The general belief out there is that custom clubs and fitting only benefits golfers who have a repeatable, consistent swing. We would like to introduce you to Tony Brouder.
Tony is one of life's inspirational people. He worked in the construction industry, during a routine stint in hospital and a long story later, Tony lost the use of his legs. Some would see this as the end of a life playing golf, Tony saw this as the catalyst to take up the game. With the help of a Paragolfer, a special unit that Tony straps himself into and allows him to drive from tee box to green. It’s basically a one man buggy that gives him the height he needs to hit the ball and essentially carries him and his clubs around the course.
So why would Tony come to see us ?
Tony emailed Derek to ask if he thought it was a “waste of time” coming to see ForeGolf. “Sure you couldn’t help me I’m way past it, ya know”, he joked. Derek explained that "custom clubs are clubs made to suit golfers and the way they swing the clubs. Whether you are standing up or in a wheelchair it makes no difference to the process. It’s what you do, that we are working with "
We watched Tony hit some shots and we could see that his swing was all shoulders, arms and hands essentially and while he had great strength, he couldn’t use his lower half to create any weight shift. We also noticed that the clubs needed to be a good bit longer as the Paragolfer machine lifted him up high. To allow Tony to feel safe and not leaning too far forward, we needed the length to allow him to stay better balanced. So we commissioned specially made lightweight heads from Mizuno for irons and lightweight hybrids and fairway woods from Cobra and a Srixon driver.
A quick call to Miyazaki and a very special set of 39 and 43 gram shafts were shipped so we could keep the clubs very light and soft tipped. We wanted to build them to get as much distance as possible and help give the control Tony needed. We focused on a very special brief of balance in the clubs and the importance of adapting the clubs completely to fit around Tony and his very specific swing characteristics.
So did this all work ?
We are delighted to have met Tony and it's not often we meet people who, not only inspire us to push the boundaries of how we fit but also stretch the capabilities of what’s possible in club-making. The success of every club we build is only really measurable by the results it produces. Tony travelled to the UK to play in The Disabled British Open 2012 on August 24-26th and took 2nd place in his category.
The way we all worked together to come up with a real club solution for him has made his result one of our greatest club success stories to date.