Given some of the suggestions I have read regarding fittings or expressing confidence in non-Titleist representative work (shaft replacements, club alterations, etc), I decided to share with the TT community an experience from last season.
Approximately mid-season, I decided to visit my local Big Box store for a fitting. This decision was in-part based on questions related to the driver I was using. While my iron striking wasn't bad, upwards of 80% of my tee shots missed the fairway - with at least 50% of those misses coming to rest in the rough across the adjacent fairway (part equipment, part swing mechanics). My "power-fade" became the talk of my game, being that I could easily drive the ball 300 yards (150 straight then 150 right - right across the other fairway).
Anyway, during the process, the Big Box rep, put me on their launch monitor and had me swing away with several drivers. Based on the monitor figures, the Big Box rep, looked at this handy little chart and suggested that for optimal ball flight I shouldn't use a stiff shaft and should gravitate more towards a more forgiving driver (460cc). That said, the recommendation was a TM Burner 2.0 or a Cally something. Though I liked the feel, look, and sound of the D3, I complied with the Big Box rep's suggestion, purchasing the 2.0.
Fast forwarding a bit, the recommended stock TM driver did little for control. Actually, my driving became worse with an increase in fairway hits. I guess the whippy nature of a regular flex shaft coupled with it being 46 inches really overly exaggerated flaws in my swing.
As a result, during the off-season, I decided to attend a Titleist demo day. The Tileist rep was much more thorough, while using "less" eye-catching technology than the BIg Box store. Leveraging a basic launch monitor, measuring ball speed and launch angle, coupled with visually watching the ball flight within the indoor range, the Titleist rep was able to more accurately assess my swing characteristics. The resulting make-up is as follows:
At this point, I'm not sure that asking someone to do my fitting who has incentive to sell me something stock on the floor is in my best interest. I also have a small distrust of 27 year olds that display both a prejudice towards their favorite products and their lack of interest in anyone under a 90 mph swing speed. With drivers over $300 and irons over $700, the person fitting my clubs should take as much interest as a good tailor with a $500 suit.
I couldn't agree with you more. The only way to get properly fitted is by a certified Titleist fitter outside. You can be 100% sure that you were fitted properly and the results on the course will be all the proof you need. I've had my new AP1's for a couple weeks now and I couldn't be happier.
The answer is... It is all about business...
Retail stores and sales people always trying to sell as much as they can also trying to make maximum profits from every sales.
Some golf club manufacturers give commission to retail stores or directly give to sales people base on total amount of sales (monthly or quarterly) or base on number of products sold.
Also, sometimes sales representatives or manufactures through some sale contests (mostly done by sales representatives) and 1st place normally get a set of irons or a driver and they are definitely free.
It looks like you met a sale person who want to have $10 to $20 in his or her pocket or tried to get more points for contests from the driver sales.
Well... I am not going to tell you what companies give commission to retail stores or sales people but Titleist is one of a few companies not doing it.
That's why Titleist clubs are one of less favorite clubs to sell to customers. (NO commission but some sales contests)
Anyway, I hope you don't have any bad feeling about people at golf industry... just like I said earlier... it is all about the business.
Please find a place (Big Box store, Independent Golf Shop or Golf course Pro Shop) that you can truest to shop with and also find a person or people know about golf and love the game of golf.
There are many people with of some types of knowledge but it will be very difficult to find a good one.
Having "observed" fittings at big box stores on more than one occassion, I couldn't agree more that it's a colossal waste of time and could do more harm than good to one's game. The number of times that i've cringed at the stuff coming out of the "fitter's" mouth, and I use the title "fitter" liberally here considering most of them don't seem to know much about fitting in general. Additionally, the flight monitors at these shops seem to be less than perfect, no other way to sugar coat it. I can't tell you the number of times my buddies and I would get on one, and begin to pound away with the driver, 310+ yards according to their system.............especially laughable when people I know who can't even hit their driver 250 yards are hitting over 300 according to the monitor. Well I will say the only good thing is, when you're confidence level is down......and you need a little confidence boost, their system certainly does provide it, well until you get back out onto the course and realize you're not as good as their monitor makes you look.
Usually the monitor tells you that you hit less than you really do.