My Recent Club Champion Fitting Experience - I may be getting some new clubs.....

BigE

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It's been about 4 years since I bought my last set of clubs (and I typically like to do a fitting every 3-5 years to see if there's any technology worth upgrading to)
And with my both my parents passing over the last year (sad, but there were many blessings too, as both were over 90 and were ready, and wanted, to go) - I received a nice little inheritance.
So I'm going to let my parents final gift to me be a new set of golf clubs (with my wife's blessing of course!)
But I will only buy if the numbers warrant it. If there are tangible improvements to be had.

So I went into a local Club Champion last Monday to get a full bag fitting (less the putter). It's a few miles down the road from me and opened up just a few years ago. Convenient.
(My last fitting I traveled 3+ hours to Toronto to go see the TXG guys. Not an option now with Covid and Canadian border hassles.)
My swing is in good shape as the weather here in Upstate NY has been unusually warm. I probably played my last round this past Thursday (shot a 79...)
The fitter I was scheduled with has gotten a lot of good reviews from a lot of different sources - so I'm comfortable he knows what he's doing.
And Cub Champion has a deal right now where they'll take 50% off the fitting fee if you end up purchasing $500 or more of new equipment.
I didn't bother with the putter fitting since I've usually found most fitters have no idea what to do with sidesaddle putters (and they certainly don't have any inventory to allow testing different lengths/weights).

So here's what happened:

After initial introductions, I gave John (my fitter) a brief overview of my game and what I thought I was looking for.
In essence, I told him I'm a 9 handicapper "who doesn't like to work the ball". My goal is always to hit the ball straight with the appropriate distance and good dispersion.
So I wanted to focus on big game improvement clubs. Stuff that would be easy to hit and forgiving.
Especially with my irons and approach shots which I think are the weakest part of my game.
I was thinking of irons like the Titleist T300, Mizuno JPX 921, Taylor Made Sim Max, Apex DCB's - those kind of big and forgiving clubs.
Given my age (63) I also wanted to make sure "R" flex club shafts were still appropriate for my swing speed.
I told him I didn't have any particular budget in mind - but the cost of any clubs would be evaluated with how much I thought they would help my score or my enjoyment of the game.
I was perfectly ok not buying a single club if that's where the data led.
He said his personal goal as a fitter was to find some combination that improved the numbers on every club in my bag and then let me weigh the improvement with the cost.
My current set makeup is: TM M6 Driver, Old Callaway XHot 3W, XHot 3 & 4 Hybrids, Titleist AP3 Irons (AW-6i), Mizuno S18 Wedges (54 & 60 degree).
He understood and so we began.

He had me warmup hitting my PW. Then I went to my 8i. And finally to my 6i. He said he liked to see how peoples swings held up as they progressed thru the bag.
He also said all the fitting data would be done with a 6i. The 6i is chosen because it's the first club where people's misses start to become most pronounced and easily seen.
If he can clean up the misses with a 6i - that'll easily translate through the rest of the irons. Never heard that strategy before. Interesting.
After warming up, the baseline for my 6i was established. I don't have the data with me, but my good shots were my typical 160-165 yds. Most misses were right (also typical for me).
He said I moved the club pretty well (ie...R flex was still ok)
Then we progressed thru a whole bunch of shaft and club head options. He had me hit all the game improvement irons I was interested in (with some varying shaft options).
After all the dust had settled, here are the clubs he recommended:
Driver: Keep my current TM M6. He said it fit me well and he couldn't beat its numbers. I was getting 240-250 with carry with reasonable dispersion.
Irons: Callaway Apex DCB's with a Paderson KG80 Parallel Shaft (never heard of this shaft before. My current irons have Accra shafts).
Half inch over std length (38.25 inches for the 6i). 6i also at 64 degree lie angle. D4 swing weight.
I have to admit when I hit these, the feel was great, very buttery (probably due to being forged?)
And I was absolutely crushing them. 5 swings, avg of 175-180 yds (w/carry) and easily with the tightest dispersion of the day.
2nd place wasn't even close.
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Full Toe, 52 and 56 degree.

