PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- More and more golfers are recognizing that properly fit clubs are the key to improving their golf game, and, ultimately, having more fun on the course. Throughout the month of April, PGA and LPGA Professionals across the country will be providing free equipment fittings as part of PGA Free Fitting & Trade-Up Month. A full list of participating facilities by zip code can be found at PlayGolfAmerica.com .
Even with increased awareness of the importance of proper club fitting, a recent survey by the Sports and Leisure Research Group reported that up to nine out of 10 golfers may still be playing with the wrong golf equipment for their swing. After being custom-fitted for clubs, golfers reported seeing their overall score decrease, hitting the ball more accurately and consistently, seeing immediate benefits and enjoying the game more. As today's equipment has more adjustability and technology than ever before, golfers really need to be professionally fitted in order to maximize these enhancements.
"As a PGA Professional, I know how important it is to have properly fit equipment to those who play the game, regardless of the level they play." said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "PGA and LPGA Professionals are trained experts in the game of golf and can help consumers solve the club-fitting puzzle through this program. I can assure you that anyone who is custom fit into the right clubs will see an immediate improvement in their game."
In addition to providing a free 15-minute fitting session, participating PGA and LPGA Professionals authorized by the PGA Trade-In Network can help golfers trade in their obsolete golf clubs based on fair market value determined by the PGA.com Value Guide and apply that amount towards new and fitted clubs. Nike Golf is the official equipment sponsor and is offering an additional trade in value to help enhance the experience for golfers.
"The trade-up aspect of the program allows golfers to clean out their golf bags, garages, basements and trunks and get fair market value for used golf clubs in exchange for credit toward the purchase of new equipment that actually fits. This is all part of our dedication to not only making the game more fun but also affordable," Wronowski added.
Golfers who receive the free fittings in April are eligible to enter a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to the 2011 PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club or one of two sets of Nike golf clubs.
More than 3,000 PGA/LPGA Professionals participated in Free Fitting and Trade-Up Month in 2010, giving more than 33,000 free fittings. Not only did these fittings improve the games of the golfers, but this program also provided a boost to the golf industry. Participating facilities showed an average of $3,700 in additional revenue generated by the program, resulting in a more than $7.8 million overall impact to the golf industry last year. Since the program's inception, more than 165,250 golfers have received free fittings, resulting in a more than a $36 million industry impact.
The PGA of America teams with Golf Digest, the PGA Trade-In Network, the PGA.com Value Guide and Nike Golf to sponsor this equipment-themed consumer promotion during the month of April.
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in a multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.
Golf Digest is part of Condé Nast and is the largest golf publication in the world. Condé Nast, a division of Advance Publications, operates in 25 countries. In the United States, Condé Nast publishes 18 consumer magazines, two trade publications and 27 websites that garner international acclaim and unparalleled consumer engagement. For more information about Golf Digest go to www.golfdigest.com  and stay connected on Twitter by following @GolfDigestMag
The PGA Trade-In Network is a founding partner of PGA Free Fitting & Trade-up Month. Established in 2004, The PGA Trade-In Network is a key component to the same PGA of America initiative that produced the PGA.com Value Guide, The National Standard for Golf Club Values (www.pga.com/valueguide). The PGA Trade-In Network is at work for PGA Professionals by driving new customers to their facilities, enabling risk-free trade-ins, and providing an easy way to turn unwanted trade-ins and other excess golf equipment into cash via a simple online tool. The PGA Trade-In Network also seeks to increase the consumer relevance of The PGA professional as the golf equipment, fitting and technology expert. Consumers benefit by being able to purchase properly fit golf equipment more affordably by trading-in their used golf clubs. There are currently over 7,000 PGA Trade-In Network facilities, employing over 10,000 PGA Professionals, nationwide.
Located at NIKE's World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike Golf designs and markets golf equipment, apparel, balls, footwear, bags and accessories worldwide. Nike Golf is passionately dedicated to ushering in the future of this great sport by developing ground-breaking innovations that enable and inspire athletes to become better. For more information on Nike Golf, visit our Web site at www.nikegolf.com . To follow Nike Golf on Twitter visit www.twitter.com/nikegolf  and to become a fan on facebook, go to www.facebook.com/nikegolf . To view Nike Golf videos subscribe to our You Tube channel at www.youtube.com/nikegolf .