THE IRON APPROACH
Now it was time for me to revisit my irons. I love my new set of Bridgestone Tour B JGR HF2s with TrueTemper XP95 S-flex shafts, but was I getting the most of them, straight out of the box without the benefit of serious, comprehensive club fitting, beyond asking for a S-flex TrueTemper shaft?
Of course not. So, off to the local GolfTec outlet I went.
That’s right, GolfTec. With over 180 locations in the U.S. and storefronts in four other countries as well, the Colorado-based company has grown rapidly over the years, five- and 10-lesson packages at a time. Its coaches are constantly updated on the latest teaching techniques, and on all the eye-popping technology that makes golf instruction so accessible and attractive to improvement-minded golfers across the age and ability spectrum. To their robust repertoire they’ve added expert clubfitting services, and if my 90-minute experience with a young man named Justin Eaton is any indication, they’ve got that process nailed, too.
And it all revolved around the 7-iron, though at first, every iron in my bag came into play.
After asking some basic yet crucial questions about my game — what my goals where, strengths and weakness and tendencies both good and bad — Eaton directed me to my local facility’s main room, which is adorned with all sorts of clubheads and shafts, a putting green, a couple TVs and, crucially, a geeked-out version of the club scale that I remember from way back. The modern gadget also measures shaft “frequency,” or cycles per minute (CPM). The more back-and-forth cycles per minute, the stiffer the shaft. For example, if Eaton measured two 37-inch shafts — one with a CPM of 320, the other at 340 — the latter is the stiffer shaft.
Eaton went through my irons one by one, recording their CPM and swing weight as Rich Aprile, my local GolfTec’s manager, recorded the results.
“Your irons are in pretty good shape” as far as frequency matching, Eaton told me. “The wedges, since they are shorter, are probably too stiff for the set, however, which can cause you distance with them.
“So let’s see how you hit them.”