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How I Cut 3 Strokes – United Golf & The Golf Lab Fitting

Post image for How I Cut 3 Strokes – United Golf & The Golf Lab Fitting

Shaving 3 strokes Like No-One's Business

(Written By: GolfSpy Tim) Finding new gear is like finding your woman, looks are normally the first thing that matter. In January at the PGA show I was walking around when a "gold" colored driver caught my eye.  This was my introduction to the United Golf brand and Peter and Graham who are the designers behind Professional Golf Europe. I had no clue that this chance meeting would result in any real improvement to my golf game, but was I in for a shocker.

After the show United offered to take things to the next level and they arranged a custom fitting at The Golf Lab with Leith Anderson. Leith is a Golf Digest Top 100 fitter - aka, he knows his stuff.

United Golf review

The Fitting:

Instead of starting with a launch monitor and watching me hit a 6 iron off of fake-turf, Leith had me meet him for 9 holes of golf. Leith got a first hand look of exactly how I play and where I struggle.

Wrapping up 9 holes (come on, there were 9 more to go...) Leith and I headed back to the lab where he set me up on his FlightScope launch monitor for some number crunching.

As we started Leith let me know that he wouldn't be fitting me for my exact swing today, but rather he would create the best fit that I could grow into - a new concept for me - in past fittings I've been told I was being fit for today's swing. Being fit for today's swing has backfired at least once in the past with a fitting that never played well on the course for me. Thankfully, Leith's theory has made a huge difference in my game already.

As I warmed up, Leith noticed my swing was a little too big and my grip could use some tweaking, and being Leith, he didn't hold back and he helped me adjust these on the spot - already on my way to adjusting from my end to get the most out of his fitting.

Iron fitting was straight forward - Leith had me use a Mizuno Shaft Optimizer to see some shaft suggestions and from there we started down the road of trial and error on the launch monitor - first some graphite shafts, and then quickly back into my comfort zone of steel shafts and finally landing on the Nippon N.S. Pro 950GH paired to the United SBC1 heads. Maybe the easiest iron fitting I've had, no fuss. The Nippon produced great results and is hands down the "cleanest" feeling shaft I've hit.

United Golf review

United Golf review

Cutting It Down To The Right Size Matters

Warming up with my driver Leith let me know he couldn't fit me "better" - but he did promise to fit me just as well, and to keep my drives in play more. To accomplish this Leith wasn't just looking for the right shaft, but finding the shaft that allowed me to create the best "s" shaped radar tracing in the FlightScope (you can read more about this on The Golf Lab's Blog). We ended up with the ATTAS Elements 6R MK shaft mated to the United PBD1 at 12.5 degrees (yes, 12.5 degrees - turns out, most manufacturers don't mark their heads accurately - read more from Leith about this here)

But Leith had promised to keep my ball in the fairway, so what was his big "secret" to accomplish this?  He cut my balls off the ATTAS shaft down a solid 1/2" (it really seemed like a LOT more at the time) and promised me this would help - we've heard this before haven't we?

At most fittings this would have been the end and I would have gone home and waited for FedEx, but Leith had another Ace up his sleeve and headed out to build my set, but not until he first introduced me to another Golf Lab team member - John.

John kept me distracted by having me try out the Focusband (the Focusband entirely deserves an article all it's own) as well as setting me loose on their SAM Putt Lab to analyze my putting stroke. The Golf Lab not only does custom fittings, but they also do very player specific teaching that I'd LOVE to go back and dig into.

Wrapping up the custom build in about an hour, Leith handed me my new set, 3-PW and Driver. I was a bit confused and asked about fairway woods - Leith told me I would be sporting a 5 wood, but that my performance with the 3 wood on the course suggested I could cut strokes from my game simply by removing it from my set. Simple yet effective solution - and not one most fitters would have been willing to tell me seeing as that means selling one less club.

United Golf review

United Golf review

The Next Morning . . .

With that, Leith sent me off for the night and told me to meet him again the next morning for another 9 hole round to see how this new set performed.

The next morning things started off well - within 2 holes I knew that the pitching wedge was my new best friend. It was like upgrading a rifle from iron sites to a scope. As the round progressed we finally found a few spots for me to hit the longer irons - somewhere I've always struggled - and Leith noted he would be cutting my 3, 4 and 5 irons shorter to help my consistency - and then did the same with my 5 wood.

Leith promised I would drop stokes and said he believed I could drop up to 4 strokes after this fitting experience - and he's a man of his word.

United Golf review

The Results:

Going into this fitting I was a 17.6 handicap and STUCK - within 4 weeks of the fitting I had dropped to a 14.3.

So what made the difference?

Chopping off my balls and cutting my driver down got my drives back into the fairway, and getting rid of a 3 wood kept my ball out of the lake on #7, but in addition to that, I now have confidence over all of my irons. I almost feel like a sniper with the United pitching wedge, and I'm making more consistent contact across the board. In all previous fittings I've had, all of my irons were cut down 1/2" - Leith kept my United set full length except for 3-5. And the cut down 5 wood is a much easier club for me to make clean contact with.

