Club Specs Investigation: GT gets up and close with Hot Stix
1. Putter Fix: Get your putter length, lie and shape looked at by a clubfitter. You may find your particular putting style works best with a different type of putter.
2. Stiffen Up: Hot Stix argues that stiffer shafts do way more good than harm.
3. Frequency Matching: Get your club shafts frequency matched so each club flexes exactly as it should.
4. Driver Shaft Upgrade: The launch monitor doesn’t lie. Get your launch and spin rates optimized in a matter of minutes.
5. Damage Control: Visually inspect your clubheads and shafts for bends, breaks and rust. Make sure no heads are loose atop the shaft.
6. Groove Improve: A quick way to get some extra spin is to regroove your irons or wedges. A clubfitter can do it, or you can buy a groove tool and do it yourself.
7. Get New Grips: Ask your clubfitter not only what size grip works for you, but what weight as well.
8. Bounce Angles: See if your wedges have the right bounce for your game. You may find that a higher or lower bounce angle works better for you.
9. Have A Ball: It’s a good thing to be selective when buying golf balls. Read the box and go with the model that’s right for you, not necessarily the ball designed more for a Tour pro.
10. Watch Your Feet: Golf shoes have become very performance-oriented. Make sure you get some shoes that fit and provide good stability while swinging. Studies have shown some shoe models actually increase a golfer’s distance.
“For mid-handicappers, we focus more on the putter and the short game, because that’s where they’re probably losing shots. You can help them with their woods and irons, but more often than not, it’s the short game that’s hurting them,” said German. “We look at how the golfer sets up with a putter, how the ball rolls off the face, and judging by the tendencies in the putting stroke, we can adjust the putter to a position that the golfer is able to consistently reproduce. Every player is unique, and every player has a different set of parameters to improve upon.”
“Of course, with high-handicappers, the main objective is forgiveness. We want to make the game as fun as possible for them, so we get them into the right length, the right lie angle, etc.,” said Mase and German. “As a higher-handicapper or a new golfer, your swing is constantly changing, so the equipment has got to evolve with that change. Also, their equipment is the most inconsistent of the three because their feel isn’t as fine-tuned as the better golfer. The room for error and improvement is greater here.”
Does all this make you curious yet? We thought so. Like many other clubfitting centers, Hot Stix employs dozens of professionals dedicated to making sure your equipment is optimally tuned for your ability. And in case you haven’t noticed, there’s no right or wrong place to start. All you have to do is assess your strengths and weaknesses, plan a visit and be ready to pay a few bucks to make sure your stuff is up to par. It’s also a good idea to let your golf pro know that you’re heading to a clubfitter to get your clubs checked out. He or she may have some insights on what might work well for you. After a visit with Hot Stix, we believe in clubfitting, and we’ve seen the effect of golf clubs that actually fit. That said, it’s critical that golfers also realize that clubfitting usually doesn’t produce overnight fixes. It only allows golfers to take full advantage of their potential. Raising your potential, however, is and always will be up to the Indian, not the arrow. Get fitted, then hit the practice tee!