Look after your course…

Do you know how to repair a pitchmark properly?

As a 14 year old, and just as I was getting the golfing bug, I did two weeks work experience with the greenkeepers at the World Famous, Ganton Golf Club. Ganton is located just outside my hometown of Scarborough, with the course famous for being one of only a handful in the World to have hosted The Ryder Cup, The Walker Cup and the Curtis Cup.

A few years later it would be the venue where I would start my career as a PGA Professional as I took the assistants job at the club.

However, it was in that two weeks as a greenkeeper where I learned lots about maintaining and caring for a golf course and one particular thing stayed with me and I’ve shared it with 1000’s of golfers since…. How to repair a pitchmark, correctly!

Did you know..?

A correctly repaired pitchmark will recover in 24 hours. However, an unrepaired pitchmark left unattended for two hours will take up to two months to recover.

Now that the season has started, the increase in numbers playing on the courses means that inevitably more pitchmarks will be made on the greens. However, there is no excuse for not repairing them after you have made one.

The increased numbers arise despite just about every golfer I speak to speak to saying, “Why can’t people repair their pitchmarks?” Everyone you talk to always claim that they repair 3 or 4 on every green!

As well as looking unsightly, from a golfing point of view, pitchmarks can affect ball roll and cause a player’s putt to bobble and deviate offline. Studies have shown that on average, a golfer will make 8 pitchmarks during a round of golf. If 130 rounds are played per day, that’s over 1,000 pitchmarks per week; no surprise then that it can be difficult to hole a putt!

It isn’t just about attempting to repair the pitchmark… it is about repairing it properly. Many golfers out there do not know how to do it correctly and damage the grass in the process….

In summary, you should take your pitchmark tool and insert the prongs into the turf at the edge of the depression. Do NOT insert the prongs into the depression itself, but at the rim of the depression. Then push the edge of the repairer toward the centre, using the tool in a gentle twisting motion. Do NOT insert and attempt to push up the depression as this only leads to tearing the root and killing the grass.

As part of our campaign to spread awareness of the ‘Pitchmark Problem’ we are giving away pitchmark repairers to the first 100 people to come along to Dunes Golf Centre to claim theirs. Don’t be shy, everyone should carry one of these tools when they play. However, if you do find yourself without one when you are playing, you can still repair a mark effectively with your tee peg in the same way as stated above.

We are blessed with an abundance of great golf courses in the North East of Scotland so let’s all do our bit to keep them in great condition. Pitchmarks (and divots) are not the responsibility of the greenkeeping staff but of every golfer who plays the game.

Masters Madness

WIN 100% of your money back!

The Masters is just around the corner and to celebrate the season opening Major we have a CRAZY OFFER for you….

The Masters is just around the corner and to celebrate the season opening Major we have a CRAZY OFFER for you….

How it works….
⛳️ 1. Spend over £100 in store between now and 8pm on Wednesday 10th April 2019

⛳️ 2. Choose your player from Tiger Woods or Justin Rose

⛳️ 3. If your choice wins the Masters then you get 100% of your money back via your payment method!

What will you choose….

  • A new set of custom fitted irons?
  • A new wardrobe from our brand new range of Under Armour
  • A new custom fitted driver?
  • Gloves, balls, umbrella, waterproofs?

We have a huge range of golfing goods in stock so whatever you are looking for please come and give us a try and support your local business.

Upcoming events…
15th April – a new 6 week ladies beginner love.golf class starts every Monday at either 09:30 or 13:00. Go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/startlovegolf for more information

26th April – Golf & Yoga – a new and unique 2 hour event designed just for women. Go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/yoga-and-golf for more information (SORRY THIS IS NOW FULLY BOOKED)

27th April – the 4th annual Scottish Drive Chip Putt Championship takes place at Dunes. This is a free to enter event for all boys and girls aged 4 to 15 years old. Go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/drivechipputt for more information

Women of North East Scotland: It’s time to do something for you!

Are you female and looking for a new challenge?

Perhaps the kids are at school and you want to get out and do something for you?

Or, maybe you have retired and are looking for a healthy activity that you can enjoy for the rest of your life?

Whatever your reasons, we are confident that you will find golf much easier and more accessible that you ever thought possible.

The love.golf coaching programme has proven a phenomenal success over the last two years with well over 250 women from the Fraserburgh area taking part.

It is backed by ground breaking research that ensures the learning takes place in a safe environment and it’s not just on a driving range either – you will be out playing on the course pretty much straight away!

All equipment is provided and you certainly do not need to have any previous experience or need to buy any golf clothing beforehand.

