Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Underrated PGA Tour Golf Swings - Part II

Here's a look at Kevin Stadler's metrics from this year:

Advanced Total Driving Ranking: 52nd

Birdie Zone Ranking: 54th
Safe Zone Ranking: 26th
Danger Zone Ranking: 8th

Overall Zone Ranking: 7th
Total Ballstriking Ranking: 18th

Clubhead speed: 112.3 mph
Launch Angle: 11.7* (41st highest)
Spin Rate: 2,758 rpm (119th lowest)
Driving Distance Efficiency Ranking: 73rd



Similar to Jim Furyk, Stadler gets very upright in the backswing and then manages to flatten out the shaft tremendously in the downswing. I think Trackman and clubfitters would say that Stadler's driver is close to optimally fitting his swing becasue he's not generating too much or too little spin and the launch angle is not ridiculously high.










3JACK

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Underrated PGA Tour Golf Swings - Part I

For this week, I will be doing a 5 part series on 'Underrated Golf Swings on the PGA Tour.'

First, what makes a 'underrated golf swing?'

I believe that results matter. So, a golfer may have a very nice looking swing or something that appears mechanically sound, but if their results are poor, then it's not really a great swing. Stuart Appelby and Trevor Immelman are great examples of nice looking swings and 'name' players whose results do not match up with their swing cosmetics.

Anyway, one of the first players I discovered from the research in my e-book is Shane Bertsch.

Here's a look at Bertsch's stats:

Advanced Total Driving: 97th

Birdie Zone Ranking: 6th
Safe Zone Ranking: 6th
Danger Zone Ranking: 44th

Overall Zone Play: 3rd
Total Ballstriking: 26th

Clubhead speed: 107.9 mph
Launch Angle: 11.05*
Spin Rate: 2,284 rpm (3rd lowest)
Max Height: 67.3 feet (lowest on Tour)

Here's a couple of videos of his swing. I think from a body pivot perspective, his swing is exceptional.















3JACK

Monday, November 28, 2011

Putting Stroke Mechanics - Part V

In the final part of the series, I will discuss how green reading can influence the putting stroke mechanics. As many of you may know, I am a big proponent of AimPoint Golf's green reading system (www.aimpointgolf.com).

First, let's go over the 'Geometry of a Putt.'



What many amateurs do is that they will aim at the apex of the curve instead of aiming above the apex of the curve. We essentially aim above the apex so when we make contact with the ball, it will roll on the intended line.

From a stroke mechanics perspective, this really plays into the first objective...obtain the optimal speed on the putt so we optimize the effective size of the cup. We WILL make more putts if the effective size of the cup is about 4 inches wide than if it is 3 inches wide or 2 inches wide or 1 inch wide.

What golfers tend to do (and I was guilty of this as well) is that they aim at the apex instead of above the apex.

You're probably asking 'how does that affect the stroke mechanics?'

Simple.

If you aim at the apex, the only way you are going to start making putts is if you stroke the ball harder to reduce the amount of break. Let's say the AimPoint chart says you need to aim 3 inches outside the right edge, but the apex is actually at 2 inches outside the right edge. If you aim at the apex (2 inches outside the right edge), you will need to stroke the ball harder to take off that 1 inch difference.

And what happens is that when you start missing putts by hitting them too hard, then you will probably counter that by hitting some putts too soft and then your brain goes a bit haywire on you and you start to lose confidence in your putting. You then start to blame it on other things like the putter, the stroke type (wristy, swinging, push/piston), jabbing at the ball instead of staying in rhythm, etc.


WHERE LEFTY GET IT WRONG


If you have watched Phil Mickelson struggle with the flatstick over the years, you will notice that his biggest struggles are from 3 to 10 feet. He will actually make a lot of long putts, but miss putts from short distance badly.

If you also watch Mickelson on those shorter putts, he usually has a tendency to miss with a hard lip-out or knock a 4-footer about 4-feet past the cup.

What happens with Mickelson on the shorter putts is that he has the philosophy of 'hit the putt harder so I can reduce the amount of break and that will make it easier for me to sink the putt.'

The problem is that Mickelson is actually shrinking the size of the cup he is putting to and actually making it MORE difficult to make that putt. He now has to be aimed more precisely, hit the sweetspot more precisely and hope that a small indentation or a spike mark does not knock the ball off that line at all.

If Mickelson understood optimal speed's impact on his putting and knew where to aim, he would make a lot more putts.

Good putting starts with good speed, not with a 'good line.'


TRUSTING AIMPOINT

One thing I've found is that many times I'll read a putt with AimPoint and I don't quite trust the read and then get penalized for that lack of trust.

For example, I may have a read of 12 inches outside the left edge. But, it may feel more like 7 inches.

Obviously, that can just be me being used to reading the apex of the putt and if I stroke the putt, I'll miss on the low side. But, it can also be a case of me mis-reading the *speed* of the putt as well. And often times I'll realize that I was prepared to hit the ball too hard for that putt and now I have to adjust my aim and adjust my stroke to hit the putt softer.

Over time, this will make an impact on the stroke mechanics you use to execute the proper amount of speed on putts.


ROLLING THE BALL OVER THE INTENDED TARGET


I find that if you use AimPoint and practice it, you can greatly improve this aspect if you are aware about it.

For instance, in the AimPoint clinic I attended, I would often see the other students get the read down and know *where* to aim, but they would mis-aim the putter and try to compensate with the stroke.

I mostly saw golfers aim too far left and then incorporate an inside-to-out stroke to get the ball at the target. And they would tend to miss putts breaking to the left too low and putts breaking to the right too high.

