Lamkin Grips

| 21 Comments

Club fitting has been a hot topic as of late on the THP forums, so we wanted to do something a little unique and more in depth to find out about one of the top notch facilities in the world when it comes to proper fitting. The Hackers Paradise is doing a three part series on the Taylormade Performance Labs and what makes them so special. The different articles will focus on completely different sectors of the golf world and showcase each one of them going through a fitting. In our research what we found is that more and more of the golfers today are getting fitted for their clubs. However 2 groups of players seem to be avoiding it and we wanted to know why. The senior golfers and the female golfers both seem to be the least likely to get properly fitted for new clubs when they are ready to make their purchase. Well, we here at THP, wanted to do something different so we sent a senior golfer and a female golfer to the Taylormade Performance Labs in Orlando, FL to showcase what it is all about. In part 1 of our series we will strive to introduce you to the Performance Labs, as we bring our senior golfer in for his fitting. We will showcase the studio in both pictures and video and hope it helps to understand exactly what they have going on here and why they are considered by many to be the premier destination for club fitting.
Click each image to enlarge
632107496_dsc_5923
Entering the studio we were met by Travis Kent, Master Club Fitter, and the first thing you notice is it feels as though you are entering a bank vault. Travis was great in getting everybody acclimated, as Larry (our golfer) had never gone through any type of fitting before. It seems as though Larry being 6’3, has always based his clubs on what felt right. He liked his clubs about an inch longer than normal and had never thought much about anything more than length and shaft flex. Larry is a 12 handicap and plays 2-3 days per week.
Here is Larry’s current golf bag setup:

Driver – Taylormade 2009 Burner with Graphite Design Aura R Flex Shaft
Fairway Wood – Cobra F Speed R Flex Stock Shaft
Hybrids – Nickent 3DX 3, 4, & 5 with R Flex Shaft
Irons – Taylormade Burner Plus 6-PW with R Flex graphite shafts
Wedges – Bridgestone WC Design Liquid Copper
Putter – Yes! Golf Madison putter
632106202_dsc_5911
Background and Space Suit
Travis spent the next few minutes going over the process in detail and getting background information on Larry’s current setup of clubs as well as his current golf game. After going through his golf bag, they spent some time talking about his game and in detail about his shotmaking. Where our golfer misses and what his ball flight is. Then it was time to get into his “space suit” for the fitting. Here is a video showing exactly what the suit is and what goes into getting prepared for the fitting.

It is important to note that there were more items put on before the fitting began. Shoes, elbows, hat, etc… We asked Larry if these constricted or hindered his swing and the answer was no, they did not. Once all of the pieces were in place, the cameras surrounding the room build a computer image of you. 26 sensors total on your body are “read” by 9 high speed cameras.
632108583_dsc_5932
Taylormade Performance Labs use a fitting process called Motion Analysis Technology by Taylormade. Most call the system MATT. MATT gathers swing information and statistics using the high speed cameras mentioned above to create a sophisticated computer image of your golf swing viewable from any angle you would like. Before the Taylormade Performance Labs, fitting such as this, were just not available to consumers at this level. The MATT system is capturing information based on these characteristics and then fitting your clubs accordingly.

* Clubhead Path
* Swing Planes
* Speed Planes
* Center Of Gravity
* Body Line on Shoulders, Hips, Knees, Toes, and Spine
* Face Angle
* Target Line
* Ball Position
* Head Position
* X – Factor ( Relationship between Shoulder Turn and Hip Turn)
* Shaft and Shoulder Plane
* Wrist Cocking Angle
* Shaft Line
* Shaft Deflection
* Posture Lines
* In/Out Path of Club
* Up/Down Path of club
* Hand Speed
* Clubhead Speed
* Effective loft of the club at impact
* Ball Speed
* Launch Angle
* Backspin
* Side spin
* Ball Trajectory
* Computed Distance and Roll
632108702_dsc_5933
Lets Get To Swinging

Here is a video of Larry’s first swing of the day and Travis start to show what the computer is picking up. You will notice that the clubs used are also outfitted with a suit so to speak.

While swinging, Larry was fascinated with more than just the fitting. Because at Taylormade Performance Labs, this is more than just a fitting. You are getting a lesson at the same time. Travis’s goal was to assist Larry in becoming a better golfer. Both via clubs and swing analysis.
632110451_dsc_5946
Larry’s fitting involved him hitting 3 clubs. A driver, 6 iron, and a putter. He hit multiple shots with each club and after each shot Travis and Larry got together to analyze the both the swing and the club fitting. Travis would show the swing from different angles and explain why certain aspects in clubs would help him or in some cases hurt him.

The Fitting Outcome
After all the swings had taken place Larry and Travis worked on a couple of swing issues. Like we mentioned above, this really is a lesson and a fitting all in one. Then they went to work on his clubs. Both the computer and Travis agreed that Larry’s irons fit into his game nicely. Both the length and the lie angle seemed to be appropriate with what he currently has. Travis also spoke about the possibility in making some changes to his driver and his putter. The beauty of working with Taylormade Performance Labs and Travis Kent is that the changes were made on the spot. Travis took Larry’s Yes! Madison putter and adjusted it to fit his specifications and then started to assemble some drivers for Larry to test out on the range outside.
632104672_dsc_5899
Travis being the master club fitter that he is, figured out the perfect match of club head and shaft for the driver with the help of the MATT system. However it is important to note that they have just about every shaft on hand that you could think of and make sure that they “marry” the driver head to the shaft perfectly for your swing.
632106723_dsc_5916
Larry took the new assembled driver out to the range and was ready to give it a try. They went with a Taylormade R9 460 driver head at 10.5 degrees and paired that with a REAX 60 gram shaft in regular flex extended an extra inch in shaft length. Larry took aim and started hitting the driver. Within 5 swings he proclaimed that he needed one and is now the proud owner of a new driver. “The feeling of hitting the new driver after going through the process with Travis was night and day. Obviously I have a lot going through my head from the lesson that he gave me, but the driver seemed to match my swing now and the results showed”, said Larry.
632118002_dsc_5998
The conclusion

