Wednesday, August 31, 2011

3Jack Updated PGA Tour Stat Rankings 8.30.11



Let's take a look at the top 5 finishers at the Barclays

Player….................Drive……Putt…...SG……DZ
Dustin Johnson…...12……...155……155……2
Matt Kuchar…........61…….....31…….36……37
Brandt Snedeker…66……......4…….138……29
Vijay Singh…..........82……...126…….48…….31
Jonathan Byrd …..110……...82…….1……...30

Obviously, Danger Zone play ruled the Barclays. It appeared that you had to be a good Danger Zone player along with being good at 1 of the other stats. Dustin Johnson had driving, Kuchar had putting and short game (and was one of my picks to win), Snedeker had putting, Vijay had short game and Byrd has been the best short game player on Tour this year.

Here are this week's picks for the Deutsche Bank Championship

Dustin Johnson
Gary Woodland
Robert Garrigus
Nick Watney
Bubba Watson


Value Pick: Kyle Stanley

Here's my rankings:

ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING




1…John Merrick
2…Joe Durant
3…Chez Reavie
4…Boo Weekley
5…Heath Slocum
6…Brandt Jobe
7…John Rollins
8…Bubba Watson
9…Rod Pampling
10…David Toms
11…Briny Baird
12…Dustin Johnson
13…Will MacKenzie
14…Bo Van Pelt
15…Gary Woodland
16…Jim Herman
17…Webb Simpson
18…Justin Hicks
19…Keegan Bradley
20…Chris Couch


180…Jimmy Walker
181…Shaun Micheel
182…Paul Stankowski
183…Padraig Harrington
184…Arjun Atwal
185…Bio Kim
186…Derek Lamely
187…Kevin Na
188…Anthony Kim
189…Chad Collins


PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)



1…Steve Stricker
2…Nick Watney
3…Charlie Wi
4…Brandt Snedeker
5…Greg Chalmers
6…Ryan Moore
7…Luke Donald
8…Fredrik Jacobson
9…Zach Johnson
10…Matt McQuillan
11…Bryce Molder
12…Scott Piercy
13…Rickie Fowler
14…David Toms
15…Ben Martin
16…Kevin Na
17…Dean Wilson
18…Kevin Streelman
19…Jason Day
20…Y.E. Yang


181…Paul Goydos
182…Joe Durant
183…Alex Cejka
184…Heath Slocum
185…Scott Gutschewski
186…Ernie Els
187…Will MacKenzie
188…Justin Hicks
189…D.J. Trahan
190…Boo Weekley


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1…Jonathan Byrd
2…Brian Gay
3…Steve Stricker
4…Bill Haas
5…Steve Flesch
6…Aaron Baddeley
7…Fredrik Jacobson
8…Nick Watney
9…Scott Gutschewski
10…Chris Riley
11…Ricky Barnes
12…Rory Sabbatini
13…Zach Johnson
14…Michael Bradley
15…Tim Petrovic
16…D.A. Points
17…Robert Karlsson
18…Charl Schwartzel
19…Jason Day
20…Ian Poulter


180…Harrison Frazar
181…Alex Prugh
182…Ben Martin
183…Alexandre Rocha
184…Martin Piller
185…Robert Garrigus
186…Garrett Willis
187…Marc Turnesa
188…Billy Horschel
189…Will MacKenzie


ADJUSTED DANGER ZONE PLAY



1…David Toms
2…Dustin Johnson
3…Phil Mickelson
4…Robert Allenby
5…Sergio Garcia
6…Alex Cejka
7…Rickie Fowler
8…Nick Watney
9…Boo Weekley
10…Y.E. Yang
11…John Senden
12…Robert Garrigus
13…Kevin Stadler
14…Ian Poulter
15…Graeme McDowell
16…Scott Stallings
17…Chad Campbell
18…Heath Slocum
19…Jim Furyk
20…Charley Hoffman


180…Hunter Haas
181…Jerry Kelly
182…Anthony Kim
183…Scott McCarron
184…Camilo Villegas
185…Colt Knost
186…Greg Chalmers
187…Kevin Kisner
188…Bio Kim
189…Charlie Wi





3JACK

Monday, August 29, 2011

AimPoint, Debunking More Putting Myths

Here's a great one from 3Jack Top 20 Putting Instructor, Jamie Donaldson....showing that grain grows downhill, not where the river or the mountain or where the sun is directed.








3JACK

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Updated 3Jack Golf Blog Certified D-Plane Instructor List


I will be updating this list on the blog every Saturday. If you are a professional instructor and would like to become certified, please e-mail me at Richie3Jack@yahoo.com

I've added the following instructors to the list:

Ian Clark (UK)
Meindert Jan Boekel (Netherlands)
Paul Gorman (California)
Phil Rosenbaum (Maryland)
Tom Losinger (Georgia)
Chris Gustin (California)
Ronnie Martin (Illinois)
Dave Bove (Connecticut)
Mario Bevilacqua (Florida)
Keith Handler (updated his location from NY to Florida)
Bill McKinney (California)
Joseph Mayo (Nevada)
Tom Sheeley (Nevada)

So, here's the list updated:

Alabama

Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL
www.blackburngolf.com


Alaska


Arizona

Denny Alberts
Tuscon, AZ
www.dennyalbertsgolf.com

Steve Bishop
Scottsdale, AZ
contact info not available

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ
www.chuckevansgolf.com


Arkansas


Australia

Steve Khatib
Carlton, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia
www.golfdynamics.com.au


California

Dana Dahlquist
Long Beach, CA
www.dahlquistgolf.net

Paul Gorman
Fairfax, CA
Phone: 415-699-9117

Chris Gustin
San Juan Capistrano, CA
www.axisonball.com

Bill McKinney
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Phone: (949) 702-2022

Michael McLoughlin
San Diego, CA
Phone: (858) 602-8608

Mike McNary
Santa Ana, CA
www.mcnarygolf.com

Mac.O.Grady
Palm Springs, CA
www.macogradygolfschools.com


Canada

John Randle
Victoria, BC
www.randlegolf.com

Nick Starchuk
Toronto, ON
www.nrsgolf.com


Colorado


Connecticut

Dave Bove
Trumbull, CT
www.davebovegolf.com

Matt Noel
Norwalk, CT
mattnoel@silverminegolf.com


Delaware


Florida

Mario Bevilacqua
Destin, FL
Phone: (484) 995-1629

Dan Carraher
Winter Garden, FL
http://dancarrahergolf.com

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL
www.coregolfacademy.com

Keith Handler
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
www.wix.com/keithhandler/keith-handler-golf#!

George Hunt
Orlando, FL
www.moradgolfgeorgehunt.com

Steve Sieracki
West Palm Beach, FL
www.stackandtiltgolfswing.com

TJ Yeaton
St. Augustine, FL
www.tjyeaton.com


Georgia

Jeff Evans
Macon, GA
www.pureballstriker.com

Tom Losinger
Woodstock, GA
Phone: (770) 345-5557


Hawaii


Idaho


Illinois

Nick Clearwater
Chicago, IL
Clearwater@PGA.com

Ronnie Martin
Addison, IL
www.ronniemartingolf.com

Indiana

John Dal Corobbo
Carmel, IN
www.johndalcorobbo.com


Iowa


Kansas


Kentucky

Mike Finney
Anchorage, KY
www.brianmanzella.com

Chris Hamburger
Simpsonville, KY
Phone: (502) 722-2227

Jon Hardesty
Anchorage, KY
www.brianmanzella.com


Louisiana

James Leitz
Slidell, LA
http://www.pinewoodcc.net/instruction.html

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA
www.brianmanzella.com

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA
www.robnoelgolfacademy.com


Maine


Maryland

Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD
www.lakepresidential.com/institute/team.cfm

