A QUALIFIED engineer whose passion for golf has led him to a career as a Master Clubmaker, custom fitting specialist and golf teaching professional is celebrating yet another first – he’s the first person in Ireland to be appointed to the Board of Directors of the prestigious International Clubmakers Guild.
Piltown-based Peter Doyle owns and runs Precision Fit Golf in Newtown Golf Range in Tramore, county Waterford. Peter made history just last year when he became the first Irish Clubmaker certified with the International Clubmakers Guild.
Now the Cork city-born 43 year-old father of three has gone one further in golfing history in Ireland by being appointed to the prestigious Board. The former precision engineer won 28 per cent of the popular vote among globally-recognised clubmakers and leading golfing industry experts from all over the world, many of whom are closely linked to multi-billion dollar golf brands and firms.
Clubmakers from all over the world have been calling and emailing him to congratulate him on the feat – particularly as he is one of the first independent clubmakers to be appointed and is not associated with any big brand.
“Lots of the big name European and worldwide clubmakers are on the board. These include Americans such as Jacques Intriere and Frank Viola. I’m being congratulated by lots of independent guys who see this is a major coup for the smaller fish in what is a big sea in world golf,” Peter explained.
The International Clubmakers Guild is one of the most prestigious organisations in the golfing world. The non-profit organisation is made up of golf clubmakers and fitters, repair personnel, suppliers, designers, swing professionals, engineers and scientists from all sides of the golfing industry and from all over the world. Eligibility for election to the board is by invitation only and only those who win a set amount of the popular vote from members get to take their place on the board.
The timing for this latest announcement couldn’t come at a better time for Peter as he juggles his busy life of custom fitting and teaching with making further progress on bringing his patented putter head to market. ‘Aidhm’ takes its name from the Irish word ‘to take aim’. Peter’s putter head is unique in that it reduces vibrations during the putting stroke. A port directly behind the face on Aidhm is filled with a liquid which improves the golfing experience on greens, Peter explained.
The Irish Clubmaker of the Year for 2016 with the International Clubmakers Guild now hopes the profile this appointment will bring will help him in his efforts to team up with an engineering firm and bring his innovation to market.
Peter’s passion for the game was ignited after holing out from a bunker at Harbour Point Golf Club in Little Island several years ago. And when a less that satisfactory refit from a custom specialist harmed rather than improved his game, Peter decided to put his engineering qualifications, his years of experience working with various metals, his precision engineering expertise and passion for mastering the game into practice.
“I acquired my first qualification in Professional Clubmaking in 2007 and by 2010 I had acquired my Master Craftsman qualification, which is one of the highest accolades in the golf equipment industry. Because I was a low handicap golfer at that time, I also decided to get a teaching qualification with the European Golf Teachers Federation.”
The Engineering graduate from Cork Institute of Technology visited the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando in January 2014 where he met fellow inventor and putter manufacturer, Bernie Pinder of Ontic Golf USA.
“We agreed to work together on my new putter brand. I went on to open my Golf Custom Fitting Studio at Newtown Golf Driving Range in Tramore, Waterford, in June 2014, where I fit and build golf equipment for every level of golfer.
“A former PGA Champion of Ireland who plays regularly on the Challenge Tour and the 2016 Ulster Boys Champion have been fitted here. One of our clients was runner up at the Faldo Championship in Lough Erne in April 2015, while another Waterford client represented Ireland at the Audi Quattro Cup in Mexico, after winning the Irish finals in Carton House during the summer of last year.”
Peter’s engineering background really sets him apart from the competition. “I came to this industry from a background where hours/ days were spent designing equipment, then seeing the fabricator take the materials, building the equipment and bringing it to life. So a lot of care and attention was needed to ensure that the design was correct, the tolerances were correct, the materials were suitable and that all the components fitted together.
“Also, because of I’ve worked in the fabrication, electrical, mechanical and precision sectors, I have a greater knowledge of various steels etc, which allowed me to have a better knowledge of the materials used in the golf equipment industry. I’m also unique in that I have a Teaching Qualification with the European Golf Teachers Federation, so I can give a much more complete evaluation on equipment that a golfer needs.”
The touring professionals are typically contracted to certain equipment manufacturers and therefore their equipment is built to a much higher quality than the mass produced equipment that tends to be built in China, Peter explained.
“Our studio is renowned for the build quality, as we built it to that very same level. We believe that every level of golfer deserves to have their equipment built to the best level possible, regardless of whether they are a club golfer or touring professional. We have built equipment for EuroPro Tour Professionals, Club Professionals, aspiring amateurs and so on.”
Clients travel to Tramore from all over Ireland to get their equipment built. The fact that customers will travel from Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Wicklow, Antrim and Armagh to get their hand built equipment is testament to their work, he added.