Before we left the “vault”, Travis made sure that he put together a folder for Larry to take with him. The folder contains a CD of all the swing sequences that were made as well as the club recommendations that both Travis and the MATT system feel confident about. Larry has been able to sum up the entire process in one sentence, “It was fascinating”.

So why are more senior golfers not getting professionally fit? We are not sure of the answer to that entirely. However in a recent survey in which we polled 240 golfers over the age of 55, the number one reason given is that they do not understand the process and why it will help them. Hopefully Part 1 of our Taylormade Performance Labs piece will help them with that a bit and encourage people to get fitted properly. Little equipment tweaks here and there can change the way you strike the ball forever.

Stay turned for Part 2 of our Taylormade Performance Labs article coming up soon. For more information about fittings at their studios or to find the closest location to you, check out their website at www.tmplabs.com. You can also follow the TM Performance Labs on their Facebook page to see more pictures and chat with others who have gone through this experience.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

Did you like this? Share it:

Category: Drivers, Equipment, Fairway Woods, Hybrids, Irons, Putters, Wedges

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (21)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. The Hackers Paradise » Taylormade Performance Labs Part 2 | October 15, 2009
  1. Geezer says:

    Great article! Very informative and an enjoyable read.

    There seems to be an impressive amount of technology at their disposal in that lab. It’s amazing how many variables in the swing are considered on those cameras.

  2. Golfer Gal says:

    There really is no better way to get fitted. I am really excited for the ladies fitting. Wonderful write up!

  3. junior golfer says:

    Solid article. I have been wondering if it is worth the time to head over and get fitted by them. Being in Boston there is one near me. I look forward to the ladies report as well.

  4. Smallville says:

    This would be pretty cool for everyone to get to do but I am thinking it’s cost prohibitive for the average hacker. What’s the cost of something like this?

  5. Mike Mike Deuce says:

    This was enjoyable to read. They are very much cutting edge and it looks like a blast.

  6. long hitter says:

    Love the video of the guy getting suited up. Very nice to see the end result from a non-club ho.

  7. jameson the third says:

    I went through this fitting and the story above is exactly right. I am actually still going to the lab for lessons as well. Perfect place for a golf nut like me.

  8. THE ECHO says:

    Great article from a different sort of view. I really enjoyed it.

  9. ChristianGolfer says:

    Technology is so cool. I really would like to find myself in a place like this. Everyone that gets fit says it changes their game for the better. One day…..

  10. Jeff says:

    Thats amazing because I happened to see this guy play once or twice and he has no talent!!!! whats that saying its either the Indian or the arrows……??

  11. Admin says:

    Jeff,
    I guess in this case, it is the arrows. Perhaps a club fitting can help anyone.

  12. Curtis Strange Fan says:

    really good information. I got fitted, but nothing like this. They have one near me in New England, I may have to go when I upgrade.

  13. Illinois Jeff says:

    I was amazed at how ugly his knees were. Anything to help Larry will be worth it. Now maybe I will take him as a partner when I return this winter.

  14. the victim says:

    Thanks for the really good article. I think that between the video and the explanations, we were able to get a good idea of exactly what a high end fitting is. Great stuff and glad I found the site.

  15. Larry The Tester says:

    Jeff’s comment about my lack of talent may be true, but this comes from a man who once got an idea that he could lose weight by chewing his food to sawdust. A few days later I asked him how the diet was going and he said it was too boring so he was off it. Frankly, I would have thought that would have been perfect for him.

    Illinois Jeff insults my knees and then wants me for a partner when he comes back to Florida this winter. He may not be good enough after this fitting.

    I am already playing significantly better and would encourage every golfer to do this. It is not cheap, but neither is golf. It was a great experience.

  16. John Nalepa says:

    Great idea and use of technology. Still have to make a swing that repeats. It is always good to know that your equipment fits. In Larry’s case 2 extra inches is needed everywhere.

  17. Osahar says:

    LOL you guys are hilarious! Looks like it was a great experience, Larry, and one that I may try to take advantage of soon as Orlando is just a short hour drive from over here on the Space Coast.

  18. Judy Rankin Fan says:

    I did this on the other coast and recommend it to everybody.

  19. Trent says:

    I just did this and I wish I would have done it years ago. I went on Wednesday to the Carlsbad, CA location. I guess there is a new on that just opened in Irvine, CA on Goodyear st.

  20. Faisal Jaafar says:

    I did this on October 19th at Carlsbad, CA and the fitter Tom Fisher, after my session he recommended to adjust my new TaylorMade 2009 Burner irons standard lie to a 4 degrees flatter and the shaft a quater an inche shorter with a smaller grip then standard. These irons was rectified at the TaylorMade Factory. He also adjusted my putter and recommended me to change my stance and my putting stroke. I am now hitting my irons better and more solid. If you want to improve your golf striking and become a better player go and get fitted.
    Finally I can now compare my Swing on CD with Charlie Wie.
    Thanks Tom.

Leave a Reply