Can you get custom fit for some new clubs without leaving your couch, especially since when it comes to getting custom fit these days, the couch is about the only place you’re going? Callaway is attempting to make the best of a less-than-ideal custom fitting environment with its new Distance Fitting program.
The Callaway Distance Fitting program enables golfers to sign up for a free 30-minute fitting conversation with one of its custom fitters. Other companies, most notably Ping and Bridgestone, are attempting to get golfers better dialed in without them having to be physically present.
“We’re already seeing how effective this program is at delivering a personalized and comprehensive fitting in just 30 minutes, and getting players into the right equipment to help them play better golf,” said Michael Vrska, Callaway’s director of custom fitting and player performance. “We’re going to give them a really precise fit on exactly what they need and it’s something they’re going to be able to be confident in, knowing that we’ve dialed them in over the phone.”
While the fitting experience typically has involved hitting multiple club and shaft combination and comparing ball flight data to get specific performance metrics, Vrska said that Distance Fitting can work without that kind of process. Golfers can provide launch monitor data if they have it, but it’s not necessary.
“We still believe that hitting a ball and getting data is the ultimate experience,” Vrska said. “But we are confident based on the incredible amount of data we’ve developed in the past that the recommendations we’re able to make and because of the experienced fitters we have that we can do outstanding fittings over the phone.
“These are our experienced master fitters who have been through top of the line training. It’s those questions back and forth, understanding their ball flight, their needs, what’s worked for them in the past and what they want their golf ball to do in the future that makes it so comprehensive. We can ask the right questions to help golfers understand what’s going to be perfect for them.”
Vrska said it is the one-on-one interaction that refines and individualizes the recommendations. A key part of the Callaway program is a pre-fitting questionnaire that asks the golfer to get into personal playing specifics that range from static measurements (like wrist to floor) to typical miss patterns and even preferred golf ball. Questions include asking players to rate various aspects of their game on 1-5 scales, as well as their current shot shape, their desired shot shape and what aspect of their game they’re hoping new clubs will improve.
“These questions already are pointing us in certain directions so we’re already starting to narrow things down even before the call starts,” he said, adding that the golf ball question is a fundamental part of every call.
Vrska also believes that Distance Fitting isn’t merely a stop-gap during the current crisis, but a viable option in the future of how Callaway relates to and learns from golfers. “This is something we have full intention of being a year-round part of what we offer going forward,” he said, noting that getting to a qualified fitter might not be easy for some golfers both from a geographic standpoint and a comfort level. “There are people who are die-hard golfers who want to get fit, and this will be a great entry point for them where they can get a great fit and be ready to buy. For a lot of other people, it’s a much less intimidating experience, and they can use it as a starting point to be confident to go test a club and get fit in person.”
Appointments for Callaway’s Distance Fitting are handled through the company’s website and are available Monday through Friday.
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