Here's the breakdown (for righties):

LEFT AIM BIAS = Miss left breaking putts on the low side, right breaking putts on the high side.

RIGHT AIM BIAS = Miss left breaking putts on the high side, right breaking putts on the low side.


Lastly, one can understand the physics imparted on putts better and use that to improve their stroke mechanics.

What a lot of people, even those who use AimPoint, don't understand is that the AimChart is just telling the golfer *where* to aim. It is NOT telling the golfer the line of the putt.

Essentially, it's telling you where to aim so you can roll the ball on the line needed to make the putt go dead center into the cup.

Where I find this extremely important is on putts that have more of an early break to them.

For example, I may read a 20-foot putt at 18 inches outside the right edge, but it feels like it will break more like 12 inches. That's because I don't see the break being as prononced.

However, what will happen is that after impact, the ball will IMMEDIATELY take off to the left in the first 3-feet. Then the next 17-feet of the putt the putt may roll relatively straight. But, if I didn't aim to the right of the cup enough, I would have never made the putt because I didn't correctly account for that break immediately after impact.

Those putts are putts that often confuse golfers. If they miss the putt badly left, they may incorrectly assume that they pulled the putt when they actually just mis-aimed the putt at address. So they start working on their putting stroke mechanics instead of working on their green reading skills and knowing where to aim.









3JACK

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Putting Stroke Mechanics - Part IV

In part III, I discussed the stroke mechanics that most closely relate to speed/touch. Now I will go over the stroke mechanics that relate most closely to getting the ball to initially roll at the intended target.

GIANT MYTH IN STROKE MECHANICS

Perhaps the greatest myth in putting stroke mechanics takes place at address. This is the myth that the golfer should have the 'eyes over the ball at address.'


There is no scientific evidence that this is required or it will make somebody a better putter.

Instead, I tend to agree with Geoff Mangum in that the eyes should be looking in the same direction as the person's face.

For instance, in the FULL golf swing, we see a lot of golfers being told to have their 'chin up' at address with their eyes looking down at the ball. Thus, their face is directed one way while their eyes are looking in a completely different direction.

Essentially, we are better off looking at the ball at address, whether it be a full swing or the putting stroke, just like we would look at a book to read a book. We would not have our chin up and look down to read a book. The same applies for putting or the full swing.

By 'looking at the ball as if you were reading a book', you'll start to aim a bit better and your stroke path will fit you a bit better.


HEAD SWIVEL

There is a series of free YouTube videos on the stroke by Geoff Mangum that start with this video (6 part series) that I highly recommend.



One of the important and overlooked factors that helps with aim at address is the head swivel *before* the golfer strokes the putt. Mangum discusses it in one of the videos.

Essentially, we look at the intended target one last time before we putt. Golfers can do themselves a lot of good by having a simple head swivel to look at the target.

Since I'm right handed, the head swivel would look at the intended target by moving my chin (from my perspective) in a clockwise position. The chin would move from 6 o'clock to about 9 o'clock.

As Mangum shows in the videos, it is best to swivel the head so if the golfer were to afix something in the center of the top of their cranium...it would *not* actually move. It would just rotate as your head swivels to look at the intended target.

When the top of the cranium moves, it messes with the aim.

The head swivel not only helps with aim, but also with the golfer getting a sense of feel for the speed required on the putt. It's really a 'bang-bang motion.' You want to head swivel, aim and get the feel, return the eyes to the ball and stroke the putt. If you take too long it can disrupt your speed.

Put it this way, it's amazing when watching amateurs who have a crucial putt and they concentrate on the read and line of the putt. They will often read it quite well and have the putt online...but leave it short. They focused on everything but the speed/touch.

All that being said, the head swivel probably helps more with aim than with speed, but it's important to note both.


STROKE PATHS

Here are the 'traditional' stroke paths that golfers have been taught.

1. Straight Back - Straight Thru

2. Symmetrical Arc


Here are some paths that golfers make despite not being taught them (and can still putt well with these strokes).

1. 'Cut Across' Stroke

2. Inverted Symmetrical Arc (looks like a 'U' shape to the golfer)

3. 'Inside-to-Out' stroke


Like I stated, there are golfers who have putted well with each type of stroke. They have a good sense of touch/speed on putts and one way or the other, they can get the putter face square to the target at impact to allow the ball to initially roll at the intended target.


FILMALTER / MANGUM RECOMMENDED STROKE PATH

Marius Filmalter is a former co-founder of the SAM Puttlab and TOMI putting system. He has a Web site at www.mariusgolf.com

He along with Mangum recommend a stroke that arcs in the backstroke, arcs back to impact and then goes straight thru, down the line in the follow thru.

The reason being is that what really matters is at impact we get the face square to the intended target. In putting, the stroke path tends to influence what the face does.

With a Straight Back Straight thru stroke, the golfer has to manipulate the putter face and their arms and shoulders in the backstroke. This can throw off the thru stroke.

With the symmetrical arc stroke, the follow thru has to arc inward. This can cause the golfer to manipulate the pivot action...albeit minute...of their shoulders and hips.

With the Filmalter and Mangum recommended stroke, we don't have to manipulate the back stroke or the follow thru. It takes a lot of the timing required in the Straight Back-Straight Thru and the Symmetrical Arc stroke.

Mangum's video 'Reality of Putting' has a part called the 'Hansel and Gretal' technique that will allow the golfer to easily achieve this type of stroke.

