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Club Champion - Favored Brand/Manufacturer?


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I recently went to Club Champion to be fitted for a driver. The process was top notched with a great fitter explaining the process. But, my concern and question to all is do you believe that they favor a certain manufacturer or brand with the items used in fitting one self? It appeared to me that every shaft the fitter was picking was from the same company (VA Composites). When I first arrived, I said that I was looking for the best match of driver and shaft combination with no limits. It seemed that all but two of the shafts he picked were from VA. Now don't get me wrong, the shaft that I did hit the best (Drago) was a VA Composite and posted the best numbers and produced the best flight. I just found it odd that he didn't choose one of the top and known brands instead. And yes, the shaft price was midrange and could of cost me more in the long run if we would of went with a top name shaft. I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced this sort of thing?

I have used them two times prior; first for being fitted for irons and then a second time for a putter. The irons are still in the bag and love them (along with chosen shafts). The putter is the same, love it. I will say though`that during the putter fitting, the fitter seemed like he tried to steer me away from Scotty Cameron and toward Taylormade (I ended up choosing a Bettendardi in the end).

BTW, I did end purchasing the combination he recommended: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (9.5) and VA Drago (R 55g).

Thanks!

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The fact of the matter is that if you find a shaft with the correct weight, balance and bend profile, it doesn't matter what brand makes it. They will all be relatively similar in results. So if a hig

The fact of the matter is that if you find a shaft with the correct weight, balance and bend profile, it doesn't matter what brand makes it. They will all be relatively similar in results. So if a high end fitter wants to be able to build the clubs for you and convince you that you need them to build it, they need to put you in a shaft that isn't offered by the OEMs as either a stock or upgrade option. VA fits in that slot. While I am sure VA makes excellent shafts, the reality is you could easily have been just as happy in a Mitsu, Fuji, Aldila, PX, etc. But many of those shafts are offered as options from Callaway in your case, so there would be no reason to have CC build it for 50% or more higher than what Callaway could build it for.

Get a fitting from these companies, sure. Actually buy from them, never. In my opinion.

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From what I have seen, a lot of people come out of club champion with the same shafts and similar builds.

Oban iron shafts are a great example, if you see a set for sale or an iron set with these for sale, they almost always came from a CC fitting.

Cobra Forged Tec irons are another that I have seen a lot of fittings come out with.

 

both of these examples could be a result of just a good product that works for a lot of people as well. I do think they lean towards shafts that are not readily available by the OEM.

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Well the fitters do get paid a commission on the sales, so I wouldn't be surprised if they get bonuses for certain brands. I do not know if this is true or not, but it happens in other industries a lot with sales people... either getting a bonus, or free stuff if you sell a certain amount of a brand etc, so they push them. My sales reps in a different industry would do it all the time, sell $10,000 of these and you get 3 free for yourself, things like that.

 

... with that being said I do have oban's in my irons from them LOL

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I haven't noticed any particular effort to push a specific brand. Whether coincidence or not, my driver fitting had best results with an expensive non-OEM shaft. I was not about to pay $900 for a driver. So, we looked at OEM shaft offerings that would be a good fit but maybe not optimal. If they sell the head at full retail for a complete club, the non-OEM shaft cost is on top of the cost of the driver from the OEM. For my iron fitting, we looked at shafts offered by the OEM and ordered the irons from the OEM through the club fitter. I have concerns with the results of the iron fitting right now. So, we have arranged for a session to revisit the fitting. I am thinking we went too light on the shafts but we shall see.

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash 10.5 w/ Project X Evenflow Green 55 R shaft Fairway woods: Callaway Epic Flash 5 and 7 wood Hybrids: Callaway Big Bertha 4i and 5i Irons: Srixon ZX5 6-AW, Wedges: Cleveland RTX Zipcore 56 and 60 degree Putter: mySpider X

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its not that simple, and there is very often problematic to find ALL shaft specs for compare, so its more to it than most players is aware of.

