CEO and Founder of True Spec Golf, a brand agnostic golf club fitting company with 17 fitting operations located on 3 continents in 5 countries which specializes in custom fit, custom built golf clubs built with the tightest tolerances in the golf industry. Hoyt is also the CEO of Club Conex, the industry leader in adjustable golf club adapters. President of Miura Golf, a super-premium golf club manufacturer best known for their superior craftsmanship and quality. Formerly co-founded Modern Golf, a brand agnostic golf club fitting company based in Canada. Before his time in the golf equipment industry, Hoyt played competitively on the Canadian Tour, South American Tour, and Challenge Tour (Europe) and was a stand-out collegiate golfer for Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Hoyt grew up in the Hamptons in New York.
Having been around the golf industry his whole life, and having played competitively, Hoyt understands the importance equipment can play in helping a player perform their best. During his time through his Collegiate golf experience, and while playing professionally on the Canadian and other tours, Hoyt was drawn to the more technical side of the game, specifically, equipment. This background became the foundation for his desire to pursue opportunities in the golf business as it related to golf equipment. It became very evident early on to Hoyt that golfers needed an objective and unbiased, data-driven method to have their golf clubs fit to them optimal performance. It became very obvious to him that not only was there a need to fit the club regardless of brand affinity, but the clubs that were built from that recommendation needed to be done so under the tightest tolerances possible. The end goal was providing the every-day golfer a PGA Tour caliber fitting experience, then be able to replicate the club that was in the fitting perfectly through the production process.
Getting fitted for the proper clubs to play better golf is a desirable goal — what’s the biggest misconception people have in terms of doing so?
Most higher handicap players believe they lack the skill set to see any tangible results from a custom fit and built set of clubs. This is actually the furthest thing from the truth. A higher handicap golfer stands to improve their scores more substantially than a low digit handicap player, as their unique swings and swing idiosyncrasies often dictate that more customized clubs are needed to maximize performance. Also, higher handicap players often feel they lack repeatability in their swings. Once again, this is a misconception. Motion capture research has proven across testing tens of thousands of high handicapper’s swings that the speed and angles which each player tends to deliver the club to the ball actually vary minimally, with the two variables that change the most being the angle of the clubface at impact and where the ball is struck on the clubface. Custom fit clubs can help golfers tighten these patterns, thereby making club fitting effective for low and high handicap players alike.
How long does the process take in being properly fitted?
The length of time needed to fit a player depends on what clubs are being fit. If a player is having their entire set fit, the process takes 2-3 hours.
How often are people surprised the club specs they are using really do not fit what their swing actually provides?
It is very common, perhaps 50%-60% of the time, that a player is surprised by a recommendation from a club fitter based on their prior preconceptions about which specs the player thought to be the best for them.
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest — what number would you give to golf magazines of all types in being able to educate readers correctly concerning the importance of sound fitting?
Unfortunately, I would only rate this at about 3. Many publications express the importance of being fit, but do not provide a compelling reason why, or explanation why, or give examples of how club fitting benefits the average golfer.
On a scale of 1-10 with again 10 being the highest — what number would you give those who do fitting through a retail outlet that sells golf equipment?
It all depends on the experience, knowledgebase and competency of the fitting/sales associate. Unfortunately, this can vary tremendously when going from one retailer to another. Many retail shops tend to be more focused on creating a sale, than keeping each player’s best interest at heart. A customer should pay attention to the fitting associates overall knowledge of ALL bands and products, and ask the fitter questions as to why the fitter is recommending the products they are over other options.
How often should people be re-fitted?
It is always advisable to have professional fitter take a look at the set every year. This does not necessarily mean new clubs will be recommended every year, but it gives the fitter an opportunity to reassess past recommendations, or adjust the clubs into specs that would better benefit the player. This isn’t to mention that lofts and lie angles can sometimes be altered unintentionally over time, so making sure the clubs are still “in spec” is a very important thing to do after a year’s worth of usage. Generally, anytime a player makes significant swing changes, suffers an injury or recovers from one, or experiences a significant change in their fitness level, it is advisable to be refit.
Customer service is often touted by many golf industry leaders. Define the term and the manner by which you go about doing it?
Customer service is best defined by always having the customer’s best interest at heart, and ensuring that customer’s experiences and outcomes meet or exceed their expectations. Elite level customer service is best delivered proactively. Ultimately, a customer expects their fitter will be knowledgeable and maintain integrity through the process. The clubs must be delivered promptly and so that all clubs are aesthetically flawless, and built to the exact specifications identified in the fitting. Lastly, and probably most importantly, the clubs must perform better than the clubs the player previously played. If any of these deliverables are not met, the company needs to do whatever is necessary to make it right and ensure a positive outcome and experience.
Major golf organizations are seeking ways to attract more players to the game given the stagnate nature over the last several years. The focus being on Millennials, women and minorities. How do you view the situation and what steps do you see True Spec doing to grow the game with the aforementioned groups and others?
True Spec is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth in the industry, we understand we are extremely fortunate, and this is clearly not the trend within the broader industry. Trying to grow the game with Millennials means taking new approaches on how to market the game. The use of social media is pivotal in this, as well as using the newer technology driven platforms. One would be foolish not to look carefully at what companies like Top Golf have been able to do — making golf a more social / entertainment activity that reaches across all demographics.
The industry needs to embrace cool, exciting new technologies to make the game more appealing to young adults. As it pertains to women, golf club manufacturers, through the use of new advanced materials, are able to produce golf equipment that is lighter than ever before. The average female golfer can really benefit from these extremely light and stable products. Club fitting companies need to educate these female players that their games can greatly benefit from a custom fitting experience using these new products all to the effort in adding enjoyment when on the course.
You can change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
I would be a proponent for the bifurcation of the equipment rules as it pertains to professionals and amateurs. We see this in other sports – namely baseball. Amateur baseball uses composite bats, whereas professional baseball uses wood bats, reason being it is much more difficult to hit with a wooden bat. I think equipment companies should be allows to make equipment that provides maximum forgiveness, ball speed, etc. Allow the manufacturers to produce clubs that make the game easier would speed up play and add to the enjoyment of the game. Make the game easier for amateurs so they can enjoy themselves more on the course. The average player would still appreciate the skill required to play the game at a professional competitive level regardless of whether they were using the same equipment as the professionals, perhaps even more so.
Best advice you ever received. What was it and who was it from?
Came from my college golf coach Eric Abreu who always said, “talk is cheap,” so I always focused on actions than talk.
Photos: Courtesy of True Spec Golf