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Cleveland clubs heading my way

Today I went off to Marangaroo Golf Course to treat myself – to get fitted for a new set of golf clubs. Having properly fitted clubs will help my game a great deal. I met with Ross, who guided me through the process.

We started off with a discussion of the process, and how we would go about choosing the right clubs. They use a Mizuno fitting system, which is a special club that measures club head speed, as well as a few other statistics. I hit a few shots, then we went back to the shop. I have a club head speed that’s about average, however, my total swing routine is slow, which can increase torque in the club. That meant that the club at impact would be either a little open or closed, and the ball would not hit straight. The solution to that is to stick with a steel shaft for my irons. Graphite may have less flex, but it also has more torque, so while I would get more distance, I would lose accuracy.

From that, I was asked about my budget. I had a maximum of $1250 to spend, but was hoping to spend between $800-1000. Ross then took a look around the shop, looking for what sort of clubs would fit in my budget range, and be good for my swing. He narrowed it down to four irons and three drivers. There was a set of Wilson Fat Shaft clubs that was a complete set, a set of Cobra graphite irons, a set of Mizuno irons, and the new Cleveland CG16 irons. We had the matching Wilson, Mizuno and Cleveland drivers.

I hit a few shots with each of the irons. The Fat Shaft wasn’t really working for me. We had already thought that a lighter steel shaft was what I needed, but it was included because it was a complete set and at the bottom of my budget. The Mizuno clubs had nothing wrong with them, but for some reason, they weren’t coming off the face quite right. The King Cobra clubs felt really good, and came well off the face, as did the Cleveland CG16’s. I couldn’t really split the difference, so it was basically going to come down to cost on which ones would be best for me.

With the Wilson irons out of the picture, there was no need to try the Wilson driver. So it was just the Mizuno and Cleveland drivers. I took a few hits with both of them, and it started feeling like the Cleveland was the one that felt right in the hands. SO we headed back to the shop to price the two sets, the Cleveland driver and 3 wood, and either the King Cobra’s or the Cleveland clubs.

It turned out that because the King Cobras were already significantly reduced, so the entire set couldn’t be reduced, so the set of CG16 irons ended up being the cheapest options.

Because the CG16 was not sold as a set, but as the individual irons, I could actually get the lie angle and length adjusted especially for me. So we headed back down with a lie board, and saw where my clubs were hitting. We found out that I was actually hitting the ground quite near the heel, which also meant that my club head was rotating at impact sending my ball off in different directions. So with a club set up with the right lie angle, I’ll be hitting the ball with a square face (hopefully).

So with the lie angle all done, all that was left to do was order the clubs and pay for them. Because they’re being custom fitted, it will take a little while for them to arrive, but by the time I get back from Melbourne, I’ll have a full set of Cleveland golf clubs. I’m looking forward to my first round with them. The drivers don’t need to be adjusted, so I’ve got the driver and three wood for my round tomorrow.

So for anyone who’s looking to order a set of custom fitted clubs, I hope this sheds an insight into the process for you.

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The price of a relationship

Three golf clubs of different classes. From le...
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I’m cheating a little bit. I forgot to write my post yesterday, so I’m writing it today, and using the date stamp feature in WordPress to make it appear that I posted it yesterday. But I don’t want to lie to you so I’m telling you the truth now.

Anyway, yesterday I went to the driving range, as I am attempting to get myself better at golf. One of the things I’m going to do is save up and buy myself a set of golf clubs that’s right for my body and swing. Buying a set of golf clubs is quite different to buying anything else. Say I was to buy myself a computer (something else I’m passionate about), I could compare the specs, and figure out what is going to be the best computer for my needs based on value for money. However, with a set of golf clubs, you can’t just choose what set you want, and compare prices across the board.

In the process of getting custom fitted, not only will they figure out what length the shafts need to be, but they will also discover what shape head for the irons you need, what driver will work best for you. They then choose a set based on your budget that will be the best for you.

Now, I’ve got to choose a store to buy my clubs from, as we’ll be telling people to buy me gift vouchers from there to give me some extra money for my clubs, or if it costs less – then that money that I’ve saved can either stay in savings, or go towards some golf lessons. But how do I choose which store to buy from?

There are three stores I’ve been considering – The Golf Box, Drummond Golf, and On Course (which are the pro shops on some courses). I went to Drummond yesterday and asked flat-out why I should buy from them. Drummond Golf seemed to have a really large range, which means that it’s more likely to find the best set of clubs for me. They also have the Drummond Club, which would give me a 5% discount – however it costs $35 to join. So unless I spend $701, I haven’t actually saved anything.

The Golf Box and On Course don’t have as large a range as Drummond, however, they don’t charge you to join their rewards club which also provides discounts (though doesn’t say how much the discounts are).

Club fitting at The Golf Box and Drummond Golf are essentially the same, they’ve got a practice net in the shop, you swing, they analyse your swing and choose the clubs that are best for you. Fitting at ON Course is slightly different. Some stores have the same technology as Golf Box, others use a more traditional method of club fitting. But the big difference is that they take you out on the driving range so that they can not only assess how you swing, but what happens to the ball in flight.  This will help ensure I get a set of clubs that will be great for my game.

Finally, my dad pointed out something that On Course provide that the other stores won’t – a relationship. We’ve already got a relationship with the guys at Marangaroo due to playing there regularly. They know the course that I will be playing on. Also, if I’m going to get lessons – they’re the same guys, the same team that fitted me for my clubs can be the same guys that teach me.

So I think I’ve made my decision. If you want to buy me a present for my birthday in April, a Gift Voucher from On Course Golf would be fantastic.

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