I would never have seen myself playing golf. In fact, I would go as far as to say that golf would be the last sport I would ever have taken up. I have however had a complete change of heart but to put this into context; It’s not just the challenge of learning something new that has me hooked but also the friendships that are being formed and the camaraderie that comes with it. 
Sandra Ross

Didn’t know if I’d enjoy it but thought I’d give it a bash. Next thing I know, I’ve joined up to the love.golf sessions and made a few new friends, all with a very keen interest in golf and it would be fair to say I really enjoy my Tuesday nights now. Since the first week, I’ve seen myself improve at golf. Maybe not at pro level yet but I’m certainly enjoying the practice. I like the fact that Pete is “hands off” as coach and divides his time with the group and speaks to us individually. This approach to coaching is the reason I feel I’ve enjoyed it so much. 
I’m looking forward to continuing my golf journey with the group as we all seem to be keen to better ourselves and have a good laugh at the same time.

Leona Flett

Here are seven reasons why women should start playing now..

Looking for a new challenge? Want to get healthy and active? Keen to meet more friends or spend quality time with your partner – and wondering which sport fits the bill?

Golf can take you to all over the World, like our annual golf trip to Portugal!

Golf offers all these benefits and more. It’s such an adaptable sport that it suits all players, whatever their age, fitness level or ability. So whether you want to keep healthy, burn calories or spend time with friends, golf is for you…

1. Friendship & Support
Chatting as you walk between holes, a glass of wine in the clubhouse afterwards and plenty of people keen to join you for a game – golf has to be the most social sport ever invented. With plenty of time for conversation and fun, golf is the perfect way to make new friends or grow closer bonds with people you already know. The sport’s unique handicap scoring system means that players of all levels can play together either socially or competitively.

2. Keep Active
Golf can help keep you active, burn calories, stay in shape, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and research shows it may even help you live longer. You can walk around 4-5 miles in the average game of golf, burn at least 900 calories and will take more than 10,000 steps, you will easily achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week recommended by the NHS to keep healthy.

3. Heading outdoors
Golf is also a great way to keep your Vitamin D levels topped up. Crucial for health and wellbeing, vitamin D is manufactured naturally by our body when skin is exposed to sunlight. Exercising outdoors is a scientifically-proven way to help improve your mood, stress levels and self-esteem. Rather than being a chore, golf is fun too – so you will find it easier to make exercise an enjoyable, lifelong habit. It’s a sport with a winning combination of fresh air, stunning natural scenery, friendship and fitness.
“It’s a great sport for women because it keeps you fit, you’re outdoors and you get to come to amazing places,” says the actress Denise Van Outen

4. Keep your bones healthy
One in two women over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture due to weak bones. Playing golf can help build strong bones and help guard against the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis through its brisk walking and swinging action.

5. Lifestyle
Golf can open the door to a great lifestyle giving you unique access to beautiful locations and golf clubs – many with restaurants and health clubs as well as the greens. There’s always fun and friendships available through the club and many have shops where you can pick up the latest golfing equipment and fashions.

6. Competitive (but only if you want it to be)
Golf can be a competitive and personal challenge: you can compete at club, county and national level. You can also play as part of a team or as a pair. Golf is a great alternative, or addition, to other sports such as hockey. With less wear and tear on your body than contact or high impact sports, it is a game you can play until you are much older. However, it does not have to be competitive, many women just enjoy going out to play without keeping the score. The important thing is it’s up to you!

7. It’s FUN: This should probably be at the top of the list, but one of the best reasons to get involved in golf is you will have a blast! 

Start your love.golf journey this year…
Two new groups are scheduled to start on a Monday over the following dates:
Lesson 1: April 15th
Lesson 2: April 22nd
Lesson 3: April 29th
Lesson 4: May 13th
Lesson 5: May 20th
Lesson 6: May 27th

You can choose from a morning class, 09:30 to 11:00 or an afternoon class 13:00 to 14:30
Spaces are limited and are on a first come first served basis. Go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/startlovegolf to book or call us on 01346 510693

Have you ever been told to keep your head down?


Why this is the biggest myth in golf…

I find myself compelled to repeat this message every year as part of my mission to help people play better, more enjoyable golf, and in this case…to save them from injury to.

Every week I hear amateur golfers telling each other that the cause of the bad shot they just hit was because they lifted their head.

This is usually followed by the instruction “KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!”

I even have pupils tell me after a bad shot in a lesson that they ‘knew’ what went wrong there… “I lifted my head!”

I often show the pupil the video back and prove to them that they did not lift their head and in actual fact, the thought keeping their head down was one of the main causes of the bad shot.

This SHOCK news is often hard to take on board, so ingrained is this thought in the mind of the amateur golfer. In fact, this swing advice seems the fix for pretty much every bad shot.

Let me help you now…GET RID OF THE THOUGHT ‘KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!’ It will be one of the best things you do for your golf game, AND your physical health!

In over 20 years as a PGA golf coach I can tell you how many times someone lifting their head was the cause of a bad shot – NOT ONCE!

Most advanced level players understand that keeping the head down is some what undesired and once they have hit the shot they allow the head to release freely. 

An inhibited head movement in the follow through restricts shoulder rotation, weight transfer and then ultimately club path through impact. It will also effect the release of the forearms and club head.

Worse still, it putts extra strain on your back and neck and, if you were to rotate effectively through impact and keep you head ‘down’ at the same time, you would rupture the top of your spine!

Keeping your head down also effects your starting posture. The spine becomes curved and with the chin tucked in to your chest you cannot turn properly and build up power. In many cases keeping the head down like this actually causes the body to lift in the backswing as the shoulder pushes the chin up.

Annika Sorenstam – certainly not ‘keeping’ her head down

Jim Mclean and Hank Haney are two of the Worlds’ top coaches and here is what they have to say:

“Many top players never see the ball at impact or even in the downswing. Players that do this include – Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Jim Furyk, Steve Elkington and Paul Azinger. You must almost consciously look up at the target quickly after impact or risk hanging on the right side too long and restricting the movement of the body.”
Jim McLean

”I worked with Tiger to look up very quickly almost before he hit the shot like David Duval and Annika Sorenstam. Releasing the head early really helps to stop the body from working underneath and back in the downswing.”

Hank Haney (Excerpt from The Big Miss)

I hear so many well intentioned parents, grandparents, husbands, friends and so on telling the new golfer to ‘keep their head down’. I cringe when I hear this as I know what damage it does to a potentially good golf swing. So, please stop giving out this terrible advice and start letting yourself and your fellow golfers develop a swing that flows through to face the target, just like all good players do!

Look at the head position of all of these top golf pro’s when they are at or around impact

STOP TELLING EACH OTHER TO KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN – PLEASE!

You could argue that there are many top players who are still looking at the ground where the ball was after impact but I can tell you that this is not a conscious effort. You will see that the head is free to rotate with the body thus allowing the swing to sequence better, creating more power and greater accuracy.

Next time you go to the range – give it a go for yourself and experience the freedom of movement and extra power you can create.

Find out what you need to do differently to improve any aspect of your game…

If you want to unlock your potential simply book an initial lesson with at Dunes Golf Centre for just £30.00. Call 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson 

Lessons are available 7 days a week 10am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm at a weekend.

FREE FITTINGS IN MARCH AT DUNES

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £30!
Get a FREE fitting from one of our expert club fitters during the month of March with this special promotional code ‘MARCH19
Simply go the website – click the button to book and then enter the code in the Redeem Coupon section to get your £30 discount

Book online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/custom-fitting/ or call 01346 510693 and quote the code above.

Driver Challenge 2019 – The Results

We have heard what the likes of Rory McIlroy and the rest of the tour players 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 Driver challenge proved a big hit as just under 40 local 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 we had the best of the best on demo, namely; Ping G410, Mizuno ST190, Taylormade M5/M6 and Callaway Epic Flash.

Before we get into the results from the day let’s take a look at the story behind each club.

Taylormade M5 & M6

First up is the new M5 and M6 drivers from Taylormade that follow on from the hugely successful M1/M2 and M3/M4 franchises of the last couple of years.

The big story here is that TaylorMade are revolutionising the process of creating driver faces for the M5 and M6 by starting above the legal limit and dialling it back by injecting resin in to two ‘tuning slots’ in the driver face. This is called ‘Speed Injecting’ and ensures that every driver is on the limit thanks to an algorithm which calculates the right amount of resin to use for every face.

In 1998 driver face flex was limited by the R&A to stop how far golfers hit the ball but it has been impossible to produce drivers which consistently hit the limit of 0.830 COR.

What that means is that all drivers have a different level of ‘hotness’, and while it ensures no ‘hot’ drivers go on to the illegal side, it also means many golfers end up playing with drivers which aren’t as close to the limit as they could be. The ‘hottest’ drivers are hand-picked for tour players, leaving TaylorMade estimating around 70% of retail drivers are outside the ‘hot range’ usually used by pros.

TaylorMade state that the production methods in the past have made picking the hottest driver for club golfers nothing more than just pure luck.

In the M5 and M6 they are removing the luck element due to the fact the Speed Injected technology will position every driver face right on the edge of the rules.

Dunes Price: M5 £449.00, M6 £399.00
           

Callaway Epic Flash

Two years ago Callaway launched the Epic driver that featured Jailbreak Technology and this was a huge success. Last year they improved it further still by enhancing the jailbreak in their Rogue product line.

This year Jailbreak remains but the big news is the brand new Flash Face…

Flash Face’s sophisticated architecture was created by Artificial Intelligence – the first known instance of using A.I.in the golf equipment industry — and “Machine Learning,” a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” with data without being explicitly programmed. Through Machine Learning the Callaway computers cycled through 15,000 face iterations, learning from each one, before arriving at Flash Face.
In normal driver testing approximately 6 different prototypes are used so given A.I was able to pick the best from 15000 it will be very interesting to see how the new Callaway Epic Flash performs.

