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The Strike Plan

Most golfers are looking to improve their performance but often I find them looking in the wrong place and they suffer by making the game more technical and difficult than it needs to be.

Whether you are a relatively new golfer or a low handicapper, most of your worst shots will come from a poor strike location on the club.

It might sound overly simple but if you just focus on striking from the centre of the club then you may be surprised at how good you hit the ball, and with very little thought too!

How do you know where you are hitting it from?
To begin with you need to become aware of where on the club you are striking the ball. The easiest way to do this is to coat the face with foot powder spray or get some face impact tape.

You may find that your strike is all over the club or it could be consistent but out of an ineffective part of the club.

In our lessons at Dunes we use the industry leading GC2 launch monitor with Head Measurement Technology (HMT). It displays exactly where on the clubface the ball was struck and this information has proven valuable to help golfers of all abilities improve their golf.

The industry leading GC2 with HMT launch monitor

For as long as I have played golf, I have been aware of how valuable it is to consistently find the middle of the club. However, since I started using GC2/HMT it has certainly highlighted how much the ball flight can vary depending upon strike location.

And I am not talking about strikes on the edges of the club face either, missing the centre by small amounts can create a tilted spin on the ball that turns a would be drawer of the ball into a slicer and vice versa.

This is primarily down to a phenomenon we call Gear Effect.

As the club crashes into the ball it is travelling at speeds of 60mph to 120mph depending upon the club and the individual swing speed. If the strike location is not directly in front of the centre of gravity (often referred to as sweet spot or the middle of the club) then a twisting will occur in the shaft. This can often be felt by the golfer through a vibration in the club on impact and often a reaction where they will say that the club twisted in their hands.

This twisting is caused by huge forces going through the shaft as a result of the off-centre collision. Imagine a car crashing into a concrete bollard at speed and off centre, you would see it twisting to one side.

Now this is where it can get a little complicated as the resultant ball flight is somewhat counter intuitive.

If the ball is struck from the heel of the club; the face rotates closed due to the impact. One would imagine this would send the ball to the left but in actual fact it creates a slice spin (to the right) because of the Gear Effect.

The exact opposite is true for strikes from the toe of the club.

It is like two gears working together. As the club twists clockwise, the ball will spin anti-clockwise.

However, the forces at play and variations during the impact phase are complicated and this can result in all sorts of things happening on severely off centre hits.

If you take a closer look at your driver club face you will notice that it is not actually dead flat. Instead it has a curve on it that we know as ‘Bulge’.

The bulge on the club is a design feature to help auto-correct the gear effect by starting the ball further right – for the draw spin to bring the ball back to centre on a toe strike and further left on a heel strike.

The images here show 6 shots played by a Tour Pro, a 7 handicap golfer and a 15 handicap golfer.
You can clearly see the huge difference in the consistency of centred strike achieved by the Tour Pro.

Next time you come to the range, take note of where on the clubface you are striking the ball. You don’t need to invest in expensive technology like we have in the studio; as I have already said, a £4 can of foot powder spray will do the job perfectly!

If you struggle to find the middle consistently then book a lesson at Dunes Golf Centre. The initial 1 hour session is just £30 and makes an ideal Christmas Gift.

This can be purchased online and a voucher printed all from the comfort of your own home. Simply go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/giftvouchers

Happy Golfing!

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How is your golf season going?

Are you frustrated and under-performing?

There’s still time to salvage your season and stop the upward handicap trend. In most cases it’s because one part of your set up or swing has fallen out of position.

However, the problem is that it’s very difficult to be able to identify what part is off when you are trying to find the answers on your own.

Perhaps your ball position has crept too far forward (or back) in your stance which can cause problems with angle of attack on the ball as well as club path through impact.

Here is a handy guide for ball position…


Or, perhaps it’s the alignment of your body to the target? Mis-aligning is often the cause of bad swing technique, but it can also be a compensation for another fault.

Just like I am doing here, you too will be speculating as to the possible causes of your golfing woes!

We have all done it… you go on a merry go round of trying a new grip, a new posture or a new takeaway, desperately hoping to find the answer. You hit one good shot and think ‘that’s it!’ but follow it up with a bad shot and you think of something else.

Before you know it, you have layered up thought after thought and have tied yourself in knots! Add this to the advice that your amateur playing partners throw at you and you feel like giving it up!
Sound familiar?

It doesn’t have to be like this.

At Dunes Golf Centre we have three PGA Golf Coaches who have access to the Worlds leading technology, as well as years of experience and training to identify your fault and provide you the fix in the quickest and easiest possible way.


The initial 1-hour session allows time for the coach to get to know exactly what you are looking to achieve and better still, it’s currently on offer at half the normal 1-hour lesson rate.

Following the lesson, you will be sent notes via email and a video (if the coach feels it would be useful) so you can go play and practice with confidence that you are making the correct changes to your set up and/or swing technique.

So… stop stabbing in the dark and find out what you need to do to enjoy playing better golf again.

Booking is available directly on our website at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson/

Or telephone 01346 510693

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Kris sets his sights on 2018 success

Kris Nicol has had a good 2017 season with the highlight winning the Scottish Young Professional’s Championship at West Lothian in July.

However, like all golfers, he wants to make 2018 even better and the planning for that starts now.

Despite the 2017 golf season only just coming to an end, now is time to reflect on areas that were good but also the parts of the game that could be improved upon.

Kris sat down with me last week and we went through his whole game and identified the key areas for development.

We created a plan.

1.Full Swing – Less curvature on the ball flight.

Kris wants to neutralise his ball flight, in other words – play with less curvature so his misses are less destructive.

