Dec
10

After Saturday's trip to the golfing simulator at Dick's Sporting Goods I decided to try the Nike Sumo irons as soon as possible. For this experience, I ventured over to Edwin Watts Golf, a national retailer that's been around since 1968. Before leaving the house I called Edwin Watts to make sure they had the Sumo irons in graphite; Jeff was quick to point out they could accommodate me. He was also extremely helpful in trying to work out the best possible route to the store given some traffic snafu's that had occurred recently. I'm a huge proponent of excellent customer service, and Jeff started things off right before I took the first step into the store.

Once getting to the store I found Jeff and we started discussing the fitting and club selection process. I gave Jeff all the pertinent background on my experience as well as what clubs I had already tried. Beginning with the warm-up swings I was overly impressed with their simulator, which was quite a bit better than Dick's. Once warmed up I went through a dozen or so shots with the Callaway X-20, the Nike Sumo, and the TaylorMade R7. I took at least an hour to carefully test each club's feel and the results of hitting a 6 iron down the virtual fairway. Hitting the R7 felt much the same as Saturday; something didn't "click." I hit the X-20 much the same as well, keeping consistent shot patterns between 10-15 yards "off" left/right and the distance right around 135-145 yards. The Sumo graphite results on the other hand were largely different. The feel and weight of the club were excellent and 100% of my shots were within 5-8 yards (again, left/right) of the target. Distance was also consistent. The graphite shafts made a huge difference in how the club felt and performed under my control. With these new results I had nearly settled on the Sumo irons as the next set to enter my bag.

Before making a final decision, I went through the same procedure with what seemed like 15-20 different drivers. The golf pro had me test at least 7 models of drivers in all sorts of degree's, shafts, and offsets. I tried drivers ranging from entry level $129 sticks to the nearly $500 Callaway FT-i. The testing encompassed brands from Callaway, Ping, TaylorMade, Nike, Cobra, and others. After another hour or so I had narrowed my choice to the Nike Sumo Squared or the Nike Sumo. Both clubs, in graphite and stiff shafts, felt incredible in my hands and I hit them both well. I really liked looking down at the square head of the Sumo Squared - it really is a beautiful club and made an amazing sound on impact. After hitting these two selections back and forth in 5 minute intervals for another half-hour, I finally decided to go with the original Sumo driver.

After deciding to go with the Nike Sumo driver, I went back and hit another half-dozen balls with the X-20 and Sumo irons. With the results staying the same as previous testing, I decided to get the Sumo irons.

The fitting process Edwin Watts used took cues from the Ping and Callaway specifications. I hit from a Ping board to test, on average, where the ball was striking the face of the club. I wound up needing a 2 degree offset. To ensure this measurement was accurate I also hit a range ball with the token red marker line on it which transfers to the face of the club each swing. I was consistently swinging within the same range on the club face. My height address to the ball was also measured indicating I needed a 1/4 inch longer club than normal. Incidentally, this adjustment helped me address the ball with a driver by extending the club out from my body forcing the toe of the driver face towards the ground. Once all the information was tallied and confirmed by the computer, I was set to order.

It took a few minutes to write up the order for Nike to be able to build the custom clubs. The driver, 3 wood, and 5 wood were already in stock, so those went home with me the same day. In 7-10 business days I should have the Sumo irons to match the woods. All-in-all my experience with Edwin Watts was fantastic. Since Edwin Watts is only a golf store (not a generic sporting goods store) I was worried of getting a cold shoulder, bad customer service, or simply getting treated poorly by an ego-driven gold pro. The actual results couldn't have been more different. They have a fantastic store, competitive pricing, and the simulator was quite a lot of fun and chock full of swing analysis data.

Lastly, I highly encourage other interested golfers to get fitted for clubs. This ensures you are a) using the best brand/model for your current (and potentially future) swing and b) that the clubs themselves are fit to your size, swing style, swing speed, and more. It's worth the time it takes to get it done. I was slow and methodical during the process, but it could probably be done in half the time I took. When the Nike's come in I'll be sure and post some pics.

Aaron West's Gravatar
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This entry was posted by Aaron West on December 10, 2007 at 9:27 PM. It was filed in the following categories: Golf, Personal. It has been viewed 30697 times and has 9 comments.

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9 Responses to My Experience Choosing Clubs at Edwin Watts Golf

  1. What a great in depth review of these guys. I was debating on using TGW.com but after reading your blog post I think I will swing by the local shop In Ft. Walton Beach. I'm sure I probably need some custom clubs and these guys seem to know how to do it. By thw way, did you receive your clubs in the 7-100 days a promised?

  2. @David - Yea, my clubs arrived in about 2 weeks if I'm remembering correctly. Enjoy your fitting and take your time with it.

  3. RodyJ

    I also recently went to an Edwin Watts and asked to be fitted. I have played golf for many years, and though I routinely shoot anywhere from 1-2 under par or a couple over on my home course, I have never been fitted. The salesman who assisted in this was dry as dust to say the least. However, this is not what is currently bothering me. My fitting process, if you want to call it that, consisted only of going through the Ping line of colors and seeing where I hit each on the strike board. I said I was interested in the Pings when I walked in the door. Nothing else was looked at, measured, nothing. I'm hitting the Ping I10s pretty fair but I don't think I quite got all that I asked for in the fitting. Tell me what you think. Did I get shortchanged?

  4. @RodyJ

    It's hard to say whether you were shortchanged or not. Since you're hitting 1 or 2 under par you are quite obviously in the extreme minority in terms of your ability. I still think you could benefit from a more solid fitting including all the normal measurements of inseam, wrist height above ground (with wrists at your side), strike board (which you mentioned), launch monitor analysis of launch angle, carry distance, and dispersion; grip size, and of course hitting more than just the Ping's.

    I'd offer that you were fitted by someone who wasn't taking the care to ensure you were properly fitted with all the elements of a great fitting. Like other businesses not every Edwin Watts is the same. Perhaps the one you visited isn't up to par (pun intended) with other locations. Then again, maybe your fitter was just having a bad day?

  5. RodyJ

    Thanks for the feedback. I guess I was looking for affirmation of what I kinda already knew. Why I walked out with so little is beyond me. I think I will be contacting Edwin Watts for a more thorough followup which they did say they would do if I wasn't pleased.

  6. @RodyJ - Well, at least they were willing to let you come in and get more fitting done. Which Edwin Watts are you visiting?

  7. RodyJ

    Ridgeland, MS

  8. Dennis

    I would not trust Edwin Watts. They tried to charge $110 + S&H for a 6 month old Taylor Made R11 driver that cracked. They said that TM charged and it would take 3 weeks to repair.

    One call to Taylor Made by me. Rec'd new R11S in 2 days, no charges for anything.

    Edwin Watts was trying to pull a fast one.

  9. Carey

    Dennis,

    A lot of times Taylor Made will take much better care of the customer that calls direct. When we (Edwin Watts ) call being the large company we are, we don't always get the same response. Fast one I'm hard pressed to believe that since we've been in business 45 years. If Taylor Made charges us, we have to pass that along to our customers, if not we won't be around long. You get getting charged 110.00 plus shipping, guarantee you they were popping us for 125.00.
    Thanks.