Chicago-based fitter earns top club fitting recognition for tenth consecutive year
Willowbrook, IL – Club Champion’s entire roster of studios was named to Golf Digest’s 2021-22 America’s 100 Best Clubfitters list! Since the prestigious biennial ranking’s inception in 2011, the custom club fitter has been included by Golf Digest as one of the top places to visit for custom fitting services in the United States.
“At Golf Digest, we believe custom fitting is the most important tool to optimizing a golfer’s potential, and today more than ever it stands as the one area where the greatest improvement can occur,” said Golf Digest Senior Equipment Editor, Mike Stachura, in the publication’s congratulations letter.
Club Champion is the nation’s top fitter, builder and retailer of the best brands in golf. The company delivers a Tour-quality fitting experience for golfers of any ability level with over 50,000 hittable head and shaft combinations. The 82 award-winning Club Champion fitting studios can be found in major markets across the country, with plans to expand even further in 2021.
“We’re extremely proud to have all of our locations featured in Golf Digest’s top list for ten years running,” said Club Champion founder, Nick Sherburne. “Our mission is to find the best possible clubs for any golfer who walks through our doors and this honor validates our success in doing so.”
Other recent accomplishments for the club fitter include being named a Top 100 Club Fitter for top golf brands Callaway and PING, and landing more trusted brand ambassadors in the LPGA’s Lexi Thompson and Louise Ridderström. Lexi and Louise join the likes of legendary instructor David Leadbetter, three-time Major winner Jordan Spieth, and top instructor Michael Breed on the Club Champion team.
“This recognition is something we hold in the highest regard,” said Sherburne. “All the more reason to continue growing with more studios, equipment brands, additions to our ambassador roster and more. Club Champion is just getting started and we’re excited to continue on our journey as an industry leader.”
Established in 2010, Club Champion is a national club fitting and building company headquartered in Chicago, IL. There are currently more than 80 Club Champion fitting studios in major markets across the country, with plans to expand further in 2021. The studios carry all the top golf club, shaft and grip manufacturers in the industry, which are used to build test clubs in real-time. Studios are equipped with advanced analysis technology, along with highly trained certified fitters and builders who must complete an extensive training program. Services include club fitting and building, repair services, personalization, and highly engaging corporate and personal entertainment events.
(Miami, FL, June 16, 2021) — Original Penguin Golf® by Munsingwear®, a division of Perry Ellis International, announces that brand ambassador Cameron Smith will be showcasing Original Penguin’s exciting new Spring 2021 collection at the U.S. Open , June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Smith will be outfitted in Original Penguin’s soft to the touch and lightweight performance polos. Accented with teal, navy and Sunday’s signature red, theses polos feature a mix of vibrant stripes, solids and whimsical prints creating a smart spring look. Complementing the polos are Original Penguin’s Everyday pants crafted from high-stretch fabrics that enhance performance and comfort. Reversible leather belts with Pete buckle complete the look.
Here are Cameron’s looks for the week:
Chest Pump Polo Everyday Pant
Reversible Leather Belt with Pete Buckle
Friday: Resort Chest Print Polo Everyday Pant
Reversible Leather Belt with Pete Buckle
Saturday: The Earl Polo Everyday Pant Printed Cotton Web Belt
Sunday: Three Strokes Polo Everyday Pant Printed Cotton Web Belt
Sustainability and environmental preservation are the core of Original Penguin’s DNA, so not only will Cameron be looking good, he will be helping the environment thanks to Original Penguin’s RE-Originals™ sustainable fabrication. Its new eco-friendly golf polos are crafted with 30% recycled polyester and use a double-knit high-gauge fabrication for superior performance and aesthetics. Pairing these elevated materials with OPG’s modern tailored fit, Cameron’s style is sure to be an original at Torrey Pines.
Original Penguin by Munsingwear became a staple among the masters of suburban leisure well into the 1980s and was worn by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Clint Eastwood. Said to be the originator of the golf shirt, Original Penguin incorporates technologically advanced fibers with modern-day, fashionable, styles that is perfectly suited for both on and off the course. Today, Original Penguin embodies a mix of iconic American Sportswear with modern-minded aesthetics into a diverse range of products for a full lifestyle brand. Made for originals, by originals.
