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IS THIS THE BEST DRIVER EVER?

Most of the major brands in golf are bringing out new drivers, so over the next few weeks I am going to highlight the features of the best ones.

Starting with the new Ping G425. This is a driver that Youtuber, Rick Shiels has just rated as “The straightest and most forgiving driver I have ever tested”

The G425 comes in 3 head models; The LST, The Max and The SFT.

All three models continue to feature turbulators to reduce drag and increase speed and dragonfly technology that have been a mainstay of Ping driver design for many years now. The T9S+ forged face is also a feature to accelerate face flexing for more distance.

Ping are not ones to bring out completely different designs, but instead they have developed an amazing ability to improve upon already proven technology. Why try to reinvent the wheel? 

The Max

The Max is so named because it elevates the moment of inertia (MOI) to PING’s highest level in history and provide golfers with the most forgiving driver ever! 

The 460cc head features an adjustable 26g tungsten weight at the back that contributes to the high MOI and it can shift position to help you fine tune your ball flight curvature from a fade to a draw if desired. 

In comparison to the LST this is deeper head, so the centre of gravity is further back from the face resulting in a higher launch and provides that unbelievable level of forgiveness. 

The LST

The LST model is designed with a pear-shaped head and measures 445cc to deliver spin reductions of approximately 200 rpm compared to the G410 LST and 500-700 rpm versus the G425 Max. This too has the tungsten weight shifter to fine tune your ball flight, albeit a lighter weight than the Max at 17g.

The LST will flight the ball lower than the Max but the sacrifice in forgiveness means it is best suited to the better player who wants to flight the ball lower with less spin. 

The SFT

SFT stands for Straight Flight Technology and this driver is for anyone who suffers from a slice (a shot that curves off to the right for a right-handed golfer) 

It comes in only a 10.5 loft but, just like the other models in the series, loft can be easily adjusted +/- 1.5 degrees. 

The tungsten weight in the SFT is 23g and is fixed very much in the heel area of the club. This positioning, combined with a more closed clubface, reduces a slice by a further 10 yards compared to the G410 SFT and a massive 25 yards compared to the G425 Max driver.

MY VERDICT

  • If you want the most forgiving driver ever then the G425 Max is a winner.
  • If you are a good driver of the ball and want to flight the ball lower with less spin then the G425 LST will be your best choice.
  • But, if you tend to slice the ball you need look no further than the G245 SFT. I am confident it will be the best driver you have ever used. 

Our price is £399 which includes a full fitting on the new Foresight GCQuad Launch monitor in the Studio at Dunes Golf Centre. 

You MUST get fitted
As always, these products only perform to their potential when fitted properly.

So much so that Ping have delayed the launch of the G425 to make sure that people cannot buy them online without getting fitted first. 

We are taking bookings now for fittings from 19th February 2021 but if we still can’t do it by then then we will just rearrange it and you will not lose any fitting fee. 

Contact me today via email on dunesgolfcentre@outlook.com or message/call me for more info on 07971 827468

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Which is the best winter golf mat 2020?

It’s that time of year when most of the golf courses are enforcing a winter mat policy.

Love them or hate them, if you wish to play throughout the winter you have to use one.

With so many different types to choose from how do you know which winter golf mat is the best for you?

I have tested the 4 most popular to help you make a decision.

In this test I used a 7 iron to compare the launch angle, spin rates and distance differences between each mat. The same balls were used throughout the test.

After a series of shots with each, here are the numbers from the Foresight GC2 launch monitor.

Analysing the data…

Fact 1: Mats launch the ball higher

It doesn’t matter which mat you use; the ball will launch and fly higher than off the turf.

Fact 2: Back spin increases with a mat

Typical backspin with a correctly fitted 7 iron should be around 6500-7000rpm but you can see the readings with a mat are always above that figure.

Fact 3: No difference in distance!

