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We emphasize the importance of being custom fit for golf clubs all the time. To the point of almost over emphasizing it.
But, the manufacturers and we do so because there are some very significant advantages to spending 15 minutes to a half hour of your time with a fitting professional if you are going to make the investment in new equipment for your game.
Case in point with our 2 guests on our GolfBetter Podcast #201, Cliff Szuch of Pensacola, Florida and Ken Langlois of Carmel, Indiana.
Szuch discusses his recent fitting experience in December which led to his purchase of Ping G-Max irons, custom building the irons with a flatter lie and also with graphite shafts a bit extended in length. The end result was a ball flight and carry beyond his wildest imagination.
Langlois shares the fitting story of his time spent with his teaching professional earlier this year. From fitting, Langlois’ pro determined that it be best that his new Callaway irons and woods be ordered forged heads with lighter graphite shafts. Final conclusion: 20+ yards of distance on irons and close to +30 yards with woods for a guy in his early 50’s that’s already a good player.
Tom Brassell: Welcome to GolfBetter at Worldwide Golf Shops. Episode 201. Hello everyone, my name is Tom Brassell, thanks so much for joining us. We say it every time, if your a first time listener or a long time subscriber, either way, doesn’t matter. We’re just glad you joined us. We have a couple special guests today. We talk all the time about the importance of being custom fit for your equipment. It doesn’t take that long and cost’s virtually nothing. If you’re going to invest in a nice suit, you’re not going to just take it off the rack without trying it on and getting it fit for you. Same thing here. We have two individuals joining us. The first one joining us from over in Pensacola Florida, he just had a custom fitting experience not too long ago. His name is Cliff Szuch. Cliff thanks so much for joining us, man.
Cliff Szuch: My pleasure.
Tom Brassell: You decided to do something around Christmas time last year. You treated yourself to a present, a club fitting. Talk a little about that Cliff.
Cliff Szuch: Well, I’m your typical mid to high handicap golfer. Some day’s I’ll shoot an eighty, normally I shoot between an eighty five and a ninety. If I’m not having a good day it will be in the ninety to ninety five range. Basically anywhere between and eighty and a ninety five depending on how good I’m playing. Years ago I got my first set of Pings, and club fitted for them, the I-15’s and have had those for a long time and notice with the new magazine reviews of all the new irons coming out, that Ping had come out with a new set of forgiving irons, the Ping GMax Graphite Shafts and went online. Did some investigation of some reviews of the irons. The people that were testing them were really really impressed with them. Not only for beginners but also mid handicaps and also single digit handicaps, and said it was a playable club for any kind of swing.
I just hemmed, hawed around and said, “Well I need to get fitted.” I haven’t been fitted in a long time and went ahead and decided to buy myself a nice Christmas present and went and got fitted at a golf retail outlet and was really taken back by what their diagnostic machines were telling me I was doing with the club.
Tom Brassell: Yeah, you said you were fitted before for I series clubs, but that was probably more of a static fitting. A measurement here and there. This was a little different, wasn’t it?
Cliff Szuch: Yeah. You go into the fitting area and letting you get balls of the laser distance netting. I’m getting loose, getting warmed up, and hitting some smooth seven irons. The fitter was saying, “Cliff, you know you’re really striking this good.” I said, “Well it’s not me, it’s the club.” He said, “You’re hitting it pretty well.” I said, “How far?” He told me and I said, “You’re machine’s wrong, I’m not hitting the ball that far because I don’t hit the ball that far.” He goes, “No, our machines don’t lie.” He told me what I was hitting and literally it was like ten to fifteen yards more than I hit that particular iron in the I Fifteen series.
Then I switched over some different irons and I’m pitching lofts and the same thing happened. I was just hitting consistently ten to fifteen yards further. The feel of the club was just fantastic. I sat there thinking, I know these are graphite clubs. I know these are different technology, but man what a difference between what I had before and what I have now with the same company, Ping. Just that, and put that in the back of my mind that might want to proceed with later on. That later on came a couple months later, went back and got another fitting with the same person, same establishment, just to make sure that’s what I wanted. By doing that we really made some minor tweak adjustments with the Ping color system. I did a different angle on my shafts and I also got extended lengths on my shafts to help me. It was a very very positive situation where everybody always says the game has changed. The people hit longer, farther, better and but the swings haven’t changed. The equipment’s been getting better. I’m a firm believer in that.
I’m sixty four years old. I’ve been playing since I’ve been in junior high school. I’ve gone through five decades of club technology and this is just amazing what these clubs can do to an average golfer’s swing with the change of improvement. I wish I had them back in the sixties but you know that was a long time ago. I’m healthy, I’m being able to play as much as I want and it’s just nice to have some clubs that basically help, where you don’t have to do all the work. The club is basically doing the work for you and specifically these graphite shafts on the GMax series. I mean you just don’t have to swing hard. All you have to do is keep your tempo nice and fluid and the club does the rest. That what I’m finding out. My difficulty is letting the club be trusted. Let the club do the work and just be smooth and swing with a nice tempo. I’m very pleased with my experience.
