Belated happy new year to my followers. Flu in the FFP household delayed me getting back into the studio this year but I am back now and 2018 is going to be big I feel.
What’s on the horizon? Well this is going to be a great year for golf on the East coast of Scotland with Gullane GC hosting the Scottish Open and a co-sanctioned (LET & LPGA Tour) Ladies Scottish Open either side of The Open at Carnoustie. I hope to be able to host some events at the new Fenton Barns studio during the month on July and invite some tour players.
While we are talking about tour players the services that I offer now are as close to a tour fitting as an amatuer can get. We have multiple brands of heads, shafts and grips to fine tune the perfect set for you. Fenton Barns has full workshop facilities for club building and repairs as well as PGA professional tuition on site for combined instruction/fitting sessions.
I will be introducing in February a new service. I can’t go into the full details yet other than the name “Performance Guarantee” later in the month I will release the full details of this package.
Most years I attend the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando. I was unable to attend last year but this year I will be there. I can’t wait to catch up with peers from around the globe and discuss the current trends in club building and custom fitting. I normally try and find a product at the show to bring back to the UK to add to the line up in the studio so watch this space. I intend to video blog any products that I like so please subscribe to my youtube channel for instant updates.
February should see the arrival of 2018 fitting kits from TaylorMade, Callaway, Wilson and Ping. I am going to plan some drop-in mornings for my customers to come and try the latest technology. These will be short tasters of the newest equipment and free of charge. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive all the current offers.
Finally I hope to play some golf in 2018. In 2017 I probably played less than 20 times with only one qualifying round. This is the year I will work harder on my own game and handicap. Join me on this journey as I am sure plenty of you want the same as I do, to enjoy the game more, shoot lower scores and lower that handicap (or win tournaments for the pros out there)
With the new studio all up and running I have had a bit of time in between fittings to undertake some testing of new products. This is the latest equipment from Titleist, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Wilson and Callaway
I have tested the Mizuno MP18 range, Titleist AP1, AP2 and AP3, Wilson V6, Callaway Epic and Epic pro and TaylorMade T770 irons. I have posted the launch monitor results and a quick review to youtube.
Next test will be the P790 from TaylorMade and I have a new Project X Even Flow blue driver shaft arriving this week.
Really impressed with the new Titleist AP range, for me the AP3 was best, great distance and feel, these could go straight in my bag!
Mizuno MP18 has to be one of the best looking irons of the market. I found these a little hard to get really consistent strikes with. My choice from the range was the MP18MMC but would really need to be on my game every round to get the most from these muscle back irons.
This was a great head to head between some of the best forged cavity back irons on the market. All these irons produced great numbers. No gains over the PXG irons I currently have in play but none of the other irons tested cost the same as the PXG so I guess that is a gain.
All of the tested clubs are available for custom fitting at the new Fenton Barns custom fitting studio. Thanks for watching. If you want any particular clubs reviewing please ask.
I am very excited to announce that August 2017 sees the opening of my new base. This is an amazing space and the largest studio I have ever been based in. The new studio has 3 full-sized hitting bays, indoors putting green and full workshop for club repairs and custom building. In addition we have added a reception/lounge area where you can relax after your fitting or wait while I work on your clubs.
What does this mean for you? The service you receive will still be the same un-biased tour level fitting experience that I have always delivered. I will be still using my current GC2 launch monitor to offer the best club fitting data available. In edition I am very excited to announce we will now have a teaching bay. In association with Martyn Huish golf, PGA professional we will have a teaching pro available for your coaching. The teaching bay will be equipped with Trackmam 4 launch monitor. Both bays are equipped with projectors and can offer simulation golf on a number of courses.
Brands stocked will continue to the best selection available from Callaway, TaylorMade, Cobra, Wilson, Ping, Titleist and Lynx. I can’t wait to test the new Ping G400 range and Callaway Epic irons and hybrids and Callaway Steelhead fairway woods. We will have a selection of putters from Odyssey and Scotty Cameron and full custom fitting on SeeMore and Edel putters. I have True Temper preferred fitting centre (PFC) status for all the best steel iron shafts. My preferred graphite shaft partner is Accra shafts. Accra have a great range of products and 4 price points. More PGA tour pros are turning to Accra each week, most recently is Tony Finau and I am very proud that Catriona Matthew also uses an Accra shaft that I built for her in a Callaway Epic driver.
