Assistant coach Zach Guthrie makes some adjustments on irons at the Demirjian equipment room
Jan. 22, 2008
Illinois players are taking full advantage of the Demirjian Golf Practice Facility since returning to campus in preparation for the start of the spring season, which begins Feb. 16.
Players can use the heated hitting bays to continue to work on their swing and keep their chipping and putting sharp in the chipping room. A key advantage of the facility, in addition, is its fully equipped golf repair room. In that room is top-of-the- line equipment by Mitchell where players can change the lies and lofts of woods, irons, putters and wedges as well as re-grip and re-shaft clubs and grind and change the bounce on wedges.
"All players that profess to be good at this game have to have top equipment and have their specs correct," said Illinois men's golf coach Mike Small. "Golf is an equipment intensive sport. To have a room like this on campus - not having to go down to the pro shops in town or the golf store and get your clubs worked on - is a great benefit. To be able to work on and tailor club specification to our own desires is huge."
Small says that each degree on a club constitutes about three yards of distance. Equally important is adjusting the lie, which can determine whether the ball is going to hook or fade too much. Each club is adjusted to the personal specifications of the players.
"It's all personal preference," said Small. "The dispersion between the clubs has to be consistent so you're not hitting two different clubs the same distance."
Each player keeps his own "ideal" measurements (degrees of loft and lie) and makes adjustments accordingly.
"It also gives us a chance to teach these guys how to do it, but also to get their clubs right because as I said this is an equipment intensive sport," Small added. "You should check the irons once every two or three months and re-grip about once a semester.
"More than anything, it's a huge convenience," he added. "We can make adjustments more consistently than if it were someone else's machine. There are no lines, no having to wait for the store to open. It's our own personal repair center."