TaylorMade GAPR Fittings: 8 and 16 Handicap Readers
For most of us, the middle part of our 14-club line-up tends to take care of itself via our iron set, with decisions then to be made over our ideal wedge and long-range selections.
With greater choice than ever, and many golfers now carrying more wedges, getting things spot-on at the long end can be tricky. TaylorMade launched its new GAPR range in mid-2018 to address that very problem and make it easier for golfers of all abilities to find their ideal gap-bridging options at the long end of their sets
RELATED: TaylorMade GAPR Range Review
“One of the most difficult problems to solve is the gapping distance between maybe the longest iron and the fairway wood,” Matt Byrne, fitting tour manager for TaylorMade, told us when we went along to West Hill with readers Alex Malpass and Andrew Judkins to help them fine tune the longer end of their bags.
“GAPR has been conceived to plug that gap for all ranges of golfers via three models – HI, MID and LO – which both look and launch differently, performing pretty much as you would expect from their names, with varying degrees of playability and forgiveness.”
Could Matt help Alex and Andrew pinpoint their ideal GAPR? Here’s how they got on…
Club: Hinckley GC
Fitted for: TaylorMade GAPR MID 4, 21˚, stiff shaft
Alex doesn’t carry woods or hybrids and has both a 2- and 3-iron. He has a good swing with good speed but generates quite a low flight. To help him flight it more we looked at a GAPR MID to serve as a 2-iron replacement as he struggles with traditional woods and hybrids as result of his swing.
A GAPR MID no.4 with 21˚ of loft generated the same club speed as his 2-iron, but crucially gave him 7-8mph more ball speed and 15 more yards with a better flight. It could replace both his 2- and 3-iron leaving him further options elsewhere.
Alex’s on-course feedback
I’m loving my new GAPR MID now. My first round with it was very erratic and I was getting frustrated as I’d been ripping it during the fitting. But I went down to the range to iron a few things out and I’m now hitting it consistently and growing in confidence.
A local range has Trackman in every bay so it’s been great seeing the results. I’m carrying it a solid 205-210 yards and have been able to work a nice soft fade which I’ve never been able to do with hybrids or woods, so I’m really pleased.
Alex’s key stats
Ball speed (mph)
Carry distance (yards)
Club: Worlebury GC
Fitted for: TaylorMade GAPR MID 4, 21˚, regular shaft, standard loft, ½in shorter
Andrew’s problem was two clubs fulfilling a similar role – a 21˚ hybrid and a 23˚ utility iron. His longest iron was a 5-iron so I wanted to simplify the gap between that and his high-launching 3-wood. First, we tried a GAPR HI no.3, but that didn’t suit Andrew’s eye, so again, we ended up with a GAPR MID no.4.
Ball speed was the key. He was creating a bit more ball speed with a higher launch and less spin than with both his current clubs, and that mixture yielded 16 yards more total distance. Making the shaft ½in shorter got the club sitting perfectly too.
Andrew’s on-course feedback
When GAPR was released it caught my attention because, as a senior golfer with a deliberate swing speed, I struggle with long irons and can’t seem to hit hybrids consistently. First use at the driving range confirmed Matt’s fitting was spot on.
I found it very easy to hit, with lots of speed off the face and a penetrating ball flight – ideal for short par 4s and the links courses I play. It has become a go-to club, as it’s easy to hit different shots with it and mishits are not severely punished. I’m seriously considering adding a lower-lofted GAPR MID too to replace my fairway wood.
Andrew’s key stats
Long-end gap to fill
Carry distance (yards)