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Business Observer Friday, May 15, 2020 1 month ago

Golf club fitting company swings into action at local course

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True Spec, part of the 8AM Golf family of golf-related companies, tees off in Belleair.

True Spec, a golf club fitting firm part of 8AM Golf — the holding company that owns Golf.com, Golf Magazine and Nicklaus Cos., among other golf-affiliated brands — has opened its latest location at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, a tony northern Pinellas County enclave. 

Brian Hartz. Brian Bingham, at desk in background, evaluates a True Spec customer's swing at the company's performance studio at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair.

During sessions that cost between $125 and $350, golfers can have master fitter Brian Bingham evaluate their swing with TrackMan launch monitor technology that produces a wide array of advanced metrics. The 38-year-old Bingham — who says he’s been golfing since the age of 5, including some professional tour experience — will then evaluate the data points and recommend the ideal shaft and head combination for the customer.

“We’re super data-driven and performance-based,” Bingham tells Coffee Talk, but is quick to point out True Spec doesn’t “teach” people how to play golf better. It simply analyzes what clients are already doing and then builds clubs to make the most of how they swing. 

Bingham says True Spec differs from competitors in that it is brand agnostic and doesn’t push one manufacturer over another. The company's “fitting matrix,” according to a press release, can produce up to 35,000 different shaft and club combos from across the spectrum of the most respected golf club equipment manufacturers. 

True Spec — which was founded in 2014 in Scottsdale, Ariz., and has grown to more than 20 locations, including six in Florida — opened at Pelican Golf Course in early February, before the COVID-19 crisis. Bingham tells Coffee Talk the first 20 days were lucrative: He sold $68,000 worth of equipment. One client, he says, spent $7,000 on a new set, while another bought three sets — one for each house and one for his boat. Business slowed in April but he expects it to pick up again now that stay-at-home orders are being eased. “It’ll be crazy again here in no time,” he says. 

“We are a premium brand with premium equipment and we don’t take any shortcuts,” Bingham adds. “But at the same time, we are big on not selling people things they don’t need.” 

(This story has been updated to clarify that True Spec fitting sessions cost between $125 and $350.) 

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