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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.

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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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The secret to longer tee shots!

In the winter months, the cold air and soft ground means we all lose yardage on our shots.
You can reduce this effect by creating a higher ball flight on your drives, which will mean a longer carry through the air.
The set-up position I have demonstrated here is crucial if you want to hit long, high, straight drives as it will help you to deliver the best angle of attack on the ball.

Angle of attack (AoA) is how your driver head comes into the ball as you would look at the strike from face on.  Either you are catching it at the bottom of the arc, which would be a 0 degree angle of attack, or you are catching it before or after that lowest point of the arc.

Much research has revealed that to hit your longest drives, you need to hit up on the ball about 2-5 degrees.

How big of a difference can there be? 

Well, according to Golf Magazine, the difference between a -5 AoA and a +5 AoA is about 25 yards of distance at a 90 mph clubhead speed.  You would potentially go from around 235 to around 260 without using more effort!  At higher clubhead speeds, the difference will be even more.

To find out your angle of attack and to learn to hit the ball further we no extra effort come and see us in The Golf Studio at Dunes Golf Centre this winter. We use the industry leading GC2 with HMT from Foresight Sports to accurately measure what your club is doing to the ball.

An initial 1 hour lesson with one of our 3 PGA Professional’s is from just £20.00 and during this appointment we will show you exactly what you club is doing and you will learn how to optimise your swing to gain those valuable extra yards!

Book online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson
Call 01346 510693 or call in to see us in store at the golf centre.

Gift vouchers are available for all our lesson types and make an ideal Christmas gift.

Are you a big hitter?
If so, get along to Dunes for the third annual North East Scotland Long Drive Championship on Friday 8th December.

Previous winners:

Men 2015: James Ritchie 343.84 yards
Men 2016: James Ritchie 359.25 yards
Women 2015: Lyn Morrice 170.00 yards
Women 2016: Georgia Cardno 175.00 yards
Juniors (11-14) 2015: Alex Ritchie 219.00 yards
Juniors (11-14) 2016: Alex Ritchie 255.00 yards
Juniors (Under 11) 2015: Charlie Buchan 125.00 yards
Juniors (Under 11) 2016: Liam McBeath 159.00 yards

Have you got the power to take the title this December?

There is only one way to find out and that is by coming along to Dunes to give it a go. Everyone gets 3 balls for free with extra balls costing just £1 each.

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 8th December!

 

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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!