Review of the Haggin Oaks Player Performance Studio and Super Shop

Recently, GolfWRX member, Ramon Ware, made a trip to the Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop in Sacramento, CA to be fitted in the Player Performance Studio with club-fitting professional Chris Hammond. Today’s article first appeared on GolfWRX.com, the largest online golf social community featuring comprehensive golf pictures, news and discussions, and has been reprinted with permission from the author. Click HERE to see the original article and visit GolfWRX.com for more information about this online colf community. To schedule an appointment to be fit in the Haggin Oaks Player Performance Studio by Chris Hammond, please call 916-808-2531.

Introduction:

Pros 

Would you like to receive the same custom fitting experience as that of a Touring Professional?? Amazing experience as you walk in the door and experience all that the Haggin Oaks Super Shop and Player Performance Studio (PPS) have to offer.

Cons

NONE. Period. Just be sure to schedule in advance and enjoy the experience.

Bottom Line

This is the simply put, THE best way to get optimized throughout your entire bag. I’ve been to two Callaway Performance Centers, the Taylor Made, Titleist & Nike Custom Fitting Vans, and THIS easily is one of my best.

Review:

So, just ask yourself one question….. “Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya??”

This goes without saying… A HUGE THANK YOU to Morton Golf (GOLFWRX Sponsor), the Haggin Oaks Super Shop (SS) /Player Performance Studio (PPS) Management, and my great friend Chris Hammond for providing me with an opportunity to experience this fitting. The Super Shop 15,000+ sq. ft. of equipment and apparel, all right at your fingertips. It’s akin to walking into the Toy R’US of golf equipment. It’s like walking into a PGA Tour Superstore, yet the single biggest difference is… drum roll… you can HIT OUTSIDE! And yes, there are other large places that are similar. I’m just ecstatic that the Super Shop and PPP are within a reasonable drive for me. Below are a few photos of the Super Shop and PPS before I get into all of the FUN!

Now for the fun…. And I mean FUN!!

Just a quick blurb about myself:
Age: 40, Height 6’-2”, Weight: 185lb.
Handicap: 6 handicap, play several times a week (9 holes during the week mostly) and 18 several times a month.
Driver swing speed that’s in the 108-111 mph
7-iron swing speed of about 96 mph

My bag consisted of the following, which I confirmed was optimized for me back in the summer of 2011 and just recently was:

Driver: Callaway 8.5* Razr Hawk Tour w/ Speeder 652 x, tipped ½”, 44.5”
Fwy’s: Callaway Razr FIT 3 & 5 wood w/ Diamana Kai’li 80 stiff
Irons: Callaway Diablo Forged (DF) w/ PX Flighted 6.0, +1/2”, +2*. (38.5” 5-iron)
Wedges: actually brought my 2012 Callaway Forged Wedges and my Cleveland CG16’s, for a wedge death match

Experience:

I arrived at the Super Shop/PPS about 30 minutes before my fitting, to be able to warm up and get a little loose. Truth be told, I’ve been swinging “like death” too so I wanted to be able to hit the ball decently for Chris and not look like a “complete and utter 30-handicap”. Yes, I do have that “chopping wood” ability in me. LOL. So I greet Chris who is just wrapping up with another customer (who looked liked a kid at Christmas time) and indicates the bay that I should warm up in. The PPS has three full bays, each with a Trackman, flat panel screens to watch your ballflight from the Trackman, and a myriad of other goodies to check out. Even a Mitchell loft/lie bending machine to get your irons/wedges tweaked to perfection. (Between you, me and fence point, I REALLY want one of those. That would be SO much fun to check my loft/lies from time to time, although my OCD may overtake me. LOL).

So I began to warm with my 7-iron and 6-iron as I knew these would be fitting irons that I would be hitting, so I wanted to be sharp. I started off hitting my DF 7-iron and was hitting it real solid. I’ve been working on my iron swing for quite some time now. I’d recently bought this weight that fits around the iron head like a sock. It’s a Tour weight and this has really helped me to bring the club back on-line and be able to properly “release” the club. What a concept?! So, I’ve warmed up and am ready to begin the fitting.

