, the company has 21 Callaway Performance Centers located around the world. If you live by one or will be traveling to a city with one, you can make an appointment for a fitting session. High-speed optics and proprietary software capture your relevant impact data, including clubhead speed, ball speed, launch angle, spin rates, attack and path angles. A ballflight simulator then displays your results on a big screen. The system allows you to test many driver clubhead/shaft combinations in minutes, leaving you with all of your custom specs. Callaway also offers thousands of demo days and fitting events every year at golf shops, courses and ranges—plus it offers staff custom clubfitters at many locations around the country. For added measure, three Tour Fit Vans host specialized fitting events throughout the United States by appointment only. After fitting experts there find your exact specs, they can build a driver on the spot. Grab all of the details at www.callawaygolf.com.
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