KEARNEY — Why not make your clubs work for you?
That’s the advice Matt Shaner shares with customers at Hilltop Mall’s new Golf Fit USA.
“The way I describe it to people, if you walk into a shoe store, you’re not just going to buy a size 20 shoe. They’ll cover your foot, but you’ll look like a clown walking around,” Shaner said.
Golf Fit USA opened April 1 at 4917 Second Ave. Suite 2, inside the mall near Sporting Edge, and currently is a two-person operation, with Terri Meier as owner and partner and Shaner as managing partner. Soon Maurie Schuman, a longtime golf store owner, will join Golf Fit.
To help golfers get serious about their game, Golf Fit USA offers a range of services to ensure players’ clubs fit their physique and swing. There also are some technological aids so golfers can fine-tune their style along with their equipment.
Shaner said his 25 years as a PGA golf professional — including a stint at the Kearney Country Club — convinced him of the value of fitting clubs to the golfer, rather than the golfer adapting to the clubs.
“We can make the clubs adapt to you,” he said. “We do shaft analysis, shaft length tests, lie angle analysis and grip size. There also are golf ball fittings and wedge fittings.”
The Golf Fit USA fitting studio sprang from Shaner’s experience as a manager at a nearby golf equipment store. Golf Fit USA doesn’t stock a large volume of merchandise, but customers have access to all the popular brands: TaylorMade, Callaway, Mizuno, Ping, Cobra, Titleist, Cleveland/Srixon and Tour Edge.
“We can alter your existing equipment or order all new from all the major manufacturers,” Shaner said.
Meier said the layout of the store is intended to encourage golfers to stop in, check their skills on Golf Fit’s simulators and 300-square-foot putting green, or just hang out.
Meier golfed collegiately at Iowa State University and said she hopes she can attract other women to see how they can improve their game by adapting their equipment.
She said it’s exciting to be a part of something new at the mall in a business that helps golfers feed their passion. Business cards at Golf Fit USA say, “Custom Fit for the Perfect Hit.”
“We’ve been busy,” Meier said while one of Golf Fit’s customers, Geneva native Brett Wetton, tests his swing on a simulator. It’s part of the technology that Golf Fit has to analyze swings and adapt clubs to boost golfers’ success.
Golf Fit offers club repair, accessories, equipment and lessons, and soon will launch a mobile fitting service so golfers can get their clubs adjusted and then try them on their home courses.
Golf Fit USA is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and is closed Sunday unless by appointment. Customers may call 308-455-3371.