Chris has me hit 5 good iron shots to get a good baseline on the Trackman. I was confident there was no way that he could touch that performance. I was hitting a fairly straight ball to a slight draw. I was happy. We then started off with the PING i20 iron. Going into the fitting, I just told myself to not look at the shaft, but just to hit it, whatever he gives me. My best fittings always went that way, and this was no different.

So Chris hands me an i20 7-iron with a shaft and I hit it okay. Very similar ballflight and movement, but nothing special. About the same as my current setup, no real “WOW” factor just yet. Turns out, I later found that it was coupled with the same PX Flighted 6.0’s I have my DF’s. Go figure.

Then Chris hands me a new i20 7-iron with an altogether different head (change of lie) and shaft. First couple of swings, straight down the middle, although a bit high. Good distance though, but still a bit high. I think we’re ON to something special. (Later found out it was a blue dot head & CFS stiff)

Watching Chris switch out iron head and shafts combos on the fly was like watching a NASCAR pit crew go to work during a race. I even commented that it was just fun watching him go to work! Whoa. It was obvious he knew what he was doing and enjoyed his job (unlike some fittings I’ve been to).

So he precedes to hand me another i20 7-iron with yet another shaft. First couple of swings, STRAIGHT down the middle. Dead straight, no movement whatsoever. I hadn’t seen anything like it in a while. Next couple of swings, SAME results. I was shocked. My only gripe was that the shaft felt kind of “boardy”, like a bit “sandpapery kick” almost. We both laughed. I really love a “smooth shaft”, with tight dispersion and kick. That’s my ideal setup. (Later found out it was the AWT X flex)

So one last “TWIST and WHIRL” of the iron head, and another shaft. This time, I’d found NIRVANA. HIGH, LONG and STRAIGHT. We both marveled at how straight the ball flight was, even AFTER the apex of the ballflight. My first 3 shots were within 3 yards of each other right down the middle. I was floored. There was literally ZERO side movement. I hit at least 7 shots and all produced the same results.

So the jig was up and I just HAD to know. I was fitted in the i20, +1/2”, CFS X flex, with the BLUE dot! I was shocked. BLUE DOT?? I’d always gone with Green dot, or at a minimum Yellow dot during my self-fit testing. As it turns out, Chris noticed that with my DF’s at 2*, he could hear and see that I was coming down from inside and hitting the heel first a few times, causing the clubface to close prematurely creating my strong draw. He said that’s a common problem with too upright a lie, one that I completely had forgotten. So instead, he went a little flatter and VOILA!! I’m flushing it. Just really flushing it. The proof is on the screen:

I gained a full club of carry! Ballspeed went up. Spin went down. Gained 10 yards of carry which is HUGE. And this was at 60* F! Can’t wait until it warms up.

So, I had also wanted to be sure to demo the Titleist AP2 712 and the Nike VR_S Forged as well. I’d hit the AP2 712 numerous times indoors with great results, so I was thinking that I could possibly get even better…. MAYBE. Chris finds a comparable shaft setup with the 6-iron demo head of the AP2, and BAM… fade right. Next shot, WHOOSH, big draw. I look at the numbers, and I’m getting lower ballspeed and higher spin, and LESS distance with the AP2 712 6-iron than I was with the i20 7-iron!! Now that won’t do. The great thing about the Trackman is comparing all of your data with different setups right there on the spot. The truth is in the data, and as I’m very analytical, I loved every minute of it.

Being the Nike staff guy that he is, Chris grabs the Nike VR_S Forged for me to hit as well. I had been waiting on this club for well over a year, ever since I’d laid my eyes on the Nike Japan Machspeed Forged. GORGEOUS iron. Just gorgeous. I found it interesting that Nike also adopted the increased number of grooves ala the Callaway 2012 Forged Wedge. So I proceed to hit a good 5-7 shots with the Nike. Same results as the AP2 712. Aurgh! So we wonder if fatigue is just setting in….

