Dunes continues to grow golf

At Dunes Golf Centre we believe that golf can be uncomplicated, interesting, and fun to learn and play, which leads to developing other physical and mental skills.

Our programmes are designed to help students learn “what to do,” (a positive) and avoids any “How to” directions that try to fix poor outcomes.  Studies into the nature of learning show that fixing is a negative approach to progress, and has never supported developmental learning.  By focusing on “what to do,” long-term learning is encoded through the students’ own reasoning and deduction skills.

For example: Last week the juniors were discovering about the club face and how this influences the direction the ball goes in.

To make the lesson fun and engaging the children drew a ‘face’ on the club so now the club really does have a face!

In the sessions, the children discovered that, if the face is drawn in the middle of the club, the best shots happen when the ball is hit by the nose.

The ball does not go up in the air if it hits the chin, and we get strange results and a vibration through the shaft if we hit the cheeks.

The ball goes wherever the ‘eyes’ are looking as the ‘face’ hits the ball.

If you come to the range with your child, let them have some fun drawing a face on the club. Ask your child which part of the ‘face’ they think they hit the ball with.

Our Philosophy…

Learning should take place through play so we come up with games that are designed to engage the children in an environment that allows them to discover how they do it. As opposed to us telling them what to do.

Here are some examples from a recent session designed to develop distance control for putting.

Ladder Putting: In this game they rolled the ball into each number until they had collected all the bean bags

Connect 4: This is a game of Connect 4 but with golf balls as counters

So, why should children learn to play golf?

Some people would say; to develop a great swing, to win tournaments, to be a golf professional winning majors or Olympic Golds like Justin Rose, or simply to learn life skills.  These views should be rethought and quickly replaced with:

Children should learn to play golf simply because it’s a great game that’s fun to play with friends and family.

Great golf swings, winning tournaments, professional golf and life skills may be possible outcomes, but they should not be someone’s (parent or child’s) reason for playing golf or any game.

Golf is a healthy, outdoor, social activity and most importantly it helps to develop self-reliance and self confidence

We have new groups starting after the Easter Holidays for the following age groups:

4 to 8 years old (Tiger Cubs)
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

6 to 12 years old (Tiger Golf)
Wednesdays and Thursdays – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

11 to 16 years old (Development Group)

Full details on our junior coaching programs can be found on this page – CLICK HERE
Alternatively call in to see us or speak to one of our friendly team on the phone – 01346 510693.

Spaces are available on a first come first served basis so make sure you get in quick to avoid disappointment!


We have planned golf sessions for the Easter holidays that are guaranteed to be fun and educational for your child.

These one-off sessions take place on the following days and times and include, amongst loads of golf games, an Easter Egg hunt.

If your child has their own clubs then bring them along but if not, all clubs will be provided free of charge.

The cost for each session is £10.00


Monday 3rd April 9.30am – 10.30am 4 to 8 year olds (Tiger Cubs)

Monday 3rd April 10.45am – 11.45am 6 to 12 year olds (Junior Tigers)

Wednesday 5th April 9.30am – 10.30am 4 to 8 year olds (Tiger Cubs)

Wednesday 5th April 10.45am – 11.45am 6 to 12 year olds (Junior Tigers)

Time to get a grip


The new golfing season is fast approaching but how ready are you….and your clubs?

Your only point of contact with the club is through the grip, so it’s vitally important that yours aren’t neglected. However, it’s very common for a golfer not to notice the wearing of their grips as it’s a process which occurs slowly over time, by which point the golfer gets used to the change.

The natural oils on your hands, UV light and dirt all cause wear, which reduces tackiness and traction.

Less traction can cause the grip to slip and the clubface to twist, resulting in off-centre strikes and less accuracy.

We often see golfers with tight grip pressure try and secure their clubs, but this adds tension to the hands, wrists and arms, which reduces clubhead speed and distance.

It might seem obvious, but the more you play the sooner you’ll need a re-grip, so we recommend replacing annually, but if you play more it might be more often

Old, worn grips can lead to a lot of problems, including poor accuracy and a loss of distance as we outlined above, but if you ignore the problem things can get a whole lot worse and you’ll struggle to keep hold of the club altogether.

Be clear on these warning signs

Most golfers just do not know when it is time to replace their grips. Here are some tangible warning signs that you can look out for.

These are the most common warning signs and mean tackiness and traction are in short supply. Less traction can cause the grip, and consequently the head, to move mid swing, resulting in off centre strikes and misdirected shots

Faded patches often start to appear around where your thumb and fingers sit and with less traction in those areas you’ll find yourself adopting a tighter grip to hold on to your club, which adds tension that in turn reduces head speed and distance.

If you spot cracks your grips have likely lost their traction long ago. Not only are these likely to fully split, they’ll also reduce the feel you experience making a consistent short game harder to achieve.