I've found that for me, my tendency is to open the putter face right before impact. The Hansel and Gretal technique does a great job of preventing the putter head from opening up at impact.


STROKE ACTIONS & STROKE PATHS & STROKE LENGTHS & STROKE TEMPOS & BALL POSITION

This is more about 'compatibility' than 'mandatory.' So it's more 'recommended' by me, than 'you must do this.'

It should be noted that if a golfer wants to use the Filmalter/Mangum stroke (arc back, straight thru) that they can have a bigger arc in the backstroke or a smaller arc in the backstroke. Also remember, we want the *rhythm* of the stroke to be the same back as it is thru. The *tempo* (pace the putterhead is moving) may be different.

Wristy Action



- bigger or smaller arc in backstroke

- shorter stroke length

- quicker tempo

- back or forward ball position


Swinging Action



- bigger or smaller arc in backstroke

- longer stroke length

- slower tempo

- back or forward ball position



Push/Piston Action



- smaller arc backstroke

- longer or shorter stroke length

- slower or quicker rhythm

- forward ball position



STROKE RHYTHM

As I discussed in part III, we want the pace of the putterhead to be the same in the backstroke as it is in the thru stroke.

What higher handicappers tend to do is that they have a pace that is either too slow or too fast.

Higher handicappers tend to start out by decelerating the putterhead in the thru-stroke. Then they either struggle with that OR they try to counter it by accelerating the putterhead. We want the pace to be in rhythm....same pace back as the same pace thru.

I find that those who decelerate, their 'bad' strokes almost always leave the putter face open at impact. Those who accelerate will have 'bad' strokes that will either push or pull.

According to the Karlsen and Nilssen study, the good players, including European PGA Tour players, almost always had a thru stroke that was too slow. Again, I believe this is because the good players tend to be more careful.

A question was posed by David Orr (www.orrgolf.com) as to why it seems like golfers made a lot more long putts when they were junior golfers and my belief is junior golfers had very good rhythm in their putting stroke even if the rest of the mechanics are sloppy. But, once they get better and gain experience, that experience works against them as they try to be more 'careful' and in turn, their thru stroke is moving too slow.


GRIP PRESSURE AND NECKLINE

One of the things I found interesting in Mangum's videos is how grip pressure plays such an important role in putting and how most people fix issues with putting by incorrectly adjusting their grip pressure.

With the way putters are designed, if the grip pressure is TOO LIGHT, the golfer is now more apt to have the putter face OPEN at impact and miss the putt to the right.

Thus, golfers tend to grip the putter TOO LIGHTLY and need to grip the putter MORE FIRMLY. Of course, gripping it too tight can be problematic as well. But, too many golfers grip the putter too lightly.

I believe it's simple. Golfer are taught to grip the putter lightly. And when they have some yips, they are told that they are need to grip the club even lighter. But, the reality is that they cannot afford to grip it lighter. There *might* be other issues with their poor putting than grip pressure, but the prescription of gripping the putter lighter is typically not a good one.

Lastly, Mangum shows the importance of the neckline and how that can affect what the putterface is doing at impact.





Part V tomorrow.










3JACK

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Putting Stroke Mechanics - Part III

In part I, I discussed that when it comes to mechanics, I believe golfers are better off at executing the process instead of focusing on the ultimate result (making the putt).

Meaning...when it comes to mechanics golfers should focus more on having the optimal speed/touch on a putt and rolling the ball initially at their intended target. If they do that...they will start making more putts.

Parts I and II went over the influence that the putter has on the mechanics and touch along with getting the ball to initially roll at the target.

Now we can discuss the actual mechanics. And in part III we will discuss the mechanics and their influence on the touch/speed.

But once again, let me reiterate that there is no one way to putt well.


THE IMPORTANCE OF SPEED/TOUCH

Here's the Mangum video on 'optimal speed.'




I'll go over the key points:

1. Speed of the ball influences the effective size of the cup.

2. We want to have the optimal speed in order to make the effective size of the cup the largest we can make it.

3. The larger the effective size of the cup, the more likely we will make the putt.

4. Optimal speed will be a speed where the ball hits the back plastic of the cup.

5. If the ball hits the back dirt, it can still go in...but it's NOT optimal speed. Same with if the ball lands on the middle of the cup.

6. Optimal speed is about 2-3 revolutions per/second

7. Pelz's 17 inches past the cup is factually incorrect.

8. Also, Pelz's 17 inches past the cup is not a 'speed', it's a distance.

From what I've been told, if you have optimal speed on a putt (2-3 revolutions per second) it will roll about 6 to 12 inches past the cup in most instances.

BUT, it will be closer to 6 inches past the cup on slower putts (slow stimp and/or uphill putts). And it will be closer to 12 inches on downhill putts (fast stimp and/or downhill putts).




TYPES OF STROKE ACTIONS

I'm going to classify the stroke actions as follows:

1. Pendulum Swinging (i.e. Crenshaw)

2. Wristy (i.e. Casper)

3. Push/piston with trail hand (i.e. DiMarco with 'Gator Grip')

Any one of these types of actions can achieve a good, consistent speed on putts. There is no 'bias' towards hitting them too hard or too soft with these types of actions.


GRIP

We have our basic grips in putting like the overlap, interlock, reverse overlap grips, etc. Those grips can be used in conjunction with swinging and wristy strokes. I don't recommend the push/piston action because of the position of the trail arm.

Lead Hand Low Grip - Ala Jim Furyk. Probably best for a swinging motion. So, if you like a wristy motion or a push/piston motion, lead hand low is a poor idea.

