PGAs of EuropeEquipment – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:07:33 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9 U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar: 09 November – Hamburg, Germany http://www.pgae.com/news/u-s-kids-golf-certified-coaches-seminar-09-november-hamburg-germany/ Fri, 27 Oct 2017 17:01:49 +0000 U.S. Kids Golf http://www.pgae.com/?p=20330 Register now for the latest U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar on 09 November in Hamburg, Germany...]]>

Registration Opens – Sep 19, 2017

Registration Closes – Nov 09, 2017

Price – $119.00

Participating in a U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coach Seminar enhances the coach’s knowledge of all aspects of youth golf that can be utilized to enhance his/her current program or provide the basis for establishing new offerings. Areas of focus during the seminar include:

Perfect Swings Begin with the Perfect Fit:

The importance of properly-fitted clubs to maximize success for both young golfers and their coaches. Proprietary research on swing speed development for junior golfers.

Scaling the Game:

Research regarding proper length of course setup for players based on their driver carry distance will be provided so that coaches will become experts in golf course setup and yardages. Tailoring the course for young golfers will result in lower scores, encouraging more rounds and increasing retention.

Enhancing Current Junior Programs:

Tools, resources, best practices and bringing “fun” to their junior programs through a games-based curriculum. The seminars will feature an outdoor session that will demonstrate game-based learning with games from the U.S. Kids Golf Book of Games.

Other topics presented in more detail include:

  • Analysis of golf participation and programs vs. other youth sports.
  • “Scaling” of the following elements for youth: Equipment, The Golf Course, Competition and Instruction.
  • Parental involvement and introduction to the “Positive Coaching Alliance”.
  • High-quality instruction focusing on fun and achievement while teaching fundamentals.
  • Introduction to golf-specific games to serve as a key component in instruction.

Completing the Certified Coach process

Certified Coach Frequently Asked Questions

LOCATION – Gut Kaden Golf and Land Club GmbH, Kadener Straße 9 , D-25486 Alveslohe

DATE AND TIME – Thursday, 9 November | 8:15-16:30

HOTEL INFORMATION –  A limited number of rooms are available at Gut Kaden.  Reservations can be made at Gut Kaden.

Click Here to Find Out More About the Seminar – http://eur.pe/2idJSKu

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U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar: 09 November – Hamburg, Germany
Miller and Millar Make Perfect Match http://www.pgae.com/news/miller-and-millar-make-perfect-match/ Wed, 06 Sep 2017 10:15:57 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19144 The 2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller recieved Peter Millar apparel as part of his Championship-winning prize...]]>

2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller (PGA of Holland), has received his Peter Millar apparel as part of his Championship-winning prize.

PGAs of Europe Corporate Partner, Peter Millar, awarded a yearlong apparel contract to Miller furthering their support of the European game.

 

Miller managed to successfully convert his lead and dominant play at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria in October to take the Championship honours, the first prize of €10,000 and the Peter Millar contract.

2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller (PGA of Holland)

“After winning the Championship it was great to receive a Peter Millar apparel contract for 2017,” explained Miller. “The high quality clothing is both great looking and great fitting! I really love the clothing and I have had many compliments from members at our club. Thanks again to Peter Millar for the support and I am looking forward to a great 2017 season!”

“We’re pleased to be giving a clothing contract to the very worthy winner, Ralph,” said Managing Director Peter Millar International, Mark Hilton. “He will wear the latest Peter Millar designs from both Crown and Crown Sport collections over the coming year and we look forward to working with, and supporting, him throughout that time.”

Sign-up for the exclusive Peter Millar member offer at http://eur.pe/PGA-Peter-Millar-Offer.

For more information on Peter Millar visit www.petermillar.co.uk.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Miller and Millar Make Perfect Match
Technology in Golf Coaching – What’s Next? http://www.pgae.com/ask/technology-in-golf-coaching-whats-next/ Wed, 30 Aug 2017 06:01:37 +0000 Aston Ward http://www.pgae.com/?p=19149 We explore the ever-evolving world of coaching technology and what might be making its way to the lesson bay, golf course or swing room sometime in the future..]]>

I am very lucky to be in the position where I can mix my passions for technology, communications and innovation together with my biggest passion, golf, and my knowledge of coaching as a PGA Professional.

Because of this I sit in the middle of various areas of the industry where I can get a good view of what is happening when it comes to embracing technology and looking at innovative ways to continually advance our profession and the coaching process.

Barely a day goes by without an announcement of an upgrade or introduction of a new piece of equipment that could make a golfer better (or ideally simply enjoy themselves more), and it’s exciting to think where this could go in the future.

Now, as an opening caveat, I no longer coach students as part of my job, but I am exposed to a lot of great coaches who have dedicated their lives to improving golfers’ experiences. So whilst I may not be directly using coaching equipment on a daily basis, I can appreciate the technology behind them and their practical applications.

In speaking with many of these coaches, there is something that continually comes up when you discuss technology – data capture.

The level of detail and sheer quantity of data that we can capture about a golf swing is incredible. Technologies such as launch monitor/radar flight and ball-roll tracking devices, hi-speed camera analysis, and the myriad of other options on the market, mean you can now analyse every parameter imaginable when getting the ball into the hole. And, assuming the user is appropriately trained, this can turn into a very tangible benefit to the end-user.

Previously we featured the Strokes-Gained metrics developed by Dr Mark Broadie that utilises the PGA Tour’s ShotLink® data in which every single shot played in PGA Tour events is recorded into an open-access pool of information that academics can make use of.

This detailed level of data capture has meant that every single aspect of a player’s round can be analysed and new and improved metrics for performance have been created.

With the continued rollout, pun intended, of golf simulators and intelligent, customisable simulated environments, combined with Augmented Reality (AR) technology, we now have ways of mirroring golf course conditions like never before, making coaching more realistic and contextually applicable.

Where Next?

Simulating golf course conditions leads nicely into the potential innovations that we could see in the future.

