| Be­com­ing a Wil­son Staff

The Kilted Cad­die shares his club-fit­ting ex­pe­ri­ence at Wil­son Staff ’s cus­tom fit fac­tory in Irvine, Scot­land.

HK Golfer - - Contents - By The Kilted Cad­die

The Kilted Cad­die shares his club-fit­ting ex­pe­ri­ence at Wil­son Staff’s cus­tom fit fac­tory in Irvine, Scot­land.

Ineeded new golf clubs that was for sure. My Ben Ho­gan Apex irons were well and truly shot. I had bro­ken the 5-iron against a tree long ago, my pitch­ing wedge had gone miss­ing and, my 3-iron was in very ter­ri­ble shape. In fact, my irons greatly re­sem­bled my post mid-life phys­i­cal de­meanour.

Luck­ily, I have a friend who works at Wil­son Sports in Chicago, and he lined me up for a visit to their cus­tom fit fac­tory in Irvine. There I met the tech­ni­cal golf guru Andy Cliff who daz­zled me with the new sci­ence of golf swing anal­y­sis and showed off the most im­pres­sive Wil­son Golf range and oper­a­tion.

Andy is the present Cap­tain of Irvine Golf Club which seems to be a jewel of a course on the west coast of Scot­land and at seventy quid a round I’m head­ing there soon. He has been fol­low­ing the Euro­pean Tour in the Wil­son van for years now, is a good golfer and knows his stuff.

So, in the swing cen­tre, Andy started off by let­ting me hit a few balls to loosen off and crit­i­cally watched me. The good news was that he wasn’t giv­ing me the ad­vice that he had to prof­fer to some peo­ple. I didn’t im­me­di­ately have to go and seek golf in­struc­tion to set right is­sues which a new set of Wil­son clubs could not.

Then came the in-depth anal­y­sis with the aid of nu­mer­ous graphs and a mine­field of data on an over­head screen. Av­er­age swing speeds, smash fac­tors, spin rates, de­grees of this and that, added to a some­what en­cour­ag­ing graphic which showed a good deal of strik­ing ac­cu­racy. Andy slightly en­thused about my in­side at­tack line, and I was be­gin­ning to feel rather buoy­ant. He changed shafts and heads and grips, hmm’d

and hawwed a bit and then, low and be­hold, we had a com­pleted or­der for a beau­ti­ful set of ex­tra stiff shafted, V6 Tour Irons. I must say they are stun­ning, with a great feel and that blade look which re­minds me of my Ben Ho­gan blades. I have since been show­ing them off around St An­drews to many favourable com­ments.

I was then shown around the very im­pres­sive work­shop fac­tory. It is in­deed a slick oper­a­tion and the staff all busy and in tremen­dous spirit. They serve the whole of Europe from here and cus­tomise about a thou­sand clubs a month. Of course, they at­tend to their sta­ble of tour pros. Padraig Har­ring­ton, Paul Lawrie, Bran­den Steele and re­cent first-time win­ner Paul War­ing, who re­cently cap­tured the Nordea Masters, his first Euro­pean Tour win.

I am just won­der­ing if they will take the Kilted Cad­die into their il­lus­tri­ous sta­ble as a some­what long shot bet? It could do won­ders for their ex­po­sure in the Home of Golf, and I would be well up for it (even if my golf isn’t quite). I sup­pose it could be seen as a to­ken ges­ture for a hope­lessly ad­dicted and strug­gling 10-hand­i­cap­per with delu­sional is­sues.

Wil­son is now owned by Amer, a Fin­nish com­pany, who started off in to­bacco but saw that the fu­ture lay more in sports, health and fit­ness. They now own the Atomic and Salomon ski brands and the gym equip­ment maker Precor. Now I would say that was a canny strate­gic move in this day and age. In­deed, right up my street as an ex-ski teacher. Of more in­ter­est, how­ever, is the fact that Anta, the lead­ing Chi­nese brand, and HK based pri­vate eq­uity firm Foun­tainVest, have just made an of­fer for Amer.

The Wil­son Staff clubs man still have the high­est num­ber of Ma­jors un­der their belt, and I do think they are the un­der­rated brand in the mar­ket­place. They have a new driver com­ing out in early Oc­to­ber which is top se­cret at the mo­ment, and which Andy en­thuses wildly about. They con­ducted a com­pe­ti­tion and in­vited en­tries from all driver de­sign kids around the world. The process can be seen in the Wil­son promo film and is ex­cit­ing and en­light­en­ing.

So, they seem to be a win­ning team at the mo­ment and in­deed hot prop­erty with the huge Anta takeover bid. On a more pro­saic level they now nom­i­nally have the Kilted Cad­die on board. An un­likely and some­what re­mark­able win­ner of the Wil­lie La­mond Tro­phy at the week­end at the St An­drews Golf Club. No, not quite a Euro­pean Tour vic­tory and lots of bucks but a truly hand­some tro­phy I must say. Added to this I’ve recorded to net hand­i­cap 66’s in my last two medals.

Yes, the Kilted Cad­die is now well, and in­deed a Wil­son Staff clubs man.

English­man Paul War­ing cel­e­brateswin­ning the Nordea Masters at Hills Golf Club in Mol­ndal, Swe­den - War­ing joined230915

Wil­son Staff’s cus­tom fit fac­tory in Irvine, Scot­land

Padraig Har­ring­ton, a 3-time Ma­jor cham­pion, has signed an­other mul­ti­year deal with Wil­son Golf in 2016 that sees him with the brand for 22 con­sec­u­tive sea­sons un­til now

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