I went for a Driver Fitting

This has been a long time coming, but I finally went to JWhitaker Golf for a Driver Fitting… and I’m so glad I did!

I’ve been struggling a lot with my driver recently. Part of the struggle is down to technique, as I have a tendency to over use my hands and close the clubface. But, I was keen to see if an additional issue was that I’m using a driver that is just not right for my golf swing. I’ve read a lot about custom fittings, and I’ve also spoken to lots of people who have seen significant improvement to their games. So, could this help me hit more fairways?

Having turned up at JWhitaker Golf at Moor Allerton Golf Club, James and I went to their indoor performance centre, a room equipped with a Trackman radar measuring device, hundreds of club heads and shafts and lots of other gadgets… some would call it golf porn! Then, we got into having my Driver fitting. I thought I’d video some of it too…

First, we chatted about the issues I’m having and talked about my current club – a Nike Covert 2.0, Reg (standard off the shelf) shaft and James explained the process of the Driver Fitting. After setting up the Trackman with all my details, James asked me to hit 10 or so shots with my Nike Covert, so he could get some information on my current swing and club combination.

Driver Fitting_Covert

Thankfully, my consistent hook reared its ugly head, and James could see for himself the damaging shot I’m often faced with. I’ll be honest, I don’t always get that shot, sometimes, I hit it really well. But I guess the real issue is I never quite know what shot I’m going to get.

There were some positives in the initial numbers from Trackman. My swing speed was consistent, as was my swing path. All those things were good news. My clubface however was the issue, as it was significantly closed at impact.

James went on to explain that whilst that is something I do need to address with my technique (and it is something Ryan and I are working on), my Nike Covert isn’t helping me either, mainly due to the shaft.

My regular off the shelf shaft has a low kick point. Essentially, what this means is that as I start my downswing, the shaft loads. Then, as I get towards impact the kick happens. As this particular shaft is quite soft, what its doing is closing the face… suffice to say, that is not helping me having a square clubface!

As the Covert is adjustable, we tried opening the face a little. This did make a slight improvement, but it was still proving to be quite inconsistent.

So, we moved on to the exciting bit – new club head and shaft combinations to try! I’d already tried quite a lot of the new clubs on that are around at the minute – The Taylormade R15 and Aeroburner, Nike Vapor Speed and Pro and the Callaway Alpha. But, I’d really enjoyed hitting both the Vapor clubs.

Driver Fitting_Vapor

James set me up with a Nike Vapor Pro with a Regular Diamana shaft. Here’s the clever bit… (Or perhaps this is just my naivety?!), despite being a ‘reg’ shaft, the diamana was much firmer than my old stock shaft, so in theory should enable me to deliver a clubface that wasn’t quite as closed, meaning even if my hands got too ‘handsy’, the shot wouldn’t be quite so destructive. I had no idea this was the case. Like I say, perhaps its naivety, but I thought a ‘regular’ shaft was a regular shaft. Little did I know there were so many variants? This is where the real value of having a custom fit shows itself.

After a few shots with the Vapor Pro, guess what? It worked like a dream! After having a slight loft tweak (down to 9.5), my shots were much more consistent. I wasn’t in the middle of the fairway every time, but my bad shots were nowhere near as bad. If this were on the course, I’d certainly still be hitting fairways. That is huge for me right now.

I guess this is the aim of a custom fitter. They can’t give you a perfect golf swing, if we had those, we’d all be on tour. But, what they can do, is help you to get the best out of your golf clubs, working towards giving you a more consistent golf shot. By analysing the Trackman numbers, James was able to establish the weakness in my swing and equipment and with his vast knowledge of products, prescribe me with a club that would help, and not hinder my game.

In terms of distances, there wasn’t a great deal in it. I increased carry a little, and I also increased my club head speed. But, as you’ll see from the image below, my dispersion of shots improved significantly. You can see how the Vapor delivered a much more consistent ball flight than the Covert, meaning I hit more fairways.

Driver Fitting_Shots

And that… is what I need to help me achieve the goal of the challenge – get down to a Category 1 handicap. Well, I also need to massively improve the putting and chipping, but lets take it one step at a time!

So, having a custom club fitting… would I recommend it? ABSOLUTELY!!

And here’s the best bit. Having a club fitting is FREE (well, it is at JWhitaker Golf, but I assume it’s the same at most custom fit centres?). So, you can get your club custom fit to you for the same price as buying one off the shelf. So, the only question left is this – if you’re going to buy a new golf club, why would you not do it?

Yes, as you can see, I’m sold. Custom fitting is officially brilliant, as is my new Nike Golf Vapor Pro. I can’t wait to go and pick it up.

Now I have absolutely no excuses…