One thing I think could have huge potential uses would be virtual reality (VR) – imagine standing in a bay, putting on a headset and methodically planning your way around your next golf course of choice.

This could be something that helps the transition of elite amateurs to tour events – often players with little experience of the ‘big stage’ can let things get on top of them. The incredibly immersive experience of VR could help train players to overcome their nerves, ignore the distractions and perform better under pressure by recreating the conditions they could feel. Granted, nothing will ever replace the real thing but this would be a great start.

The future of data-capture looks to be about expanding our awareness and knowledge of areas of the sport that were previously nothing more than theory. We already have equipment with built-in sensors but I can see a future [that is not too far away] where there are completely non-invasive methods of gathering the same data Trackman can for example, but without the need for any external equipment to be setup, with data streaming live and wirelessly to receivers both on and off the course.

I can also see this extending to more wearable equipment that is less intrusive in the practice or practicing or playing (think a biomechanics analysis product that is nothing more than a normal base layer for example with no discernable difference to a normal item of clothing).

Right now anyone can go out and measure their vital statistics using something like an Apple Watch and the relevant apps, but perhaps in future we won’t even need to put anything on, or if we do it will be more akin to wearing a temporary tattoo than an accessory like a watch.

Perhaps a much bigger question to pose from all of this is what will be done with this data – the more you capture, the more you need to process it, and ultimately it needs to be useful to coaches and then to their students.

What will certainly need to happen, no matter what might come in the future, is for the education of coaches to go hand-in-hand with the technological advancement to ensure these fantastic tools are not purely a marketing ploy but are actually beneficial and valuable to their students.

PGA Professionals have a responsibility to keep up with the latest changes in coaching methods to ensure they a) provide what their students want and need, and b) they don’t get left behind when others could be helping golfers play better and enjoy themselves more.


This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Technology in Golf Coaching – What’s Next?
Regripping in a Coaching Environment http://www.pgae.com/ask/regripping-in-a-coaching-environment/ Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:23:29 +0000 Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/?p=19117 Golf Pride explain how you could add regripping to your business regardless of whether you run or have access to a retail facility...]]>

How to Offer Regripping Services Outside of the Pro-Shop

When you think of regripping many automatically think of a workshop tucked away at the back of a Pro Shop at a club and then nothing more than a selection of example grips on the side of the shop counter.

Well it doesn’t have to be like that – you could add regripping to your business regardless of whether you run or have access to a retail facility like a shop or store.

If you are a coach working at an academy, or maybe you run an indoor practice facility, then you too could add regripping services and Golf Pride products to your offering.

All you need is an area within a facility where you can create a grip station and also promote your regripping service and the products you have on offer.

Golf Pride’s team of local distributors will then help explain what your specific requirements are, what products you can stock and how to go about effectively marketing your services and Golf Pride’s range of products on offer.

4 Tips For Marketing Regripping Outside of the Pro-Shop

1 – Make sure your regripping service is clearly on offer to your students or customers

Place marketing materials in driving range bays, discuss the service with every student you have, bring products with you to lessons, and keep your regripping point-of-sale materials and stands in view of your teaching bay or passing customers.

2 – Utilise your Social Media presences and leverage your email database

Make an announcement about the introduction of your services, make use of the Golf Pride retailer resources on offer, and keep regular communication going with clients.

3 – Make it experiential

Have specific times on the range or at your academy where you regrip clubs in front of customers to show your expertise, attention to detail and the services on offer. You could create a while-you-wait service for people who are practicing, or perhaps invite the local distributor to spend a few hours with you and your clients to share their knowledge of the important of regripping.

4 – Keep regripping at the forefront of your mind

Hardwire the services into your teaching process, ensuring your students are all using appropriate grips and you regularly check their grips to ensure they are fit for purpose.

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To find out more about setting up your own regripping service with Golf Pride visit www.golfpride.com/about/wholesale-distributors and find your nearest distributor.

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Regripping in a Coaching Environment
Leadbetter’s Grip Fundamentals With Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/ask/leadbetters-grip-fundamentals/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:25:15 +0000 Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/?p=19134 Golf Pride Ambassador and one of the game’s most successful and respected coaches, David Leadbetter, offers his thoughts on the importance of the grip...]]>

David Leadbetter, one of the game’s most successful and respected coaches, offers his thoughts on the importance of the grip and how to get it right…

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I think I can sum it up in a sentence when I quote Ben Hogan and say, “good golf begins with a good grip.”

You can take that two ways and look at the actual grip, such as those made by Golf Pride, and the way that you position your hands on the club. These are clearly intertwined and, if you look at how the actual grips on golf clubs have evolved over the years, it shows how the hold plays such an important role.

The Top Hand

I would say that 80% of amateur golfers grip their top hands on the club incorrectly, and this is the biggest fault in golf. You can really only tell the quality of a grip when you open it up and a lot of the time you will see golfers grip the club too much in the palm. This makes it very difficult to set the club and the only way to do that is with the elbow. This increases the tension in your hands, and your body doesn’t get involved in the swing.

If you set the grip further in the lower part of the hand towards the fingers, you can set and hinge the wrist. A simple tip for amateurs is to hold the club up in the air at 45 degrees before placing your hands in the grip position. You will have seen a number of pros do this over the years, as it ensures the hands are in the right position.

You can then connect the hands together, however you feel comfortable, safe in the knowledge you are set correctly.

Grip Size

A lot of players underestimate the importance that the thickness of a grip plays. All hands are different sizes and the thickness of the grip is vital because it determines the amount of pressure you apply to the club. If the grip is too think or too thin, a player is going to generally grip the club in the palm of the hand, which is one of the most common faults I see.

This is because the player is trying to hold on to the club in an attempt to hand onto it, something that is clear when you see wear marks on the heel of a golf glove.

You hear about a strong grip all the time, but this is often misinterpreted. It in face means that a player sets their hands round in an anti-clockwise position.

You might think a grip is just a grip, but there is a big different between the types on offer and the golfers they suit. For example if you play golf in Dubai and it is 120 degrees and your sweating profusely, you will need something that is completely different compared to what someone is playing with where it is always cold, and more of a tacky feel is needed.

