TaylorMade Performance Lab at Grand Cypress

TaylorMade Performance Lab Orlando, Grand Cypress Academy of Golf

Last week, I had one of the coolest experiences of my golfing life. I was given the opportunity to receive a custom club fitting out at the TaylorMade Performance Lab at the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf.

Now, to most people, a custom club fitting consists of nothing more than going to your local golf retailer and hitting some balls off a launch monitor and analyzing the contact tape to see where your ball strikes. That type of fitting doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what these guys do for you.

I’d like to preface this review by saying that I really hope to be able to do them justice, but I feel my words will probably be lacking of the profound coolness that is the TaylorMade Performance Lab.

TaylorMade Performance Lab Vault DoorThe first thing you encounter when you enter the lab is this security vault style door, pretty intimidating thing to see in person! :)

When I arrived, I was introduced to Travis Kent who is the manager and master club fitter at the performance lab. He explained to me how the custom club fitting works and what the plan of attack for the day would be. So pretty much, here’s how it goes…

  • Evaluate your existing equipment and discuss outstanding problems you’ve been having with them.
  • Don the sensor suit (my name, not theirs, I dunno if they have any really cool name for it.. :))
  • Swing some clubs and evaluate the output.
  • Based on the data collected, build a set of demo clubs for you to hit on the range.
  • After you see the awesomeness that is your golf game when you have a custom set of sticks, you practically throw money at Travis to build you a set. (literally…..no seriously)

So he took a look at my existing clubs and after a couple of poorly masked cough chuckles he mentioned that my irons are all about 1/2 inch shorter TaylorMade Performance Lab Reflective Sensor Suitthan the standard length of todays irons. We discussed my game and I told him that I suffered from a slight to moderate power fade (to be read, insane boomerang slice). For those that don’t know yet, I’m a lefty golfer so a slice for me means my shots head to the left.

After discussing my clubs and my game, Travis says, “Alright, let’s get you suited up and create your

avatar!” (Disclaimer: This part is freaking cool!!!!) So, by getting some of your vitals (height, waste and shoe size) and putting this sensor suit on you, they create your avatar.

As you can see in the picture to the right, they attach 26 sensors to your body which are read by the nine high speed (180 FPS) cameras that are strategically located throughout the room. Once you’re all suited up, you stand in the middle of the room and they turn the cameras on and take a snapshot of your body structure and upload it to be used during your fitting. Thankfully, it’s rather slimming and does a good job of masking the expanding girth.. :)

TaylorMade Performance Lab High Speed CameraThe whole club fitting process utilizes (initializing copy-paste) Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade technology (MATT) to provide golfers with an experience that far exceeds anything previously available to the public.

MATT gathers vital swing information and statistics using multiple high-speed cameras. MATT distills that information to create a remarkably sophisticated three-dimensional computer-animated image of your swing viewable from every angle. MATT also executes a multitude of calculations and measurements to develop a data-driven personal club recommendation.

MATT provides a superior club-fitting and/or instructional experience by supplying club-fitters and instructors with an unparalleled level of practical data, giving them the power to analyze your swing and identify your needs with remarkable precision. Your clubs will fit better, improving your game — and your score. (end copy-paste)

For my fitting, I hit three clubs, a six iron, driver and putter. I hit about four shots with each club and after every shot we’d analyze the shot on the big projector screen they have set up. MATT captures every aspect of your swing and it can be viewed a couple of hundred different ways. Here’s a slightly complete list of the different aspects it captures.

  • Clubhead Path
  • Swing Planes
  • Speed Planes
  • Center Of Gravity
  • Body Line on Shoulders, Hips, Knees, Toes, and Spine
  • Face Angle
  • Target Line
  • Ball Position
  • Head Position
  • X – Factor ( Relationship between Shoulder Turn and Hip Turn)
  • Shaft and Shoulder Plane
  • Wrist Cocking Angle
  • Shaft Line
  • Shaft Deflection
  • Posture Lines
  • In/Out Path of Club
  • Up/Down Path of club
  • Hand Speed
  • Clubhead Speed
  • Effective loft of the club at impact
  • Ball Speed
  • Launch Angle
  • Backspin
  • Side spin
  • Ball Trajectory
  • Computed Distance and Roll

