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THSG Equipment Testers Report

Its been a busy start to the 2019 season for the top manufacturers, their has been some awesome product releases from Ping with the G410, Taylormade with their M5 & M6 range and Titleist with their TS project family.

Sometimes we get bias reviews on these products from various media sources within the Industry, here at the THSG we have our own panel of testers and this week we are looking at drivers….!!! In particular the G410, M5 and TS2/TS3.

First up we had ROWGC member Tim Rigden file his report on the highly anticipated Ping G410 driver. The G410 comes in two different heads the SFT (straight flight technology) and the plus head.

Tim’s Report -

I am pleased to have the opportunity to offer the following observations on the new Ping G410.

Currently, my handicap is 11 and I am playing with a Nike VRS Covert which has an 11 degree flight, a stiff shaft and more often than not I use a Titleist Pro V1X.

The Ping G410 was matched with a 12 degree flight and a slightly open set up and again to give it a fair test I used the Titleist Pro V1X golf ball.

First impression  -  it looks good, which is hugely important for me, it is well balanced and is very comfortable in the set up and having a matt grey/black head negates any dazzle on a bright, sunny day!

When using this driver from the tee, with an orange castle, the sound of the ball strike had a very pleasing resonance and not all tinny or clumpy.  For me the sound and look of any club is very important from a confidence, point of view, and the mental aspect.

The Ping G410 had an excellent high flight and a tight angle of dispersion which enabled me to obtain good distance, approximately 10-15 metres further than my current club.

Overall, it was an extremely pleasing and enjoyable driver to play with and if I was in the market for a new driver, then it would be one that would be well worth considering, not withstanding the price.


ROWGC member Andy Baldwin was up next testing the new Taylormade M6 driver. Taylormade always have huge presence on tour with some of the worlds best players playing their products inducing Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods….to name just a few!!

Andy’s Report -

I currently use a PING G Series Driver (SF Tec 10 degrees) and the M6 i tried out was set up to give a similar loft to my PING.

First impressions of the M6 were that it was a well balanced club that felt good to swing and in that it seemed similar to my own club.

However as a relatively high handicap golfer (19) the big problem I had with the club was its lack of forgiveness, if I got the sweet spot it went really well and the "Twist Face" did seem to straighten the shots out a bit.

If I didn't get the sweet spot - which didn't seem all that large to me - then it all went horribly wrong, much worse that my own PING

The ball flight was also similar (when it came out the middle) quite a high trajectory from a 10.5 degree setting, distance off the tee was longer than my current club - but not much maybe 5 yards.

In summary a good well made club but probably aimed at the low handicapper who can consistently hit it out of the middle. With a price tag of £440 it is not an investment i will be making.


Steve Jones - THSG Pupil / Tested the new TS2 Titleist driver set-up 10.5 tensei blue - stiff shaft

I play off a 17 handicap and have always struggled with a driver off the tee, short and wild is not a good mix around any course and in the past i often just settled with using my 4iron just to keep it in play.

I was a little bit fearful of being a tester for a driver because this area of the game has plagued me for years…….I bit the bullet and tested out the new Titleist TS2 driver set up with a stiff shaft and 10.5 loft. My previous driver is a Callaway Rogue and as mentioned i have never got on with it.

As soon as i put the TS2 behind the ball i gained confidence, the looks are sleek and streamline and gave me an inner confidence that this area of the game could improve. Upon on strike it felt solid and with the adjustments in the shaft i started to get rid of my slice. Tim set it up on a draw setting and my it made a difference.

Never before have i hit the ball so well off the tee, the TS2 made a huge difference and i reckon i was 20-30yards further. This confused me as i was now hitting 3 clubs shorter into the greens!!! First time out in testing i shot under my handicap for the first time in 8months……For me the testing was a real eye opener, Titleist have come up trumps and made a driver that sorted out my slice and helped me gain yards… much so i have booked in for a custom fit with Tim to purchase one myself!!

John Palmer ROWGC Member - Ping G410 SFT driver 10.5 degree

Tested by John Palmer, senior, handicap 12.7. played for 40 years.

Current driver Ping G25 - 10.5 degree

First impressions on sight was very good.

The head is shallower and less bulky than the G25 and with the turbulators give it a more streamlined look.

The club feels light and nicely balanced.

It is comfortable to play with and seems easier to swing and to generate a greater speed.

On impact it produces a nice sound with a high ball trajectory and straight. The weight in the head obviously getting rid of any fade. Distance is slightly longer than the G25 probably due to the 410 going straight and the slight fade i usually get with my existing driver.

The only drawback i found, when i tried to fade a shot, the ball went straight out at an angle which is a problem for example the 11th hole around the tree.

