Making Fitting Accessible to All
Anyone who reads Plugged In Golf with any regularity knows that we always stress the importance of being fit for your clubs. As a result, we’re well versed in the objections. Cost is high on that list.
So what if I were to tell you that there is a place where you could get a premium club fitting experience for free? If that sounds interesting, read on to learn about Shaftology Centers, located in West Chicago.
“There Must Be a Catch”
Before I get any further, let me assure you that there is no catch. Nippon is making free fittings available to all golfers as a way for golfers to get into the right Nippon shafts.
Options You Won’t Find Elsewhere
If you’re thinking that a Nippon-sponsored fitting will only include Nippon shafts, you’re correct. But before you scoff, take a look at Nippon’s full line up HERE. From weight to flex to profile, there’s no company with a wider range of iron shafts. They also have an excellent array of wood shafts that don’t get the notoriety they deserve.
Additionally, Shaftology Centers has fitting options you won’t find anywhere else. They have multiple models and weights of wedge shafts in different lengths. You can try over 70 fairway wood shafts. Want to test something ultralight and extra stiff? Super heavy and soft? They’ve got that, too.
The Fitting Process
Each fitting at Shaftology Centers is performed by veteran fitter Mark Pekarek and lasts about one hour. The session focuses on one thing – irons, driver, wedges, etc – but golfers are welcome to book multiple sessions over several days to fit their entire bag.
As with most high quality fittings, Mark starts the process by getting some baseline data from your current clubs. Then he uses his knowledge and experience to make recommendations for things to try. Shaftology Centers has a selection of club heads from all the major manufacturers to pair with their Nippon shafts.
Mark explained to me that his focus is finding a shaft that creates consistent ball speed, launch angle, and spin. Consistency indicates that the golfer and the shaft are working together rather than the golfer compensating for or fighting the shaft.
My fitting started by Mark confirming that my current shaft is a good fit for me. Then we discussed things that might be even better. This started with Mark asking me what my dream shaft would be and how it would perform. I said that I would be open to dropping a little more weight and getting a smoother feel, as long as I didn’t lose predictability.
The first shaft this led us to was the Modus Tour 105 which was a great fit. It was lighter than my gamer but not so much that it felt unusual. Importantly, it gave me the same predictability I get from my current shaft. Though we were pretty sure this was the best option, we did try the NS Pro 950 in X-flex – one of those odd combinations you can only find at Shaftology Centers. With this, the best shots felt amazing but it was a little too light for my aggressive swing.
A Full Recommendation Without the Pressure
At the end of the fitting, Mark writes up a complete recommendation for each golfer that they receive via email. It includes the suggested length and lie plus the shaft model, weight, and flex. A club head recommendation is also be included, if appropriate. Finally, the email includes Mark’s notes about other possible combinations to try and things that were or weren’t tested.
One final thing that makes a fitting at Shaftology Centers unique is that there is no pressure to buy. While they can fulfill your new custom order, their recommendation email includes other local shops who can build your new clubs.
With zero cost and no pressure to make a purchase, there is no excuse for golfers not to head to Shaftology Centers and learn more about their game.
Contact Shaftology Centers: Shaftology@NipponShaft.com
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This is a great event. Hopefully it encourages many golfers to go get fit. Is Nippon offering this in any other parts of the country.
To my knowledge, it’s only in Chicago at the moment.
I sent them an email. I will let you know my experience.
I have an Ap2 iron sets. I needed a standard size, my are to short.
The great feel of the Modus with the accuracy of the KBS. How perfect would that be!!!
I wanted to express my Thanks to Plugged in Golf, Nippon and especially Mark Pekarek (Green Grass Clubfitting) for the opportunity to get a free shaft fitting. After reading Matt’s article I jumped on the chance to be fitted. My iron game this year was not my best. I have been fitted before, however the fittings never seemed to work out when I was playing golf. I have been previously told my shafts should be one inch long or 1/4 inch short (same fitting company), with a lie angle that was 1-2 degrees flat. I am 5’9, wrist to floor measurement of 35.5. I am 65 yo and play to a 6 handicap. With that, I entered Mark’s fitting studio.
Mark has been in the business for 30 plus years and is very knowledgeable. He has every Nippon shaft you could want to try. After a discussion of what I was looking for and my past experience with fitting, we got started, I warmed up with my current 7 iron (Srixon 565 with TT XP 95 R flex shaft) . Mark checked the length, lie angle and weight of my current clubs.
After setting that baseline, Mark begin handing me different shafts to try. We tried light, heavy, flexible, stiff, long, and short shafts through the various Nippon shafts. During the fitting I had short breaks to discuss what felt good, what didn’t. Mark could quickly see which shafts were a possible fit and which were not. Honestly, three swings with a shaft and either you know it is wrong or if it is right, you want to keep hitting that shaft, lol. After about 40 minutes, we had the shaft dialed in – NS Pro Modus Tour 105, R flex at 37.75 inches for a 6 iron.
From there we moved on to hitting various club heads – interesting that the ones I like and thought would fit me, didn’t always work out (Mizuno, Titleist, T-M). The iron head that fit me the best with the Pro Modus shaft was the Ping I-210. My swings became very consistent on Track Man. At that point, Mark checked me for lie angle (sharpie line on ball) and he determined my clubs should be 1.5 degrees upright. We then checked out grips and make a selection. From there he checked the rest of my clubs and offered some suggestions (for me, primarily on my wedges and hybrids.)
As Matt described, I got an email from Mark, highlighting his shaft and fitting recommendations including swing weight, places to purchase the clubs and pricing for purchase directly through his company. He also outlined different wedge, hybrid options as well. I had a few questions which were promptly answered by Mark via email. Absolutely no pressure to buy, unlike my experience with other fitting companies
All in all, it was a completely enjoyable fitting. Mark is a great guy and offered my a great deal of information during and after the fitting. If you have the opportunity to meet with him, I believe you will have the same excellent experience that I had.
Again, thank to Matt, Mark and Nippon for proving me this terrific opportunity.
Great to hear, Scott! Thanks for sharing.
Sure would like to see this in Memphis before my next purchase. Looking at the zelos 7-8 or the 880.