Grip Pressure

If you ask most of the pros they would say that their grip pressure, our of 10, would be between a three and a five. If amateur golfers were honest, many would say they are around a nine and you can see the veins popping in people’s arms as they stand over the ball.

If you go back to the great Henry Cotton, the hands play a huge role in the swing. Although I believe that power comes from the body, this power ultimately comes down through the arms and hands, and then through the club. The hands also control the clubface, so if you aren’t gripping it correctly and your grips are the wrong size, you’re going to have a problem squaring the face up and releasing the clubhead.

Personal Feel

My great friend Nick Price has the same size hands as me, but has very skinny cord grips that feel awful to me; he couldn’t hit my clubs and I couldn’t hit his.

The reason he has those skinny grips is that over the years we have worked hard to set the club and because he has very solid wrists, they do not cock or set very easily. Having a thinner grip allows him to set the club easier. Players who are very wristy through the ball can control that hand action with thicker grips.

This is where a good teacher or fitter will help to advise on the type of grip they need. Feel is such a key thing to top players, and it can make such a difference.

I have worked with LPGA player, Lydia Ko, who previously played with a normal grip, which is stretched half an inch to make it thinner. She then made an equipment change and could tell immediately that the grips on the clubs hadn’t been stretched.

There is no answer for everybody, but once you have found your grip thickness it will help your game.

The grip is a very underestimated part of the club. Some manufactures will put cheap grips on great golf clubs and they will wear out quickly and compromise the quality and performance. Changing your grips at least once a year is vital. My first rule of thumb, a little tongue in cheek, is that if you can see your reflection in your grips it is definitely time for a change.

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To find out more about setting up your own regripping service with Golf Pride visit www.golfpride.com/about/wholesale-distributors and find your nearest distributor.

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Leadbetter’s Grip Fundamentals With Golf Pride
The Benefits of Regripping With Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-benefits-of-regripping-with-golf-pride/ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:03:28 +0000 Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/?p=18613 Regripping is known by many as an essential service offered by PGA Professionals, so why is it so beneficial and how can it help make your business grow?]]>

Regripping is known by many as an essential service offered by PGA Professionals, so why is it so beneficial and how can it help make your business offering more profitable and effective?

Golf Pride, recognised globally as the number one choice in grips by a wide variety of players, explain more…

Regripping time vs. coaching time

The time spent regripping is a hugely profitable way to spend your day. The example below shows just how much profit could be earned from regripping one set in 30 minutes. Two sets in an hour could give a great profit when compared to the money you might make from a lesson. Make it a goal to fill your diary with regrips in the spaces between lessons and you’ll achieve an excellent payback on your day’s work.

You don’t need a shop to generate revenue from regripping

Regripping is something that can be carried out with minimal equipment and without the need for a retail space. If you are a coach at a range or an academy then all you need is some safe space in a store room for example where you can carry out regrips and repairs. You can then bolt this service on to your lessons and ensure all of your clients are playing with good condition grips that are right for them.

Golf Pride provide resources and POS displays FREE

Golf Pride provide a variety of point-of-sale material and displays for use whether you have a shop or not so you can get the products front and centre and in peoples’ hands. Make the most of the posters, imagery and display stands to really show off the service you can offer – and best of all they provide these for FREE from your distributor!

Large range and options – increased personalisation for your customers

Custom fitting and club repairs are very much about personalisation nowadays and with Golf Pride’s wide range of types, colours and sizes on offer you can really tailor your service to a client’s needs.

Improves customer/client relations (and can help your students’ progress)

Regripping, and grip fitting along with it, is a great way of getting closer to your clients even if you do not already coach them. You can offer them the service and then take time to speak with them about their current equipment in general, their game, and whether they are working on anything and then use this as a chance to explain how new equipment or lessons could help.

Then there is providing a gripping service for those that you do already teach – this is a no-brainer as you can ensure your students are using appropriately fitted equipment that is in good condition.

It’s an easy [up]sell

What is the one point of contact between a golfer and the club? Exactly. This should be something that is very easy to communicate to your clients/customers. In order to ensure the connection between the golfer and their equipment is as good as possible then they need to have good condition, usable grips – and regripping is a really cost effective way for them to achieve better performance.

For more information on Golf Pride visit www.golfpride.com.

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The Benefits of Regripping With Golf Pride
In Defense of TrackMan: Motor Learning Advantages of Coaching With Technology http://www.pgae.com/ask/in-defense-of-trackman-motor-learning-advantages-of-coaching-with-technology/ Tue, 20 Dec 2016 16:19:20 +0000 Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson of Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/?p=13868 Like most innovations that disrupt traditional conventions, TrackMan seems to take more than its fair share of heat...]]>

Like most innovations that disrupt traditional conventions, TrackMan seems to take more than its fair share of heat.  The most vocal of the skeptics seem to wear their unwillingness to embrace change like a badge of honor– chosen defenders of the status quo.

A recent tweet by a former Tour player insinuated that somehow this inanimate device was responsible for the decline of a certain iconic golfer.  This added fuel to the fire, stoking what’s become a rather redundant debate on the benefits of technology in golf instruction.  The apparently arithmaphobic detractors seem to point to ‘The Numbers’ as the most prominent wrong-doer in their indictment of Trackman.  Their central point being that measuring and then quantifying the intricate details of the swing will leave a golfer a confused, overly-technical mess.  All those numbers– robbing the game of ‘feel’ or artistry and replacing it with sterile, cold, hard measurements.

Yes– in the wrong hands or delivered carelessly, all those numbers can be bad.  But the same can be said for anything being administered by the inexperienced or misinformed!  This frequently cited reasoning is reductive and hardly a compelling reason to condemn the measurement device or its users.  It can actually be a massive aid in shifting the learning environment from command-based, prescriptive instruction to one that is performance-focused and more conducive to effective skill acquisition.

And that’s not to say that we’ve never been guilty of over reliance on ‘The Numbers’.  But we’ve also utilized them in a way that enriches the feel and artistry of players.  In fact, because our prime concern is usually to just enhance impact alignments instead of obsessing over positional ideals, we make less wholesale ‘swing changes’ than ever.