Dunes Price:
£449.00

Ping G410

The G410 PLUS’ big feature is that it is the first time Ping have added an adjustable tungsten weight for draw or fade bias.

Ping are often later to the party when it comes to things like this but only because they ensure that new design features offer a real benefit to the golfer without severely compromising another area of performance.

The three positions (draw, neutral, fade) shift the CG location by 1/10″ in either direction, which equates to approximately 10 yards — or 20 yards of correction between draw and fade settings — of shot shape.

The SFtec version features a weight 50% further towards the heel than the G400 Sftec version so if you slice the ball then this club will probably be the best on the market in 2019 for you to help straighten the shot out.

Ping say the G410 driver will be better than its predecessors through four ‘Fs’.
It’s Faster, more Forgiving, has a better Feel and can be Fitted better.

It’s faster through the air due to improved aerodynamics and more efficient turbulators
They’ve been able to drag the weight right to the perimeter to keep the MOI (resistance to twisting) as high, if not higher, than anything else on the market so it’s super forgiving. Better fitting is also possible through the loft sleeve which has eight positions with +/- 1.5˚.

Finally, and this is a good one for the North East of Scotland, they’ve made the headcover 20% heavier to make sure it doesn’t blow away in the wind!

Dunes Price: £379.00

Mizuno ST190 and ST190G

Mizuno have struggled to compete in the driver market for some years despite their dominance in the forged iron market. However, that may be about to change as all the online reviews of their 2019 models show that they could be their best yet!

The ST190 drivers offer Mizuno’s lowest spin rates and incorporate every known factor in the quest to enhance ball speed and driving distance. Mizuno’s ultra-fast Forged SP700 Ti face now boasts a lighter CORTECH structure to deliver consistently higher ball speeds, with a large carbon composite crown plus the Amplified Wave soleplate, introduced in last year’s ST180 drivers, helping to convert each additional mph into extra yards.

The ST190 is designed for mid to low spin with maximum stability, and features a single, factory-fixed 6g backweight that increases MOI for added stability on off-centre strikes

The ST190G is engineered for low spin and offers Fast Track adjustability thanks to twin 7g weights on external tracks that can reduce spin by an additional 200rpm, allowing players to achieve heavy fade or draw biases by placing the weights in one track.

Dunes Price: ST190 £369.00, ST190G £399.00

THE RESULTS
We asked each participant to rate the drivers on four different aspects; Looks, Feel, Sound and Performance on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent)

Looks
The Taylormade topped the best-looking list with an average rating of 4.19 which was quite a way in front of 2nd placed Ping on 3.94. The Mizuno and Callaway shared 3rd place, both on 3.81.

WINNER BEST LOOKING: TAYLORMADE M5/M6

Feel
The Taylormade claimed victory once again as you voted it the best feeling driver of 2019. The Ping came 2nd, Mizuno 3rd and the Callaway was in 4th.

WINNER BEST FEEL: TAYLORMADE M5/M6

Sound
The drivers certainly have their own distinctive sounds of which we have no doubt the manufacturers engineer deliberately. And, this was a very close contest with very little difference on your opinions of the acoustic qualities of each club. However, it was a hattrick of wins for Taylormade as once again it proved to be your winner.

WINNER BEST SOUND: TAYLORMADE M5/M6

Performance
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 of these products perform exceptionally well but we can only have one winner!

And a huge congratulations go to Taylormade for making it a clean sweep as they claimed the top spot once again! It was a narrow margin of victory though with the Ping G410 coming a very close second.

WINNER BEST PERFORMANCE: TAYLORMADE M5/M6

Which driver would you buy?
No surprises when you consider the results so far that the Taylromade M5/M6 was your overall winner and the driver that you said you would buy next. Not by a small margin either, a whopping 47% selected the Taylormade with the other 3 sharing the remainder pretty evenly.

WINNER BUYING CHOICE: TAYLORMADE M5/M6

MY THOUGHTS

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.

If you could not make it to the Driver Challenge 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 open Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday/Sunday 10am to 4pm.

A fitting costs £30.00 but this is refunded against the value of any club purchased as a result of the fitting.

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £30!
Get a FREE fitting from one of our expert club fitters during the month of March with this special promotional code ‘MARCH19
Simply go the website – click the button to book and then enter the code in the Redeem Coupon section to get your £30 discount

Book online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/custom-fitting/ or call 01346 510693 and quote the code above.

Kris Nicol Shares His Secrets to Better Golf

Golf lessons in Fraserbrugh with PGA Professional Kris Niclol

Many of you will have heard of him but for those that don’t know, Kris Nicol is one of the PGA Golf Professionals at Dunes Golf Centre in Fraserburgh.

He is fast gaining a reputation as one of the top golf coaches in the North East as well as retaining his status as one of the regions best players (he turned pro off a handicap of plus five!)

