outdoor fitting vs. indoor

Hello all,

I was in a local golf shop yesterday asking questions about getting set up for a club fitting and the representative was adamant that an outdoor fitting is not required. I had previously posted about this topic and several users highly suggested getting fit outdoors due to turf interaction.

Can someone please explain how turf interaction would alter a club fitting?

Thanks in advance for your insight regarding this matter...

P.S. Taking the day off and playing 36 tomorrow at Crandon Golf Key Biscayne and Miami Beach CC. Can't wait to put my Titleist equipment to the test!

Chris D

Hello all,

I was in a local golf shop yesterday asking questions about getting set up for a club fitting and the representative was adamant that an outdoor fitting is not required. I had previously posted about this topic and several users highly suggested getting fit outdoors due to turf interaction.

Can someone please explain how turf interaction would alter a club fitting?

Thanks in advance for your insight regarding this matter...

P.S. Taking the day off and playing 36 tomorrow at Crandon Golf Key Biscayne and Miami Beach CC. Can't wait to put my Titleist equipment to the test!

One thing is the ground offers less resistance to the club at impact.     You might hit it well on a mat because the club will skim the mat; however, when you hit it off the ground, you may end up burying the club head.

You may be initially hitting fades inside using a launch monitor but find out you hit a nasty hook off turf after adjusting the club. 

The lie board gets you in the ball park. Not necessarily true.  For instance, I brought in a 9 iron that I knew hit perfectly straight.  I was hitting 1 tick mark toward the toe.  I had another 9 iron adjusted to match lie angles and the tick marks were in the same place.  Had I centered the scuff marks, I would be hitting more of a draw.

Launch monitors sometimes don't tell the truth.  I've had one tell me I was hitting a 5 wood 160 yards and I get out on the grass and I hit it close to 200. 

Lou G

Chris D

Hello all,

I was in a local golf shop yesterday asking questions about getting set up for a club fitting and the representative was adamant that an outdoor fitting is not required. I had previously posted about this topic and several users highly suggested getting fit outdoors due to turf interaction.

Can someone please explain how turf interaction would alter a club fitting?

Thanks in advance for your insight regarding this matter...

P.S. Taking the day off and playing 36 tomorrow at Crandon Golf Key Biscayne and Miami Beach CC. Can't wait to put my Titleist equipment to the test!

One thing is the ground offers less resistance to the club at impact.     You might hit it well on a mat because the club will skim the mat; however, when you hit it off the ground, you may end up burying the club head.

You may be initially hitting fades inside using a launch monitor but find out you hit a nasty hook off turf after adjusting the club. 

The lie board gets you in the ball park. Not necessarily true.  For instance, I brought in a 9 iron that I knew hit perfectly straight.  I was hitting 1 tick mark toward the toe.  I had another 9 iron adjusted to match lie angles and the tick marks were in the same place.  Had I centered the scuff marks, I would be hitting more of a draw.

Launch monitors sometimes don't tell the truth.  I've had one tell me I was hitting a 5 wood 160 yards and I get out on the grass and I hit it close to 200. 

Thanks for this info Lou...

My main concern are the length/lie components of the fitting since I already have purchased the 712 AP2s. Sounds like you can benefit from an outdoor fitting by seeing the end result and true distances but I'm not sure I require these results if I just want to find out if I need my clubs bent or shortened.

Lou- Never trust the launch monitor in the bog box golf stores!!!! They are setup to make $$$$.

The best Titleist fitting I ever had was with a Titleist Club Fitter in San Marcos, CA.

We did the fitting over 2, 3 hour sessions at a grass range with no trackman or gadgets.

First session we narrowed the shaft option down to the one that preformed the best for me.

Second session we dialed in all the lofts and lies in on the spot and made the adjustments on the fly.

Everything we did was based on sight, sound and feel....old school....

Dr. K

Lou G

Chris D

Hello all,

I was in a local golf shop yesterday asking questions about getting set up for a club fitting and the representative was adamant that an outdoor fitting is not required. I had previously posted about this topic and several users highly suggested getting fit outdoors due to turf interaction.

Can someone please explain how turf interaction would alter a club fitting?

Thanks in advance for your insight regarding this matter...

P.S. Taking the day off and playing 36 tomorrow at Crandon Golf Key Biscayne and Miami Beach CC. Can't wait to put my Titleist equipment to the test!

One thing is the ground offers less resistance to the club at impact.     You might hit it well on a mat because the club will skim the mat; however, when you hit it off the ground, you may end up burying the club head.

You may be initially hitting fades inside using a launch monitor but find out you hit a nasty hook off turf after adjusting the club. 

The lie board gets you in the ball park. Not necessarily true.  For instance, I brought in a 9 iron that I knew hit perfectly straight.  I was hitting 1 tick mark toward the toe.  I had another 9 iron adjusted to match lie angles and the tick marks were in the same place.  Had I centered the scuff marks, I would be hitting more of a draw.

Launch monitors sometimes don't tell the truth.  I've had one tell me I was hitting a 5 wood 160 yards and I get out on the grass and I hit it close to 200. 