United Golf review

Though I haven't been able to do thorough testing on a launch monitor, I'm here to say that the United driver is one of the most forgiving I've ever played.

Not only is United's driver impressive, but the irons are nearly as forgiving as any game improvement irons I've played - and to boot, they are much more consistent in the distance department with no hot spot.

Did I gain distance? No - but I cut strokes, and really, that's what counts right??

I'm sold on my United set right now and I have a feeling it will be a long journey before someone is able to force these beautiful art pieces ...err... ball slaying sticks, out of my bag.

We've said it before and we'll say it again, a proper fitting is something that anyone serious about improving their game should schedule asap.

United: WebsiteTwitter

The Golf Lab: Website

Comments

{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Gielda January 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm

For years I played with off the rack clubs and I played 2 to 3 times a month. My handicap was around 15 -16. I happened to be at local driving range and I talked with a club maker and got some interesting information. I showed me that my current clubs (Callaway) were too flat for my swing. He showed me where the ball was striking the club face which was about 3/4 of an inch towards the toe with my 7 and 5 irons. He said that he couldn’t change the lie angle on my clubs because the hosel on the Callaways were too short. I opted to change out my clubs and he made me a custom set. I’ve been a believer of fitted clubs and if you feel you have a consistent swing but want to get to the next level then I would suggest getting fitted for your clubs. I don’t want to have to change my swing to match my clubs. I play to a 9 these days and feel the biggest help for me is in the clubs that were built for me..including matching the right shafts with the clubs. BTW I don’t spend money every year trying new technology. I upgraded my irons last year but I played with my first fitted set for nearly 11 years.

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Tim H January 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

I would like to add to the discussion (please note I am Tim H, not the GolfSpy Tim who wrote this review).

I have had a handicap in the 5-8 range for over 30 years – through all types of equipment. I have also had back trouble off and on for over 30 years. Four years ago, after a particularly difficult back problem, I was fortunate to book physical therapy with a guy who also works with PGA tour players. He told me my posture over the ball was contributing to my back trouble. He taught me correct posture (which was more bent over at the hips), but I could not set the irons with the sole flat on the ground. The toe was way up in the air, and the heel caught turf, shutting the face.

After a fitting, I got Ping irons with the purple dot lie – flatter than their standard black dot lie. I now have good posture – and no back pain.

Is my handicap better? No – still the same. But I believe that previously, I was able to create a swing that fit my equipment and given some amount of physical skill and a lot of practice, shoot consistent scores. Now, my equipment fits my (mechanically/physically correct) swing, and I shoot consistent scores without stressing my back and pelvis.

Further, over 30 years, I have wasted several thousand dollars looking for the right driver. The new adjustments in drivers really help me use a flatter lie. I will have to say that shafts are significant and for me, deceptive. I have been able to adapt to different shafts, have a honeymoon period, and then find some flaw in the performance I am getting, and dump the driver. I got a fitting for a driver and now know what type of shaft works for me consistently. I can use my buddy’s A-shaft driver (soft senior shaft) and drive farther than my S-shaft. Or I can use a light high launch S-shaft, and get more carry. But the fitting was for a low torque, stiff tip shaft, and that is what I am by far most consistent with. I would guess lots of guys do the try-out, honeymoon thing I once did, but they are wasting money, just like I did.

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Chris J December 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Thanks for the review.

To the comments people have made suggesting fitting isnt all that. I have to disagree.

Five years ago, I was a 9 handicap and played at least twice a week. A friend told me about a guy that does fittings in Warrenton, VA (Jerry at Tour Trailer Studios). I got fitted for a set of Mizuno MP-57s. Contrary to the suggestion by some on this board, fitting is not just about shaft flex. My fitter suggested 3/4 inch longer shafts (which put me in a more upright posture and improved my swing plane and 2 degrees strong on the loft of the longer irons to create better gaps between clubs and which closed the gap between my 4 iron and 3 hybrid). Within 3 months of putting those in the bag, my handicap had dropped 33% (to a 6).

Two years ago, I went back to the same fitter unhappy about the results i was getting from a new driver I had bought off the rack. My mishits with the standard UST shaft were brutal slices even though my normal ball flight is a draw. The fitter suggested an Oban Revenge (green shaft). This had the same flex as the UST shaft but had a different torque and also helped reduce spin. The new shaft made a huge difference and my mishits now with that driver are slight fades. I didnt see a drop in my handicap but i am hitting longer and straighter drives on off days and that makes golf more fun.

Most recently, in April, I was fitted for an Edel putter (by Cheech at Calabassas CC). That process was fascinating. I learned I have a tendancy to drop my hands when i am trying to get extra comfortble over an important putt (which i do to relax) but in doing so the toe of the putter would come up and I would end up aimed about a half degree left of the target. The difference over a 10 foot putt then was a miss versus a holed putt. So the fitter took me through the process to fit the shaft angle just a degree flat so that my hands are always in the more relaxed position and this allows for the toe not to rise. He also put a weight in the middle of the shaft (I didnt even know that possible) and it really helped with my lag putting. I three putt a lot less now.

