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Henry-Griffitts Keeps Rolling

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Long before custom golf club fitting became mainstream a small company out of Idaho was preaching the benefits.  Right from their beginning in the early 1980's Henry-Griffitts' (an amalgamation of names of founders and PGA Pros Randy Henry and Jim Griffitts)  philosophy was that ALL golf clubs needed to be fitted.  With golf swings, abilities, and physical stature all very individual things, "off the rack" was just not in their vocabulary.  Lie boards and interchangeable clubheads for fitting are among the standards they were responsible for.

Turning to 2010, more than a quarter century has passed but the passion of HG remains.  The entire golf industry realized that maybe fitting WAS the way to help golfers get more out of their equipment and HG is still adhering to that policy – just as they have from the day they sold their first golf club.

We recently spoke with current Henry-Griffitts President Randall Henry, the son of Randy Henry, about the state of HG and what they have in store for 2010 and beyond.

Even in a time of turmoil in the golf equipment business they feel their approach has carried them through nicely. Henry says that because of that their market position does not vary much from what it has in the past.

"We still always try to think of ourselves as innovators and forward looking," he explained.  'We are still in-line with the certified teacher/fitters and very much believe that are key in the golf business.  They have a distinct knowledge and advantage  over somebody going online to buy clubs or somewhere else where that knowledge and experience is not available.  That is our market; we still only do custom fit golf clubs."

Henry says having a strong and stable relationships with the fitters and pros who sell their equipment has been a real advantage as the markets have ebbed and flowed.  "That is really the reason why we are still around, because we have found good people and they rely on us just as much as we rely on them.  We feel our teachers and fitters are the best in the world and they feel the same about us.  That is the relationship we have."

From an equipment perspective he says that symbiotic relationship has advantages for the consumer.  "They (the fitters) guarantee to give the best fit that they can and we guarantee that what they get is exactly what they order every time."

The company backs that commitment with a 100 day fit guarantee.  "We really encourage our customers to take a look at the clubs when they come in so they get exactly what they ordered," he explained. "That is how we differ; we make sure the people get exactly what they order, every time. Our quality control is second to none," he boasts.

Henrys says their customers are not numbers, they have been "names" from the very beginning and they choose to preserve that level of service.  Often the first time customer becomes a long-time customer and they want to ensure the interaction with the company is as good as it can be right off the hop.

As they move forward Henry says they are taking more steps to keep the communication with the fitters and the customers even more active.  It is all part of their focus on customer service.  "We like to think we'll go the extra mile – that the golfer not only gets a set of golf clubs but an evaluation system and an experience that shows them they are now in a relationship with Henry-Griffitts."

Although proud of their custom fitting heritage Randall says they are not bitter in any way that most major manufacturers have adopted custom fitting and stormed into their niche.  "It's just nice for the people like my dad and everyone at HG to see it being embraced.  From the start it was about the golfer getting to have a better golf experience so we think it is great to see."

On that note Randall also mentions that when he started out his father went to many major manufacturers to talk custom fitting and he was often dismissed and told that basically, "he was crazy," and they could never offer that.

In some ways they still don't, according to HG's President.  'They may offer club-fitting but what we do is the furthest extreme of it.  The same level of service that a tour player receives is what we feel the customers gets with us."

He continues, "Many of them have good fitting systems; it's just nice to see people realizing that equipment does affect motion.  That is always what we have said and the big boys are kind of jumping on board with that now."

Although they have plenty of laurels they could rest on HG is firmly focused on where they are heading next while still utilizing the traits that brought them to where they are today.

"We probably have more plans for 2010 than we have had since the early days," Randall claims.  "With the economy a lot of people are hitting the brakes but we plan to hit the gas."

At the PGA Merchandise Show next week they introduce a number of products across the board – a big occasion for them.  "We don't just come out with golf clubs because it is a new year; we come out with new products when we think it is better. We don't like to change every 6 months just for the sake of it; we do it when we feel there is something for the golfer to gain."