Ultimately, our job as coaches is to create confident and competent performers who thrive under difficult conditions.  All TrackMan does is provide information – our job is to take that information and use it to help people move from A to B.  More often than not, that information is incredibly useful in facilitating that process…if used appropriately.

We hope to help everyone see beyond the recent discussion and gain a better understanding of how it can be used to facilitate learning and improved performance.  Below are a few elements of the learning environment that coaches can enhance through thoughtful application of Trackman.

AUGMENTED FEEDBACK

The most important ingredient to the learning process is feedback– it’s largely responsible for bridging the gap between experience and understanding.

There are two primary types of feedback; intrinsic and augmented.  Intrinsic feedback are the sounds, feelings, etc. that the performer experiences as a result of hitting a golf ball.  Augmented feedback is anything related to their performance that they can’t directly experience.   Technology helps provide augmented feedback that helps players process the intrinsic feedback they receive during practice.  The golf swing is a unique motor program in that it’s often very difficult to detect movement errors from intrinsic feedback alone.  Trackman allows learners to more accurately evaluate results thus informing future trials.  It acts as an accelerant in bridging the gap between feel and real.  Yes, FEEL!  Trackman users can, in fact, become better FEEL players based on the feedback provided.

There is also an element of confidence and motivation to consider.  Research has shown that having accurate Knowledge of Results can motivate performers to persist longer at practice tasks.  They are able to see the tangible results of their efforts through the quantitative changes that can infuse learners with self-efficacy and the confidence to persevere.

The challenge for coaches and players is the amount and schedule of the feedback, not the feedback itself.  Numbers don’t hurt people – they’re inanimate concepts.  Rather, as our friend from Happy Gilmore in the accompanying image suggests, people hurt people.  Ensuring that athletes receive the right feedback at the right time keeps the learning process moving forward.  Too much feedback, too often– creates dependency, which often yields to the adage of ‘paralysis by analysis’.

When in a ‘Transfer Training’ mode with a student, we recommend that you no longer provide the quantitative feedback of Trackman, opting instead to withdraw Knowledge of Results and allowing the golfer to prepare within a more authentic performance context.

Providing different types of feedback, such as summary feedback, positive or negative bandwidth feedback, or athlete-led feedback can accelerate the learning process and reduce the likelihood that an athlete becomes dependent on ‘The Numbers’.

ACTIONABLE:

Rather than give feedback on every shot, try two different methods when giving feedback.  First, only give feedback when performance falls within a certain range.  The range could be negative (when performance falls outside of the range) or positive (when feedback falls within the range).  This helps decrease dependency and creates more of an independent learning process aided by feedback only when needed.  Secondly, when getting ready to give the feedback– engage the performer.  Ask them where they think their movement was in relation to the standards of performance that you both set.   This helps them calibrate internally and fosters a better sense of what they need to create the desired outcome.

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IMPLICIT LEARNING

Implicit learning occurs when an athlete learns something in the absence of instruction.  Coaches should strive to help athletes learn as implicitly as possible, as skills learned in this fashion are proven to hold up better under pressure.  Often times, focusing on the effect of the desired movement or having an external focus of attention can help in this process.

Believe it or not, coaching with TrackMan can facilitate implicit learning.  One of the benefits of TrackMan is the ability to control what numbers are visible to the coach and player.  For example, one of the keys to playing great golf is managing curve, which, for argument’s sake, means controlling the face to path relationship and the impact point on the clubface.  To help people learn the old-fashioned way and ‘dig it out of the dirt’, simply spray the face with Dr. Scholl’s and put up only the launch direction and spin axis numbers.  Then ask them to accomplish the task of generating a positive launch direction and negative spin axis (draw), or negative launch direction and positive spin axis (fade).   This exercise creates many learning opportunities and provides a means by which a player can achieve repetition without repetition.  Providing a learning environment in this fashion helps the individual self-organize and begin to develop novel solutions to accomplish the task of curving the ball to the target and hitting it solid.

ACTIONABLE:

Get creative with what numbers you enable the student to see.  Spin axis and a bit of Dr. Scholl’s goes a very long way in helping an athlete understand their ball flight and how it is influenced by where they make contact on the face relative to the sweetspot.  Additionally, try attack angle and launch angle for someone who struggles with contact precision and trajectory control.  Ask them to keep the attack angle shallow while getting the ball to launch lower.  Attacking the problem externally paves the way towards the possibility of learning a movement implicitly or in the absence of directive instruction.

TRANSFER TRAINING

Golf is hard.  The sport demands that a player be able to excel under extremely stressful conditions, often. Players are continually challenged to vary the distance, shape, and trajectory of their shots on every hole they play.

One of the core challenges inherent in the player development process is creating an environment that engages the psychological processes and physiological stressors that the athlete experiences during the course of play. Being able to create conditions that require the performer to plan, execute, and review the shot, while making each shot significant and carry a consequence, is really helpful in facilitating transfer and closing the gap between practice and performance.

TrackMan makes bridging the gap between training and play easier.  Combine and Test Center enable coaches to develop games that test the athlete’s ability to use all their skills (technical, tactical, mental), to accomplish the task of moving the ball from A to as close to B as possible.  In the end, much like golf, they receive a score that let’s them know where they are and provides perceived significance to each ball.  As scores improve, players are also able to see how and when they are making progress.  This type of satisfying feedback motivates players by allowing them to see the direct impact of their efforts.

In essence, through games and transfer training applications, technology enables coaches to design tasks that are more representative – the added pressure, difficulty, and variability ensures that the task, environment, and first-person experience closer resembles that of the course.

ACTIONABLE:

Make your own skills tests and training protocols in test center.  These are great ways to start a session or to challenge a player that is demonstrating good performance from a more stable environment.  Test center allows you to leverage the task-design matrix by virtue of assigning meaning to each shot, as well as giving you the opportunity to randomize the order of the task (distance).  Ultimately, it helps you, the coach, strike a great balance between task difficulty and environmental stability – a must for helping people progress their skills and perform on the course!

