When Mizuno invited me to sample their latest custom-fitting system which requires just three golf swings to give you accurate recommendations I wasn’t entirely convinced.
A few years ago when golf was a big part of my life, slight technical tweaks did very little to better my performance but I was continually told that this cutting-edge device was different.
“You need to find your swing DNA,” said a Mizuno representative. Immediately I thought of mind-boggling formulas, and confusing explanations but decided to give it a go.
After all, this is the technological era – and if it works for Luke Donald it can work for me, right?
So I set off to Walmley Golf Club, one of 400 centres across the country that have the facilities on board, and was quickly put at ease by club professional Matt Morris.
Most competitive golfers in the region are aware of the 34-year-old because of his impressive tour CV.
Exactly a year ago he scooped 34,000 Euros in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth with a tied 31st finish.
But it’s teaching that takes up the majority of the likeable pros time nowadays so a quick custom-fitting session with me was a stroll in the park.
Before actually hitting any balls, Morris showed me the Mizuno fitting cart packed with 40 heads, 55 shafts and two clever pieces of technology – a Shaft Optimiser, which is essentially a 6-iron with sensors along its shaft, and Swing DNA software.
The sensors on the shaft monitor five key parameters (head speed, tempo, toe down, kick angle and release factor) as the club is swung, and send that data to a laptop computer, armed with software which makes recommendations for both shaft and clubhead.
A short walk from the clubhouse to the driving range coincided with a brief chat with a number of members – one of whom had just had a hole in one on the par 3 18th.
It reminded me how much I had missed the game and that feeling grew after hitting the new Mizuno MP59 irons – the club I had quickly taken a feel for – to warm-up .
Feeling fresh and supple, the key part of the process followed – three solid swings to measure exactly what I require in order to have the perfectly clubs for my game.
The digital readout on the device consistently reveals five figures – 82, 5, 5, 7 and 5.
Morris explains that 82 is my clubhead speed (mph) and is about average for the male club golfer and reflects my handicap of eight. This is the main marker of what shaft flex I will need.
My swing tempo, the changeover from backswing to downswing, is in the middle, as is my toe down figure and these two statistics help finalise a suitable shaft.
The kick angle is quite high and Morris explains how that determines whether I need a stiffer mid section to help me get the best out of my clubs.
Finally the release factor is somewhere in the middle which means that I have three shaft options available to me.
The most suitable out of the three by far was the Dynalite XP S300 and. after checking the club’s loft and lie position. I finally had the perfectly-fitted six-iron in my hands.
A few more shots followed and I seemed to be hitting the ball really well. The soft feel compared to my current irons was exceptional.
Morris had warned me that these particular clubs would shock me.
“They are an unbelievable set of bats,” he said. “Everyone who hits them feels the same, they can’t believe how great the ball feels off the face.”
You couldn’t argue with him, he was spot-on. I’d even go as far as saying they were the most comfortable clubs I had ever layed hands on.
However the real test was whether they would actually better my game.
The sales pitch was convincing but I wanted real results.
On site at Walmley, Morris is armed with top-of-the-range custom-fitting equipment himself and his impressive piece of kit revealed that I was hitting the MP-59’s an average of 9.4 yards longer per-iron than my current clubs.
The accuracy was clear for me to see and the results had made up my mind.
I was shocked that the whole custom-fitting experience had actually worked and helped rather than hindered me.
If this is the way forward I’d urge all golfers to give it a try.
For more information visit: http://golf.mizunoeurope.com/ and for lessons and product advice with Matt Morris call: 0121 373 7103 or visit: www.mattmorrisgolflessons.com.