I have a database with more than 4000 shafts, but that DONT mean i can run a apple to apple compare of all models there is out there, new models is coming all the time, so to make a 100% compare, we need the full EI profile, weight, balance point and TQ, measured by the same source. Even if we can find all specs, if they are from a different source ( 2 shafts- 2 sources), the numbers values is hardly ever compatible, so dont expect this to be "strait forward" where you can ask and get the answer you need.

So, if the fitting ends with a suggestion of shaft where specs is not available as we wanted it to be, you dont get anything out of a fitting like that for the shaft itself, so make sure you get ALL specs available with you, and ask for compatible options, thats the best you can do .

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Its no reason to apologize, i was once thinking just like you, but experience has told me its not that simple, and if the player is a sensitive Scratch player, not even the same shaft would help, unless we know actual specs on the shaft used for fitting, AND the shaft we get for install.

The "saying" is that shaft quality has improved a lot over the years, and it has, but there is still varieties from shaft to shaft within the same model and flex, and way larger than shaft companies would admit, and that means ONLY places who knows actual specs on their fitting cart, and who measure the shafts they use for install is able to duplicate the fitting specs to the club the player will use. Im sorry but thats the hard facts here, shafts is not a product where we can trust "paper specs", we have to measure them to be sure, so it boils down to what options does the player really have, how sensitive is he...and how much is he willing to pay to get it as close to 100% as can be?

I dont have access to my own measurements of shafts here, only a few examples ive used to show this problem where "the same shaft" is anything but the same (se photo below here), and as worse case scenario they can be off with a full flex, so its for good reasons the best players might be testing 15.-20 shafts of the same model before they pick one. Other players dont have that option, and then measured specs is needed to have a fair chance, but even that is not a common offer.

What im writing about here is the reason for why i had that many Tour players at my door. Many of them was fitted by the OEMs own HQ for fitting in UK, but the equipment they got delivered did NOT work right for them. The fitting itself could be bad sometimes (read often), but varieties in actual shaft specs was part of it, so if we dont measure the shafts, we really dont know what we got at hand even if the label say they are the same.

Shaft DBs for specs must have at least 3 shafts of the same model, and what we get is "the average", but we never know if the shaft we get is "average" , softer or stronger unless we measure, so they dont really bring us any closer than a "static fitting" does, testing is needed to know if its what we seek, so using this DBs to find compatible options is just like the Mizuno shaft optimizer, it gives us a starting place for testing, it cant be used for more than that for sensible players...

Here is some random examples of shafts from my shop i used to explain why i FLO tested all shafts on weak and strong FLO lines. (more constant return values on FLO lines), and when the same model have varieties on the butt section who is only a small part of the shaft, we can expect differences BOTH WAYS on the rest of that shaft....

Shaft compare is NOT strait forward, we have to measure them just like all other club specs.

image.png

 

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For awhile it seemed like 3/5 were put into a Accra shaft especially in driver.

I'm sure it happens but I haven't heard many people say DG s300 or X100 was the best shaft for irons. Had several friends get fit and they were put into shafts on the high end of price. Oban, KBS and Nippon.

Doesn't mean it's the wrong fit. Just saying.

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Would not surprise me if incentives from shaft companies influence recommendations. As long as works for you and happy with purchase, it's all good.

2021 Bag Update:

 

Epic Max LS - MMT 60S

Epic Flash 5 Wood

Epic 3/4 Hybrids

Apex '21 Irons 5-7  MMT95 TT

Apex Pro '21 Irons 8-A  MMT95 TT

PM Grind Slate Wedges 58/64

Odyssey Exo Mini 7s

B330 XS Yellow

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I would add its fine to get fit there, just stick to your guns if something doesn't feel or look correct. If you think your getting just as good performance with a lower priced shaft and like it, speak out. I felt a little bit they were too concerned with lower spin and distance cause that is what most want. I just wanted more consistency and making sure they shafts I was playing were the right ones for me.

 

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