I play a lot less now than i did a few years ago (mostly when I travel or take a golf trip) but my scores since I got the putter in May are much improved. My handicap dropped from a 6 to a 2. I shot 72 at Machrihanish, 74 at Turnberry, 74 at Royal Melbourne, 75 at The Old Course, 74 and 72 at Bandon Dunes and 76 at Pine Valley. As one friend says when I hole a great putt “Thanks Edel Golf.”

I also went to Cool Clubs (in irvine) recently to try to get fitted for a new three wood (I have a 904F wih the Aldila NV 65 shaft my dad bought me as a gift 8 years ago). I hit it 235 to 230 with about 10 yards of roll. The fitter showed me the numbers that suggests my results could be better as to distance but noted my dispersion with 10 shots with my three wood is about 6 yards (My golfing buddies could bave told him that because I almost ways bit the fairway wih that club). We tried 30 different shaft and head combos (titleist 910, rocketballz, ping anser, others) and the results were 10 yards longer but the dispersion was 20 yards wider. The fitter was honest and told me to keep my current club in the bag. I appreciated that he didnt try to sell me something that wasnt ideal.

The bottom line for me is I have seen great improvements in my game with small tweaks after a fitting. It may be increased confidence but there is no doubt in my mind that average golfers can benefit from a fitting and great golfers can too. Just look at Hunter Mahan. He won the WGC match play the week he was fitted for his Nome putter. It was the first time be played and be won.

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Bob Pegram December 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm
BR December 8, 2012 at 8:55 am

Another quality write up. I have been following Leith/Golf Lab through their email newsletters and have learned a few things. As a Tom Wishon disciple, custom fitting can be key to quality golf. I agree that too many golfers throw money on clubs and do not take lessons or get custom fitting. We can debate what the order should be, if any. IMO, Leith does what many fitters can not, he watches ones natural ability and forms a hypothesis of which equipment/swing tweaks the golfer needs. He then has the player produce some numbers in house and crafts a potential custom set. What I like is the follow up round to see if lab numbers match real swing/play on the turf. Is Leith ahead of his time or simply providing a common sense service/way to identify better fit equipment? Finally, I do know natural athletes that can hit anything and have not been custom fit. These naturals fall into world class hand/eye coordination category and just know how to get club square at impact while others are former athletes (IE baseball/hockey). So I am not totally of the opinion that everyone must get fit, just most of us……

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Leith Anderson December 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Thanks for the comments.

There is something going on that will truly be the cutting edge. I recently finished an article about shaft fitting with radar. Since then, my friend Russ Ryden who is the hardest of all judges to please – gave my approach of watching the radar graph tracing as the ultimate shaft fitting tool the blessing.

I encourage everyone who can find a radar unit to see what it happening with the shaft just prior to impact. The radar shows it. It is spooky good. More info on the calgolflab.com website.

Regards, Leith Anderson

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Larry December 8, 2012 at 7:11 am

The Golf Lab is simply on the cutting edge. Leith is not wedded to anything, and is in fact often surprised (and sometimes resistant) to what the testing equipment tells him, so real golfers confirm the results (stiff iron shafts for slower swingers!).

Go to the website and read the chronicles.

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Damon December 7, 2012 at 7:49 am

I don’t really get the “controversy” around the benefit of a fitting. To me, it’s safe to say that for any sport, equipment fit to you is better than equipment that is too big/small/heavy/light/etc.

Specific to golf, the benefit of the fitting can be in lower scores, more confidence, pride in knowing your equipment is as good as it can be, etc.

Now, where the rubber hits the road is if the benefit to you is worth the cost of the fitting and subsequent clubs/shafts etc. That is the individual decision that everyone must make.

Personally, I was “fit” for my irons. Wilson had their “Tour Van” traveling to various Edwin Watts, and my clubs were fit for lie, flex, length, shaft, grip size. They were then built in the Van on site for me. There was no charge for this (other than paying retail price). Thinking back, I would love to have had the iron heads, shafts, and grips weighed so I know each club was built to a consistent weight change. I would have loved to have each shaft frequency measured. I doubt Wilson Van could have done this, but at the same time I don’t want to lay out the $ to get this done.

So personally for me, the benefit to the cost of what I received was well worth it.

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Lou December 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Great article and congrats on playing better. I couldn’t help but note, though, the face marks on your driver are all pretty high with a couple almost as high as they could get……hope you’ve already corrected this, but if not, maybe a lesson could fix it.

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GolfSpy Tim December 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

A constant struggle for me – I have a descending angle of attack on my drives and so I try and tee up higher to compensate a bit and voila, sky marks 😉 – but yes, constantly working on this

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Lou December 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Thanks for the note Tim….was a little worried about MYOB.

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Mike December 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Great write up Tim. As a left handed player getting fit is about my only option. I have gone to a local golftec and had a tremendous experience. It’s not like I can walk in dicks/golf galaxy/ golfsmith and pick up any old club you right handed players are blessed with. It’s a shame this Ron character talks down on the fitting process, you accomplished the ultimate goal in golf, shaving strokes off your game.

