Friday, July 31, 2015

My Latest What's In the Bag

Here's a look at my current WITB:


Wishon 919THI, 9.5* loft (stamped at 9*), 45-1/2” Fujikura Motore Speeder 661 shaft (x-stiff) – I had the 10 degree Wishon, but the head cracked and they gave me a new head for free and I wanted it at 9.5 degrees. I switched out shafts to the Fujikura Motore Speeder and have gained legitimately 20 yards off the tee. I think ideally it’s better at 45” with a little more weight in the head, but for now I will keep it as such. I plan on getting fitted by Fujikura directly in December.

Wishon 919F/D, 13* loft (stamped at 14*), 43” UST Mamiya ProForce VTS Silver 8x shaft – I like a bigger 3-wood head so I can use it off the tee if needed, but some of the mini-driver heads are too big and I kept hitting below the CoG of the head when I was hitting off the deck. I was thinking of junking this shaft, but I made some swing changes and the ball flight was much better with this club after the swing changes.

Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK, 17* and 20* lofts, with KBS Tour Hybrid Shafts (x-stiff) – I have yet to find hybrids that I play as well as these. I want the hybrids to technically be my best clubs in my bag since I am often trying to hit them the furthest from the worst lies. I plan on changing out the ferrules and getting them to match my irons ferrules when I get the chance.

Yonex EZone MB irons with Nippon Modus 130 shafts (x-stiff) – I was initially using these as a backup set until my Mizuno’s came back re-chromed, but I have hit these soooo well that I can’t put them down. All of my clubs are MOI matched (including my driver and wedges). These are matched to 2,725 MOI with 3/8” shaft increments. I still have the 3-iron which I use for practice daily because…if you can hit a butter knife 3-iron well, you can assuredly hit the rest of the irons well. I think the only irons I would be interested in outside of these is the Yonex Ti-Hybrid MB’s. But, they really don’t sell them in the US for a reasonable price.

Titleist Vokey F-Grind, 52* loft, 12* bounce, Nippon Modus 125 Wedge Shaft – I had been trying to find the right 52* Sand Wedge that I could hit from 120-130 yards and hit from right around the green if necessary. I tried the Edel Wedge which was really great around the green, but a bit too ‘clunky’ for me on full swings. I eventually started to see that I usually can get away with using just my L-Wedge on most shots around the green. So, I started looking for a less ‘clunky’ model and I have hit this Vokey quite well. I plan on changing out the ferrule when I get some free time.

Edel Golf Digger Grind, 60* loft, 27* bounce, Nippon Modus 125 Wedge Shaft – This is by far the best L-Wedge I’ve ever owned. So much so that I’m skeptical of trying to replace it with a brand new head. I plan on probably getting a new head, as this one is worn, come next year when I am playing in some tournaments. The Modus wedge shaft launches it out low and very spinny.

Bettinardi Kuchar Model 2 ArmLock Putter, 42” long, 7* loft - was putting quite well with this, but started to struggle lately. Started to lose some of the fundamentals that I have been working on. It’s a great feeling putter though.

Titleist Pro V1x and Nicklaus Black Golf Balls – It’s a tough call because I like both balls, but I would probably pick the Pro V1x if I had to choose. I think the main difference is the Pro V1x flies further on mis-hits because the Nicklaus Black is a very low spinning ball with the driver. What I like about the Nicklaus Black is that is feels good and spins higher on wedge shots. It’s also more durable than the Pro V1x. I think it also makes me swing better because when I start sliding forward I start hitting low trajectory shots with the Nicklaus Black. But, both are great golf balls.

Edel Golf-Ball Mark Tool - I love this tool as it's really snazzy and just a beautiful job done by David Edel.

FootJoy Pure Touch Limited –I like the Sta-Sof gloves, but if you want something to fit you ‘like a glove’, the Pure Touch Limited has no equals.  But, it ain’t cheap.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Talking Drills

Here's a video from instructor, Lucas Wald, showing a before and after with one of his students in roughly 2 months of work.

One of the things Lucas brings up in the video is that he is, more or less, not a big fan of using drills in his coaching.  Here's another instructor, Mike Hebron, discussing his thoughts on drills in the golf swing.

Having followed Lucas' guide to what he calls 'Movement Pattern Training' and having a great deal of success with it, I've become more and more against drills myself.  And having listened to Mike Hebron's work and reading some of the book he suggests have only furthered that conviction. 