Victories in three North East Alliance fixtures on the trot in February this year have proven that, despite a shift of focus to coaching the game, he still has what it takes to shoot a low score.

There is no doubt that Kris still wants to make it as a Tour player and at Dunes we are working with him to help make this dream a reality.

In the mean-time though he is certainly enjoying helping the local golfers discover how to play better as he shares his wisdom in a series group and individual golf classes.

“Kris helped me a lot and he made it easy for me to understand. I was really impressed, I will be back for more and can’t speak highly enough about him. Thanks Kris I be passing it on to my friends as well!” Alan Lobaczewski

If you want to realise your golfing potential then book a one to one lesson with Kris and let him guide you to your best golf.

The Initial 1 hour lesson is on offer at just £30.00 during which you will be given a plan of improvement based very much on your individual needs and capabilities.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ONE TO ONE LESSONS AND TO BOOK

“I love helping other people to play better golf. I think it helps that I have played to quite a high level and can share my experiences and the things I have learned on the way. I enjoy the variety teaching golf brings; from teaching a fellow professional to a complete beginner.” Kris Nicol

Alternatively, you could join one of Kris’ popular group classes. There are currently 3 diarised that are starting in the next few weeks so don’t delay – book your space today as room on the classes is very limited.

The Short Game Masterclass
This class has proven hugely popular since it launched last year with dozens of local golfers having already benefitted from attending.

Most shots from amateur golfers are wasted from within 100 yards of the green and in this class you will discover the secrets to better wedge play so you can shoot lower scores.

What you will learn…

Session 1: Saturday 9th March 2.30pm to 4.00pm
Technique/Low Point of swing & and assessment of your current wedge setup

Session 2: Saturday 16th March 2.30pm to 4.00pm
Trajectory control; Using the bounce vs leading edge of the club

Session 3: Saturday 23rd March 2.30pm to 4.00pm
Dial in your distances on the launch monitor and how to practice like a Tour Pro

Suitable for golfers of all levels from Scratch Hcp to relative beginner!
All for only £60.00 Maximum number of students = 8
Spaces available on a 1st come 1st served basis
Price includes all 3 coaching sessions, all range balls and course materials 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A SPACE ON THE SHORT GAME MASTERCLASS

The Putting Masterclass
A new programme for 2019 in which Kris will share his years of gained wisdom and insights in to how you can improve your performance on the greens.

What you will learn…

Session 1: Sunday 10th March 10am to 11.30am
Individual Technique Assessment
Kris will watch what you do, work with what you have got and highlight to you the key area for you to practice to become the best putter you can be.

Session 2: Sunday 17th March 10am to 11.30am
Holing out and distance control
Discover the techniques and strategies used by the best putters in the World to get the ball in the hole!

Session 3: Sunday 24th March 10am to 11.30am 
Practice drills and games
The key to productive putting practice is to create routines, which have an element of competition. This way you keep your mind and your method sharp so that when you come to the first green your practice drill is fresh in your mind.

Maximum number of students = 8
Spaces available on a 1st come 1st served basis
Price includes all 3 coaching sessions and course materials

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A SPACE ON THE PUTTING MASTERCLASS

The Monday Night Golf School
This group class is back again and is a great way for you to learn all aspects of the game in a relaxed and social environment. It is for any golfers who want to improve and even for those who want start playing the game for the first time.

Perhaps you have come to the end of your football playing days and are looking for a sport that you can continue to play and be competitive at into older age?  

Or, maybe you are looking for something to do when you are home from working offshore, or to just spend some quality time with friends or family?  

Whatever your reasons; we have created the perfect opportunity for ages 18 to 80 to start golfing or improve on their existing abilities at Dunes Golf Centre. 

You do not need any previous experience or equipment and you will learn from a PGA Professional who will guide you through the basics to get you out playing in no time at all.  

You will receive 6 hours of coaching over 4 sessions.

Course Run…
Monday 4th March 18:30 to 20:00 Lesson 1
Monday 11th March 18:30 to 20:00 Lesson 2
Monday 18th March 18:30 to 20:00 Lesson 3
Monday 25th March 18:30 to 20:00 Lesson 4
Total cost for all the sessions, including balls and club hire is £70.00

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A SPACE ON THE MONDAY NIGHT GOLF SCHOOL

New Drivers for 2019 in the spotlight

The big boys are flexing their muscles as most of golf’s premium manufacturers are releasing new products right now.

In this feature I am focusing on the best new drivers that have just come out or about to be launched. So, if you are thinking of buying a new big stick then read on….

Taylormade M5 & M6

First up is the new M5 and M6 drivers from Taylormade that follow on from the hugely successful M1/M2 and M3/M4 franchises of the last couple of years.

