With a new driver in my bag and with help from Club Champion, I took on a course that will be hosting a US Open in a matter of weeks- Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama, host of the 2018 US Women's Open Championship.
I wasn't getting distance off the tee with my three-year old driver, so I opted for a tour-quality custom club fitting experience at my closest Club Champion. Club Champion's staff includes club fitters, builders and experts that get to know your game before matching you to a club.
Bascially, I show up at my local Club Champion and I'm led step-by-step through a process where I will learn about my game and learn which equipment will help me get the most out of what I have, need and want.
Club Champion offers more than 35,000 hittable head and shaft combinations. In my 90 minutes, under the guidance of my fitter, I felt like I hit all of them, when actually after getting the data on my swing, he narrowed my driver options down to about 10. Spoiler alert: the first driver he gabbed for me was the one that ended up being the best fit and the one I picked, thanks to that 20 additional yards I was getting in the simulator.
An August 2017 Golf Magazine study found that Club Champion custom fit golfers lowered their scores by three strokes per round and added an average of 22 yards off the tee.According to Golf Magazine, “Many players think they aren’t good enough to be custom fit. But our higher handicappers saw up to 25 more yards with drivers and woods and some shaved 5 to 10 strokes per round"
The results? Fitting matters when it comes to head, shaft and grip.
Based on data from the TrackMan, Sam PuttLab and SkyCaddies along with tester interviews, it’s clear that correctly matched clubs can help golfers of all kinds.In addition to providing fittings from supremely trained master fitters, Club Champion builds the clubs in-house, unlike most other fitters. Variables such as swing weight, length, lie and flex DO alter performance. The experience and know-how combining these intricate parts together is what separates Club Champion from its competition.Ranked by Golf Digest among the 100 best club fitters eight times in a row, Club Champion’s unique coupling system allows them to combine any head and shaft together. Golfers hit the precise combination to be custom-built for them.
All the top brands are on hand; some like PXG or exclusive premium shafts are simply not available through most other retailers or fitters. To say I hit a bunch of balls was an understatement, but I was able to settle on a new Callaway Rogue driver and was given and emailed a "Build Sheet" showing exactly what I ordered and would be receiving. It was a painless process and in about two weeks, I would have a custom-built driver, made for my game, my swing and my use.
With a new driver in hand, in between all the rain and wet weather we had this April in the Atlanta area, I was able to get it out on the range and try it for a quick nine holes in rain and mud on Monday. The first real test would some at US Women's Open Media Day at Shoal Creek.
The day was awesome! Not only was the weather perfect and I had a former PGA Tour winning caddy on my bag, but the new Callaway Rogue driver, paired with some new Bridgetone balls, helped me navigate around the bunkers and burgeoning US Open rough for an enjoyable and decently played round. It's a nice treat when you get a few extra yards on a demanding course. Kudos to Club Champion and their staff and business model. An experience at Club Champion would make a great gift for birthdays, graduation and Father's Day.
Headquartered in Chicago, Club Champion currently has 32 locations across the country with more opening soon. Studios carry all the top golf club, shaft and grip manufacturers in the industry, which allows for 35,000+ equipment combinations for customers to test. Each studio location is equipped with advanced analysis technology and highly trained certified fitters and builders, all of whom must graduate through an extensive training program. Services include custom fitting and building for all club purchases, repair services, personalization and highly engaging corporate and personal entertainment events. For more information about Club Champion, visit www.clubchampiongolf.com.