A driving range with thin mats is also a good test.  This shows an ability to pick the ball cleanly.  I have one test I call the "Sorrento Canyon" test where I hit from a thin mat that is on concrete with no padding. 

Lou describes the turf interaction well.  ...I'd love to take a mat on course with me and replace my ball on the mat.  Never have to deal with a fat shot.  Not really rediculous - the Marion members had to carry a mat for any shot under 100 yards to save the turf prior to the open.

Is it necessary to be fit outside?  Of course not, but is it better?  Certainly.  How many fitters at courses survive the winter north of the Carolinas if they couldn't at least use mats from a heated shed?  They'd al have to go to Florida to be caddies. As it is, I had lost a club late in the season in WI and showed up at a heated shed when the 712 irons came out.  We could see the real dispersion pattern that way.  I just got a 913F and it took marking the landing and rollouts down range to get the best fit.  I didn't get the best fit on another 910F in part because it was in to a net and not with the head and shaft ordered, because it was a cart without all the heads (LH) and shafts of an advanced fitting center.

If you are just going to buy a set off the rack, then probably hitting off of a mat into a net is good enough.  Spending upwards of a grand and having Titleist build your set - you should see the entire ball flight if you have a chance.  The machines can give you numbers but not true flight.  I can't say it applies everywhere, but my net price is a little under the full retail price at a box store.

A fitting indoors, assuming a trained fitter and a proper launch monitor are used will get you pretty close to an outdoor fitting. 

It's ideal to be able to hit off of grass, specifically if you're fitting for irons and wedges, as turf interaction are major factors as to what heads or grinds a fitter will put you in. If you're just going to fit for a new driver indoors will be fine as you're not interacting with the turf like an iron shot. You may see different distances indoors on the monitor than you do outdoors on grass due to run out on firmer/softer grass, wind conditions, etc. However you will see those differences course to course anyways. 

I would not hesitate to go through a fitting indoors. The biggest factor in a fitting is finding someone who really knows their stuff and can put you into the right equipment. I went through a fitting with someone and walked away feeling like none of the clubs were right for me, and I was just being sold high dollar upcharge shafts. I was fortunate enough to go through a fitting at the TPI in Oceanside and the fitter there had me in heads and shafts that weren't even on the same planet as the fitting I had just gone through a few weeks prior. 

If the option exists, I would always be fit outside.  My last fitting was with the Titleist Tour Van and it took place outside on the range utilizing a Trackman.  This gave up the opportunity to actually see the ball flight and "feel" the shots as well as provide objective data from the Trackman.

Personally, I tend to really strike down on the ball with my irons and have alot of turf interaction.  I think it is most beneficial to have the conditions you use for the fitting most simiular to what you actually play on and I want my club fitting to take place exactly how I interaqct with the ball and turf on the course every day.  If I am hitting off a mat, I know it is going to be a different swing as I tend to sweep the club rather than hit down through it on the mat. 

If you don't have the option of an outside fitting, go with what it available.  Howeverm if the option exists, why not take advangate and make sure the conditions are similar to real playing conditions.

So many places to start with this outdoor vs indoor ---they call them simulators for a reason ... its not the real thing.

Launch conditions with irons vs hybrids -- irons from a mat will launch a few degrees higher making you think you can hit a long iron high enough in the air to have control when it lands. Consequently a you will buy the stores stock set up of 3 or 4 iron thru wedges.  When a player would probably need a 5 thru wedge set and then the appropriate hybrids. When most players mishit irons and bounce into them it will launch the ball high and take off back spin thus resulting in a ridiculously long shot.  Those clerks in stores are quick to point that out to you " Wow, look you just hit your six iron 200 yards!"  That is not even considering how the monitors in stores are questionable to say the least in their accuracy.

Wedges -- almost the whole process depends on turf ( not simulated mat) interaction. Does the wedge bounce off the ground? Does it slide? How does it feel to you the player? Launch conditions are again affected greatly like mentioned above. Also, let me know how that indoor fitting works in determining the bounce for sand bunker shots!!

Drivers -- I have had so many players tell me stories about the distances the store launch monitors show them. Big time inflated.... just to get in your pocket.

Outdoors you can actually SEE what the ball does on good hits and bad hits.  And that will add up to what you are seeing on the monitor.

NEVER inside for fittings.  Unless thats where you play your golf at!

steve ball
PGA Master Professional
Ballgolf.com

Here's another story about launch monitors....

I was alternating between Eye2 yellow dot and DCI 981 irons a couple years ago.  The anomaly was that I was hitting the Eye 2 8 iron 3 yards farther than the 7 iron and, ironically, the former had an x-flex shaft; I was also somewhat consistent with the 8.  The launch monitor said I was averaging 129 yards with the Eye 2 8 iron with a wide shot dispersion and the two 7 irons were hitting about the same (150 yards).  

I agree..... you can crush the daylights out of a ball on an artificial mat in the store and then not be able to hit it on the grass.  And the other side is you have a hard time hitting it on the mat and yet it is easy to hit on the grass.  I've hit a traditional 1 iron on the mat but couldn't hit it on the ground.