Corey Pavin Grip - Pavin had a grip where he put his right palm under the grip so the fingernails of the right hand would be on top of the pistol grip. This is more compatible swinging or push-piston grips. Not good with wristy strokes.

Split Grips - Hands split apart like Hubert Green. More compatilble with swinging or push/piston grips.

Hands bunched together - grip is more compatible with a wristy action.

Claw Type grips - this is a push/piston action grip. Avoid using swinging or wristy actions with this grip. If you use these type of grips, understand that it's for those who putt best with a push-piston action


ADDRESS POSITION


There's a lot of people who believe that Tiger putts so well (or at least did) because of his posture at address and want to employ a flat spine type of posture. To me, this is ridiculous since we have such a minimal amount of pivot in the putting stroke that posture does not play a role in our touch/speed on the green. I will get to the other part of this in part IV.

Furthermore, the 'flat spine' posture can actually hur tthe back since the spine is not designed as flat.


BALL POSITION - the ball can be moved forward or back, depending on one's stroke and the putter. If one has the ball back towards the middle of the stance and does not hit much down on the ball, they will probalby need a higher loft than somebody who has the ball position up in their stance and hits up on the ball.

Crenshaw played the ball forward and hit up more and putted best with a low lofted (2*) Wilson 8802 putter. Padraig Harrington played the ball back in his stance and did not hit as much up on the ball and putted best with a higher lofted Odyssey putter (4*).

I would recommend not playing the ball further back than the middle of your stance. I think any type of stroke action (wristy, swinging or push/piston) can utilize an upward or further back ball position, depending on how the golfer executes those strokes and what type of putter they have.


GRIP PRESSURE

A major fallacy in putting is that the grip should be loose. However, according to Mangum the grip should be 'firm.' Unfortunately, it's difficult to judge what is 'firm' and what is 'loose.' But, the way the putters are designed, a loose grip has a tendency to lead the putter blade open at impact.

What often happens is a golfer that has the 'yips' and leaves the blade open at impact will then tell themselves to loosen the grip and that just makes them yip it even worse. Thus, it hurts both their ability to hit the ball over the intended target and their speed.


STROKE RHYTHM AND LENGTH

For more on this, I highly recommend watching Geoff Mangum's 'Reality of Putting' video.

For these purposes, when I say 'rhythm' with the putting stroke, we want the putter head to be traveling at virtually the same pace going back as it does going thru.

It doesn't matter if the pace is fast or very slow, we just want the pace to be the same. Here's some good rules of thumb:

Swinging stroke = slower pace, longer stroke

Wristy stroke = faster pace, shorter stroke

Push/Piston stroke = faster pace, shorter stroke

Obviously, we run into 2 issues with rhythm:

1. Thru-stroke is at a faster pace than backstroke

2. Thru-stroke is at a slower pace than the backstroke.

What I've found usually happens is that when golfers first start to get into the game and struggle with their putting, it's because their thru-stroke slows down...mainly because they 'move their head.' Then, to counter that...they 'jab' at the ball by making their thru-stroke too fast.

But, according to the Karlsen and Nilssen study, they have found that low handicap golfers tend to make the mistake of having a thru stroke that is TOO SLOW. I believe that this is done because the golfer is trying to be 'too careful' in the thru stroke, particularly with the stroke mechanics, how well they hit the ball and their speed. But, by being 'too careful' they actually become WORSE with their stroke path, ball contact and speed.

Just remember, same pace back as the same pace thru.

TIP: When taking practice strokes, close your eyes and repeatedly make practice strokes focusing on your rhythm. Do NOT stop, just keep making the practice strokes. Say to yourself 'ONE (backstroke), TWO (thru-stroke) at the same pace.


STROKE LENGTH

One can have any sort of stroke length as long as it fits their stroke action.

Nicklaus' hybrid action of wristy and push-piston created a shorter stroke length. But, the rhythm was the same pace back as the same pace thru.

It's quite simple, the amount of distance once can hit the ball (provided it hits the sweetspot) is due to the speed of the stroke and the length of the stroke.

So, if I have Nicklaus and Crenshaw putting from 30 feet, with Nicklaus having a faster stroke, Crenshaw's stroke will need to be longer to get his slower paced stroke to the cup.

Golfers need to figure out if they are struggling with speed/touch, is it due to rhythm or is it due to the length of the putt. And then understand the basic principles of each type of stroke action (wristy, swinging or piston) and see what works for them the best.


MOVING THE HEAD

Obviously, moving the head is a bad thing. I find that it affects the line of the putt more than the speed, but it certainly affects the speed. It's not that the head cannot move, but it should not happen before or at impact. I recommend Mangum's 'Reality of Putting' video and check out the 'Hansel and Gretal' technique to avoid that head movement.


PRE-PUTT VISUALIZATION

Near the end of the 'optimal speed' video, Mangum states that the golfer should visualize the speed needed for the ball to go into the cup to where it hits the back plastic of the cup 'optimal speed.'

He also says that visualizing to hit a putt a certain length is NOT how the brain works best.

I agree. So when you're looking at the cup as you get to putt, I feel it's best to visualize the putt going into the cup at a certain speed than focusing on a length.

HOWEVER, if you happen to struggle with the speed, as a LAST RESORT I will aim to a certain distance. If the greens are playing slower than I thought, I may visualize 1 foot past the cup. If the greens are too fast, I may visualize front edge. But again, it's a LAST RESORT.