SO… Chris hands me back the i20 7-iron and VOILA…. It was like night and day. I’m back to hitting HIGH, LONG and STRAIGHT down the middle of the Trackman screen. Whoa…. I would never have believed it had I not experienced it myself.

So on to my driver… The KING. We all LOVE hitting the big stick. And I’m nearly obsessed with it. LOL.

I took a short break to talk shop about irons, as I really intrigued about the different fitting options they have. A look about the PPS shows fitting carts and displays from PING, Callaway, Titleist, Nike to Taylor Made, Cobra, Mizuno and Adams Golf. They have everything. If you can’t find something you like here and be properly fitted into it, you may want to just “take up tennis”. They are that comprehensive.

Okay, so back to the fitting:

After a nice rest period, I resumed the fitting by getting a baseline with Razr Hawk Tour. I pured three (3) drives with a nice tight draw that I hadn’t seen in a while. I knew that I was swinging well and excited to my swing arrived to the fitting as well! I hit several more drives with the Razr Hawk (RH) Tour, very similar to each other. The one thing that I will add is that my MISS is this HIGH right or BLOCK right that will appear out of nowhere. Then I’ll consciously try to over-correct and hit this big hook. I disclosed this to Chris at the onset, as I was sure it would show up eventually, and it did.

Chris hands me the PING i20 stock setup and hit some drives. First couple of drives… STRAIGHT! Whoa. My draw is gone. Literally…. Although I’m also blocking the ball on a couple of drives and hitting the ball with a HIGH launch, 17* and a bit too much spin. Chris commented that I had a -3.3* attack angle with my drivers. I hit a few more drives, STRAIGHT… but again, with a block here and there.

I give the first setup back to Chris (TWIST AND WHIRL) and he hands me a different i20 setup (different shaft this time around). Hit a couple of drives again with similar results. Hummmmmm…….

So then we start talking about swing and if there’s anything that I’ve been working on and such with my driver. I had noticed just recently after watching the top amateurs at the SF City Amateur Championship that these guys ALL setup with the ball at LEAST in-line with their left foot (right-handed with their drivers). Lefty’s were doing the same with their right foot. ALL of them. It was a light bulb that went off. I talked to Chris about it because several years ago in an attempt to hit the driver lower I had moved the ball back a good 1”-2” back in my stance.

So he watches me setup, then has me place the ball directly in line with my left instep. It feels really awkward, there’s no debating that. BUT, first drive with that setup was PERFECT. In ONE swing, I went from a -3.3* attack angle to a +2* attack angle! Whoa. My drives were going DEAD straight, no movement, and spin went WAY down. Way way down.

I grabbed my RH Tour and hit a few more drives to re-establish a baseline with the new setup, and we went back to the fitting. After the i20, we mixed in testing a Titleist 910D3/stock Ahina 72 and a 2012 Nike VR-S Driver with a sweet Matrix Black Tie driver. Sorry fellas. No Taylor Made drivers were harmed during this fitting. I had three R11’s last year, (two 9*’s & an 8* head) with 6 different shafts, and multiple FCT/MWT settings. I could NOT get that driver to fit me properly. I wasn’t going down that route again.

The 910D3 fitting was the same process as the i20. It was as good as my RH Tour, and even a bit straighter as well. Distance was a tie and there was really no need to switch. The 2012 Nike VR-S was not good for me. Visually, it did not work for me, and we could tell by my drives. I played “Army Golf” with this setup… you know… left, right, left, left, right right… LOL.

After I was done hitting the 910D3 and Nike VR-S, I went back to the i20 setup that he had setup for me. Below are the results between the i20 and the RH Tour. My ballspeed went UP, my spin went down and smash factor was consistently better with the i20 over the RH Tour. I tell you what, I’ll work hard on improving my smash factor and my distance will explode! The setup I ended with was an 8.5* i20, UST VTS Silver 7X at 44.5”. Chris recommended staying with the 44.5”, as my fitting setup was 45.25”, and going shorter would definitely improve my smash factor. Needless to say, I AM impressed…. thoroughly impressed.

