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Finding the Perfect Fit

Club Champion Brings An Elevated Custom Golf Club Fitting Experience to Eagle

Article by Ashley Loeb

Photography by Ashley Loeb

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Sixteen years after receiving my first golf lesson and set of hand-me-down clubs, I am still not entirely sure if I love or hate this sport, but I was certain it was time to find a set of clubs that would make the life-long journey to hone my golf skills, a little easier. My quest led to Club Champion, an appointment-only studio in Eagle that offered a custom fitting experience and a 90-day perfect fit guarantee. 

Unsure what to expect, my eyes widened in surprise when I stepped into this pristine golf studio with my old set of clubs in tow. The equipment adorning the main wall was reminiscent of an art installment, showcasing pieces from variety of brands that comprise more than 65,000 possible combinations of heads, shafts and grips and even more ways to personalize them! A putting area, lit up with natural light, was complimented with views of Pebble Beach and two simulator bays in the back of house make for a simple, yet effective and personalized fitting service.

Braeden Dunten, a trained master fitter and builder, greeted me with a smile and a handshake. Braeden had communicated with me via email that he would be my guide for the fitting and was also immediately responsive to my message that I was running a couple minutes behind. After becoming acquainted and introducing my husband who tagged along to watch the experience unfold, and meeting Bill Greene, the second golfer and master fitter and builder, Braeden gave me his undivided attention for the next two hours. 

Initially, the process of a custom fitting sounded a bit daunting, but Braeden’s flexible, friendly, and educational technique made the process feel comfortable, seamless, and easy. After offering water and a friendly reminder to hydrate, I warmed up with a club of my choosing  while he confirmed that the fitting would involve a series of test swings with multiple clubs of varying brands and styles while he observed my swing, analyzed the data, and asked me questions to get a better grasp of my internal experience. 

Braeden was careful not to overwhelm with adjustments or information. He walked me through the important numbers on the simulator screen and explained his method for identifying the clubs that worked best for me. First, Braeden dissuaded me from putting all my focus on the distance, a number that’s easy to get caught up on, especially when trying out new clubs. 

One of the main reasons not to get hung up on how far the ball goes is the reality that estimated distances on simulator machines can vary depending on the monitor and tend to over- or -under-estimate the measurements. A more accurate key to finding the best club match is to look at the efficiency of your golf swing known as the Smash Factor, or the ball speed divided by the club speed. The other key factor is consistency. While finding more consistent clubs does not fix a golfer’s swing, it does help eliminate one of the many variables that affect play and actually helps isolate problems with a swing that can be corrected through practice and lessons. While they do not offer private lessons, you may receive some friendly tips during the fitting. For instance, Braeden also suggested using the same golf balls every round, further narrowing down the potential varying factors across each round you play.  

We started with a brand of clubs I had borrowed from a relative on occasion and loved. Braeden watched for outliers and calculated averages for comparison across the different clubs. The Trackman golf launch monitor measured my spin, distance and Smash Factor as well as the trajectory of the ball. While it’s important to be aware that anytime you are testing a new brand or club, there are limited options because it’s impossible to have every option, Braeden noted that he’s found the test clubs sufficient to give each client a feel for that particular brand and type of club (e.g., wood, iron, driver). For instance, a 6 iron is used to help assess the irons “because it’s where people get a little uncomfortable.” 

Sweat beaded my forehead amidst the movement under the bright lights used to help the monitor see the ball, but Braeden was happy to take the A/C down a notch while I rested. After dozens of swings and going back and forth between clubs, my affinity for one particular brand became clear. Shots were more consistent and more efficient with that brand and, overall, the clubs felt the most comfortable of the available options.

While there was surprisingly no pressure to make a purchase as the prices they offer for clubs are the same as the cost directly from the brands, I walked away with an order for a new set and a sense of newfound confidence in my golf game knowing that I would finally be playing with clubs that were the perfect fit for me!

  • Bill Greene (left), Braeden Dunten (right)

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