In the workshop we will have an amazing selection of both swing grips and putter grips most of which will be available for fitting while you wait. As always I also have a great selection of shafts for repairs and upgrades.
Have all of you heard putting gadgets claiming they can make you put like a pro? Well take a step back, why shouldn’t you putt like a pro? You certainly don’t need to be athletically strong to hole putts in the same way you do to hit 300 yard drives so yes with the right technique, equipment and practice you can put like a pro.
“I am going down the driving range to hit a bucket of balls”
We have all done it but when did you last spend an hour on the practice putting green?
Last year I attended a few European Tour events in my capacity as SPi putting coach with SeeMore putter company. Monday’s are a quiet day on Tour. Players are arriving from the previous weeks event and maybe playing 9 holes in the morning to get a feel for the week to come. Here is what I saw. On the Monday afternoon the practice putting green was busy. Some players were going through drills and working with their coaches for up to two hours.
What were they doing that took two hours? The number one thing I observed was they all worked with some sort of putting aid from simple tees set up as gates to alignment sticks, putting mats and mirrors. They all practiced with purpose, they were there for more than learning the speed of the greens and they were there to train themselves to repeatedly hit a putt over a chosen spot at the right speed that would result in the ball finding the bottom of the cup. The gadgets and aids they employed to ensure they were repeating the drill correctly and stayed in place throughout. They were ingraining that perfect putt through repetitive practice and minimizing external factors with the use of their training aids.
I have started to use training aids in putter fittings. This allows me to help you find a repetitive stroke which makes your putter fitting more accurate. You leave with a custom fitted putter a better way to practice and hopefully more confidence on the greens.
Call me to chat about improving your performance on the greens.
This iconic image can mean only one thing; the golf season starts proper this weekend.
For me, as a golfer, it means the nights are drawing out the temperature is increasing (slowly) and the golf courses are starting to look ready for the season ahead.
Now is the time to get your game ready too. That could mean a full custom fitted set of clubs or just a tune up on the launch monitor with lofts and lies adjusted, grips replaced or maybe a new driver shaft could make all the difference to your game this year.
I know that some of you are sceptical about performance gains offered by manufacturers each season. This year there are definitely some gains to be made for most people. This year could be Epic.
Lets start with the big one that has been getting a lot of media attention the Callaway Epic driver. So far I have seen improvements with everyone that I have fitted for it ranging from 10-25 yards. This is also a very straight driver, a real winner this season I think. Custom fitting is a must with it as there is a lot of adjustment. The only way to see maximum performance is with your spin and launch optimised for your swing. I have been lucky enough
to have 18 holes with the Epic GBB and found shaping left (draw) much easier for me than my 2016 M1 and as a result gained a good amount of distance.
If you haven’t seen any of the press about the Epic (where have you been?) the new technology in this club is two titanium rods hold internally the sole of the club to the crown. In conventional driver design when a ball hits the face the crown and sole bulge and take some power away from the face. Callaway’s solution stops this from happening and reduces any loss of ball speed. Ball speed equals extra distance normally hence this driver is longer than anything else I have tested for me so far this year.
I also look forward to testing the new Callaway Chrome soft X ball. I read in a recent american blog that this ball out performed the competition recently during testing by up to 6 yards.
Cobra F7 woods are all in stock now. Cobra offer an extended selection of shafts for wood fitting this season making these real contenders. The drivers are sub £300 with Arccos chip installed. This chip located in the grip will log your driving distance when paired with your smart phone. The F7 fairway woods and hybrids have sole rails to minimize turf drag at impact something that could prove to be very useful in the Scottish links turf. This technology is also used in their hybrids.
Mizuno JPX 900 irons have been performing very solidly and with the shaft options that all come at no extra charge fitting Mizuno’s is a breeze. I can’t wait for the JPX 900 woods to arrive.
Keep an eye on my website and social media accounts for further updates. Once the weather gets back to normal here in East Lothian on course testing will resume again.
