A player who buys his clubs off the rack is "missing out on golf's most game-changing technology: club-fitting," writes equipment expert Matt Stachura in Golf Digest. No longer just for professionals, club fitting can improve even recreational players' games.
How to get fitted? It's easy. South Carolina boasts four of the best club fitters, according to the magazine's list of "America's 100 Best Club-fitters." Other club fitters across the state also can help players get the most from their games - but according to Golf Digest, these are the best of those outfits.
Eagle Zone www.theeaglezone.com, 8000 Pelham Road, Greenville, S.C. 29615; 864.288.0001
Fitting putters, wedges, irons, drivers or a complete set, Eagle Zone offers rates from $40/hour to $100 for a 90-minute, full-set analysis. There's also "The Ultimate Fitting," a "total equipment consultation," including wedge fitting, iPing putter fitting and analysis, custom irons fitting and gapping, and driver/fairway woods/hybrid fitting, using "Flightscope" technology. Eagle Zone also carries grips from Golf Pride, Winn and Lamkin, and shafts from Fujikura, Oban, Aldila, Grafalloy and more.
Victory Custom Golf www.victorycustomgolf.com, 4543 Charlotte Highway, Suite 7, Lake Wylie, S.C. 29710, 803.831.1156
Located near Clover, with easy access from Interstates 85 and 77, Victory Custom Golf offers name-brand clubs andcustom fitted clubs, or players can customize their current clubs. Technology includes launch monitor testing, loft-and-lie adjustments, swing weight and frequency matching, and spine shaft alignment. Fitter Andrew Hans also can repair or re-shaft players' favorite clubs. "We stand behind all work done," president/CEO Kenneth M. Husvar says.
Lowcountry Custom Golf www.lowcountrycustomgolf.com, 1485 Highway 17 N., Unit J, Wando Crossing, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464; 843.492.7009
Club fitter David Ayres has nearly three decades experience in club repair and fitting of players. Ayres, who founded the company in 2003, is qualified as a club professional, teaching pro, club fitter and club repair technician. Lowcountry Custom Golf isn't affiliated with one equipment manufacturer, so Ayres says he can fit each player with gear best suited to his game. Clubs "will be built or fitted to maximize (players') skills," from drivers to wedges, with "precise launch angle and optimal spin rate to get the most out of every swing."
Steve Dresser Golf School www.dressergolf.com, 80 Pinehurst Lane, Pawleys Island, S.C. 29585, 843.650.2272
Dresser's has three certified club fitters on staff, including Bill Forbes, who worked in research and development for Titleist, Cobra, Callaway and the U.S. Golf Association. His former clients include professionals Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Curtis Strange, Davis Love III and Dottie Pepper.
Players are fitted using launch monitors, loft-and-lie machines, lie boards and other equipment. Also available are grips, shafts and other gear. The school and fitting center, in business since the 1980s, offers a free "Demo Day" each Tuesday, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. (call 800.397.2678). Fitting sessions run 1-3 hours (individual clubs to full sets) with fees from $60-$150; Dresser offers 50 percent discounts on fitting if players buy new clubs.