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There are many professional fields that have advanced as a result of technological development.  Golf is no different.  As long as people try to reach higher levels of performance, tools will be developed to support those goals.  The important thing for coaches will be to look at the technologies objectively and devote the time and energy necessary to master them.  Hopefully, our discussions and ideas on the use of TrackMan to support the skill acquisition process sheds some light on how to do that and can help you be more effective.

–Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson

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In Defense of TrackMan: Motor Learning Advantages of Coaching With Technology
Why is Custom Fitting Good for the Golfer and Good for You? http://www.pgae.com/ask/why-is-custom-fitting-good-for-the-golfer-and-good-for-you/ Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:50:06 +0000 PING http://www.pgae.com/?p=11386 PING’s longstanding reputation as the custom fitting leader has been earned through decades of research and field experience, utilising a methodology that has b]]>

PING’s longstanding reputation as the custom fitting leader has been earned through decades of research and field experience, utilising a methodology that has been adopted by thousands of PGA Professionals around the world.

You may ask ‘Why should I fit?’ but the better question is ‘Why shouldn’t I fit?’

While some may think that fitting is the latest marketing hype, in reality it’s not a fad and has stood the test of time.  It’s based on upon simple fundamentals that the consumer understands make a difference, and with golf being a game of little things, fitting addresses those little things.

With consumer knowledge on the benefits of being fitted constantly improving, more and more are planning to be fitted for their next purchase.  Offering a fitting service is becoming an essential part of maximising club sales, with the vast majority of golfers now wanting their clubs to be custom fit for them.

The benefits of being fitted have become increasingly more apparent in recent years with consumers benefitting from increased confidence, which in turn enables them to “Play Their Best”.

It has become commonplace for lessons to lead to fittings as consumers discover they are using equipment that is detrimental to their playing ability, while fittings also lead to lessons as consumers refine their technique in adjusting to properly fitted clubs.

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Being fitted correctly can result in improvements in consistency, distance, accuracy, ball flight, distance control and overall confidence, as properly fitted clubs promote a more efficient swing.  Achieving the above leads to a more enjoyable experience on the golf course and enhances a consumer’s love for the game.

Custom fitting has also become a proven way of establishing one-on-one personal relationships with consumers, leading to a development of trust and loyalty, which results in repeat purchases.

Providing a high level of custom fitting enables consumer expectations to be exceeded and also allows the right level of inventory to be held and stock turned appropriately.  There are many fitting myths that exist and present barriers to those thinking about offering it as a service to their consumers.  In reality however, fitting doesn’t take long and it isn’t expensive.

While custom fitting is obviously valuable for the consumer, the benefits of offering custom fitting as a service are often overlooked.  Gaining an advantage over the competition that doesn’t offer it as a service helps to build consumer relationships, respect, trust and loyalty.

Investing in the ability to provide a high level of fitting is an effective and profitable business venture, providing the ability to tap into a niche market as custom fitting can only be conducted by a trained fitter with the correct tools.

Custom fitting is proven to work effectively with every level of golfer, ranging from touring professionals to complete beginners.  It also provides the opportunity to provide a personable service, ideal for strengthening relationships with customers and increasing the chances of repeat business from not only the customer, but the customer’s friends through word of mouth.

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PING is renowned for providing the most comprehensive fitting strategy in the industry, as well as the fastest delivery service, which results in a quick turnaround to ensure customer satisfaction, meet demand and optimise cash flow.

By not offering custom fitting as a service, a major element of competitive advantage is lost, resulting in a potential loss of business due to customer requirements not being fulfilled.

Market trends indicate that more and more consumers are planning to be custom fitted for their next club purchase as the large majority of consumers want to be fitted due to the potential performance benefits to be gained.

Statistics have shown that fitting is not a flash in the pan fad and that it’s a concept that’s here to stay.  With peers regarded as the primary influencer on buyer behaviour, offering a good fitting service will cause word to spread and maximise business.

For more information on PING’s custom fitting services visit www.PING.com/fitting.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Why is Custom Fitting Good for the Golfer and Good for You?
Another Grip in the Wall – Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/ask/another-grip-in-the-wall-golf-pride/ Sat, 03 Dec 2016 12:52:42 +0000 PGA of Great Britain & Ireland http://www.pgae.com/?p=15350 Craig Phillips explains how his regripping service and support from Golf Pride is benefitting his business and its bottom-line...]]>

Craig Phillips, the Director of Golf at Nuneaton Golf Club tells The PGA of Great Britain & Ireland’s Matthew Suddaby how his regripping service and support from Golf Pride is benefitting his business.

Why did you decide to offer a regripping service?

Regripplng is something we do through our PGA training and something I have been involved with for a long time. I’ve been regripping golf clubs for more than 20 years! Sometimes it’s an element of the club which is overlooked by golfers, who tend to look at the head and the shaft and forget their only contact with the club is actually the grip.

For that reason we’ll do MOT checks throughout the year. We’ll often pick a club out of the bag and say “how do you manage to hold onto this?”  You’ll find it’s one of those typical shiny grips where you can pretty much see your face in it!

It’s all just about starting the conversation and making them aware that regripping their clubs can help them to improve their golf.

What benefits will a golfer get from regripping their clubs?

On social media now you see a lot of people talking about grip pressure and that’s really important. Your only contact with the golf club is your hands and you’ll feel that pressure through the grip, so it’s important you’ve got it right.

The right size of grip is important too – if the grip is too small you’ll have more wrist action. These are just a couple of the selling points that you can take to the customer to show them how important the grip is, when right now it’s probably something that they’re overlooking.

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How often should a golfer regrip their clubs?

It really depends on how much they use them. If they use them a lot they will get worn quite quickly but you would definitely say that, after a year, you would like them to come in and get an MOT done. Often we will start that conversation by asking the customer how their grips are looking and feeling and we’ll give them a quick check while they’re here.

How do you know which grips will suit a certain golfer?

