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The Henry-Griffitts Fitting Experience

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We first met Randy Henry in the Palm Springs area during the beginning of winter 2008.  Easygoing but professional, we were immediately impressed by his ability to tell us everything about our game just by seeing us swing a few times.  Indeed, we had just met the “human launch monitor” as others had called him that has over 40 years of teaching experience under his belt.  This first encounter was just the tip of the iceberg of what we would learn about the Henry-Griffitts history, fitting system, and the people behind the name. 

Randy Henry started playing golf with his family when he was very young and became quite passionate about the game.  A serious accident changed the way he looked at the game in the 1970s.  He became more aware of the golf swing and the actual equipment itself.  It was apparent to him that equipment could make or break the game for many golfers.  With Jim Griffitts he founded Henry-Griffitts in 1983.  These golf pros wanted to focus on equipment that was not made for the masses but for an individual golfer’s game.  They wanted a smaller company that would give them total control over the way the clubs were fit and built as opposed to the “one size fits all”, off-the-rack concept that permeated the industry at the time.  Whatever the Tour pros played at the time was what was sold on the shelves of golf shops.  This, Henry-Griffitts recognized, did not serve the average golfer very well at all in most cases. 

During our first encounter Randy Henry and his son Randall brought out the familiar HG fitting cart full of right-handed gear to try out.  The cart has a plethora of possible shaft and head combinations and one is fit based on their swing and lie angle among other factors.  The righty and better golfer of us spent the next half hour fine-tuning his swing with Randy. 

 

Before I go any further let me tell you a bit about “us”.  The righty is a high swing speed, lower handicap golfer that has played for many years.  He’s about 6’ and an ex-professional athlete that is has been put in X flex shafts for every fitting that we’ve been to.  The lefty (that’s me) is an average swing speed, higher handicapper that has played just about 4 years.  I’m always fit to men’s regular flex shafts and this is likely due to being 5’10” and athletic.   

You probably won’t believe me when I tell you that Mr. Henry had the righty hitting a driver blindfolded.  I’m not kidding.  Randy knows how to get a golfer to focus on the part of his swing that works and encourages one to use their natural swing or what comes easily to a golfer.  In addition, he is honest about what you need to be successful and does not give you tips to fix a swing that isn’t broken or try to fit you to a particular mold.  Some golfers can hit any equipment and be good.  Other golfers benefit immensely from specific equipment.  The righty was in the first group and I fell into the latter according to Mr. Henry. 

The next time we saw Randy was in Orlando at the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show.  Again, he was talking people through the mechanics of a golf swing in the aboutGolf simulator that was set up.  Although this encounter had nothing to do with an actual fitting, it is worth mentioning because of the interesting people we met with the HG/aboutGolf group.  We met the first tour player to use Henry-Griffitts clubs at this function, Mr. Homero Blancas.  Knowing that I was sitting at a table with a legend of the game I couldn’t help but ask Mr. Blancas to tell me stories of the game of golf in his lifetime.  He obliged and told us that he learned the game because his father was a groundskeeper at a golf course.  He played as often as he could and eventually became very good.  He once shot an impressive 55 in a college tournament on August 19, 1962 and told me that he didn’t quite realize what was happening as he played the round.  He said that playing one hole at a time was the secret to his success for this accomplishment.  Indeed, it was a treat to hear his recollections.

Our third encounter with Mr. Henry was again in the California desert.  This time he concentrated on what could improve my game and had the cart full of lefty options.  One thing that he immediately pointed out was that my follow-through needed a bit more of a following all the way through as far as my wrists were concerned.  I tended to have a horrible slice at times that sent the ball well off of the fairway.  Where one professional had suggested I open the clubface more, Randy suggested I leave it in its natural spot when on the ground and completely turn my wrists over at the end of my swing.  When I did the ball went straight in front of me as it was meant to each time.  Imagine that.  The other thing he told me was about my lie angle.  Five degrees flat, he said, and followed up with other famous pros with the same sort of measurements.  HG claims that over their history they have observed that a majority of golfers are playing with incorrect dynamic lie angles.  Therefore, the keystone of an HG fitting is determining this piece of information.

Another issue I have had recur with my game is not enough launch from the ball.  I can get a respectable distance but when I get a bad one off it resembles a line drive from a baseball bat.  Throughout the fitting it didn’t matter how poorly I hit a shot, he was quite encouraging the entire time.  It never seemed forced to me at all, I saw a golf enthusiast with such a love for the game that he wishes everyone who picks it up to succeed. 

Just over a week after this final fitting, new HG clubs arrived on my doorstep.  I was more than excited to try the HG GL II irons out and just had to get to the range.  I’ve got a late uncle that swore by his HG clubs that he was fitted for back in the late 1980s and I would finally see what he was raving about.  How much better would I hit the ball with these new irons than my three-year-old X-18s that I really loved?  These Callaways that I was gaming had been fitted to me and recently had the loft and lie angles adjusted so they would be at the correct specs to not have gaps between the clubs.  I had many lessons and had developed a certain swing that compensated one way or another in order to play.  Mr. Henry told me that the correct clubs would make a significant difference for me.