I highly recommend looking at Mangum's discussion of how the brain NATURALLY has touch and how to use stroke rhythm and tempo to use the brain's natural sense of touch to your advantage on the green.


part IV - NEXT







3JACK

Monday, November 21, 2011

Putting Stroke Mechanics - Part II

In Part I, we discussed how the type of putter influences the stroke mechanics when it comes to speed/touch. Here, in part II, we will discuss how the type of putter influences our ability to get the ball to initially roll towards our target.

AIM AT ADDRESS



According to a study done by David Orr (www.orrgolf.com) which consisted of nearly 700 participants, ranging from the PGA Tour player to the 30 handicapper, here's what the results of their aim was from only 6 feet away (for right handed putters):

55% aimed left of the target
25% aimed right of the target
20% aimed at the target

Thus, 80% of the participants could not aim straight at the target from only 6-feet away.


THE IMPORTANCE OF AIM AT ADDRESS

I often get asked 'do you think all of the great putters aimed perfectly at the target at address?'

No.

In fact, Loren Roberts has been shown to aim 2* left of the target at address. He then gets the face pointing at the target at impact.

Essentially, what Roberts does is make the PROPER AMOUNT of COMPENSATION on a CONSISTENT basis.

The issue most golfers have, even if they are a PGA Tour pro, is that they cannot make that proper amount of compensation or cannot do it on a consistent basis.

That's why aim at address is important, it does not force the golfer to make a big compensation with their stroke to get the putter face pointing at the target at impact.

I'll put it this way, I think if one were to give Loren Roberts a putter that he could aim square at the target, he would have to make some adjustments to his putting stroke since he is used to a putter that aims left of the target. But, I think he could make that adjustment wherease I think a golfer who goes from a putter they aim square to a putter that they mis-aim could not make those adjustments.


PUTTER PROPERTIES THAT AFFECT AIM THE MOST

Here's what I believe are the main ones:

- Putter Head Design
- Alignment Lines & Sight Dots
- Hosel Design
- Loft



PUTTER HEAD, HOSEL AND LINES/DOTS DESIGN

The design and shape of the putter head, the hosel design and the lines/dots all can affect the way a golfer aims the putter.

This is something that Edel Golf focuses much of their effort on with their putters.

Since 80% of golfers cannot aim straight at the target, they idea is that when a golfer mis-aims, Edel fitters will try to fit them to a putter and gradually 'steer' their aim back towards the target.

For example, when I got fitted...I aimed right of the target. First, they worked to find a putter head shape that gets golfers to aim further left. Then they started to work on the hosel design that helps get golfers aiming left. Then they worked on the alignment lines and sight dots that gets golfers aiming more left. As the fitting went along, my aim gradually became less and less right of the target until they got me aiming at the cup.


REASONS FOR AIM BIAS TENDENCIES

From what I've been told, the reasons for aim bias has to do with where the golfer's eyes focus upon when they aim the putter.

A right handed golfer with a leftward aim bias (55% of golfers), tends to use the back part of the putter too much to aim the putter. This would be towards the cavity (for cavity back putters), away from the ball.

The rightwards aim bias golfers (25% of golfers), tend to use the front edge of the putter to aim.

Once again, I am a rightward aim bias golfer (25%). I am also left eye dominant, despite being right handed. There is a tendency for left eye dominant, right handed players to aim to the right. That's because their left eye is more over the leading edge of the putter and using that to aim the putter. The majority of right handed people are also right eye dominant. Which explains why the majority of right handed golfers have a left aim bias.


PUTTER DESIGN AND AIM BIAS

Here's some basics:

Head Design - Wider heads = more left. Thinner heads = more right. Thus, a Ping B60 model = more left, Ping Zing 2 model = more right. There are also factors like the topline and the shape of the edges of the putter head. But again, attributes that get the golfer looking more at the back of the putter head means the golfer will aim more left. Conversely, looking more at the front edge will get the golfer to aim more to the right.


Hosel - More offest = more left. Less offset = more right. Center shaft = more right. Same principles with where the golfer looks at the putter head to aim the putter apply.


Alignment Lines/Dots - On the cavity = more left. On the top line = more right. No dots or lines = more to the right.

Again, one does not *have* to have an Edel putter to aim correctly (or to putt well). But, I have 2 major issues with a lot of OEM Puters.

1. They have 'conflicting aim properties.'

Meaning, they'll have properties that tend to aim golfers very far to the right and other properties that will aim the golfer to the left. Like a Ping B60 model (aim left), with a center shafted design (aim right).


2. The wacky designs shapes


This is VERY important to understand.

According to the Karlsen and Nilssen study, what they found was that golfers who used mallet and high MOI putters actually THOUGHT that they aimed BETTER. But, in REALITY they were aiming it WORSE and they had more DISPERSION in their aim.

OEM's have created putters that are the perfect marketing product for them. They can create a high MOI putter and market it as a putter that rolls the ball better on mis-hits and that appears to the golfer to aim better, when it actually aims WORSE. Then when the golfer struggles with it, they wind up buying a new high MOI putter because they THINK they aim it better.

As one reader responded in Part I about how he feels he doesn't aim belly and long putters as well...I think it has more to do with the design of the putter head than length of the putter.

As Geoff Mangum has said, you want the shapes and lines to be relatively simple. The reason why I praise Edel putters is that the fitting focuses on your aim and you don't get those 'conflicting aim properties.' But, if you don't want to go the Edel route...figure out your aim bias and find a putter that has those type of aim attributes.


LOFT AND AIM

Simple enough:

More Loft = aim bias more towards the left.

Less Loft = aim bias more towards the right.

