Golf equipment: Can John Letters give you more distance?

We dispatched two members of our team to Huddersfield to find out more about John Letters' TR-47 challenge

Improving the distance you hit the ball makes golf much easier – there’s no getting away from it. Your second shots are shorter, as are the clubs you will be hitting, which improves your chances of finding the middle of the face. 

A couple of extra yards would be welcomed with open arms by the majority of club players, but John Letters are promising even more.

Indeed, the historic brand are running a challenge in which you have a custom fitting with their new TR-47 clubs and measure the results against your current set. They believe the clubs, which have extremely thin and fast faces, can give all types of player a minimum of 47 extra yards throughout their set. A bold claim indeed.

We heard that higher handicappers were getting the best results, so sent off two single-figure handicappers with custom-fitted equipment to see if better players with tailored gear could also benefit from the scheme.

Our findings were very interesting.

To find out more about the TR-47 range and book a fitting, visit their website.

Tester One – Will Shucksmith – Handicap +3

About his game: Extremely hard on himself but without doubt a superb ball striker and strong in every area. Has a tendency to lose it to the left but has Seve-like recovery powers.

Current clubs: 
Driver: 10.5˚, extra stiff 
Hybrid: 20˚, extra stiff
Irons: 2-PW, Project X non-flighted 6.5 shafts
Wedges: 52, 56 & 60˚, Project X non-flighted 6.5 shafts

Biggest gains:
8 iron: 16 yards
3 wood: 16 yards
6 iron: 14 yards
7 iron: 9 yards  
Hybrid: 8 yards
Driver: 7 yards
9 iron: 6 yards

TR47 specs tested:
Driver: 9˚, extra stiff Fujikura Rombax shaft 
Fairway wood: 15˚, extra stiff Aldila NV shaft 
Hybrid: 20˚, stiff UST ProForce V2 shaft
Irons: Project X 6.0 non-flighted shafts 
Wedges: Project X 6.0

Fitter James’ verdict: Will hits his current clubs extremely well but seems to have some large distance gaps that needed filling. With TR-47 his irons had 10-yard gaps, which was a massive improvement these stats don’t show.

Will’s verdict: I genuinely didn’t expect to get such an increase in distance. The irons felt like rockets even when I didn’t catch them. It would have been nice to try a stiffer shaft, though, as I wasn’t sure if that was to thank. Overall this proves you can gain whatever your ability. TOTAL DISTANCE GAIN: 79 yards
At one point it looked as though I would be busting through the 100-yard barrier, such was the difference in the irons. Tester 2 – Joe Whitley – Handicap 7

About his game: On his day he can strike it well but is susceptible to the odd unmentionable and plays much less often than he would like. In a word, inconsistent.

Current clubs:
Driver: 12˚, extra stiff
Fairway wood: 18˚, stiff
Hybrid: 23˚, extra stiff
Irons: 4-PW, Project X 6.5 shafts 
Wedges: 52, 56 & 60˚, Project X 6.5 shafts

Biggest gains:
8 iron – 16 yards
9 iron – 15 yards
7 iron – 13 yards
6 iron – 13 yards
PW – 12 yards
SW - 10 yards
5 iron - 7 yards

TR-47 specs tested
Driver: 12˚, stiff UST ProForce V2 shaft 
Fairway wood: 16.5˚, stiff UST ProForce V2 shaft 
Hybrid: 23˚, stiff UST ProForce V2 shaft
Irons: Project X 6.0 non-flighted shafts
Wedges: Project X 6.0

Fitter James’ verdict: Joe got a much more powerful flight from the TR-47 irons – the ball was going forwards, not upwards like in his current set. Gapping was very consistent, too. His woods are well suited so we lost a bit there.

Joe’s verdict: At one point it looked as though I would be busting through the 100-yard barrier, such was the difference in the irons. The faces felt really fast and I got some ridiculous numbers. We couldn’t get a shaft to match my swing in the woods and I ended up losing distance in that area. TOTAL DISTANCE GAIN: 68 yards 

Photography by Joe Whitley

Previous article
Next article