True or false: All club fitters are the same, stick with the brands you’ve always played.
To be clear, nothing is further from the truth. Just how far we’ve come in club design and fittings is on full display inside the True Spec Golf outdoor fitting container at The Ridge at Castle Pines North. Drawer after drawer of state-of-the-art club heads, walls lined with premium shafts, club measuring machines, and everything else you’d find in a premiere fitting studio packed neatly inside a sleek, unassuming container just off the driving range.
I thought I had an idea of what to expect when the company invited me to its new Denver location for a full bag fitting. I had a custom fitting several years before at a big box outfitter — how different could it be? I wasn’t even considering any upgrades to my bag nor had any notion that my current clubs could be holding me back. But boy was I mistaken.
The two Bs of True Spec club fittings
Within minutes of Master Club Fitter Tyler Yearley’s explanation of the True Spec outdoor fitting process, I knew this fitting would be different. True Spec fitters begin with a series of simple questions to better understand who you are as a golfer — current handicap, strengths and weaknesses, objectives, etc. — before shifting the focus to your current equipment. Yearley walked me through the specs of my current bag using the onsite machines to “blueprint” my clubs, explaining how the length, weight, lie and loft, along with shaft flex and profile, all play a factor in my on course performance.
Blueprint in hand, it was time to get a baseline. After several swings with my six-iron on the Trackman, Yearley had the data he needed to optimize my irons. I’m no stranger to Trackman data, but having an expert eye define the correlation between the numbers and my overall performance was truly enlightening. For years I thought my bag was already built for my game, that all the flaws and inconsistencies stemmed from my swing mechanics. But Yearley explained how minute changes in my specs can have a dramatic effect on my inefficiencies.
“I firmly believe custom fit clubs are the quickest and most enduring way to improve your scores,” Yearley, a former teaching pro says. “Depending on how often you play, it’s worth going through the process every year or two.”
My baseline numbers clearly showed where my current bag is lacking — ball speed/smash factor, and excess spin — none of which I really considered could be dramatically improved with upgraded equipment. I was almost embarrassed at how much I didn’t know about my current setup, not only the specs of my bag but just how much it was affecting my performance on the course. With my hope restored, off we went to select club heads and shafts for testing.
A tried and true testing process
True Spec leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to testing the latest golf tech, with more than 35,000 club head and shaft combinations on hand.Yearley had several iron setups in mind for me given my current specs and baseline numbers, and made room for anything I was curious to try. True Spec is a “brand agnostic” company when it comes to OEMs, meaning there are no incentives influencing their recommendations — their goal is to determine the best equipment for you, period.
“There are some golfers who have always been very loyal to one brand,” he says. “However, it’s actually quite rare that one brand will be the best fit through the entire bag — something we’re starting to see even at the tour level. Our mission is to find and build the best set of clubs for your game, regardless of the manufacturer.”
True Spec’s testing process itself is fun and straightforward. The Denver location offers the added benefit of testing outdoors, taking advantage of real turf to deliver a true feel for the clubs you won’t find hitting off traditional mats. You’ll notice a difference between club setups immediately, though, for the less educated like me, having an expert weigh in helps make sense of all the data. “I don’t like the dispersion with this one, bring it back,” Yearley would say before handing me the next club. “Ball speed is really good here. Let’s see if this shaft gives us better trajectory.” Sure enough, after a few more configurations Yearley had my iron prescription dialed down to two options — one for optimal distance and another built for accuracy. They’re called “master fitters” for a reason, and the proof is in the numbers.
The true difference
From start to finish my True Spec fitting exceed all expectations. By the time I got home an email with a breakdown of Yearley’s overall findings, truncated charts and data from our Trackman session, and an easy-to-read prescription and quote to use when upgrading my bag was waiting for me in my inbox. I wish everything in life was this easy.
All club fitters are not created equal. It was an eyeopening experience, to say the least, and one I’ll look forward to again for years to come. Yearley’s expert insight gave me the tools needed to improve my game without all the sales pitches and awkward up-sells I was used to. With unbiased, experienced master fitters, state-of-the-art testing machines, tools and studios, and more equipment combinations than you’ll want to count, there’s a reason why True Spec Golf is the worldwide leader in custom club fittings. See for yourself at any one of their locations, the results won’t lie.
This promotional post was made in partnership with True Spec Golf. CGB endorses all advertisers, products and services promoted on our pages.
Have you ever wondered what’s going on inside your golf shoes?
The athletic equipment and apparel market is rife with “performance ” and “technology” claims, but what does that even mean? As far as most shoemakers are concerned — including all your major brands — it means diddly. We’ve all been duped.
There is one company’s claim of high performance, however, that’s more than just a marketing scheme. It’s that of Athalonz.
“There’s no denying the laws of physics — they apply to everyone and everything,” says Athalonz founder and CEO Tim Markison. That’s the basis of his shoe design. The company was founded on the idea of scientifically improving the ground-body connection, which affects all athletic movement. More specifically, Markison, a 30-year engineer and patent attorney, honed in on improving what initiates that athletic motion based on the laws of physics.