However, this brings up another instance of 'conflicting aim properties' of a putter. Many OEM's may have a putter that has properties to aim the golfer more to the right, but then has a high amount of loft which forces the golfer to aim to the left.

Thus, if you play on slower greens and want more loft, remember that the extra loft will tend to move your aim left. So, you might want a putter with 'aim properties' that promote rightward aim bias enough so the extra loft just offsets it.


LIE ANGLE AND PUTTER LENGTH

I've gone over the facets that affect aim at address. Now I want to discuss the additional factors that influence the ball initially rolling at the intended target.

I feel the 2 main properties that we have not discussed are lie angle and putter length.


LIE ANGLE

Here are 3 big influences that lie angle can have on the mechanics:

1. Where on the face the ball is struck

If the lie angle is too flat, the heel will stick up in the air. This will promote the golfer hitting the ball more towards the heel. Steve Stricker is one of the greatest putters in the world who employes this method.



Isao Aoki did the opposite, with the lie angle too upright and his toe would stick straight up.

Even if you miss the sweetspot by 1 dimple (0.14 inches), it will influence the initial direction. As far as mechanics go...

Toe up = wristy stroke, rightward aim bias

Heel up= swinging pendulum stroke, leftward aim bias

Of course, if the lie angle fits you...then you don't have to make a compensation.


LIE ANGLE AND STROKE PATH

Lie angle also tends to influence what type of stroke path the golfer will employ. The more upright the lie angle, the straighter the path will be. The flatter the lie angle, the more of an arc the path will be.

Thus, if you want to employ more of a straight back and straight thru stroke, you should want a more upright lie angle. If you are more comfortable with an arc in the stroke, go with a flatter lie angle.


SHAFT LENGTH

I feel shaft length influences the type of stroke (wristy, swinging or push) and the stroke path (SBST, Arc, Inverted Arc). As far as 'getting the ball to initially roll towards your intended target', the type of stroke path influences your ability to hit the ball square on the sweetspot and to get the face to point at the target at impact.

I think with non-belly and non-long putters, the stroke path can vary. But, with the belly putter, the stroke path almost HAS to be an arcing path. That's because the putter is anchored against he belly.

With the long putter, the path almost has to be close to Straight Back and Straight Thru as one can possibly get it. This is due to the upright lie angle that goes with the shaft length.

Again, it's something to remember. If you feel comfortable with a SBST stroke, I wouldn't advise buying a belly putter that is compatible with an arcing stroke.


REVIEW

1. Getting the aim at address right allows us to get the face square at impact with less compensations in our stroke. Mis-aim at address, golfer has to make a compensation to get the face square at impact.

2. Wider putter heads = promote left aim bias. Thinner putter heads = promote right aim bias.

3. More offset = promote left aim biase. Less Offset = promote right aim bias.

4. Alignment lines in cavity = promote left aim biase. Alignment lines on top line = promote right aim bias.

5. Keep shapes and lines simple for best aim.

6. Mallet/High MOI putters fool golfers into thinking they aim better, but typically they aim them worse when the aim is measured with a laser.

7. More Loft = Left aim bias. Less Loft = right aim bias.

8. Upright Lie Angle = more SBST and swinging stroke.

9. Flatter Lie Angle = more ARC and wristy stroke.

10. Belly Putter promotes a noticeably arcing stroke

11. Long Putter promotes more of a SBST stroke.

12. A 'push' stroke with the trail hand is best at SBST.





PART III tomorrow






3JACK

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Updated 3Jack Certified D-Plane Instructors List


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:

Audrey Ziff (Pennsylvania)
Andrew Marr (California)
Bill Devore (North Carolina)
Jaacob Bowden (Switzerland)
Brian McGrew (Georgia)


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

Andrew Marr
San Diego, CA
www.andrewmarrgolf.wordpress.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

Robert Campbell
Miami, FL
www.robertcampbellgolf.com

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

Sara Dickson
Naples, FL
http://saradickson.wordpress.com

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL
www.coregolfacademy.com

David Graham
Orlando, FL
(407) 238-7677

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

Brian McGrew
Dalton, GA
Phone: (706) 299-0013


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

Brad Pullin
Choudrant, LA
bradpullin@squirecreek.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

Bill DeVore
Charlotte, NC
billdevoregolf@gmail.com

Spencer Huggins
Buies Creek, NC
www.hugginsgolf.com

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC
www.orrgolf.com

Jason Sutton
Charlotte, NC
www.golfgurutv.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

Audrey Ziff
Warminster, PA
(215) 517-7452


Rhode Island


South Carolina

Andrew Rice
Bluffton, SC
www.andrewricegolf.com


South Dakota


Switzerland

Jaacob Bowden
Zurich, Switzerland
http://www.jaacobbowden.com


Tennessee

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

Errol Helling
Franklin, TN
www.errolgolf.com


Texas


United Kingdom

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

Phillipe Bonfanti
Swanage, UK
www.philippebonfantigolf.co.uk

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


Utah


Vermont


Virginia


Washington


West Virginia


Wisconsin



Wyoming

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Putting Stroke Mechanics - Part I

Recently, I had a reader e-mail me with questions in regards to putting stroke mechanics. There was also thread in the forum with regards to Jack Kuykendall's 'Top Spin Putter.' Here's a video for that product.



I wanted to go over my thoughts on the Putting Stroke Mechanics in a 5-part series.