Phil Rosenbaum
Hunt Valley, MD
(410) 527-4653 ext. 115


Massachusetts

Billy Bondaruk
South Dennis, MA
www.billybondaruk.com


Michigan


Minnesota


Mississippi


Missouri


Montana


Nebraska


Netherlands

Meindert Jan Boekel
Rijswijk, Netherlands
www.mjboekel.nl


Nevada

Joseph Mayo
Las Vegas, NV
www.radargolfacademy.com

Tom Sheely
Las Vegas, NV
www.radargolfacademy.com


New Hampshire


New Jersey


New Mexico



New York

John Graham
Webster, NY
www.johngrahamgolf.com

Mike Jacobs
Manor Hill, NY
www.nygolfworld.com


North Carolina

Spencer Huggins
Buies Creek, NC
www.hugginsgolf.com

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC
www.orrgolf.com


North Dakota


Ohio


Oklahoma


Oregon

Martin Chuck
Bend, OR
www.tourstriker.com


Pennsylvania

Erik Barzeski
Erie, PA
www.golfevolution.com

Mike Bennett
www.stackandtiltgolfswing.com

John Dunigan
Newton Square, PA
www.johndunigan.com

James Hirshfield
Erie, PA
www.golfevolution.com

Andy Plummer
www.stackandtiltgolfswing.com

Kevin Shields
Sewickley Heights, PA
www.brianmanzella.com

Dave Wedzik
Erie, PA
www.golfevolution.com


Rhode Island


South Carolina

Andrew Rice
Bluffton, SC
www.andrewricegolf.com


South Dakota


Tennessee

John Dochety
Tullahoma, TN
http://www.lakewoodgcctullahoma.com/


Texas


United Kingdom

Ian Clark
Surrey, UK
www.ianclarkgolf.co.uk

Simon Williams
Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK
www.simonwilliamsgolf.co.uk


Utah


Vermont


Virginia


Washington


West Virginia


Wisconsin



Wyoming

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Look At This Season's PGA Tour Rookie Winners

2011 has sparked the most victories by PGA Tour rookies in the history of the Tour (well, obviously the first year of the PGA Tour sparked the most victories by PGA Tour rookies…but you get the idea).

What I did is I devised a system of categorizing each player’s stats. Here it goes

1-12 = Super Elite
13-24 = Elite
25-48 = Good
49-72 = Above Average
73-86 = Slightly Above Average
87-108 = Average
109-120 = Slightly Below Average
121-144 = Below Average
145-168 = Mediocre
169-192 = Weakest on Tour

Here’s a list of the rookies that have won so far and my analysis of them.

KEEGAN BRADLEY



Driving = Elite
Putting = Average
Short Game = Mediocre
Danger Zone Play = Mediocre

The driver is easily Bradley’s bread and butter club. He is not only an elite driver of the ball, but he hits it very long and can hit it quite high so he can play to most American golf courses. I’ll need to take a look at his wedge game. Most of the longer players on Tour each year are weaker wedge players. With Bradley’s Danger Zone play being mediocre and his putting be average, I would be willing to guess that he probably makes it up a bit with an above average or better game from 100-150 yards away.


CHARL SCHWARTZEL

Driving = Above Average
Putting = Average
Short Game = Elite
Danger Zone Play = Above Average

It’s easy to see why Schwartzel has had a really good year and even won the Masters. No real weakness to his game and his putting is the worst part and that is still average. However, it’s made up for by his elite short game.


SCOTT STALLINGS



Driving = Slighty Above Average
Putting = Average
Short Game = Mediocre
Danger Zone Play = Elite

I actually think he could wind up with a better career than Bradley because he generates more clubhead speed and has been a more stable putter. Bradley’s driving is far better and Stallings also launches it lower which may take him out of the equation on some courses. 2012 will give us a better idea of his potential.


BRENDAN STEELE

Driving = Slighty Above Average
Putting = Below Average
Short Game = Average
Danger Zone Play = Elite

There’s certainly potential there as he’s more of a ballstriker than a short game and putter golfer at this point in his career. I think he needs more consistency off the tee.


JHONATTAN VEGAS



Driving = Slighty Below Average
Putting = Mediocre
Short Game = Slighty Below Average
Danger Zone Play = Weakest on Tour

Goes to show how a golfer just needs one really good week and can keep their card. Hasn’t made the top 50 in his last 4 starts and no top 30’s in his last 15 starts. So, the stats are not missing anything. I would not be shocked if he lost his card once his exemption is up.


CHRIS KIRK

Driving = Below Average
Putting = Below Average
Short Game = Above Average
Danger Zone Play = Good

He won the Viking Classic which keeps him on Tour. From my early analysis of stats, I felt that there’s a place for golfers on Tour who are best at Danger Zone play and Short Game. Typically this may mean that they struggle to hit some greens with their shorter irons, but if their short game is good, they can just get up and down a lot. And if their Danger Zone play is good, then they don’t have to worry about getting up and down from a tough position which usually happens when you miss from the Danger Zone. Jonathan Byrd is having his finest year on Tour and is doing it thru elite Danger Zone play and has the best short game on Tour this year. Kirk is sorta like a ‘poor man’s Jonathan Byrd’ this season.





3JACK

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Updated Robert Rock Swings

Some beauties here:











3JACK

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3Jack Updated PGA Tour Stat Rankings 8.24.11

One of my picks last week, Webb Simpson, won the Wyndham Championship.




Here's a look at the stats of the top 5 finishers:

Player…………...…......Drive…..Putt…..SG……..DZ
Webb Simpson ……......17……...59……..33……...68
George McNeill……….....85……..112……..97……..104
Tommy Gainey……….......48……...76……..151……..54
Vijay Singh………….......92……..127……..68……..35
Jerry Kelly………...…....43……..101……..73……..184
Charles Howell III ….147…...23……..47……..143

A bit of a surprise here as Driving and Short Game were the most common factors, although on an old Donald Ross design, that should not be that surprising.

Here are my picks for the Barclays:

Nick Watney
Martin Laird
Jason Day
Matt Kuchar
Zach Johnson


Value Pick: Heath Slocum

Here are the rankings:


ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING




1…John Merrick
2…Joe Durant
3…Chez Reavie
4…Boo Weekley
5…Heath Slocum
6…Rod Pampling
7…Brandt Jobe
8…Bubba Watson
9…John Rollins
10…Gary Woodland
11…Briny Baird
12…David Toms
13…Dustin Johnson
14…Will MacKenzie
15…Bo Van Pelt
16…Jim Herman
17…Webb Simpson
18…Justin Hicks
19…Keegan Bradley
20…Chris Couch

182…Jimmy Walker
183…Padraig Harrington
184…Shaun Micheel
185…Paul Stankowski
186…Arjun Atwal
187…Bio Kim
188…Derek Lamely
189…Kevin Na
190…Chad Collins
191…Anthony Kim


PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)



1…Steve Stricker
2…Luke Donald
3…Nick Watney
4…Greg Chalmers
5…Fredrik Jacobson
6…Brandt Snedeker
7…Ryan Moore
8…Zach Johnson
9…Charlie Wi
10…Kevin Na
11…Scott Piercy
12…Bryce Molder
13…Matt McQuillan
14…Aaron Baddeley
15…David Toms
15…Kevin Streelman
17…Ben Martin
18…Rickie Fowler
19…Dean Wilson
20…Andres Romero


183…Paul Goydos
184…Joe Durant
185…Alex Cejka
186…Scott Gutschewski
187…Heath Slocum
188…Will MacKenzie
189…Justin Hicks
190…D.J. Trahan
191…Ernie Els
192…Boo Weekley


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1…Jonathan Byrd
2…Brian Gay
3…Steve Stricker
4…Bill Haas
5…Steve Flesch
6…Aaron Baddeley
7…Michael Bradley
8…Fredrik Jacobson
9…Scott Gutschewski
10…Nick Watney
11…Chris Riley
12…Zach Johnson
13…Rory Sabbatini
14…Tim Petrovic
15…Jason Day
16…Ricky Barnes
17…John Mallinger
18…D.A. Points
19…Charl Schwartzel
20…Kevin Na


182…Alex Prugh
183…Jeff Overton
184…Robert Garrigus
185…Ben Martin
186…Alexandre Rocha
187…Martin Piller
188…Garrett Willis
189…Marc Turnesa
190…Billy Horschel
191…Will MacKenzie


ADJUSTED DANGER ZONE PLAY



1…David Toms
2…Dustin Johnson
3…Phil Mickelson
4…Sergio Garcia
5…Robert Allenby
6…Nick Watney
7…Alex Cejka
8…Boo Weekley
9…Y.E. Yang
10…Jim Furyk
11…Ian Poulter
12…Graeme McDowell
13…John Senden
14…Robert Garrigus
15…Rickie Fowler
16…Chad Campbell
17…Kevin Stadler
18…Scott Stallings
19…Heath Slocum
20…Jonathan Byrd


182…Joe Ogilvie
183…Jhonattan Vegas
184…Jerry Kelly
185…Scott McCarron
186…Camilo Villegas
187…Colt Knost
188…Greg Chalmers
189…Kevin Kisner
190…Bio Kim
191…Charlie Wi






3JACK

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Elkington's Tour Quality Short Game

Here's the trailer for Steve Elkington's 'Tour Quality Short Game' video



I was really pleased with Elk's video with Geoff Mangum, 'The Reality of Putting' and highly recommend it to anybody. I did a quick check on Elk's 'Adjusted Short Game Play' rankings and here's what he's done since 2009

2009 - 54th
2010 - 10th
2011 YTD - 62nd

So you would be learning the inside secrets from one of the top 25th percentile short game players on the PGA Tour. That sounds like a deal to me.






