Club Fitting by Hot Stix Golf
By mustang6560 on 2/2/11
Before the PGA Show, Andrew had arranged a club fitting with Hot Stix Golf at Orange County National - the same place as the Demo Day. Of all the things I did during the week, this took the cake because I've never experienced a personal club fitting.

When we arrived, we met Chris Marsh and his associate Peter of Hot Stix. Hot Stix is headquartered in Arizona, but the company is made up of mobile team in select cities across the country. Chris and Peter are based out of Orlando six months of the year and New York the other six months. They offer several different types of fittings, but the general categories are woods and irons. Typically, they take about 2-3 hours for each fitting.

Chris asked me if there was a particular club I wanted to get fit for and I picked my driver, since it's a club I'm considering replacing. To start, Chris took my Callaway X460 driver (10 degree) to his mobile fitting room to get the club `specs. He measured the size and weight of the club head and the flex, kick point and torque of the shaft to name a few. This is an important step- having the professionals actually measure the true specs, because they aren't always exactly what the manufacturers claim. Please note- that's not an indictment on any OEM, but just what happens when you mass produce thousands of pieces of equipment; some are likely to be a bit off of spec. This is something that used to be more of a problem than it is with new equipment.

Next, he had me hit about 15 drives to see how I hit it. Chris said a lot of people get so nervous in front of the launch monitor, they can't perform. What's more, some individuals actually have step away for a minute to regain their composure. But for whatever reason, I was completely relaxed. I think it was because I knew the only way to benefit from the fitting was to hit "normal" shots - or should I say take a normal swing.

After hitting several shots, Chris stopped me to show me my results.
Club head speed: 101.4 mph
Ball speed: 143.9 mph
Smash factor: 1.42
Attack angle: -2.5 degrees
Spin rate: 3539 rpm
Total distance: 245 yards
Based on the results, he said I was not getting the most out of driver. My natural ball flight is high with a fade. I'm losing total yards because of the high spin rate and high ball flight. What I needed was a driver with a lower loft (around 9.5) and a shaft with higher degree of torque to lower my ball flight and reduce my spin rate.

He went back to his mobile fitting room.

A few minutes later, he came back with a few options for my to try. Of the shafts he picked (all with the same specs, ~45.5 inches long, ~4 degrees of torque, stiff flex), I liked the Mitsubishi Javln FX V6. Chris said with any fitting, there will be several options available so personal preference does play a role (and it can be purely aesthetics).

So I took the Javln FX V6 and hit it with three different driver heads: TaylorMade Burner Superfast, Adams Speeline and Mizuno MP630. Here are how my results broke down:
TaylorMade Burner Superfast
Club head speed: 100 mph
Ball speed: 148.4 mph
Smash factor: 1.48
Attack angle: -1.5 degrees
Spin rate: 2899 rpm
Total distance: 259.7 yards

Adams Speedline
Club head speed: 101.1 mph
Ball speed: 149.4 mph
Smash factor: 1.48
Attack angle: -0.4 degrees
Spin rate: 3264 rpm
Total distance: 257.3 yards

Mizuno MP630
Club head speed: 103.8 mph
Ball speed: 151.7 mph
Smash factor: 1.42
Attack angle: -2.0 degrees
Spin rate: 2790 rpm
Total distance: 271.3 yards
Of the three driver heads, I preferred the way the MP630 felt. On top of that, it performed better too. Who doesn't like 271 yard average? Especially when I didn't even max out the smash factor?

After it's all said and done, they send you a summary of your results. And if you want to go ahead and buy the new shaft based on your results, Hot Stix will do it right then and there in their mobile fitting room. For me, they recommended a 9.5 degree Mizuno MP630 driver, with a Mitsubishi Javln FX V6 shaft and a Golf Pride GPT Velvet grip.

Hot Stix is a grassroots custom fitting company that is starting to gain some attention. They don't just analyze the stats on the launch monitor; they take your information and use it to build the best club for your swing. Their target market is the upper echelon golfer but they are open to everyone. Most of their business comes through word of mouth referrals. You can schedule a fitting online (www.hotstixgolf.com) or call their 1-800 number.

They typically work with better players so it was really cool that I got to go through this (I'm a 12 HCP). A lot of their clients are in Orlando for vacation and want to make sure they are playing the right clubs. Chris said some clients will fly into their headquarters in Arizona just for a custom fitting. How crazy is that? They also work with junior players who are looking to take their game to the next level. Now that I've been fit for my driver, I would love to go back (one day) and see what they have to say about my irons.

Overall, I thought the process of very informative and provides insight into how much technology goes into every aspect of the golf club. The only problem for someone like me is $$. It will be a few years before I can afford to spend $200 for a custom fitting session. But if I did have the money, I would totally spend it because it truly is worth the money.


[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
271!?! I am sold. As soon as the snow clears I am on it! Thanks.
2/2/11
 
billbadaz says:
If you are averaging 271 and are still a 12 this year, your short game is terrible!! I kid I kid! I know distance is not everything, but to add 26 yards to your drive is a 2 -3 club differece which means a lot more scoring opportuniries and less missed greens. I was playing a Cobra 427 and Titleist DCI black oversized irons. I got fitted for new clubs and a new driver, (R9 and Tour Burners) and in the first year playing them went from an 11 to a 6. Last year I got down to a 5, and the biggest reason was I was longer and in the fairway, hitting 8 and 9 iron into greens instead of 5 and 6 iron. I gained 20-25 yards in my driver and at least a club differnce in my irons. It was the best money I have ever spent for my game, period. Good stuff my man, good stuff.

My next step is to get fitted to see which ball makes the most sense for my game. I played prov1 last year, but had odd results around the green with chips and pitches.
2/2/11
 
mustang6560 says:
@billbadaz- my current driver only offers me 245 average. So you're right, if I add the recommended driver/shaft to my bag, I too hope my HCP comes down ;)
2/2/11
 
billbadaz says:
Not if, When! Those are great results. You got the free fitting, set aside $20 a week until may, you have it by summer. MONEY!
2/2/11
 
mustang6560 says:
@billbadaz- you're right. I'm gonna get it for sure!!
2/2/11
 
billbadaz says:
I must say I used to love winter, now all I want is for it to be over so I can get back on the course. I may being heading to Kiawah for my b day in march!! It is 20 today.
2/2/11
 
TeT says:
I know that kick point comes into play, but generally speaking doesnt a higher torque increase spin and height to ball flight... opposite for lower torque....
2/2/11
 
manny.101 says:
I'm sold!!!
2/2/11
 
brianshaffer32 says:
Did they give your dispersion also (left - right)
2/3/11
 
Mags says:
For those that are in Chicago, Club Champion does the same service and it's very good. I had similar results as mustang did. I highly recommend the personalized service of customized clubs.
2/3/11
 
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