After the difficult decision not to play last week in Taiwan I am pleased to report it’s been a productive week ‘off’. I’ve spent a fair bit of time down at KDE (Kelab Darul Ehsan) working with my coach Andrew Argus and feel like I’m really moving forward and improving with each practice session. Whilst some of the changes we’ve made over the past couple of months may not be all that visible to the untrained eye my swing is feeling very different in some key areas. The real step forward has come in my level of understanding of where the bad shots come from and maybe even more importantly, how to correct them!
I also took the chance this week to make the short drive down to Malaka for a practice round at the Ayer Keroh Country Club, home of the next ADT tour event in June (9-12th.) Due to a close call on the scheduling of the event I’ll be up in Terengganu beforehand playing in a local tournament there so I won’t have much time for practice rounds between the two events. The course was interesting with some tricky sloping greens which, if quick, will make for some very challenging putts! It’s definitely home of the longest hole I’ve ever played. The 9th hole measures 604 meters or 664 yards. Ouch.
I’ve made one or two changes on the equipment front this week too. Nothing major but hopefully a change is what’s needed to revitalize some stale form recently on the greens. Those of you who know me know how I have faithfully stuck to using the same putter now for many, many years. My STX Sync Tour is being replaced by…. wait for it…. drum roll…. yes…… another STX Sync Tour! 🙂 This new model however has been set up in quite a different way. Firstly I’ve decided to chop a couple of inches off it so the length is just 31″, quite small in my hands but I really like the feel of a shorter putter. My arms hang better and I’m hoping the straighter arm set up will allow me to keep improving my stroke and consistency on the greens. The only trouble with shortening a putter by this amount (it’s a good 3″ shorter than my previous putter) is it changes the weight considerably.
Now, there are many different theories on the correct weight for a putter. I personally have always liked the feel of mine being heavier than ‘standard’. With this in mind I have increased the weight considerably by placing lead weights down inside the shaft. To stop them rattling around the rest of the shaft is filled with sand to create a much heavier, solid feeling putter. I finished off with a rubber bung, forced down the shaft to hopefully keep everything in place and a much thinner grip to allow me to feel the head a bit more. It’s a very different feeling putter that whilst still looking like all my previous flat sticks will definitely take some getting used to so it’s plenty of putting practice for me this week before heading off to Terengganu on Friday morning.
The other change was more cosmetic. I had my wedges stamped up by Alistair Guthrie over at The Old Clubhouse in Bangsar. The 50 degree wedge is a new identical replacement, put into play now as the grooves on the previous wedge had started to wear away. The 54 & 58 have been in the squad now for a couple of weeks and the raw finish certainly rusts up pretty quick over here in the humid conditions giving them the ‘Titanic’ look. I suppose stamping could be seen as a security measure as your wedges are far more easy to identify but if I’m honest I did it purely because I think it looks cool 🙂
Give Alistair a call on 0126270272 or drop him a mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any of your clubs personalizing as he’s just started offering this service along with the usual club fitting and repairs he’s become famous for.