Golf equipment: Navigating the fitting clutter
Here is the dilemma for the golfer in search of new equipment and unsure where to turn: A typical clubfitter that appears on Golf Digest's list of America's 100 Best Clubfitters might have fitting carts from 14 different manufacturers, maybe more.
"You walk in there and there are 14 carts. It's overload," said Mark DiMare, vice president business development for SkyGolf, the company tht makes the SkyCaddie rangefinder. "How do you choose? You could spend days hitting very club, using the trial-and-error system, the way it's always been done."
SkyGolf believes it has developed a better idea: Swing Lab and its dynamic fitting software that matches a golfer's swing characteristics (ball speed, spin rate, launch angle, et al.) with clubs and shafts (and even balls) best suited for them. In a driver fitting, for instance, Swing Labs' software, in a matter of minutes, can cut through the clutter and narrow the field to a predetermined number of clubs, say three. The golfer can then test three drivers instead of 14 or more and Swing Labs' software will winnow it down to a single recommendation. The software works with all of golf's leading launch monitors.
A benefit for the consumer beyond simply cutting down the time involved in the fitting process is that Swing Labs' software produces an unbiased result that isn't influenced by a clubfitter pushing a specific manufacturer's products.
Swing Labs has developed its algorithms from testing the equipment with robots and golfers. Its web-based software is updated regularly as new equipment is introduced.
GolfTEC, which is included among America's 100 Best Clubfitters, has been employing Swing Labs in its beta format for about two years, DiMare said. SkyGolf is now in the process of introducing the system nationally.
-- John Strege