- Sep 15, 2020
Yesterday evening, on a whim, I decided to go and do an iron fitting. Here's a long and probably boring description of how it went down...
I'd thought about doing a fitting for a while, but I'd never been sure if it was the right thing to do. Some background:
I'm wanting to see improvement, and I think I have been, but I didn't know if my clubs were making it harder for me. I also didn't know if new clubs would help, if my swing needed work.
- I've only been playing about 18 months
- I'm using an old RAM beginner set from about 10 years ago.
- Sometimes I can hit the ball well, sometimes not.
- I have had a handful of lessons.
In the end, I decided to go and pay the £50 for the fitting, just to get my specs, and then if I decided to, down the line, I could use them to buy some decent second hand clubs. Alternatively, if I didn't see a massive improvement using newer tech, I would know that I needed to work on myself instead.
With that in mind, I decided to go for the fitting with literally no expectations; to expect to not see any difference whatsoever. I didn't want to go in expecting to see a difference and therefore end up convincing myself that the clubs were better than reality.
After a brief chat with the fitter, explaining the above, I hit about 10-15 shots with my current 7 iron so he could take a look. The majority of them were slightly hooked, which has generally been my miss for the last few months.
Once I'd done this, he asked what I thought about my ball flight, height-wise. I said that while I had no idea what it should look like - these are the only clubs I'd ever hit - I'd often thought it should be higher. He agreed, and said that that was what he would try and fit me for.
With that, he pulls out some club. I have no idea what it was - I made a point going in not to see what the clubs were after the fact, so I knew that any marketing I had read etc wouldn't affect my decision.
Well... here's where the fun started...
Immediately upon striking the ball, the launch angle and ball height was so much improved. I couldn't believe it. I was doing nothing different and yet I was looking like a better golfer immediately. I was honestly stunned. Shots were still going left, but it was a start. He then selects a different club, which I believe was the same but with a flatter lie angle... and I damn near had to pick up my jaw off the floor.
Ball flight, much straighter. Higher. Less effort required. Less thought required when stood over the ball. Everything just felt much more natural. I honestly could NOT believe it!
We then obviously tried out a few more clubs. I know the next was the Ping G425, which I really liked. An improvement on the first mystery club, I preferred the smaller appearance and thinner top edge behind the ball, and the sound it made on a decent strike. Shots were improved yet again.
Stealth irons were up next, and I didn't like them, appearance-wise, quite as much, but the numbers in terms of landing angle and peak height were slightly improved. Felt much of a muchness, really.
One of the most interesting things IMO was the club after that, which I later found out was Mizuno's offering. When he first handed it to me, he asked me what I thought, and I replied that it looked "chunkier" behind the ball, and I could also see the trailing edge of the sole peeping out from behind the top edge at address. I couldn't hit this at all - every shot bar a couple were caught fat. In my head, I thought it was maybe just fatigue setting in, but the fitter said that he thought it was the slightly fatter sole. I was sceptical, but he then handed me a Titleist club and I could immediately strike the ball again. I had no idea that something so subtle could make such a difference!
I have heard such good things about Mizuno irons that had I decided to just order some second-hand, they would've been one of the clubs at the top of my list. It's here that I learned the true value of being able to try the options before you buy. They just didn't work for me at all.
In order of performance, best to worst for me, the top three were
2) The Titleist offering
3) Ping G425
with the Stealth and the Titleists being basically the same but for the dispersion being more consistent in terms of miss left vs miss right distance with the Stealth. I said that behind the ball and on good strikes I preferred the Pings, but then went back to them and suddenly couldn't strike them so well! So it's the Stealth for me.
I'll be ordering them some time in the future once I've paid out for some maintenance work on my car. I'm not sure if any new Stealth HD release will mean the original Stealth irons go on sale sometime soon?
Interestingly, none of the clubs tested offered me that much extra distance on what I have at the moment, which I'm sure is down to my swing. The fitter said I should work on increasing or decreasing dynamic loft, not sure which - but basically, I shouldn't have quite so much shaft lean at impact. My specs were 1 deg flat and 1 deg weak, and he said that if I work on my swing and start hitting the ball TOO high, he can bend them to remove that 1 deg weak.
To cut a (very) long story much shorter, I am now a full believer in fittings! Having entered a sceptic, I left with a real appreciation for just how much the equipment can make a difference. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure not every iteration of a club shows huge gain (and the fitter said as much), but at this point, when I know I will get the use out of them, I figure I might as well go new on this occasion rather than now risk buying second-hand. I'll keep the clubs for at least 4 or 5 years.
Shoutout to Matt at AFGolf Cambridge for being very open and honest throughout the session, and for letting me hit a few drives as well just to check that the specs on that weren't drastically wrong.
Where did you get fitted?
And they were happy for you just to attend for a fitting alone and give you all the details for your spec e.g. lie, shaft, etc. without buying any irons?