TITLEIST CUSTOM FITTING
With the release this week of the new Titlist 716 irons and 816 hybrids, Richard Temple, golf club product & fitting manager at Titleist, explains why custom fitting is the way forward when choosing new clubs.
"Custom fitting has grown over the last few years. We probably do 150 fitting days a year (UK). Our percentage of custom fit business has grown considerably. Ten years ago, roughly 25% of our business was probably custom fit. Today we’re over 50%. In Australia, they are 90% as they focus very much on fitting," Temple told bunkered.co.uk.
"But the reality is that people want to walk into a shop and buy a set of clubs off the shelf. That’s not what we want. We obviously want sets of our clubs instore because we want people to see them - that’s why we’ve got the trial initiative where people can take a full set of clubs out and experience the product. That’s step one in the process.
"We’d like to see people try the product, but then take it to the next step and go for a custom fit, whether that’s a fitting day, a visit Kings Acre or to a fitting centre and get properly fit.
"The benefits are huge. We are getting you in the right product, the right shaft, the right spec and the right set composition. The gapping side of the long game is completely misunderstood and is not tackled well by anybody. People are not giving enough consideration to the full set."
>>> FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE NEW AP1 AND AP2 IRONS <<<
1. STANDARD ISN’T ‘STANDARD’
"Here’s the big thing. Although we have a standard spec, our standard spec is different to other brands. A lot of our custom fit business might still be standard spec, but might be a different shaft, or grip, for instance. But we have other specs for a reason. If you’d bought a set off the shelf, you can be an inch out.
"To get custom fitted into right length and lie and head is huge. You want to have the confidence from a fitter to say what the best combination is for you because it will make a difference to you. And you’ll know that you’ll hit it better."
>>> CHECK OUT THE CB, MB AND T-MB IRONS <<<
2. I’M THE PERFECT EXAMPLE
"I knew we had new clubs coming out and I wanted my new clubs earlier. But I knew I didn’t have time to go to St Ives and get fitted. So I got a day arranged and got my guy to look at my irons and my spec, and I asked him for a recommendation on shaft. I used to have Project X 6.0 and now I’m KBS Tour Stiff. Same length, same lie. It was interesting because my swing’s often changed.
"The reason we went with KBS Tour is that I swing it a little bit too much on the inside of the way down and Project X accentuates that for whatever reason - it might just be the launch characteristics of the shaft - but KBS Tour helped me get on a better angle of attack by about three or four degrees. My shot shape softened a little bit. I tend to hook it a little bit and, all of a sudden, that hook was a more controllable.
"So when I asked for my new AP2s, I asked for KBS Tour stiff, 2 degrees flat, and standard length. Happy days. I played at Kingsbarns when I got my new clubs, only the second round of golf I’d had with them, and I hit 14 greens in regulation."
>>> FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE 816 HYBRIDS <<<
3. YOU LEARN FROM A FITTING
"One of the great things about fitters, and they are so used to it with all the different players that come through, some guys don’t know anything about head type, shaft type, length, or lie.
"I watched one of my mates get fitted and he just wanted to know what the right club was for him. And that’s how the fitting went. The fitter didn’t talk too much about the numbers on Trackman, he just asked him how the clubs felt. ‘What do you like about that ball fight’? Some guys are almost over the Trackman numbers before the ball is down, asking about spin rates and so on.
"You treat each fitting differently. You absolutely do get a much better understanding of your own game when you get custom fit. The biggest thing for punters is to walk away from a fitting with the belief that you have made the right choice, and that those clubs are going to help you shoot lower scores."
4. YOUR SWING WILL CHANGE
"If you play once a month your swing will change less than you think. If you’re getting lessons, or reading tips online or in magazines, you are going to change your swing over time. That’s all the more reason, at the start of every season, to get a check up.
"We have always said that you should go and check your spec. Be assured that your length and lie combination is correct for you. Give yourself the confidence at the start of the year that you’re in the right product. Don’t assume that because you got fitted four years ago to standard length and lie that you’ll be the same. You might very well not be."
Visit titleist.co.uk to find out more about trialling Titleist clubs at a facility near you.