3JACK

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yoda on the Grounds

Here's a video from 3Jack Top 50 Instructor, Lynn Blake (www.lynnblakegolf.com) with him on the grounds of this past week's PGA Championship. Fun stuff!









3JACK

Saturday, August 20, 2011

D-Plane Certification Web Site Badges

Here are the D-Plane Certified Instructor Web site badges. A big thanks to Erik Barzeski (www.golfevolution.com) for creating these for me.










3JACK

Thursday, August 18, 2011

D-Plane Instructor Certification Initiative

Video on the D-Plane from golf instructor, Steve Bishop.



One of my blog readers (pavaveda on the forum) suggested I should try and develop a 'D-Plane certification program.' I thought this sounded like a good idea. As the reader put it, he gets frustrated when he's looking for lessons from instructors and finds out that they are using the 'old' and incorrect laws of ball flight.

I've received similar complaints from numerous readers of the blog. The concept behind this is simple...

We want to figure out what instructors understand the laws of ball flight and the geometry of the circle (or the elipse) and how they use them in their lessons. We want to know how one would approach things like the basic principles of impact in order to hit a draw or a fade, the affect on the club path with relation to the ball and the low point, diagnosing impact by viewing the ball flight and diagnosing ball flight by looking at #'s provided by Trackman or FlightScope.

This 'certification' has NOTHING to do with actual swing theory and philosophy because that is highly subjective and even ambiguous. Instead, it is about understanding and applying the stone cold objective physics of D-Plane to students' golf swings.

I do not make any money off this blog, so I feel that helps me become an independent party to the subject.

For instructors, it helps bring forth prospective students. I will get a 'web site badge' like the one created for my Top 50 Instructor List.


So an instructor can put that on their Web site.

Furthermore, I could constantly update the list and put the updated list on the blog once a month. And I could also put the list for viewing on the forum (http://richie3jack.proboards.com).

I am collaborating on some thoughts on how to certify some instructors. However, there are quite a few instructors that I know from talking to that will be already 'certified.' Here's a list of the names off the top of my head (alphabetical order).

Alabama

Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL
www.blackburngolf.com


Alaska


Arizona

Denny Alberts
Tuscon, AZ
www.dennyalbertsgolf.com

Steve Bishop
Scottsdale, AZ
contact info not available

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ
www.chuckevansgolf.com


Arkansas


Australia

Steve Khatib
Carlton, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia
www.golfdynamics.com.au


California

Dana Dahlquist
Long Beach, CA
www.dahlquistgolf.net

Michael McLoughlin
San Diego, CA
Phone: (858) 602-8608

Mike McNary
Santa Ana, CA
www.mcnarygolf.com

Mac.O.Grady
Palm Springs, CA
www.macogradygolfschools.com


Canada

John Randle
Victoria, BC
www.randlegolf.com

Nick Starchuk
Toronto, ON
www.nrsgolf.com


Colorado


Connecticut

Matt Noel
Norwalk, CT
mattnoel@silverminegolf.com


Delaware


Florida

Dan Carraher
Winter Garden, FL
http://dancarrahergolf.com

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL
www.coregolfacademy.com

George Hunt
Orlando, FL
www.moradgolfgeorgehunt.com

Steve Sieracki
West Palm Beach, FL
www.stackandtiltgolfswing.com

TJ Yeaton
St. Augustine, FL
www.tjyeaton.com


Georgia

Jeff Evans
Macon, GA
www.pureballstriker.com

Hawaii


Idaho


Illinois

Nick Clearwater
Chicago, IL
Clearwater@PGA.com

Indiana

John Dal Corobbo
Carmel, IN
www.johndalcorobbo.com


Iowa


Kansas


Kentucky

Mike Finney
Anchorage, KY
www.brianmanzella.com

Chris Hamburger
Simpsonville, KY
Phone: (502) 722-2227

Jon Hardesty
Anchorage, KY
www.brianmanzella.com


Louisiana

James Leitz
Slidell, LA
http://www.pinewoodcc.net/instruction.html

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA
www.brianmanzella.com

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA
www.robnoelgolfacademy.com


Maine


Maryland

Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD
www.lakepresidential.com/institute/team.cfm


Massachusetts

Billy Bondaruk
South Dennis, MA
www.billybondaruk.com


Michigan


Minnesota


Mississippi


Missouri


Montana


Nebraska


Nevada


New Hampshire


New Jersey


New Mexico



New York

John Graham
Webster, NY
www.johngrahamgolf.com

Keith Handler
Rye, NY
www.wix.com/keithhandler/keith-handler-golf#!

Mike Jacobs
Manor Hill, NY
www.nygolfworld.com


North Carolina

Spencer Huggins
Buies Creek, NC
www.hugginsgolf.com

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC
www.orrgolf.com


North Dakota


Ohio


Oklahoma


Oregon

Martin Chuck
Bend, OR
www.tourstriker.com


Pennsylvania

Erik Barzeski
Erie, PA
www.golfevolution.com

Mike Bennett
www.stackandtiltgolfswing.com

John Dunigan
Newton Square, PA
www.johndunigan.com

James Hirshfield
Erie, PA
www.golfevolution.com

Andy Plummer
www.stackandtiltgolfswing.com

Kevin Shields
Sewickley Heights, PA
www.brianmanzella.com

Dave Wedzik
Erie, PA
www.golfevolution.com


Rhode Island


South Carolina

Andrew Rice
Bluffton, SC
www.andrewricegolf.com


South Dakota


Tennessee

John Dochety
Tullahoma, TN
http://www.lakewoodgcctullahoma.com/


Texas


United Kingdom

Simon Williams
Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK
www.simonwilliamsgolf.co.uk


Utah


Vermont


Virginia


Washington


West Virginia


Wisconsin



Wyoming




If I didn't list you, I would recommend e-mailing me at Richie3Jack@yahoo.com. If you would like to give me some suggestions, please e-mail me as well.

I am looking for actual golf swing instructors who get paid for lessons.






3JACK

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Optimizing Your Compression

I wanted to discuss a term that I’ve neglected for the most part, mainly because I didn’t quite understand it. That term is ‘spin loft.’

Sooooo…what is spin loft?

Spin loft is the difference between the dynamic loft of the club and the attack angle.

Dynamic Loft = The loft on the club at impact.

Dynamic loft has a lot to do with shaft lean at impact.


Generally speaking, if you have more shaft lean, the loft at impact will decrease. So, let’s say you have a 7-iron that is designed with a loft of 36*. If you have enough forward shaft lean, that loft may be at 17* at impact, thus you have a dynamic loft of 17*

Attack angle is how much up or down one hits on the ball as shown in the picture below


Thus, if you have a 7-iron with a dynamic loft of 17* and an attack angle of -2*, your ‘spin loft’ would be 19*

So…why is this important?

Spin loft is about two things…compression and trajectory.

We can get a lot of compression by hitting down on the ball and getting more shaft lean. However, it may not do us that much good if we can’t get it up in the air. So, for optimal results we need a balance of compression and trajectory. In other words, we want to compress the daylights of the ball, but get it up in the air enough to allow for it to go the optimal distance.