The big story here is that TaylorMade are revolutionising the process of creating driver faces for the M5 and M6 by starting above the legal limit and dialling it back by injecting resin in to two ‘tuning slots’ in the driver face. This is called ‘Speed Injecting’ and ensures that every driver is on the limit thanks to an algorithm which calculates the right amount of resin to use for every face.

In 1998 driver face flex was limited by the R&A to stop how far golfers hit the ball but it has been impossible to produce drivers which consistently hit the limit of 0.830 COR.

What that means is that all drivers have a different level of ‘hotness’, and while it ensures no ‘hot’ drivers go on to the illegal side, it also means many golfers end up playing with drivers which aren’t as close to the limit as they could be. The ‘hottest’ drivers are hand-picked for tour players, leaving TaylorMade estimating around 70% of retail drivers are outside the ‘hot range’ usually used by pros.

TaylorMade state that the production methods in the past have made picking the hottest driver for club golfers nothing more than just pure luck.

In the M5 and M6 they are removing the luck element due to the fact the Speed Injected technology will position every driver face right on the edge of the rules.

Available for fitting: Now
Release Date: 15th February 2019
Dunes Price: M5 £449.00, M6 £399.00

Callaway Epic Flash

Two years ago Callaway launched the Epic driver that featured Jailbreak Technology and this was a huge success. Last year they improved it further still by enhancing the jailbreak in their Rogue product line.

This year Jailbreak remains but the big news is the brand new Flash Face…

Flash Face’s sophisticated architecture was created by Artificial Intelligence – the first known instance of using A.I.in the golf equipment industry — and “Machine Learning,” a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” with data without being explicitly programmed. 

Through Machine Learning the Callaway computers cycled through 15,000 face iterations, learning from each one, before arriving at Flash Face

In normal driver testing approximately 6 different prototypes are used so given A.I was able to pick the best from 15000 it will be very interesting to see how the new Callaway Epic Flash performs.

Available for fitting: Now
Release Date: 15th February 2019
Dunes Price: £449.00

Ping G410

The G410 PLUS’ big feature is that it is the first time Ping have added an adjustable tungsten weight for draw or fade bias.

Ping are often later to the party when it comes to things like this but only because they ensure that new design features offer a real benefit to the golfer without severely compromising another area of performance.

The three positions (draw, neutral, fade) shift the CG location by 1/10″ in either direction, which equates to approximately 10 yards — or 20 yards of correction between draw and fade settings — of shot shape.

The SFtec version features a weight 50% further towards the heel than the G400 Sftec version so if you slice the ball then this club will probably be the best on the market in 2019 for you to help straighten the shot out.

Ping say the G410 driver will be better than its predecessors through four ‘Fs’.
It’s Faster, more Forgiving, has a better Feel and can be Fitted better.

It’s faster through the air due to improved aerodynamics and more efficient turbulators
They’ve been able to drag the weight right to the perimeter to keep the MOI (resistance to twisting) as high, if not higher, than anything else on the market so it’s super forgiving. Better fitting is also possible through the loft sleeve which has eight positions with +/- 1.5˚.

Finally, and this is a good one for the North East of Scotland, they’ve made the headcover 20% heavier to make sure it doesn’t blow away in the wind!

Available for fitting: 7th February 2019 (come along to our free of charge demo day on 7th February 3pm to 7pm)
Release Date: 21st March 2019 7th March 2019
Dunes Price: £379.00

Mizuno ST190 and ST190G

Mizuno have struggled to compete in the driver market for some years despite their dominance in the forged iron market. However, that may be about to change as all the online reviews of their 2019 models show that they could be their best yet!

The ST190 drivers offer Mizuno’s lowest spin rates and incorporate every known factor in the quest to enhance ball speed and driving distance. Mizuno’s ultra-fast Forged SP700 Ti face now boasts a lighter CORTECH structure to deliver consistently higher ball speeds, with a large carbon composite crown plus the Amplified Wave soleplate, introduced in last year’s ST180 drivers, helping to convert each additional mph into extra yards.

The ST190 is designed for mid to low spin with maximum stability, and features a single, factory-fixed 6g backweight that increases MOI for added stability on off-centre strikes

The ST190G is engineered for low spin and offers Fast Track adjustability thanks to twin 7g weights on external tracks that can reduce spin by an additional 200rpm, allowing players to achieve heavy fade or draw biases by placing the weights in one track.

Available for fitting: 11th February 2019
Release Date: 11th February 2019
Dunes Price: ST190 £369.00, ST190G £399.00

The importance of fitting…

No matter which driver you like the sound of, the single most important thing, if you are looking for the best performance, is to get fitted by an expert using a launch monitor.

Our PGA staff at Dunes are highly trained and lead the way in Custom Fitting in the North East of Scotland. The technology in the studio is the best in the World for fitting as the data provides accurate feedback so you and the PGA fitter can see the difference between each option that you try.

