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Smart Golf, Planmeca Golf Arena and Mizuno held a custom fitting day for pre-booked customers on February 13th, 2021 with Covid-19 regulations in effect. Naturally, there were lots of interest for this event since the Covid situation has made travelling virtually impossible. Lot of interest was also devoted to the new STZ driver and fairway series. Does the fitting help me if I am a weekend golfer and will it be beneficial for me to come and smash some balls for 30 minutes with an expert fitter?
Fitting is for everybody and everybody can benefit from it – not just the guys on tour! What goes on during that half an hour fitting session?
First thing that the fitter usually needs to find out is the players reason to come to the fitting. These can be something from longer drives to better wedge play – honestly, it could be anything. Once the fitter and the player has discussed the reason and agreed on it, then it is time to start the actual fitting. In Mizuno’s case we can take advantage of Mizuno Shaft Optimizer 3D and Trackman.
In this case, let us talk briefly about fitting a new set of Mizuno irons.
To begin the fitting, usually player who came to the fitting starts by swinging a dozen or so balls with his/her own club and these shots are stored to the Trackman for further use. From this data, we can see the ball flight characteristics and shot dispersion, among other useful facts from the shots. Once these swings are done, the fitter and the player start to ponder the suitable model for the player. At this step, it is crucial for the fitter to understand the goals and aspirations of the player to truly be able to serve the player and fit a proper set of irons to the customer. Once the model has been agreed, the player moves to take three swings with the Swing Optimizer 3D. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to translate my post on that one to English yet. After those three swings we have fairly good image about that specific players way to swing the club, especially about his/her tempo and how does the player load and unloads the shaft during the swing.
The Shaft Optimizer 3D calculates three optimal shafts based on the data it collected from those three swings swung earlier and these are the shafts the player usually tests first. Before hitting any new equipment, the fitter checks if there is any need to adjust the specifications of the club i.e., shaft length and lie angle. These often-overlooked details can make the world to your swing and destroy otherwise perfectly fitting set to you. Once these details are set to match the players needs, then the next step is to swing with these three optimal shafts, usually a dozen or so balls. The fitter should collect non measurable information from the player and let the Trackman do its job. I personally want to know more about the feeling and response that the club gives to the player. How does the strike feel? How easy it is to control the ball or how forgiving feels to the player?
This feedback from the player is then cross-referenced to the data provided by Trackman. And speaking from experience I can say that when the club feels good, it usually performs good too. Once the optimal shaft has been found based on the symbiosis of feel and data, I personally like to go back to the players current club and have a go with that. If the current club is not a perfect fit for the player, they can usually feel it themselves after the fitting process. One good thing is to have the player change the club between old and fitted after every shot. This way the difference is easier to feel and see.
After agreeing on the club and shaft and other characteristics of the club, it is time to select what clubs goes into the bag and what does not. When ordering a set, it is good that the fitter has a look at the players bag and fits the set in there too to avoid any unwanted gaps in lofts – too small or big. Usually, it is good to check the wedge spacing, since there have been some wild combos on my watch!
Club fitting is not rocket science and it should not be afraid of, there is always a trained professional with you to guide and help you if you have any questions. The fitter should also explain and base his or her recommendations to facts and measurable data, for example selecting a wedge bounce for an attack angle of -9-degree.
The worldwide increase in players, in cooperation with Covid has caused unprecedented shortage in components (shafts, club heads, grips etc.). This situation is not helped by the recent Brexit neither, which causes some delays in the logistical side of things for the foreseeable future (for continental Europe at least). I know for a fact, that some factories are manufacturing components 24/7, 365 and still they fall back on the demand. So if you are in the market for a new set of clubs, you might want to place that order sooner than later.
Go to fittings, even if only to have your current set checked out that it suits your game!