Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Post of the Year by Brian Manzella

First, here's a video showing a sample of how the Trackman is used:

Anyway, here's Brian Manzella's G-R-E-A-T post over at his Web site (


For those who do not know me well, I am a absolute devourer of new information. If I had the time to read them, I'd subscribe to 100 magazines. I am the only person on earth that has gone to every PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit, every TGM Summit, every MIT Better Golf Through Technology Summit, the first AMF Instructor Division Summit, and this upcoming January will be the 25th consecutive PGA Merchandise Show that I have attended.


Only one problem—I started getting bored at seminars a long time ago. For every Aaron Zick—who is a real physicist, you get a hundred Joe DaPros using the word physics in their completely scientifically bogus presentation. For every take home worthwhile nugget of information, you get a couple of hundred boring speakers, horrible rules, and a legit pain in the derrière.

But, thankfully, the last couple of years, a few times a year, I spend some time with TrackMan and a very high-end 3D system. Yesterday was one of those days. Trackman only day.Whoa!I hit so many balls my thumb got a blister for the first time in years. But I'd take 10 blisters, and even a real pain in my derrière for what I learned.

One thing I have learned from speaking, and listening to speakers, is giving the audience your thesis and the take home nuggets first. You can fill in the details later.Here are your nuggets, free of charge, from the web's best golf instruction site:

1. If you want to hit the ball straight, DO NOT aim straight on every shot, with every club in the bag. You have NO CHANCE.

You have to aim a decent amount left with short irons, and slightly less and less until you get to slightly closed with a Driver.

If you try to do it out of a square stance your head will explode.

2. Plane Line is NOT relevant to the golf ball. True Path and True Clubface rule, trust your eyeballs (ball flight) more than any line on any screen.

When TrackMan's audible measurements were telling me my true face or true path, I could make feel and ball flight sense of it after the shot, and adjust during the shot.

When it gave me plane line numbers, I was swimming in the variety of how down I hit on it related to the true path and face.

3. You are going to hit down on wedges more than 8-irons, and 8-irons more than 6-irons. No matter what you do. Aim more left the shorter the club.

You can NOT hit a straight ball with a square stance and a straight plane line with a mid-iron. You are going to have to GUESS at how far left left to swing and say a little prayer.

So, aim left enough, and control the face based on spin—or hit draws.4. You are going to have to hit down about 3.5° with a 6-iron. I would have thought not. You have no chance. The shots I hit trying to have as little as possible were comically high. I had a tough time hitting down less than 8° with a 60 degree wedge.

My guess is that because of the distance between the sweetspot and the hosel, but we have someone that is going to a Major Company this week and we will have the answer.

5. Moving the ball position around too much, for the design or the club or another reason, will make you a PITIFUL wreck or a guesstimator.

The best players always said they didn't vary ball position, just aim. I agree. No matter how far I moved the ball up or back in my stance, It DID NOT VARY my downward strike necessary for good contact.

It WILL destroy you path though. You can move the ball around a tiny bit, but I wouldn't until you get to longer clubs and the driver.

6. Hit slightly up on a Driver. On my normal Driver shot, I aim left swing left and hit down. I had NO CHANCE being consistent that way. The Soft Draw pattern produced GREAT numbers for me, and here they are (an average of a few dozens very accurate baby draws):

99.7 MPH
1.4° upward contact
1.3° inside-out TRUE PATH
2.7° inside-out Plane Line
12.8 Delivered Loft
2,373 Spin
236 Carry (with Range balls below sea level)
255 with roll (would "normalize" to about 10+ yards)
1.47 smash Factor

I did produce a couple of DEAD STRAIGHT driver shots. Almost all zeros. Very Tough to do.

7. There is device on the market that says to swing 11° inside-out. There is a group of teachers that say this can produce a straight-ish shot. An "Alternate Target Line" so-to-speak. Even a path that can be produced with a somewhat straight plane line.


Not close.

Totally wrong.


The shot I hit with a 6-iron with an 11° inside-out TRUE PATH—which I need to have a 7.9° inside-out plane line to accomplish—was a 60 yard-of-curve rope hook.

It will be usable on the golf course if you hit your tee shot on #1 at Pebble Beach nearly OB left and short, and have to hook it around that big-arse tree on the left.

But, otherwise, JUNK.

I could go
on....But...The best thing to do is stay dialed in to this site.

I may
have to do a video and several Live Shows to get everyone up to speed.

It was a great day in the history of Golf Instruction.


Just great, awesome stuff.



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