Homer Kelley famously stated that there is no one way to swing a golf club. I believe the same is true for the putting stroke. Here's ten great putters off the top of my head:

Ben Crenshaw
Bobby Locke
Jack Nicklaus
Loren Roberts
Bill Casper
Brad Faxon
Luke Donald
Payne Stewart
Seve Ballesteros
Greg Chalmers

Each of them have different stroke mechanics. Some of them with extremely different stroke mechanics. Thus, I don't make any attempt to convince people to utilize the same stroke mechanics as say Luke Donald (who led the Tour in Putts Gained the past 3 seasons). Instead, I hope to have readers understand some basic concepts of stroke mechanics and better understand how to execute those mechanics...whichever they choose.

First, I like to get the objectives of stroke mechanics down. Let's NOT worry about hitting the ball into the cup. Why? Because ANYBODY can make 1 putt into a cup. The real key is to consistently make a lot of putts. And I believe when we focus more on the PROCESS than the final end result, it will allow us to improve our final end results over time.

To put it simply, the main objectives of stroke mechanics are:

1. Optimize the speed/touch put on the ball.

2. To get the ball to initially roll towards our intended target.

If we can do those 2 things consistently, I GUARANTEE you will improve your putting. And if we can do those 2 things consistently, I think it's likely we can be a great putter by ANY standard (amateur, Tour pro, competitive putting competitions, etc).

For this part in the series, I want to discuss the equipment and how it plays a part in stroke mechanics.

As some of you may know, I am a huge proponent and owner of an Edel Putter.



Now, that does not mean one cannot putt great with another putter. In fact, here's a look at the players that finished in the top 10 in Putts Gained in 2011 and the putter OEM that they use:

1. Luke Donald (Odyssey)
2. Steve Stricker (Odyssey)
3. Bryce Molder (Scotty Cameron)
4. Charlie Wi (Scotty Cameron)
5. Greg Chalmers (Bobby Grace)
6. Fredrik Jacobsen (Odyssey)
7. Jason Day (Taylor Made)
8. Kevin Na (Scotty Cameron)
9. Scott McCarron (Taylor Made)
10. Brandt Snedeker (Odyssey)

As we can see, there are a variety of different putters used by the players in the top-10 in putting. However, those players have great access to these putters and can find a putter that they aim very well. Whereas the average amateur golfer does not have the access to go out and try different putters.

With the putter itself, we have the following factors that can influence the stroke mechanics:

1. Putter head design
2. Hosel design
3. Length
4. Shaft flex
5. Grip
6. Lie angle
7. Loft
8. Weight
9. Aiming lines and sight dots

Now...so we don't forget...let's go back to the 2 basic objectives of stroke mechanics.

A. Speed/Touch
B. Initial roll of the ball at the target.


THE PUTTER AND SPEED/TOUCH



Weight - The general rule of thumb, which was backed up by the Karlsen and Nilssen study, is that lighter putters work better on SLOWER greens.

Yes, lighter works better on slower. It has to do with the amount of force required to swing the lighter putter and the amount of force to hit the putt on a slower green.

Conversely, HEAVIER works better on FASTER greens.

One of the nice features of Edel Putters is their Vari-Weight option. Zebra putters had this option as well. If you were playing faster greens, you can simply add some additional weight.


SHAFT FLEX - One thing the Edel Golf line of putters offers that I haven't seen in other putters is that you are fitted for the actual putter shafts. If I recall correctly, the more wrist action, the stiffer the shaft.

Thus, if you are more like Billy Casper, the shaft flex will be stiffer than say more of a pendulum looking stroke like Ben Crenshaw. This runs along the same line for golf club shaft fitting. Somebody with a 'snap release' ala Sergio will need a stiffer flex shaft than somebody with a 'full sweep release' like David Toms. It's because the acceleration profile of their swing is different. So, somebody with a wristy stroke like Casper would accelerate the putter more than Crenshaw.

HOWEVER, we do need to note what 'acceleration' is. Acceleration is the increase in speed. Thus, somebody can have a slower paced stroke, but actually accelerate it more.

I will get into acceleration with the putting stroke in part II.


SHAFT LENGTH

Obviously, there have been some great putters with different length shafts. Andy North's putter looked pretty short. I'm 6'4" tall myself and only carry a 34 inch putter. Raymond Floyd carried a putter at 37 inches. Then there are the belly and long putters.

I think the general point about the shaft length of a putter is that in putting, we want to have the putterhead moving moving back and thru at the same pace. We just need to understand that depending on what type of stroke we employ, what that pace will be. We can have a very quick pace as long as it's the same quick pace back and thru. And we can have a very slow pace as long as it's the same slow pace back and thru. We do NOT want fast back, slow thru or slow back and fast thru.

The general point to keep in mind is:

wristy = faster stroke tempo = shorter stroke length

swinging pendulum = slower stroke tempo = longer stroke length

If you are not using a belly or long putter, I feel the principles are simple. The longer the putter, particularly for a person's own height...the more wristy the stroke will become.

Mainly because the elbows are forced to bend more. If the arms are straight, then it constitutes less wrist action in the stroke.

Of course, some of this will depend on the golfer's posture. I don't believe Nicklaus had a longer putter, he just bent over more. That causes his elbows to be bent more and he used more wrist in his stroke.


I feel it's good to keep the principle of the shaft length in mind because if you have a wristy stroke, you probably don't want a 32 inch putter since it's not really compatible to your wrist action. You're essentially using a putter (32 inches long) that is more compatible with a swinging, slower tempo stroke.

Either that or you need to crouch over more like Nicklaus did or be very short in physical height.