Simply by talking to them and getting it in their hands – the Golf Pride display allows you to do that.

We’ll start them off with the normal, standard golf grip and then move them up to the mid-size and then pop a jumbo in their hands. We get them to feel it and then tell us which one gives them the feeling that they want. It’s their feedback that we’re after and allows us to make the right decision on what will suit them best.

Why did you choose to stock Golf Pride grips?

We stock quite a few of the major brands in our pro shop here and we feel it is a nice fit among those. Golf Pride provides us with a grip wall which instantly helps you to sell that product to the customer.

Rather than sticking to the old school ‘do you do grips?’ approach, customers can instantly see it right in front of them.

Once they’ve found the type of grip they need, we often find that the variety of the range means we can offer them loads of different colours to suit their tastes.

We’ve given the wall a prominent position in the shop where customers can touch them, feel them and put them in their hands. That then gives us a good lead into the sale of a golf grip and a starting point for us to begin to educate them on the importance of regripping.

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How does regripping complement your business?

Once I had the grip wall installed I would say that sales in gripping went up at least five times, if not more.

During the course of the year we’re maybe doing three sets a week but that can go up to three or four a day at busy times during the winter.

This time of year is big for us in that respect. We do a lot of regripping in the winter because if you go out on the course and that grip is slippery, it is really going to affect your golf.

We do a lot of promotion on social media and through poster around the golf dub. At this time of year we increase that a little bit as it is an important time for regripping but, importantly, we don’t just limit ourselves to the pro shop – we promote the service right around the golf club.

It’s nice to have that additional service to offer to the customer. We’ll often ask them If they are staying around at the club for a bite to eat or a drink and if they are we ask for half-an-hour to take a look at their grips.

Once we’ve done the regripping and taken it upstairs to the customer they will usually turn around and go “wow, you’ve done that already – that’s fantastic!”

What advice would you give other pros considering offering a regripping service?

The first thing they have to do is get a nice display, which is something Golf Pride can offer.

Get that in as it immediately makes your customers aware you have this service available to them and creates a starting point for the conversation. Once they can see it and feel it, they can make a choice on the grip and then you haw that final bit where you offer the slick service.

I feel by offering Golf Pride and displaying the products on a grip wall where the customer can feel them, you are enhancing that service and ensuring the member has exactly the right grip for their clubs.

For more information on Golf Pride visit www.golfpride.com.

Click Here to Visit the Golf Pride Corporate Partner Hub Page

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Another Grip in the Wall – Golf Pride
5 Ways To Blow Your Custom Fitting Trumpet http://www.pgae.com/ask/5-ways-to-blow-your-custom-fitting-trumpet/ Mon, 05 Sep 2016 07:01:52 +0000 Aston Ward http://www.pgae.com/?p=11399 How can you promote your custom fitting expertise and services to improve the bottom line AND your reputation?]]>

Custom fitting is an area of golf that fascinates me – I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best club fitters and builders out there and the knowledge they have given me is fantastic.

One of my previous jobs was at Precision Golf in Surrey, UK, as Marketing Manager. During that time I learnt some useful lessons about how to promote/market custom fitting as a service that I will share here.

1. Focus on Improvement

Ultimately the biggest benefit a person will get from having their equipment fitted to them is improvement of their game – they should be better able to play to the best of their ability knowing that the equipment they are using is not holding them back.

But improvement means different things to different people – make sure you look at all the benefits they could get. It could be that they achieve better performance, which could ultimately lead to a drop in their handicap. But equally the most important thing to someone could purely be the ability to enjoy their game – increased likelihood of hitting good shots or doing what they plan to do might not necessarily make them score massively better but it might allow them to have more fun. Speak to your clients to find out what their motivation was and align your marketing with these.

2. Promote Skills, Knowledge & Experience

Whether you have PGA Professionals or professional club fitters carrying out your fitting sessions you should shout about their knowledge, their certifications, their amount of experience and successes. Framed in the correct way, shouting about all of this does not have to be big-headed, but can be a genuine reflection of the service you can offer.

3. Case Studies

As has been shown throughout many areas of marketing and advertising, you can say how good you are as much you want, people will still give value to the views of their peers over what you say.

Case studies are a great way of showing how your services have benefitted people just like your prospective customers. Focusing on different types of players (e.g. male/female, pros/amateurs, etc.) allows you to develop examples of how you have helped people before and the types of benefits they can achieve.

This shows that you can practice what you preach and there are real-life examples of people who will support that.

4. The Gift of Choice

Tell people about how many options you have to offer them. Clients interested in custom fitting want to know how many options you can offer them because this is a good indicator of how specific you will be with their specification choices.

5. Show You Care

Something I think many custom fitting outfits could improve upon are their aftercare services. If a customer is engaged enough to want to have their clubs tailored to them then it is likely they will want this to continue in the future, especially in order to get the most out of what are often substantial investments.

Do not just sell a custom fitting session – combine it with a follow-up appointment of some kind – even a 10 minute check when they have received their new equipment and have had a chance to get used to it. You can promote that a) you care about their game and b) they will get the most out of their investment.

If you have any other ways of promoting your services then I would love to hear about them – you can contact me at aw@pgae.com.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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5 Ways To Blow Your Custom Fitting Trumpet
Life After Fitting – Using DMDs to Extend Your After-Sales Services http://www.pgae.com/ask/life-after-fitting-using-dmds-to-extend-your-after-sales-services/ Sat, 23 Apr 2016 14:48:48 +0000 GolfBuddy http://www.pgae.com/?p=11402 The opportunity to extend and improve your customer aftercare with the help of Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs) is often missed by many Professionals...]]>

Custom fitting has been long recognised as a hugely beneficial process for golfers of all abilities. But the opportunity to extend and improve your customer aftercare with the help of Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs) is often missed by many Professionals…

Year on year the accuracy, options and information on club fitting improve. Manufacturers are better able to sell their products to players with increasingly improved customisation options, and PGA Professionals have increasingly accurate tools and measurement devices to assist with the fitting process.

