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Callaway Pt2 - fitting with Adam Legg

Updated: Jun 11

Regular readers will know that I already did a full bag review with Adam (click HERE) where we decided to swap my 5 iron for a 5 hybrid and return later for a LAB DF3 putter fitting (click HERE for the fitting and HERE for how I got on with it). But Keith, I thought your bag was sorted, why are you back to see Adam again? That's a very reasonable question. In truth, golf is my hobby, I like trying new equipment and I really enjoy the fitting process. I even thought about getting into club fitting when I retired! On this occasion though, the tour truck day provided an opportunity to review the results of the previous fitting and see if we needed to make any adjustments. Specifically, I wanted to check the new 5 hybrid, then assess my 3 wood and old 3 hybrid.


Separately I also wanted to talk to Adam about my wedges. Despite using them for two seasons, I've never been completely comfortable with them. I should have gone back to SGGT earlier, but they are a long way from St Andrews and I just didn't make the time. The wedges "feel" very different from the rest of my clubs (they feel heavy) and I lack confidence, especially on full shots. Could they be improved?



On to the fitting session


Hybrids


We couldn't have requested a better day. Glorious sunshine, a gentle breeze and being fitted off the grass range! I'm looking at clubs that will predominantly be hit from the fairway, so fitting off grass with variable lies was a real bonus. The only downside was the requirement to use range balls.


Starting with my new 5 hybrid, we quickly confirmed my suspicion that it was modestly outperforming our expectations and was getting too close to my 4h. I believe the newer head feels and performs better than the older model in my 4h. Adam was less sure but we decided to look for a newer model head and swap over the shafts. It's no longer made so eBay and Callaway pre-owned are our best chances. Once done, we'll re-check the gaps and if they are still too close we may reduce the shaft length of the 5h slightly to fine-tune. Unfortunately, these two clubs have fixed hosels so there are limited customisation options. I really like the compact head shape.

Moving to my 3h, this XR16OS head is the longest-serving club in the bag, but Adam felt that the lie angle was too upright and contributing to my dominant miss which is a thin or a hook. Again, it's a fixed hosel club so there is nothing we can do to change. We talked about getting another Apex Pro but my concern with this club is that I want it to be as easy to hit as possible and that head may not suit that plan. We decided to try the new Paradym Ai Smoke hybrid. Immediately, it suited my eye, sitting flatter and with a more open face, which I liked. Most importantly, it was easy to use and performed extremely well. I thought it looked remarkably similar to the Ping G430 hybrid, but having previously tried that club previously, I preferred the feel and sound of the Callaway. But both are excellent options and I would recommend trying both.


Pictures show the new Paradym, then the Ping G430 and the XR16OS. The new Paradym reminds me of a compact fairway wood compared to the much smaller Apex Pro. The Tour AD-DI shaft is now a very expensive upgrade compared to when I bought my original club in 2016, so we will swap that over to save some cash. The adjustable hosel provides the flexibility to fine-tune the distance gaps.


UPDATE: These changes have been made and I've had a few rounds with the new clubs. I am delighted with the improved performance of the newer Apex Pro 4h and don't see the need to make any more changes to the 5h. The new club is better than the one it replaced and has achieved the result I hoped it would.


As for the newer Paradym hybrid, I am genuinely shocked at how good it is. It's night and day better in terms of feel, sound and performance. I was always a bit nervous hitting the old model from the deck but this one has performed really well out of a variety of different lies when I've been testing it. I can see me actually reaching for this more than the 3 wood for shots into par 5's and long par 4's. You should definitely consider the Paradym if you are thinking of a new hybrid.


3 Wood


I used to hate hitting 3 wood from the fairway, but the Ping G425LST restored my confidence. However, I know from trying the newer G430 Max, that its performance can be improved (considerably). This was immediately confirmed when hitting the Paradym AI Smoke, which had more ball speed, better spin and an improved flight to boot. It appears the old Ping's days are numbered!


However, I didn't like the look/colour of the Paradym and Adam wanted to see if a shaft change could get more out of the old club, so we arranged a follow-up session back at the shop. This would also allow us to try the G430 Max again too.

The fitting at the shop was conclusive. While I was getting decent results with the G425LST, the G430Max and Paradym both left it for dust. We also tried the new model Ping LST head, which was great, but the price is simply ridiculous. I went with the Ping G430 Max as I don't like the look of the Paradym. Adam gave me the demo to try at the range and on the course, which proved decisive. The old G425LST is still a great club and has improved my confidence, but the G430Max is just a level better. I didn't want to give the demo club back at the end of the round.


UPDATE: The new G430 Max has been in the bag for a few rounds now and I am happy with the change. It's definitely easier to hit than the G425LST and performs better too. Off the fairway it's getting a run for it's money from the Paradym hybrid though!


What to do with my wedges?


Adam agreed they feel too different from my irons and he also had concerns about their length. With so much life left in them, we decided the best route would be to re-shaft them to match my irons, which was quick and easy to do (also relatively low cost).


UPDATE: The wedge shafts were a quick change and I'm happy to report that they have done the trick. There's now a nice, smooth transition from my irons to my wedges and I'm swinging them with much more confidence. Interestingly I am currently reading "Your Short Game Solution" by James Sieckmann, and he recommends using the same shafts for your irons and wedges for the same reasons of feel and consistency.


Fitting conclusion


That's two more good sessions with Adam Legg at Auchterlonies and the results are fine-tuning, rather than major changes. We also cost-effectively achieved them.


Apex Pro 4h purchased from GolfClubs4Cash and shafts swapped

Wedge shafts changed from Modus 115 to KBS Tour, grips saved from old shafts

G430 Max fairway purchased (was in stock)

Paradym hybrid ordered and the shaft will be swapped once it arrives

Odyssey TriHot 5K Seven S putter from Callaway pre-owned sale - for a future post!


Costs recovered by the following:


Ping G425 LST fairway wood sold

Spare Kaili white fairway shaft still to be listed on eBay

2017 Apex Pro 4 hybrid on eBay

2022 P790 4 iron sold

Modus 115 anniversary edition black wedge shafts spoken for

LAB DF3 - sold - that's another story!


Thanks again to Adam Legg at Auchterlonies for all the help, advice, and consistently excellent service.

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