Four bunkered competition winners got to experience a custom-fit experience unlike any other with Titleist on the driving range at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
As part of the prize, each reader experienced the in-depth half-hour Titleist Ultimate Fit session for a 917 driver, with two of the four readers also receiving hospitality tickets for the day three action at Kingsbarns.
The Titleist 917 range was released late last year and was given the best possible introduction with Jimmy Walker using the driver en route to his maiden major title at the 2016 PGA Championship.
So what did each of our readers think of the driver and the overall fitting experience? For eight-handicapper Colin Bennett (above), a Titleist loyalist, he’s in no doubt his next driver will be the 917.
“The fitting was great – a really good insight into the process the tour pros go through and it made me realise that if I was to just buy my driver off the shelf, it would’ve been the totally wrong driver,” said Colin, whose bag currently features 915 metalwoods, 714 AP2 irons and three SM6 Vokey wedges.
“We tweaked back and forward between the D2 and D3 and also between a couple of the stiffer shafts and I’ve ended up with the D2, with an extra stiff shaft and a fade weight to stop my big draw which was working on the range.
“Already, it feels like I’ve eradicated the big left which is my big miss. With the set-up we’ve gone for, it’s minimising the damage that it would do. I think I’ll be making a purchase in the next six months so I can play with it during the winter and be ready for next season.”
For 31-year-old Darren Kane (below), it was an incredibly valuable half-hour with Titleist fitter Roddy as he currently doesn’t have a driver in his bag with it being the achilles heel of his game.
“I’ve struggled that much it hasn’t been worth playing one,” he admitted. “I’ve had too much spin, height and it goes right a lot so I’d lose a lot of balls and I’d dread hitting it.
“I got sorted with an X-Flex shaft which I didn’t think I was fast enough for and it made such a difference. If I get one of those in the bag, I wouldn’t have a problem pulling the driver out.”
The experience was an entirely new one for Sheena Moore of Prestwick (below). For starters, she’d never been custom-fitted before and also never used Titleist equipment. However, being in the market for a new driver, she thinks that may change very soon.
“I am looking to get a new driver so this has been absolutely perfect. I’ve never been custom-fitted before so that was quite entertaining and you get a lot of information.
“I really liked the driver and I think now that I’ve been measured and fitted, I’d be tempted to go for it. At the moment I use a driver with a 12-and-a-half degree loft and the fitter got me down to nine-and-a-half so it just shows how valuable it was.
“It’s safe to say I think I know what I’ll be asking for for Christmas and overall, I’d give the experience a ten out of ten.”
As well as the fitting, the readers were also fortunate enough to hit balls alongside the overnight leaders of the Ricoh Women’s British Open as they prepared for their final rounds.
“That was absolutely amazing,” said final reader Andy Bell. “I just hope I didn’t embarrass myself next to them! Just seeing their swings and the process they go through to get their game to where it is. It was fantastic.”