When Can I Get Fitted For Golf Clubs? Here is everything you need to know about the possibility of getting custom fitted for new golf clubs.
When Can I Get Fitted For Golf Clubs?
With golf courses across the UK now fully open, golfers will no doubt be keen to invest in some new clubs to help them score better. But will golfers be able to get custom fitted?
The short answer is yes, but the experience won’t be the same as before.
The current government guidelines allow groups of up to six people to meet outdoors, including in gardens and other private outdoor spaces, provided strict social distancing guidelines are followed.
We spoke to some of the major manufacturers to find out what steps they are taking to ensure custom fittings and demo days can return safely and within the rules.
"We do think our National Fitting Centre, while it is indoors can be classed as an outdoor environment as well because we have the doors that come up to hit out of," Ping’s European Marketing Director Dave Fanning told us.
"So we believe we're following the protocals that have been put in place and feel confident that both the fitter and consumer will be very safe."
Access to TaylorMade's fitting centres will depend on the individual venue and how it operates, so those located in larger ranges like Silveremere, where the footfall is more spread out, are likely to be available.
It has also started running a series of over 800 fitting events across UK and Ireland during the rest of this year with Covid19 protocols in place.
For example, the technician will build the clubs, then lean them against a bag or table and then move back for the consumer to take it from there so no product is handed between technician and consumer.
TaylorMade fitters will where gloves at all times and masks will be made available for consumers, while the area will also be equipped with sanistiser wipes, hand sanitiser and disinfectant spray.
Ping’s National Fitting Centre is set to re-open on June 15th, which is when all non-essential retail outlets are allowed to re-open, albeit with slightly limited capacity, while it hopes demo days will commence on July 3rd , all by appointment only.
“We will obviously ensure social distancing is in place but we’ve looked at other simple things, like how we hand clubs to the consumer,” Fanning continued. “The consumer will only handle the grip end of the club end and the fitter will handle the other end as they are changing heads and configurations on the hosel.”
“Each appointment is 75 mins, so after each appointment we’ve allowed 15 mins to do a clean down of all the product that has been hit before being presented to the next consumer. We will be providing latex gloves if golfers want them and we’re stopping the wrist-to-floor colour code measuring that normally takes place at the start of the fitting because it involves the fitter coming into contact with the person. We normally quote to ship after two working days but currently we are at five working days but working hard to reduce that lead-time on all custom fit clubs.”
Titleist's National Fitting Centre at St Ives is currently open, dealing initially with customers who have rebooked previously cancelled fittings.
It will then open for Team Titleist members from June 8th with the other fitting centres at Craigielaw (Scotland) and Carton House (Ireland) due to open later this month. You can watch a video detailing Titleist's new Covid-19 guidelines during fittings here.
Up until now, some pro shops have been able to open but only for essential admin purposes around signing in to play and also for click and collect services on purchases. From June 15th, pro shops should return to near-full functionality, but in the meantime many pros have been offering an ‘Order and Collect service’.
Given that government guidelines allow for one-to-one coaching providing social distancing is maintained, some pros are taking a similar stance with club fittings - moving from the indoor studio to outdoor, uncovered ranges in some cases to make sure the rules on using outdoor spaces only and social distancing are adhered to.
From a retail perspective, all 97 American Golf stores are also due to re-open on June 15th and will offer the same custom fit service as before but with firm safety guidelines in place, such as sanitising each club after use and avoiding customer-colleague contact.
Staff will be wearing full PPE (gloves and visor) at all times in store and bookings will need to be made in advance.
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf.
During these enjoyable years he has had some money-can't-buy experiences, like interviewing Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy one-on-one and covering the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 4.7.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSi3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and 58°
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x