Club Champion Launches AI-Based Fitter Co-Pilot

Club Champion Launches AI-Based Fitter Co-Pilot

Club Champion, a custom golf club fitter, has introduced a new level of technology in hopes to remain a future-forward brand—the artificial intelligence (AI)-based “Fitter Co-Pilot.”

Club Champion's AI-based Co-Pilot system.

Club Champion’s AI-based Co-Pilot system.

This new addition to the brand’s U.S. fitting studios was designed to help fitters get to the best equipment more quickly during a custom fitting.

“Golfers can only swing so many times during a club fitting. This new Co-Pilot takes data from nearly one million swings per month and distills everything down to actionable data that gets our team to the solution faster,” said Nick Sherburne, founder of Club Champion and the driving force behind the new AI system. “Our fitters are directing the system but the program is quickly narrowing our huge demo matrix down to data-supported recommendations without wasting time or energy testing components that won’t work for the golfer.”

As Sherburne mentioned, nearly one million swings from golfers all over the country are taken from TrackMan’s dataset per month and used to determine matches and mismatches based on a golfer’s profile. The data prioritizes the TrackMan Optimizer—essentially, what TrackMan swing analysis saw as optimal for any given swing—and triangulates that information with previous fitting data. It uses player characteristics like clubhead speed and attack angle alongside performance data like carry and ball speed to match results. In testing, the Co-Pilot was able to suggest both clubhead and shaft components with 95-100% accuracy.

“The key here is to understand that the Co-Pilot doesn’t replace a highly trained fitter,” said Sherburne. “Instead, it’s another tool in their toolbox and it allows them to spend more time with the golfer to tweak the details of the recommended components. You still have to understand the principles of fitting, the club technology, the golfer’s needs, how to interpret the data, and more—this is where the art and science of fitting come together for an even better experience.”

The Co-Pilot system was created with assistance from Inspire11, a global business and technology consulting firm. One of their developers had been fitted by Club Champion and pitched the idea of an AI-assisted model to reduce fatigue during the three-and-a-half-hour full bag fitting. A little over a year after the initial pitch, the program was rolled out to select studios as a test; that test was successful and the program is officially in use in all U.S. studios as of July.

This is the first AI-assisted fitting technology of its kind in the world, according to the company. Given Club Champion’s brand agnostic approach, the system was built to include over 65 golf brands and over 65,000 clubhead and shaft combinations. In addition, the system is built to continue learning: as Club Champion fitters input data, the Co-Pilot will continue to learn and improve recommendations. The company says this technology is proprietary to Club Champion and allows it to not only be “the leader in the club fitting space, but also a pioneer in leveraging machine learning in its services.”

“We’re always trying to find ways to improve the fitting process,” concluded Sherburne. “This new system isn’t just about showing off what we can do with technology, it’s also about listening to our customers when they say they love in-depth fittings but get tired after so many swings. It improves the fitter skillset and the customer experience.”

The Co-Pilot data encompasses everything from driver to wedges; a putter version is in the works for the future. All fitters in Club Champion studios have been trained to employ the new system and every new trainee who enters the four-week Club Champion University program is taught how to use the program by Sherburne himself. Customers can expect their Club Champion fitters to use the Co-Pilot in select fitting types effective immediately with plans to leverage the system in nearly all fitting types as needed by the end of the year.

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