Sounds complicated, sure, but boil it down a bit and it makes perfect sense. All movement is governed by Newton’s laws of motion. For example, when you push on the ground the ground pushes back, always. This is called ground reaction force, and the starting point of the athletic motion of swinging a golf club. How that force is distributed, meaning the position and angles of your body while in motion, has a direct impact on the power you can generate in your golf swing. More ground force equals more power — it’s a scientific fact.
Given that your shoes are the only thing in between your feet and the ground, and thus have a direct impact on your ground reaction force, the idea of science-based athletic footwear came to Markison during a baseball clinic, when his coach placed a rosin bag under the outside of his foot to mimic a more physically sound base for hitting and throwing. “The problem with the drill was that you could feel the position but couldn’t recreate it without the bag,” he says. He later analyzed the footwork and alignment of top players’ athletic motions and realized their knees are always in a certain line from the inside ankle to the groin. The rosin bag his coach used forced players into this position, but Markison realized he could do the same thing with a specially designed shoe.
Most all standard golf shoes have a U-shaped inner design aligned perpendicular to the ground. When you swing a golf club, that U-shape causes your feet to slide away from you and push the force away from that inside line, dissipating your power and made all the worse depending on what material the shoe is made of. Athalonz’s angled inner design, on the other hand, shifts the ground reaction force from perpendicular to about four-degrees inside, while the sturdy material keeps your foot from pushing the forces outward. All of that leads to an increase in ground reaction force by almost 10%, according to Markison.
The Athalonz EnVe’s angled sole adjusts the ground reaction to the inside.
“We did the math and tested to verify we did the math correctly. With the design being based on physics and our design working according to the math, we didn’t need to perform a study to know people will have an improvement in ground reaction force,” Markison says.
With such a clearly defined relationship between ground reaction force and your golf swing, and the role your golf shoes play, you’d think more footwear companies would be gushing on designs similar to Athalonz. Unfortunately for them, they can’t, because Athalonz holds multiple patents ensuring its proprietary edge. Truth is, Markison says the idea has been around for awhile but failed to catch on after a “wedged” golf shoe debuted and was subsequently banned by the USGA back in the ’90s. Prior to that, the most groundbreaking technological advancement in athletic footwear similar to the idea were cleats and spikes, way back at the turn of the 20th century.
“Now, a lot of shoe companies want comfort over everything,” Markison says. “People just aren’t aware of the physics of what’s actually happening inside the shoe.”
U-shaped soles, found in almost all major brands, cause your feet to slide away from you.
That awareness and understanding of how it works is what’s setting Athalonz apart from all the major brands, not only in the realm of science, but on the course, too.
Fred Funk, Ken Duke and Bernhard Langer have all made the switch to Athalonz, the latter of whom ditched his shoe sponsor of 40-years for Athalonz. “Before he was with us, Langer said he’d go through 3 pairs of shoes in one tournament,” Markison says. “The shoes would compress on the lateral side really quickly, making his foot angle outward, and keeping his feet from getting set.”
Athalonz have become the go-to choice for men and women World Long Drive competitors, too, a trend credited to Ryan Steenberg and carried on by the likes of 2020 WLD Champions Kyle Bershire and Chloe Garner. If anyone knows the importance of harnessing power, it’s these kinds of athletes. Berkshire went viral in 2019 by setting a new world record for recorded ball speed (228 mph) wearing, you guessed it, Athalonz’s EnVe golf shoes.
While the majority of us aren’t banking on our athletic ability to pay the bills, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to improve our ability any way we can on the course. Fortunately for us, science doesn’t play favorites.
“That’s the beauty of physics, it’s fundamental laws and facts. If you prove that there’s physics in play, it works 100% of the time,” Markison says.
All you have to do is make the switch to see the Athalonz difference.
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Love it or hate it, the holiday season is good for at least one thing — new golf stuff. There isn’t a golfer alive who wouldn’t love some new clubs, balls, gadgets, apparel, or a free round or two, the hard part is narrowing down your options. With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals gone, and the big day closing in, time can be a factor too.
So to make it easy the CGB crew has narrowed our 2019 last minute gift guide down to 10 items that are — or should be — on every golfers wishlist.
#1 Athalonz Shoes
Give the gift of power with a pair of the longest shoes in the game. There’s a reason why players like World Long Drive Champion Kyle Berkshire and others wear Athalonz— ground contact, comfort and stability are absolutely critical. Solid footing is what Athalonz stakes its name on backing it up with the science behind longer drives and more fairways. Anthalonz golf shoes are designed to promote the natural transfer of forces throughout your entire golf swing.
The subtle, modern slip-on design stands out in all the right ways, with natural colors offset by a bright leather-colored band wrapped around the heel, and goes with just about any outfit, too.