Here’s Trackman’s ‘optimal fitting’ for drivers. Notice the attack angles and the spin lofts numbers


Take a look at the 90 mph swing with a -5* attack angle. It states that the optimal spin loft is 18.9. That means if you swing at 90 mph and your attack angle is -5* downward, in order to maximize that compression, you need a dynamic loft of 13.9*

Now if we look at a 90 mph swing with a +5 upward attack angle, the optimal spin loft is 13.4. Meaning that the optimal dynamic loft is 18.4*.

As you can see, if you hit down you need to make sure the dynamic loft of the club is not too de-lofted or the ball will go too low. Conversely, if you hit up, you need to make sure you do not have too much loft with the driver face at impact, or you will hit it too high.

So, what does that mean for irons?

I’m not sure what the optimal #’s would exactly be for certain irons, but that chart gives us a good idea. Look at the attack angles for each given swing speed. As you can see, if the attack angle is the same…we need a higher dynamic loft the faster we swing it.

With an 8-iron, the PGA Tour average is 87 mph with an attack angle around -4.5* down. Compare that to a 3-iron with a average of 98 mph and an attack angle of -3.1* down. So the dynamic loft for the 3-iron has to be less than the dynamic loft of an 8-iron for us to maximize the compression. Fortunately, it helps that the 3-iron is designed with less static loft than an 8-iron.

I’ll be looking more into spin loft in the future.






3JACK

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

3Jack Updated PGA Tour Stat Rankings 8.15.11

Sunday’s winner of the PGA Championship, Keegan Bradley



Here are the stats of the top 5 players (excluding Anders Hansen who does not have stats since he doesn't have enough rounds to qualify).

Player………….........Drive……Putt…..SG…......DZ
Keegan Bradley……...17……...85…...163….....163
Jason Dufner ………..36……...115…...96…......63
David Toms………….....13……...18…...102…......1
Scott Verplank …….80……...104…...46….....109
Robert Karlsson ….150……..98…....20….....58

It basically came down to driving and Danger Zone play with there being a mixed bag of both. Guys like Keegan Bradley drive the ball great, but are poor from the Danger Zone and somebody like Karlsson is a poor driver of the ball but very good from the Danger Zone. Overall, Verplank was most telling as he improved in both categories over the week, but improved more in driving than Danger Zone play...so Atlanta Athletic Club was very much about driving the golf ball.

Here are my picks for this week's Wyndham Championship:

Brandt Jobe
David Toms
Webb Simpson
John Rollins
Brandt Snedeker


Value Pick: Chris Couch


ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING



1…John Merrick
2…Chez Reavie
3…Joe Durant
4…Boo Weekley
5…Heath Slocum
6…Bubba Watson
7…Brandt Jobe
8…John Rollins
9…Rod Pampling
10…Gary Woodland
11…Dustin Johnson
12…Bo Van Pelt
13…David Toms
14…Jim Herman
15…Briny Baird
16…Aron Price
17…Keegan Bradley
18…Steve Elkington
19…J.J. Henry
20…Justin Hicks


181…Shaun Micheel
182…Paul Stankowski
183…Arjun Atwal
184…Bio Kim
185…Padraig Harrington
186…Derek Lamely
187…Michael Sim
188…Kevin Na
189…Anthony Kim
190…Chad Collins


PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)



1…Steve Stricker
2…Brandt Snedeker
3…Greg Chalmers
4…Luke Donald
5…Nick Watney
6…Fredrik Jacobson
7…Ryan Moore
8…Zach Johnson
9…Charlie Wi
10…Kevin Na
11…Scott Piercy
12…Bryce Molder
13…Matt McQuillan
14…Aaron Baddeley
15…Kevin Streelman
16…Ben Martin
17…Angel Cabrera
18…David Toms
19…Rickie Fowler
20…Dean Wilson


182…Joe Durant
183…Kyle Stanley
184…Alex Cejka
185…Scott Gutschewski
186…Justin Hicks
187…Jeff Maggert
188…D.J. Trahan
189…Heath Slocum
190…Ernie Els
191…Boo Weekley


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1…Jonathan Byrd
2…Brian Gay
3…Steve Stricker
4…Bill Haas
5…Aaron Baddeley
6…Steve Flesch
7…Fredrik Jacobson
8…Michael Bradley
9…Nick Watney
10…Scott Gutschewski
11…Tim Petrovic
12…Zach Johnson
13…Chris Riley
14…Rory Sabbatini
15…Jason Day
16…Ricky Barnes
17…D.A. Points
18…Charl Schwartzel
19…Kevin Na
20…Robert Karlsson


181…Robert Garrigus
182…Chez Reavie
183…Alex Prugh
184…Alexandre Rocha
185…Martin Piller
186…Kevin Stadler
187…Ben Martin
188…Marc Turnesa
189…Garrett Willis
190…Billy Horschel


ADJUSTED DANGER ZONE PLAY



1…David Toms
2…Dustin Johnson
3…Phil Mickelson
4…Sergio Garcia
5…Robert Allenby
6…Nick Watney
7…Alex Cejka
8…Y.E. Yang
9…Boo Weekley
10…Jim Furyk
11…Graeme McDowell
12…John Senden
13…Robert Garrigus
14…Rickie Fowler
15…Heath Slocum
16…Ian Poulter
17…Scott Stallings
18…Michael Thompson
19…Jonathan Byrd
20…Padraig Harrington


181…Jhonattan Vegas
182…Alexandre Rocha
183…Colt Knost
184…Greg Chalmers
185…Camilo Villegas
186…Kevin Kisner
187…Scott McCarron
188…Michael Sim
189…Bio Kim
190…Charlie Wi






3JACK

Monday, August 15, 2011

Upcoming Equipment Experiments and Changes

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a lot of equipment changes and got a fitting with FuZion Golf. I’ve also been getting into clubmaking and experimenting with it. Here is my current set of clubs

Driver– Adams Speedline, 9.5* loft, Talamonti PD-70 Tour X shaft, 44 inches long (tipped 1 inch)
3-wood – Adams Fast10, 15* loft, Talamonti PD-70 Tour X Shaft, 42.5 inches long
3-hybrid – Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK, 20* loft, True Temper Steel Hybrid shaft (Stiff)
3-PW – Titleist 690MB, True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft, +1/2”, standard loft, 1* flat
SW – Miura K-Grind, 56* Loft, KBS Tour Wedge Shaft, +1/2” inch, 63* lie angle
LW – Ping Tour-S Rustique, 60* loft, KBS Tour Wedge Shaft, standard length, 64* lie angle
Putter - Edel Columbia (custom made)
Grips – Golf Pride Tour Wraps on Wedges and woods, Lamkin Crossline Cord on irons
Glove – HIRZL, Trust Feel, X-Large
Ball – Srixon Z-Star or Titleist Pro V1

GRIPS

One thing I’ve been experimenting with is grips and gloves. In Florida, the summertime weather consists of blazing heat, rain, then a 1-hour cooling off period, then extremely humid weather. I can say that I’ve just about tried them all. I’ve tried Dry Hands, Gorilla Gold, resin, sandpaper, cold and wet towels, etc.

The best solution I’ve found so far is the Lamkin Crossline Cord grips and Gorilla Gold. In fact, I am happy that I’ve found a way to use Gorilla Gold to deal with the sweat. Simply wrap it around my grip during the practice swing(s) and then put it in my pocket when I go to hit the real shot. That helps keep the grip dry while making the hands very sticky.

I’ve also found the HIRZL gloves are indeed good. But, the top of the left hand is not sweat-proof and that tends to render it a bit useless. Of course, we are talking about summertime, Florida heat. I think in most states, the HIRZL glove would work wonders. I still recommend them and play them, I just have to be smarter how I use them because they are not cheap.

Still, I have been researching for grips that work best with sweat and GripMaster USA’s grips are supposed to be the best. They certainly are some of the most expensive.


I’ll be testing out the ones above, which go for $20 a piece. While that is more than I would prefer to pay, if I could get 2-years out of a set of grips and it works against sweat as good as advertised, WELL worth the money.


DRIVER

One of the blog readers and forum members, Rohlio, recommended Talamonti golf shafts to me. They are designed by the former co-founder of SST Pure, Phil Talamonti. I have the PD-70 shaft in both my driver and 3-wood and have been extremely pleased with the performance. You can find them at www.talamontishafts.com.


