Chad Dietz, co-owner of The Bunker Practice Facility, spends most of his days correcting other people’s mistakes.
Holed up in his small workshop at the company’s new location across from Buenaventura Golf Course, Dietz spends the majority of time re-shafting golf sets for customers who, in many cases, have custom-made clubs.
Why would a custom-made set of golf clubs need to be re-shafted?
Because Dietz has found that while the custom-fitting process for most every golf manufacturer is done well, the actual building of custom-made golf sets isn’t.
As the Bunker’s chief club repair person, Dietz has tested thousands of clubs. Dietz found issues with many clubs and wondered whether custom-fit clubs are being built according to the parameters the fitters are giving to the people putting the clubs together.
“The numbers just don’t lie,” Dietz said. “I’ve seen sets where shafts are marked as regular flex and they are actually extra stiff shafts. I see regular flexes that are actually dropping down to senior flex. The tolerance has gotten so bad we are falling out of our flex patterns.
“So a guy who thinks he bought clubs with senior flex may actually have clubs that are lady flex. They’re marked senior so he thinks they are correct but they’re not, and as a result, they’re not performing like they need to in order to help him play better.”
Santa Paula resident David Rios saved for over a year to buy an upgraded set of golf clubs. Retired and on a fixed income, Rios bought some newer used clubs online but when he started playing with them, his results weren’t good.
One of his regular playing partners suggested he visit The Bunker.
“He told me he came in and they analyzed the shafts of his clubs were misidentified,” Rios said. “When I came in, I told Dan about my game and he felt my shafts were not correct and suggested they analyze the shafts at no cost.
“He told me they were off, but I wondered if it was just a way to get into my pocket and spend money. So Dan told me to do one club and try it, and if I did not notice a difference, he would refund my money.”
Rios gave one of his irons to Dietz to re-shaft and when he used it again he noticed a big difference. Rios is now having his entire set re-shafted and built specifically to match his swing.
Rios is spending more money on the re-shafting, about $1,500, than he did when he originally bought the clubs, but he’s convinced it is worth it.
“Now I am at point where I know my clubs are not the issue,” Rios said. “I know if I work on my form I can get to where I want to go. We took the clubs out of the equation because they really are built for me.”
Dietz said the majority of the golf sets that come across his workbench do not possess the same specs for each club in the bag. The shafts for each club in a player’s bag should all carry the same flex, approximate clubhead weight and various other properties to perform properly for a player’s swing.
If the specs are not correct, Dietz said even if a golfer has a consistent swing, the inconsistency in the clubs will hurt the player’s performance.