2016 has been a great season for custom fitting. The poor weather early in the season delayed the normal new year rush but more players have been custom fitted this season than last and my customer base grows every season. This year I added Edel putters which have been a great success and the most complete putter fitting solution on the market. As I see more customers being fitted for a full set of clubs (irons and woods) I am changing my pricing structure to offer a bonus to those who select to have a full bag fitting.
These new prices will come into place December 01st 2016.
Well it’s been a busy summer and I thank all my customers who trusted in my ability to help improve their golf through using custom fitted equipment. Callaway, Edel, Titleist and Mizuno continue to be great performers.
As we start to look to the autumn there is a significant number of new products being released that I am excited about. We already have Mizuno JPX 900 iron heads in stock and all the shaft updates to the Mizuno fitting cart. Callaway Steelhead XR irons are also in and the new Callaway Big Bertha Fusion driver is on it’s way. Callaway have started an interesting discussion with this Fusion driver and that is would you give up some distance for hitting more fairways? Callaway are going to offer this driver in 44.5″ and 45.5″. 44.5″ is the average length for tour players. The shorter shafts allows you to hit the center of the face more often. A “pure strike” will go as far as a not so great strike from a longer driver. The difference in dispersion comes due to when you hit the center of the driver face the head resists twisting.
I am going to encourage customers to keep a log for a couple of rounds to see if your score would benefit from hitting more fairways or hitting it further. I think most people would take straight drives over a small distance gain.
Next on the list of new products is the Titleist 917 wood range. Again Titleist aren’t saying this is going to be the longest driver on the market with your first shot, it’s a club that will need professionally setting up on a launch monitor to tune the head to your specific needs. As a Titleist fitting partner we will have the fitting heads in about 3 weeks prior to the release date so if you are custom fitted your clubs will be with you on release day.
Edel putters continue to be well received, the in depth fitting kit allows me to really tune the putter and focus on areas where you need help the most.
I have added Edel Putters to my custom fitting studio in North Berwick, Scotland. This is the most comprehensive putter custom fitting system I have ever used. Edel have recently shot to fame with Bryson Dechambeau, top amatuer at The Masters and now turned pro. Bryson was using Edel irons, wedges and putter but has recently signed a professional contract with Cobra golf so we expect to see him swap to Cobra irons at some point soon but the Edel putter will stay in his bag. I am sure most people will be aware that Bryson’s irons are single length. Each iron has a 7 iron shaft in it but that’s another post altogether.(here)
When you come for an Edel putter custom fitting I firstly observe you putting with your current putter. This is to establish what type of stroke you have. Putting strokes are put into two groups. 1. Radial, inside to inside and 2. Liner, more of a straight back and straight through stroke.
(Do you know if your putter is working with your stroke or against you? As some putters are designed for linear putting and some for radial. What do you think will happen if you have the wrong one? You will be fighting against the putter to square the face to the target line.)
Once I established what stroke you have I look at how you aim the putter face. I use a laser to establish your ability to aim your putter face directly at the hole. Very few people are able to do this either because of their eye dominance or because they own a putter that isn’t suited to the way they set up. I have seen someone aim 30cm left on a 2m putt. They didn’t miss putts by that much as their mind’s eye would take over to get the ball rolling towards the cup but this becomes unpredictable so the first thing I work on is correcting aim. Edel have discovered that head shape effects aim. Bladed putters tend to aim left and larger rounded back putters tend to aim right. Edel have a few ways to correct your aim with a combination of head shape, hosel shape and finally the lines on the putter. Once aim is corrected the weight of the putter is adjusted to allow you to consistently roll longer putts. This is done by adding sole weights, mid-shaft weights (opti-vibe) and finally counter-balance weights (grip weights). So now you will have aim and speed, if you can start the putt on the correct line you will make more putts. (In testing 33% less putts per round for a average putter when fitted for Edel)
This is a really indepth putter fitting. A fitting will take upto 1 hour. You will learn a lot about the way you putt and in turn become a better putter.
Really proud to announce that I am now a member of the Wilson Golf Advisory Staff. I have been using and fitting Wilson clubs for the past 2 years. Wilson are a great company to work with and a great product to fit with. If you haven’t taken a look at Wilson recently do yourself a favour take a look or better still book a fitting.
Wilson Clubs I have in play. Wilson Staff F5 driver