(This is Part Three of My Three-Part Club-Fitting Adventure with Master Club-Fitter Matt Flenniken of San Jose, California and Henry-Griffitts Golf Clubs.)
Yes, while it is true that your woods and irons don’t complete the picture to total scoring, the right ones can definitely put a swagger back into your step as improved ball-striking really sets you up for better scoring opportunities – not to mention less frustrat shots or time-consuming ball searches.
My new Henry-Griffitts set included 3 metal woods and 5-pw, a 51-degree gap wedge, and a 56-degree sand wedge. (Right now I am beginning to gauge the gaps to fill out the clubs between my 3-metal and my five-iron. (Henry-Griffitts has new hybrids in the works.)
I’ve been out on the range working with the clubs and the preliminary results are impressive. My ball flight particularly with my shorter irons is much straighter though I can easily still draw the ball at will. The good thing is that I once again can cut or hit a baby fade. I have discovered that the lie angel of the club (how it rests on the ground – preferably squarely at impact), makes such an important contribution to directional ball flight.
Secondly, even though my irons have two degrees more loft than my previous set of Henry-Griffitts, I am hitting them just as far. That is likely the result of my club-fitter/instructor Matt Flenniken getting me in a better-balanced position at impact to generate a better hit. You see, Flenniken specifies a set fit to balance whereas many, perhaps most instructors don’t necessarily fit to any consistent position, let alone a balanced hitting one. Matt also provides a lesson along with a follow-up one re-checking the fitting in an outdoor dynamic fit – the same he used to fit me in the first place. In other words, he and Henry-Griffitts insist upon a follow-up session to assure that the fit and the clubs are a proper match – the ONLY golf club manufacturer that does this at no additional cost! (Henry-Griffitts club-fitters are trained to fit to balance because it’s impossible to achieve a strong, repeatable swing without balance.)
My irons are the TS-1 model, one of three clubhead styles available. For me, I like a ”player’s blade” without an offset and this look suits me perfectly. The other models are also attractive, but differing in their look and functionality. As I am aging, Matt Flenniken also fit me with graphite for the first time in my irons – a feature that will likely be more forgiving on me as I age.
As for my Driver, aren’t we all concerned about distance? I’m no different, but I also understand that driving distance is not only related to clubhead speed, but a square hit as well. By adjusting the lie and length in conjunction with the shaft flex, Flenniken was able to help me generate an additional 13-18 yards by helping me locate and deliver the sweet spot back to the ball. And we all know that mis-hits can go sideways too, so accuracy is another benefit.
And let me tell you about my woods. The cosmetics of my new PRAXIS PI Henry-Griffitts woods are simply spectacular – the best in golf. Forget the white, copper, raw metal finishes or other fancy shapes, the Carpenter Steel’s Custom 455 high-tensile, super hard US-produced alloy is absolutely gorgeous – so say’s everyone who has seen and begged to handle mine!
Considering that my previous irons were Henry-Griffitts and also fitted by the same person, Matt Flenniken, it really impressed me how we should all periodically go back to a skilled club-fitter even if we aren’t buying new clubs. Sometimes our clubs are knocked around and the lies or lofts can be altered. More likely too is that as we improve into a better more powerful swing or conversely move into a less powerful one as we age, we require different club specifications. When it comes right down to it, a well-fit club enhances the player’s ability to make the best swing and accomplish the best results possible and to enjoy the game we love. Anything less dooms us to mysterious frustration.
Now for a bit about the Henry-Griffitts clubs themselves. If you investigate the quality control or the lack of it in the golf industry, unless you are attended to like a staff touring professional, the manufacturing and material consistency standards are all over the map. With every single set, every H-G customer is treated like a coveted touring professional. While over 200 touring professionals get their shafts “PURED” (a time-consuming and expensive quality control process to eliminate inconsistent flexing and ovaling resulting from the golf shaft production process), Henry-Griffitts is the ONLY original equipment manufacturer that puts every shaft, regardless of material, through the SST PURE shaft alignment process. This is just one example of how every H-G customer is treated like a touring pro – something that no one else does! So while you may salivate over some other company’s clubhead, the lack of consistency in their provided shafts completely eliminate the chance for any real optimum improvement you may have thought you purchased.
Henry-Griffitts takes this approach to quality control throughout their entire manufacturing process and they stand behind their fit for up to 100 days. Your clubs come with your name taped into the shafts and should you lose one, a simple call to the factory will supply you with an identical one built just to your specifications and shipped to you – just like the touring pros.
And talk about technology, H-G has been a leader with many important firsts that include: taking dynamic fitting into the field, the first patented lie board, the first offset woods, the first to extend the length of drivers, the first fitting schools, the first zero degree offset irons, first to have 100-day fitting warranties, fitting carts and interchangeable heads, 13, 16, and 19 degree drivers, the first lie angle changes for fairway woods, and most recently the first to employ artificially intelligent launch monitors that can virtually fit a person. And while other equipment providers have changed their dimensional standards, H-G builds your clubs to the exact specification that your club-fitter ordered.
Yes, there are many attractive golf clubs with exciting stories to lure you. There are far fewer companies that have demonstrated such a long-standing passion for quality and consistency and then there is ONLY Henry-Griffitts that ties it all together with the best fitting training, process, quality controls, technology, and guarantee. Henry-Griffitts started in 1983. I got my first set in 1993 and my next set in 2011. Isn’t it about time that you too discover the difference of what an excellent golf club can do for you, and join me?