About An Original Penguin by Munsingwear®
In 1955, Minneapolis-based Munsingwear – an underwear and military supply company – ironically became the touchstone of suburban sport with the introduction of the first iconic golf shirt to America – an ORIGINAL PENGUIN®. Known for its unique, humorous and fashionable clothing, Original Penguin is a global brand offering a full range of men’s and children’s clothing, accessories and fragrances with diverse retail distribution and two dedicated e-commerce websites: http://www.originalpenguin.com and http://www.originalpenguin.co.ukwww.original penguin.co.uk. See a full preview of the Spring 2021 Golf collection here.
About Perry Ellis International
Perry Ellis International, Inc. is a leading designer, distributor, and licensor of a broad line of high quality men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, and fragrances. The company’s collection of dress and casual shirts, golf sportswear, sweaters, dress pants, casual pants and shorts, jeans wear, active wear, dresses, and men’s and women’s swimwear is available through all major levels of retail distribution. The company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns a portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized brands, including: Perry Ellis®, An Original Penguin by Munsingwear®, Laundry by Shelli Segal®, Rafaella®, Cubavera®, Ben Hogan®, Savane®, Grand Slam®, John Henry®, Manhattan®, Axist® and Farah®. The company enhances its roster of brands by licensing trademarks from third parties, including: Nike® for swimwear, and Callaway®, PGA TOUR®, and Jack Nicklaus® for golf apparel. Additional information on the company is available at http://www.pery.com
A look into the hot mess that my head is, and how it relates to my golf game.
Is matching golf equipment or being brand agnostic necessary? The short answer is no, you don’t need to have matching golf equipment. The truth is that we all know how much this game of ours is mental. At any given time, there is so much going through the 6″ between our ears that it’s hard to fathom.
Everything is there flipping around like hamster inside of a hamster wheel. We’re thinking about so many variables like a 1970’s “supercomputer” (although mine happens to be from “The Flintstones” era) where we are computing and translating so much information in such a short period of time, that, it sort of makes you marvel. Many of us have seen the diagram below, but on top of all of these swing thoughts there are other considerations. Golf course conditions, factoring in uphill or downhill slopes, the wind, the temperature, are we playing at sea level (crap, better club up) and the list goes on and on. When about it, it can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant feeling. Overwhelming perhaps?
Recently, I had an epiphany of sorts. It was documented about 20 years ago that I have an “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (OCD) among many other ailments as I release the scroll. The OCD is something that I’ve really thought that I’ve ignored. As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t the debilitating type that you see with “Sheldon Cooper” on “Big Bang Theory” (knocking three time for Penny) nor is it the variety of OCD where I obsessively wash my hands or flick a switch so many times before leaving a house. Instead, I have an issue where once I start thinking about something I fixate or if I start something I can’t do it halfway and leave it to sit for another time. No, it has to be done and done now. As much as I credit my mom and dad while growing up teaching me “Son, if you start something you either finish it or you don’t start it at all”. It really is me and not them so much, I think. In a way, it’s sort of a blessing as I’ve appeared diligent in my various occupations.
Recently though, from a golf standpoint the OCD rose to the surface. What I once had written off as being a quirk has actually affected me more than I initially thought. It happened the one day recently at the driving range during a practice session. I was at Niagara Golf and Batting Cages and I was very casual. I was wearing a pink t-shirt that I made (Until The Next Tee Lifestyle), a grey fitted Titleist cap with pink writing, grey shorts, and a pink sock that may or may not have had white marijuana plants on it. I’ve been wearing an off-loader to help a diabetic foot ulcer heal and because I can’t wear matching shoes, I like to have a little bit of personality so colourful socks it is.
My wife then pointed out to me that the pink didn’t match the shirt because it was in fact, purple. I was paralyzed. As I gathered my bucket of balls, coffee, golf clubs, and made my way to the far end of the range to set up, there was a “buzzing” in my ears. I could NOT get my mind off of it. It bugged me the whole session. And that’s when the real “Eureka Moment” happened. OCD.
