Matt Robinson CPGA Blog Post - Everyone Can Play Titleist? Seriously?

Our friend and Titleist Brand Ambassador, Matt Robinson recently shared this great Club Fitting story with us and we wanted to pass it along to our loyal Members of Team Titleist. 

Matt is a CPGA Member, Director of Instruction at Rideau View Golf Club in Manotick, ON, and the 2012 Junior Leader of the Year for the CPGA Ottawa Zone.  He is a tremendous fitter and a passionate instructor for Rideau View Golf Clubs many Members. 

Through many of his club fittings conducted since the launch of 913 late last year, Matt noticed that more serious golfers are fitting into Titleist clubs than ever before.  We'll let you read the rest for yourself...


Everyone Can Play Titleist? Seriously?

Being an observer by nature and possessing a level of hearing that allows me to catch a whisper from across the range - I get an idea as to what’s happening in the golf world and personal lives of members and their guests.  Whether they are (cough, cough) having a sick day, taking a conference call at the 6th hole, trying not to be seen by so and so, and, occasionally, their views about getting fit for golf equipment.

At Rideau View (Ottawa, ON), the professional staff has invested time and money for training and certifications as Club Fitters for nearly every major golf equipment manufacturer.  Our investment in technology to support our expertise will surely house a Ball Flight Monitor Museum at some point down the road.  The TrackMan Performance Studio is our current technological support tool along with EVERY major manufacturer’s TOP fitting equipment.  Anyone who walks through the door into the Teaching Centre to get fitted has the opportunity to get the Best Fit for him or her.

However, there are still a lot of golfers playing this game with equipment that prevents them from performing their best.  This is in spite of Web-Based golf forums, Golf Magazines, Radio Shows, TV Commentary, Commercials, PGA player recommendations, PGA of Canada Club Professionals and the Golf manufacturers themselves…ALL stating the benefits of properly fitted equipment!  Those golfers may be guilty of blurting out the following:

‘I’m not good enough for equipment to make a difference in my game.”
“I’m not good enough to get my equipment fitted.”
“I’m not good enough to play Titleist equipment.”

I’m writing this little blurb to dispel the last myth in particular.  I’ve used ‘myth’ on purpose because there are and continue to be misconceptions when it comes to the word ‘Serious’ and it’s affiliation with Titleist.  I fit the mythical mould of a Titleist player.  I’ve played golf for over 30 years (Serious), I can hit the ball far (Serious) and I can play really well (Serious), oh, and I’m a Golf Pro. (Seriously?)

A ‘Serious’ golfer does not always mean a good, better, awesome, experienced, or professional player who hits the ball 300 yards.   Very few golfers are this Serious.

A ‘Serious’ golfer can sometimes mean an individual who places a value on their choices, gives thought in all aspects of the tools they use and someone who is earnest in their quest to optimizing their performance in the game.  Most golfers I see are this Serious. 

I’m starting to think that more and more people are understanding that Titleist equipment isn’t just for those that play the game at the very highest level…Nearly every level of golfer can reap the benefits of the current 2013 line up. 

I recently worked with a member who had never been fit for any golf equipment in her entire life playing golf.  She had made a commitment to do things ‘right’ for her birthday present…her 80th birthday.  A self-described ‘Slugger’, Noreen, had intentions of starting fresh and that meant a complete overhaul to her existing equipment.  We mutually agreed to take our time and to do three separate fitting appointments so she was fresh, and not fatigued, for each aspect of her game.  Her last appointment only left the Driver to be fit.

‘Noreen’s Next Top Driver’ would need to meet three demands from its user: 
1.    Looks
2.    Feel
3.    Adjustability (because she said, ‘I’m not changing!’). 

A couple of words about Noreen’s swing and TrackMan numbers:
o    ‘Slugger’, a righty, had a club head speed that averaged near 75mph
o    She would step away from the ball on the down swing, creating a negative (-) swing path and would more often than not keep the club face open relative to her intended target
o    She hit the ball low on the face with a lower ball flight and spent more focusing on the roll
o    There was plenty of curvature to the right due to her swing characteristics…but remember, she’s not changing

Noreen fits the description of the Moderate Swing Speed (MSS) player that Titleist has been accommodating with both loft and shaft options for a couple of years now.  However, she asked to hit other drivers first.  The Titleist 913 was the third and last driver we would test and when I handed her the club she was immediately drawn to its looks.  The traditional pear shape design is normally going to win the beauty pageant contest with this particular generation.  The specifications were as follows:

913 D2 10.5 (Setting at A-3)
Titleist Bassara W 50 A Flex 44 inches

The Titleist Bassara hit the mark on two fronts with the ‘Slugger’ I was fitting.  It was a lightweight shaft at only 48 grams and it actually increased her speed by a fraction, plus…it didn’t look like a ‘Ladies Driver.’  I thought of a Bill Morgan (Titleist Rocket Scientist/Ball Guy…well actually Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D) presentation from a few years back:

‘Noreen, Titleist decided a while ago that the ball doesn’t know who’s hitting it…and I guess that goes for the club too…it doesn’t know who’s swinging either.”