I plan on sticking to the Talamonti shafts, which come spine aligned (Talamonti calls it ‘MOI Optimized’).

I’ve also been introduced to a product by Harrison called the ‘ShotMaker Insert.’

The ShotMaker Insert is designed for .335 tip graphite shafts (it works with some .350 tip shafts). It is a shaft insert that goes down into the shaft, all the way down to about 6 inches from the tip end of the shaft. The idea is that it stabilizes the tip end better to produce a slightly lower launch and slightly lower spin, but provide for a much more accurate result. They are becoming quite the rave already on the internet despite being only on the market for less than 2 months. The insert itself goes for $99, but the installation tools and the insert cost about $140.

Here’s the neat thing about it. It’s got a 30-day, money back guarantee. Furthermore, if you like it and want to change the shaft that you use, you can do that. You can practically have it for life if you want. I think it’s interesting because I think it makes graphite shafts, across the board, better.

I’ve also got a Wishon golf account and just purchased a Wishon Golf 919THI driver head, with 9* of loft.


The basic thoughts I’ve received about 919THI head is that they launch a little high for their loft (that’s why I got a 9* loft) and that they perform just as long on sweetspot strikes as any other OEM, but the real advantage is on mis-hits. Combine that with the Talamonti shaft and the Harrison Shotmaker insert, this is becoming a very exciting club for me to make and hopefully put in my bag permanently.


FAIRWAY WOOD & HYBRID

Currently I’m gaming an Adams Fast10 3-wood with a Talamonti PD-70 shaft in it. It was a pretty fast and cheap alternative for me, although I think I will probably switch to a Titleist 910F-d and install a Talamonti PD-80 (just a slightly heavier shaft). I would also put a Harrison Shotmaker insert in there if I like what I have in the driver.

For the hybrid, I am looking at the Titleist 910H with a 19* loft. I would probably install their hybrid shaft, the Talamonti H-85.


Unfortunately, the Shotmaker insert will not fit as the Talamonti H-85 is a .370 tip. I am leaning towards getting these after the FSGA Mid-Am qualifier.


IRONS

Currently, I have been using the Titleist 690MB irons because I had that set already and they had +1/2” shafts that I was looking for (although they are DG S300 shafts and not KBS Tour shafts).

I am still considering the Taylor Made Tour Preferred MB irons, but first I will be testing out a Wishon Golf 555M 7-iron with the KBS Tour shaft and the GripMaster USA grip.


Again, I keep hearing great reviews about the 555M irons and I’m interested in seeing for myself. I would probably not get these until after the FSGA Mid-Am qualifier, unless I fall in love with the 7-iron. I can get the KBS shafts spine aligned and installed myself and save a significant amount of money over getting the Taylor Made irons.


SWING CHANGE AND CLUBS

Part of what has to be taken into consideration is how future changes (hopefully improvements) in my swing will affect the clubs that best fit me. In my last time using Trackman, I was getting my driver speed in the 107-110 mph range. I ended the session by flattening out my downswing plane and that got my 8-iron clubhead speed to 87 mph, which is currently the PGA Tour average swingspeed for an 8-iron (according to Trackman). My feeling is that when my swing gets more to where I want it, I should be able to get my driver speed up to the PGA Tour average, which is currently 112 mph. I think that those improvements in the swing not only will affect swing speed, but will affect how I load the shaft.

However, the loading of the shaft has more of an affect on what type of shaft a golfer needs than swing speed. Swing speed, IMO, gives a bit of a ballpark for the fitter to work with. And to be honest, I believe I can get an even better ballpark by looking at a golfer’s swing from the caddy view as to how they load and unload the club.

The question is ‘how much will that affect the equipment that will suit me best?’

My guess at this time…probably not a whole bunch. That’s why I feel comfortable in putting together the Wishon 919THI driver with the Shotmaker Insert and Talamonti Shaft. And like I said, I can keep the ShotMaker insert if I decide to install a different shaft. And with the irons I can always take out the KBS Tour shafts. Same with the 3-wood and hybrid. Hopefully this will all work out well.






3JACK

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some New AimPoint Videos

The past couple of times I played golf, some golfers remarked at my ability to make some rather long and difficult putts that had quite a bit of break to them. I was asked how, but I gave a brief explanation. I basically have 3 priorities on those putts:

1. Realistic expectations

The chances of me making those putts were slim, so the goal is to have good touch/speed (so the hole is more likely to 'get in the way')...give it a 'good chance'...and to not 3-putt.

2. Find the high and low anchor.

3. Visualize the last 5 feet of where the putt would have to be to go in

4. Aim above #3

5. Re-focus on speed/touch


Here's a video showing #3 and #4



Very important to understand that. And for those looking to go to an AimPoint clinic or work with an AimPoint instructor, understanding the video above will speed up the learning process.

Here's a video by 3Jack Top 20 Putting/Short Game instructor...and AimPoint certified teacher, Jamie Don



And here's an example of a great success that can be had by understanding AimPoint



Yes, AimPoint works better than you will imagine.

With all of the talk about 'Danger Zone' play, I often get asked if it makes putting 'less important.'

The answer is no.

With all of my statistical data, the main point is that if you improve a part of the game, over time it will improve your score (providing the rest of your game stays the same).

Bunker play is an example of a part of the game that doesn't have a big affect on most golfers' handicap. But, if you go from a mediocre bunker player to a great one...over time that will help.

It just will not help nearly as much as if you go from mediocre Danger Zone player to a very good Danger Zone player.

I have Putting as #2 of importance for players. In fact, here's the order I have the 4 critical parts of the game at:

1. Danger Zone Play
2. Putting
3. Driving
4. Short Game (around the green)

Putting and driving are pretty close together, but that's because if you are very long with the driver, in general you can be a worse putter and get away with it. If it weren't for that, putting would be well ahead of driving. Although it's telling that if you don't hit it long, you probably want to work on your putting more.

Anyway, at #2 improving putting is indeed a great help to one's game.

On the PGA Tour, it usually doesn't matter as much as Danger Zone play unless the golfer is in the top 30 in Putts Gained or approximately in the bottom 50 in Putts Gained. If Golfer A is ranked 70th and golfer B is ranked 90th in putts gained, then that generally doesn't make a huge difference. But a golfer who can get to 25th in putting (and was never in the top 30 before), that could lead to a career year. Conversely, a putter who drops to 170th in putting is likely to squander potential victories and could suddenly lose their Tour card.

I think the great thing about AimPoint is that it should greatly help Tour golfers not finish in the bottom 50 in putting and increase their chances of being in the top 30. And for the amateur, it should help them do the same for their given handicap.






3JACK

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2012 PGA Tour Players To Watch Out For

Since the PGA Championship is coming up soon, that is the beginning to the end of the 2011 golf season on the PGA Tour. So I wanted to take a look at some players that I think could ‘do some things’ in 2012.

Nick Watney

Driving – 36th
Putting – 5th
Short Game – 9th
Danger Zone – 6th



Watney’s weakness seems to be that he just has not done much in the Majors this year (46th at Masters, Cut in both the US and British Opens). Still, he plays all of the big events and still puts up great stats and wins a lot of money. And he had a great year in the Majors in 2010. If there’s a guy that could win 2 majors in one year, Watney is it.


Rickie Fowler

Driving – 109th
Putting – 19h
Short Game – 150th
Danger Zone – 14th

A lot of people claim that Steve Marino is the ‘best player to have not won a tournament’, but Rickie’s #’s clearly outshine Marino’s at this point and Rickie has clearly come closer to winning this year than Marino. I think Fowler hurt himself earlier this season with some driving woes. He was ranked in the 150’s in Advanced Total Driving earlier this year and now has it down to 109 which is pretty much about average. Those early tournaments tend to favor good putting a bit more, but I think the driver held him back. But last year he was a good driver of the ball. I expect him to get it all together soon and really get on a roll.


Scott Stallings

Driving – 69th
Putting – 86th
Short Game – 167th
Danger Zone – 17th

Stallings has been a strong Danger Zone player who hits it a long ways and has been a decent putter and good driver of the ball all season long. From my research it’s pretty typical that rookies will struggle at either Driving, Putting or Danger Zone play. It appears the most common struggle is with the putting. I think with Driving and Danger Zone play, the big key is clubhead speed. If the rookie struggles there, but generates a lot of clubhead speed…as long as they can get another year on Tour they usually fix those issues. Stallings has shown he can adjust to life on the Tour and may be a young player to watch out for.