This came as a big surprise. Having used winter mats for some years I felt sure there would have been a significant difference in distance the ball would fly. However, the distances were incredibly similar no matter whether hitting from a mat or the turf.

The mats on test…

Launch Mat

The Launch Mat from Masters Golf is a lightweight mat that offers the greatest convenience as it easily fits in your pocket.

This mat produced the highest ball launch angle and highest peak height of all the mats on the test. So, if getting the ball in the air is something you need to do – this is the one for you.

Buy the Launch Mat for £11.99 on our website – buy now

The curved shape means there is some give in the mat so, although it sounds quite hard when you strike it, it feels pretty good. The hole to place the ball in provides a secure mount for the ball even on very steep slopes.

The launch golf mat vs shots played from the turf
Launch mat data in comparison to shots from the turf

If you want to hit the ball higher and want something you can keep in your pocket – the Launch Mat is a great option

Pros ✅

✅Lightweight and easily fits in your pocket

✅Sits flush to the ground, ideal if you sometimes hit before the ball as you won’t catch the back edge of the mat

✅Great on sloping lies

Cons ❌

❌May flight the ball too high for some

❌It sounds quite hard when you strike it

Buy the Launch Mat for £11.99 on our website – buy now

Masters Mat

This AstroTurf mat features a soft cushioned underlayer that makes for a pleasant feel and sound at impact. If you have a steeper angle of attack – so would take big, deep divots from the grass then this would be the matt of choice for you.

It comes fitted with a carabiner clip that makes it easy to take on and off your golf bag.

The thickness of this mat means the ball sits up higher and it could also be quite easy to strike the back of the mat resulting in a terrible shot.

Carpet mat data in comparison to shots from the turf

Pros ✅

✅Lightweight and a soft feel

✅Ideal if you have a steeper angle of attack as it has lots of cushioning

Cons ❌

❌It could be easy to strike the back edge of the mat due to the thickness of the contstruction

❌Not great on sloping lies

Carpet Mat

I call this the carpet mat because I didn’t have any official name for it, and it has a pile very much like that you would find on a hard-wearing carpet.

On the test this was the mat that produced the numbers nearest to that of playing from the turf.

Buy the Carpet Mat for £8.99 on our website – buy now

All mats launch the ball higher and with more back spin than shots played from the turf, but this mat produced a launch and peak height very close to normal play.

Carpet mat data in comparison to shots from the turf

Pros ✅

✅Best on test for replicating very close to the same ball flight as from grass

Cons ❌

❌The ball sits up quite high

❌It could be easy to strike the back edge of the mat due to the thickness of it

❌Not great on sloping lies as difficult to get the ball to stay on it

Buy the Carpet Mat for £8.99 on our website – buy now

Fairway Products Multimat

WINNER – BEST ON TEST 🏆

A unique feature about this mat is it has two usable sides that offer different ball flights.

The shiny side produces more spin and a higher ball flight than the bristle side though the bristle side compares more closely to the flights from the turf.

Buy the Multimat for £12.50 on our website – buy now

I really like this mat and thanks to its versatility from sloping lies and the size of it, I have awarded this my best on test.

Fairway Products Multimat Shiny Side data in comparison to shots from the turf
Fairway Products Multimat Bristle Side data in comparison to shots from the turf

Pros ✅

✅Two usable sides providing different launch conditions and feel

✅Very good on sloping lies

✅Long length means it’s less likely you will hit the back of the mat before the ball

Cons ❌

❌Long length means it is quite big to carry about but that’s not a huge issue as it does clip on to your bag

Buy the Multimat for £12.50 on our website – buy now

If you want to speak to us about winter mats and have a FREE trail of any of the mats reviewed above please come and speak to us at Dunes Golf Centre in Fraserburgh.

