Ordering custom irons w/o buying from a fitter

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By Erich S

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  1. Hey everyone! Was just thinking about this this morning. I tend to overthink EVERYTHING I purchase, and considering I haven't purchased new irons in over 20 years, here's my quandry.

    I AM brand agnostic. I love Titleist irons, it's all I've used. I get I COULD wait until the Spring to find some Titleist Thursdays in the Pittsburgh area, but this time of year, my only options to really scratch the itch of buying new irons would be to go to 3 places in my area. Club Champion, GolfTEC and 84 Golf Center. The latter is the only one that has the indoor/outdoor hitting option which I like. GolfTEC doesn't have any iron options in left-handed for Titleist (only png, miz, and TM). Club Champion has the T100/T200, not sure about 84 Golf Center yet.

    I've been trying to learn as much as I can regarding fittings, reading posts over on GolfWRX, etc. regarding shaft options, swing weights, etc. and I think I have a decent grasp on all of that.

    The meat of my question is this: What kind of options are really out there to order a custom iron set OTHER than buying directly from fitter? I know TGW.com lets you choose shafts, grips, etc. but all it takes is reading a couple 'horror story' posts of people getting iron sets from the OEM that aren't bent to their recommended loft/lie, etc. What about swing weights?

    From what I've read, Club Champion will give you a printout/email of your results after the fitting with no obligation to buy (but there IS a 'well, we DO custom make your clubs yadda yadda' spiel), and they will work with your budget, but there's still a decent bit of overcharging IMHO (things like buying the OEM set, keeping the stock shafts, etc. when I know on sites like TGW/TM.com you can order all that directly)

    Sorry, I seem to be just rambling now. I guess the general question is: when you get fitted for a custom set of irons, how have you gone about ordering that set...with the confidence to KNOW that it is spec'd out to what you were fit for? Thanks for any insight you can provide!

  2. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    I'm sinister like yourself. I've had 3 fittings at Titleist facilities and 2 "Titleist Thursday" (same people, just one-off visits to local clubs), and multiple fittings at a Premier Fitting site now 52 miles from home. The local "Titleist Thursday" fittings were ordered at my local muni (where 1 TT fitting occurred) and all the others from the Premier Fitting site.

    I'm on a first name basis with the head pros at both sites. Both discount the orders so I net 5% under the street price at retailers. When placing the order, the head, shaft, shaft length, loft, and lie will be part of the fitting. You should be aware of the swing weight and the impact of whatever grip you want to order for the club. This too, can be specified with the order but is often not included. Only really important with altered shaft lengths as Titleist may not be able to keep the standard swing weight and won't know to notify the dealer of a problem.

    Any authorized Titleist dealer will send those specs directly to Titleist (no direct sales to consumers). Titleist builds custom orders and stock/rack sets on the same assembly lines. I've been to the Carlsbad plant and I have full faith that all future orders will be as well made as my past orders. There is a video link on this site you can watch about the steps they take to build a set to your specs. Titleist does know custom club building.

    Any local pro you are comfortable doing a fitting can arrange with the local rep to loan the site LH heads in advance of a scheduled date, as well as any non-stock shaft you'd like to try. Going to a Premier Fitter simplifies the steps for LH as they will have the full set of LH heads available. As well as more experience fitting more golfers.

    After some less than positive experiences with a national retailer, I will only be dealing with specialists that know Titleist. No more than I would buy a Mercedes from a Toyota used car lot. I don't need someone telling me it would be an Epic mistake to buy a Titleist driver.
  3. Thanks for the reply, Don!
    So when you go to a premiere fitter, do they work with you on grips/swing weights too? I believe the closest Premiere Fitter to me (Pittsburgh) is Tam O' Shanter in Ohio...around 88 miles away. I assume you are under no obligation to buy from the Premiere fitter, either.

    I also assume that by "Authorized Titleist dealer" you mean the head pros you're buddies with? If so, nice...because that's my situation too. I honestly don't know what it is about the Club Champion, et al experience that is 'scaring' me. I never have had any experience personally, or know anyone who has...just reviews online. I do feel that there is/would definitely be some pressure to buy with them though. Plus from watching their videos/reviews, it sounds like they just buy stock clubs from the manufacturers, rip the shafts out, keep them, and put your new shafts/grips on. Sounds just like added upcharges.
  4. I also live in the Pittsburgh area. In August I called Tam O’ Shanter to set up a premier fitting with them. They informed me that the local Titleist rep was having a fitting in the beginning of September so I booked it. I ended up buying the clubs through the course, and was treated well. 88 miles is a bit of a trek for sure, but nonetheless an option.
  5. That's good to hear, John. That's the option I'm going to be looking to come Spring should there be nothing in the area available. How did the process go at Tam O' Shanter? I'm assuming great since it was an official rep!
  6. Erich, the staff at Tam O’ Shanter were a pleasure to deal with. There was a delay do to a shaft issue, which they informed me about. They’ve kept me in the loop, by calling me several times with updates. It was well worth the ride to purchase the clubs through them. You won’t be disappointed dealing with the folks there.
  7. Frank P

    Frank P
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    You should be able to find a Certified Titleist Fitter thru this site or by contacting Titleist. Not getting fit for clubs is like committing golf club suicide. Stick with a Titleist fitting and you wont be sorry. I'd stay away from places like GolfTEC and Club Champion.

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