Monday, 10 September 2012

Titleist Fitting Centre Review - St Ives Golf Club, Cambridgeshire

Recently I decided to put a little money aside to save for some custom fitted Titleist Irons, Wedges, and Woods. This is my review of the events leading up to the day up until the moment I held my new clubs. I'm not sponsored or linked to any company I will mention. I'm a 100% independent golfer.

The Booking


Firstly if you are here you possibly did what I did prior to the Titleist day, you want to look for reviews and how to book it. I firstly sent an email to my home club who are a Titleist approved fitter (using Surefit) to see if they could offer me a good deal on the irons and wedges. I recieved no reply to this which spurred me not to chase as I was the customer but to look elsewhere. I then stummbled upon UK Golf Academy ( http://www.ukgolfacademy.com/ ) and emailed Mark Stevens. His reply was promt and we spoke about prices for the irons and wedges I had in mind. I suggested several dates and he confirmed the availability. At one point I needed to re-arrange this and it was not a problem.

I opted for a 2 hour fitting so not to rush into a long term set of clubs. The 2 hour fitting cost £90, which includes a free dozen of balls after the fitting on collecting clubs of your Titleist choice (ProV1x), and £20 off the cost of your order.

The Fitting Centre and Arrival.


My first advice is to write down the post code of the Fitting Centre. I say this as I did the opposite and used the integrated GPS in my car to locate the St Ives Golf Centre which has been relocated and a caretaker at a recent school directed me to the fitting centre before I even asked so it must be a common mistake.

On correct arrival I was introduced to Paul who would be my fitter for the day. I felt completely at ease and on the meet and greet I was offered coffee, tea and the usual small talk to say relax... your at Willy Wonka's Workshop.

The building itself is not vast, more an extended driving range with a comfy office to the side but it's by no means lacking. I then proceeded to the bays to hit balls and loosen up. Golf shoes on a few gentle wedges. I take my clubs along as its really the base you start from.

The Fitting - Irons


After a warm up he asked me a few questions, typical bad shot, what spec are my clubs, how they feel, what heads I like. We started by Paul passing me an AP2 712 6-Iron 2 Deg up, Project X 6.0 same as my current spec apart from my clubs being the original AP2's.  and Then he applied the lie board, tape to the face, and tape to the heel. Watched me hit shots and I was happy they were consistent shots I hit. Then we played around with the legnth and I agreed that 1inch extended felt and sounded so much better than the 1/2 inch extended. He stated this would increase the height I hit the ball and add maybe 1-2 yards a club. We then tried the S300 Dynamic Gold Shafts as my 6iron clubhead speed at 92-94 mph was not enough for X-flex.

I would like to say BE HONEST TO YOURSELF! Don't try and impress by ripping at everything to make him smile. If you are after a true fitting then swing like you would on the course.

When I tried the S300's the difference was night and day... in a negative way. So with the help of the incredible Trackmman we could clearly see that the Dynamic Gold wasn't right and the Project X was. The feel was better, the spin was similar for me but I hit the ball higher with the Pro X but I am a mid launch, high spin, high flight golfer. The average tour pro hits the ball around 29-30 yards high, Rory is at 39 yards high and so were my figures at 37-39 yards. One bad shot dropped to 32 yards peak height.

Wedges


This is where the 'fitter' uses the swings you have made throughout the day and recommends wedges for your game and bounce options also. I used to carry 5 wedges, yes 5! PW, 50, 54, 58, 62. I've changed to the PW rather than a 46 Vokey as I use my PW generally for full shots and not so much for pitching so I don't need to carry the slightly less forgiving wedge. I also use a 52 and 58. That is it! The 58 is made for everything! Bunkers are an ease, imagine the shot and play it and the 52 works for 100 yards to 30 yards delightfully! I really do rate the SM4 wedges. Credit to Bob Vokey!


The Woods / Hybrid


Well I stepped up and hit a few steady drives at 249 carry with 265ish finish and they we're the gentle shots I do when I need to find the fairway. Loading or stepping on them a little increased the carry to 270ish but I continued to have a 3000rpm high spin rate. My clubhead speed was 108 - 112 mph generally with me forcing a few nearer 116. The consistency and length with my V2 66S shafted 910 D3 (9.5) was only improved slightly by a Motora F1 66 shafted 910 D3 (7.5) and with the 913 around the corner I will wait.

For the Hybrid 910 H (17) the stock Diamanna was too lively for me and ultimately deemed this club out the bag. I upgraded to a Rombax and all of a sudden I have a players club in the bag. I'd always been a long iron player but the Hybrid and iron stats were almost identical so the Hybrid with added forgiveness wins.

Overall I praise the St Ives fitting center and its a must! You are not forced to purchase anything following the visit but it's hard to resist. I booked via UK Golf Academy and when I had the fitting they compaired prices and I paid a price I couldn't beat at any other site and the guy I spoke to on the phone was very reasonable and fair even stating the mark ups he was doing. 3 hours later I picked up the clubs!!! Thoroughly recommended.

And in case you are wondering... the clubs are an extension of my arms now ;) And the scores are coming down. Last few rounds I've hit 14 GIR. That's woods and iron play there!