👀Watch my YouTube video review of the best winter golf mats for 2020. Oh, and please subscribe to my channel to get the latest content 😊

Messages from the local greenkeepers on winter mats…

James Peace – Headgreenkeeper at Fraserburgh Golf Club

Mats were first introduced in NE Scotland in the late 80’s and I worked at Newburgh then. The main playing season was April to September back then and at that time I also played a lot of winter golf,

In addition to mats, lifting the balls to the side and tee up on fairways were also tried. This was a big failure as it caused too much damage to the course. In fact this damage did not recover till the summer months or later.

Anyway, as a greenkeeper the best way forward ,during the winter months, is to use mats. No arguments here.

The main playing season now would be March to October , so 4 months of using mats is a small thing to do to protect the course, this also gives the player a nice dry lie in what is usually a wet winter these days.

We just need club golfers to understand that they are doing their bit to help protect the course and make it much better for themselves and everyone in the Spring and Summer.

Picking the right mat is also important, I prefer the multimat that you have trialled.


John Littlejohn – Headgreenkeeper at Rosehearty Golf Club

With more golfers playing all year round, mats are a great benefit in the winter months.

Recovery of damaged grass stops at this time of year and here in NE Scotland it can be as late as June before we get heat back into the soil which is needed to get seed to germinate.

So, without mats you can imagine landing areas soon becomes full of divots and no one wants to play out of them.

Also the start of the season gets off better as yet again you don’t want to play out of seeded areas.

So, mats are a great asset for members by allowing them to play all winter, whilst protecting the course and it means they will play off better surfaces when summer golf starts

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Should I ditch my 5 iron?

I turned Pro in 1997 and back then a typical set of irons went from a 3 iron through to a Sand Wedge.

Taylormade's original firesole rescue club

We hadn’t heard of gap wedges and Taylormade’s famous ‘Rescue’ club, now more commonly known as a hybrid, was just about to make a name for itself.

Fast forward to 2020 and you will be hard-pressed to find a 3 iron from any supplier.

The reason for this is due to the vanishing loft phenomenon...

Advances in club design have meant manufacturers can position the weight lower down in the club resulting in a higher ball flight. This, in turn, has caused the loft of the clubs to decrease to produce the desirable ball flight trajectory.   

When I turned pro my Tommy Armour 845s Silver Scot 8 iron was 42 degrees and now we see most Pitching wedges with lofts close to that. For example, the new Callaway Mavrik Max Pitching Wedge is 43 degrees!

Tommy Armour 854s Silver Scot vs Callaway Mavrik Max Iron
My Tommy Armour Silver Scot vs the new Callaway Mavrik Max
Iron1997*
lofts
2020**
lofts
42620
53023
63426
73830
84234
94638
PW5043
SW5654
*Tommy Armour Silver Scot 845s  **Callaway Mavrik Max

This means golfers are hitting the ball further than the equivalent iron of 30 years ago but it has caused two problems:

1. A new club had to be invented. 

To still be an effective bunker club the Sand Wedge loft has barely changed over the decades. It has remained at about 54-56 degrees. But, because the pitching wedge has decreased in loft down to the low 40’s there is this huge gap. So, we welcome the appropriately named ‘Gap Wedge’ which at 48 to 52 degrees is the old loft of the Pitching Wedg

2. Long irons are difficult to hit

With a 4 iron now at 20 degrees, it is a challenging club even for the most accomplished of golfers to hit with any degree of consistency. This is despite the advances in technology and clubhead design.

Case study

A seven handicap golfer recently installed a tracking system to his clubs which quite cleverly uses GPS to show how far each shot goes. The data this fed back to him showed that his 6 iron went further on average than his 5 iron.

His initial reaction was that the lofts of the club must be incorrect, so he brought the clubs in for us to inspect on our loft lie machine.

The machine showed that the loft gap between the clubs was correct so the problem was elsewhere.

The launch monitor in the studio at Dunes revealed that the 5 iron did go further but only on well-struck shots. This was not happening enough on the golf course and therefore the average shot distance was less than the 6 iron.

The solution…
In this case, the golfer in question would probably be better off with a 5 hybrid instead of a 5 iron.

