SPECIAL the less you try to correct every flaw via fitting.
SECTION: That said, even with more recreational players I
don't want to use equipment to ingrain technique
problems. I want to put them on the proper path."
What are the most important clubs to get
Lashen: "All of them-but the putter first and fore-
most. It's 40 percent of the game, and where we see
the most success, yet so few players get it done."
Pretty How does a golfer make the most of the
Kihner:"You need to be open-minded. Golfers are
often successful, knowledgeable people in many
Three top Met Area clubfitters talk about areas and tend to think they're golf equipment
experts, too. Don't show up with preconceived
their craft and how it helps golfers of all notions about what brand or specs you need. Trust
stripes BY EVAN ROTHMAN your fitter's experience."
Have adjustable drivers heightened
players' interest in fitting?
or too many of us, club-fitting is like flossing-something
Gaffney: "That's been exciting for us, because it
we know would benefit us yet somehow never get around to.
gives people the opportunity to make the ball do
We tell ourselves we're too busy, it's overkill, and so on. Deep something different. It has made them more edu-
down, though, we know we should do it. Golf clubs are as cated on what would be best for them, and maybe
a little more interested in the topic, too."
important to our game as teeth are to our health.
To get some wisdom on the topic, we spoke to What's the biggest fitting no-no as a
three highly regarded Met Area fitters: Brian customer?
Gaffney, head professional at Rumson (N.T.) Coun- Lashen: "Don't walk in for a fitting if you haven't
try Club, Jamie Kilmer, head professional at Wheat- played for three months. We need a chance to see
ley Hills Golf Club in East Williston, N.Y., and what you'd normally do on the course."
Woody Lashen of Pete's Golf Shop in Mineola,
N.Y., a Golf Digest Top 100 Club fitter. What are the signs I'm with a serious club-
Is club-fitting overrated or underrated? Kihner: "I think golfers have a sixth sense for that,
Kihner: "It's vastly underrated. Golfers love to say, but certainly you want to see more than just one
'It's the indian, not the arrow; but they don't realize or two available brands. A significant investment
how far fitting can go toward solving their problems:' in technology is very encouraging, too-I just
bought an $11,000 FlightScope launch monitor.
\ What's the biggest misperception about Technology can't replace experience, or seeing ball
, club-fitting? flight, for that matter, but it adds so much to the
Lashen:"Tmnotgoodenough to be fit.' The real- process."
ity is, the worse you are the more fitting helps."
Are there major differences in styles or
What are the most common fitting philosophies among fitters, and does that
problems you encounter? translate into different fitting results?
Gaffney: "The average player has a driver with too Gaffney: "There is an art how you walk someone
little loft and iron shafts that are too stiff. I don't through a fitting. Some golfers like hard facts; oth-
know what that stems from, and any preconceived ers justtrust you have their best interests in mind.
notions I might have wouldn't be productive any- There are different styles and approaches from fit-
way. Ourjob is justto getthem into the right equip- ter to fitter. But if you had 10 golf professionals
ment." do a fitting on the same golfer, they'd come up
with a lotof the same numbers-there's no argu-
How do a player's swing flaws factor into ment as to where the ball should hit the clubface
your fitting? and how the sole should move through the
Getting custom-fit before you
buy new clubs has never been Kilmer: "The more serious the player in terms of ground. Whereas you could have two doctors look
easier or more common. how much they play and practice and take lessons, at the same patient and get three opinions.".
44 THE MET GOLFER· FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 WWW.MGAGOLF.ORG