True Spec Golf: Finding the fit to make game more enjoyable

The company reminds customers that they are fitting clubs, not selling magic wands.

  • By Dan Macdonald
  • | 12:00 a.m. February 26, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
True Spec master golf club fitter Clay Joiner pulls out one of several drawers filled with familiar name-brand club heads to be fitted on a variety of shafts.
True Spec master golf club fitter Clay Joiner pulls out one of several drawers filled with familiar name-brand club heads to be fitted on a variety of shafts.
Photo by Dan Macdonald
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Golfers take great lengths and expense to hit a golf ball longer and straighter.

The game’s technology has advanced immensely since bearded Scots wearing tweed jackets whacked balls stuffed with feathers on seaside ramshackle courses carved out by wind, rain and the cold Atlantic.

True Spec Golf – Ponte Vedra has developed a club-fitting system that allows a golfer to match the correct shaft and proper club head to match the customer’s swing.

“This is not a lesson. These are your tendencies. This is what I’m seeing, and I have multiple times seen (the wrong) equipment cause some of these issues that you are experiencing,” said Clay Joiner, master club fitter at True Spec Golf – Ponte Vedra.

Master fitter Clay Joiner gathers data collected by swing monitors to determine the club best suited for the player.
Photo by Dan Macdonald

There are 42 True Spec locations around the world. True Spec – Ponte Vedra has partnered with instructor Travis Fulton at 14797 Philips Highway, Suite 202. 

Joiner makes the True Spec – Ponte Vedra fittings and Fulton gives lessons. They comprise two businesses in one location.

Other area fitters do similar work. True Spec – Ponte Vedra doesn’t sell one particular brand of golf club. Instead, it has club heads from every major manufacturer that can be attached to one of 200 shafts in stock.

The secret is a proprietary socket in which the shaft and club head are joined so that the golfer can hit balls without having to install a new permanent hosel.

The socket is an adapter system made by Club Conex. It is part of the same 8AM Golf, ownership group as True Spec.

The fitting starts with an interview that sets expectations and determines what swing flaw needs to be corrected and the customer’s price range. This could be the most important question because shafts alone can range from $125 to $800 and more, Joiner said.

Kris McCormack, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the vice president of Tour and Education. 

He tells customers that he doesn’t perform miracles. If the duffer is a slicer, it’s doubtful that a new set of clubs will suddenly allow the customer to hit the ball long and down the middle of the fairway.

“If I have that player that slices the ball 100 yards – without changing anything with their swing, their swing is still going to produce a slice,” McCormack said during a Zoom interview.

Kris McCormack, True Spec VP of Tour and Education, said its system fits players with clubs that match their swing.
Photo by Dan Macdonald

“If I’m able to build them a tool that now gets that 100-yard slice down to a 40-yard slice without changing anything about their swing, just the equipment, are they going to play better golf? 

“We aren’t miracle workers. We’d charge a heck of a lot more if we were selling magic wands.”

After the interview, the fitting begins with golfers hitting balls into a projection screen that looks like a typical golf hole. A $17,000 GCQuad optical launch monitor measures distance, spin rate, trajectory direction, swing speed and other details.

The golfer’s club is tested for stiffness and torque. Think of it as a tuning fork. The club is horizontally attached by the handle and the fitter gives it a tug to make it move up and down. A laser measures the club flex and cycles per minute.

The hosel connection system is what allows True Spec golf club fitters to quickly interchange heads and shafts.
Photo by Dan Macdonald

The data and GCQuad findings are entered into a computer to determine the proper shaft stiffness.

True Spec – Ponte Vedra fits drivers and fairway woods and irons. Information gathered during the iron fitting determines shaft length and lie angle.

At golf tournaments like The Players, PGA Tour golfers most likely start their tournament preparation by visiting one of the many club trailers. Each company has its own fitting trailer.

Pros signed to play a company’s clubs can have a club re-shafted, re-gripped or have a new club head attached. The company has already done a similar fitting at its headquarters and has the specific equipment needed by each player.

“All of our fitters do go through a rigorous training process. Basically we are giving you a tour van-level experience for the normal, average golfer,” Joiner said.



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