Watch me trying out the Mizuno JPX FliHi Hybrid

For many golfers, switching to hybrids is a challenge because they have been so used to playing with long irons all of their golfing life. But, now is the time to give a hybrid a go to see if it can make the game easier and more enjoyable.

We like the Mizuno JPX FliHi as they can be fitted with the same shafts as you would get in your irons, steel for example, which makes them feel much more like the rest of the set.

If you would like to try out your 5 iron against a 5 hybrid then come along to Dunes and ask for a demo. All you have to do is buy your range balls (baskets start at £2.80) and our staff will set you up with a few different ones to try.

Book a fitting

A custom fitting with one of our trained staff will show you exactly how far you hit each club and identify your best solution. Custom fitting benefits all levels of golfer, even if you have just started playing. For more information and to book click here, or give us a call on 01346 510693

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Mizuno Tour Fitting Experience Coming to Dunes

Mizuno are heading to Dunes to give you an amazing fitting experience.

Thursday 13th August 2pm to 7pm.

Whether it is a new driver, wedges or a set of irons you will be taken through a comprehensive fitting to make sure you go away with the best setup to improve your game.

Free of charge fitting!

Booking is by appointment only with just 5 slots available to make sure everything can be sterilised before and after use.

Go to this webpage to book https://dunesgolfcentre.as.me/mizunofitting
Or call us on 01346 510693 but don’t delay as space is very limited.

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Callaway Truck Coming to Dunes!

On Tuesday 4th August we are delighted to be welcoming the Callaway Fitting Truck to Dunes Golf Centre.

Due to current retrisctions this is a book in advance event so that eveything can be properly cleaned down between users.

Times are available between 3pm and 7pm – call 01346 510693 or go to this webpage to claim your space: https://dunesgolfcentre.as.me/callawayfitting

Just about every head and shaft combination will be at your disposal as the fitting technician from Callaway uses the Trackman Radar technology to find you the very best fit.

Spaces are on a first come first served basis and are limited so act now so you don’t miss out.

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New Online Golf Superstore

Even times of crisis can throw up good things and the Covid19 situation has given us a kick up the backside to do something we have been planning to do for a long time…

We aim to provide the locals with the very best golf equipment at the very best prices. To do this we need to grow our business so we can buy cheaper, offer more discounts and improve the facility further.

We recognise that many people now choose to shop online or at least research the produts before making a buying decision.

“The amount of online shopping is growing year on year and shows no sign of slowing down. We can sit back and watch our business dwindle away or do something about it. I think anyone who knows what we are about as a company will know that we are going to do something about it!”

Peter Myers, PGA Professional and owner of Dunes Golf Centre

We have added many of our in store porducts to the new website which can be found at www.dunesgolfshop.co.uk

More stock is being added everyday including a new Second Hand/Clearance clubs section which we know is going to prove popular.

“We are noticing lots of new golfers coming to the range to hit balls with a view to start playing golf. Typically these are people that would be playing football and cricket but whilst those sports are not back in action golf is seeing the benefit. Our second hand section is a perfect place to start for these new golfers where they can buy top brands at hugely discounted prices and our staff will also take the time to make sure they are a good fit before a purchase is made!”

Peter Myers

To check out the new store click the image below…

Dunes Golf Shop Online
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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.

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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

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Time to get a grip

GET A GRIP THIS GOLFING SEASON

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.

WHY DO GRIPS WEAR OUT?
The natural oils on your hands, UV light and dirt all cause wear, which reduces tackiness and traction.

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

CAN YOU COUNTER THIS EFFECT?
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.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I RE-GRIP?
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.

SMOOTH OR SHINY SURFACES
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 OR BARE SPOTS
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.

CRACKS OR SPLITTING
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.

HOW ARE YOUR GRIPS LOOKING?
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.”

BEWARE OF FAKES
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.

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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.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A  FITTING AT DUNES GOLF CENTRE

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

SUMMER OPENING HOURS
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