When it comes to buying and wearing golf apparel I have to wear clothing that matches. No, not just colours but brands. I feel so uncomfortable if my polo doesn’t match my bottoms, to the point where I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. For example, I can’t wear an Adidas polo with a Nike Golf pair of shorts. If the shoes don’t match brands I’m okay with it. Yet, I don’t feel right when I wear grey, black, blue or any other colour of golf shoes. They don’t look right on my feet or so I think. Instead, they have to be at least 90% white. I think it’s why I continue to wear white belts even though at some point those that are “woke” have determined that white belts are gauche. I’ll put on a black belt and determine that it doesn’t look right. I won’t leave the apartment until there’s a white belt on.
I mentioned earlier about golfers being “brand agnostic”. This is something that I’ve been adamant about explaining to people about the golf equipment that they play. I’ve always been an advocate of “you always play the best equipment for your game”. Don’t worry about having a full 14-club setup unless you’re being sponsored by a certain brand or you sign an agreement. Heck, we’re seeing less of that on the professional tours worldwide. Back when I was playing Min-Tour’s what many of you don’t know is that I was a Titleist staffer. Of course, I had the agreement that I played nothing but Titleist golf balls (Pro V1 of course) and all golf clubs in the bag were Titleist. That was it. So having a totally matching set was a snap and my head never played tricks on me. But things got a little murkier recently for what seems to be a totally unjustified reason.
Getting ready to resume golf after our second or third lockdown (I’ve actually lost track) I was trying to get my starting WITB set-up in a way that if I were teeing it up in competition again it’s what I’d be rolling with. Before continuing on, my metals do not match my SUB 70 Golf 699 Pro irons. Nor do they match the wedges either (testing Edison Golf Forged Wedges for review). The putter is almost always an outlier and only matched when I played a Scotty Cameron Phantom Futura with Titleist. But the metals have to match. If one is say a Tour Edge Golf Exotics the all have to be. So, as I’m sorting out my bag I have a conundrum. What shouldn’t be an issue, turned into a mess.
I had won a TaylorMade Golf Stand Bag from Steam Whistle Brewing around The Masters. So, I placed my irons, wedges and putter into the bag. Now, my OCD takes over. So, I start to thinking, and that never ends well. Well Alex, you have a TaylorMade Golf Bag and TaylorMade Golf caps. Shouldn’t you be playing your TaylorMade SLDR driver, JetSpeed fairway metals, and SLDR Rescue? Even though, the results are great with the Tour Edge Exotics I felt like I had to switch everything up. Now, I’m at the range with no less than 9 metalwoods determining what the best set-up for me is and I’m trying to make a decision where my brain and OCD in particular are running the show.
For the life of me, I cannot combine the clubs with each other. It has to be one or the other. I suppose that with all of the counsel that I’ve given in the past to so many that this is, somewhat hypocritical. Play what’s best for your game. But what if you can’t get past the brain?
As it stands right now, Tour Edge Exotics are in the top end of my WITB, but lurking in my peripheral as I type this story are the TaylorMade clubs, almost talking to me. Is it a matter of time before they go back in, just because? Speaking of Tour Edge. The new Exotics C721 that I’m setting up to write a review on is a juggernaut!
-Read the Greens, GOLF Media was selected to further brand exposure, reach new growth initiatives, and promote the Blue Tee Golf line of technically advanced and competitively priced rangefinders-
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. (June 15, 2021) – Blue Tees Golf, a rapidly growing producer of golf rangefinders and accessories, named California based Read the Greens, GOLF Media as the company’s public relations agency. The agreement with Read the Greens, GOLF Media is to develop and manage a comprehensive public relations campaign and communications plan which will support the brand, sales, and product.
“We are excited about this newly formed partnership. Blue Tees Golf is a relatively new company in the golf space, but we are quickly becoming one of the fastest growing golf rangefinder companies online and at retail. Vanessa and her team have been in the golf industry for years which will be instrumental to us. Their collective experience, relationships, and advice, like with the upcoming PGA Show, will be proven to be a real asset. I know this is going to be a rewarding collaboration,” said Chris Markham, Co-Founder and CEO of Blue Tees Golf.