At this point (well over 100 swings), I was getting tired. We could see it as we started to work with gapping a 3w and hybrids to these potentially new Callaway Irons.
So we decided I'd come back this next Monday to to finish the fitting.
I actually like this as it gives me a week to reflect on the recommended changes and research those shafts I know nothing about.
I think my plan when I go back would be to start off the session hitting my current 6i again versus the Apex DCB's and see if the numbers hold up from last week.
Confirm the big 15 yd pickup in distance and much improved dispersion is real.
If the numbers hold up, and if I want to buy, then we'd move on to some 3w and Hybrid combinations.

Of course, the downside to all this is the cost.
New Callaway DCB's are $185/ea x 7 irons = $1,295.
The Paderson Shafts are $135/ea x 7 irons = $945.
Puring of the shafts offered at $35/club (I'll have to do some research on this)
So over $2k for the new irons alone.
But man, the improved performance and feel was fantastic.
And Club Champion does in essence offer a 0 percent interest loan. Can be paid over 18 months with the 1st payment starting when the clubs are first received. Relieves the price sting a bit.
They also guarantee their work. If I don't like the results on the course, bring the clubs back and they'll work with me to make it right at no cost.
In fact, that's what one of their fitters was doing with someone in the next bay. Apparently his swing had changed dramatically since his fitting (don't know if for the worst or better thru lessons...)
They also offered to let me come in and use the simulators at no cost to work on the gapping between my irons. Also a nice perk.

I'll see how goes on Monday.
Any feedback is welcome.
 
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fuffle master

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Looks like you had a great fitting. Did you ask him if any of the stock or smaller upgraded shafts would be similar in numbers?

That was my one caveat when I did my fitting last year. I didn’t want to spend hundreds on shafts plus the irons. So, we worked on stock shafts mostly.

Now, I will say my Club Champion fitter said they usually like to fit for shaft first and move to heads, but I had a budget I didn’t want to go over.
 

Triple Frak

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It sounds like you had a good fitter and those are some nice clubs. I am the last person to ask about cost benefit analysis, but I know that I wouldn’t hesitate to grab the irons under the scenario you presented.
 

Snickerdog

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Nice, sounds like you had a fitter that really listened to what you wanted and worked towards that goal.
 

jdtox

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agree with others, sounds like a solid fitting. Those upgrades are tough pill to swallow but if you love them go for it!
 

Nick20UK

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In terms of distance and dispersion the DCBs were also the best clubs in terms of data that I hit in my fitting too. So no surprised that they are good clubs.
 

Puttmaster

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Sounds like a positive experience. Will be interested to read about your next session for woods and hybrids.
 

MGoBlue

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You mention 2nd place wasn’t close… in distance, dispersion or both? If both, it would seem they’re well worth the money.
 

4hourrule

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Looks like you had a great fitting. Did you ask him if any of the stock or smaller upgraded shafts would be similar in numbers?

That was my one caveat when I did my fitting last year. I didn’t want to spend hundreds on shafts plus the irons. So, we worked on stock shafts mostly.

Now, I will say my Club Champion fitter said they usually like to fit for shaft first and move to heads, but I had a budget I didn’t want to go over.
Same thing I did at CC. Told the fitter I was NOT flush with cash, set me up with stock shafts. As it turned out even after trying high-end shafts for fun, the stock Modus 105s was a perfect fit and felt like my Zing shafts.
 

BigE

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Looks like you had a great fitting. Did you ask him if any of the stock or smaller upgraded shafts would be similar in numbers?

That was my one caveat when I did my fitting last year. I didn’t want to spend hundreds on shafts plus the irons. So, we worked on stock shafts mostly.