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andrew December 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

this conversation gives me a great idea- golf spy ultimate fitting test. send 3-5 golfers of varying abilities to be fit for a new set, test, report… i know it would be spendy, but if you found a few fellas (or phillies) who were already interested in being fit for and buying new clubs, and were all willing to commit to reviewing and reporting on the process AND the results, maybe a good fitter could be found willing to donate his or her services and facilities. the testers would get thier clubs and a bonus fitting, and the fitter (who would have to fit all of the testers for consistency’s sake) would get a bunch of publicity for their pro bono work. as a bonus to the rest of us, maybe we could finally put this particular baby to bed.

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Theoo December 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm

+1 to that idea. Also it’d be nice to maybe find testers and fitters in each region of the country that way people on the east coast or in the south could find a great fitter/builder in their area

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Damon December 7, 2012 at 8:17 am

Sign me up as a tester for this!

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Rich December 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I have played golf for 40 + years and my handicap is still 5. I have lost flexibility and yardage and gained accuracy and creativity. I have a driver fitted by hot stix and UST- exotic fairway woods adapted from that fitting. Mizuno irons with Aerotech shafts, edel custom wedges and a rife putter. Fitting is worth the time- the energy and the tiny investment. You have to hit the clubs and the shafts to know- i have 4 test irons with the same specs and different shafts. You spend more money on a club you don’t like than you will ever spend on a fitting. Invest and appreciate or buy and depreciate.

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M December 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

T,
Rather than carry on about whether one would benefit by being fit…………..I would like to know if the experience you had with the fitting would apply to anyone who was fit at The Golf Lab. Do they take everyone out for 9 holes to start the fitting?
Are clubs built while you are there?
Do they go back out for the second nine?
Also, if we are going to spend the money how much is the fitting? Can’t see why it would be a secerat?

Thanks for the great write up.

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Bob Pegram December 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Going out for 9 holes with Leith at The Golf Lab is free from the Golf Lab’s standpoint. The customer pays the greens fee for himself, for half of a cart, and the package at Palo Alto Muni includes breakfast afterwards. It is on Wednesday mornings on the back 9. It is available to anybody interested in a fitting with Leith. The fitting fee is for the indoors FlightScope analysis afterwards ($150).
For a whole set of irons, they are not put together while the customer waits. If it is for just a driver or any couple of clubs, they can be done while the customer waits if the schedule with other customers permits.

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GolfSpy Tim December 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Bob, thanks for stepping in and sharing the details.

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Leith Anderson December 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Leith Here – to discuss the “price” of a fitting.

Tim got super treatment because of exactly what happened. He’s an author and he has a following. Plus, he’s a hard judge so we’ve got a very valid test when he comes to town and it’s basically a “dare” to take the challenge. I though it was very cool to have a guy who cared so much about getting better to work with.

I’m working with the guys at United and I want to make a good showing. I spent quite a bit more time with Tim thank would have made sense if it were a profit-making enterprise. In that case, in California it doesn’t make sense to operate a business that doesn’t bring in $100 per hour from practitioners.

If you’re looking for a relativly equivalent value, I offer a combination of nine holes of golf, two hours of bag calibration and two hours of “open services” – which could be devoted to wedge fitting for bounce or any other purpose. That comes out to nine or ten hours for $625. That’s pretty much our “rack rate” deal. If you want to something significant for your game, you’ve got to start with setting aside half a day – at least. I hope that helps.

Regards, Leith Anderson

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TwoSolitudes December 6, 2012 at 12:46 am

Interesting read. Very sharp looking irons. I am in the camp that feels my swing is just not consistent enough to benefit from a fitting. But I take GS Tim’s point (he has said it many times!) and it has left me thinking. I like how removing the 3wood and cutting down the driver by half an inch were keys to lowering your HC. That is probably true for most.

I might actually try to get a fitting somewhere get the results, wait a month or so and then get another and see if the results are similar. Something to ponder. The idea might make a good test for a GS. Get a few guys to do it and see what happens.

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Yohanan December 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Cool Clubs with the United Process?
Sounds Awesome
9 holes at TPC Scottsdale for the Evaluation? Talking Stick?
LM
Adjustments
LM
Sounds like a great time!

Cheers!

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Leith Anderson January 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

LM,

Leith Anderson checking in. I’ve closed the Golf Lab in San Carlos and I’m working out of Cool Clubs at Mariner’s Point.

If you’re in Scottsdale and would like to check out United, I can get some down to Mark.

Regards, Leith

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Bob Pegram December 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm

One thing I am not seeing discussed here – except by Tim in the article – is the role of a driver shaft that flexes in a way to maximize consistency. Swing speed, swing timing and release point can vary a lot between players. Some shafts will work much better for a golfer’s swing than other shafts will. They will transfer the swing energy to the ball better.
There is no way a golfer can find the right shaft except by accident without using some sort of radar based swing analysis. It shows what the shaft is doing during the swing, the golfer’s attack angle into the ball, the effective loft, and a number of other things.
Some PGA Tour pros – Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker specifically – use lightweight graphite shafts and have improved their performance significantly because of them.
Sergio Garcia uses Accurizers in all of his clubs – except, I assume, the putter – and credits them with rise rise from being ranked in the 80s to under 20th in the world.
Clubfitters know about all of this stuff. Picking up a club or set off the rack is hit and miss – and your choices are only what a typical shop carries. Clubfitters are better informed about the wide variety of choices as well as the advantages or disadvantages to each golfer.

