When we do a custom fitting, there are tens of thousands of combinations at our disposal. Perhaps one of the most critical elements of clubfitting is having a deep understanding of how each new product cycle from various manufacturers works differently. Whether it’s the head of the club, the shaft, or various other factors – our goal is to be able to quickly fine-tune a solution for our clients based on the unique characteristics of their golf swing.
As you know, every year, things evolve. Pete’s Golf makes sure we are in close contact with the engineering teams from the OEM’s. Our goal is to have intimate knowledge of what the engineers are trying to do with the design of each club and how it works.
Recently, we took almost the entire Pete’s Golf team out to Carlsbad, California, to meet with TaylorMade, Callaway, and Cobra Golf. We had sitdowns with each of their engineering teams to learn more about their newest releases. Also, they were interested to hear our feedback on how they can improve their designs based on what we see during the thousands of custom fittings we do every year in our Mineola and New York City locations.
While we can’t disclose everything, we wanted to give our clients a little bit of an inside look to show all of you how committed we are to providing the highest level of service possible.
Understanding the Nuances
All golf clubs are not created equal. In each meeting, we are looking to get the nitty-gritty of design elements from “the horse’s mouth.”
We want to know what the engineers did, and how they did it so that we can apply the information in our fittings.
There are many tradeoffs in driver design. For example, if you want more MOI, you have to sacrifice aerodynamics and speed. Each team told us what they think is the most important, and then we relay that info to the fittings.
Some driver heads produce higher ball speeds on centered strikes. Another can perform better on average when you factor in multiple strike points across the face. Spin rates can drastically change as well. Knowing how each manufacturer’s head will react based on a golfer’s tendency helps us find the correct diagnosis quickly.
During the meeting with Cobra Golf, they were presenting a table of all of the different driver heads on the market, and how their center of gravity and MOIs (a measure of forgiveness) are different. By chance, Bryson DeChambeau was in the building and came into the room. He ended up sitting through the presentation with us and was just as interested in learning the info as we were.
Overall, we find a lot of value in having these face-to-face meetings. While the manufacturers make this information available, very few clubfitters take them up on it. One of the presentations we were given was only the second one they had done the entire year!
Golfers are always interested in what’s next with club technology. As always, we try to be honest with what you can and can’t expect from new equipment. For a manufacturer to produce a two-yard gain over the previous year’s model doesn’t sound like much. Still, it is significant from a design perspective considering the restrictions placed by the USGA. That’s why we always tell our customers that it could take several product cycles before they see a significant upgrade in performance over their current equipment.
In our meeting with TaylorMade, we learned that the technology behind their SIM line has been in development for almost a decade. While you might not notice a big difference in last year’s M6, it’s very likely that if you tested it against the M1 (three years old), there would be measurable changes.
Sean Toulon from Callway explained how much work they put into the acoustics of the new Mavrik driver based on the feedback they had received on the Epic Flash. Also, we saw enhancements in their face design now that this was the second club they have used their proprietary Artificial Intelligence to help design.
A Better Fit
Another trend that continues with each company is adjustability. More than ever, we can dial in various clubs with loft, the center of gravity, and lie angle adjustments.
In particular, lie angle has always been an issue for Pete’s Golf when it comes to fairway woods. A lot of golfers present the club way too upright at impact, which alters their ball flight on the course. We have minimal choices in how we go about making adjustments. If you’re on the PGA Tour, the clubfitting vans will bend woods for you. Unfortunately, the rest of the golf world doesn’t have that luxury.
In one of our meetings, we learned about some new methods that will now allow us to adjust lie angle on fairway woods and hybrids. This is a huge advancement that will help us improve the ball flights of many clients!
It’s a Two-Way Street
Another productive part of visiting with OEMs is that they want to pick our brains as well. Cobra Golf has been very receptive to our staff’s feedback (especially since our own Kirk Oguri is on staff with them).
Over the past few years, many companies have been producing forged irons that are hollowed out, forgiving, and add distance for a better player. Based on our fittings, we asked for that kind of iron from Cobra. Fortunately, they listened to us (and many others) and released their Forged Tec irons, which are a fantastic release that we see working with many of our customers.
As much as we want to learn from them, they also want to find out the feedback on their equipment during our fittings, and how they can address the needs of the marketplace more.
We Invest Our Time for You
At Pete’s Golf, our number one priority is to make sure that every golfer who comes for a fitting gets an honest assessment of their equipment. There is more opportunity than ever to customize clubs and improve performance on the course. It requires a lot of time and effort to understand how all of those options come together for each golfer but we believe it is well worth it.
To book your next fitting at your Mineola or New York City location, please visit this page.