Book your custom fit appointment online now at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/custom-fitting or telephone 01346 510693

Price match promise
We have set our stall out to be THE place for you to buy all your golf equipment. Our well stocked shop, knowledgeable PGA staff and highly competitive pricing all backed up by a caring after sales service mean we so no reason why you should buy elsewhere.

We want your feedback….

A couple of years ago we ran a challenge to see which of the new drivers you liked the best. It was so successful that we are going to run it again. However, we do not just want the big hitters to come along. We would like golfers of all ages and abilities, male and female to come and give the latest models a try.

You will be asked to rate each driver on looks, sound, feel and performance. There is no charge for the event and certainly no obligation to buy anything – we just want your feedback.

DRIVER CHALLENGE – FRIDAY 22nd FEBRUARY
Book your time slot online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/driverchallenge

Kris ‘The Power’ Crowned Champion

On Friday 7th December we held our staff Long Drive Competition at Dunes to see which of the five golf team members would be able to hit the ball the longest.

In the warm up round it was me, the old man of the field, that cranked up the most yards with a hit to 348 but unfortunately it wasn’tallowed to count!

It wouldn’t have mattered anyway because in the proper event Kris ‘The Power’ Nicol managed to get one out there to 354 yards – and on his first ball too!

Sam ‘The Bomb’ Griffiths finished second with 346 and I ended up in third on 340 yards. Declan ‘The Destroyer’ just couldn’t get one of his long drives on the fairway and was disappointed with his 332 yards to finish in fourth.

The competition was played as four rounds of three balls with the overall longest winning. For a drive to count it had to land and finish on the fairway.

The main reason for this event was for a bit for fun amongst the staff but we also noticed some interesting data coming from our launch monitor. If you study the images here of data from the top three drives, I have highlighted the Swing Speed and the Angle of Attack on the ball.

You will see, quite amazingly, that although Kris had the longest drive, he also had the slowest swing speed of the three. In fact, I had the fastest swing speed and, given that we all had similar strike locations on the club, it means that Angle of Attack is the key factor.

If you look at the data for that parameter you will see that Kris delivers the club 8.8 degrees up on the ball compared to my lowly 2.0 degrees up. Sam managed 5.9 up.

If you look at the data from the World Long Drive tournaments you will see that they are also quite a lot ‘up’ on the ball, around the same sort of numbers that Kris is achieving.

So, if you want to hit longer tee shots you should aim to hit more up on the ball.

The easiest way to do that is to position the ball further forward in your stance (more towards the target).

Drill: Place an empty golf ball box or empty plastic water bottle about a foot in front of the ball on the target side and aim to miss it as you follow through. This is a great external focus drill to encourage the desired sweep up for distance. I will certainly be doing this ahead of the rematch next year!

Oh, and one more thing – if you really want to hit it further – hit it harder!!

If you would like to discover what your driving stats are then book a lesson at Dunes Golf Centre with one of our PGA Professionals. The initial one-hour appointment is just £30.00 and can be booked online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson

Lessons also make a superb Christmas Gift for a loved one. You can buy and print vouchers at our online store or call in to Dunes for one.http://www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/giftvouchers


NORTH EAST SCOTLAND LONG DRIVE COMPETITION –FOR ALL THE FAMILY
This is your chance to see how far you can hit it and you get your first threeballs completely free of charge! The event takes place in the amazing indoor Golf Studio at Dunes Golf Centre. You can use your own driver or borrow one of ours.

In keeping with our mission to grow all areas of golf; we are giving away prizes to Men, Women and Juniors.

There is no need to book, just turn up and put your name down on the list. Everyone who gets their name down by the cut off time of 7.30pm will get a go. The winners will be presented with prizes on the night.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing you all on the 21stDecember!

Dunes for Christmas
Don’t forget Dunes is open 7 days a week for all your golfing needs.

Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm

The cafe closes at 4pm on Saturday 22nd December
The shop closes at 4pm on Monday 24th December
Everything re opens again as normal on Friday 4th January.

Family Christmas Fair

Saturday 22nd December 11am to 3pm at Dunes Golf Centre

I read somewhere this week that ‘Sitting’ is the new equivalent of smoking!

So, when South Park School in Fraserburgh recently sent me a letter asking if we as a business could support their project for a new outdoor kids play and activity area I was delighted to help out.

Much research has proven that academic ability is closely linked to fundamental movement skills, so it’s not a case of just going out to play and not learning anything… healthy bodies lead to healthy minds and it’s imperative that we encourage and provide opportunities for our children to play actively.

As such we are holding a fund-raising Christmas Fair at Dunes Golf Centre to which you are and all of your family are invited.

CHRISTMAS FAIR – SATURDAY 22ND DECEMBER 11AM TO 3PM

We’ve got golf games, face painting, tombola and a chocolate raffle!

Suitable for ages 2 to 102. You do not need any experience or equipment as all this will be provided for no extra charge. Our Christmas Fair open to everyone, not just the families of South Park school pupils.