Tom Brassell: We, and the manufacturers both preach the importance of being fit and not just grabbing something off the rack and saying I’m standard. That’s kind of the big fallacy but then again, as you said, Cliff, the improvement of the equipment over just say the past five, seven years, what you had in your bag before is something a bit different. You certainly recommend it to anybody else it sounds like, right?
Cliff Szuch: Oh yes, very much so. Like I said, and the difference between the fitting that I had a few months ago and the fitting that I had six or seven years ago is day and night difference. The fact that you’re able to change your lie angles on your clubs and see what reaction that had with hitting in the fitting area was very positive. All of a sudden instead of being low and left you’re getting a nice high right to left draw flight. Basically the change of your lie angles of the shaft. Bing has a great situation with their color system to create that. Unless you go and get fitted you’ll never know that hey, you’re basically fighting against yourself because your swing doesn’t dictate what the club is suppose to do. If you get the club fitted for your swing, then of course the improvements come. That’s what’s happened with me.
Tom Brassell: Well Cliff, thanks so much for weighing in with us, maybe we’ll do it again down the road, check in with you. Remember let the club do the work, right?
Cliff Szuch: Exactly. I hope I can give a little bit of information to help someone who’s undecided to get fitted and that it’s all positive. There’s nothing to be worried about because there’s nothing but good things to come from it.
Tom Brassell: It’s awesome, thanks.
Cliff Szuch: My pleasure.
Tom Brassell: We move now from Pensacola, Florida up I-65 to Indianapolis, actually Carme,l Indiana where our guest joins us know. Ken Langlois from up in Carmel. Ken, is it thawed out up there, are you able to play any?
Ken Langlois: Yeah, I think I’ve gotten ten rounds in since January and Carmel is a good place to play golf.
Tom Brassell: Also, I guess maybe a little before January you had a fitting experience. Tell us a little bit about that, what you went through with your custom experience.
Ken Langlois: Well I play at a club up in Carmel and the teaching pro there suggested that, I’m in my early fifties, it was time to take a look at what’s out there to help a golfer like me. Really it came down to working with a person that’s a certified fitter. I was on the launch machine for about fifteen minutes and we really focused on the shaft weight and looking at how the improved shafts and different weights could help my swing.
Tom Brassell: What, through the experience, Ken is there anything that really stood out or surprised you like, “Man I can’t believe I need to be in this shaft,” or I couldn’t believe this or that. Is there anything that stood out?
Ken Langlois: Yeah, I think the biggest thing was the increased club head speed when I went to a lighter shaft. That was probably the biggest surprise. Honestly, the improved ball flight with the different shaft that had a little bit more kick to it. The final result was just a consistent strike of the ball. In the fitting they’ve got the length of the club and that part of it done well. Then just the knowledge and followup. I had several lessons and visits since. They stand behind the fitting and the equipment, and it’s been a really good experience so far.
Tom Brassell: Yeah, one of the big fallacies that we here out there in the industry is, some people will say, “Well I got my clubs five, six years ago, there’s nothing out there that’s really that much better.” You spoke with me off the air about just the improved ball flight, but the distance you were getting off. Pick an iron, say your eight iron, how is the difference between now and then?
Ken Langlois: Yeah, you know I was playing with forged blade club. I was hitting the eight iron probably one forty five and really it took everything I had to hit a one forty five. A new shaft and it’s a forged head again that I had now is more like one sixty five. The ball flies, it just goes forever. The balls tumbling rather than spinning up in the air and stopping. It’s been great from that standpoint. We went along with the irons. We refitted the driver and got another thirty yards with the driver also. That was just finding the right equipment for my swing.
Tom Brassell: Well twenty yards with the same iron, probably thirty with the driver and you made no ball change, right?
Ken Langlois: No ball change. Honestly that’s what we’re doing next. You know, we’re looking at three different golf balls right now and again it makes a big difference how you play. I play a hundred rounds a year and I’m playing with younger kids that can pound it. Having that improvement is absolutely necessary to compete with those kids that can launch it, so feeling good about that.
Tom Brassell: Ken, thanks so much for joining us from up in Carmel, right around the corner from Crooked Stick, a lot of history up there. Thanks so much for joining us, maybe we’ll catch up in the future.
Ken Langlois: My pleasure. Thank you.
Tom Brassell: Well there you have it. Two different consumers probably, I don’t know, seven, eight hundred miles apart, but interstate separating them. Both got custom fit, one at a specialty golf retail shop, the other with his golf professional and both getting outstanding results from what they did. I just want to share that with you. Two opinions from two consumers on the importance of being custom fit. Well many thanks to Cliff Szuch and Ken Langlois for joining us, and you our listeners and we’ll do it again next time. We have another episode of GolfBetter at Worldwide Golf Shops. So long everyone.