Blue Tees Golf Rangefinders perform at the highest-level possible. Created internally by the company’s industrial designer, they feature a unique design with the latest technology and software. The modern styling is unlike any other rangefinder on the market and their entire line is affordably priced, at a fraction of the cost of their competitors. This attributes to their vast success online and at retail.
“I am so looking forward to working with Blue Tees Golf. The team is filled with energy and passion. Their philosophy is refreshing. Design a golf rangefinder with innovative features but at a price more accessible for the everyday golfer, inclusive. Love it. I can’t wait to get my media samples field tested for feedback,” said Read the Greens, GOLF Media Founder, Vanessa Marie Price.
About Blue Tees Golf:
Blue Tees Golf is different than traditional brands. By utilizing a consumer first strategy and their industrial design expertise, they can cut out complex operations to create high-quality, high-performance golf products at a fraction of the price of the competition. All Blue Tees Golf products come with a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee, and a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. The Blue Tees Golf motto, “Save your money & have fun when you play more rounds with Blue Tees Golf on your bag. For more information, visit www.blueteesgolf.com.
Read the Greens, GOLF Media is a boutique marketing and communications consulting agency that specializes in golf. We employ marketing elements that include public relations, marketing, advertising, and event support. Our passion and our purpose have propelled some of golf’s largest brands as well as launched smaller and burgeoning brands. Our extensive knowledge in the golf industry is a key component to your successful pursuit in golf. We can advise, direct, and guide your golf idea or golf product to influential people within the industry as well as to the influential golf media. We have spent over 25-years developing relationships with the golf media. Our team, our relationships, and our databases provide the perfect platform for your success.
It’s amazing when you pause and reflect on how much golf technology has changed over the last several decades. We’ve seen woods go from the ever classy persimmon to being constructed of space-aged materials like carbon-fiber and titanium. From an aeronautics standpoint, titanium was used in the 1950’s to develop the infamous Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. Just think what was once a classified material is now commonplace in the manufacturing of golf clubs.
Of course, technology doesn’t stop there. From golf components, golf balls, launch monitors, and apparel technology is at the forefront. The endless endeavor of helping golfers play their best golf is a focal point for golf manufacturers throughout the golf industry. Investments into research and development (R&D) to make a challenging sport just a little bit less taxing is never-ending pursuit. To this end, long gone are iron sets that are composed of tiny and compact heads with sweet spots the size of pinhead like the Spalding Blades of yesteryear. Instead, we see improved weight distribution such as perimeter weighting and larger sweet spots in sets considered to be “Player’s Irons”. As the game has evolved, players of the highest handicaps and tour professionals alike have seen the value of hybrid or rescue clubs.
The history of the hybrid dates back to the 1970’s when Cobra Golf introduced their Baffler fairway wood which featured a patented sole design. The “Baffler” design is still employed by the company today half a century later from when the golfing world first learned of the Baffler sole (the Baffler LP launched in 1998). Soon after, more golf companies followed suit. TaylorMade Golf launched their Rescue in 2003 and Adams Golf is often thought to be a pioneer in this genre of golf clubs. I’ll circle back around to Adams Golf in a little while.
As it turns out almost every golf original equipment manufacturer (OEM) has a rescue, hybrid, or utility iron in their stable. Whether it’s a company like New Level Golf Equipment, Sub 70 Golf, Fourteen Golf (HI-877 Hybrid seen below) Wilson, PING, Callaway Golf et al they all offer them. Because they work and help.
In a way, the hybrid, rescue or utility iron has become a necessity in the majority of golfers bags worldwide. These staples are used for many reasons. First of all, they are simply easier to strike vs a low-lofted club (1-3i). Even more importantly is the fact that these golf clubs are easier to elevate due to so much weight being distributed low and back near the trailing edge, although some “pro models” (Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro) do offer the weight a little more forward in order to help golfers (usually higher-swing speed players) achieve a flatter trajectory. Not to mention these golf clubs offer tremendous versatility around greens and they are easier to hit out of long rough than a long iron.
