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Golf club manufacturers rave about new technologies and materials when they are trying to sell you a new set of clubs. These do very little to lower your score or increase your enjoyment on the golf course.
Custom club fitting on the other hand makes a huge difference and comes at no additional cost to purchasing new clubs! If you are going to buy new golf clubs, you must get them custom fit.
The 2 main original equipment manufacturer (OEM) custom golf club fitting processes in Thailand are with Titleist and Ping. I have done them both. These are not at the level of the amazing fitting processes you see golf youtubers getting at PXG, Ping and Titleist in the USA, but they are pretty close and much better than anything available to non-professionals just 10 years ago.
Titleist Thailand fitting
Titleist National Fitting Centre in Thana City Country Club feels like golf; dew on the grass, dirt and sand beneath your feet, smiling caddies in golf carts, the smell of bad food and coffee. That’s because it’s at a driving range and practice area on a full golf course, as it should be.
All aspects of fitting from driving to putting, are much better done outdoors where you can see real ball flight and feel the contact of the bottom of your club with the grass or sand.
Titlests fitting process feels a bit less technologically advanced than Pings, a bit more manual for the fitter. This is much less of a retail space than Ping’s so you are more likely to have to order what you want to buy and wait for it, rather than walk out with it on the day, which is more probable at Ping’s large shop.
I personally had better rapport with the Titleist fitter than I did with the gentleman at Ping. Titleist gives the best custom golf club fitting experience in Thailand and also of course, being the most used brand on tour, the products are excellent, particularly for better players.
Ping Thailand fitting
Ping is the brand to go for if you are a beginner or high handicapper. Being the top Asian manufacturer means Ping has good sales, support and fitting here in Thailand. They are also a tiny bit cheaper than Titleist.
Ping’s club fitting process is solid with only 1 big downside compared to Titleist. You go to the Ping indoor fitting studio on Sukumvit 24 in Klong Toey, Bangkok. It’s all owned by Easygolf which are also the importers for Ecco golf shoes and a few other golfing brands.
They have all the clubs with the standard shafts and all the alternate shafts on standby for the hybrids, woods and drivers, where you can change the shaft with a wrench.
I do not enjoy hitting at a golf simulator or putting on flat astro turf. The simulator has a delay between the ball hitting the screen and the screen showing your ball flight. I thought the alignment might have been out of calibration. I was just not comfortable and it did not let me get the feel of the new clubs I was trying.
Ping’s fitting process is comprehensive and makes the fitter’s job easier. Ping has predefined standard categories of grips, shaft lengths and club lies based on your height, size and marks you leave on the bottom of your irons after you swing and scrape the ground. It’s good tech.
I was underwhelmed by the putter fitting process. The fitter picked a putter for me to try and I was sinking them from all angles and distances. That’s because I was on flat astroturf. I googled the recommended putter and by Pings own description is was not a match for me. I did not feel confident enough to buy a putter there, like I did at the Titleist fitting center on a real green.
There is also no bunker to check your wedges from, like there is at Titleist fitting center and even other indoor fitting centers.
Golf club builders in Thailand
Golf club builders can take your existing clubs and better fit them to you by bending the necks (adjusting the lie), changing the shafts, widening or narrowing the grips and adjusting the weight balance.
If you have already bought new clubs and they don’t feel right you could try this, or consider selling the clubs you don’t like and starting again with a custom fitting at a different manufacturer.
A good reason to use a club builder is to make clubs you do like even better. For example if you like your old set of clubs but the shafts no longer match your swing speed. A club builder can custom fit and replace the shafts with something that is perfect for you.
For those of you in Isarn and on a budget, PC Master Golf in Pak Chong is a convenient cheap option. He uses custom mechanical technology and is certified by Fukushima and Mitsubishi shafts. He does not speak much English so unless your Thai is very good you will have to put a lot of trust in him.
Unfortunately you can not buy club heads from the manufacturers like Ping and Titleist, then build the clubs out yourself with your own shafts and grips. The manufacturers simply won’t sell them to you like that.
Research the brand’s clubs before you go
You should google and check the manufacturer’s website enough to know which golf clubs they make for the type of player that you are. If you are a true beginner then there is no point trying a pro set of blades. If you are a 20 year old then you don’t want to waste time trying clubs that are made for seniors.
If you are a high handicapper then you want to try the products made with maximum forgiveness. For example Pings G430s or Titlests T350s. If you are a senior you want to try the products that are optimized for slow swing speeds.
Yes you could just let the golf fitter figure it out for you but some research will help in any case. If the fitter’s recommendation is in line with your research then you can feel confident buying.