Tommy Gainey

Driving – 43rd
Putting – 87th
Short Game – 146th
Danger Zone – 44th



Not only do I feel Rickie Fowler is better than Marino, I actually think Gainey has more potential to win a tournament than Marino (now watch Marino win the PGA). He’s a far better Danger Zone player than Marino (currently ranked 127th) and can drive it better than Marino. Furthermore, judging from the stats, it appears that Gainey hits up on his driver adding a lot of distance.

Gainey’s rookie year, 2009, was marred with awful putting and a poor short game, but some promise with the driver and the Danger Zone. In fact, Scott Stalling reminds me a lot of him although Stallings is far more refined and generates about 5 mph more of clubhead speed (118 vs. 113 mph). Still, I think Gainey has learned the ropes and will likely be a steady driver and Danger Zone player for next few years and with experience a little better putting, I can see him winning a couple of tournaments next season.


Chris Couch

Driving – 21st
Putting – 35th
Short Game – 138th
Danger Zone – 38th

Couch has flown under the radar this year, but has made 15 out of 16 cuts with 3 top-10’s and 5 top-25’s. In fact, the one cut he missed he dropped out due to injury.

His big weakness is his wedge game, which doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things on the PGA Tour. Particularly since he went from one of the worst Short Game play rankings to 138th, which is in the below average to mediocre range. But still, one can work with that. He’s got the ‘big’ parts down like the driving, putting and Danger Zone play. He also generates a lot of clubhead speed (ranked 11st fastest on Tour). He still hits it very long, but generates a lot of spin on the ball, which may not be optimal for distance, but I think it allows him to keep the ball in play. If he can stay healthy and get into more tournaments, I could see him having a very successful 2012.



Dustin Johnson

Driving – 15th
Putting – 162nd
Short Game – 162nd
Danger Zone – 2nd

Obviously, the talent is there, but he has to fix the putting issue or he’ll just keep missing out. At the way he drives the ball and plays from the Danger Zone, average putting will do him well and that typically is what happens with players like Johnson who start winning majors…they go from being a bad putter to an average putter. He’s also referred to the guy that hits it the furthest of anybody on Tour into the wind. And when he misses, he doesn’t miss big time nearly as often as the other bombers do. I think his game suits all 4 majors the best, the question is can he turn around his poor putting?



Gary Woodland

Driving – 10th
Putting – 159th
Short Game – 149th
Danger Zone – 39th



He reminds me of Dustin Johnson, just a little less refined. He’s another guy who was a rookie in 2009 who struggled in some areas, particularly putting and Danger Zone. But, he generates a ton of clubhead speed and wound up getting himself back on Tour and dramatically improving his Danger Zone play which was all that was needed to get him his first Tour win and a lot of good finishes.


Charley Hoffman

Driving – 45th
Putting – 141st
Short Game – 30th
Danger Zone – 26th



For my money, as sound of a golf swing as anybody out on Tour and he has the stats to prove it. He also generates a lot of clubhead speed. Furthermore, he improved his short game quite a bit this season.

However, his putting is still holding him back and I get the feeling he’ll try doing things like going to a long putter and finding it to be little help to him.



Martin Laird

Driving – 51st
Putting – 42nd
Short Game – 64th
Danger Zone – 67th

Laird is in the ‘pretty darn good at everything’ category at this point and he already has 2 victories, so he’s primed for an ultra successful season as much as anybody on Tour. I also liked Brendon De Jonge, but I don’t like his low launching drives relative to his driver speed. That’s often an indication that the player could soon start struggling with the driver. Laird generates more clubhead speed (117 vs. 113 mph) and launches it much better.


Kyle Stanley

Driving – 37th
Putting – 183rd
Short Game – 68th
Danger Zone – 23rd



Only 23 years old and as a rookie he’s done well at everything except for putting. He’s 8th in driving distance and generates about 118 mph of clubhead speed from his 150 pound frame. Given he’s a rookie, there’s a good chance he could greatly improve on the putting with a year under his belt.





3JACK

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trackman-A Jolly Good Machine That Nobody Can Deny


I often get asked why Trackman is so good, particularly if you under D-Plane. I mean, can’t you just look at the flight of the ball and judge from there?

In the past couple of weeks I’ve worked on Trackman twice. A couple of weeks ago with my fitting at FuZion Golf (www.fuziongolf.com) and then last Saturday at Celebration Golf Club. Saturday was the 5th time I’ve used Trackman.

What I found was that the more one uses Trackman, the more they start to get the hang of it. I understood the numbers and data, the second time I used Trackman. However, I was (and still am) needing to learn how to use Trackman the most effective and efficient way possible. And I actually believe that if your golf instructor does not have a Trackman, you may want to take a lesson and then use the Trackman to better help incorporate the checklist of things you worked on in the lesson.

I like the way that Trackman owner, Graeme McDowell uses it here in this video:



McDowell hits a draw and is happy with that ball flight. He understands the ball flight laws enough to know that his path has to be inside-to-out with relation to the face. I’m guessing on this, but I believe in this video he’s trying to make sure that his path doesn’t get too far inside-to-out, causing an ‘over-draw.’ So for McDowell, when he feels like he is aimed square to the target, that generally produces the path that he desires.

While that sounds simple…that confirmation can be extremely helpful to a golfer. And later on he may find that when he aims square that his path gets too far inside-to-out and then realize he may need to make other adjustments to get the path he wants. So yes, I feel it’s a very pedestrian use of Trackman, but it shows how even rudimentary application of Trackman can be extremely helpful.

For me, I have had issues with coming over the top in the downswing. I believe I have all of the knowledge there, but actually executing it has been the issue. I’ve used my Casion EX-FH20 hi-speed camera to help with the issue. Now, to its credit I believe the Casio has helped my swing tremendously over the past 9 months. But as typical with myself, I’ve got the big pieces in place, I’ve just got too many of the small pieces out of wack. And those small pieces start to add up.

THE RAW DATA ISSUES




When I got my fitting at FuZion Golf, the main issue I had was that my driver’s attack angle was -4 to -5* downward. The PGA Tour average with the driver is -1.3* down. As I’ve stated quite often here, I really don’t believe a golfer can consistently hit the modern driver well an attack angle more than -2*. This is because the hot spot on the modern driver is up towards the crown of the club and you cannot maximize the smash factor and you will greatly increase your spin rate. Meaning, the ball is not being compressed to its max and the spin rate can work negatively against you.

My belief was that in my case, the attack angle problems were due to the OTT move. We can measure that with Trackman by what they call the ‘Vertical Swing Plane.’ I didn’t get readings of the VSP at FuZion, but I already knew they were very steep by just looking at video.

Thus, the main goal was to work on those two factors…Attack Angle (mainly with the driver) and mainly the Vertical Swing Plane.


THE PROCESS

Here’s why Trackman is such a great tool. I warmed up first and then took out the driver. Ripped it. Dead straight, perfect trajectory, hit dead square on the sweetspot. And the reading?

-3.9* attack angle.

Yes, ball flight can lie to the golfer.

After that I wanted to try 2 different things I’ve been working on with the driver. Without getting into details…one of them got the attack angle with the driver to -1* on my first swing. I probably averaged about -2* attack angle with that 1 thing I was experimenting with. Mind you, I was not focusing on the VSP with the driver in this go around…just the attack angle.

The other thing I experimented with led to some good shots, but the attack angle remained at -4* down. So, I knew what thing to junk and which one to keep. I also found it odd that by moving my ball position upward by about 1 inch, that actually increased my CLUBhead speed. I went from about 108 mph with the driver to 110 mph with the driver. Why? I have no idea.

When I moved onto the irons….without getting into detail…I estimated I had about 6 different pieces of the swing that needed to be cleaned up that were causing my over the top issues.

I experimented with some things I thought of and the stuff that my instructor, George Hunt (www.moradgolfgeorgehunt.com) have gone over.

Eventually I started hitting my 8-iron because for whatever reason, it was the only club with a grip that wasn’t too slick from all of the sweat (it was only about 105* heat index).

