Southern California is the epicenter of the top golf club manufacturers in the world and yet you may have a pre-conceived notion that only the pros are allowed to step foot inside the building to get custom fitted clubs. Wrong. All skill levels are welcome and I’m here to give you the facts of what to expect when finally making the decision to dial in your game the right way …and to tell you that the experience goes far beyond just fitting clubs.
For starters, I want you to think back to the last round of golf you played. Was everyone in your group, the group in front of you and the group behind you the same height, age, weight, overall build, and skill level? I’d be shocked to hear a yes so I’ll safely assume your answer is no. Golf clubs simply cannot be one for all. They can try, and they do a darn good job, but my swing is different than your swing, as is the next person’s golf swing. If you and I were to take the same golf club we could have vastly different results which is why taking the step to get custom fitted can dramatically, and I’m being serious here, change your game for the better!
I recently went through the Callaway Performance Center for a custom fitting at their world headquarters here in Southern California and here is how you can too!
Step 1: Decide Your Fitting Experience. Callaway offers two types of fitting experiences – $150 for a full set putter to driver or $75 for irons only or driver only. When your fitting is completed, if you do decide to make a purchase there is a rebate. The fitting is basically a wash in cost thanks to that kick back which makes the experience that much more worth it.
Step 2: Make an Appointment by calling (888) 223-7842. Callaway’s headquarters and main performance center is located in the golf mecca of Carlsbad, CA. Whether you live in any of the far reaches of our region it’s drivable (let’s call it a max of no more than 3 ½ hours with or without traffic… okay maybe some LA traffic can stretch that but you get my drift.) To have the true experience going to the headquarters is a must! Trust me!
Step 3: Receive Confirmation. You’ll receive an email confirmation with your date and time of the club fitting appointment along with a short survey of questions about you and your game. The email will remind you to arrive 15 minutes early for check-in and some short paperwork as well as to bring with you your driver, 7-iron, and to wear comfortable athletic/golf attire and golf shoes. Know that your appointment will last approximately an hour and a half. They have water bottles so no need to bring one with you. Insider tips – even if you own Callaway clubs already, you can still continue to custom fit your game; dress light because the lights in the room and the overall workout of hitting balls will get you sweaty; don’t forget to bring a camera!
Step 4: Check-in. The day has come! Getting to the Callaway Performance Center is incredibly easy and right off of the 5 Freeway. There are designated parking spots right at the front so you won’t have to scramble for parking. Enjoy the view as you walk in and know that some of golf’s greats have walked through those doors from players, to engineers, to the people behind the scenes for the company. You’ll be greeted by one of their incredibly nice receptionists. The paperwork is simple and mostly a liability waiver. While I waited for my appointment I had a nice chat with another gentleman there for his first fitting. No doubt you will be excited!
Step 5: Meet Your Fitter. You will be paired up with a fitter who will take you through the entire experience. Take note, although the fitters appear young let me tell you they are experts in their field. I had the pleasure of working with fitter Kelley. She’s been with Callaway over a decade and she knows what she’s talking about. As you get acquainted you’ll head back into the performance center just off to the right of the main building entrance. Once inside, take it in. To your left is a front row window seat into the actual manufacturing room where the pros’ clubs are being built. From time-to-time players will be in the building. There is a lounge, putting green stocked with every possible Odyssey putter combination you can think of, and then a hallway adorned with equipment, bags, plaques, and other notables taking you back to the various fitting rooms.
Step 6: Introduction and Warm-up. Inside the room is again every possible piece of equipment Callaway has to test, swap, and replace to help dial you into your game along with a couple of chairs and a state-of-the-art simulator. Your fitter will share some insights about their proprietary software… meaning you won’t have another chance to use this simulator program anywhere else but there. Then, you’ll grab your 7-iron, stretch, and hit a few warm-up balls. Insider tip – don’t worry about your overall skill level. Callaway’s Performance Center is meant for every golfer, age, sex, and ability. They welcome everyone to make an appointment! Their goal is to fit you into the best Callaway equipment possible to help improve your game from top to bottom. If your typical swing hooks, that’s your typical game and let them help find you the right pieces to straighten you out. Believe it or not the right clubs can have a big impact on your entire swing.
Step 7: Hit. Try. Hit. Swap. Hit. Discuss. Hit. Customize. You’ll start with your 7-iron you brought in and your fitter will ask you to hit several balls. What the fitter is doing is taking statistical information to analyze against. Then, in your hands will go a Callaway club. You’ll hit some more balls and then take a break to discuss your head speed, ball speed, ball back spin, side spin, efficiency, carry distance, attack angle, path angle, launch angle, and so much more. Yes, that detailed. Then maybe the fitter will change the shaft or head. This could easily happen a handful of times until everything starts to feel more natural. You’ll do this for your irons first and then switch into fairway woods or hybrids and then to driver. I liked that my fitter helped discuss with me why I should pick up a fairway wood I don’t normally carry. It wasn’t salesy, it was because it actually made sense with my distance per club and a gap in my bag. After the driver you’ll move into wedges. Every tiny detail can be customized from head weight, grip color, grip style, shaft, length, you name it. Insider tip – although your fitter’s title is “Club Specialist” he or she knows a heck of a lot about golf and golf swings and you may receive a couple of tips to help improve your overall swing. For me, I’m always guilty of not rolling my hands through at impact which leaves the club head open forcing my ball off to the right of the fairway (if not rough). With some slight coaching and by customizing the clubs to fit my actual and normal swing Kelley was able to give me a more efficient result.
Step 8: Putter Play. Once finished in the simulator room you’ll head back down the hall to the putting green. It’s small with only a few holes but you’ll have the opportunity to try out any style of Odyssey putter available. Again, you can discuss customizing down to the smallest detail.
Step 9: Receive Your Report. By the time your appointment is up you’ll have data overload… in a good way! You’ll receive a personalized folder with printouts of your results comparing what you’ve been fit to versus what you brought in as well as a comprehensive list of the recommended products. This will make the purchase process easier. You’ll be able to make a decision to purchase the full set of recommended products or pick and choose as you like. You can purchase direct while there at the Callaway Performance Center or simply go online. Your report has every detail making the purchase simple for you to remember.
Step 10: Enjoy Your Custom Clubs. After purchase it may take up to 7 business days to receive your new clubs. Time to get out and play!
Like I mentioned above, regardless of your skill level custom fitted clubs are for every single golfer. Each of our golf swings are different and the intricacies of custom clubs can help you improve your overall game. Remember, buying off the rack is an okay solution but getting custom fitted by one of the industry’s top manufacturing companies can make a major difference in your game.
This is an affordable experience you will not want to skip out on. Lucky for us, they’re right here in our backyard… what are you waiting for?
CALLAWAY PERFORMANCE CENTER: (888) 223-7842
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