Plans for 2010 also involve growing their dealer network and getting more consumer recognition for what they offer and what their history has been.  "We are looking to grow in areas where we haven't been," says Henry.  He points out a focus on the American Mid-West (they have new production facilities in Ohio) and in Canadian markets as well.

Henry also lays out that the changes also involve a new look, including a fresh logo.  "There will be a lot of focus on cosmetics.  We will have a new look for HG, a little more modern."

He concludes with a promise, "There is a lot of new blood here and our staff are buzzing.  There will be a lot of new looks on everything for HG this year and I think everyone will like it."

——

This article provided to GolfWRX.com by Flagstick Golf Magazine – (www.flagstick.com)

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Whats in the Bag

Justin Thomas’ WITB for course-record 61 at Medinah

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX

justin-thomas-witb-driver

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

5-wood: Titleist 915FD (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4), Titleist 718 MB
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Photo via Vokey wedge rep Aaron Dill

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Best ball for players with slower swing speeds?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from ghoul31 who created a thread dedicated to finding the ideal golf ball for players with slower swing speeds. Our members have their say on what is the ball most suited to slower swing speeds, with a variety of models receiving a mention.

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.

  • Hogan9: “My SS is 80 to 85. I play the Titleist AVX. Many people on these forums tell it’s wrong for me. I’ve tried several brands and types over the last year ( Pro-V-1 and 1X, Cally Supersoft and Chrome Soft, TM TP5X, Wilson Duo Soft and the Snell MTB. The AVX gives me the best overall performance for my game. I’ve had to slightly adjust to how it reacts on chips and pitches, but the extra distance off the tee is well worth it. “
  • North Butte: “Maybe 90mph driver swing on a good day. Driver 205-ish hit 6-iron from 150. Pro V1x but I have played AVX, B330, TP5 with pretty much similar results to my favorite V1x. Also played the Chrome Soft for a while but it seemed to fly a little low and sometimes have trouble holding greens (or maybe I just didn’t give it a long enough chance to know for sure).”
  • Hat Trick: “Pro V1X – Spin and higher launch keeps it in the air longer, but at the same time that spin holds the greens – SS 96-98 mph.”
  • Kmac: “My SS is right around 95-100, and I find the QST to the perfect for my game. I will also play the AVX or Chrome Soft Truvis. But for the money, nothing beats the QST.”

Entire Thread: “Best ball for players with slower swing speeds?”

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Single length irons stunting development?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from rbark11 who has sparked an interesting debate over single length irons in our forums. Rbark11 has been playing single length irons for the past seven months, and he is concerned that he may have issues changing back to regular length irons. Our members give their take on the matter, as well as discussing single length irons in general.

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.

  • mcs4: “No, it will not. Both my father and I are currently playing Cobra One Length irons after decades of playing variable length irons. It took both of us maybe a few rounds to feel comfortable with the switch. This weekend I played a round with my old irons, and it was different but not a big deal. My opinion is that there are pros and cons with each approach, but I don’t think picking one will make any particular negative impact on your ability to later switch to the other.”
  • Quadra: “I’ve played both. Right now I am back to VL clubs ( Wishon 560 irons). Find VL gives me more shot-making options. With uneven lies, especially with the ball above or below foot level, the shot seems easier with a more upright or flatter lie, rather than trying to manipulate a shot from clubs with only a single length/lie. VL = more shot possibilities.”
  • Aucaveman: “I played Cobra ftbo for a year. Shot my best scores ever. Our club switched to Mizuno exclusively, so I had my first real fitting. I switched to the 919 forged and had to sell the Cobras to fund the mizunos. Really wished I hadn’t. I really liked the Cobras. The shafts in the Mizuno’s are better suited for me but had I put the same shafts in the Cobras; I’d prob been better off. At some point, I’ll prob do it and go back to one lengths. I was perusing eBay yesterday actually.”
  • Brandons68: “I think that the consistency you gain from SL irons is pretty great. I have not played them personally, but have talked to several people that have, and they really like the feel of the irons and the fact that they swing every iron the same because they are all the same length.”

Entire Thread: “Single length irons stunting development?”

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