Now, I will say my Club Champion fitter said they usually like to fit for shaft first and move to heads, but I had a budget I didn’t want to go over.
That's what my fitter did. He established the best shaft first (using Titleist T200's which were close in nature to my AP3's) and then moved on to clubheads.
We had a general discussion about stock shafts.
I basically started our session by asking if it's possible to only order OEM clubheads without the stock shaft in order to avoid paying double for both the stock shaft and upgraded shaft. (I kind of already knew I'd want the higher quality upside shaft if it produced better numbers)
His response was that the price of ordering just the clubhead was the same as when ordering the fully assembled club. That was something I didn't realize.
In essence, he was saying the stock shaft has zero value (at least to the manufacturers).
I hit a whole bunch of different shafts, so I'd have to ask if any of them were close to the stock shaft.
He said the shaft we did settle on was clearly the best performer for me (I don't know by how wide a margin).
So your question is a good one - I'll have to ask this question on Monday.
But I'm blessed enough financially that if the upgrade shaft we settled on is even only marginally better than the stock shaft - I'd probably still go with it (I'd feel better mentally...)
 

BigE

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Sounds like a positive experience. Will be interested to read about your next session for woods and hybrids.
Yea. I'm a bit worried about this.
From my TXG fitting a few years ago I added a TM M5 3W and Hybrid to my bag.
I eventually ended taking them out since I was more comfortable with my old 2014 Callaway XHot 3 wood and hybrids.
They just performed better on the course for me.
So I kept the TXG fitted Driver, Iron and wedges.
Missed on the 3W and Hybrids.
Want to avoid that happening again.
 

Jman

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Love this. That’s a solid fitting!
 

BigE

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You mention 2nd place wasn’t close… in distance, dispersion or both? If both, it would seem they’re well worth the money.
Both dispersion and distance. Almost like I hit the jackpot.
 

Scooby45

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Sounds like a good experience and was even a better read on this end, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to hearing how the next session goes and if you pull the trigger Id love to see photos!
 

brian7770

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I do think Club Champion does good work based on the putter fitting I had. I'll be doing a wedge fitting next weekend as I feel like those are the only clubs in my bag that I felt didn't get the attention they deserve (from another fitter).
 

Fathead1911

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This sounds like a great fitting experience with really solid information!

The only thing I would question on their suggestion would be puring the Paderson shafts? There are guys here who know way more than me but I thought their design doesn't benefit from puring. That would save $35/club.
 

BigE

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This sounds like a great fitting experience with really solid information!

The only thing I would question on their suggestion would be puring the Paderson shafts? There are guys here who know way more than me but I thought their design doesn't benefit from puring. That would save $35/club.
I thought the same thing. I think I remember reading somewhere that because of the unique Paderson manufacturing process - the shafts don't have spines?
Not 100% sure of that though. I actually contacted the Paderson folks through there website to see if they had any comment. Still waiting for a response.
Plus, I think a lot of people just question the value of puring with ANY high quality shaft.
All of this has me thinking I'll might decline the puring option.
I'd be interested to hear any other thoughts on this.
 

BigE

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I do think Club Champion does good work based on the putter fitting I had. I'll be doing a wedge fitting next weekend as I feel like those are the only clubs in my bag that I felt didn't get the attention they deserve (from another fitter).
I would normally have done a putter fitting too.
But I'm a sidesaddle putter - so they don't have any putters they could have me test out with different specs.
I'm pretty happy with my putting though, so not at feeling the itch to get fit here.
 

Golfers Anonymous

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Great posts, liked the walk through of the fitting and how it worked out for you. Can’t wait to here how they work for you. Will you be able to use these new toys before the season is closed or will it be a spring time break in?
 

Bernoulli

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It's been about 4 years since I bought my last set of clubs (and I typically like to do a fitting every 3-5 years to see if there's any technology worth upgrading to)
And with my both my parents passing over the last year (sad, but there were many blessings too, as both were over 90 and were ready, and wanted, to go) - I received a nice little inheritance.
So I'm going to let my parents final gift to me be a new set of golf clubs (with my wife's blessing of course!)
But I will only buy if the numbers warrant it. If there are tangible improvements to be had.

