Q&A with the coach of British Masters Champion Paul Dunne: Titleist Brand Ambassador Karl Holmes

Let me introduce to you Titleist Brand Ambassador Karl Holmes. Not only is Karl Holmes a Titleist Brand Ambassador based at Greystones Golf Club he is also Paul Dunne's Coach. Following Paul Dunne's maiden victory at The British Masters we caught up with Karl to discuss a few things... Read on to find out more.

How long have you worked with Paul?
Paul joined the club in 2003 when he was 10, not long after I joined back in 2000. He used to come for some winter coaching with lots of our other junior members but very quickly you could see Paul was a bit special, very talented, extremely competitive in a good way and an incredible desire to practice, not a bad combination for golf!
We would still joke about his infamous strong grip when he was young which was a battle to get him to change even a little, you have to have a very convincing argument to get Paul to change anything which for him is definitely a great characteristic, ask Henry (Scotty Cameron European Tour Rep) about his putter grip.

How have you enjoyed the experience of being inside the ropes at European Tour events as a player coach?
I have loved every minute of my time with Paul on tour, from caddying when Darren was ill last season to taking the bag for the Moroccan open when Paul was beaten in a playoff this season. Hopefully the plan going forward is for Paul to choose some tournaments for me to attend with him and to keep an eye on the key things which we know makes him play well which last week was focused mostly on his set up and initial move away from the ball.

I really feel so lucky to have been part of his journey so far not just with Paul but all his family who have always made me feel so welcome.
 
Does Paul have any particular practice habits?
Practice habits for Paul vary depending on what hes working on, we try to find specific drills to help whatever it is hes trying to work on and once hes happy then he will wear out the practice ground be it at home or when he Visits the states to practice with Eric, the coach he works with from his time in UAB also a Titleist brand ambassador.
Eric visited Ireland the week before the British Masters and Paul, Eric and myself spent 3 days working and playing some golf so that seems to have worked out well!!!

Why does Paul play the Pro V1x?
Paul actually said to me that he loves the control of the Pro V1x with his irons and loves the feel and control he gets around the green to compliment his amazing short game which was so obvious last Sunday.

You've been with Paul for some fantastic moments in his career so far, whether that be when he was leading the Open Championship after 3 rounds in '15 or his Walker Cup triumph, so where does this victory sit?
The victory this week was absolutely incredible to shoot 61 and to have Rory McIlroy chasing him down but its hard to make comparisons as every part of Pauls career have had some incredible moments. The 3rd round of The Open will always stand out for me, to see one of our Juniors leading really was Roy of the Rovers stuff and then to follow that up with being part of a victorious Walker cup team at Lytham just capped an amazing year for him. No doubt everything he achieved that year gave him the belief that he could get through Tour school right from stage one which you could argue was bigger  than anything else.

How important has custom fitting been to ensure Paul trusts in his equipment? What do you feel is Paul's favourite club in the bag?
Paul loves his Titleist equipment, his 917 driver has been very important for him and getting the right shaft which definitely took a little time to get right has given him huge confidence which you could see on the 17th tee last week, we would always keep an eye on his lie angles as well as this has been something that has caused some problems in the past. He absolutely loves his Scotty which he has had since his amateur days and its very much a case of if its not broken, again I think Paul is leading the putting stats on  tour this season, so I would have to say that's his favourite club!

Take a closer look at the winning setup that Dunne used in his breakthrough victory in England.

Winning Setup:

Golf Ball: Pro V1x

Driver: 917D3 (9.5°) 

Fairways: 917F3 (15°)

Hybrid: 816H2 (19°)

Irons: 716 T-MB (3), 718 CB (4-PW)

Wedges: Vokey Design SM6 gap (52°) and lob (58°)

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo S2

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