Here’s a video I captured of one of my swings. It’s only showing the swing planes, but you can imagine where it can go from there…

For my swing, Travis concluded a couple things; On ALL of my clubs (driver, irons, putter) my clubface is open at contact, my swing plane varies pretty significantly from the take away plane to the downward motion plane, and he surmised that it was probably due to the fact that I’ve been hitting clubs that were too short for me. So instead of going straight back and straight forward, I’m taking the club back and while doing that, I’m pushing my hands forward which is causing my head to drop a bit and then i’m pulling the club in at impact which is causing my open club face and causing me to come across the ball putting some sideways spin on it.TaylorMade Performance Lab Custom Club Specs

Not only was Travis able to identify my swing troubles, he showed me how to fix it. Soooo, real quick, totally awesome custom  club fitting session AND an Orlando golf lesson! It’s been some solid advice too.

Once the fitting is done, the system uses some sophisitcated algorithm and compares your swing to 1,500,000 others and comes up with a recommended set of custom TaylorMade clubs for you. The master club fitter then looks it over, makes any corrections he/she deems necessary and then sets out to build a set of demo clubs for you to go to the range with. The recommended driver for me was the TaylorMade R9 460, 10.5 degree loft and the clubface closed two degrees. The irons were the 2009 TaylorMade Burner Irons 3I-PW -.5 degree flat.

We went to the range to hit these custom fitted clubs and after a couple swings, I was bombing them down the range. It was such an awesome feeling! Needless to say, I’ve since ordered a full set of TaylorMade Burner irons that should be arriving this week. Stay tuned for a review on those :)

After the fitting was over, he burned all my swings onto a CD as well as the club recommendations for me to take home. I spent a good while just replaying my swing and checking out the different components.

TaylorMade Performance Lab MRI

I asked Travis who he thought would benefit most from a custom club fitting and he said, “Honestly, everyone. Whether your a low, mid or high handicapper, a custom club fitting can be a huge benefit to you and your game.”

Alright, if you’ve managed to read down to this point, got some good news for ya! Well, two pieces of good news, the first (and most important);

If this is something you think you want to do, call Travis and mention that you were referred by Dave from OrlandoGolfBlogger, he’s going to give you a $100 discount off the custom club fitting!

Here’s his contact info.

TaylorMade Performance Lab LogoTravis Kent
TaylorMade Performance Lab
Grand Cypress Resort
1 North Jacaranda Blvd
Orlando, FL 32836
Travis@tmplabs.com
Lab: (407) 238-0577
Mobile: (407) 760-0609

-Dave

Have a custom club fitting question? Visit our Ask the Fitter page, post your question and you’ll be entered to win a free custom club fitting from the TaylorMade Performance Lab!

  21 comments for “TaylorMade Performance Lab at Grand Cypress

  1. at

    Great article Dave, it just goes to show you a little bit of what the PGA Tour guys have access to on a weekly basis. Of course, they get everything for free. So can the club recommendations be used for other brands of clubs? Do they give you the actual loft, lie and lengths for each club or is is mearly a summary like “2 degrees flat and .5″ long”?

  2. at

    Hmm, that’s a great question, I’m guessing they’d give you specs for every club if you hit them. For me, I hit the driver, 6 iron and putter. It seems that your 6 iron sorta represents all of your irons (which I’m inclined to agree with). But, I know for a fact that if you wanted to hit every club in the bag, they’d be more than happy to accommodate. If you went this route, you’d be able to get more specific data on each individual club. They give you a printout and a digital copy of your stats and their recommendations, so if you weren’t a TaylorMade fan, you could use those for a different set of clubs.

  3. Doc
    at

    When you said that they would give a 50% discount when we mention your name … what is the base price they are taking the 50% off of?? How much would the club fitting normally cost?
    Thanks,
    Doc

  4. at

    Hey Doc, great question! The regular price of the fitting is $400 bucks and after the discount, it’ll be $200. Are you going to check it out?

  5. at

    Uh Oh Dave,
    Looks like someone ripped off your story?

    http://www.mygolfspy.com/taylormade-performance-labs/

  6. at

    Looks like a crazy coincidence to me…. :) Either way, I think it’s a good thing to give these guys more exposure, they offer a great service to golfers.