UpSide’s LOCKON rangefinder is a must for golfers looking to hone in on their distances with an easy-to-use device without paying an arm and a leg for a bunch of unneeded features. The instant response and accuracy and slope-calculating tech are fantastic, but the greatest selling point of the LOCKON, and its namesake, is the badass magnet built into the side of the unit to attach to your cart or clubs for easy access.
With just the right amount of data, the LOCKON magnet, and an unbeatable price, UpSide clearly has its sights set on changing how we look at high-tech golf accessories.
Whether you’ve tried it for yourself or not, you’ve no doubt heard of CBD by now. The natural compound known as “cannabidiol,” derived from hemp cannabis sativa plants, has taken the natural health supplements market by storm. CBD products tout a variety of health and wellness benefits to better just about every aspect of your life — your golf game included.
Pro Golf Labs’ ProG1 CBD chewing gum offers a safe, unique, and effective alternative to other CBD products. Beat the jitters, aches and pains on the course once and for all.
You’ve heard the saying, it doesn’t matter what you shoot (as long as you look good doing it.) Veteran-owned Epoch Eyewear is bringing affordable, quality sunglasses to the masses with styles built for on and off the course. From sporty and performance to casual and high end, you’ll be hard pressed to not find a pair that’s just right.
If you’re looking for a signature style without paying for brand names Epoch has familiar makes and models starting for around $20 — need we say more?
Bombtech Golf has become a lot more than just a driver manufacturer. We were pleasantly surprised by the Grenade wedges several years ago and our feelings are still the same — these clubs are definitely worth giving a shot if you’re wanting more bang for your buck, literally. At the time, we wished the company would offer different finishes to highlight the stylish club head design, and now that wish has come true.
The limited edition Volcano Torched wedges set is, simply, BADASS. If you’re looking for a deal on some head-turning quality wedges, consider your search over.
What’s a good day out on the course if you’re not tossing a few back? The Big Beertha has brought all the glory of party-style drinking to your local golf club, and we’re here for it. The design mimics that of most modern-day drivers, making for the perfect disguise from the course marshal and fitting perfectly into any golf bag.
Crack one open and fill the head of the Beertha, ready your gullet and toss it back. Now we’re ready to play some golf!
The tagline “The best divot tool in golf,” is a little misleading when you’re talking about Birdicorn’s claim-to-fame. Don’t get us wrong, it is the best repair tool on the market, but that’s literally a fraction of what this product can do. Birdicorn’s genius lightweight design packs 6 functions into one easy-to-use tool; a repair tool, putting alignment aid, grip rest, bottle opener, line stencil, and ball mark holder (fits any 1″ ball marker).
The compact, ergonomical design fits comfortably in your pocket, meaning you’ll have absolutely no reason to leave pocked greens behind you on the course.
Jones Golf is one of the the perennial trendsetters in the golf industry, staying on the cutting edge of performance and design with a nod to the game’s traditional style. Top-quality golf and travel bags, apparel, accessories and more, you really can’t go wrong with any of Jones’ offerings. But to narrow our selection down to one, we’ll highlight the product that “started it all” — the Original Jones. Less is more in the case of the Original, featuring a 3-way top divider, (2) front pockets and (1) back pocket, an unstructured body made of water-resistant nylon, and a single strap. It’s the definition of a traditional golf bag and sure to please anyone on the receiving end. What’s more, Jones offers customization to all its products, making it even easier to come away with a one-of-a-kind piece.
Golf has always been a game of style, class, and tradition, and it always will be. Companies like Jones Golf Bags exude that aesthetic with a perfect balance between the then and now, and setting the standard for the game’s next generation.
“Go low. Stay fly” — a sentiment every golfer should live by. From throwback to modern, Oak & Anchor definitely has something for you or the golfer on your list — unless you’re looking for a “dad hat.” Each line sports a flat bill and snapback, and designed with just enough flair to suit any look while standing out amongst the crowd. Along with limited releases, O&A has too many designs to settle on just one — they’re all worthy of a spot in your collection. Quality material, designs, and a prices that fit any budget, O&A is a hat company for the people.
Join the ranks of the Oak & Anchor faithful — you’ll never look back.
Golf is hard. Golf lessons won’t make it easy by any means, but they can make it a little less hard. But choosing an instructor and location, finding the time to commit, and the overall costs can sometimes be as complicated as the game itself, which is no solace to looking for help. That’s where the MyLesson App and it’s online, one-on-one instruction comes in — it’s as easy as 1-2-3, as the cliche goes. Choose your instructor from MyLesson’s list of PGA coaches, a process made easy with filters including cost, skill-level, overall rating and more. Then just schedule any time and find a WiFi-connected location that works for you, and start improving your swing.
With live, custom instruction from anywhere, signing up for MyLesson may very well be the easiest part of the game.
ColoradoGolfBlog, in some cases, receives a small commission when you purchase items from these links. CGB has endorsed all advertisers, products and services and advertising does not influence editorial decisions or content.