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GolfTEC partners with True Spec to expand custom-fitting options amid expansion

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GolfTEC has partnered with True Spec Golf as part of its efforts at expansion and innovation. Amid an overall brand refresh and updates to existing centers, the leader in golf lessons is bringing True Spec in as a fulfillment partner, massively upgrading the company’s fitting capabilities and making GolfTEC one of the premium custom-club fitters in the world.

The company will carry out updates to 30 locations in the first half of 2017, and the rest of the 190 by the end of 2018.

“Our growth trajectory is unmatched in the industry because we’ve always stayed true to our mission to help people play better golf,” said Joe Assell, Co-Founder and CEO of GolfTEC. “We took our recent success as an opportunity to move even further ahead and we’re not slowing down.”

Assell told us the company it coming off “the strongest year in the history of GolfTEC by far” by all metrics. However, “there’s a big but” in discussing the success.

The “but”: With Golfsmith’s bankruptcy last September, GolfTEC lost 50 locations. “We were in 81 Golfsmiths…30 locations are staying open,” Assell said.“That triggered a lot of work for us, but we’re able to handle this”

The timing of the Golfsmith closures may actually work in GolfTEC’s favor in the long run. “If Golfsmith had gone under a year ago,” we would have built 35 GolfTECs the old way,” Assell said, referencing the updated locations.

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With respect to those updates, GolfTEC is focusing on four key areas.

Brand Refresh and Updated Logo: Pretty self explanatory, GolfTEC has updated its logo and brand materials.

New In-Center Design: “We want to be people’s club away from their club or course,” Assell told us. The new locations are designed for “total golf immersion,” offering students new amenities, game-improvement products and services, an extensive digital experience and comfortable furniture in common areas.

New In-bay Technology: All new, state-of-the-art cameras and lighting provide enhanced high-resolution video for both in-bay playback during lessons and online viewing post-session. The cameras are custom-made for GolfTEC and integrate with the company’s updated and proprietary motion-measurement TECswing system. Current locations will be retrofitted with the cameras throughout 2017 and 2018.

Enhanced Club Fitting: Of particular interest to GolfWRX readers, GolfTEC has joined with True Spec as a fulfillment partner for their expanded club fitting. Previously, GolfTEC had been limited to manufacturer-provided fitting carts.

“The consumer is going toward custom-fit,” Assell said. “We want to offer a better experience and a better fit beyond the 20-30 shafts that are offered by the OEM. There are hundreds of shafts out there. We want to be able to offer the full variety, just like a Tour player has access to. The same with heads.”

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We also spoke with True Spec Golf CEO Hoyt McGarity. McGarity told us golfers are becoming more aware of club fitting and more tech savvy in general. Club fitting has been portrayed as something you do in 10 minutes at a big box store, but that perception is changing. Now, “people want to know why they’re buying this equipment.”

Breaking down the partnership, McGarity said, “We’re their warehouse, their shipping. We do the fulfillment. We aren’t training the fitters. It’s not called True Spec; we’re more of a support system for them.”

Thus, it’s important to note that True Spec remains committed to its own brand, planning to open 10-20 locations in the next 2.5 years.

“We want to have a part in how people are being fit for golf clubs, but to also grows True Spec,” McGarity told us amid a company relocation to Scottsdale, Arizona.

We’ll follow the brand refresh and the substantial uptick in the availability of top-quality throughout 2017.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Pete

    May 5, 2017 at 7:09 am

    How much is a driver fitting at True Spec?

  2. The Director

    May 4, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Actually, GOLFTEC uses a proprietary body motion analysis system built by Polhemus. This system tracks the entire motion of the torso and is accurate to the 1/10th of an inch and the 1/10 of a degree. This is more accurate than Kvest.

    • George

      May 4, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      you are right i forgot they have that vest thing. But besides that they need the new tracking systems

  3. George

    May 4, 2017 at 10:55 am

    For a company called Golftec they are getting pretty behind in the Tec side. All they have is video and GC2. They dont even have the HMT. They also dont have a sam putt lab, K vest. They were once a tec company but now this stuff is out dated. Well good thing they are expanding on the fitting side (sigh).

    • H

      May 4, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Well you just reminded them what they now need and are going to be doing, didn’tcha? This is going to be a great thing for both companies, and for golf.

  4. Dat

    May 4, 2017 at 8:53 am

    How much is this “fitting” going to cost their average sucker? $2000 like everything else in GolfTec?

    • Tom1

      May 4, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      ? ya Debbie Downer

      • Dat

        May 4, 2017 at 5:44 pm

        you can go to golftec and blow as much money as you please. I will seek private instruction from a qualified pro and get my clubs on the BST.

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Squares2Circles: Course strategy refined by a Ph.D.

