As is the case with most major equipment makers, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf offers a way for golfers to get their clubs tailor made, if you will, at a pair of high-tech fitting centers known as The Kingdom. One is located near company headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., and the other at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia. Manned by master fitters, they boast the latest in swing analysis gear as well as ample ranges that can accommodate as many as 15 players at one time – and drives that go Dustin Johnson long.
“My responsibility is to get you the best possible ball flight,” master fitter Daryl Dyte says to a single-digit handicapper who is about to start his fitting session at the Carlsbad site. And the player begins by warming up on the range. Once he’s loose, it’s into the so-called MAT-T room (for Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade), where Dyte uses a slew of cutting edge equipment to break down his customer’s swing, considering where the player hits the ball on the clubface and what lies and lofts are most efficient. He also looks carefully at swing tendencies as the player hits shots into a net and even offers a little instruction. It’s good information, too, as Dyte knows his stuff, having fit clubs for 20 years and worked closely with a number of top tour and club pros during that time.
The session in the MAT-T room lasts about an hour, and then it’s outside to the range. “This is where we verify what we learned inside,” Dyte says. The player hits irons with different shaft combinations, and it is apparent he is into the process. And why not? This is a golf geek’s paradise, and there is understandable pleasure in discovering what works best from an equipment standpoint and also in being fitted the same way the touring pros are – and by a guy who fit them all the time. Dyte is warm and welcoming, and he mixes in fun stories about TaylorMade staffers like Kenny Perry and Paula Creamer with thoughts on what combinations might provide that optimum ball flight.
Most golfers who come to The Kingdoms for fittings do so through the introduction of a TaylorMade staff PGA professional. Price varies, depending on the extent of the fitting, and visitors generally get discounts on clubs they end up buying when they are done. Corporate groups are welcome, too, and the company also offers what it calls the TaylorMade Tour Experience at Reynolds. That's a two-day extravaganza in which players get fit one day and then play 18 holes the next with clubs that have been built overnight.
In addition, TaylorMade offers a variety of fitting options utilizing the MAT-T system at 30 locations around the world, including 19 in North American, three in Europe, four in Asia and three in South Africa.
For more information, check out www.taylormade.com or call 760-918-6000.