So I went into a local Club Champion last Monday to get a full bag fitting (less the putter). It's a few miles down the road from me and opened up just a few years ago. Convenient.
(My last fitting I traveled 3+ hours to Toronto to go see the TXG guys. Not an option now with Covid and Canadian border hassles.)
My swing is in good shape as the weather here in Upstate NY has been unusually warm. I probably played my last round this past Thursday (shot a 79...)
The fitter I was scheduled with has gotten a lot of good reviews from a lot of different sources - so I'm comfortable he knows what he's doing.
And Cub Champion has a deal right now where they'll take 50% off the fitting fee if you end up purchasing $500 or more of new equipment.
I didn't bother with the putter fitting since I've usually found most fitters have no idea what to do with sidesaddle putters (and they certainly don't have any inventory to allow testing different lengths/weights).

So here's what happened:

After initial introductions, I gave John (my fitter) a brief overview of my game and what I thought I was looking for.
In essence, I told him I'm a 9 handicapper "who doesn't like to work the ball". My goal is always to hit the ball straight with the appropriate distance and good dispersion.
So I wanted to focus on big game improvement clubs. Stuff that would be easy to hit and forgiving.
Especially with my irons and approach shots which I think are the weakest part of my game.
I was thinking of irons like the Titleist T300, Mizuno JPX 921, Taylor Made Sim Max, Apex DCB's - those kind of big and forgiving clubs.
Given my age (63) I also wanted to make sure "R" flex club shafts were still appropriate for my swing speed.
I told him I didn't have any particular budget in mind - but the cost of any clubs would be evaluated with how much I thought they would help my score or my enjoyment of the game.
I was perfectly ok not buying a single club if that's where the data led.
He said his personal goal as a fitter was to find some combination that improved the numbers on every club in my bag and then let me weigh the improvement with the cost.
My current set makeup is: TM M6 Driver, Old Callaway XHot 3W, XHot 3 & 4 Hybrids, Titleist AP3 Irons (AW-6i), Mizuno S18 Wedges (54 & 60 degree).
He understood and so we began.

He had me warmup hitting my PW. Then I went to my 8i. And finally to my 6i. He said he liked to see how peoples swings held up as they progressed thru the bag.
He also said all the fitting data would be done with a 6i. The 6i is chosen because it's the first club where people's misses start to become most pronounced and easily seen.
If he can clean up the misses with a 6i - that'll easily translate through the rest of the irons. Never heard that strategy before. Interesting.
After warming up, the baseline for my 6i was established. I don't have the data with me, but my good shots were my typical 160-165 yds. Most misses were right (also typical for me).
He said I moved the club pretty well (ie...R flex was still ok)
Then we progressed thru a whole bunch of shaft and club head options. He had me hit all the game improvement irons I was interested in (with some varying shaft options).
After all the dust had settled, here are the clubs he recommended:
Driver: Keep my current TM M6. He said it fit me well and he couldn't beat its numbers. I was getting 240-250 with carry with reasonable dispersion.
Irons: Callaway Apex DCB's with a Paderson KG80 Parallel Shaft (never heard of this shaft before. My current irons have Accra shafts).
Half inch over std length (38.25 inches for the 6i). 6i also at 64 degree lie angle. D4 swing weight.
I have to admit when I hit these, the feel was great, very buttery (probably due to being forged?)
And I was absolutely crushing them. 5 swings, avg of 175-180 yds (w/carry) and easily with the tightest dispersion of the day.
2nd place wasn't even close.
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Full Toe, 52 and 56 degree.