I got a smile.

After several swings Noreen had a couple of observations:
o    Her ball flight was a bit higher than normal
o    It didn’t curve as much to the right
o    She loved the sound of impact…it felt great

I pointed out that her ball flight was indeed higher than her current driver and then I had the conversation about ‘Optimal Ball Flight and Trajectory’… that can be an arduous one…but this is how I explain it to some clients:

“When you’re watering your garden the water pressure is obviously adjustable.  In golf, the water pressure is your Ball Speed and whatever the speed, there is an optimal trajectory for maximum distance.  If you put the water spray setting to ‘Jet’…whatever the water pressure…there is an optimal angle at which you can hold the nozzle that will allow the water to spray it’s furthest distance.”

I get nodding more often than not and I find the explanation resonates with the customer because they gain an understanding of what we’re doing without getting bogged down with launch angles and spin rates.  That said, I have clients who really enjoy the tech talk and I’m happy to engage in those sessions…but I knew my customer in this particular case.

“That makes sense Honey”, she said.

With the session coming to a close I reviewed the TrackMan Dispersion screen with Noreen.  It’s a favorite screen of mine because my 6-year-old twin girls can identify which dots went the furthest distance.  In this case, only the random colour choice that identified the Titleist 913 shots could be interpreted as girly…it was Pink.

The Dispersion screen highlighted two key performance traits of the 913. 
First, there were more Pink dots closer to our chosen target line
Secondly, three of those pink dots were further than any other color. 

Noreen, looked at me and said, “Is this the whole straighter, further thing?”

I nodded.

‘Honey’, she said.  ‘You get me one of these as soon as you can...This old Granny is gonna hit that ball out of her shadow!”

You could say she was Serious.



Matt Robinson, CPGA
Director of Instruction & Program Development
Rideau View Golf Club
2012 Junior Leader of the Year - CPGA Ottawa Zone

Thanks for sharing that with us Mitch. Such a great read. It just goes to show that anyone and everyone of all levels can benefit from the Titleist brand. Being fitted is one of the key things to improve your game and get the knowledge provided to make sure your playing the right equipment. Hands down to the Titleist staff and Matt for going above and beyond to satisfy there customers.

Cheers Shawn

Mitch - Thanks so much for sharing this.  I particularly liked Matt's definition of a "serious" golfer.   I too suffered some apprehension about getting Titleist clubs - was I good enough?  I remember hearing lots of folks commenting about how hard it was to hit Titleist drivers and irons if you weren't a scratch player.  I tried the AP2s (09 version) with some trepidation and immediately wondered what everyone was talking about - I fell in love with them from the moment the fitter put them in my hands. 

I still hear  those "how hard it is to play Titleist" comments but, if the opportunity presents, I now try to encourage the speaker to give them a try - he may have the same revelation that I did!

 

Thanks for posting this. It is something I can relate to. In my case I am a 51 year old woman who only took up golf 3 years ago. I quickly decided it was something that I could get serious about and enjoy at the same time. When I decided to start switching to Titleist I got a few 'are you serious' comments/looks from others. My husband and friends however stood by my decision and I have never been happier with the performance of my clubs.....despite being a higher (22 currently) handicapper. I made great progress at the end of the year and even shot a personal best of 84. I credit my new clubs with helping me as I was confident in their looks, feel and performance in my hands.

Now I just have to add a set of irons and I will be a happy player....saving up now. Thanks Titleist for letting me take pride in my game.

Shaw, Michael and Wendy,
Thank you very much for those wonderful comments.  It is great to hear that you have found the performance you have been looking for in Titleist product to help you shoot lower scores.

If you have any questions for Matt Robinson, he'll be visiting on a fairly regular basis so feel free to reply to this thread with any questions for him!

We REALLY appreciate your kind words and value your confidence in Titleist.


All the best,
Mitch D
Team Titleist Canada