My driving and putting stats are on the up – now I just need to do it on the scorecard
I have a little confession to make. Since we last met there has been a new addition to the bag, and it has come through third-party channels.
Don’t worry, it’s still a Titleist club. I clocked another year on the planet in May and my reward for surviving that 12 months was a Cameron & Crown Futura 5MB.
It’s so beautiful that I briefly considered leaving it in its wrapper but into the bag it went and the results have been startling.
It’s funny how things turn out. After Titleist dropped off a bag full of custom-fitted clubs at the back end of last year, it was the driver that caused most consternation in the run-up to the start of the season.
But while I’m still prone to putting it in the left rough from time to time, my stats over just short of a dozen competitions this year have shown marked improvement.
I’m hitting the fairway, on average, eight per cent more this season (up from 38% to 46%) and I’ve gained nine extra yards.
We went through some pain but there’s no doubt that, with what’s admittedly the most troublesome part of my game, I’ve seen measurable improvement.
While that was a lovely surprise, my putting stats were still leaving much to be desired. As I explained last month, I’d experienced a huge drop off – especially in the medium range.
Ultimately, I just wasn’t quite comfortable set over the ball and, as we know with putting, look and feel are everything when it comes to being confident about finding the cup.
I had a Futura 7M, which had been lengthened to 34” and had half a degree of extra loft. I do like to crouch even though it might not be an exemplary putting technique. So I have switched back to 33″ and the ball has started going where I want it to go on a more regular basis.
My short putting stats have slightly increased (from 86% make to 87%) but, for the key medium range, I’ve seen a spike.
Having made only 13 per cent of medium putts up until the new club arrived, I’ve jumped four per cent and doubled number of long putts.
Crucially, I also won my first tournament of the season – a Golf Club Managers’ Association (GCMA) spring meeting event at Moor Park – and received a small handicap cut.
Going through that experience has helped me identify the putter that best suited my stroke – the mallet – and I’ve now affirmed that I’m most suited to a shorter length.
Beforehand, I moved erratically from one flatstick to another with one bad round enough to see me flocking back to the shops.
Now, I’m settled with the shape, feel, length and type of putter I need and I’m happy with the results. That couldn’t have happened without having been custom fitted.
So is my handicap tumbling?
Not yet, but it has remained steadfast at 10.8. Given that handicap is a projection of your ability rather than an absolute measure, I’m happy with that at the moment.
We’re coming into the make-or-break part of the season now, with board competitions to be won and lost.
If I can keep practising, I’m hopeful there’s a big victory around the corner. We shall see.
About the project
Club Golf editor Steve Carroll has been fitted into the ultimate Titleist set – from the brand new 718 irons to the Pro V1 ball.
Having compiled stats, including driving accuracy, greens in regulation, sand saves and scrambling, for three months before his fitting, Steve is about to take to the fairways to see how custom fitting has improved his game.
After spending the winter getting used to his new clubs, he is now going to game them in competition – bidding to prove personalised fitting makes a real difference to club players.
Steve’s stats will be monitored using the Shot Scope performance tracking system. He will compare his numbers on a variety of criteria, including driving accuracy, greens in regulation and scrambling.
WITB: Here’s what Steve was fitted into
Driver: Titleist 917 D2, 10.5° (GDI G-Series 50 stiff shaft)
3-wood: Titleist 917 F2, 15° (GDI G-Series 60 stiff shaft)
Hybrids: Titleist 818 H1, 19°, 23° (Aldila Tour ATX85H – 2.8 – stiff shafts)
Irons: Titleist AP3 4-PW (AMT Black regular shafts)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 48°, 54°, 60° (Dynamic Gold shaft)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura 7M (0.5° extra loft, 34” shaft)
Ball: Titleist Pro V1