You may consider yourself an average golfer, but odds are you’re not—at least as far as clubs are concerned. Clubs have five key specifications—length, lie angle, loft, shaft stiffness/kick point and grip size—and most come set up standard for each. The chances of your being so perfectly average—from height to hand size—are minuscule. But even if you go in for a company’s custom fitting service, odds are still long that any one brand is right to fill your bag from drivers to irons to wedges.
What the irregular golfer needs is a high-tech fitting from an independent company that does not care what shaft or name you buy, only that it is right for your game. For that I went to Cool Clubs, the leader in that space with two dozen locations worldwide (including Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Tokyo and its Scottsdale, Arizona, headquarters). They robotically test shafts and clubheads, capturing the performance characteristic of each, and then compare these with real-world swings using ball flight launch monitors. I learned that my driver swing doesn’t generate a lot of spin, needed to keep the ball airborne, and I draw the ball, so I needed a shaft and head that promotes more spin without exacerbating—or fighting—my draw. Another golfer of my ability might be the opposite, but neither of us knows whether a Titleist TSi3 or a Cleveland Launcher XI will work better.
The process is simple: Visit a Cool Clubs location and they analyze the specs of your own equipment and have you hit balls, measuring your swings with a state-of-the-art launch monitor. Software suggests ideal candidates and using their large demo pool of interchangeable heads and shafts, they put those together. You then hit those clubs and see the comparison. Afterwards, you can order custom clubs to those specs from Cool Clubs, but you don’t have to. They also have a digital putter fitting lab.
Cool Club surveys its customers and, across all handicaps, has seen a decrease in scores for 81 percent of them, plus improvement in accuracy (85.6 percent) and increased distance (82 percent). A Full Fitting ($400) includes driver, long game (hybrids and fairway woods), irons, wedges and putter. A la carte is $125 to $175.