When he takes a slap shot, Lightning front Alex Killorn leans heavily into the shot, his hands are apart and his arms and stick move in a wide arc. His natural athleticism and the speed of his swing can send pucks tossing toward the net at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
But few of these things help him on a golf course.
Because of this, Killorn recently needed help from Dan Doyle, the Master Club Fitter at True Spec Golf, the on-site public fitting facility at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair.
Killorn is an avid golfer and a member of the club that will be hosting the Pelican Women’s Championship this week. More than 100 LPGA players, including seven of the top 10 in the world and 10 of the top 15, will compete against each other Thursday through Sunday.
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Killorn follows the PGA Tour and participated in the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Golf Club in Palm Harbor in the spring – followed Dustin Johnson on the ropes on the last day – but cannot participate in the LPGA event. However, he tries to play the Pelican course two to three times a month during the hockey season and at least four times a week during the off-season, and calls it “one of the most pristine courses in Florida I have ever played”.
“It’s beautiful,” said Killorn. “Just to walk around, the colors are so green out there and they did such a good job building such a great golf course.”
This is one of the reasons Killorn didn’t hesitate to visit the club’s on-site fitting facility in September when he needed a new set of irons. He liked the fact that True Spec was not branded, so there was no bias in the game, and he could see which clubs would suit his swing with the technology available.
Finding the right thugs was important for Killorn, 32, but it only took him a few hours with Doyle. The clubfitter attended Northwestern on a golf scholarship and has worked in and around the game ever since.
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“All of the swings are very unique,” said Doyle, who is not related to the Pelican Golf Club owner of the same name. “There are so many different ways that equipment can be modified to support an individual’s game. And you never really know what that can be until you’ve looked at all of the other options. “
While golf and hockey strokes may seem similar, Killorn said there are important differences.
For starters, he shoots left-handed, but swings right-handed. The hand position is also different. Killorn said his hands are closer together on a club than they are on a stick. In addition, he leans more into his club than into his club, where he wants as little body movement as possible for the best drive, putt or swing.
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Doyle, 35, knows what to look for when hockey players like Killorn walk through his door after helping a few.
“There are a lot of similarities in the way they swing the bat,” said Doyle. “They have the ability to move efficiently and consistently, and so their potential is always quite high. … They tend to hit the golf ball and the ground quite hard at times, so they need a club that will help them get through the lawn and not too deep into the ground. “
After Killorn took a few strokes with his old TaylorMade clubs, they looked at the two numbers like the distance traveled and the arc of the ball to see which clubs fit best. Doyle immediately noticed Killorn’s athleticism and the speed of his swing. But the speed also caused the ball to spin, which affected its flight.
“When the ball spins too hard, it becomes more difficult to control distance or judge blows from the wind,” said Doyle. “It was more about figuring out how we can control that as best we can.”
On Doyle’s recommendation, Killorn decided to ditch his TaylorMade irons and play Srixon instead. The two-time US Open and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka also uses the brand.
“I never thought I’d go out with this club,” said Killorn.
Contact Mari Faiello at [email protected]. Follow @faiello_mari.
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