The Irish open is upon us and many people (including myself) will hit the many great local golf courses Kilkenny and Carlow have to offer.
The summer is also a great time to get into the game where conditions are more suited to the amateur player and obstacles like wind and puddles etc can be avoided.
That leads us then to go on the lookout for golf clubs and equipment, but according to a golf club maker from Kilkenny, good golfers play with slightly shorter clubs and the best hurlers also playing with hurls that are, on the face of it, a little short too.
He says too many golfers being sold oversized clubs!
FAR too many amateur golfers are being sold clubs that are too long and therefore they can’t hit the ball straight, a precision fit expert says. They’re also investing in clubs which are designed for distance, but all at the expense of accuracy, according to Irish Clubmaker of the Year, Peter Doyle.
A growing number are wasting a small fortune changing their clubs far too often because they’re not happy with their game, rather than getting professional advice from a custom fitter who will explain the process and tailor clubs to their precise needs, according to Doyle who lives in Piltown, South Kilkenny and is the first Irish Clubmaker certified with the International Clubmakers Guild.
The biggest problem he sees when custom fitting players at his Precision Fit Golf studio in Tramore, Co Waterford is that although they’ve been fitted elsewhere, they still end up with clubs that are longer than they need.
“Even an extra inch in length severely affects the golfer’s ability to hit the ball out of the centre of the club, which is essential for hitting the ball consistently,” he warned.
“Most golfers who are being fitted elsewhere aren’t being shown what the numbers on the launch monitor system used to examine their game actually mean. This gives us very basic information. The most important thing for the golfer is club speed.
“All shafts have a speed rating and that typically indicates shaft characteristics that show if the golfer will be able to square the clubface at impact. If their speed is less than the shaft they are given, then the shaft won’t bend enough for the clubface to square, so the ball typically goes to the right.
“What compounds the problem further is, the longer a club is, it requires even more speed, speed which is typically associated with touring professionals who are more athletic This explains why most golfers who come to us slice the ball! They lack the speed and strength to swing the club in the first place. If professional golfers/athletes use clubs that are shorter and easier to use, then what hope does the average club golfer have of controlling their clubs which tend to be longer?
“We play a lot of hurling in Ireland, a game that most consider to be the fastest hand eye co-ordination sport in the world. Most of our top players use shorter hurleys than the normal length. So surely club golfers need to follow a similar ideal if they are to play better Golf?”
Peter Doyle’s passion for golf was ignited after holing out from a bunker at Harbour Point Golf Club in Little Island in his native Cork several years ago. And when a less that satisfactory refit from a custom specialist harmed rather than improved his game, the former engineer decided to put his of experience working with various metals into practice.
“I went for a fitting session not knowing that my golf game was about to go backwards. It was 2 to 3 years before I would find out why. It turned out that the custom fitter who recommended my iron shafts had them built at a length that made those clubs almost impossible to use.
“When I checked the manufacturer’s recommendations on that shaft, it turned out that it wasn’t designed to be used at that length. Something suddenly clicked! If that was the quality of golf custom fitting in Ireland, I felt that with my passion and love for engineering, I could make a much better job of building quality golf equipment.”
Peter acquired his first qualification in Professional Clubmaking in 2007 and by 2010, he acquired his Master Craftsman qualification, one of the highest accolades in the golf equipment industry. Because he was a low handicap golfer at that time, he went on to get a teaching qualification with the European Golf Teachers Federation.
One of Peter’s clients was runner up at the Faldo Championship in Lough Erne in April 2015, while another Waterford client represented Ireland at the Audi Quattro Cup in Mexico last November, after winning the Irish finals in Carton House during the summer.
Hit play below to listen to Kevin Regans interview with Peter Doyle…..