Let’s get this straight. I’m a 6’2″ 200lbs hockey player. That’s my sport, although I figured that out much too late in life. I’ve always been an athlete growing up, playing football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and tennis. My friends and I played a little here and there as a means to hang out and, when we turned 21 of course, drink beer while sharing some laughs. But Golf has never been at the top of the list for me, so a golf club fitting never crossed my mind.
At work, I wear custom-fitted suits, you may have seen me a couple of times. For Hockey, I have a stick and skates designed to work with how I skate and play. At home, I find clothes that fit a casual sporty style. I never imagined that I’d get a custom set of Callaway Rogue ST golf clubs. But why not?
If everything else I own is tailored to fit my needs, style, and choices, why not my sticks? What follows is my experience working with Hawk’s View Golf Club’s Head Professional, and Callaway-Certified Master Club Fitter, Jake Bandi.
My First Golf Club Set
My first set of clubs was some beginner set of Dunlop clubs for reference. I’d upgrade a club here and there, a Callaway Big Bertha Diablo Driver being my first big golf purchase. I’ve also been gifted a hand-me-down set of Big Bertha Irons circa 1999, by my Father-in-Law.
Over the years I played sporadically, but enough to develop a pretty big drive off the tee. I consistently carried the ball on average 250 yards without any formal training on how to hit a golf ball. Whether the drive was straight or playable was another story.
It wasn’t until I started working at Hawk’s View as the Marketing Director that I started to gain a better appreciation and interest in the sport. Following the 2022 season, the course closed and the simulator opened. I decided to “work” on my golf swing using the rental clubs that Hawk’s View provides. That’s where I learned, I really didn’t know how to swing a golf club.
My First Lesson
Having no formal golf training or lessons, our Professional staff helped me “tweak” a few things. The biggest and major change came with how I gripped the club. Of course, this led to not being able to hit the ball at all using the posture and swing that I had taught myself over the years hacking away on the course.
After a lot of practice on the Sim and early season range time this led to better contact with a more consistent ball. My Driver carry increased to 285 on average, straightened out more, and set the stage for one of the most unique experiences you can receive in sports.
Complimentary Club Fitting
Jake Bandi is Hawk’s View’s Callaway-Certified Master Club Fitter and the Head Golf Professional. This guy knows his stuff.
We picked a day. He dragged out all the equipment, shafts, club heads, the Foresight Sports GC Quad Launch Monitor, a bucket of balls, and away we went. After a few warmup shots, including a very thinned 185-yard 56° wedge shot, I pulled out my Callaway Big Bertha 7-Iron with a graphite shaft and we got to work.
The good news is the fitting was complimentary, as are ALL club fittings at Hawk’s View. The bad news was that I had to subject our Head Pro to a Golf Swing that is still a work in progress. Sorry, Jake!
The Golf Club Fitting Process
After determining, roughly, my average ball speed, Jake grabbed a couple of shafts at varying weights and flexes. He screwed on a Rogue ST 7-iron head and I went back to work. This one felt a bit light in the hands and my ball speed jumped to around 140 mph. But I was overpowering the club with each ball taking a decided 10+ degree path left and right across the range.
Next, he swapped out the light shaft for a much heavier one. I could feel the weight difference and knew that each ball was going to be pounded up the slopped range. As predicted the ball speed settled in at a nice 135+ mph with little to no effort. Yet the flight pattern was a bit erratic but within that 10-degree range. So, he had me work with a shaft that was a few grams lighter.
After a few, admittedly, errant balls while I adjusted my grip and focused on pushing my hips through the ball, this one seemed different. It wasn’t as heavy as the second shaft, nor as whippy (hockey term) as the first. I felt in control of the club. Ball speed was dialed-in at 135 mph, and carry was consistently hitting 185 to 190 yards.
We all have a bad shot or two, but the mishits with a club that fit me and my swing resulted in a playable ball and not one that was OB. Of course, the new technology of the clubs will help improve your game, but the real difference is the feel of the club and how it fits your swing for a more consistent ball before, during, and after contact.
Re-define Your Golf Game
When we hear “custom golf clubs” we also hear cash registers ringing in our heads. That’s not the case these days. If you’re serious about your golf game, whether that’s breaking 70, 80, 90, or even 100, then it’s time to rethink what you know about the sticks in your bag.
For me, we found that I needed an extra quarter of an inch in length, to change the lie angle Up 1°, using a PX Rifle, X-stiff, 105 Gram Tour Flighted steel shafts. All that to say I needed a golf club fitting for my more upright posture, tall frame, and athletic build. A simple set of Callaway clubs off the rack at Dick’s Sporting Goods will only get you so far, but in the end, they might not be right for you.
Will this new set of Callaway Rogue ST irons make me play like Jon Rahm? No. They will help me focus on my actual swing without changing my approach, backswing, and follow-through because I don’t have clubs that fit me.
It’s time to re-define your game, by rethinking what’s in your bag.