REVIEW: GOLFTEC TECFIT Club Fitting
GOLFTEC, the renowned nationwide golf lesson franchise, recently underwent a re-branding that includes much more than a logo face-lift across its 180+ golf instruction centers. A new partnership with True Spec Golf has boosted GOLFTEC's custom club fitting repertoire by way of their TECFIT product. I had the chance to experience the GOLFTEC TECFIT method recently and was amazed at its thoroughness, professionalism, and educational value.
The Importance of Club Fitting
Readers of this site know how much I preach about the importance of getting custom fit. I've written about my fantastic experience at Club Champion -- another highly regarded custom fitter -- and commented on how much I've learned about golf equipment and my game as a result of that experience.
I'm happy to say I learned even more at GOLFTEC TECFIT.
My contact for the TECFIT club fitting experience was Mike Rodriguez at the Naperville, IL GOLFTEC location. Mike is a Certified Personal Coach and Club Fitting Specialist who has worked with a wide range of golfers in his career. His friendly demeanor and professionalism is evident upon the first handshake and continued throughout the one hour we worked together.
When asked to name the biggest misconception amateur golfers have about the club fitting experience, Mike immediately referenced how few people regard the importance of club length.
Identifying and understanding which club length works best for your individual swing characteristics and anatomy could explain the difference between making center contact versus anywhere else on the clubface. Variables like loft, lie angle, club shaft flex and others typically garner much of the attention from customers; however, Mike stressed the importance of a fundamental club length measurement.
How overlooked is club length? Let me put it this way: I had no idea my driver was 45.75 inches long, having always assumed it played at 45". Based on my height and arm-to-floor length, Mike recommended playing a driver no longer than 45".
I would have never even thought about measuring my driver length, let alone realizing I am outside my recommended spec.
The surprises continued throughout my club fitting session.
Club Shaft Frequency and Flex
Mike and I agreed to focus on dialing in my driver during my fitting session.
The first step in this process was to test my current golf shaft flex and frequency. Never heard of the term "shaft frequency" before? Let's review:
Simply stated, shaft frequency is how fast your club shaft will oscillate -- or move back and forth -- when swung through the air. The faster the oscillation, the stiffer the shaft. Club fitters test this frequency by clamping your golf club in a (appropriately named) frequency analyzer, then giving it a flick. This air-compression-controlled device is basically a fancy workbench clamp with an electronic display.
The "299" Mike references on my iron shaft is the frequency reading. He then takes that frequency value, compares it to my swing speed, and will then tell me at what flex the shaft actually tests out.
In other words, a club shaft might have a "stiff shaft" label, but due to the correlation between the shaft frequency and my swing speed, it might actually behave as a regular flex shaft. I know: that's pretty wild.
Mike performed this test -- as he does with any player -- with my pitching wedge, 6-iron and driver. The results were surprising.
The value on the lower left side of the picture above (4.4) is my driver shaft, which tested as being closer to regular flex despite having a "stiff" shaft label. A similar result was seen with my 6-iron (4.0 dot), while my wedge (5.0) tested above the stiff shaft value. This was the second surprise during my session.
Going through the TECFIT Process
After scooping up my jaw from the floor, it was time to hit some golf balls. This process was similar to what I've experienced in the past: take a few swings (in this case with my driver), read the ball launch monitor data, adjust the clubhead and club shaft combinations, repeat.
What I liked most about the TECFIT process was how quickly their system recommended different club shafts and head combinations. Mike was also extremely helpful in recommending loft adjustments on the fly, which resulted in different numbers in the swings that followed. GOLFTEC had a plethora of stock and Tour-spec shafts to choose from, which made the process very simple.
After hitting my current driver a half-dozen times to get a baseline, Mike walked me through testing another half-dozen golf shaft recommendations based on my shot data. I also tested different clubhead options in an attempt to lower my spin rates to what would be optimal for me.
When all was said and done, I was surprised to learn my current gamer performed the best for me among the group.
My current gamer is at the top of the depicted list. While other shafts offered different benefits -- for example, if I want to eliminate the left side of the golf course I would should switch to the Hashimoto shaft -- Mike and I agreed that overall, my Diamana shaft is pretty darn good for my game.
I was incredibly impressed with my GOLFTEC TECFIT experience. My club fitter was knowledgable and conveyed recommendations to me in terms anyone could understand. He was also very thorough in answering any questions and explained why he recommended something as much as what. I can only hope his level of professionalism and customer-centered approach is replicated throughout GOLFTEC.
GOLFTEC has earned a reputation as being a leader in all things golf. While traditionalists may frown at mass-marketing golf club lessons and fitting, GOLFTEC maintains a local club feel. Regardless of your opinion on GOLFTEC, their TECFIT program earns my highest recommendation.