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I just received my new Titleist TSi driver and woods.  I LOVE them.  I have gained distance and decreased my shot dispersion.  No seriously, I love them.  Funny thing but I had a few calls recently with good friends (two who just went through 27-inch record snowfalls) and they tell me that they are looking at getting new clubs.  This is actually a great time to start looking as most manufacturers have just launched their new lines at the PGA Show in January and inventory is good.  My friends asked for suggestions on how they should go about selecting clubs.

Here’s what I told them…

First, selecting new clubs is a process, not an event.  You should find the right brand, one that has clubs that fit both your eye and your swing.  Before I became a Titleist girl, my husband and I went to Golf Galaxy and PGA Superstore quite a few times over a period of a month or so.  I demo’d a ton of clubs and was able to narrow it down to two brands (Mizuno and Titleist) and then to one single brand, Titleist.  But it took patience and a lot of testing and a lot of swinging.  The people at retailers such as the PGA Superstore and Golf Galaxy can definitely get you going in the right direction giving you a look at possible brands and data from their launch monitors showing how different manufacturer’s clubs are performing.  They may even wind up having the right clubs for you.  But don’t assume they do and don’t be pressured to buy after a single visit.  They are good places to go to start exploring your options.  So are fitting days with club companies at your local course or club.  Keep in mind, you are going to spend hundreds of hours using this equipment over a period of years.

Here’s another thought about getting fit for clubs.  With as much as I golf and as much enjoyment as I derive from it, I have good reason to invest in my clubs.  If you are the occasional golfer who only goes out half a dozen times a year, it’s probably not worthwhile to spend the money and time on demos and custom fitting.  But, if you are like me, invest in the game all the way.  Clubs and all.

As my coach Mario says, “You wouldn’t spend several thousand dollars on an ensemble without getting it tailored.  The same applies to your clubs.”  I’m not sure how many of us are actually buying suits or ensembles these days but you get the idea.  And, we know a lot of people are buying new clubs because golf equipment sales jumped 10% in 2020 due to the pandemic.

I would also recommend you avoid sales or discounts you earn through some affiliation.  I know several friends who are playing high-end equipment for which they are no match.  It shows.  One is a 20 handicap and is hitting blade irons because the maker was selling them to veterans for a steep discount.  The cost in enjoyability of the game for this friend far outweighs whatever she saved.

Another thought: unless your spouse is a both a golf professional and trained club fitter, don’t listen to him either.  Period.  Paragraph.  End of discussion.  It’s no different a situation than on-course instruction from the hubby.

Don’t put too much pressure on your swing when you are trying out possible clubs.

When I did my latest fitting with Titleist for driver and woods, it was after a  long round. I was tired and not hitting the ball really well on the range that day.  But my coach Mario was there and he watched the launch monitor and my ball flight.  He said that even though I was tired, he could tell there was still a decent amount of improvement with the new clubs.  This meant that when I wasn’t so tired, I would probably be hitting them even better.  How true that was.  The first few rounds I played with them were great ball-striking days.

Mario also said that with as many rounds as I’m playing, it was time for a club update.  As much as we like to believe it, clubs don’t last forever.  My one girlfriend told me she’s playing with a 12-year-old driver (yikes!).  She says she hasn’t ’t been able to find herself a new one that she likes.  I’ve been there and as I said above, it’s a process in which you need to invest some time to get solid results.  When isn’t that true?

Mario has helped me clarify the three ways to get professionally fit for clubs. They are:

Fitting Studios

Ideally, you would visit a maker’s fitting studio.  This is a a full-on fitting at a club company’s locations, such as Ping, Titleist or Callaway.  Do your research but I can tell you that Titleist and Callaway have facilities in southern California.  They charge you for the fitting which I think runs about $500 (+/-).  They do not sell you clubs.  They only give you specs which you then take to your pro and have them order for you.

I’ve been to the Titleist Performance Institute in Carlsbad, California twice.  The first time my husband and I gave it to each other for Christmas.  We flew out for a day-and-a-half, a great little golf adventure.  New Clubs were the rest of our holiday gifts to each other.  Right on.

Demo Days

The second route to finding new clubs is to attend a local pro/demo day at a club or course near you.  All the major manufacturers will be holding demo days around your area.  This is great way to try all the different brands.  The fitting reps at each will take notes so you can order from them later.

Big Box

The third route to finding new clubs is to go to one of the big box stores, as I mentioned above, PGA Superstore, Golf Galaxy, Dick’s Sporting Goods.  When there, demo demo demo.  Some charge for demos and fitting, some don’t.

I hope this post helps you take a considered approach to what really is a major investment in your golf game.  Finding the right clubs can provide you with more enjoyment than you realize.

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