Overall:- a beautifully balanced club with straight flight and high trajectory. An ideal driver for anyone who tends to slice.

Thank you to all the testers that took part in the driver testing. It makes a huge difference listening to real golfers give their honest opinions on these latest clubs. Hopefully this will help you shape your decisions when it comes to purchasing a new driver in the future. If you would like any further information on custom fitting or club testing please see one of the team.


April Group Clinics


April Group Clinics

Summer is on its way (yes honestly i think it is!!) and we need to prepare our golf games for the better weather. During April we will be looking the four key areas to lower scores. Driving it further, hitting your iron shots closer, making your short game bullet proof and becoming a better bunker player.  

Our April group clinics are all about saving you shots from tee to green. Don't forget our resident putting expert Oli Leett has his very own LPH group clinics, head over to his website to sign up. They are fantastic way to learn about key areas of performance both on and off the course. We have had some fantastic success stories from pupils that have regularly attended our group sessions and we strongly believe that they need to be part of every golfers improvement program. 

Saturday 7th April - 3pm-4pm -  How to Unleash Your Longest Drive Ever  

Venue - Driving Range / Driver

We understand so much more about impact in the modern day game because of the technology we now have at our finger tips. During this session we will be working with the awesome GC2quad launch monitor to understand more about your impact. We will be looking at strike tendency and how that correlates to gaining more distance off the tee. 

Saturday 14th April 12pm-1pm - Iron Play 100yards and In - Know Your Numbers!!  

Venue - Short Game Area - All Clubs  
GROUP LIMITED to 4 people

The GPS market is one of the fastest growing areas of golf retail at the moment. Every golfer is buying into these awesome tools to help them understand more about their distance into the pin......BUT do we really know how far each club goes ??? During this clinic we will be working in the 'scoring zone' of 100 yards and in. You will go away with a clear mapped out system for understanding your yardages with each club from 100 yards and in. We will be limiting the numbers to just 4 people during this clinic. 

Sunday 22nd April - 12-30pm-1-30pm - How To Make Perfect Contact Every Time  

Venue - Short Game - PW,GW,SW,LW

Do you want a bullet proof short game ??? Get Up and down from everywhere in and around the greens ?? Of course you do.....statistically the average 18 handicap golfer plays 75% of their total number of shots in a round from 70yards and in. In fact this stat doesn't really change too much for all golfers. We will give you the sound fundamentals and the basic swing principles that will help you conquer this area of the game! 

Friday 27th April - 2pm-3pm - Bullet Proof Bunker Play 

Venue - Short Game Area / SW & LW 

Their is so much poor information out their on bunker play and often very confusing. I will give you insights into a tour proven method that amateurs can actually perform very easily. Its the most forgiving method and one that i have personally had the most success out of. You will walk away from this session confident and actually looking forward to your next bunker shot!! It really is that easy! 

** To sign up for any of the above clinics please email or call 01989 720439, you can also sign up in the golf shop with one of the team. These sessions are £10 per person, which includes an evaluation with coffee, in the pro shop after the session. **


Niall Enjoys Successful Start To The Season


Niall Enjoys Successful Start To The Season

Hi all

It's been just a little over a month since arriving back here for my sophomore year at Kirkwood and I couldn't be happier. Didn't realise just how much I've missed it. I can't believe already how long I've been here. Ive already started competing in tournaments with the team and getting stuck into my studies. 

A few weeks back all 10 of us Kirkwood eagles were qualifying for the team lineup. This year we have huge talent coming through with our freshman, so things are very promising. I've started off very hot in the qualifying stage and produced some decent rounds, which saw me secure a place in the top 5. While this was going on I had one of my best mates Nathan Young come visit me for a week, he did a great job of giving me some support. Nathan is currently travelling the world and is now in Fiji who will then later move onto Hawaii and Australia in his journey. What he is doing is unbelievable and it was pretty cool seeing him here for a bit.

So, then we begun the fall season last week and competed in our first event the Knolcke Family Classic at Hunters Ridge Golf Club. Us boys achieved 2nd place with a total score of 599 over two rounds, falling behind the leaders Indian hills with 583. I shot a (+1) 73 and a (+4) 76. Then yesterday, we had our second tournament at the Amana Country club. Probably one of the best courses i've played. It reminded me of Ross with all the holes cut out of a beautiful forest. This was our first team win of the season. I shot a 78 yesterday. So, as you can see some very average golf in the first two competitions, nerves maybe? 

However, I know one thing for sure is that I'm sticking to all my processes and working extremely hard for a bright future. And that's not just on the golf course either. I know that I'm confident enough in my self that Im going to achieve great things.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog and i wish you all well


Niall In Action! 

Niall In Action!