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What do you get when you combine Division I-level golf talent, a Ph.D. in Mathematics, a passion for understanding how people process analytical information, and a knowledge of the psychology behind it? In short, you get Kevin Moore, but the long version of the story is much more interesting.

Kevin Moore attended the University of Akron on a golf scholarship from 2001-2005. Upon completing his tenure with the team, he found himself burned out on the game and promptly hung up his sticks. For a decade.

After completing his BS and MS degrees at the University of Akron, Kevin then went to Arizona State to pursue his Ph.D. Ultimately what drew him to the desert was the opportunity to research the psychology behind how people process analytical information. In his own words:

“My research in mathematics education is actually in the realm of student cognition (how students think and learn). From that, I’ve gained a deep understanding of developmental psychology in the mathematical world and also a general understanding of psychology as a whole; how our brains work, how we make decisions, and how we respond to results.”

In 2015, Kevin started to miss the game he loved. Now a professor of mathematics education at the University of Georgia, he dusted off his clubs and set a goal to play in USGA events. That’s when it all started to come together.

“I wanted to play some interesting courses for my satellite qualifiers and I wasn’t able to play practice rounds to be able to check them out in advance. So I modified a math program to let me do all the strategic planning ahead of time. I worked my way around the golf course, plotting out exactly how I wanted to hit  shot, and minimizing my expected score for each hole. I bundled that up into a report that I could study to prepare for the rounds.

“I’m not long enough to overpower a golf course, so I needed to find a way to make sure I was putting myself in the best positions possible to minimize my score. There might be a pin position on a certain green where purposely hitting an 8-iron to 25 feet is the best strategy for me. I’ll let the rest of the field take on that pin and make a mistake even if they’re only hitting wedge. I know that playing intelligently aggressive to the right spot is going to allow me to pick up fractions of strokes here and there.”

His plan worked, too. Kevin made it to the USGA Mid-Amateur at Charlotte Country Club in September of 2018 using this preparation method for his events just three years after taking a decade off of golf. In case you missed the implied sentiment, that’s extremely impressive. When Kevin showed his reports to some friends that played on the Web.com Tour and the Mackenzie Tour, they were so impressed they asked him to think about generating them for other people. The first group he approached was the coaching staff at the University of Georgia, who promptly enlisted his services to assist their team with course strategy in the spring of 2019. That’s when Squares2Circles really started to get some traction.

At that point, UGA hadn’t had a team win in over two seasons. They also hadn’t had an individual winner in over one season and had missed out on Nationals the previous two seasons. In the spring of 2019, they had three team wins (including winning Regionals to advance to Nationals) and two individual wins (including Davis Thompson’s win at Regionals). Obviously, the credit ultimately belongs to the players on the team, but suffice it to say it appears as though Kevin’s involvement with the team was decidedly useful.

“One of the things we really focused in on was par 3 scoring. They finished 3rd, 2nd, 4th, and 3rd in the field as a team in their spring tournaments. Then at the SEC’s they struggled a bit and finished 6th in the field. At Regionals, they turned it around and finished 1st in the field with a score of +6 across 60 scores (186 total on 60 par 3’s, an average of 3.10).”

Sample Squares2Circles layout for the 18th hole at Muirfield Village. Advanced data redacted.

Kevin is available outside of his work with UGA and has been employed by other D-I teams (including his alma mater of Akron), Mackenzie Tour players, Web.com Tour players, and competitive juniors as well. Using his modified math program, he can generate generic course guides based on assumed shot dispersions, but having more specific Trackman data for the individual allows him to take things to a new level. This allows him to show the player exactly what their options are with their exact carry numbers and shot dispersions.

“Everything I do is ultimately based off of strokes gained data. I don’t reinvent the wheel there and I don’t use any real new statistics (at least not yet), but I see my role as interpreting that data. Let’s say a certain player is an average of -2.1 on strokes gained approach over the last 10 rounds. That says something about his game, but it doesn’t say if it’s strategy or execution. And it doesn’t help you come up with a practice plan either. I love to help players go deeper than just the raw data to help them understand why they’re seeing what they’re seeing. That’s where the good stuff is. Not just the data, but the story the data tells and the psychology behind it. How do we get ourselves in the right mindset to play golf and think through a round and commit to what we’re doing?”

“Even if you’re able to play practice rounds, this level of preparation turns those practice rounds into more of an experiment than a game plan session. You go into your practice round already knowing the golf course and already having a plan of attack. This allows you to use that practice round to test that game plan before the competition starts. You may decide to tweak a few things during your practice round based on course conditions or an elevation change here and there, but for the most part it’s like you’ve gained a free practice round. It allows you to be more comfortable and just let it fly a lot earlier.”

Kevin is in the process of building his website, but follow @squares2circles on Twitter for more information and insight.

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