And here’s where I recognized the beauty of practicing with Trackman.

Provided that you know the numbers and that you know what numbers you want to work on and you have a good idea of what you need to do to ‘achieve’ those numbers…one can hit shot after shot and have each shot measured precisely and in detail.

It’s much easier to do that then to stop…fix the camera position, hit a shot quickly, stop the camera, then look at the swing in the camera…having to pause at certain spots and trying to judge for yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, the camera is still a crucial tool to have. But with Trackman and a camera, it’s much much more effective. .

One of the issues with the camera as well is that it’s not feasible to record every swing and then look at it. Often times I’ll flush a shot and the swing feels different, but I don’t have it recorded on my camera. Then I try it again with the camera recording it and the swing doesn’t look any different. With Trackman, you will see the difference after each shot.

I tried a bunch of things with the 8-iron, trying to get the VSP around 60* as it was around 67* when I started. One of the things I tried was to feel like I was ‘swinging out to rightfield’ more. I tried that and not only did it now work, the swing actually got MORE upright. The VSP would get up to 72*.

And the thing was that I would hit it flush and it would fly pretty well more often than not. I thought maybe Trackman was mis-calculating the data. Maybe I was aligned incorrectly with relation to the Trackman. I then recorded my swing on camera, got another 72* VSP and when I looked at the swing on video…it was extremely upright.

So yeah, that Trackman is accurate.

Eventually, I tried a bunch of different stuff. Some stuff had no effect on the VSP. Some stuff would work temporarily then disappear. Then I figured out something concrete and started to get the VSP with the 8-iron down to where I wanted it. What was funny was the last 3 swings I took with my 8-iron, they read swing speeds of 87, 88 and 87 mph and I felt like I was swing very lightly. The Trackman was recording a carry of 175 yards or so with those swings, which seemed like a long way to carry an 8-iron (I usually carry mind about 160 yards or so). I then got home and looked up Trackman’s PGA Tour averages and the Tour average with an 8-iron is 87 mph. I was also improving my attack angle. I hit a few drivers and started to get the attack angle from +0.2* to -0.9*.

By Monday I decided to record my swing on video again and there was a big difference. I estimate those 6 pieces I had issues with are now down to 3 pieces I have issues with.

Don’t get me wrong, I could not have cut down those issues without the knowledge from the lessons I’ve received. But the Trackman allowed me to learn how to execute the mechanics on every swing. That in turn allowed me to repeat those mechanics and more quickly learn what feels work for me in order to consistently execute those mechanics. For me, that’s a lot of progress in a very short time.






3JACK

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

3Jack Updated PGA Tour Stat Rankings 8.8.11

Congrats to Adam Scott on winning the Bridgestone Invitational.



Let’s take a look at the top 5 and their stat rankings this year.

Player………........DRIVE……....PUTT……..SG……..DZ
Adam Scott ………...46……......133……..161……..32
Rickie Fowler …….107…….....19……...150……..14
Luke Donald ……...130……......4……...166……..27
Jason Day………......94……......31……....15……..75
Zach Johnson ……..56…….......8……....12……..53

Obviously, the Danger Zone play was a major factor at Firestone. But where it looks weird is with the putting and the other players (Fowler - Zach) are all excellent putters, but the winner has been mediocre putting this year.

On Thursday I heard more raving about Adam Scott and the long putter and looked up his putts gaiend ranking and he was ranked 170th (as of Thursday). So he finishes the Bridgestone Invitational and is now ranked 133rd. He was 4th in putts per round and putts per GIR at Firestone, so putting was very important there along with Danger Zone play.

Here are my picks for the PGA Championship. Note that since it's a major I make 10 picks instead of my usual 6 picks.

Luke Donald
Rory McIlroy
David Toms
Nick Watney
Brandt Snedeker
Rickie Fowler
Jason Day
John Senden


Value Pick: Robert Garrigus

ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING



1…John Merrick
2…Chez Reavie
3…Joe Durant
4…Boo Weekley
5…Bubba Watson
6…Heath Slocum
7…Brandt Jobe
8…John Rollins
9…Rod Pampling
10…Gary Woodland
11…David Toms
12…Bo Van Pelt
13…Jim Herman
14…Briny Baird
15…Dustin Johnson
16…Aron Price
17…Bill Haas
18…Keegan Bradley
19…J.J. Henry
20…Justin Hicks


182…Jimmy Walker
183…Paul Stankowski
184…Arjun Atwal
185…Padraig Harrington
186…Bio Kim
187…Derek Lamely
188…Michael Sim
189…Kevin Na
190…Anthony Kim
191…Chad Collins


PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)



1…Steve Stricker
2…Brandt Snedeker
3…Greg Chalmers
4…Luke Donald
5…Nick Watney
6…Fredrik Jacobson
7…Ryan Moore
8…Zach Johnson
9…Charlie Wi
10…Kevin Na
11…Scott Piercy
12…Bryce Molder
13…Matt McQuillan
14…Aaron Baddeley
15…Kevin Streelman
16…Ben Martin
17…Angel Cabrera
18…David Toms
19…Rickie Fowler
20…Dean Wilson


183…Kyle Stanley
184…Alex Cejka
185…Scott Gutschewski
186…Justin Hicks
187…Jeff Maggert
188…D.J. Trahan
189…Heath Slocum
190…Will MacKenzie
191…Ernie Els
192…Boo Weekley


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1…Jonathan Byrd
2…Brian Gay
3…Steve Stricker
4…Bill Haas
5…Aaron Baddeley
6…Steve Flesch
7…Fredrik Jacobson
8…Michael Bradley
9…Nick Watney
10…Scott Gutschewski
11…Tim Petrovic
12…Zach Johnson
13…Chris Riley
14…Rory Sabbatini
15…Jason Day
16…Ricky Barnes
17…D.A. Points
18…Charl Schwartzel
19…Kevin Na
20…Robert Karlsson


182…Chez Reavie
183…Alex Prugh
184…Alexandre Rocha
185…Martin Piller
186…Kevin Stadler
187…Ben Martin
188…Marc Turnesa
189…Garrett Willis
190…Billy Horschel
191…Will MacKenzie


ADJUSTED DANGER ZONE PLAY



1…David Toms
2…Dustin Johnson
3…Phil Mickelson
4…Sergio Garcia
5…Robert Allenby
6…Nick Watney
7…Alex Cejka
8…Y.E. Yang
9…Boo Weekley
10…Jim Furyk
11…Graeme McDowell
12…John Senden
13…Robert Garrigus
14…Rickie Fowler
15…Heath Slocum
16…Ian Poulter
17…Scott Stallings
18…Michael Thompson
19…Jonathan Byrd
20…Padraig Harrington


182…Jhonattan Vegas
183…Alexandre Rocha
184…Colt Knost
185…Greg Chalmers
186…Camilo Villegas
187…Kevin Kisner
188…Scott McCarron
189…Michael Sim
190…Bio Kim
191…Charlie Wi




3JACK

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Great Wedge Myth

One of the biggest myths in golf is the theory that ‘once the PGA Tour pros get a wedge in their hand, they’ll flag it stiff most of the time.’ Or the ‘in order to play on the PGA Tour, you have to have the best wedge game in the state.’

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of PGA Tour players with phenomenal wedge games. But there are plenty of PGA Tour players who don’t have phenomenal wedge games or even pretty good wedge games.

But to dispel these myths, let’s take a look at some numbers from the current, 2011 Tour roster.

From 75-100 yards…from the fairway, the leader in proximity to the cup is Henrik Stenson, averaging 10 feet 10 inches to the cup on those shots.

If he’s the leader and he’s almost at 11 feet…then the PGA Tour players certainly are not ‘flagging it and putting for birdie.’ In fact, the PGA Tour average putts made from 10-15 feet is 29%.

Also, remember…that statistic is from shots in the fairway and again…that’s the LEADER.

The average from 75-100 yards from the fairway is about 17 feet 4 inches. And the average made putts from that distance is about 18%. And here’s a couple of the worst from 75-100 yards from the fairway.

At a 181st, averaging 22 feet 3 inches to the cup…this man made the Ryder Cup team last season.


At 187th, averaging 22 feet 6 inches to the cup, this golfer is considered one of the premier ballstrikers of our generation.


