Dean Davis: Trick shot artist and consummate showman
November 20, 2013
Dean Davis has been a professional golfer for more than 15 years, coaching at all levels from complete beginners and golfers with disabilities to touring professionals, but is now best known at Golf Clubs and Golf Shows, as well as Corporate and Society Golf Days, as one of the world's foremost trick shot artists, hitting golf balls with everything but the kitchen sink.
Golf Today Editor Clive Carpenter caught up with him at the recent European Father & Son Golf Championships, held at beautiful Valle del Este resort in Almería, Spain, where Dean performed a full trick shot show and played a 'Beat the Pro - Nearest the Pin' challenge, in which he hit only trick shots, on the par 3 second hole.
Amazingly, on the par 3 he achieved his first trick shot hole-in-one, using a 'wobbly' driver made from a Lynx clubhead on a length of hosepipe, but he did it during his warm-up, meaning that the odds of him repeating during the day were in the millions to one - a relief for the competitors facing him on the challenge.
Golf Today: Dean, how does one get started as a trick shot artist? Dean Davis: Well, I think we all play trick shots out on the golf course, and then what you’ve got to do once you’ve got five tricks in your bag, then I think you start performing and start making your own shows.
GT:What was your first trick shot? DD: My first trick shot, I was down at the driving range, nice warm day and had a bottle of water. I put the ball on top of the bottle of water and then to my amazement I hit it well! I hit it better than off a normal tee... So then I decided to go higher and higher and I just started it from there.
Long tee shots: Dean's bag includes a
6 foot Lynx driver
Dean also plays left-handed, and right-handed with the club back to front
GT:So how long have you been doing this now professionally? DD: 15 years now, performing trick shot shows around UK, Europe, worldwide really.
GT:Any idea how many countries in the world it’s taken you to ? DD: I would say about 20 countries it’s taken me to.
Before the Show, the preparation must be meticilous. Clearly Dean's fiancée
Jane Binnng gets more practice at this...
GT:Do you object to the expression “trick shots”, because actually it’s got nothing to do with trickery, it’s all about skill. DD: Yes, it’s all about skill, but I tend to call it “trick shot artist”, so you’re performing, hitting with different clubs, different shots, different shapes as well, and performing in front of a crowd.
GT:What percentage of your show is you, and what percentage is the audience actively participating, or at least working them? DD: I would say it’s 50/50 really, getting the audience out, letting them have a go, see how difficult it is.
DO NOT TRY THESE AT HOME! -
Audience participation at Dean's Show
GT:Have you ever come up with an idea for a shot, tried it, and then thought “I’m not going to risk that one in public”? DD: Yes, putting a tee-peg in somebody’s mouth and then hitting the ball off somebody’s mouth. The tee-peg tends to move a little bit, so it just damages the teeth a little bit. No, I don’t want many dentist’s bills coming my way...
Dean's '2-iron'. Two heads are better than one?
GT:Just tell me about one or two of the odder things you’ve got in your bag here. DD: So we’ve got the 2-iron, where I’ve welded two clubs together, where I hit two balls, three balls, even hit four balls. We have what we call the slice and the hook, so it’s a club that you can open and hit a slice, and then you can hook it, and – if you do get it right – you can hit it straight.
Then... well, we’ve had a great summer this year in the UK, so this is the hammer club, when you want to nail it down the fairway in the next monthly medal, this is your ideal club. And then you also need a decent tee-peg as well...
The hammer club
GT:What about the poor tortoise in there? DD: Well, we have a group of slow golfers at those golf courses, and this is the ideal club for that slow golfer, who takes six hours a round of golf.
GT:You’ve got one or two real specials in this bag here. Can you show us what they are?
Dean's 'proper' iron - steam powered
The Big Wood
DD: We have the new steam iron. This is what we call a proper iron. Ladies might think that we use an iron, but this is the iron we tend to use. Then of course we all buy titanium golf clubs, but wooden clubs are coming back now. Big piece of wood. And the last one we have is the bag-stand club – so there’s loads of ways you can sneak golf clubs into your golf bag.
Will it... won't it... it has!
Dean Davis makes his first hole-in-one with a trick shot.
GT:Now we’ve heard that this morning you had a hole-in-one. Did you do that against a competitor? DD: It was actually a warm-up. The first five golf balls didn’t even hit the green, so then we picked them all up and had another go. Got out the old favourite, the wobbly driver, and one pitch and it went in!
GT:And what’s the wobbly club made of? DD: It’s made of a hose pipe – a soft hose pipe. It’s a driver, 10.5 degrees, and it’s what I call a ‘senior flex’.
GT:How many holes in one have you done in all? DD: Trick golf, that’s my first one, but in total – normal golf – it’s six .
GT:So that’s seven in all now, but this was your first trick shot one. DD: That’s right.
GT:Dean, I can see that you’re sponsored now by Lynx Golf, who’ve made a comeback to the UK market. Can you tell us a bit about why they’re sponsoring you and what you’re doing with them? DD: Yes, I was looking for new clubs, looking to make new tricks, and I like the brand. I’ve always used a Lynx Boom Boom driver when I was young. So Lynx have come back onto the market headed by two fantastic people in Steve Elford and Stephanie Zinzer, they’ve got great new products, they’ve brought the Boom Boom back out. Back in the 90s it was very big with Fred Couples, Ernie Els... And now they’ve put the technology into the club as the Boom Boom 2 with Hot 1 technology, and it’s a great club, a lot of people are starting to see a great difference with the distance of the club. And they’re a great company, we do lot of Demo Days for them, and what we’re trying to do is rebrand, get the product out there, get the Lynx name back out into golf.
GT:But despite the fact that they’re involved here in what is entertainment first and foremost, they’re a very serious golf brand. DD: Yes, they’re very serious, they’ve got a range of golf clubs, from people who are just starting off – beginner sets – to the low handicap golfers, to the forged heads as well.
A selection of shots from Dean Davis' repertoire
GT:Is there anything particular in what you do that could be helpful to the average club golfer? I imagine that when you’re playing with the wobbly club or the one with the loose head, it’s all about rhythm. DD: It is. It’s all about rhythm, timing, tempo, and that’s the key thing with the game of golf, keeping your tempo and your timing. If you do go a little bit fast with the wobbly club, it does tend to hit you on the top of the head!
GT:Do you know of any up and coming children who are working on this, or do you give lessons to people who would like to do this professionally? DD: No, there’s no young children that are into trick golf, but hopefully we’ll get some young golfers to start doing trick shots and we’ll hopefully get the next generation of trick golfers.
More shots from Dean's vast repertoire
GT:What’s the weirdest shot you ever hit – either intentionally or not? DD: The weirdest shot I’ve ever hit is probably blindfolded and jumping up and down on a trampoline.
GT:And you did hit it? DD: It took me 10 attempts...
The final minutes of the Show
If you'd like to see more...
Dean Davis is available to perform his show for Corporate and Society Days, or simply at your Golf Club. To find out more about Dean and his shows, or to contact him, visit www.golftrickshots.co.uk/, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07717 577834.