By David Keywood
Last Updated: 03/03/15 3:11pm
David Keywood travels to Lytham to get measured up for Titleist's new 714 prototype irons.
David Keywood travels to Lytham to get measured up for Titleist's new 714 prototype irons
Did anyone notice what clubs Jason Dufner was using when produced a superb display of ball-striking to take victory in the US PGA Championship at Oak Hill?
I can tell you they were the new Titleist AP2 714 Prototype Irons. The reason I know this is because I was recently invited to Royal Lytham & St. Anne's golf club to go through the tour seeding and performance validation process for the new 714 prototype irons.
The seeding process is applied to all Titleist tour professionals and I was invited to attend this session to see exactly what happens when the elite golfers select their clubs.
A couple of weeks ago my new Titleist CB 714 Prototype irons arrived at the office. Everything about the clubs was off the shelf. This wouldn't be the case for the likes of Adam Scott or Matteo Manassero as their specs are saved on a database at Titleist HQ.
Like a kid with a new toy, I couldn't wait to take the clubs down to my local driving range and straight away I noticed that I was catching more shots a little thin and that I was striking the ball closer to the heel than the sweet spot. This resulted in a few "socket rockets"!!
On arrival at Royal Lytham, I was taken to the practice ground to loosen up and then it was time to get fitted. I hit a number of shots off a lie board with tape on my club so that the experts could diagnose what I needed.
I then hit shots off the turf using the Trackman and we could see that the shaft supplied was correct (S300 True Temper Dynamic Gold) but I wasn't striking the ball as well as I should so my spin rate was too high.
It was recommended that my clubs should be one degree flatter and one degree stronger to keep my flight path down.
My club was tweaked and after hitting a few balls the sound, feel and results all proved that this adjustment was now perfect for me.
My clubs were sent off to the tour truck to get fitted and I also got to choose which grips I wanted (Golf Pride New Decades in white/black).
As I'm more of a traditional golfer, I like to use a 3-iron but the standard irons which Titleist now provide are 4-PW, this is because they want you to decide how you want your set up to be.
This wasn't a problem though as a 3-iron was made up for me to use and it proved invaluable when playing Royal Lytham in gale force winds!
I went back to the driving range to give my new custom irons a go and was met by European Tour professional and Titleist ambassador Paul Waring.
I managed to get some time to chat one-on-one with Paul about the new 714 prototype irons. Paul talked about his experiences with Titleist and the process in which he receives new equipment. His main regret is not putting the new range in his bag for the Scottish Open!
It was very informative listening to Paul who really knows his stuff and is very passionate about Titleist products.
He'll be using the new 714 range in his next tournament, so I'll be keeping my eye out to see how he performs.
I also managed to get some time with Richard Temple, who is the Titleist Golf Club Product & Fitting manager.
He spoke about the importance of being fitted for your clubs but also about how Titleist is seen more for the "better golfer" which is down to their tag line - "Serious clubs for serious golfers".
However, this tag has been a little lost in translation as it actually means for golfers who are serious about playing golf to the best of their ability no matter what handicap.
Keep your eyes peeled for the full in-depth feature on the new Titleist 714 range on skysports.com in the coming weeks.
For more information on Titleist products visit www.titleist.co.uk