At this point (well over 100 swings), I was getting tired. We could see it as we started to work with gapping a 3w and hybrids to these potentially new Callaway Irons.
So we decided I'd come back this next Monday to to finish the fitting.
I actually like this as it gives me a week to reflect on the recommended changes and research those shafts I know nothing about.
I think my plan when I go back would be to start off the session hitting my current 6i again versus the Apex DCB's and see if the numbers hold up from last week.
Confirm the big 15 yd pickup in distance and much improved dispersion is real.
If the numbers hold up, and if I want to buy, then we'd move on to some 3w and Hybrid combinations.

Of course, the downside to all this is the cost.
New Callaway DCB's are $185/ea x 7 irons = $1,295.
The Paderson Shafts are $135/ea x 7 irons = $945.
Puring of the shafts offered at $35/club (I'll have to do some research on this)
So over $2k for the new irons alone.
But man, the improved performance and feel was fantastic.
And Club Champion does in essence offer a 0 percent interest loan. Can be paid over 18 months with the 1st payment starting when the clubs are first received. Relieves the price sting a bit.
They also guarantee their work. If I don't like the results on the course, bring the clubs back and they'll work with me to make it right at no cost.
In fact, that's what one of their fitters was doing with someone in the next bay. Apparently his swing had changed dramatically since his fitting (don't know if for the worst or better thru lessons...)
They also offered to let me come in and use the simulators at no cost to work on the gapping between my irons. Also a nice perk.

I'll see how goes on Monday.
Any feedback is welcome.
I assume from your post that you went to the CC in Rochester. I bring this up because that is one of the closest ones to me. (I’m in the Albany area)
 

BigE

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The other decision I'll have to make is the setup of my bag.
If my 6i is now truly a 175-180 club. That means my 5i sb a 190 or so club.
With my driver dialed in at 240-250 - I would think I would want a 3w in the 220ish range.
On the other end of the bag he has me fit into a 52 and 56 degree wedge.
So do I look for 2 hybrids between my 5i and 3w? And have my highest lofted wedge be a 56 degree?
Or do I put 1 hybrid between the 5i and 3w and add an extra wedge - going with a 60 degree lob wedge - now having 3 wedges (in addition to an AW) - at 52, 56 and 60 degrees?
Hmmmm.......
 

BigE

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I assume from your post that you went to the CC in Rochester. I bring this up because that is one of the closest ones to me. (I’m in the Albany area)
Yes. The Victor NY location. Literally a few miles down the road from me.
Given your distance away - well worth the trip IMHO.
If you're doing a full bag - I'd spread over a couple of days.
Worth the night in hotel.
Or I could put you up for a night if you need as long as I'm around.....
 
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BigE

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Great posts, liked the walk through of the fitting and how it worked out for you. Can’t wait to here how they work for you. Will you be able to use these new toys before the season is closed or will it be a spring time break in?
It'll have to be the spring (not counting any indoor simulator time).
Golf season is just about over here in Upstate NY.
Plus, I was warned with all the Covid related supplier issues - that the wait time for clubs can be long.
My fitter wants to submit my order in batches (woods, irons, wedges) so that one part doesn't get held up waiting for the others.

Part of this was also my plan - as I didn't want to switch clubs in the middle of the golf season (I was playing pretty well this year).
So beginning to dial in any new clubs on the simulator and then busting them out for a full on go in the spring is fine with me.
It will also help me to be patient will any slow deliveries knowing that spring time is a long ways aways! :(
 

MtlJeff

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How many iron shafts did they have you hit? If the Paderson's were the best and you tested a lot--Then you have a decision because that's a big upgrade cost (of course, it's possible money ain't a thing for you, in which case upgrade away!).

However, If you didn't test a lot of shafts , i'd be trying to hit a few more and see if you can get similar performance with other ones. I dont know the graphite selection but Callaway tends to offer a ton of zero upcharge shafts, among the most of anyone.

I just feel like with everything on the market, that's a steep upcharge price for shafts. If the money matters

I also would be very hesitant to SST Pure anything. Have seen a lot of opinions on that and many of them are that it doesn't do much, and that might be being generous.

Not trying to come off wrong here--Just trying to look out for a fellow golfer!
 

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