But there is an opportunity for custom-fitters and coaches to further extend their customer care and service by using DMDs after the fitting process has taken place.

Here are some simple tips from PGAs of Europe Corporate Partner, GolfBuddy – the leading golf GPS and laser rangefinder company – that could help you capitalise on DMDs even more:

1. Use a DMD during fitting sessions

While launch monitors and simulators are excellent tools to analyse swing data during the fitting process, integrating a DMD in the process gives a player complete confidence in measuring how far they hit every one of their new clubs. Outside on the course or a range, having a DMD to hand will help you to show that the process of fitting has improved distance or consistency.

For example, GolfBuddy’s LR4 laser is especially useful for ‘zapping’ the middle of a cluster of shots to give your player an average reading of how far they hit a club. This can also give them a chance to handle a DMD product themselves without feeling like they are being sold one. They can very quickly learn how to use a device and you as the fitter can educate them on their benefits at the same time.

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2. Get them to come back after a fitting

In an ideal world a fitting service is not just one session – it should be two. Once the customer has taken delivery of their new clubs and had perhaps a couple of games/practice sessions to get used to them, get them back in for a short but useful session gathering data on the new clubs.

By using a DMD, you will give them a chance to capture real distance data with their new equipment. By helping them to understand how far they hit every club in the bag – even half or quarter swing wedge shots – you will begin the process of improving your customers’ course management skills. Perhaps, most importantly, it will show that you care about how they will get on with their equipment by providing a true aftercare service.

You could also encourage the behaviour of coming back on regular basis to keep their distances up to date – this is a great way to generate additional revenue from a fitting studio setup when it might not be in use.

GolfBuddy’s GPS devices like the PT4 handheld, all feature ‘Mark’ (a Shot Distance Measurement Function) so they can pace out the distances they hit shots to ensure they keep a regular manual check on their distances. Meanwhile, the LR4 laser gives a straight distance measurement to any object from 1-1,000 yards away.

3. Give them the option to try DMDs out on the course

Once you have explained the importance of knowing distances – and therefore the usefulness of DMDs during and after their fitting – then why not give players the tools to go and prove it to themselves.

Lend them a demo unit, (laser, GPS, or both!) for one of their rounds. Task them with using the data they have gathered in conjunction with the DMD and let them establish if it is of use. In pretty much all cases there is going to be a definite positive impact on their game.

Off the tee, they’ll instantly begin to understand which clubs in their bags avoid which hazards, because they’ve started the process of accurately recording their own distance data. When they return it, make sure you find out how and where it was useful and if it benefited their scores. And be sure to have an offer on a unit ready to go for them so you can convert them to a sale if they are keen.

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4. Keep a DMD with you at all times during lessons – especially on the course

If you always make use of DMDs when coaching, then your players will get used to them being a key part of your strategy.

Build DMDs into your on-course strategy and management lesson process. If you use them throughout the sessions your clients will understand how and where they can be used and also how useful they can be in a variety of situations.

Having a tool kit made up of a course guide, DMD device of some kind and the prior knowledge of a player’s distance for each of the clubs can be very powerful.

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5. Package DMDs Into Your Existing Services

Whether you are selling a series of six lessons, a custom fitting, a data capture or course management session, then make sure you have an option where you can add a DMD sale into the deal.

For example, you might sell a series of two or three course management sessions as a package. Why not add a DMD to the process, promoting not just the initial benefit of having the sessions but also the long-term benefit of being able to make use of knowledge gained via the DMD whenever they play.

Equally you could package a course management, or data capture session, with a DMD sale. The DMD delivers data that is essential for coaching course management and the lessons could also be an introduction on how to use DMDs and why they are beneficial. Maybe even offer it for a discounted price when a lesson is booked, to help your customers learn how to use the device and where it can help them.

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DMDs are incredible tools for golfers so as a PGA Professional looking to promote custom fitting and sell lessons and devices themselves then they are a natural pairing that can be leveraged for the benefit of both PGA Pro and the golfer.

How have you paired up DMDs with your custom fitting and coaching activities? Email aw@pgae.com with your tips and ideas and we may feature them in future issues.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Life After Fitting – Using DMDs to Extend Your After-Sales Services
Shoe Fitting The Professional Way http://www.pgae.com/ask/shoe-fitting-the-professional-way/ Sun, 20 Mar 2016 16:42:45 +0000 FootJoy http://www.pgae.com/?p=11416 6 Simple Steps to Ensure Your Clients Get the Best Fit Possible “Why is it important to have correctly fitted golf shoes?” You may ask yourself.]]>

6 Simple Steps to Ensure Your Clients Get the Best Fit Possible

“Why is it important to have correctly fitted golf shoes?” You may ask yourself.

Given the fact that 70% of golfers are wearing shoes that are not best fit for them, it would appear that many individuals are not sure of the answer or misinformed in the process, giving a potential opportunity for PGA Pros to leverage.

The simple yet key answer to the above question is that it can lead to a loss of power in your clients’ golf swings of up to 26% and can cause discomfort during the round impeding the performance of the golf shoes. The life of the golf shoes may also be compromised, all of which could result in negative feedback from clients.

FootJoy offers the most size, width and last options to ensure golfers can find the best fitting golf shoes and with the custom MYJOYS programme (www.myjoys.co.uk) individuals can currently choose from a vast variety of sizes – never mind the styling possibilities!

With this many options to choose from the guidelines below and shown in the video alongside this article can ensure that your clients have the best possible fit during their shoe fitting and come away with shoes that will benefit them and their games:

1. Use a Brannock

The Brannock Device has been the shoe fitting standard for over 70 years. This device measures heel to toe length, arch length, and width providing a comprehensive starting point to the fitting process. It is vitally important that you take a seat whilst being measured otherwise you may end up with shoes that are too big. This measurement is just the starting point of the fitting and should be treated simply as a guide.

2. Wear proper socks

Make sure your customers wear socks that are of a similar thickness and quality that they normally play golf in.

