Widow Maker 9.5 driverPRODUCT REVIEW

Dimension Z brings
club-fitting process
to new 'dimension'

By David R. Holland,
Senior Writer

DENVER, Colo. (March 12, 2004) -- As president of the Ben Hogan Company, Don Ingermann played a different set of "off-the-rack" clubs every week. It was his own idea of checking the quality of the product.

But that all changed the day he got scheduled to play with Tom Kite in a Pro-Am in 1993.

"Kite insisted I go through the same club-fitting process that he did and that Justin Leonard, Lee Janzen and Mark Brooks did for their Ben Hogan clubs," Ingermann recalled. "In 30 days my handicap went from a 13 to 5."

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Simple logic told Ingermann that a set of golf clubs tuned to your physical attributes and swing characteristics would produce more consistency. And that would produce lower scores and more confidence. At Ben Hogan mass-production was an easier profit than custom-fitting for the average Joe.

This was a thought-provoking scenario for Ingermann, who already had grown as an entrepreneur, inventing the industry's first automatic club cleaner. And he also produced range ball machines for private clubs around the U.S. He sold his manufacturing companies and entered retirement No. 1. But sitting around wasn't enough for this entrepreneur. He came back to the golf industry as CEO for Ben Hogan, returning the company to profitability in two short years.

Ingermann retired for a second time, spending his free time on a sail boat, but it wasn't long until his restlessness translated into a new company. Dimension Z was born in Denver, aiming to capture the precision-fit club market that Henry-Griffitts, Inc., created some 15 years earlier.

Today, Dimension Z is becoming a major player in the industry with new products, ongoing research, a growing list of fitting locations, and thousands of satisfied customers.

Z1 Iron It's called "integrated tuning process" and "it will take strokes off your game," Ingermann says. "We use diagnostic equipment to analyze every component and perfectly balance a set of golf clubs for you."

First, the process analyzes your current set of clubs and details on a graph just how in-tune or out-of-tune your set is. Then your club-fitter will take you through a series of tests, hitting various clubs with different shafts, lie angles, etc., with a piece of paper attached to the clubface, showing your tendencies of hitting squarely or not with the various clubs. The process comes up with the balance, shaft flex, lie angle and even uniformity and weight of grips that is best for your swing. Your club-fitting session takes about 45 minutes.

To get really technical, Dimension Z explains it like this: The PGA touring Integrated Tuning ProcessT includes:

Head Weights and Appropriate Gram Spacing (Delta)
Circumferential Flexural Integrity Testing (CFI), & Synchronization
Linear Flexural Integrity (LFI)
Steel Spine Identification & Location
Multi-Matching Shafts as a Set
Frequency Testing
Swing Weight Testing
Gripping and Grip weights
Head Weight and Gram Deltas

"It's really about consistency," said Tim Grove, who is Englewood Golf Course's Dimension Z club-fitter. "I like to ask what's your favorite club? And then I analyze your set to find the right loft, lie and shaft that will be consistent for you. Our objective is for you to notice that all your custom-fitted Dimension Z clubs are the same."

With that knowledge eventually you will have the same confidence for every club and not just a few favorites.

"Over the years, Dimension Z has proven to have the tightest tolerances in clubs which delivers the consistency I'm looking for," said Jerry Walters, host of KOA's In the Fairway radio talk show. "Now, when I stand over a shot, my clubs provide me with the confidence that every club is perfectly fit to my swing. The staff at Dimension Z is concerned about the exactness of every set of clubs which leaves their factory, just as they were with mine. I'll never switch from Dimension Z clubs."

Dimension Z is not about mass-production. In a nutshell here's the company line: "Every set is constructed after you have gone through the fitting process with a trained professional. This allows us to build you a set that is made entirely for your game. It is also very important to understand that quality is the most important factor in buying a set of custom clubs. If the manufacturer does not have the ability to grind their heads and match their shafts, it is impossible to make a set of clubs that have a perfectly straight (upward sloping) frequency line.

"Many manufacturers claim they build frequency matched sets of clubs, because they start with frequency matched shafts. In reality, the completed sets cannot be frequency matched without the ability to weight-sort their heads and grind the finished product. To determine how well your clubs are matched, have a technician frequency analyze your clubs and plot the frequency line on a graph. If the line is jagged in anyway, your clubs are not frequency matched."

Bob Uecker Since 1997 Dimension Z has produced more than 10,000 custom-fitted clubs for such golfers as Clint Eastwood, former major leaguer Bob Uecker, and Colorado Avalanche hockey star Joe Sakic and Adam Deadmarsh of the Los Angeles Kings. Peter Coors and some family members are also Dimension Z club owners.

Dimension Z locations are now located in Colorado, Arizona, California, Oregon, Florida, Washington, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico, Alaska, Minnesota, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, England and Scotland.

The verdict

I can't say that my handicap has dropped eight strokes like Don Ingermann's did, but I can say there was immediate confidence from the first sand shot hit. I selected three wedges -- 52º, 56º, and 60º -- and it took me seven rounds before I hit a bad bunker shot. The 3 metal has become a favorite and I also selected a 9-wood at the insistence of Gary Player, who said this was a must club for senior golfers.

My Dimension Z clubs are also handsome. From the Widow Maker 9.5 driver (.830 COR) to my 3, 7 and 9 metals. I also selected 4-PW irons.

Don Ingermann On a recent golf road trip to the Central Coast of California my Dimension Z clubs were noticed and asked about during every single round. From Cypress Point to Pebble Beach, Bayonet, Pasadera, Poppy Hills, La Purisma, Cypress Ridge and Hunter Ranch, someone stopped me and asked about Dimension Z. One guy was sitting in his back yard at the time. What did I tell them? It was all positive.

I am certain, with a little more playing time, I'll have increased confidence with every Dimension Z club in the bag. The wedges alone have resulted in at least three saved shots per round.

If you are really serious about improving your game this is the way to go for your next set of clubs. Off-the-rack or custom-fitted? What sounds good to you? Dimension Z is a family operation with Don's son Brad Ingermann serving as Vice President and Master Club Technician. Log on to dimensionz.com for more detailed information.

Dimension Z Golf, Inc.
14700 W. 66th Place
Suite #9
Arvada, Colorado 80004
(888) 271-1889 toll-free
(303) 403-8344
(303) 403-8440 fax

David R. Holland is an award-winning Senior Writer for TravelGolf.com and the author of The Colorado Golf Bible (coloradogolfbible.com).

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.