 

So far…he’s right.  Sure, I’ll hit a bad one every so often – after all, nobody is perfect even with perfectly fit clubs and all the concentration in the world.  What I do notice?  My signature slice doesn’t rear its ugly head so often anymore.  In addition, I am getting a lot more height under the ball.  One of the best things about this whole experience is having wedges that I can actually hit with a result that they are supposed to have instead of some crazy shot that looks like I’ve never picked up a club before.  I’m quite excited by these new clubs and can’t wait to game them a few times to see if my score improves at all.  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but I mean it…so far I am very impressed with these clubs.  Even more I’m excited to have learned a few tidbits from such an experienced pro like Randy Henry.  The value of the entire experience is not lost on me at all. 

The info on the HG website for these GL II irons is as follows: 

The GLII is the evolution of the best selling Henry-Griffitts GL line and features a mid-size head design, 431 stainless construction, tour-grind leading edge, and a bottom weighted, offset blade with a lie range of 7° flat to 6° upright.

#                      Length             Loft                 Lie                   Bounce

1-iron               39½ in.            15°                   59°                  

2-iron               39 in.               17°                   59½°               

3-iron               38½ in.            20°                   60°                  

4-iron               38 in.               23°                   60½°               

5-iron               37½ in.            26°                   61°                  

6-iron               37 in.               30°                   61½°               

7-iron               36½ in.            34°                   62°                  

8-iron               36 in.               38°                   62½°               

9-iron               35½ in.            42°                   63°                  

P-iron              35½ in.            46°                   63°                  

T-iron              35½ in.            50°                   63°                  

S-iron              35 in.               55°                   63½°                12°

Lob-iron          35 in.               60°                   63½°               

So let me clarify a few things – Henry-Griffitts and aboutGolf joined forces in late 2008 to make a software version of Randy Henry.  Actually, Randy and his son Randall are working to produce advanced software that uses artificial intelligence that will integrate with HG’s custom data measurement system to create a virtual Randy.  The goal is to provide teaching and fitting advice and guidance.  They call this “TechCentric Club Fitting” and the two components – data measurement and fitting software will make it possible for others to have nearly the same experience of being fit by Randy Henry himself. 

HG has also recently introduced a new line of irons:  The new OS-1 Irons.  Here’s the scoop straight from HG’s recent press release.  I’ve not seen these in person or tried them for myself – this is the only info I have:

The successor to the RDH 3 Iron Series, the OS-1 features a Curvilinear Sole to offer improved consistency, control and playability.  The Curvilinear Sole is designed with optimized weight distribution — a lower center of gravity, strategically placed tungsten/copper sole weights, wide sole and cutout back design. The result of the Curvilinear Sole is apparent at club-ball impact. Even off center hits are improved and the ball launches into the air faster and higher.

"The OS-1 is exceptionally forgiving, but gives the player the freedom to play all shots," says Randy Henry, founder of Henry-Griffitts. "The sole has great playability and allows a wide variety of shots for all golfers – zero to high handicaps."

OS-1 Irons will be available in May 2009 from Henry-Griffitts Certified Teachers nationwide.  The suggested retail price for the OS-1 irons from Henry-Griffitts is $160.00 per club (steel shaft) and $175.00 per club (graphite shaft).

OS-1 Iron Features

Tungsten/Copper Sole Weights: Lowers the center of gravity, moving it away from the face to produce a higher launch angle. Strategically located to increase the moment of inertia and stabilize the head through every shot.

Cutout Back Design: Reconfigured to allow for a more optimal distribution of weight and increase the consistency of ball flight.

Fly-Cut-Machined Faces: Guarantees absolute flatness of the face.

Machine-Engraved Grooves: Machined scorelines improve consistency, especially when combined with an absolutely flat face.

Curvilinear Sole : Designed for performance from any lie on any ground condition.

Softest 431 Stainless Head: Using the softest 431 Stainless available to construct the head allows greater lie angle options and superior feel.

OS-1 Iron Specs

Availability: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW, TW, SW

Lie: 6° up to 7° flat

Weight: Adjustable, dependent upon shaft length and material

Body: 431 Stainless

Weights: Tungsten/copper

Face: Machined flat (fly cut)

Grooves: Machine engraved

Overall, I truly enjoyed my entire experience with the HG fitting system and everyone that I met along the way.  I’ll revisit my enamored feeling after a few months to see how satisfied I remain but so far – so very good!  These are great clubs for those who aren’t hung up by carrying a major OEM label and desire the more personalized experience.  Yes, there is a price for this customization and it’s not a treatment for the golfer that feels the need to change clubs every 60 days or so.  For the player that could use some help from meticulously fit equipment or those with the budget and taste for this personalized treatment, Henry-Griffitts fits the bill.

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  1. Sean

    Jul 18, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I’ve see you play with the Callaway’s and the HG’s. You are much better with the HG’s, but not as good as the righty!

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Puma unveil new Ignite NXT Crafted footwear

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Puma Ignite NXT Crafted footwear

Puma Golf has launched its new Ignite NXT Crafted footwear – a new version of the NXT with premium leather accents.

