The importance of being properly fitted for a driver. The difference is epic! 

Quite a lot of work has gone on over the last couple of months. Been working really hard on flexibility and range of movement that was highlighted when I went for the assessment. I’m feeling a big difference in my swing and how I consistent it has become now I am a bit more supple. Turns out most of my swing problems were caused by poor flexibility causing involuntary movements during the swing. 

I’ve been thinking about how to improve my game and what direction I want to go with my game, I had fallen into a bad routine of chasing the wrong type of improvement over the winter as seeing improvement as more club speed and more distance. This has made me try too hard to swing the club too fast which has then had a negative effect on shot dispersion. Also having a driver that doesn’t fit my swing and is actually costing me clubhead speed wasn’t helping either. 

I had made a plan for the year of what was getting focused on and at what time of the year it was getting worked on. I had penciled in a driver fitting for the start of February to see if I could find any improvements with something different. Figuring out that I hit my 3 wood around 245 yards carry distance and my driver only 235-240 yards set off the alarm that something wasn’t right! 

I went to Scott at hayston for a fitting and it’s unbelievable the difference it makes when you have someone who knows what needs to be adjusted in the equipment that’s in your hand to best suit your swing. I had never been happy with the cobra driver that I had been “custom fit” for at another shop that will remain nameless. I was very inconsistent with it and never got a consistent carry distance with it. Sometimes it would drop out of the sky and only carry 200 yards and others it would carry 250 yards with a similar swing and strike. Turns out the problem is a low spin head coupled with a low spin shaft which caused not enough backspin to keep the ball in the air, as a result the ball falls out of the sky and goes nowhere. Also the X stiff shaft was not compliant enough for me to load up properly for it to release at impact giving me most efficient head speed for my swing.

Not good numbers at all! Spin very low and left club path on some because the head was weighted for a draw bias which exaggerated my tendency to roll my hands through impact causing the really poor results short and left on the initial shots hit. 

After getting some base figures with my own driver Scott then put a club and shaft together that he thought would suit me. I really wanted to try the taylormade M2 with all the hype that had been surrounding this club on tour. Couldn’t hit the thing if my life depended on it! It didn’t matter what shaft was put into it I felt the head was too light and I couldn’t feel where it was or what it was doing in the swing. Results were not good with it because I kept hitting it low on the face and out of the heel. This was dropped very quickly and we moved on. 

I was disappointed with it as I had been really wanting to hit one for months leading up to it but the club just didn’t suit what I was comfortable with and needed to feel to be able to hit well. We then moved onto callaway epic and I was totally blown away! I’m not one for believing hype or going for the latest gimmicks and secretly wanted it to not perform as well as it did. (I went in wanting the M2 to be best) although I could understand and appreciate the idea behind the technology behind it and why it would work. 

First off Scott wanted to demonstrate how much club head speed my old driver was robbing me of and put a regular felt shaft in the epic head, instantly quicker from the same swing. This was my fastest clubhead speed of the day but the dispersion wasn’t as tight as we would like because the shaft was flexing too much and I couldn’t control the clubface consistently. 

We tried a few different shafts and settled on an aldila rogue 60gram stiff shaft which was giving me good speed and spin numbers. 

Only problem was that the launch angle and face to path angles were inconsistent because of me wanting to turn the clubface through impact. The sliding weight on the sole of the club was adjusted to the toe of the club which makes turning the face harder. 

Bingo! Super consistent numbers on that setup. The first swing was me deliberately swinging slow to see if it would stop my tendency to turn it over and hit it left when easing back on it a bit which it did! We then went out and hit some balls on the course and the grouping of the balls was as close as I have ever had from any club let alone a driver. 

On average 5mph more ball speed and 30 yards more carry due to better launch angle and spin rates. That’s massive considering I haven’t done anything to change my swing just change the club that’s in my hands. 

This is the grouping of all shots hit, the white ellipse is my original cobra with the wrong shaft. Dispersion is horrific! With every adjustment it was brought in tighter and tighter. The slow swing of the toe weighted epic is skewing the results for that but is still a massive improvement over what I had. New driver ordered and patiently waiting on callaway building for me. 

Whilst I am waiting on it arriving I have been borrowing Scott’s demo club to get used to it on course. I have fallen back into the old trap of trying to hit the new driver as hard as I possibly can to see how far it will go. Defeats the purpose of the custom fit when you then start swinging as fast as you can! I’ve calmed it back down and concentrated on swinging normally and trying to hit fairways and it is working very well. I played yesterday and the difference playing from further up the hole and actually on the fairway is massive. Best round of the year 2 over par 72. 

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