Lou, I'm pleased to report that Henry-Griffits has come through again! The Praxis Fairway Wood launches the ball like a rocket! It has responded with long distance even out of the rough. The weight off the head adds power! The perfect club for me. Thanks, Glen Jarvi
Dear Ms. Newton,
I wanted to take the time this morning to email you and provide feedback on both my new Henry-Griffitts clubs and Lou Solarte. This is the second set of H-G’s that Lou has fitted me with and that is an indication of my confidence in both Lou and your clubs. The best way to describe my experience with Lou it is just as if he has his hands on the club and was getting feedback. I hit a few balls, he hands me a club, and it continues to get better.
Obviously, your effort in designing and assembling golf clubs is irrelevant if they do not fit. Periodically, my course has demo days with club manufacturers nevertheless; Henry Griffitts remains unique because of Lou.
I am sure that you have many long time customers however just for some background on me, Charlie Cowan fitted for my first set of H-Gs while he was at Kings Crossing in Corpus Christi, Texas. For a time I worked with Ross Smith at South Bend Country Club in Indiana. After Ross left the area about ten years ago, I met with Lou because the set of H-G clubs at that time did not complement me anymore unfortunately; I was aging not the clubs.
Again, I wanted to tell you I appreciate the fact that Henry-Griffitts have both superb hardware and great professionals like Lou Solarte.
Lou Solarte, Cantigny Golf Club, Wheaton, IL
WHEATON, Ill. - As Lou Solarte tells it, "I've got a lot of different gigs going on."
Indeed. The head teaching professional here at Cantigny Golf Club and a Henry-Griffitts Master Fitter, Solarte fulfills all the obligations you'd expect from an HG teacher/fitter. But he also finds time to coach the men's golf team at nearby College of DuPage in Glen Ellen, the largest single site collegiate campus in the United States. Solarte's charges the junior college national championship in 1998.
"In my six years at DuPage, I've probably had 40-50 different players and I've fit half of them," he says. "Henry Griffitts and Bruce Henry have been very supportive of our program. It's a great deal for the kids."
Coaching college-aged competitors has, according to Solarte, given him a unique perspective on the fitting process.
"These are good players, and better players are able to compensate better. So what's really changed for me is recognizing the nuances of a great player. You have to recognize function - the aspects of their swings that really need changing. For example, if a kid wants to hit it left to right and my preference is to reverse that, I have to honor his choice and fit him with balance and the least resistance."
Solarte also teaches high performance golf and golf psych classes at Cantigny; in fact, he's a Certified GolfPsych Instructor. "I get more into the game's mental side with every passing year. For me, it helps me get to the essence of the player, and the fit, better than I could in the traditional lesson-tee environment."
As if this weren't enough, two years ago Solarte started an ambitious junior program at Cantigny which has "just taken off." It started with winter instruction but has grown to include an advanced fitness program. "We have a studio with two hitting bays and two putting greens, but we put in an Advantage Golf fitness program because we do a lot of fitness and strength building, with medicine ball and pliometrics. We have 30 kids in it, all winter long; they have to be 8th grade or older, so I'm working with a lot of good young players."
“A good place to recruit”, perhaps?
"If I think he'll fit in with the program. If he's got a Division I game, I'll direct him there. But if he needs a little seasoning in golf and academics, then he might be a nice fit for us."
Solarte's fitting shop at Cantigny is one of HG's few top 15 accounts north of the Sun Belt, even though sales tend to fall off the second week in August when DuPage starts fall practices. "I tell you what though; I like the Model 82 [driver] a lot. It's just real easy to hit; I'm hitting it longer and missing it better. It's very easy to fit and I'd like to have some different lofts on the heads, but I've done real well with the Model 82. Put the 13 degree in some players' hands and they can really put a natural motion on it."