Club fitting fixes more than swing

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The month of April is the PGA of America’s Free Fitting and Trade up Month, and each Thursday and Friday in April Master Professional Marvin Gray will offer free club fittings to anyone at the Duncan Park driving range from 2-4 p.m.

The program is being offered the entire month of April across the country by participating PGA professionals.

The fitting, which is part of the Play Golf America program, is to insure the golfer that the equipment they own or plan to purchase fits them as a golfer and their game. It is also an opportunity for golfers to learn about ball flight and how equipment that properly fits when applied with the right motion allows golfers to produce better shots.

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After the fitting, golfers can trade up their clubs for a newer set that better suits their game and the value of the trade will be applied to the new purchase.

“There are so many things that you can learn in a 15-minute fitting session,” Gray said. “This is a great opportunity for anyone, from the beginner to the scratch golfer, to come out and get expert equipment advice at the park.”

Gray recommends that players bring their own clubs to make sure they are right for them. There are also other brands of clubs, both woods and irons, on hand for participants to try and to compare with their own clubs.

A newly acquired machine will measure club speed and ball trajectory of each swing during the fitting to better help Gray make recommendations.

As an added incentive, golfers who participate in this national program qualify to win a trip to the PGA Learning Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for the ultimate fitting experience.

Last year Sonja Cothern of Natchez participated in the free fitting and won the trip to Florida.

“It was all expenses paid. I stayed in the PGA Village,” Cothern said. “I played the course twice and was given a free set of Taylor Made golf clubs.”

Hitting a hole-in-one would be the ultimate golf experience for Cothern, but she said getting to play the courses at the village was pretty top notch.

“It was something, those courses were real fine courses,” she said.

Cothern has been playing golf for 25 years, and got her start after her brother-in-law introduced her to the game.

“I enjoy being outside and I enjoy the challenge of the game,” she said. “You can play by yourself or with someone.”

Cothern said she plays golf on many courses, but really enjoys playing Quail Hollow near McComb.

“It’s really a challenge. There are curves, hills, bunkers and all of that.”

Cothern said Tiger Woods is her favorite golfer to watch because he is low-keyed and not showy.

“He doesn’t brag on himself,” she said.

She also said she admires Woods’ dedication to the game, and to his late father, Earl Woods, who taught him the game of golf.