Cleveland’s new Wedge Analyzer will ensure you find the right wedge(s) for your swing and the course you play
Manufacturers have been beating the fitting drum for years. Though the message is definitely getting through a whole lot better than it used to, one reputable custom-fitting web site estimates as many as 90% of amateur golfers are still playing clubs ill-suited to them.
It’s hard to know why people about to spend a significant amount of cash choose not to go to the trouble of getting the clubs to fit properly. Even though taking the time to fit the clubs is more or less guaranteed to result in better scores and consequently way more fun.
Ping invented club-fitting in 1972 with its color code system when customization was limited to irons. However, fitting didn’t really become a thing – a mainstream thing- until earlier this century. Now, just punch a few details into a manufacturer’s web site and the army of tiny club-fitters in your computer can recommend and order a set for you in seconds. As long as you don’t request an exotic custom shaft made in a tiny factory in rural Japan, you should have your clubs within ten days. And if you prefer to do it in-person, it’ll be a much easier time finding a reputable fitter than prior years.
Not only can you have your irons built especially for you now, you can tailor your driver and putter too. And though you may not be able to custom-build your ball, ball-makers can assess your launch, flight, and carry characteristics and recommend a ball from their inventory.
Wedge-fitting meanwhile, though not completely forgotten, had often been overlooked. But now, the Cleveland Wedge Analyzer, showcased by Martin Hall on the Golf Channel’s ‘School of Golf’ program, helps complete the club-fitting jigsaw.
With the lightweight Swingbyte motion sensor (approx. 1 oz.) affixed to the club just below the grip, the Analyzer enables you with a few swings to find the right loft, bounce and grind depending on the angle of attack, shaft lean and turf conditions. The sensor then transmits the data to a computer or iPad which generates a 3-D rendering of the swing and key swing metrics.
The golfer can see his swing on the screen which helps the fitter explain why they’re recommending a certain bounce/grind combination in the company’s acclaimed 588 2.0 RTX wedges. There is also a database of iron set pitching wedge lofts to help fitters recommend wedge lofts that will complement the golfer’s irons.
If you play golf with irons bought off the shelf, it’s unlikely you’re going to drive to one of the five fitting centers in Colorado– four Golfsmith locations in metro Denver and Colorado Springs, and the PGA Superstore in Greenwood Village- no matter how close you live. But, if you take your game seriously, you will gain an extra measure of confidence knowing your wedges are personalized and built to complement your swing. When almost two-thirds of the shots you hit are played from the 125-yard marker or closer, that can be a very big deal.
Cost of the fitting session at the Golfsmith locations is $49.99 with a master-fitter (cost will be deducted from any subsequent wedge purchase), or free with a regular fitter. The session is free at the PGA Superstore.