With Season Two of the popular Golf’s Greatest Holes TV show having hit the Sky Sports’ Golf channel this week with spectacular images of Portugal, co-host and producer Chris Hollins is already gearing up for Season Three - set to be filmed later this year at another magical golfing destination.
In preparation for his next bucket list adventure, Chris was pleased to accept an invitation from TaylorMade to be fitted in its latest clubs at the exclusive TaylorMade Performance Lab at Wentworth by PGA Professional and Golf Academy Manager Tom Godwin.
Chris mentioned that during filming in Portugal with former Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley, he saw instant improvements to his game using the Taylormade 2022 Stealth woods and P790 irons. He even managed to outdrive Paul on the opening hole of the trip, something he hadn’t been able to do once in Season One’s Ireland excursion. With that in mind, we let Tom get to work on fitting out Chris in Taylormade’s newest offerings for 2023.
When you enter the fitting studio at Wentworth you’re met with instant inspiration, as images of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are emblazoned on the walls. No pressure then for Chris, as he began his warm up hitting a few 7 irons to get loosened up! The set up at Wentworth is really very impressive. The fitting bay allocated to Chris was an Aladdin’s cave for equipment junkies like me and had everything you needed for full swing analysis and accurate club fitting. From the Trackman launch monitor to the dual wall mounted monitors offering instant feedback and data, you really feel like no stone has been left unturned to make sure you find the best clubs for your game.
Tom began the session by analysing Chris’ swing and jotting down what he noticed about his path and ball speed. He then began to put together a set of clubs to suit Chris that would enable him to achieve consistent ball dispersion and better scoring.
From this point, Tom was quick to fit Chris into a set of the new P790 irons from 5-PW - a strong choice we have included in our best golf irons of 2023 list. The extra forgiveness of the P790 helped Chris keep his ball speed up during off centre hits, while the hollow body, blade like design was an instant hit with the former Strictly Come Dancing winner as he was pin seeking from the get go.
As Tom moved Chris up through the bag, one thing became apparent. A gap had emerged between five iron and 5 wood. Thankfully Tom’s experience shone through and he was quick to get Chris hitting a Stealth 2 Plus 4 rescue. A higher ball flight and extra carry distance made it the perfect fit, providing a touch more forgiveness than the 4 iron for those tough longer shots.
Typically a fan of the three wood and like many Tour pros recently, Chris found the Stealth 2 Plus 5 wood was better suited to his game, the extra loft allowing for a better descent angle and the slightly shorter shaft allowing for more control. Chris was quick to pick up on the forgiveness offered by the Stealth 2 Plus, something we also loved about the club when we tested it earlier this year.
Then he was onto the most anticipated part of the day. Driver. We were impressed by forgiveness on offer from the Stealth 2 driver and Chris was quick to pick up on it too. After analysing the figures on offer from Trackman, Tom switched Chris into a slightly more lofted head at 10.5 degrees and the change quickly paid dividends, with increased carry distance being the main improvement.
With the top end of the bag sorted, Tom had Chris hit a few wedge shots and then delved deep into the Taylormade staff bag to find the right set. After an in depth discussion about the benefits of various levels of bounce for different turf types, Chris ended up with a set of Milled Grind 3 Chrome wedges in 50° standard bounce, 56° low bounce and 58° standard bounce, offering him a versatile set for different conditions.
We then moved out of the studio and onto the beautifully manicured green on the West Course for a putter fitting. After trying a variety of different models, Chris settled on the Spider GT X Silver Single Bend. And if what we saw on that green is anything to go by, Paul McGinley had better watch out, as there weren’t many missed putts that stick in the memory!
After the fitting, Chris said:
All in all, the fitting was a fascinating insight into the many different intricacies that go into making sure each player is using the correct equipment. From swing speed to attack angle everything is analysed to get the most out of each individual's game. The team at Taylormade and Wentworth put on a great day for myself and Chris, with a special mention to Tom who guided us through every decision he was making with clarity and confidence. We look forward to seeing the clubs put into action when Season Three of Golf’s Greatest Holes hits screens early next year.