PGA Professional Liam Bond’s decision to promote his TRS training aid at last month’s PGA Show in Florida in preference to attending the Staysure Tour Q School has proved inspired, writes Adrian Milledge.
So much so that Bond has been inundated with orders for the device that is used regularly by European and USPGA Tour star Tommy Fleetwood and a host of elite level golfers.
TRS stands for ‘tour rotation stick’ and the aid helps with body rotation through impact with chip and pitch shots as well as achieving perfect rotation in the full swing.
Bond’s invention is a sophisticated and more user-friendly version of an alignment cane that aimed to achieve the same results, either by being inserted into the club’s shaft or held adjacent to its grip.
“That arrangement had several drawbacks,” explained Bond, a former European Tour player who runs the Liam Bond Golf Academy in Chepstow, Monmouthshire.
“If drilled down into the club, the cane vibrates and makes a hell of noise. Alternatively, holding the cane against the grip can become painful and it’s difficult to hit a full shot.”
Bond cured those issues by designing a rod that is fixed to the top of the club by a thumbwheel and enlisted the help of a local manufacturer that makes plastic mouldings for Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover to create a prototype.
“The TRS is silent and leaves the hands free to hold the grip and keep the drill as natural as possible,” Bond added.
“Making one at a time initially was quite expensive but the more we made, more and more people wanted one.
“Tommy Fleetwood’s short game coach, PGA Master Professional Graham Walker, ordered some. And when Tommy was seen on Sky TV using the TRS while warming up for a tournament in Dubai interest in it rocketed and we couldn’t keep up with the demand.”
Extolling the virtues of the TRS, Walker said: “It helps players understand their swing movements.
“I’ve used it successfully with all levels of golfers – from Tour to weekend players.”
At least 20 players on the European Tour are using the device, not least Robert Rock who, as well as competing, coaches 30 players.
Costing £29.99, the TRS continues to be made locally by WCM in Chepstow and, as Walker stressed, its use is not restricted to elite level golfers.
“I could have it made in China, which would be cheaper,” Bond said. “But being British-made is a big plus for me as is the fact it can help players of all ages and abilities. It’s good drill for everyone who plays golf.”
Which is what golfers in the USA are about to discover following Bond’s trip to Florida.
“The show coincided with the first stage of the Staysure Tour Q School, which I thought about playing in,” said Bond.
“But given the interest in the TRS at home and on the European Tour, I opted to go to the show to promote it and see if I could find some distributors.
“In that respect, I’ve now got distributors in the USA, Holland and South Africa and 30 pros met me while I was at the show.
“It was obviously the right decision to go and I can’t thank the boys from Asbri Golf for the help they gave me.
“I couldn’t afford a stand at the show and, as well as let me use theirs as a meeting place to talk to potential clients, they publicised what I was doing on social media, especially Instagram
“As for where I go from here – there’s another 800 units going out this week and
TRS has effectively taken over everything I do.”