Direct Golf Disaster!!

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Direct Golf Disaster!!

Hi All - This is my first post so go easy!

I took up the game around 2 years ago and bought myself a set of Hippo Clubs from ebay to set me on my way. I'venaged to get my handicap down to 19 and then reached a plateau, so have now had some lessons in order to improve.  Due to those lessons I now have a new swing, which I hope to make more consistent! I also think I've reached a stage where I need better clubs, so decided that custom fitting was the way forward.

On the basis that Direct Golf currently have 20% off, I booked an appointment to get fitted at the weekend. I was really looking forward to getting some clubs that were perfect for me. Anyway, without boring you with the details, the experience was a disaster and I left without spending a penny.

Some of the "lowlights" included -

1.  Immediately being pushed into John Letters and Adams clubs.

2. Being given 5 taped up clubs to hit on the range without any supervision or guide as to which club suited.

3. Returning inside and simply being asked what club I liked the best.

4. Being told that I couldn't have hybrids/woods or Wilson Di11's fitted because they couldn't "bend them properly."

Trust me I could go on and on.

 Is it just me or is there more to Custom Fitting than this?? The service at direct golf seems to equate to - hit a few clubs on the range, then we'll "bend" your favourites to suit.

The whole experience has put me off the idea of custom fitting. If anyone can assist with the following I'd be very grateful-

  • Is Custom Fitting worth it?
  • Is the process more complex than the above (I do hope so!)?
  • Where would you recommend?

For reference I am from the Midlands, so I was considering the Belfry?? Does anyone have experience of Custom Fitting there?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,

 Si

Welcome Si. Looks like DG were looking to 'shaft' you alright! Don't despair, I'm sure you'll get a few pointers from fellow midlanders here.

SiMost chain shops will guide you in the direction of the stuff they want rid of unless you have a clear manufacturer in mind. They also usually leave you to get on with it and hit a few clubs.If you want a proper fitting, you really should go either directly to the manufacturer or use a club pro. Most club pros will advertise if they are an approved fitter for a certain brand and will usually have a display with umpteen 6 irons of different length, lie and shaft options. Most will welcome your business even if not a member. Club makers, like Mizuno have a number of fitting centres Mizuno where through a local pro, or store like AGD, can set this up and arrange a fitting session. Usually @ 1hr where you can try every conceivable shaft combination and see the results on the monitor. You will also be able to hit the club without a taped face. Alternatively demo days held at various clubs accross the uk will allow you to hit different clubs outside. It's true some cast clubs don't suit to bending as easily as forged steel but you can still change the shaft length or type.  I'm sure you can also get these bent to suit your lie but not as easily as forged. Just look up fitting centres for the manufacturer you are interested in on google. I believe in supporting my pro for all club purchases and will often come close or match online prices.

The local place i use is authorised for a numer of different makes. In the fitting bay they have a number of carts, when these are opened up they have a load of different types of shafts for irons/hybrids/woods etc in all different lengths (i.e. +/- 0.5 to 1 inch for shaft length), different flex's and models/makes. The same can be saidfor the club heads for irons/hybrids/woods, the heads for the irons have different lie angles and the woods/hybrids have all the required lofts. For fitting they will ask what make you are interested but will also recommend where appropriate, then its a matter of letting you try different make/models with alternative shafts until you find a set or two you like. After that they start tweaking with different flex's and makes of shaft to find what feels best for you, this is about when they usually introduce a launch monitor so you can also get a feel for the figures involved. When you have decided they will then measure you for shaft length and lie (using a strike board and strike tape, you hit the club and it shows what part of the ground is contacting the club, where they decide what lie angle you need). Then it's onto your choice of grips.All in, i think my fitting for the Taylormade irons i bought took about 1.5hrs with the Pro in attendance throughout. Once fitted they ordered my irons and rang me up a week later when they had been delivered.Same for my latest driver, spent nearly 2hrs trying a load of different combinations of make/model/shaft before deciding on the one i wanted. I do think i may get a better service than Joe Bloggs off the street as i know them quite well up there, but not by much. Oh, and how do i know them quite well? I'd never met them until 4yrs ago when i started having lessons up there and since then have built up a friendship with all the staff through using the store and using the range.

Belfry was fine for me - large choice and proper fitting as described by KEfkef

Belfry good for me too esp. being left handed

To answer your question, yes there is hell of a lot more to custom fitting than that. That was not fitting of any sort.

Find an independent PCS qualified fitter and see them. Or post whereabouts you are and we might be able to recommend someone.