Personally speaking, my foray into the world of rescue clubs didn’t start off, swimmingly. I had a hard time buying into them and to be totally frank, much of it had to do with my stubbornness than anything else. Jut the appearance alone I disliked. They were the proverbial “Ugly Duckling” in my eyes. I didn’t like looking at them and whenever I tried to strike one at a demo day more often than not, resulted in a poor, flubbed shot. Ironically enough, I had no issue striking high-lofted fairway metals (I gamed a 7-wood) and a 2 or 3i, was no problem. But, eventually, I warmed up to these… abominations. The ugly duckling was in fact, a swan.
So what won me over to see the ways of the hybrid? Well, there were several factors. Much of it had to do with sensory things of course. It wasn’t until Adams Golf launched the Boxer A3 hybrid and little known MA-Nine Golf (Kick X Golf) launched the MA-Nine Hybrid that I bought into hybrids. These particular clubs had the right feel, sound, and performed duties how I needed them to be performed. Going into greens the golf ball elevated, flew high and landed soft with nary a release. They were bailing me out from trees and the rough. After initially balking at using hybrids it became quite apparent that hybrids/rescues were “bona fide stroke-savers”.
Ever since, I’ve had a revolving door of hybrids/utility irons that have included but are not limited to Titleist 503.H and 910H, and 913H, TaylorMade Golf SLDR (still play it on occasion), Miura Golf HB3, Tour Edge Exotics EXS and EXS Pro, Callaway Golf X Hot, PING Rapture Utility among others.
Choosing the Right Style of Hybrid/Rescue/Utility Iron For “Your” Game
When it comes to picking out the right variation of these clubs for your game, you need to really examine yourself as a golfer. What kind of golfer are you? Are you a high-handicap golfer? Do you have a discerning eye? Do you hate offset? Do you need offset to help you fight a slice? The variables are really too much to list. Make no mistake about it, when assessing yourself you have to be totally honest with the person looking back at you in the mirror. Otherwise, it’s all moot.
When I look at drivers, hybrids, irons, etc there really is a set of parameters that I use. Most of it, is used when I award my annual Teezy Awards at the annual PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day. Of course performance stands for a lot, but other factors like esthetics, sound/feel. and value mean something too. But here are some considerations.
What is the main purpose for the club? For example, am I a better player looking to use the club on tight fairways and short par 4 holes. Links golf for example. Maybe a Utility Iron is the better choice.
Looks matter. Do you feel more confident looking down at something with a larger footprint? The larger the footprint perhaps there’s more forgiveness to be gained. While Utility Irons offer the smallest footprint, pro models will offer something in tween the Utility Iron and Game-Improvement hybrid.
Sticking with looks. Does it appear clean or is there too much going on? Offset, maybe you need the help or maybe it bugs your eye. Either way, life is about “checks and balances” and choosing the right golf equipment for your game is no different. You might gain a lot by giving up a little.
Sound and feel often are associated with each other. To me feel is often almost as important if not moreso than how it performs. When you like how a golf club feels you look forward to swinging it. Confidence oozes out of your pores The psychological impact of this variable is more important than you might think.
Budget. What’s an acceptable price point for you? Is there good value for your consumer dollars? Maybe due to fiscal issues you can’t afford the newest and latest offerings of the calendar year.
Technology. Is the technology legit or is it “smoke and mirrors”? Maybe you prefer adjustable heads for tinkering with launch conditions. When it comes to components most of the manufacturers offer great stock offerings for shafts that were not long ago, up-charged products. But, do you need to upgrade the shaft after you purchase it.
To find out the correct answer isn’t really “rocket science” per se. More importantly no matter what major golf websites or I say, there isn’t a best “Be All… End All” correct club for you. All we do, and I say this with the most objectivity and honesty is that we can only offer a baseline. Products for you to consider. Much like a therapist or counselor.
If you’re looking at a new hybrid swing as many products as you can. Hopefully, there’s an outdoor demo day that offers the luxuries of both real-time ballflight and launch monitor information. There’s no substitution for the real thing. I’d be remiss if I also failed to mention a trusted clubfitter.
I hope this help and enjoy your search for a rescue. I love being saved.