GREENSBORO, Ga. -- It's easy to be tempted by the task of playing all 99 holes open to the public at Reynolds Plantation.
A wiser way to spend your time -- and money -- one day during your stay would be a club-fitting session at The Kingdom at Reynolds Plantation. The Kingdom is one of only two places where recreational golfers like you and me can experience the same club-fitting expertise used by PGA Tour and club professionals on staff with TaylorMade-adidas Golf.
All the technology of the Kingdom -- Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade, Trackman launch monitors and a new Putter Lab featuring a high-speed Quintic launch monitor system –- are weapons against bad golf. A club-fitting session (as long as you aren't married to another brand) just might be the key to unlock your potential.
The prices -- $100 for an hour fitting for a driver, wedge or putter; $150 for a wood; or $350 for a three-hour, full-set fitting -- might seem expensive until you begin hitting better shots with equipment that suits your game. My half-hour hitting fitting was enough to leave a lasting impression and sell me an upgrade.
The fitting process
I've been searching for a new driver for a while now. I'm still using a square-headed Nike SQ MachSpeed driver fit for me when it was new in 2010.
It's reliable but losing some pop. Bad weather forced me into one of the indoor hitting bays under the guidance of Master Club Fitter Jay Johnson. Once I started hitting my usual mix of low-flying -- albeit straight -- tee shots, Johnson began crunching data on a Trackman, looking for a higher ball flight and more carry.
I wanted to try the new SLDR, the no. 1 driver on Tour. Johnson assured me that even all of its adjustments wouldn't provide me the necessary loft. Instead, he steered me toward the newer, more forgiving (and thankfully less expensive) JetSpeed driver. I hit it solid but not overwhelmingly well at first. Johnson earned my respect when he didn't push a hard sell. "You might be better off with what you've got," he said.
After a while, more consistent shots with a carry up to 12 yards longer than my Nike became the norm. I was hooked.
The fun part
The best part of the experience, in my opinion, came next. I got to watch a master builder put my club together, piece by piece, inside an equipment trailer that used to be on Tour from 2003-07. The only other place this service is available is at the headquarters of TaylorMade in Carlsbad, Calif.
The trailer is stocked with all the latest components, heads, shafts, grips and more. Amazingly, it took less than 10 minutes to assemble my new toy. I even got to choose the color of my head cover.
Thanks to super-strength glue, I could have played a round with my new club that afternoon. Unfortunately, I had a flight to catch. At least now I'm armed and ready for the upcoming summer season back home.