If you haven’t already, go and take a look at the condition of your grips – are any of these warning signs ringing true for you? If you’re wondering how you could benefit from a new grip, come in store and we’ll talk you through your options.

World Famous golf coach David Leadbetter had this to say in a recent interview with Foremost Golf…

“I’d recommend players ideally change their grips every 40 rounds as it’s amazing the wear and tear you place on them. Grip pressure is vital and in golf if you’ve got a slick grip your pressure instinctively increases to hold on to the club and that’s something us coaches are constantly fighting.”

He also added this on grip fitting, “One of the most important things is making sure the grip is the right size. Using a standard size grip is like going in to a shoe shop and getting assize nine because that fits everybody. It’s just not the case.”

We all want a bargain but in most cases you truly get what you pay for, or even worse in many cases.

There are so many fakes coming from online sources like ebay. I’ve seen some shockers, completely inconsistent sizing and they wear out in no time. Do your game a favour – call in to see us soon and talk about your grips. We will give you a totally honest assessment on their conditon (they may just need a good clean!) and also advise on the grip size that will help you to play your best.


How to improve your scores…

Improve your scores – guaranteed!
Your ability to score is significantly influenced by your ability to minimise the number of putts per round.
But it is not simply a case of going out there and practicing your putting!

Did you know?…The leading money winner on the PGA Tour (Dustin Johnson) last year only made 58.87% from the 5-10 foot range. Bubba Watson only made 46.09%.

If any amateur golfer can average over 50% over the course of a season from this critical scoring range, I would very much like to meet them!

In the words of Dave Pelz, short game coach to the world’s top players,
“If you want to score, the most important “game” to improve is your short game. Second most important is your putting game. And the least important is your power-swing, ball striking game, the game you’ve been practicing all these years!”

Here is why…
Dave Pelz places the short game (this is chipping and pitching) above putting because all the stats show that how close you hit it to the hole has a significant impact upon how many putts you take.

Take a look at the 2016 season putting stats from current World Number One, Dustin Johnson.

Notice how the percentage success rate from outside 10ft drops off a cliff. Outside of 15ft Dustin doesn’t make many putts at all!

This means all golfers will benefit hugely by hitting the ball closer to the hole from 110 yards and in.

Practice is not just about hitting ball after ball and spending a lot of time at it – in fact it is entirely not that! Good practice is about being deliberate with what you are doing and to make practice more like your play.

We have developed some superb practice games that will guarantee you lower scores on the course. The first of these is called ‘Target Pitching’.

Very simply, you play 5 balls from 20 yards and score points depending how close to the hole you finish. This is repeated at 10 yard intervals right out to 110 yards. Important: We highly recommend using your normal ‘match’ balls for this game as we do not want to create extra variables by changing the ball type. So, if you normally play a Titleist ProV1 make sure you have five, in good condition, for this game.

Add up your score total on the score sheet provided and each time you play you should try to beat your best ever score.
You can only play the game once in a day and, if you start-off badly, you are not allowed to start again!

A more advanced way to play the game is to play with just one ball from each distance and to randomise the order in which you play each shot. This makes it even more like your play!

The Golf Studio at Dunes provides highly accurate distance information and is ideal for playing this game and it means you can use a brand new ball as you can get it back each time.

Wedge Fitting at Dunes Golf Centre

Over the last 15-20 years the manufacturers have strengthened the lofts on Iron sets meaning the Pitching Wedge has strengthened from 52° to 45°. In fact, the Pitching Wedge on one new set of Irons is 44°. That is a three club length gap to the Sand Wedge.

No wonder we haven’t seen a drop in scores despite the longer tee shots. With a gap between the Pitching Wedge and Sand Wedge (which they couldn’t strengthen as we needed that loft to get out of bunkers) extended to 11°, in the scoring zone you are effectively playing with a Sand Wedge and 8 Iron!

If you want a better short game, as a minimum you must do the following: get very good at playing 1/2, 5/8 or 3/4 and 7/8 Pitching Wedge shots and, as I would also recommend, you put a 50 or 52° Wedge in your bag.
This Wedge (the ‘Gap’ Wedge to fill the gap the manufacturer’s have created between the PW and SW) will make it much easier for you to play better shots into greens.


I currently carry 3 wedges; They are a 48° wedge, a 52° Gap wedge and a 56° Sand wedge. I feel this gives me the versatility around the greens that I require although the inclusion of a 60° Lob wedge could also prove beneficial.

We are a Custom Fitting Centre for Cleveland Golf with a cart that carries all of the different heads and shaft combinations. We also have fitting clubs that you can try from Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Mizuno and Orka.

What wedges do you carry?
We have a loft and lie machine and will gladly check your loft gaps FREE of charge! It only takes us a few minutes to do by using our special Loft and Lie machine. We can also talk to you about what distance gaps you have in your set as well as what bounce angles would suit you best – are you a Digger or a Sweeper?

