Mention “equipment, fitting, instruction,” and “iconic location” in the same web log and golfers get very interested and extremely engaged. It’d be like mentioning “Shatner, Tribbles, Functional Phaser,” and “Lost Roddenberry Screenplays” at a Star Trek convention. Hey, no, I’m not comparing obsessed golfers to Trekkies, but…okay, maybe I am.
So immediately after posting last week’s web log, I literally got tons of emails and tweets offering support and suggestions (no, grammar police, I didn’t literally get 2000 lbs of support and suggestions, more like a few hundred tweets and emails). I even got a few offers to host at an “iconic location.” (Jamie, let’s book it!).
Most of the suggestions came down to the same couple of suggestions/enhancements:
- What’s my game like right now?
- Have I ever been fully fit for equipment?
- What’s in my bag now?
- What kinds of clubs do I normally gravitate towards
So before we officially kick off the journey, a little more background…
I would best describe my game as mostly unimpressive but occasionally trending upward less unimpressive. Depending on the time of year, I’m between a 5 and a 7 index. I’m a 5 when I’m playing a lot and playing the same golf courses. The two stroke swing is usually short game related. When I’m getting up and down and making putts, I score okay. When I’m not, I’m pretty lousy. I describe my greatest strength as a golfer is my ability to shoot 80 on any golf course. Put me on the back tees at Oakmont, and I’ll figure out a way to shoot around 80. Put me on the forward junior tees at our local Rancho Carlsbad Executive Course, and I’ll make a career up and down on 18 to shoot 80.
My swing itself looks like a Tour professional’s if you just allowed me to make practice swings inside the office. Seriously, Golf Digest could do a swing sequence with commentary by David Leadbetter, and all he could say would be “That’s a perfect indoor golf swing.” Too bad golf can’t be played that way. Get me on the course and my swing tempo gets fast (I could take six swings in the time it takes Chris Kirk to swing one syrupy swing), my swing plane gets flat (Kuchar would laugh at how flat my swing is) and too around, and I have a little move that hangs back, flips at the bottom, and sweeps the ball cleanly off the turf. An old friend of mine used to call me “Mr. Ginsu” because I like to slice and dice at it. No divot and no compression. Text book! I could almost play the same ball for the entire year. No, not the same model, but the exact same ball! So it’s not much to look at in person.
And I know it’s shocking, but that swing doesn’t produce a lot of power. Most good players like to take left or right out of play. For me, I like to take long out of play.
I was fully fit for equipment about 5 years ago, but did kind of a rush job. At that time, I was curious and experimenting with the Jim Hardy one-plane swing. So my swing was even more exaggerated around. I was fit into clubs that were 2-degrees flat and nothing remarkable about the length or shaft specs. I’ve always wanted to get back in and do a full fitting again, but the time commitment was always a barrier. And frankly, and I’m admitting this for the first time publicly outside of my shrink’s office, I was a little embarrassed by my golf inconsistency. I always told myself that I would wait and get fit when I was hitting the ball decently, but of course, that never happened. I’m sure this story is similar for most folks.
In my bag now is sort of a club kennel of offerings.
My driver is an XHOT Pro driver (mid spin), 8.5 degree, with a stock 65g stiff shaft. I picked this driver for a few reasons. First, I just think it looks cool. And that’s really important. Shut up, you know it is. Second, I need less spin because my loft adding impact position (definitely NOT text book) generates too much spin. I would probably be better fit into the Razr Fit Xtreme driver, but haven’t tested both yet. The stock shaft was just because it came in the demo model I stole from Rhiona the Marketing Warrior Princess. Please don’t tell her.
3 wood is a XHOT 15 degree with a stock 65g stiff shaft. This one is so long and easy to get in the air, I picked it. If I were swinging better, I’d probably prefer the XHot Pro, but for now, this one is in there.
Hybrid is the XHOT Pro 19 degree. Stock stiff shaft. This one ain’t coming out of the bag. So much longer than any hybrid I’ve ever played and is perfect for how I use it (often and in a variety of situations.
Irons are XHOT 4-A wedge, stock 85 g stiff shafts. These are just a demo set that Rhiona legitimately gave me. But I think I’d like (and need) a heavier shaft in these. But these irons are great. I usually would play something a little less Game Improvement oriented, but I was setting my ego aside for the early part of the season and thinking I needed all of this distance and forgiveness in one.
Wedges are Jaws 56 and 60 degree. I’ve gone Jack Nicklaus and have really only been using the 56. Also, Freddy Jacobson, who probably has the best hands on Tour, told me that he only uses a 56 degree most of the time. Going with Freddy on this one.
Putter is a Versa #7, 34″. Need to get on a putter launch monitor to see what would be the best fit for me.
Ball is HexBlackChrome…wait for it…Proto! Yes, my only piece of contraband right now is the ball. But this ball is getting launched in April, so I don’t feel so guilty.
So, if all things were equal, and I could play anything under the Callaway sun. I think this is what my bag would be:
Driver would be Razr Fit Xtreme. I mean, it’s the longest driver in the world. Yeah, we said it. Why? It’s just math. It has the lowest CG of any adjustable driver and is a robust, low spinning beast mode driver. Ive been calling it a “man’s driver” since October. So I’d like to be man enough to play it. In actuality, it’s close to the type of driver I need but is hard to achieve: low spin AND forgiving. I’d love to stick something exotic in there. I like a mid 60 gram weight shaft and need some tip stiffness since I need to take the spin down.
I’d like to play the XHOT Pro fairway. 15 degree with a 75g shaft in there.
Hybrid is perfect as is. Don’ even think of trying to get this one out of my bag (well, okay, if they fit me into something else I will)
I’d love to get rid of the 4 iron and go with an XUtility Proto. Just looks cool. So, so cool.
Irons would be no contest. 5-P in the XForged ’13. Pure, unadulterated golf erotica. You have to alt-tab away from these when someone walks by your computer. Nuff said.
Wedges would go with the 52, 56, and 60 of our new wedge coming this year…more on that in future web logs…
Staying with the Chrome Proto ball until it turns legit from its gangsta proto phase.
Alright, enough with the tease. Let’s set up these lessons and do work.
(I’m thinking of altering the original idea thanks to a great suggestion made by my brother from another mother, John Kim. <@johnkim_10>. He suggested skipping the first fitting and just doing the lessons and practice. Then go back after the lessons were done and comparing how my unfit equipment stacked up to properly fit equipment. So we may do it that way, just because John hates it when he doesn’t get his way.)