Advancements in technology have drastically changed how golfers buy their clubs. They also have changed the way Angela Aulenti sells them.
Aulenti, a Fairfield resident and head professional at Sterling Farms Golf Course in Stamford, opened the Aulenti Fitting Studio last year. As part of the fitting process, golfers hit balls from an indoor bay to an outdoor range. Aulenti's equipment, called TrackMan, measures up to 20 variables, including ball flight, distance, spin, land angle and launch angle.
"Club fitting is very competitive, and it has become all about technology,'' says Aulenti, who has been the head professional at Sterling Farms for 17 years. "You can change the lie, the loft, the color, the shaft, almost anything. Before, you took a wood club and you hit it."
Callaway, one of golf's leading club makers, recognized Aulenti earlier this year as the Northeast Club Fitter of the Year. She sells all brands of clubs, and golfers from all over the region have embraced the advantages that come with club fitting. Aulenti and her staff have fit touring pros and top-level amateurs in the past year.
"People appreciated what fitting means,'' Aulenti said. "Buying clubs off a rack, those days are gone. There's no reason for it." She has always sold clubs, but the fitting studio takes the guesswork out of getting the right club. It's also helpful that golfers can see the results. "I wanted serve golfers better,'' Aulenti said. "I felt it was a disservice by selling them off the rack. I thought it was a good time to stand out, and to give people the opportunity to get the proper equipment."
Even in a down economy, golfers are willing to spend for the right equipment. Aulenti makes recommendations on a "good, better, best," approach and lets the player make the choice. "The players love it. They think they died and went to heaven,'' she said. "It's not unheard of for people to pick up 18, 20 or 25 yards by changing clubs. I tell them beforehand, if I can't beat what they already own by 20 or 25 yards, keep what you have. It's not worth it."
Club fitting isn't just for top players, either. Men and women golfers, juniors and seniors can reap benefits from getting properly fitted clubs. "It's probably the best thing I've ever done,'' Aulenti said. "It's one of the areas of golf that's growing. If people are buying, they want custom clubs."
Golfers can contact the Sterling Farms pro shop at 203-329-2067 for more information or visit the Aulenti Fitting Studio website for more information.
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