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It’s a lot of firsts for Pia Babnik this week at The Chevron Championship. Not only does this week mark her LPGA debut, it’s also marks her first start in a Major!
It’s a name that you might not be familiar with now, but since turning professional Pia has already claimed two LET titles, both in 2021. The Jabra Ladies Open, in a playoff, and the individual title at the Aramco Team Series event in Jeddah.
“Pia’s speed and distance is something few can match in the women’s game so we are all excited at the potential Pia shows and thrilled to be working with an exceptional player.”
– Mark Thistleton, Tour Representative.
In testing prior to the Ladies European Tour season, Pia worked with TaylorMade tour reps to take a deeper dive into her equipment. Starting with her Milled Grind 3 Wedges and working her way through the bag, the focus of the session was on carry distances and spin numbers. Tweaking the loft and lie of 4 clubs to match her desired carry distance, she was hitting consistent shots with great feedback.
Every detail matters when it comes to getting a fitting right and whilst Mark was reviewing TrackMan data, Pia noticed that her 3-Iron wasn’t hitting the numbers that she wanted. Comparing with her 4-Iron, the team worked on a hybrid/ UDI option.
Next in the fitting was finding the right setting on her 3 and 5 wood. Keeping her gamer shaft and switching into the Stealth head she saw instant gains. But, still not seeing the performance she was looking for the team opted for a slightly stiffer shaft, tweaking the face and lie angle which helped her with a more neutral ball flight.
Speaking to Mark on Pia’s session he said ‘The driver work in particular, in my opinion was the best session I’ve done all week. Pia’s a world class ball striker!’. As with any fitting, you have to pair the right club with the right shaft and after testing her gamer shaft against 3 other options, the final shaft was the clear and obvious choice as she was able to consistently find the centre of the face with ease. Feeling like there was more performance gain, she switched into the Stealth Plus model and all we can say it that it was a serious driving display!
“The sound of the driver is great, it’s my favourite club in the bag.”
– Pia Babnik