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What Golf Pros and Doctors Have in Common is Critical

As I blog, I am learning so much about what is necessary to play better, to lower your scores and what really makes a difference.  What has become clear to me is improvement is a platform and that it has four basic tenets.  In other words, it’s a four-legged stool.  The four legs are instruction, conditioning, psychological (I am going to write more about conditioning and psychological components in upcoming posts) and equipment/club fitting. 

Frankly, I love clothes, but they don’t improve your score as I would like!  And, while using the proper ball helps a bit, for most of us a mid-priced mid-range ball from a leading manufacturer will largely suffice. 

I know I’ve written about club fitting in the past but this is a more detailed post about how to do club fitting in the best possible way — for maximum results.  Results that translate into strokes saved. Frankly, I experienced an astonishing improvement recently when I finally went into a fitting studio.  I had always been fitted previously on a range at a manufacturer or manufacturer-sponsored fitting day.  We’ve all been to or seen fitting days like the one pictured here.  That’s when the various brands, one or many, visit your course and their reps set up their tents with their latest offerings and a Trackman hitting monitor.  That’s not a bad way to go.  However, I am going to explain here that you really will be best-served by having an agnostic fitting session in a studio with a professional fitter.  That’s right, a professional fitter not tied to any single club company.  That’s someone who fits clubs for a living, and does little if anything else.  

My fitter was Brandan Bergin, of High Performance Golf Institute, which is housed at Reflection Bay Golf Course at Lake Las Vegas.  The beauty of HPGI is that they not only have former PGA tour fitter Brendan on staff, they also have former PGA pro Craig Barlow and Jeff Gallagher to help golfers master their new weapons built by Brendan.  Most fitters like Brendan charge a fitting fee.  If you end up buying clubs from them, they commonly credit it against any purchase you make.  

Bear with me here.  Just as surgeons specialize— heart, hand, brain, etc.— now so do those who work with us to improve our games.  They’re equivalent to our golf doctors.  There are teaching pros, club fittings pros, short game and putting specialists.  Can you use a single person for swing instruction, fitting, the short game and putting?  Sure.  But my experience, and those who have instructed me, which includes several nationally recognized teachers, agree recreational women players will get better results if you go to a specialist.  For the best clubs, that means a fitter.  And your instructor should talk to the fitter, just as your primary care doctor would talk to or send treatment notes to, say, your heart surgeon. 


Let me say, as I have before, that I am first a Titleist girl, love ‘em, and my bag is still half Titleist clubs. I love my Vokey wedges, and I play ProV1x balls. But I just took out my 5-9 Titleist irons and put in Cobra T-Rail clubs 6-9.  I’m really starting to like them.  I’m getting about 10 yards more from each and have narrowed my shot dispersion.  I wanted to go to Brendan to see if there was something better out there for me, brand aside, and he helped me find it.  

The new irons he built for me fly considerably higher, a bit longer and they stop much quicker on the greens. Only by measuring my lie angle, launch angle, path of attack, spin rate on a Trackman in consistent conditions in a simulator were those clubs “discovered” by Brendan, who has and continues to fit notable touring pros, top amateurs and recreational players like you and me.  

Keep in mind, your clubs may be right for you, as many of mine were.  Some may just need a tweak.  The loft might be changed to fill in a yardage gap.  Or the lie angle changed (check out Brendan’s video on YouTube) so the toe or heel doesn’t strike the ground first and cause directional issues.  A club fitter will have a lie and loft machine nearby and bend your clubs.  Then they will use the Trackman to see if proper effect has been achieved. 

If you live in Las Vegas or you are planning to visit here, I would recommend you go see Brendan (and get a round in at Reflection Bay).  If you can’t get here to see Brendan, start asking around to find a club fitter with a studio who is not aligned with one specific brand so you can explore all your options.    

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