The upper of the shoe features a premium leather saddle wrapped around Pwrframe reinforcement. The Pwrframe TPU is an ultra-thin frame that is placed in high-stress areas of the upper for lightweight in a bid to offer added support and increased stability.

Puma Ignite NXT Crafted footwear

The new additions feature Puma’s Pro-Form TPU outsole with an organically-altered traction pattern, containing over 100 strategically placed directional hexagon lugs in proper zones, designed to provide maximum stability and traction.

Puma Ignite NXT Crafted footwear

The Ignite NXT Crafted footwear contain a full-length IGNITE Foam midsole, wrapped in Soleshield in design to offer maximum durability, comfort and energy return. Soleshield is a micro-thin TPU film that is vacuum-formed around the midsole designed to make cleaning off dirt and debris effortless.

Puma Ignite NXT Crafted footwear

Speaking on the new Ignite NXT Crafted footwear, Andrew Lawson, PLM Footwear, Puma Golf said

“The Ignite NXT Crafted perfectly fuse the beauty of handcrafted shoemaking with modern development techniques to deliver optimum elegance and peak performance. With the combination of style and performance these shoes will appeal to a wide variety of golfers – those who appreciate the classic look of a leather saddle shoe and those who value modern comfort and stability technologies being a part of their game.”

Puma Ignite NXT Crafted footwear

The Ignite NXT Crafted shoes are available in 4 colorways: White-Leather Brown-Team Gold, Black-Leather Brown-Team Gold, Peacoat-Leather Brown-Team Gold and White-Hi-Rise-Team Gold) and come in sizes 7-15.

Puma Ignite NXT Crafted footwear

The shoes cost $140 per pair and are available online and at retail beginning today, June 5, 2020.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the best Nike driver ever

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@ukgolfclubsales

In our forums, our members have been discussing Nike drivers. WRXer ‘DixieD’ is currently building up a Nike bag and has reached out to fellow members for driver advice, and WRXers have been sharing what they feel is the best Nike driver ever made.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Ger21: “VR Pro LE? I have two I was still playing last year.”
  • mahonie: “The STR8-Fit Tour was one of the best drivers I’ve played. Still have it the garage and take it to the range occasionally…it would possibly still be in the bag if it hadn’t developed a ‘click’ in the head which I cannot fix. Long, straight(ish) and nice sound.”
  • jackr189: “The VR_S is one of the best.”
  • Finaus_Umbrella: “I played the Vapor Fly Pro, and still do on occasion for nostalgia sake. Sound and feel are great, but it demands a good strike.”
  • PowderedToastMan: “I enjoyed the SQ Tour back in the day, the one Tiger used forever. Do I miss it? Not at all, but it was a pretty good club for its time.”

Entire Thread: “Best Nike driver?”

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What GolfWRXers are saying about driving irons for mid-handicappers

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In our forums, our members have been discussing whether mid-handicappers can benefit from a driving iron. WRXer ‘jomatty’ says:

“I average about 230 off the tee on good drives. I can get a little more sometimes, but 230 is probably the average. I’m 42 years old and shoot in the mid to low 80’s. I do not get along with fairway woods very well, especially off the tee, and really don’t get enough extra length over my hybrid to consider using it aside from very rare situations on par 5’s (I’ve considered just going from driver to 19-degree hybrid and getting an extra wedge or something).”…

…and wants to know if he would be better served by a driving iron. Our members have been sharing their thoughts and suggestions.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • MtlJeff: “If you can shoot mid 80’s, you probably hit it well enough to hit a bunch of different clubs. Personally, I think hybrids are easier to hit….but some driving irons are quite forgiving. I use a G400 crossover that is very easy to hit and looks more iron-like. Something like that you might like. Be careful with some of them though because they aren’t always super forgiving, so you’d have to hit them first.”
  • HackerD: “G410 crossover is my version of a driving iron, feel like I hit it straighter than a hybrid. Just as easy to hit as a hybrid.”
  • hanginnwangin: “I shoot in the low 80s normally and in the 70s on my really good days. I have probably around the same or similar swing speed as you. I have been hitting my 4 iron off the tee on tight holes, and it’s been working pretty well so far. I hit it about 190-220. I have a 4 hybrid but just can’t hit it as consistently as the 4 iron, and it doesn’t even go much farther. I have a 5 wood which I only use for 220+ yard par 3s or wide-open fairways. Basically, it’s all personal preference and what you do best with. Everyone is going to be different. Try new stuff out and see what works. But if irons are the strongest part of your game (they are for me as well), I would give the 4 iron a shot. You can get a lot of roll out on the tee shots with it,”
  • Hellstrom: “Don’t laugh, but I bought a 17* hybrid with a senior flex shaft at a garage sale for $5, and I can hit it nice and easy and keep it in play without losing any distance. My driver SS is between 105 and 110 usually and swinging this thing feels like swinging a spaghetti noodle, but it works. I don’t have it in the bag all the time, but I do use it for certain courses. I take my 6 iron out and throw that in, so if I struggle with getting the ball off the tee, I just go to that.”

Entire Thread: “Driving iron for a mid-handicapper”

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