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					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

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