3. Measure both feet

And fit to the largest. Most people have slight differences between the left and right feet. If the difference is greater than 1 whole size or 2 sizes in width then different size left and right shoes may be needed (they can be ordered through the MYJOYS programme).

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4. Check the width

Most people believe they are medium width, but in reality 40% are not. Use the Brannock Device to measure this and fitting clues may show for shoes that are too wide/big – the eyelets of the shoe are almost touching, whereas, shoes that are too narrow/small – the eyelets are too wide apart. The eyelets should be approximately 5/8” – about the width of your thumb. This is known as the “rule of thumb”.

5. Ensure a snug fit

Golf shoes should have a snug feel but not tight. Excess movement of your foot inside the golf shoe can lead to a loss of power in the golf swing, can cause blistered feet due to frictional movement and excess wear to the golf shoe itself.

6. ‘Last’ but not least

The shape of a golf shoe depends on the characteristics of the Last. The LAST, originally made of wood and now made of composite plastics, is the form of the foot around which the shoe is shaped. Last characteristics vary based on the goals of the shoe’s fit and appearance. FootJoy offers a variety of lasts for men and women. When considering a shoe’s fit, consider the characteristics of the Last to further aid the fitting process.

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Shoe Fitting The Professional Way
Ball Story – Fitting’s Latest Gap in the Market http://www.pgae.com/ask/ball-story-fittings-latest-gap-in-the-market/ Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:04:26 +0000 Titleist http://www.pgae.com/?p=11420 Custom fitting clubs for individuals has been around for a few years. But an element that is relatively new and underutilised by PGA Professionals is Ball Fitt]]>

Custom fitting clubs for individuals has been around for a few years.  But an element that is relatively new and underutilised by PGA Professionals is Ball Fitting.

As the #1 ball in golf, we spoke to Titleist’s Golf Ball Director, Michael Mahoney, to discuss why ball fitting is so important for all types of golfers and how that could influence your own ball fitting offerings.

What is the importance of golf ball fitting, and for golfers to play the same golf ball every time they play?

We hear all the time from golfers’ things like, “I’m not good enough to be able to feel the difference” or, “I just play whatever is in my bag”.  By playing whatever is in their bag you run into the challenge of not knowing what the golf ball is going to do when you execute the shot the way you want to.

So to give you an example, a golfer who is hitting a shot into a tight pin over a bunker from say, 40 yards; if you put all of our golf balls down and hit that shot five times with each golf ball, you’ll start to notice a pattern and that they all perform a little differently on that shot.

It’s really important that a golfer knows that when he or she hits the shot that they are trying to hit, that the golf ball is going to perform how they are expecting it to.  Playing the same golf ball consistently is really critical in helping you to play better golf.

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What is the focus of Titleist golf ball fitting?

Our process focuses, first and foremost, on helping you to lower your score and helping you play your best golf.  Our methodology starts with those shots that contribute the most to lower scores, which are the shots into and around the green.  We go from the green back to the tee when we’re fitting, and start with those shots.

As a result, our fitting methodology fits the vast majority, 95%+ of golfers into a Pro V1 or Pro V1x, because those golf balls have the best scoring performance regardless of whether you’re a 25 handicap, a 10 handicap or a tour player.  Our methodology doesn’t change depending on where you are from a skill level, your age, your gender, no matter what. Our fitting focuses on shooting lower scores, and it focuses on those scoring shots.

What about players who don’t swing at the same speed as a tour player, is Pro V1 or Pro V1x still the best ball for them?

We hear that all the time!  In fact, club golfers do swing at the same speed as tour player.  They may not do it with driver, but when a tour player hits a shot with their 7 or 8 iron, that’s probably the same swing speed as some club golfers have with their driver.

To simply answer the question, golf club fitting is very focussed on specific shots; we fit the driver for a very specific purpose, for one type of shot.  We would never say, “Let’s take your driver and hit a 40 yard shot with it”.  It would not work very well for that, but we fit wedges for that!  We fit irons for their specific job, but the golf ball doesn’t change, the golf ball is the same regardless of what shot you are hitting so it has to work on all of those shots.

So a golf ball for Titleist has to be long, so in the long game it has to be low spin, has to fly far and generate a lot of speed, and in the short game it has to generate high spin from a relatively low speed shot.  Pro V1 and Pro V1x are the most highly engineered products we have and they are designed to do exactly that; generate exceptional distance and also have great spin in the short game.  Pro V1x is about the longest golf ball that you are going to find anywhere in the world for all golfers; it’s an extraordinary long product.  We don’t fit for swing speed, we don’t fit for distance, we fit for scoring and Pro V1 and Pro V1x deliver that for all golfers.

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Even lady golfers?

Well, the last time I checked the golf ball doesn’t look up and all of a sudden perform differently because it sees that a woman is hitting it versus a man!  We look at the products that are labelled ‘ladies’ products, and we don’t quite understand them.  There are certainly no characteristics within the products, no special technology that helps them detect that a woman is swinging at it!  We see just as wide a variation in woman’s golf games as we do in men’s and so we design golf balls that are the best performing products for everyone!

What is that sets Titleist apart?

You can’t develop the Titleist culture of dedication towards making the best golf balls in the world in one day.  We invest not only a lot of money, but a lot of time and energy in commitment to making the best products in the world.  When you see the trust that golfers have in Titleist, it’s not only about golf balls that perform best, but that they know that nobody other than Titleist associates have played a role in the process.

We make all of our products in our own ball plants, with our own associates, mostly on technology that we designed in-house.  We are protected by more patents than anybody else in the industry and our technology is more advanced than anybody else in the industry, and that we have a commitment to delivering products that golfers, whether they are trying to make a living playing golf or trying to achieve their best at amateur level, they can trust that our products are going to perform the way they expect them to consistently, ball after ball after ball.

We look at PGA Tour or European Tour counts and those are very validating, but when we look at the US Amateur or British Amateur, those counts go from 65-70% to 80-90%, it’s very validating that we’re achieving our mission, which is to deliver golf balls of superior performance and superior quality for serious golfers.

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Ball Story – Fitting’s Latest Gap in the Market