As a 5-handicapper in his 60s, Stan Ludwick didn't expect to shave four strokes off his game in just six months. But that's just what happened after he went for his first custom-fitting in 40 years of playing golf.

Ludwick was one of nine golfers to get their first clubfitting and undergo a comprehensive bag analysis by Club Champion, one of the country's premier clubfitters, with locations in 38 metropolitan areas across the United States. The players then charted each round they played using the GolfLogix smartphone app. Eight of our nine participants improved with their new clubs by an average of 1.7 strokes in barely half a season of play. Most of the golfers in our test showed dramatic, almost freakish improvements in distance. The average gain with the driver was 21 yards, and the average gain with the irons was 13 yards—or essentially a full club.

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