The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011 - (Page 12)

CUSTOM CLUBFITTING Custom clubfitting in 2011: A solution but not a cure By Jim Koppenhaver I f you’ve had your ear close to the ground lately for the prevailing golf industry storylines, it’ll be no surprise that multiple stakeholders are trying to produce a consumer groundswell for significantly more custom clubfitting for the average golfer. I love reading the headlines from the two major golf consumer magazines. They make me feel so inept and inadequate, like two years ago when one trumpeted, “70% of golfers are playing the wrong ball!” Knowing that I had to be in that majority with my mediocre game and the fact that I viewed balls as simply “ammunition” to be expended during my average round of golf, I eagerly turned to the article to see what ball I really should be playing. What I found out was that it all boiled down to distance, feel and spin (Boy did I feel silly, I thought it was all about color) and that the solution was for me to go have a custom ball fitting to determine which balls were better suited for my game. Of course, nowhere in the article did it mention price which, for the average golfer like me who goes through 3-6 balls per round, is potentially another $6-$24 depending on which type of ammo I’m using. Before getting on to the heart of my point about clubfitting, can we get some resolution for golf journalists to ban substituting the word “pill” for a golf ball? Who came up with that? I concede that “You’re playing the wrong pill” does have some nice alliteration but after it rolls off your tongue you feel like an idiot because there’s absolutely no connection between a golf ball and a pill, other than they’re both white. With that said, the less-than-subliminal mantra being proposed by multiple industry entities was encapsulated on the February cover of Golf Magazine in the headline, “Buy a Better Game!” I was particularly intrigued by the supporting story which outlined 10 golfers in New York chosen to participate in a before-and-after study on the results and benefits of custom fit golf clubs. Partnering in the “study” with Golf Magazine were Golfsmith and GolfTec and it was hosted by NY Golf Center, where the 10 average “Joes” (all Golf Magazine readers) were fitted and re-geared. As a side note, the 10 guinea pigs were all male (really?), ranged in age from 31-55 (guess the AARP didn’t get a vote in this one) and all had handicaps ranging from 5-19 (decent spread). The basic premise was that more golfers would benefit with lower scores and greater enjoyment by being custom fit (Now there’s a surprise coming from Golf Magazine). It all began with their opening lament that, even in the face of the magazine’s previous articles over the years extolling the virtues of custom fitting and their discount program via GolfTec, less than 30% of purchasers last year were custom fit for clubs, according to their most recent survey. The basic math behind the fittings looks pretty solid, it’s easy to see on a launch monitor the before and after stats which they published as: • Drivers – 1MPH faster clubhead speed, 2MPH faster ball speed, 8 yds tighter dispersion, 17 yds further carry and 16 yds more total distance. • Irons (6 iron fitting) – 3MPH faster clubhead speed, 8MPH faster ball speed, 5 yds tighter dispersion, 18 yds more carry and 20 yds more total distance. In summary, the above translated to a handicap reduction of 2 strokes according to the survey, which suggests if you hit the ball farther and closer to online with your driver and irons that you’ll improve meaningfully if not dramatically. The rigor in the post-fitting evaluation wasn’t quite as good as noted in the very small footnote “Golf Magazine tracked their progress during the first few months with the new clubs.” From there they delved into a survey of 6,000 golfers (most February 2011 12 The Pellucid PersPecTive

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011

The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011
Is Groupon Good for Golf: The Sequel
Solving the Professional Payment Predicament
Jan 2011 YtD Weather Impact, Dec 2010 YtD Utilization
Reynolds Plantation Courses on the Market
Atlanta, GA Core Business Statistical Area (CBSA)
Alternative Golf? Or an Affirmation of How Many of Us Play Already?
Custom Clubfitting in 2011: A Solution but Not a Cure
Pap-Agony for Phoenix Muni
Show Time - Again

The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011