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blstrong (SeeRed) December 5, 2012 at 10:50 am

Holy smokes…I feel like I fell into an endless if-then loop reading some of these comments. Good read, Tim. I now have to decide between The Golf Lab or Cool Clubs for a little winter fitting tune up. That means I obviously believe there is some value in getting fit, as I did for irons earlier this year. I would not otherwise have been completely aware of the cause of hitting my irons too close to the heel. 2* flat lie adjustment took care of that as my swing is consistent and the club adjustment made more sense than trying to adjust my swing (not very effective). One thing playing with equipment that has been fit to your swing WILL do is give a player more confidence on the course- especially a beginner. That alone can help shave strokes.

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GolfSpy Tim December 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

SeeRed – good stuff, let’s just hope you’re not a tour pro and not one of the 75% or Ron might tell you he told you so 😉

Interestingly enough, I just connected with Leith yesterday and he and Cool Clubs have something up their sleeve together 😉

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blstrong (SeeRed) December 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

Oh man…hopefully their newsletters will have info on this in the near future.

I think Ron and I may have different ideas regarding “simple common sense.”

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Leith Anderson December 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Leith Here, Here is a “bite size” idea for one thing that your readers might be able to do near wherever they are. All you need is a clubfitter with a radar unit. Indoors is OK but outdoors is the way to go.

Both John Ruark and I will be working out of the Cool Clubs facility at Mariner’s Point starting in January. We are aiming to introduce Golf Lab customers to Cool Clubs and to extend a “next level” of fitting. This is a live, radar-assisted “range fitting” that will have a player hit through his entire bag with the TrackMan radar looking on. Simply learning EXACTLY HOW FAR every shot flies with every club is the easiest way to cut four or five strokes off of your score. We’ve plenty of testing, the average player overestimates his wedge distance by ten yards. Calibrating the player’s whole bag – easily and accurately with radar – in a couple of hours is the single best thing a player can do – without signing up for the “Two-Day” special. Thanks Tim for all the work. I’m looking to see you back and we’ll meet up at Cool Clubs at Mariner’s Point. Very cool as you know. Regards, Leith

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Leith Anderson January 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm

It turns out you no longer have to choose.

Leith Anderson here. We closed the Golf Lab (due to a “disappearing partner”)

I’m now working out of Cool Clubs at Mariner’s Point.

Regards, Leith Anderson

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blstrong (SeeRed) January 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

Glad I checked back in on this thread. Guess I’ll be checking in with Cool Clubs in the very near future.

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Ron December 5, 2012 at 9:16 am

I saw plenty , too many golfers go and get fit and they still suck, just like they did before they got fit, I see it all the time.

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Bobtrumpet December 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm

They probably read and tried all the tips in GD and GM between their fitting and delivery. :-)

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Ron December 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

Instead of getting FIT for a swing thats not that good to begin with why dont you fix yr swing so it is consistant then get fit fr right flex shaft and lie angle, but if yr swing is inconsistant which 75 percent of golfers are then going to that extent of a fitting wont do nothing for you. THATS JUST SIMPLE COMMON SENSE.

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Theoo December 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

Because there is no such thing as a CORRECT swing, just like any other physical sport there isnt a right or wrong way to do something. Is there an optomial method, sure but then look at the other major sports like basketball. Jokim Noah has the WORST shot i have ever seen. It is flat out ugly but he is an All-star player because it works for him. Same for any other pro. If someone is able to drive the ball 300 yards down the middle with awful swing flaws would you fix him or leave it alone because he is getting great results. That is why getting fitted is a good idea for all players because it allows someone to play their best with what they have to work with.

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Tim December 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm

According to the United website, their one sponsored player, David Shacklady won the 2007 Open championship at carnoustie? Maybe someone should tell Padrig Harrington he didn’t win?WTF?

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Bobtrumpet December 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm

On their web page, they stated: “2007 open champ carnoustie”

I think they mean he played in the 2007 Open Championship, not that he was the champion. It is a bit sloppy, though.

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Ron December 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Tim I understand your side but theres absolutely no way a golfer who is inconsistant benefit from a club thats made for one type of swing, he might help him now and then but never on a consistant basis, its the arrow not the indian. Thats why with this fitting today the average golfer has not improved and its on record, and most people quit golf because they cant improve and it happins alot more today than before.

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Theoo December 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm

As someone who just picked up the game this year i can say i have truely seen a benefit from being fitting. Now i know the club in my hand is closer to the specs that will help my game not hurt it. And it also gives me confidence that i can nail the shot when needed. Do i still have the slice or bad shot? Absolutely, no one is perfect especially in this game but now I can focus on improving my swing and not wondering if i made a good swing but the club didn’t react the right way.

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GolfSpy Tim December 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Catch is, the people who claim don’t make a consistent swing actually make a consistent swing, you’re confusing unrefined/untrained with inconsistent – two very different problems.

