Inside a club fitting with former MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler | Bag Spy

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Inside the True Spec Golf Dallas-Fort Worth studio

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Although many kids dream of being professional athletes in a wide variety of sports, the funny thing is a lot of professional athletes end up just wanting to play golf. For two-time AL Gold Glover and four-time All-Star Ian Kinsler, his love for the game recently had him searching for some new gear, and even with a low single-digit handicap, there is always room for improvement.

TSG DFW fitting studio
Inside the True Spec Golf fitting studio in DFW True Spec Golf

With the MLB’s regular season coming to a close, the former second baseman turned Special assistant to the GM for the Texas Rangers brought his golf game to True Spec Golf’s Dallas-Fort Worth studio before the start of the playoffs to get fit for new clubs from True Spec’s master fitter Tate Lowery.

The Premier Club Fitting Experience

With over 50,000 clubhead and shaft combinations, True Spec Golf will custom fit and hand build you the most well-constructed, precise set of golf clubs you’ve ever played. Guaranteed.

As you can probably imagine, for someone like Ian — who hit 255 home runs over his career — generating club head speed isn’t a big issue but being able to control the ball at those speeds is a whole other ball game. And, as Sam Snead said to Ted Williams about golf compared to baseball, “You don’t have to go up in the stands and play your foul balls. I do.”

ian kinsler TSG swingi
Ian Kinsler warming up for hit fitting

The funny thing is foul balls are what Ian really wanted to work on eliminating from his game, and when asked about working with Ian, True Spec‘s Tate Lowery said, “He’s got a lot of game which comes as no surprise, but his ability to swing the club at high speeds generally equates to a higher ball flight which was hurting more than helping. For any golfer, a higher than optimal ball flight can cause problems with distance control and leave your golf ball more susceptible to the elements, especially on windier days.”

Ian kinsler fitting TSG
Ian and his True Spec fitter Tate talking golf club lie angles.

When Tate talks about speed he isn’t kidding, Ian swings his 6-iron just over 102 mph, which is well above the PGA Tour average of around 95 mph, and with that speed comes extra spin and height. That extra speed can also cause issues with shorter clubs too.

“Most people don’t think about speed and wedges but for Ian, his posture along with his speed meant his wedges were too flat for his swing and that was causing a lot of chunked shots and toe strikes” Tate continued, “By putting Ian into wedges with a more upright lie angle and a shaft with a much stiffer handle profile, we were able to quickly eliminate a lot of toe strikes and improve his start line and accuracy as he approaches the green.”

Hitting one into the gap

After finding a 3-wood that offered extra control off the tee, the real test was trying to figure out the right club type to offer between that and Ian’s irons. Both a fairway wood and a hybrid didn’t quite fit the bill, but that’s where Srixon’s MKII UT came in because of its ability to offer the required distance and a lower, stronger ball flight.

Srixon ZX MK II Custom Utility Iron

ZX Mk II Utility replacement long Irons offer every player—even tour pros—more long-game power, control, and forgiveness in a blade-like design with minimal offset and narrow toplines. MAINFRAME MainFrame is a variable thickness pattern of grooves, channels, and cavities carefully milled into the backside of the Iron face that maximizes flex at impact. UTILITY IRON SHAPES Our widest soles, combined with minimal offset and an appealing look at address, makes our forgiving, hollow, ZX Mk II Utility long Irons professional favorites. FORGED MULTI-PIECE CONSTRUCTION ZX Utility’s forged SUP10 faces are strong yet light — increasing face-flex at impact for enhanced speed and distance — while a forged 1020 Carbon Steel body absorbs vibrations for a softer feel. SOLE NOTCHES Sole notches on the heel and toe sides lessen drag by reducing the amount of surface area that contacts the ground. Ultimately, they provide better clubhead speed through turf and improve shot versatility without sacrificing forgiveness.
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For high-speed golfers, utility irons are a great option compared to hybrids and fairway woods because they use a shorter and heavier shaft and, when paired with a smaller iron-like head shape, prove to generate better control.

When talking about his final fitted clubs Tate said, “The Srixon ZX MKII utility 3-iron quickly became a front runner for Ian thanks to its ability to launch the ball lower and create a lower peak height because of the spin reduction compared to a hybrid or fairway wood in a similar loft.” Tate went on to discuss the iron shafts, saying, “We paired his ZX7 MKIIs irons with the tour weight Oban 125x shafts because they synced well with his powerful move into the ball and helped to once again deliver a lower ball flight and better distance control.” Kinda like going from hitting pop flys to line drives.

Kinsler’s fitted clubs

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond | Graphite Design Tour AD TSG Silver 75X
Utility: Srixon UT MKII 20° | KBS Tour HB Graphite 85X
Irons: Srixon ZX7 MKII (4-PW) | Oban CT 125X
Wedges: TaylorMade MG4 50°, HiToe 54° and 60° | KBS 610 Wedge S+
Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord

What you can learn

Having a higher club head speed can really help make the game of golf a lot easier, especially when you are able to harness that speed and build extra control into your long clubs and iron game — but gaining extra control at any speed is always an advantage.

Ian’s fit also demonstrates how finding the right shaft flex and weight can play a huge role in creating more consistent contact in the long game and short game where hitting the middle of the face and just a few millimeters off can make the difference between having a birdie putt and missing the green completely.

So if you are finding that you generally like your clubs but aren’t seeing the type of control you feel you should have, it might be time to check with a club fitter to make sure your gear is working right for you.

The Premier Club Fitting Experience

With over 50,000 clubhead and shaft combinations, True Spec Golf will custom fit and hand build you the most well-constructed, precise set of golf clubs you’ve ever played. Guaranteed.
Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.