It’s hard to argue the fact that custom-fit golf clubs improve your game. Not only are they made to fit your swing regardless of what it looks like, but they also inspire confidence. No one has custom-fit more golfers than Club Champion.
Several years ago, I did a complete bag fitting at Club Champion in Orlando, Florida, and it was a day well spent. Not only did I leave with a set of clubs that were designed for my swing, but I also left knowing a lot more about smash factors, launch angles, and spin. It may be minutia to many, but I found it quite interesting.
I still play the clubs that I was fitted for but I just turned 62 and was starting to wonder if the stiff shafts that were prescribed are still optimal for my swing. When Club Champion offered to do a driver fitting, I figured the timing was perfect and jumped at the opportunity.
The drive to Club Champion is no longer a short trip over I-4 to Orlando; it’s now a 2+ hour drive to Nashville. I met with my fitter Rick, and we talked about what I wanted to accomplish with the fitting; specifically, shaft flex. I warmed up with a few 8-irons and 6-irons and from these shots, Rick was able to give me recommendations on stiff VS regular flex. It was just as I suspected; age is catching up with me!
After warming up, Rick had me hit a few balls with my driver, just to get a feel for how I hit it. As it turned out, my off-the-shelf TaylorMade Stealth Plus/Project X HZRDUS Red Smoke combo fared worst in just about every category. So much for impulse buying!
The first thing Rick wanted to do was to figure out which shaft fit my swing style. We tested several manufacturers including VA Composite, Accra, Aldila, and Fujikura, and then zeroed in on a particular model. The Aldila Ascent Red clearly fit my swing better than any other shaft.
Next up was choosing a clubhead and there were several I wanted to try. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the new Cobra Aerojet so that was a must as was the latest Stealth 2 from TaylorMade. Callaway and PING always have a huge presence at the PGA Show each year, so the latest and greatest – Paradym and G430 respectively – were on the radar as well.
The Aerojet and Stealth 2 were out of the running quickly. While they were competitive in club speed, ball speed, and launch angle, they didn’t produce the carry or total distance of the other two. The G430 and Paradym X were neck and neck in every category. PING was slightly better in club and ball speed, and height, but spun higher and trailed in carry and total distance. Since we were nearing the end of our session, Rick felt that if he were to adjust the PING down to 8° we could get the extra distance. He felt confident in recommending either clubhead with an Aldila Ascent Red 50g shaft. Regular flex, of course!
For the most part, the staff at Club Champion are all good golfers which makes it easier to accept what they say. That, and the Trackman doesn’t lie. While they may be able to give you a tip or two during your session, they’re not there to correct or change your swing. What they will do is help put together a set of clubs that will help you get the most out of your swing. With all of the clubheads and golf shafts they stock, they can create over 65,000 different clubs, so the odds are pretty good that they can put one together to meet your needs. For more information on Club Champion and all of the benefits associated with a custom-fit set of clubs, visit them online at www.clubchampion.com. Click on the Locations tab at the top to find the Club Champion nearest to you!
Club manufactures have offered increased distance for every new model for many years yet when I go to fittings my 20 year old titleist performs as well or better than any of the newer models where is all the distance advertised