If you want to make 2017 your best and most enjoyable year on a golf course we suggest you come for an assessment lesson at Dunes Golf Centre. It is open to golfers of all ages and levels of ability and is a fantastic learning experience costing from just £20 for the 60 minute session.

Telephone 01346 510693 to book or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk

We are pleased to announce that the Golf Centre is back on Summer opening hours so we are now 7 days a week:
Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm
Saturday 9am to 4pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm

Please note: The café is not going to be open on a Sunday until April 2017

Which one won…Ping G, Callaway Epic or Taylormade M1?

The Heavyweight Driver Battle

We have heard what the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson think of their new clubs but we wanted to find out how they performed in the hands of the amateur golfer.

At Dunes we provided the opportunity for you to try the latest and greatest drivers on the market – each promising unrivalled levels of distance and accuracy.

Our Heavyweight Driver Battle proved a big hit as 54 golfers turned up throughout the day to try the new drivers and compare them against what they were currently playing.

Of all the drivers currently available there are really only 3 that people are talking about: The Callaway Epic, Taylor Made M1/M2 and the Ping G.

Before we get into the results from the day let’s take a look at the features and benefits of each.

Callaway Epic
The new Epic is probably the most talked about new driver since the original Great Big Bertha was launched in the mid-nineties.

The most notable feature on the Epic is what Callaway have called Jailbreak Technology.

Jailbreak works by dramatically increasing distance through stiffening the body to transfer more energy to the ball. On normal drivers, the face and crown flex upon impact with the crown moving up and sole moving down. This creates a loss of energy so Jailbreak creates a vertical connection with two lightweight titanium vertical bars. This drastically reduces the flex on the face to double the impact load for more energy and ball speeds across the face.

Taylor Made M1/M2

The all-new M1 driver takes multi-material construction to the next level to deliver distance, forgiveness and complete personalisation. Featuring a new 6-layer carbon crown and additional carbon toe panel, the 2017 M1 driver has 43% more carbon than last year’s model.

Ping G Driver
Inspired by an approach called biomimicry, PING engineers analysed the dragonfly’s intricate wing pattern to design ultra-thin crown sections for extreme centre of gravity location and maximized MOI. Dragonfly Technology, Vortec Technology, turbulators and a strong T9S face have created Ping’s longest and most forgiving driver ever.

So, that’s the information on the technology but what did you, the general golfing public, think of them?

All participants were asked to score each club on; Looks, Feel, Sound, Performance and ultimately which one they would buy.

Callaway topped the best-looking list with an average rating of 4.14, just a fraction ahead of the Taylormade. The Ping was certainly not a favourite aesthetically and finished a good way behind the other two.


The best feel was a very close run affair between all three drivers but it was the Ping that came out on top, defeating the Callaway into second place by the narrowest of margins.


The three drivers certainly have their own distinctive sounds of which we have no doubt the manufacturers engineer deliberately. It was our prediction that the softer thud made by the multi-material Callaway and Taylormade would be popular but it seems we were wrong. The much louder crack created by the Ping proved to be the preference overall and therefore claimed the top spot.


You could argue this is the most important category of all. At the end of the day, does it matter what a driver looks, feels and sounds like if it does not perform very well?

I think it is fair to say that all three of these products perform exceptionally well but we can only have one winner!

We have long promoted the Ping G Driver as one of the best on the market but since the launch of the new M1 and the Callaway Epic we were questioning if it’s crown could now be taken. Well, according to your ratings, the answer was NO. Despite the Ping selling for £299 versus the Callaway and Taylormade at £429 you rated it as the best performing driver of them all.


Which driver would you buy?
An interesting result here as you would think that it would be the Ping given that it was rated as having the best performance. However, the totals showed that the Callaway Epic will be filling more of your golf bags this year than both the Ping and the Taylormade.



What was clearly evident from the day was that getting fitted for your next driver is an absolute must. You could easily dismiss a driver on its performance simply because you were fitted with unsuitable shaft, head type, length, settings on the head or most likely a combination of all of the aforementioned.

We have invested heavily in technology and training to help us quickly and confidently optimise the set up for each individual golfer. We are committed to providing a World class service to the golfers of North East Scotland and offer you the leading brands in golf at the most competitive prices. Best of all we will make sure you get what is right for you.

Rodney Trail certainly benefitted from a good fitting and the newer technology available today. His current driver is a Callaway Diablo driver from 2009 but with the new Callaway Epic he gained 42 yards in length. That is what we call a ‘Game Changer!’

If you could not make it to the Heavyweight Driver Battle then do not worry! We have the full range of demo products and shaft options in the Golf Studio for you to get fitted with 7 days a week.
We are now open Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

If you would like to see how much more yardage and accuracy you could gain then book a fitting today. It costs £30.00 but this is refunded if a purchase is made as a result of the fitting.
Don’t forget to bring your own club along as we only want you to buy a benefit!

Book online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/custom-fitting/ or 01346 510693