And at 188th, averaging 22 feet 8 inches to the cup, this golfer looks good in green.



As I’ve said. Anytime you can improve a part of your game, that is a good thing. If a golfer like Chris Couch (ranked 191st at 25 feet 0 inches) became a top 25 player from 75-100 yards…over time this would affect his scores for the better.

But, it becomes about prioritizing the parts of the game.

The person that is worst from 75-100 yards from the fairway is Scott McCarron, averaging shots 25 feet 3 inches to the cup. Compare this to Henrik Stenson, currently last in approaches from the fairway at 175-200 yards…leaving them on average 43 feet 2 inches. Or Kevin Kisner, last in shots from the fairway at 200-225 yards, leaving them 52 feet 8 inches.

Not only can Tour players get up and down from 25 feet, 3 inches…but, we can usually 2-putt from there and even make some 1 putts. But with 43 feet or 52 feet, that’s a much different story.





3JACK

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Watching Out For Bum Shafts

I got some questions about drivers and clubs in general this week and I wanted to share my experience at FuZion Golf.

The first thing that they do at FuZion Golf is measure the specs of your current equipment.

One of the things they measure is the frequency of the shafts. For those who don’t understand shaft frequency, it’s a way to measure the stiffness of the shafts. Now, clubmakers like Tom Wishon (www.wishongolf.com) go a bit further with what they call ‘MOI Matching’ which attempts to get each club to ‘feel’ the same when it comes to shaft flex and the way the club feels when you swing it.

I came into the shop with the following woods and their shafts:

Adams 9015D driver. Harrison Saga X60 Shaft (X-Stiff0
Cleveland Hi-Bore XLS 3-wood, Fujikura Fit-On Gold 60g Shaft (Stiff)

The Adams driver, I installed the shaft myself. The trimming instructions told me that I did not need to trim from the tip and all I had to do was trim from the butt end of the shaft until it’s the length I wanted.

The Cleveland 3-wood had a stock shaft in it from Fujikura, a leading shaft manufacturer.

Here’s a sample of a chart that can be uses to show the cpm’s of the shaft for a certain length and what the flex of the shaft is.

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

These things vary depending on whether the shaft is measure with or without the clubhead on it. IIRC, they add about 30 cpm’s with the clubhead on.

And here’s a picture of a sample frequency measuring machine.


As you can see with the graph, the shorter the club, the more CPM’s there should be. So if you have a 45 inch shaft and you want a stiff flex, the shaft frequency will be at about 250 cpm. But if you want a stiff flex with a 41 inch shaft, it’s about 286 cpm (cycles per minute).

However, if you want to go and take a 45 inch shaft from stiff flex (250 cpm) to XX stiff flex…you need to get the shaft at 270 cpm (the more cpm per the same length of shaft, the stiffer the shaft).

I believe that a 45 inch driver with the clubhead on the shaft is considered X-Stiff at 290 cpm and stiff at 280 cpm. My driver shaft (labeled X-Stiff), was at 283 cpm.

And the 3-wood?

I believe that a ‘stiff’ flex with a 43 inch shaft with the clubhead on the shaft is 298 cpm. My 3-wood measured in at 253 cpm.

That was more in the LL flex category.

IMO, this shows that when buying a club you should probably buy 1 flex stiffer when it comes to graphite unless they are a very high end shaft maker that usually requires a special order from the OEM or that only allows for dealers to install the shafts (i.e. Oban, Bomb Squad, etc).





3JACK

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

3Jack Updated PGA Tour Stat Rankings 8.1.11

PGA Tour rookie, Scott Stallings, won the Greenbrier Classic this weekend.



The 26 year old who played at Tennessee Tech has been on my radar for awhile now as he hits the ball very hard (118 mph of clubhead speed), is decent driver of the ball and an excellent Danger Zone player and a decent putter. I had picked him a few times already this year, but he usually went thru some rookie struggles. Part of his game reminds me a bit of Tom Lehman’s, although I think he’ll wind up being a better putter, but not nearly as accurate.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the top 5 finishers and their stats for the year.

Player……………........Drive……Putt……..SG……..DZ
Scott Stallings……....62………88……...159……..18
Bill Haas…………........21……...59…….....5………146
Andres Romero……...94………20……...109……..23
Brandon De Jonge….58……....33……...57………47
Cameron Tringale…..79………43……...82……...107
Jimmy Walker……......177……..48…….145…….145
Gary Woodland……...10……..139…….158……..56

Romero and De Jonge were two of my picks last week and had De Jonge shot a 70 in the 3rd round when the scoring average was at its lowest, he would’ve won the tournament. Anthony Kim made a run at it. His driving is improving even though he’s ranked towards the bottom in Advanced Total Driving. But, that was due to his extremely poor driving from the previous months of play.

I would say that driving and putting played bigger factors at Greenbrier than Danger Zone typically does, although the winner wound up having the lowest Danger Zone ranking of the group and his Danger Zone ranking jumped up 10 spots after the tournament.

Here are my picks for the Bridgestone Invitational:

Nick Watney
Rickie Fowler
Dustin Johnson
YE Yang
Graeme McDowell


Value Pick: Martin Laird


ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING



1…John Merrick
2…Heath Slocum
3…Bubba Watson
4…David Toms
5…Chez Reavie
6…Boo Weekley
7…Brandt Jobe
8…John Rollins
9…Joe Durant
10…Gary Woodland
11…J.J. Henry
12…Dustin Johnson
13…Chris Couch
14…Chris Baryla
15…Nick Watney
16…Bo Van Pelt
17…Webb Simpson
18…Kenny Perry
19…Keegan Bradley
20…John Senden


182…Padraig Harrington
183…Martin Piller
184…Shaun Micheel
185…Derek Lamely
186…Paul Stankowski
187…Michael Sim
188…Bio Kim
189…Anthony Kim
190…Kevin Na
191…Chad Collins



PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)



1…Steve Stricker
2…Brandt Snedeker
3…Greg Chalmers
4…Luke Donald
5…Nick Watney
6…Kevin Na
7…Charlie Wi
8…Ben Martin
9…Zach Johnson
10…Fredrik Jacobson
11…Bryce Molder
12…Ryan Moore
13…Lucas Glover
14…Aaron Baddeley
15…Henrik Stenson
16…Kevin Streelman
17…Angel Cabrera
18…Y.E. Yang
19…Padraig Harrington
20…Andres Romero


183…Paul Goydos
184…Kenny Perry
185…Kyle Stanley
186…Alex Cejka
187…Jeff Maggert
188…D.J. Trahan
189…Scott Gutschewski
190…Heath Slocum
191…Ernie Els
192…Boo Weekley


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1…Jonathan Byrd
2…Brian Gay
3…Steve Flesch
4…Steve Stricker
5…Bill Haas
6…Rory Sabbatini
7…Chris Riley
8…Stewart Cink
9…Zach Johnson
10…Jason Day
11…Charl Schwartzel
12…Fredrik Jacobson
13…Michael Bradley
14…Aaron Baddeley
15…Nick Watney
16…Kevin Na
17…Tim Petrovic
18…Ricky Barnes
19…D.A. Points
20…Ian Poulter


182…Kevin Stadler
183…Martin Piller
184…Kenny Perry
185…Robert Garrigus
186…Ben Martin
187…Marc Turnesa
188…Garrett Willis
189…Henrik Stenson
190…Chris Baryla
191…Billy Horschel


ADJUSTED DANGER ZONE PLAY



1…David Toms
2…Padraig Harrington
3…Dustin Johnson
4…Phil Mickelson
5…Robert Garrigus
6…Alex Cejka
7…Rickie Fowler
8…Robert Allenby
9…Nick Watney
10…Sergio Garcia
11…Boo Weekley
12…John Senden
13…Brendan Steele
14…Kyle Stanley
15…Ian Poulter
16…Graeme McDowell
17…Kevin Stadler
18…Scott Stallings
19…Chad Campbell
20…Jim Furyk


182…Jim Renner
183…Greg Chalmers
184…Jhonattan Vegas
185…Camilo Villegas
186…Kevin Kisner
187…Scott McCarron
188…Michael Sim
189…Bio Kim
190…Charlie Wi
191…Henrik Stenson





3JACK