Most guys have a consistent slice – how often do you see that guy hook it? Nearly never – consistency… A guy will miss off the toe, consistently… or off the heal, consistently… or top the ball, consistently….

Next time you play with one of these players you think has no consistency, watch is flaws and take note, they’re pretty darn consistent.

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Meex Jnr December 5, 2012 at 7:02 am

Well said!! I have noticed this in my coaching quite a lot too, consistency to the inconsistency …fittings should take into account what the player would do on a bad day just as much as a good day. I for one will be adapting my approach to a fitting and seeing a player on the course will help no end

Thanks Guys :)

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Ron December 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Tim my mistake you said 3 strokes off your game I said 5 by mistake, anyway Im not saying that it wouldnt make a difference if you played womans shaft , Im not going that drastick , Im talking about ball park figures when it comes to specs. Just about every player on tour uses the exact shaft, x stiff dyn gold in irons and x stiff in their drivers, so why should it make much difference if a recreational golfer whos golf swing isnt nearly as pricise as a pros be needing a precise fitting when their swings are all over the place, thats just common knowledge. Bottom line is fitters make a fortune off the average golfer with this precise fitting crap and they know it. The average golfers swing aint consistant enough for such a fitting. That like being fit for the swing u make on Sunday when on another day its going to be alot different.

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GolfSpy Tim December 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I’d think your reasoning would be exactly why recreational golfers need a fitting – you’re right, a pro doesn’t, they all play the exact same thing as each other, they all swing the club exactly the same – so the guy with less skill then should get more out of being fit. Funny how that works.

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Theoo December 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Great article as usual. Being fitted not only gets the right equipment for your game and swing it also instills confidence in you when you reach for that club. I was recently fitted for my driver after not being able to hit anything but afwul slices. i put a new shaft in and now ive been hitting it a lot more better. is a coincidence maybe, but having the confidence to put my tee shot where i want to is a big big plus to lowering my scores

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jay hall December 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I tried their equipment and just found it to be cheap rubbish but i guess everyone can have a view.

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Leith Anderson January 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Just checking in on some threads that have been out there and I ran across this “cheap rubbish” comment. Just wondering, what is the basis for your opinion?

Regards, Leith Anderson

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Ron December 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Tim I was fitted a few years ago from a highly respected pro with a bunch of shafts and I was hitting the ball good s400 dyn gold shafts but after a while I decided to go back to my old irons which had kbs xtra stiff and I liked them better. But aside from that I remember Fuzzy Z oeller recently mentioning that back in the day he never had all this fitting and he had to adjust to a lie angle that didnt fit him and he still won big ameteur events with em. you say you shaved 5 strokes off your game ,has it ever occured to you that you just happenend to make different swings in those rounds , which I will bet money that thats exactly why you played a little better.

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GolfSpy Tim December 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

3 strokes off my handicap, not off of a round 😉 It’s been 28 rounds since the fitting – the 3 dropped strokes have stayed put – it wasn’t just “those rounds” 😉

So then begs the question what else changed in my game at that time…. nothing – everything else has been exactly the same. No new lessons, not been tweaking my swing. I still generate similar numbers on the monitor as before.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that a fitting could cause improvement for someone. Sure, you don’t improve your game by switching gear and you could play a rock on the end of a stick and score the same, but others of us are sensitive to change.

I wonder if Fuzzy would consider playing for $ with something that had the wrong lie angle if he had the choice…. gonna guess he’d opt for the fitted set vs a random set he picked up off the shelf at the nearest store.

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Dave December 9, 2012 at 7:33 am

Ron,
Part of the fitting, let us remember, was eliminating 3 wood from Tim’s bag to go with a 5 wood. Sometimes a fitting involves adding to set composition, often times it means eliminating a low lofted fairway wood or replacing a long iron with a hybrid. Selecting the best 14 tools for the job is the point. If you gave it a go, testing each of your clubs against current technology in a proper setting (with launch monitor), I’m confident that you’d see improvement somewhere. The question is how well equipped you are to do the job (skill level), and what objective you’re trying to achieve – Distance, accuracy, or both. I’d argue what Tim found to be true, accuracy and repeatability are far more important than distance gains. Often times both can be found, all it takes is an hour of due diligence before a big investment of both time and money in a new set. A key question is whether the golfer’s ability/interest level is such that they’ll benefit enough for a fitting to make sense. 30+ handicappers may not see the difference because of inconsistency, and that’s why they’re typically fit into forgiving, game-improvement type clubs (still a benefit).

DK

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Ron December 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Tim he was def fitted from a club pro and he hit them very well when he was being fitted , he hits my irons just as good a little better acually, I not saying you shouldnt get fit but its not going to make as much difference as people say it is, I had clubs from different freinds and I hit them the same , matter a fact a long time ago a freind of mine and I traded irons straight up they both had different shafts in em and we both hit them just as good as we did before we traded. One shaft had Apex shafts which were alot lighter than the other ones which were 10 grams heavier, did it make a difference , not in a million years.

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GolfSpy Tim December 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm

We can both only speak from our own experiences – Not gonna argue that your experiences aren’t valid – by all means they are.