Now on to the WEDGE! This is where I make up my strokes, as most of us do. After the epiphany with going less upright in my irons (+3/4* instead of 2*), I had brought my CG16’s and my 2012 Forged Wedge to test a wedge death match. The CG16’s were stock L/L/L, while the Callaway’s were +2* and +1/2”.

I mentioned to Chris that I just wasn’t hitting the Cally’s as crisp as I would like, and of course, my miss was a pull. I hit a few shots with each 50*. Right away, Chris noticed that I was much more consistent with the CG16’s than the Cally’s on full swing. Much better sound at impact off the clubface. He grabbed my Cally, wrapped it with electrical tape, and bent it 2* flatter, back to standard.

WHOA.

That was my expression.. in fact, that was OUR expression after my first hit with the new setup. Three more full swing shots with the 50* Cally.

WHOA.

I could NOT believe 2* made that much of a difference. My contact was DEAD spot in the center of the clubface. Dead center. I immediately grabbed the 54* and 58* to have him bend them 2* flatter, back to standard. I was now contacting the ground properly, with entire sole of the club, not just the heel, causing the clubface to shut down and create a pull/draw. Fascinating stuff. Just fascinating.

I was able to play right after the fitting with my newly adjusted wedges, and the results were night and day. Literally. Out of the bunkers, out of the rough, full swing, ¾ pitch shots, you name it. NIGHT and DAY! Who knew that 2* would make that much of a difference. I spoke with my buddy “The Greek Grind” and he could immediately tell how excited I was.

After my wedge fitting, I was exhausted. Over the moon, but exhausted nonetheless. I proceeded to head into the Haggin Oaks Super Shop, which is like a kid being in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Within the Super Shop, they have everything a golfer could ever dream of…. From all different US and Japan OEM equipment to all types of apparel and accessories. Just as with the equipment, the professional staff for the soft goods side of things is awesome. They are warm, friendly and gave me some great fashion advice (as a 40-year old, I need all the help I can get LOL). You name it; they either carry it or can order it. Just as an example, they carry a full line of Nike Golf, Adidas Golf, Ashworth, Footjoy, you name it.



THE BOTTOM LINE:

As an avid golf equipment junkie (or should I say club ho), I’ve always prided myself on being able to fit myself to what works best for me. Last year I tried, in vain I might add, to fit myself into the Taylor Made R11 TP driver. I knew that I knew myself better than anyone! Heck, I’ve walked into Golfsmith, PGA Tour Superstores, The Golfmart, etc. and I felt I knew more about the equipment than most of the people working there.

All of that was thrown out by my experience with the Chris and all of the staff at the Haggin Oaks Super Shop and Player Performance Studio this past weekend. Before and after my fitting, I also listened on other PPS staff working with their customers and custom fitting these folks into new equipment. The time, attention to detail and positive energy that was in the PPS made the experience a true joy. My experience easily rivaled some of THE best fittings I’ve ever had, most notably by PING and Titleist. Chris was not only a friend and a fitter; he was a swing instructor that day as well. Just a couple of changes to ball position and setup made drastic improvements in my play.
The bottom line for me is that if you are really serious about your game, and I would assume so because you’re here on WRX, it’s ALL about a great custom fitting. If you’re in the Northern/Central CA, San Francisco Bay Area or surrounding area, it’s WELL WORTH the drive and time to get properly fit by the professional staff at Haggin Oaks Player Performance Studio. I’m confident you’ll walk out of there “bright eyed and bushy tailed”, just like I did. I’m in the blue adidas shirt with SF Giant’s cap, grinning from ear to ear!

The Haggin Oaks Golf Complex is located at 3645 Fulton Avenue in Sacramento, CA. To schedule YOUR custom club fitting in the Player Performance Studio with Chris Hammond, call 916-808-2531.

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