Golf Games on the range
Chip through the hoop
Score a goal
Hit Santa
Putting Challenge
Bullseye Target
£5 per player for as many goes as you want

Golf Studio Games
Nearest Pin will be held at the following times:
11.00am to 11.30am
12.00pm to 12.30pm
1.00pm to 1.30pm
2.00pm to 2.30pm
£1 per go
£50 voucher for the winner

Smashing Windows will be held at the following times:
11.30am to 12.00pm
12.30pm to 1.00pm
1.30pm to 2.00pm
2.30pm to 3.00pm
£1 for 3 goes
Prize if you smash a window

We also have:
Face painting
A Chocolate Tombola
Instant Win Raffle

Note: We are looking for prizes for the raffle. If you have something, no matter how small, please drop it off at South Park school or Dunes Golf Centre between now and Friday 21st December.

Dunes for Christmas
Don’t forget Dunes is open 7 days a week for all your golfing needs.
Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
The cafe closes at 4pm on Saturday 22nd December
The shop closes at 4pm on Monday 24th December
Everything re opens again as normal on Friday 4th January.

The future of a generation is in our hands

We are on a mission to get more people playing golf; simply because it is such a great, healthy sport that is suitable for all ages and all physical abilities.

The fact is, you do not have to be a great golfer with a low handicap to enjoy playing the game!

I truly believe there is a golfer in everyone and my 20+ years as a golf pro have proven to me so many times that this is definitely the case.

Unlike a game of badminton or tennis; if one player is much better than the other then there is no contest and it isn’t much fun for ether player.

Golf is different… it is just you, against yourself and the golf course. A fascinating game that provides so many positive opportunities for new lifelong friendships, health (both physical and mental), business and enjoyment.

I have repeatedly expressed my concern over the years at the amount of time our children are spending in front of screens and not outdoors exercising face to face with real people.

I have seen a rapid decline in the hand eye coordination of young kids that come to golf and I have no doubt this is because they are spending way too much time just moving their fingers and thumbs on a controller or screen and not developing fundamental movement skills necessary for a long and healthy life.

Now don’t get me wrong, most kids today will kick my backside at Fifa or Fortnite and to be honest I  certainly enjoyed my time playing Sensible Soccer and the like on my Amiga back in the day. But I mixed it with plenty of time kicking a football about, playing catch, hitting a tennis ball up against the wall etc.

In that time, as a young boy, I developed the hand eye coordination and movement skills that enabled me to become a good golfer as well as play badminton and hockey to a high level too.

It is not my place to tell anyone how to parent but please… go for a game of catch with your kids, have a kick about in the park and perhaps even book them on to a series of coaching sessions with your local PGA golf pro.

Golf teaches more than just how to play a game; such as etiquette, how to get along and how to be supportive of one another…for instance; how they don’t have to put someone else’s candle out to make their own burn brighter. It teaches self determination and perseverance in a World where many seek and expect instant gratification. It’s also a game can enjoy playing independently in a safe environment.

As the recent John Lewis advert says… ‘some gifts are more than just a gift’ and it is our responsibility as parents to ensure our children are more than just academics and good at using computers (though recent research has proven that having good fundamental movement skills aids academic abilities).

To learn more about our junior coaching programmes at Dunes and to check availability please click this link:  http://www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/lessons/junior-golf/

Forget Fortnite…

Here is your opportunity to give your child the perfect gift…

The gift of playing golf

Why should you enrol your child on golf lessons?

Some people would say; to develop a great swing, to win tournaments, to be a golf professional winning majors 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) only 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 know that these days youngsters have iPads, Xboxes, FORTNITE and hundreds of TV channels to occupy their time but as parents ourselves we are concerned at just how much time our children are spending on electronic devices.

We accept that time on these gadgets is part of the era they are growing up in but we want to provide opportunities for them to have less screen time and more time outdoors in the fresh air playing sport with real people.

Dunes continues to increase participation

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.

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 can do it. As opposed to us telling them what to do.

BOOK YOUR CHILD A SPACE NOW

We have new groups starting the week commencing Monday 7th January and lasting for 6 weekly sessions.

No previous experience or equipment is needed
4 to 8 year olds (Tiger Cubs)
6 to 12 years old (Tiger Golf)
Development Plan – this is for youngsters ages 6 to 16 that are possibly already playing regularly and are keen to reach the next level of golf performance. It is a series of private one to one lessons with a PGA Pro.

Full details of each of the above can be found on our website and Facebook page.
www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk
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! 

Give a gift they really want this Christmas
Did you know…? Gift vouchers from Dunes can be used for the Cafe, Lessons, the Driving Range and our Golf Shop which is one of the best stocked in North East Scotland. And you can buy and print vouchers online! Simply go to  http://www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/giftvouchers or call in to see us at the Golf Centre.