  7. at

    Great infomation you share here Dave. I’m wondering if there any lab here in Malaysia? It might be expensive here…

    Thanks for sharing this

  8. Don Matthews
    at

    Dave, what a review. I’ve read all the marketing stuff on TMPlabs, but this report of yours is so crisp and vivid, I get a real feel how this works. Cool, I’ve written to them to set up an appointment in a few weeks when I’m in Orlando. Gonna check this out…
    Thanks again for the great reporting
    d.

  9. Roger
    at

    Hi Dave,

    I went to see Travis when I was in Orlando last year and have been playing with my new clubs for about a year now. I was just as impressed as you with the whole process and Travis’s knowledge of the golf swing. One thing you didn’t mention was Travis’s ability to superimpose your swing over that of PGA Tour pros. It really gave me the insight as to what I was doing wrong and what the pros do to generate power. I couldn’t agree with you more that TMPL offers a great service that any golfer could benefit from. Enjoy those new clubs!

  10. Matt
    at

    Do they only recommend Taylor Made clubs? I believe that would really limit your options if that was the case.

  11. JoLo
    at

    How about shaft data?

  12. Ryan
    at

    After reading this I decided to set up a session with Travis. I was in the market for clubs and liked what I was hearing regarding the Burner 09 irons. The session was a blast. Travis was a pleasure to work with and he gave a lot of great tips and really spent the time breaking down my swing in the lab. It was really cool watching my swing superimposed with Sergio Garcia and other pro golfers. The biggest thing I learned is the pro golfers do a lot more with their hips and they are apparently a lot more flexible than I am. Yes, they recommend Taylor Made clubs but you can take the information they give you and apply it across the board. They give recommendations on every club in your bag as well as what type of ball you should play. The swing analysis alone was well worth the money for me.

  13. Summer
    at

    John Duval, you think someone “ripped off” Dave’s story? Seriously? Someone else visited another Taylormade lab and wrote about it. What makes you think Dave has a monopoly on doing this? Don’t you think Taylormade offered free sessions to bloggers for all of its lab facilities so just what could happen would happen? Dig a little deeper next time, dude.

    P.S. “Merely” is the correct spelling. Your other errors are so elementary they’re not worth addressing.

  14. joe walker
    at

    Dave-
    Ater reading your review, I couldn’t resist setting an appointment. Hitting a driver is my biggest challenge and am looking forward to the insight and knowledge Travis will share. I will update you after the fitting

  15. Thomas
    at

    Hi Dave. Hope you’re hitting it well with those new clubs. I’m an industrial designer located in Finland, so I’m a long way away from Orlando to experience the session myself. I am however, designing for a company with similar technology, and I’m benchmarking experiences like these: custom fitting and swing analysis session. I’m interested in the interaction itself, with the instructor, and how the whole room, scene and experience path from entering the building to leaving is branded. The vault door is an impressive feature, as it clearly was on you, but apart from that, what else stood out? I’ve found some pictures elsewhere, but if you (or anybody else reading this) would just like to walk me through the actual experience, that would be awesome.

  16. John
    at

    Dave, I am going for a fitting today at noon because I saw your blog. I am looking forward to it and will report back after I am done

  17. at

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience John!

  18. John
    at

    Dave

    I had a great experience today with travis at the taylor made fitting lab. I have had fitted clubs since 1992 and have been through multiple fittings since and this session definitly topped them all. I am a plus 1 handicap and even though I really wanted a new driver, Travis talked me out of it. This showed me that he wasn’t there just to sell equipment, he really cared about your game.

    The best part was putting on all the sensors and seeing myself in 3d. When compared to tour players, directly over my own image, I could clearly see where some of my faults were. Travis gave me a few things to work on and I did end up buying a few irons.

    I will go back after I have had a chance to work on a few things.

    Overall I would recommend this to golfers of all skill levels!

  19. at

    Thx just emailed Travis for my appt

  20. Dan
    at

    Hi Dave,

    Can you advise if the 50% discount offer on club fitting is still available in 2013?

    Regards
    Danny.

  21. at

    Hey Danny, yes the $100 off is still a valid offer in 2013! Just mention the post when you book with Travis and you’re good to go.

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