My experience – I cut 3 strokes – no getting away from that.

Will every person cut three strokes from a fitting? Maybe not – but should they see improvement – the majority of the time, yes.

My concern is that if you take your reasoning and play it through, I could hit a 6.5 degree driver in a ladies flex and then I could hit my custom fit driver, and it wouldn’t make a difference… – and if we played this line of reason through for every club in the bag, it’s not hard to imagine this resulting in additional strokes (ok, now I’ve got an idea for a new story)

I’ll concede that some players may already have gear that fits them well enough that they won’t see huge results – but I’d argue that percentage is small and that a majority of golfers would see decent results from a fitting.

As Matt said earlier, why buy gear you have to fight with/adjust to when you can get gear that fits you.

My confusion in the end is that you say the difference won’t be as big as people say it will – what’s the difference that people promise that you don’t believe?

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Wannabegolfer67 December 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion and guys have the right to make pretty much any comment they like in this forum but I think if I were Tim I would be a bit offended by some of the comments made here. From my point of view Tim wrote an article sharing his fitting experience with us and how it appeared to shave some strokes off of his score. Tim also very clearly communicated that the fitting did not necessarily help him to go longer but seemed to result in fewer strokes. To make a broad statement suggesting that fitting is nothing more than a ploy for sales in relation to this article is very close to calling the writer of the article a liar and I don’t know of anyone who appreciates be treated in such a manner.
Now, that is all I needed to say so get fit, don’t get fit but hope you all hit them straight and go low on the scorecard!!

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Ron December 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

It just goes to show you that this fitting craze is getting outa hand, now Im not saying a man at 5ft7 should use clubs fit for a man at 6ft1 but the bottom line is is that if you have a swing that cant get the club in the slot right before impact a FITTED club wont do nothing for you. As a matter of fact the heavier club helped my father slow his tempo down and as a result he was able to match his arm swing with his body through the shot, so so much for being FIT.

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GolfSpy Tim December 4, 2012 at 10:29 am

Ron – I get the feeling what you’re saying is your dad was fit incorrectly – mistakes happen, and not all fittings are equal. Did he get fit at a big box store?

And have you ever been through a fitting?

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Ron December 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

Masta I kid you not he hit my clubs really good and consistant which kinda came to a surprise to me but for his age he hits a good ball.

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Masta December 4, 2012 at 6:49 am

Great article. Those United clubs look good!

On a side note, someone’s 79 year old dad hitting DG S300?? Give me a break..

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Yohanan December 4, 2012 at 6:35 am

Spot on approach IMHO.

Go watch them actually play the game

Then get numbers of a LM

Then make adjustments.

Fit to each player.

Otherwise its trial and error and that is expensive. Money and Time.

Thanks for the write up.

Cheers!

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kloyd0306 December 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm

One size CANNOT and NEVER WILL fit all. ven identical twins may need different specs.

Shaft length (especially with irons) has a direct effect on spine tilt and knee flex. Get that dimension correct and the remainder of specs remarkably fall into place quite easily.

Correct and appropriate spine tilt and knee flex angles allow the golfer to make solid contact with the ball without raising or lowering and ultimately allows the golfer to complete the swing perfectly balanced (usually on the forward heel).

Leith is ahead of his time with his belief that most golfers are using driver shafts that are too long for THEM. 46 inch drivers for the masses is plain nonsense.

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Dave December 9, 2012 at 7:07 am

“Leith is ahead of his time with his belief that most golfers are using driver shafts that are too long for THEM. 46 inch drivers for the masses is plain nonsense.”

Agreed. Think it came from Tom Wishon in a fairly recent article noting that some golfers have their best driver ball speeds at shaft lengths of 41 to 42 inches. That’s roughly the length of your longest hybrid or shortest fairway wood. 46″ is great for a robot swing, not always the case with your average player. Bring me a player with a poorly fit driver and by optimizing shaft, loft, and angle of attack I’ll get them 10-25 yards (depending on speed), not to mention improved consistency. True, your tour player will play well with anything, but OPTIMIZATION will make everyone better.
There are good people in this industry who want to help, not just add billable hours.
However, If someone asks about the kickpoint on your putter shaft – back away slowly…

DK

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Leith Anderson December 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Leith Anderson checking in. Interesting set of comments that I’m sorry I didn’t see earlier. When it comes to shaft weight and length – something is going on with lightweight graphite iron shafts. I just had my second set come back from a head to head trial – the player chose 40 gram Matrix Radix shafts. Go figure – 40 gram shafts in irons and relatively strong players. I think that the world should get ready for an awakening that radically lighter iron shafts can be better.

Interesting to note that the “standard” Steel Fiber iron shaft on Tour is 95 gram weight. That’s getting to be thought of as “Tour Weight”. So why would not normal amateurs do well with 70 or 80 gram weights?

Funny thing is that even though I don’t like too much length in a driver, I like a little extra length in irons – if the shafts are lighter. It gives room to move down the shaft a little for more control. Regards, Leith Anderson

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Mike Garrard December 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm

After reading Golf Lab’s Blog about driver loft, it looks like Hireko is on the right track with their “Thriver”.

