Steven Baird and his brother-in-law Gary Henderson are looking forward to making some ‘epic’ distance gains over the coming weeks and months after enjoying the golf experience of a lifetime thanks to Callaway Golf Europe and bunkered.co.uk.
Scrolling through his Twitter feed early in July, Steven noticed a post from our account, @BunkeredOnline, that caught his eye.
We teamed-up with Callaway to give one lucky reader and a friend of their choice the chance to go to the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club and be fitted on the driving range, next to some of the world’s top professionals, for the brand’s Epic Flash driver.
All that was required was correct identifying which one of three Callaway staffers plays left-handed: Phil Mickelson, Francesco Molinari or Sergio Garcia.
“I was pretty sure it was Phil Mickelson, so I thought I’d throw my name in the ring,” said 30-year-old Steven. “You enter these things never think you’re going to win – but I did.”
REVIEWED - CALLAWAY EPIC FLASH DRIVER
On the Thursday of the Scottish Open, Steven and Gary made their way across the Central Belt to The Renaissance where, after watching some of the game’s leading lights up close in the opening round of the
tournament, they went to the range where Callaway’s tour fitters were waiting for them.
“They were all brand new,” added Steven. “They had a cameraman and a videographer there who was milling about and chatting away. They were all really nice.
“We started warming up with our old drivers first and then they told what they thought we needed. We got the Epic Flash drivers and hit a few shots with that.”
Steven, who plays his golf at Cambuslang, had been using an eight-year-old driver, so he saw immediate and significant improvements as soon as he got his hands on the Epic Flash.
WATCH - CALLAWAY EPIC FLASH vs ROGUE
“My spin rate dropped from 5,000rpm to 3,000rpm straight away,” he revealed. “That’s a massive difference from just changing club and not changing your swing at all.”
The Callaway fitters were also able to help Steven combat his slice.
“They put a draw weight on it and gave me a shorter shaft, which surprised me a little because I’m 6ft 6in, so I’m pretty tall. I was expecting a bit of a longer shaft but that wasn’t the case. They said that I was hitting it at the heel so put a shorter shaft on it. They said they call it ‘The Tall Man’s Shaft’. When all that was done, I started hitting drives like I have never hit before. It was an excellent experience.
“I started the day hitting my old driver just under 200 yards with a slice and, by the time I went home, I was hitting it 230 yards down the middle.”
The whole experience was huge for Steven’s confidence, too. “When we arrived, Jamie Donaldson was right beside the Callaway area getting interviewed for Sky and I was thinking, ‘God, I’m about to hit a driver right next to TV cameras next to a guy who’s played in the Ryder Cup and who’s just posted a round of seven-under. I just didn’t want to duff it.
"I was definitely nervous to begin with but, by the end, I could walk off the range and look at the pros as I went.”
There was only one minor issue – the green and yellow colour scheme of the Epic Flash didn’t really suit the eye of Rangers fan Steven.
“My brother-in-law is a huge Celtic fan so he loved it,” he laughed.
Fortunately, help was at hand.
“When we were speaking to the boys at the end, we actually mentioned the Rangers-Celtic thing as a bit of a laugh. He said there are 100 blue Epic Flash drivers in Scotland and went away to make a call. When he came back, he said he was able to sort me out with one of them. So, that’s me got a blue one and Gary is taking the green and yellow one. It was a brilliant end to a cracking day.”
Catch up on Epic Mission
Have you been watching Epic Mission, our brand new YouTube series in association with Callaway Golf to make four average golfers significantly better in just four months?