Colorful neat rows of shafts, club heads and grips line the walls of Club Champion for 50k combinations to possibly improve your game of golf. Swing bays are monitored by trackman with interpretation by a Master Fitter. So many numbers appear on the wall screen for analysis, an indication of the complexity of a golf swing. Golfers may pay for a driver, full set or putter fitting.

Ball speed, carry distance, full distance, and smash factor are a few of the stats compared when hitting your current clubs and then clubs tweaking different variations that might optimize performance. Recommendations are made and if selected, clubs are assembled on premise with care. Weighting is important, hence the fulcrum machine for precise testing. If the optimum grip is heavier, the head is compensated with weight.

During a driver fitting in Scottsdale, conversation led to bunker issues and an examination of the sand wedge. “The steel shaft might be too heavy, let’s try this graphite with the same 60-degree head for better acceleration to lift the ball onto the green,” Don Kinney suggested. Screen analysis followed. “Now let’s try the graphite with a more forgiving, wider head.” Feels better. Ok, that’s a $160 club. For getting out of bunkers, over bunkers, with more ease, confidence and finesse? Bingo, better stats and better feel gives a sense that it’s worth it, sold.

How about the grips? You have looks and color to consider, texture to feel and here, size does matter. Do you have a little arthritis? Try the Winn Dri tech medium grips. Feels good, sold.  While golfers pay for all fittings, naturally the profitability equation is improved with increased club sales, but integrity is more critical to continued business. As Don puts it, “We’re here to help people, to make them better.” A new club must be warranted for purchase, and worth is different for individuals. Some need to have the latest and whether it is the greatest for them to increase their distance, launch or direction or not, if it makes them feel good, sold.

In the end we both felt pretty good about our current Ping 400 drivers as we managed the maximum smash factor of 1.5. We might get a few more yards by switching to a different brand but is it worth it? That’s a personal decision.  Our decision was that we were sold on the process and integrity of a Club Champion fitting but since the fitting, Tour Edge has launched their new Exotics Extreme C721 driver that many are claiming increases yardage. Would that make a difference in our fitting?

Club Champion has 83 locations and growing, so when traveling, check and consider an evaluation of your clubs’ performance. It is an educational event, and you just might find the perfect solution you didn’t realize you should be looking for. In Scottsdale, rely on Don and Ben in between rounds at over 200 great desert courses.