A Titleist club fitting at the Jim McLean Golf Center in Fort Worth, Texas, featuring one of the country's most sophisticated fitting and practice facilities, can lead a golfer in several directions.
The destination, however, is always the same.
"I make sure every player I spend time with goes home with the proper equipment, the proper fit and the confidence necessary to play their best," says Kyle Cronkright, Director of Club Fitting at the Jim McLean Golf Center-Texas, one of five Titleist Regional Fitting Centers within the Titleist Fitting Network.
One of the keys to shooting lower scores is being able to trust your equipment on each and every shot. Cronkright, a PGA Professional and Titleist authorized club fitter, specializes in guiding you to that point, relying on years of fitting experience and mentorship from some of the game's best fitters and teachers.
"Every golfer has certain needs when it comes to their clubs and set make-up," says Cronkright, who has worked with elite players from the junior level to the PGA Tour. "There's no such thing as one-size fits all."
And that goes for club fittings, as well.
"Some players want a very technical fitting, some players want it based more on feel and what their eyes see. Others want a mixture of both," says Cronkright. "I like to let the player determine where the fitting goes."
The Jim McLean Golf Center, featuring what the facility calls "30 acres of endless shotmaking possibilities,” allows Cronkright a unique level of flexibility that is a perfect fit for his fitting style.
At first arrival to the property, you are greeted by a member of the Jim McLean staff and given a tour of the facility. Some of the sights include: The 14,000 square-foot performance center featuring five hitting bays with swing analysis equipment and an HD full-swing simulator; 50,000 square-foot short game area; lighted driving range; and Legends Scoring Nine, a challenging 9-hole layout that can be played as both a par-3 course (some hole can be stretched to par-4s) and practice course.
Following the tour, you will be escorted to the driving range and practice area to warm up for the fitting session.
All Titleist fittings at the Jim McLean Golf Center are conducted with Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf balls and a TrackMan launch monitor, not to mention a running dialogue with Cronkright, who promises to give each golfer "the same experience a Tour player would have when being fit."
From there, it's really up to you.
For example, if you want test Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges on the the Scoring Nine, where you can take aim at pins and determine how your Titleist golf ball reacts on the greens, Cronkright will load up his entire bag of Vokey wedges, throw them in back of a cart and drive you over to the first tee.
Want to get a better feel from tightly-mown areas? Check out the multi-purpose wedge-game area. Need to dial-in your distances? That's why the yardage poles can be moved easily in 5-yard increments.
"A proper fitting is really about being as adaptable as possible and we have everything here to do that," says Cronkright.
"If you want to get better, we're the place where you can come and get better."
At the end of the fitting, Cronkright provides you with a copy of the TrackMan data to compare equipment and performance and confirm proper distance gaps.
From there, feel free to head over to the Legends Scoring Nine or any of the practice areas to continue working on your game.
"I've fit guys who've taken the clubs we've built for them out to the par-3 course and made a hole-in-one later in the day," Cronkright says.
Now that's fitting.
In the following Q&A, Cronkright talks more about the club fitting experience at the Jim McLean Golf Center, his fitting philosophy and his own Titleist equipment:
TEAM TITLEIST: What was it that first interested you in teaching and fitting?
KYLE CRONKRIGHT: I have always loved to help people out whenever possible. Fitting players became a great way for me to have an immediate impact on a players score and joy of the game. I have had a few mentors, all of whom have impacted my fitting style and fitting knowledge in great ways. Jim McLean has been a big influence on me as well. His dedication and passion for the game inspire me to be the best I can when it comes to club fitting.
TT: You help make golfers better every day. What do you work on to become a better teacher and/or fitter?
KC: To become a better fitter I spend a lot of time keeping up with information on equipment. I feel that for me to do my best I need to know about every product out there and what it is designed to do. I also spend a lot of time learning from other fitters that I see as mentors.
TT: What's the best piece of golf advice you have ever received?
KC: Honesty is the best way to keep a player happy. I am very honest with all the players I fit and it helps build a trust between the player and I. The trust then carries over to a trust in any equipment I fit for the player.
TT: What's a typical work day like for you?
KC: A typical day begins with setting up all of my fitting equipment. This includes all of our great Titleist fitting components, the TrackMan launch monitor, and the Titleist tent to protect all of the equipment. Once the equipment is set up, I make sure we have plenty of ProV1 and ProV1x golf balls available for the fittings.
Between fittings I generate the TrackMan reports to send out at the end of the day for each player that is fit at our facility. I also take the time between fittings to be sure all of the equipment stays clean. At the end of the day I begin the clean up process of the equipment and e-mail the reports for the day.
TT: Can you describe the level of satisfaction you get knowing you're helping players to achieve their goals?
KC: It is difficult to put the satisfaction into words. It is a great feeling when you get a phone call from a player you fit that tells you that they are playing better because of equipment that is fit to their game. Whether it is a player that won a tournament, broke 80 for the first time, or a player that is just enjoying the game more, the feeling is always great to have. At the end of the day that is the goal of mine, to make sure every player I work with enjoys playing the game.
TT: Can you take us through a recent or memorable fitting that you've done?
KC: Recently I have fit a player that had been playing a driver that was fit for him about two years ago. He had made the comment that his shots lacked control and he had trouble controlling the trajectory of the ball. I made the conclusion that he had been playing the wrong flex. After getting him in the proper flex and the proper SureFit Tour setting, the player had the “Aha!” moment and seemed to find the joy of hitting his driver again.
TT: How do you stay on top of your game?
KC: I practice at the Jim McLean Golf Center and take the occasional lesson from one of our great instructors.
TT: What's your favorite Titleist club in the bag?
KC: It is difficult to pick out a favorite. I love all of my Titleist products, but if I have to pick just one it would probably be my Vokey TVD M-Grind Black Oxide 58* wedge.
TT: How do you mark your Titleist golf ball?
KC: I mark my ball with an orange line along the side of the golf ball and an orange “M” on the other side to represent my daughter's name.
A closer look at the Jim McLean Golf Center:
• 14,000 square-foot performance center that includes indoor/outdoor bays, putting studio, club repair room, 3,500 square-foot fitness facility, HD full-swing simulator, biomechanics hitting bay and café.
• Lighted driving range with numerous greens and bunkers.
• Short-game area that includes Bentgrass and Champions Bermudagrass greens, large practice bunker and 150x100-yard multi-purpose wedge-game area.
• Legends Scoring Nine course designed by Tom Fazio and Jim McLean. Can be played as par-3 course or practice course, with variety of sidehill, uphill and downhill lies. Numerous teeing areas to play some holes as par-4s.
• Full-time Jim McLean Junior Golf Academy, an elite golf developmental program that teaches proficiency in golf. (For more info, click here.)
• Award-winning teaching and fitting staff, including Titleist authorized club fitter Kyle Cronkright.
• Phone: 817-303-4370
• Website URL: Jim McLean Golf Center • Facebok Page
• E-mail: email@example.com
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Titleist Regional Fitting Centers are located at Jim McLean Golf Center (Fort Worth, Texas); The Glen Club (Glenview, Ill.); Miles of Golf (Ypsilanti, Mich.); Sea Island Learning Center (St. Simons Island, Ga.) and Sleepy Hollow Country Club (Scarborough, N.Y.).
To learn more about the Titleist Fitting Network and to find an authorized Titleist fitter in your area, please click here.