Kefkef wrote (see)

The local place i use is authorised for a numer of different makes. In the fitting bay they have a number of carts, when these are opened up they have a load of different types of shafts for irons/hybrids/woods etc in all different lengths (i.e. +/- 0.5 to 1 inch for shaft length), different flex's and models/makes. The same can be saidfor the club heads for irons/hybrids/woods, the heads for the irons have different lie angles and the woods/hybrids have all the required lofts. For fitting they will ask what make you are interested but will also recommend where appropriate, then its a matter of letting you try different make/models with alternative shafts until you find a set or two you like. After that they start tweaking with different flex's and makes of shaft to find what feels best for you, this is about when they usually introduce a launch monitor so you can also get a feel for the figures involved. When you have decided they will then measure you for shaft length and lie (using a strike board and strike tape, you hit the club and it shows what part of the ground is contacting the club, where they decide what lie angle you need). Then it's onto your choice of grips.All in, i think my fitting for the Taylormade irons i bought took about 1.5hrs with the Pro in attendance throughout. Once fitted they ordered my irons and rang me up a week later when they had been delivered.Same for my latest driver, spent nearly 2hrs trying a load of different combinations of make/model/shaft before deciding on the one i wanted. I do think i may get a better service than Joe Bloggs off the street as i know them quite well up there, but not by much. Oh, and how do i know them quite well? I'd never met them until 4yrs ago when i started having lessons up there and since then have built up a friendship with all the staff through using the store and using the range.

Commission?

I dont get comission! And suprisingly, neither do they. Was talking to them about it a while back. If they work in the shop (D does but Phil doesnt anymore) they get a usual wage without comission but get the use of the driving range/bays/monitors for lessons f.o.c.

Wheres this kefkef?

Give Gary Alliss at Ladbrook Park a go (Solihul). Gary is a first rate coach and really knows his stuff when it comes to fitting. He used to be head pro at the Belfry but moved to LP GC and now has more time to give individual attention.

The Belfry is a good experience in that they have a large range to select from, but (unless things have changed in the last 12 months) they still rely on the crap data churned out by the Launch Monitors used in the AG stores. Better to look at ball flight, and at least they use decent Nike golf balls.

Don't get pressured in to buying after one fitting. Take your time and if you aren't happy then tell them that you want to come back and try it again in a week or so. The is especially important if you end up testing a lot of clubs. Trust me, your swing will change dramatically over the course of hitting 80 balls at a range.

Matthew Hargraves wrote (see)

Wheres this kefkef?

Garforth Driving Range in Leeds.

FWIW - This latest Greenside article may be of interestProper Fitting

Heres a link to a thread on another Forum where I posted about my recent Custom Fitting experience. To my mind this was exactly what Custom Fitting should be all about.Theres several posts throughout the thread and I've yet to go back and have my final "tweaking session" after playing the the clubs for a month or so. http://www.modsquadgolf.com/index.php/topic,12424.0.html

Thanks everyone for your input. Massive help and its certainly restored my faith in Custom Fitting! So there really is more to it than picking your favourite after 5 balls on the range and then having it "bent"!

For those of you that have been to the Belfry - how do prices compare to other retailers and pro-shops?

Thanks again.

Hi si85,

Please accept our apologies for the level of service you received. Our 20% Off promotion was extremely successful and in this instance, our service levels have clearly not been as high as we would like. With PGA professionals at all stores and Vector launch monitors; golf simulators; driving ranges and putting labs in most of our stores, we feel our custom fit offering is second to none. In this instance though, we accept that we haven't met our required standards.

Please contact me on nick.doran@direct-golf.co.uk and I will arrange a full and proper fitting, free of charge, with Darren Price - PGA professional and manager of Solihull. He will look after you personally and ensure you

Forget Direct Golf - they had there chance and fu~+#d it up. Giving proper custom fitting a bad name into the bargain. There is a guy a couple of miles round the corner from the Belfry called Melvyn Fern at Four Counties Golf. Brilliant. What he doesn't know about custom fitting is absolutely not worth knowing. This is proper custom fitting - not the 'Fit Carts' that the big name manufacturers use either.

^^^^ What he said!!!!

My local Direct Golf (used to be Nevada Bob's) is like a John Letter's love fest.  Steer well clear and go down the proper fitting route.

Would that be Mk by chance? I had an unusual experience in there too. But i'll hold off for now. Suffice to say my lofts and lies need redoing on my irons now. (ever heard of seven degrees up ? ) .

to NBevan - what does ^^^^ mean??!! Is it F^^^ what he says? or something else? I'm about to ask my daughter if its text speak!

It's an indication to the post above it and agreeing with it, i.e he agrees with what you said.

Hi Nicky, it's definitely something else, as has already been mentioned, the ^^ refers to the above post. I was agreeing with your comments about Melvyn Fern, the guy has done some really good work for me and I can't speak highly enough about him....... which is pretty much what you said, so I didn't the point in repeating it.

"Ditto" will suffice...

Yep, you live and learn

It's good to see that Nye Bevan is keeping up with all the latest technospeak

I've just about managed to learn text speak - now I need to learn forum speak as well!!? I can't even work out how to put the smileys in!

Nye Bevan?? You're showing your age Robster...

nh2

For what its worth I think the guy at dg has offered an apology and an opportunity for a good deal. You're almost garunteed good service and the pros attention, it would also be my guess that they won't push brands at you because of what has been said. Give it a go you don't have to buy if you're not happy.

Agree with the above post,I have no axe to grind here, and I have no affinity, or affiliation to DG.But I must speak up on the offer of a fitting with Darren Price, He is a club pro I have known on and off for around fifteen years at local courses, (had a few lessons with him when I first started when he was one of John Reay's lads) and his care and attention to detail I had always found second to none in my dealings with him. Certainly not an offer to be dismissed out of hand. Dale