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Reddit AMA Question of the Week:

It’s a question I get a lot in my DMs and also one of those tough to answer questions as the ideal option (grass) isn’t logistically possible for many of us.

I asked some of my fitter friends who work with 100’s of players on Wedge fittings what their take is, this is what they had to say.

I’ll give my opinion after;)

Gerrit Pon (Callaway): Working off of mats can be good if the mat is firm; at least, in that case, you can test the bounce out a bit. You can also simulate distance pretty precisely off of mats for gapping. I always say if you can fit off of grass, do it. If not, there are some awesome fitters that can get you dialed off of a mat. It’s not at all impossible.

Ben Giunta (The Tour Van): The only way I know how to do it effectively is off of grass. I know it’s not an excellent answer, but that’s just how I prefer to do it.

Bryan LaRoche (BryanGolf): With a solid argument for USING mats. This is REALLY good intel.

First things first for me when it comes to fitting indoors, regardless of what club you’re fitting, being indoor keeps everything consistent with reduced variables.  I’ve fit indoors and outdoors and understand that everyone wants to hit off grass and see their ball flight.  I get that and believe there’s validity to a player wanting that experience.  I’d also argue a lot of players don’t like hitting off a mat for wedge fittings because it can’t be cheated.  You’ve got to hit BALL FIRST to hit a proper wedge shot and a lot of players struggle with that!

There are reasons as to why when we opened our own facility up, we decided to go indoor. Here are some of those key points based on my experiences when fitting off a mat:

– The right kind of mat matters. We use a FiberBuilt mat that reacts more like grass through impact. If you catch it fat, the club doesn’t just skip into the ball and produce a usable ball flight. Your ballspeed drops and your result is impacted. You have to be fit on the right type of mat!

I’ve seen players who obsess over hitting off grass manipulate the lie on the range and give themselves the “perfect” lie.  I’ve seen the spot on the range that we’re using be down grain one day and then into the grain the next day.  Players struggle off the different types of lies to a point of not even being able to get valid feedback and data.  The mat takes that variable completely out of it.

– When hitting off the same surface and same lie for a fitting, I’ve learned to separate the optimal set up (grind, bounce, shaft, lie, loft, etc.) from the improper one much more easily.  That consistent lie saves you  time and energy.  (Superintendents probably appreciate it, too!)

– LAUNCH MONITORS MATTER!  We use GC QUAD indoors and frankly, I can’t tell you that would change if we did a fitting outdoors on the range!  Consistent readings for important metrics like launch, spin, ball speed, and distance are so important to dialing in the proper wedge for a player.  Again, consistent launch monitor off consistent surface equals consistent fitting results.

It’s also worth noting, we can simulate any situation on a golf course, wind and obstacles included, using Foresight Sports FSX!

What do I think?

Honestly just the intention of actually seeking properly fit wedges is 80% of it in my eyes. In my experience most folks just grab wedges that “look cool”, “make sense”, or “saw it on GolfWrx”

I did that for YEARS and DID get lucky on occasion. Whether it was adjusting to an improper wedge (good hands can do that) OR getting lucky and randomly picking a good one.

Best case scenario, in my eyes is, as long as a good fitter is next to you, you could be hitting off of concrete for all I care. The right set of eyes and access to multiple options will get you 90% of the way there. The last 10% is up to you, your feels and your imagination.

Get fit. For every stick in your bag. If you take the game seriously or actually want to get better, it’s essential. Anyone that tells you otherwise is either your weekly competition or doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Just being honest.

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