The technology in the golf studio at Dunes allows us to measure exactly how he delivers the club to the ball and, whilst he is consistent, he has a club path through the ball that is more to the right of the target (in to out) than he would like and with a clubface that gets too closed (aiming left of this path). This combination leads to too much right to left curvature and a ball that finishes left, also a tendency to ‘block’ the ball straight right on occasions.

Kris gets the clubhead too closed in the backswing, a position that shows the clubface looking too much down to the ground in his takeaway.

He also feels, especially when the tournament is on the line, that he loses his rhythm too easily.

I watched him hit some shots and listened to his feedback carefully.

We identified the backswing, as well as getting the club closed, is in two pieces and needs to be smoother to help with his rhythm.

Using the video feedback we could see that at halfway back the right elbow was too straight and the clubface was looking down to the ground.

“I’ve now got a feeling of flowing back letting my right elbow fold in more and a sense that the club is opening up. I’m not transfixed on a certain position but a feeling of an overall flow.” Stated Kris.

2.Wedge Play
We could all do to improve our wedge play and at the level Kris is performing, this is the area of the game he needs to be razor sharp at.

His bad shot was a weak shot to the right caused by a path that was too much to the right (like his full shots described above) and an angle of attack on the ball that is too shallow.

Kris fixed this with a simple feeling of swinging the club left of target whilst holding the clubface square. I helped Kris come up with his own solution by asking him to try to move the ball from left to right in to the green, the opposite of what he currently does.

As a result, the swing path was straighter (not left – which is what he was feeling) and his angle of attack was steeper meaning he could compress the ball against the clubface better, create more spin and have much better control on the distance of his wedge shots.

Have you created a plan to make 2018 your best ever golfing season?
Book the initial lesson experience with one of our 3 PGA Professional’s to start the journey to your greatest golf.

For as little as £20.00, the thorough 60-minute assessment is completely personalised to your standard and therefore suitable for everyone.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK AVAILABILITY AND BOOK ONLINE

We are experts at diagnosing the technical and mental aspects of a golfer, whether beginner or tournament professional.

We shall be totally honest with our assessment on how we can help you. After 60 minutes, you will be presented with a suggested plan of improvement, showing you the key areas of your technique and game that need improving to fulfil your potential and goals.

The decision to have lessons following the assessment is totally up to you; you are under no obligation.

The initial lesson is available 7 days a week from 10am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on a Saturday and Sunday.

Three ways to book; In store, over the phone 01346 510693 or online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson/

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

The Heavyweight Driver Battle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taylor Made M1/M2

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

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

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

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

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

WINNER BEST LOOKING: CALLAWAY EPIC

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

WINNER BEST FEEL: PING G

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

WINNER BEST SOUND: PING G

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

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

WINNER BEST PERFORMANCE: PING G

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

WINNER BUYING CHOICE: CALLWAY EPIC

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.

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

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

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

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

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Strike Plan

Finding the middle of the golf club consistently will do wonders for your shot consistency.

The Golf Studio at Dunes features the industry leading GC2 launch monitor with Head Measurement Technology (HMT). It displays exactly where on the clubface the ball was struck and this information has proven valuable to help golfers of all abilities improve their golf.

For as long as I have played golf, I have been aware of how valuable it is to consistently find the middle of the club. However, since I started using GC2/HMT it has certainly highlighted how much the ball flight can vary depending upon strike location.

And I am not talking about strikes on the edges of the club face either, missing the centre by small amounts can create a tilted spin on the ball that turns a would be drawer of the ball into a slicer and vice versa.

This is primarily down to a phenomenon we call Gear Effect.

As the club crashes into the ball it is travelling at speeds of 60mph to 120mph depending upon the club and the individual swing speed. If the strike location is not directly in front of the centre of gravity (often referred to as sweet spot or the middle of the club) then a twisting will occur in the shaft. This can often be felt by the golfer through a vibration in the club on impact and often a reaction where they will say that the club twisted in their hands.

This twisting is caused by huge forces going through the shaft as a result of the off centre collision. Imagine a car crashing into a concrete bollard at speed and off centre, you would see it twisting to one side.

Now this is where it can get a little complicated as the resultant ball flight is somewhat counter intuitive.

If the ball is struck from the heel of the club; the face rotates closed due to the impact. One would imagine this would send the ball to the left but in actual fact it creates a slice spin (to the right) because of the Gear Effect.

The exact opposite is true for strikes from the toe of the club.

It is like two gears working together. As the club twists clockwise, the ball will spin anti-clockwise.

However, the forces at play and variations during the impact phase are complicated and this can result in all sorts of things happening on severely off centre hits.

If you take a closer look at your driver club face you will notice that it is not actually dead flat. Instead it has a curve on it that we know as ‘Bulge’.

The bulge on the club is a design feature to help auto-correct the gear effect by starting the ball further right – for the draw spin to bring the ball back to centre on a toe strike and further left on a heel strike.

The images here show 6 shots played by a Tour Pro, a 7 handicap golfer and a 15 handicap golfer.
You can clearly see the huge difference in the consistency of centred strike achieved by the Tour Pro.

Next time you come to the range, take note of where on the clubface you are striking the ball. You don’t need to invest in expensive technology like we have in the studio. You can simply wet the face of your driver before each swing or use some foot powder spray as in the above images.

If you struggle to find the middle consistently then book a lesson at Dunes Golf Centre. The initial 1 hour session is just £30 and makes an ideal gift.

This can be purchased online and a voucher printed all from the comfort of your own home. Simply go to http://www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/giftcertificates

Happy Golfing!