One of the main things I've come across in the work that I've read is that creativity is a huge part of skill acquisition and you need to train for creativity in order to develop that creativity.  The repetitive practice doing the same movement every time in the *same exact manner* suppresses creativity.  And many drills are designed to be repetitive and suppress creativity.  Often times the design of a drill is such where you would have to move your 'drill station' around on each shot in order to make the practice more random and stimulate creativity.  And that is often too cumbersome or time consuming to do on each shot.

It's not that I'm against all drills though.  I think some of them can serve a beneficial purpose if used correctly.  There's a drill that Kelvin Miyahira teaches called the bucket drill.  You can see this drill at about the 4:37 mark in this video.

What I like about the bucket drill (and other ones like it) is that the design is such where it allows the golfer to put themselves in the position that they desire to be in.  And the golfer who is unable to hit that position can now feel with the drill of how to do it.

However, I would suggest against just taking full speed swings, shot after shot, and using the theory of "if I hit enough balls I will eventually start to get it."  The issue is that you have to hit enough balls CORRECTLY and avoid hitting balls INCORRECTLY and then you will start to get it.  As the old saying goes, 'perfect practice makes perfect.'  I think I spent my entire life not knowing what that really meant.

Since the buckets are circular, you can also change the shot direction more easily and incorporate more randomness to your practice.  Combine that with using more slow repetitions to ensure proper mechanics and avoiding improper mechanics, I think it's a quality drill. 

But, if you can achieve the correct mechanics in slow motion, I think it is preferable to use more slow motion practice or use the Movement Pattern Training that Lucas prescribes in order to better ingrain practice. To learn more about Lucas' work, you can reach him at


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Effect the Wind Has on Putting

Here's a video from instructor, Jason Sutton, showing the effect that the wind has on the ball's roll in putting.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Billy Hurley's Father is Missing

Here's an article about PGA Tour player, Billy Hurley, whose father has been missing since July 19th near Leesburg, Virginia.  If you have seen this Mr. Hurley, please call: 703-771-4500.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Modern Chipping Technique w/Mario Bevilacqua and Jeff Smith

Here's a video from golf instructors, Mario Bevilacqua and Jeff Smith, discussing the modern chipping technique.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

MOI Matching as an Altenative with Tom Wishon

Here's a video from Tom Wishon furthering our discussion on MOI matching.

One of the interesting things I find is that people will often ask the question "why don't pros do MOI matching if it is so good?"

Having discussed how Tour players fit their clubs with many Tour pros and equipment reps, many of them will grab a dozen or so of the same irons with the same shaft models.  So, if a player is using Mizuno MP-4 irons with KBS Tour shafts...they will grab a dozen 4-irons, a dozen 5-irons, a dozen 6-irons, etc.  They will try each club out and find the one that they like best and bag it.

With irons like that, the MOI can be much different from club to club.  OEM's tend to have a tolerance of +/- 2 grams for head weight from spec.  So, if a 6-iron is supposed to be 261 grams, the tolerance can be anywhere from 259 to 263 grams.  Similar tolerances can be expected for the shaft.  Furthermore, you not only have the weight of the shaft, but how the shaft weight is there is a tolerance for how the weight is distributed.   Then you have things like differences in how much epoxy, tolerances in ferrule weight...all of which matter (admittedly, less important than head and shaft specs).

A few years ago, I got to measure Sir Nick Faldo's old Mizuno T-Zoid irons.  Faldo utilized the same fitting principle of hitting multiple of the same irons and bagging what he liked best.  And what was Faldo's MOI for his irons like?

The same.

The 3-iron thru 9-iron was exactly the same MOI of 2,750.  Only his Pitching Wedge was different at 2,775. 

As I've mentioned before, there has been some form of the MOI matching principle prevalent in golf clubs going on for quite some time.  In particular, that's why wedges have different swing weights compared to the rest of the irons.

If we look at Titleist, they set their irons at D2 swingweight and their wedges at D5.  They know if the wedges were the same swingweight, they would feel way too light.  In fact, Callaway is using progressive swingweight with their Apex Pro irons which have long irons at D1, mid irons at D2, short irons at D3 and their wedges at D4. 

So, the concept is being used, but not quite to what it needs to be.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Andy Patnou on Getting Better at Golf

Here's a good video with Andy Patnou discussing his experiences with teaching and his perspective on how to get better at golf: