Home Club: New Club, St Andrews
Monday 11th July 2016: progress update
Now I’m this far in with the new Mizuno clubs, I feel they’re really beginning to feel less ‘foreign’ to me, which I think has given me have a lot more confidence with them. I’m certainly feeling a lot more comfortable with the distance each club goes.
I’ve been getting in about three hours of practice a day, and have recently spent a lot of time on the range getting back to basics and working hard on my ball-striking, and the knock-down shots I need a lot in my links golf schedule. This has really paid off over my last few rounds. I’ve also focused hard on my chipping practice to help me feel a lot more comfortable with my scoring clubs out on the course
My Mizuno MP-T5 wedges are going a little further than my old wedges because they now have the right shaft for me, so I think I need to now re-measure my wedge distances. I’m also working on a cut shot with my irons, which is something I have always struggled with.
As for my scores, a recent 78 round the Old Course at St Andrews was mainly due to very poor putting. That put me up 0.1 and rounds of 81 and 80 in the club championship at Fortrose and Rosemarkie – mainly due to poor ball striking – put my handicap up to 3.6. Thankfully, I then shot 74 and 77 in the Fife Strokeplay championship to finish T12th and get myself cut back down to 3.4.
Next time I’ll be reporting back on my morning with rising LET star and Mizuno staff ambassador, Amy Boulden, up at Gleneagles in early July…
Monday 13th June 2016: progress update..
I’m starting to feel really comfortable with my new Mizuno clubs now and my scores are getting more consistent even though my swing is not great at the moment. The clubs are far more forgiving than my previous ones, and there has been a massive improvement in my driving. I’ve been working on my attack angle as discussed in my fitting, and as I’m now hitting up on the driver much better, I’ve taken the loft down from 11.5˚ to 10.5˚.
I’ve been struggling a little with the spin on my 3-wood – again caused by my steep angle of attack – so I’ve put the loft down to 13˚ on that too, which has also helped.
Stiffer shafts in my irons have added a lot of distance, so I’m struggling a bit with distance control but trying to adjust as fast as possible to the extra yards. Mishits aren’t suffering as big a drop in distance either, especially in my more forgiving MP-25 long irons.
With exams now over, I’m practising for about three to four hours a day if I’m not playing, but I’ve probably been averaging about four rounds a week of late. A lot of my long game practice has been based around getting a better feel for the clubs and the flight they give me.
As for competitive outings, I returned a 79 at Fortrose and Rosemarkie, which had a 7 on the 8th and a 10 on the 12th due to a lapses in concentration after wayward drives. But this still resulted in a 0.1 handcap cut after net double bogey adjustments.
In my Club Championship at the New Club in St Andrews, I shot 75 on the Eden and the same on the New, again cutting my handicap by 0.1. I was happy with these scores especially as I didn’t hole many putts. That saw me tie for 7th, getting me into the knock-out stages, where more struggles with the putter sent me out in the first round.
Monday 16th May 2016: progress update..
With my new MP-25 and MP-5 irons, it took me a few range sessions to get used to the different ball flight as it is a bit flatter and doesn’t balloon as much. The added distance was also something to get used to, especially against the wind, as the lower spin has reduced my distance loss into the wind.
That improved lower iron flight into the wind has been instant, and has allowed me to be far more aggressive. I think this is partly due to the lower-spinning Mizuno MP-X ball I’m now using too, which doesn’t seem to get thrown around by the wind as much.
The Mizuno JPX 850 driver and fairway wood have given me a better and straighter ball flight too, albeit a little higher than I’m used to with the 3-wood, which is taking a little adjusting to.
I got along with my new wedges straightaway and prefer how the ball flies compared to my old ones.
Unfortunately, due to exams getting in the way, I haven’t been practising my long game as much but I’m managing to get in a few hours every second day, working on my angle of attack with the driver, which was pointed out as an issue during the fitting.
Those exams have also ruled out any competitive golf so far since my fitting, but I have played one pairs game (a non-qualifier) in a very strong wind on the Castle Course at St Andrews, in which we had a pairs score of 36 points.
Wednesday 26th April 2016: full custom-fitting session at Celtic Manor…
Driver: Mizuno JPX 850 11.5˚ draw pos 1, Speeder stiff
3-wood: Mizuno JPX 850 15˚, Speeder stiff
Irons 3-4: Mizuno MP-25, KBS C Taper X
Standard length, 1˚ upright
Liam’s a good player, but he’s had his clubs a while and doesn’t feel he can hit them the way he wants to. His shafts were too soft for his clubhead speed, so getting him into the right spec was as much about creating confidence as anything. We tried several shafts before settling on one that gave him the control he was craving. A classic case of someone adjusting their swing to the clubs they have rather than getting the right spec for their swing.
I’ve had my clubs since I was 13, and have been fitting my swing around them as I’ve improved. With the right spec I felt able to make more confident swings and control my flight much better. I went for MP-25s in the long irons as I use them a lot and can’t see the point in making the game any harder!