TaylorMade’s Mike Fox has seen it all when it comes to custom fittings – and it usually involves the golf ball. He tells Hannah Holden what needs to change
Hands up if you’ve ever been fit for a golf ball. I’m anticipating it’s not many.
Have you ever considered just how much your golf ball affects the performance of your clubs? Or thought about what ball you’re using during a club fitting?
And did you know the world’s best players will get fit for their golf ball before they even think about which clubs they’ll be using for upcoming season?
“The goal for tour players is to limit variables,” Mike Fox, director of golf balls and accessories at TaylorMade, tells NCG in the All the Gear podcast. “If you’re changing clubs and ball at the same time, you don’t know what’s going on.
“Am I getting those numbers from the ball? Am I getting them from the club? It just makes it a lot more complicated.
“Normally our players like to test the golf balls in October or November because they’ve gone through a whole season. They know their exact numbers, flights, spins. They know everything. So they can change the ball, and they know exactly what’s being changed from the golf ball and if they like it or not.”
So what can we – the average consumer – take away from that? Should we follow suit and testing golf balls before buying new clubs?
“If someone’s not changing their clubs at all, they should do the golf ball first,” Mike explains. “During the off-season, before all the new clubs come out, I would recommend they do that.
“However, that’s not normally how it goes. Normally they want to get a club fitting, and then they want to make sure they have the right golf ball.
“So the thing that we really encourage you to do is make sure you’re getting fit with the golf ball that you – and we – think is right from the get go. Because the spin rates on the golf ball can have as much impact as almost any shaft out there.”
“People are so concerned with what shaft [they have] but you could have almost 1000rpms of spin difference between our product and a competitor’s. To think you’re not going to change that product when you’re being fit is pretty crazy.”
“You should definitely work the golf ball into the [club] fitting. It should be as much a component of your fit as anything.
“If you have the luxury of just doing a ball fitting before you do any of your clubs, that’s great. But realistically most people go in for a club fit, in which case you should definitely make sure you’re starting with at least a golf ball that fits you. And then really validating it at the end.”
And definitely don’t get fit with range balls.
“It’s absolutely incredible that people are so concerned with spin rates when they’re hitting range balls. It’s amazing.”
So in summary, if you’re getting a club fitting make sure you include the golf ball in that – or at lease get fit using a ball closest to what you use on the course – and definitely don’t use range balls.
Listen to the full interview on the All the Gear podcast
Mike and I chatted about so much more in the All the Gear podcast, including an interesting story behind Tommy Fleetwood’s move to TaylorMade, as well as a tale about a man who spends $10,000 a year on golf balls that needs to be heard to be believed.
You’ll also hear about why the Masters moving to November made it a “really scary” time for equipment manufacturers.
Listen on the player below, or via your preferred podcast platform.