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Leith Anderson January 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm

If you do the math and believe in angles, a player who swings at 90 mph needs to get the ball 16-18* up. Since most players don’t know that they should have different swings from club to club – hard time swinging down on the irons and up on the driver – why is that not easier?

The problem is that players always remember their “longest drive”. That is usually a 8* launch angle that hits a hard spot on the fairway and skips out to 225. Fitting drivers for longest distance is looking at the wrong parameter.

Do pros use 3 metals for half their drives? Could be.

The new mantra should be “Fourteen Fairways”.

Regards,

Leith

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Ron December 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I agree with you Rick , I dont care how fit u get to the clubs it certainly aint going to make as much difference as people on here think it is, my father who uses graphite shafts in his irons and at regular flex was playing my s 300 dyn gold steel shafts the other day and he hit the ball exactly the same if not better than the shafts he was FIT to which were regular in graphite which are very flexible shafts. He is 79 yrs old and he loved my irons said they werent hard to hit at all. That goes to show you that FITTING is wayyyyyyy overrated.

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Drew December 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Agreed. Just another ploy to get us to part with our money.

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GolfSpy Tim December 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Sorry about creating another ploy to get your money – if it worked, I’d be glad to provide my mailing address.

Ron – I’d guess you might be a fan of gangster style and their one size fits all pants, who cares if they fit right, just cinch it up with a belt – those idiots selling different sizes won’t pull one over on us.

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hckymeyer December 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Nicely done Tim, and congrats on dropping your score!

The Shocker may be added to my playlists as well :)

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Rick December 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm

If fitting is so huge then why do 98 percent of the guys on tour all use the exact same iron shaft x 100, bottom line is is that I understand if you want a stiff shaft but your swing is not fast enough so you should be in a regular, but other than that if you are a good player you can play any club an adjust to it very easily, if your not a very good player getting so called FIT aint going to make that much of a difference period, you either have it or you dont period.

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Golfspy Matt December 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

A good player CAN adjust to anything, but why fight the equipment when you could play equipment that fits?

There are certainly plenty of guys playing X100 but it’s far from 98%. That’s a shaft that fits tour caliber swings, so lots of guys play it. That is not an indictment of fitting by any means.

Matt

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Rich December 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

The better you are the easier it is to adjust. You can either invest and appreciate or just continue to buy and depreciate. It’s always your call.

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mygolfspy December 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

This might go up on the fridge…so bad…its good.

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Super Tuna December 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I’ve put it up at my friends workshop

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TwoSolitudes December 6, 2012 at 12:38 am

I used to have it. But then they changed what it was. Now what I am with isn’t it, and what is it seems strange and scary. And it will happen to you too…..

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Dave December 9, 2012 at 6:50 am

Oversimplification at its absolute finest! Shaft weight/flex/material/manufacture is but one of myriad components to consider in a club fitting, which really can make the game more enjoyable. After all, it’s hard enough even with a properly configured set…
Is there such thing as a club fitting for the mind?

DK

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Bob Pegram December 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Is there clubfitting for the mind? Sort of. Here are a couple of articles on the Focus Band. It teaches you how to stay “in the zone.”
http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/12/06/donate-your-brain-to-science-this-friday-free-offer-for-the-fearless/
http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/11/24/get-into-the-zone-prepare-your-mind-for-peak-performance/

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manbearpig December 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Solid write up Tim.

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Damon December 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

I’ve been receiving his emails/articles for years. I would LOVE to get a full fitting there, but am afraid of the fitting cost, let alone the build for a new set!

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GolfSpy Tim December 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

Damon – Absolutely worth the $ if/when you’re buying gear – Not as expensive as some might think

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Damon December 6, 2012 at 6:13 am

That is great to know. While I really like the clubs I am gaming right now, there is always the thought in the back of my mind that my game could improve (most likely incrementally at best, but still) by a serious fitting like this. Will definitely consider something like this – need to set up a work trip out West and build in a day for the fitting!

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Leith Anderson December 12, 2012 at 7:04 pm

This is Leith Anderson checking in. You mention reading my emails, I think it’s a good idea to let everyone know that I continue to be on the bleeding edge as much as possible. It was fun working with Tim – you can imagine when the reviewer shows up and he’s a 17 handicap – on a steep improvement curve. It’s really interesting when you get a guy who wants to stick with it for twelve straight hours. Get in touch directly with any questions. Regards, Leith Anderson, Golf Lab, San Carlos, CA.

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Wannabegolfer67 December 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

Another great article!

I just wish we had a place like this locally!!

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Leith Anderson December 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Thanks. Where are you in the world? I might have a referral close by.

Regards, Leith Anderson, Golf Lab, San Carlos, CA

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Christian Furu December 3, 2012 at 9:57 am

Nippon 950 😀 Very smooth shaft. I have them in my VRS Forged.

Excellent article :)

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Sara Hurwitch December 3, 2012 at 9:42 am

Very nice write-up. I can’t help but look at those fairway woods and think of the Tour Edge CB4. Clubface shape looks strikingly similar.

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