BELLY AND LONG PUTTERS

I'm not very experienced with belly and long putters. I feel the belly putters are more designed for a swinging, pendulum action because the belly is used as a pivot point. So, if you feel comfortable with a wristy stroke with a 35 inch putter, going to a belly putter may not suit you.

With the long putters, I think it's how you grip the club with the trail hand. If it's gripped more like a 'claw' grip with the trail hand, now the stroke is more of a 'push' motion than a swinging motion. If you grip with the trail hand so the hand is somewhat like a normal putting grip, then it's more like a swinging motion...kinda like the belly putter.

I think the reason why many golfers don't see a lot of improvement in their putting when they go to the belly or long putter is that they often don't realize that the stroke is more of a swinging pendulum type stroke or a push stroke and they putt best with more of a wristy stroke.


LOFT

Loft is a bit more simple to understand when it comes to the stroke mechanics and speed/touch. A golfer generally wants more loft on slower greens and less loft on faster greens. This has to do with the ball rolling onto the grass blades of the green. With slower greens, the grass blades are longer. Therefore, we need more loft to launch the ball initially above the grass blades enough. Loft is probably not considered enough by people buying putters. And some popular putter companies have 4 to 5* of loft on their putters, which may be entirely too much.

Loft also plays an impact on the stroke mechanics. Typically, one wants more loft on the putter if they have a lot of shaft lean in their stroke or utilize a forward press. It's also good to have more loft if the ball position is further back in the golfer's stance.

Somebody like Crenshaw used a low lofted putter (2* Wilson 8802) with a lot of forward press.



However, at impact Crenshaw 'loses' some of that forward press he had at address.

Still, the course that Crenshaw played great at was Augusta, the fastest greens on Tour. And he did that despite being a short hitter off the tee and a sub-standard ballstriker.

I believe that Crenshaw, in his prime, probably struggled much more on slower Tour greens than he did on faster greens because of his putting stroke and putter he used.


OVERVIEW FOR PUTTER AND SPEED/TOUCH

Let's go over the basic synopsis of what has been discussed in Part I:

1. We want to find what type of putting stroke we are comfortable with: A) Wristy B) Swinging C) Push with Trail hand

2. Wristy = longer putter length so the elbows are noticeably bent. Stiffer shaft flex, slightly heavier putter. Avoid belly and long putters.

3. Swinging = shorter putter lengths or belly/long putters. Weaker shaft flex, slightly lighter putter.

4. Slow Greens = More loft, lighter putter.

5. Fast Greens = Less loft, heavier putter.

For somebody like myself, who uses a swinging-pendulum type stroke and plays on slow greens...I use a 34 inch Edel Putter with 3* loft and slightly lighter putter. This is more compatible with the slow greens and my slower, pendulum-swing type stroke.


part II tomorrow








3JACK

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dr. Gary Wiren Response to 3Jack Post on Wiren & Ball Flight


Back in March of this year, I wrote up a blog post on Dr. Gary Wiren's speech at the PGA Teaching Summit in conjunction with Trackman discussing the new ball flight laws.

That post can be found here:

3Jack Blog Post on Dr. Wiren And Ball Flight Laws

Dr. Wiren recently replied to me via e-mail with regards to that blog post. With his permission, below is his e-mail to me. I will let the readers decide for themselves.

**********************

Richie,

In case you haven't gotten around to reading what you are criticizing let me print it out for you.

Page 34, PGA Teaching Manual... "The direction in which the ball starts will always be the result of a combination of swing path direction and clubface position. Where the ball starts will also be influenced by the velocity of the clubhead. The slower the clubhead is traveling, say in a putt of chip, the more precisely the ball will come off in the direction the clubface is presented. With greater cluhead speed, the ball's starting path will move somewhat closer to the swing path line than before, but will always fall in between the face and path direction favoring the face angle. It is sometimes incorrectly stated that the ball starts on the swing path line. This is true only when the face is at right angles to that line. So remember, the face has a greater influence than path..."

Also on that page is a diagram of a wood clubhead that indicates the path, the face, and where the ball starts. The picture indicates very clearly that around 80% of the starting direction is influenced by the angle of where the clubface is pointing. Does it need to be anymore clear? The caption reads; "Although the path of the swing does influence the ball's starting direction it is of less influence than the face."

Now you are obviously a bright guy, but I find it difficult to understand how you can criticize something you haven't taken an effort to read. All I saw was that you bemoaned the fact that the book wasn't available to you. But it would have been if you walked into any golf shop and asked the pro for his copy. That is sloppy scholarship. After giving up 2 1/2 years of my life, plus the chance to compete in senior golf, as I had just turned fifty when I started writing, I get testy when I find a critic who hasn't read the book...and by the way the whole book was quite good. The comments that the PGA Teaching Manual is wrong, sheds a negative light on the entire work. (Note: The book now needs updating with current pictures, new technology, recent research, etc. and I have lobbied to get that done. But not because the Ball Flight Laws were WRONG!)

Trackman has done a good scientific job of measurement. But they promoted their product by denigrating my work. I do not criticize them although they certainly supported the criticism of the Manual. This is even though we came to the conclusion of FACE being more important then PATH for the ball's starting point 20 years before they started talking about it.

Don't say we didn't consider ANGLE OF ATTACK. I created that term (originally I called it angle of approach) as one of the factors in ball flight. I did not have access to the technology that showed the spin influence from that angle but we acknowledged it as a LAW. Now tell me, which of these factors,
PATH, FACE, CENTEREDNESS, ANGLE OF ATTACK, and SPEED does not influence a golf ball's flight? They all do so why are those five BALL FLIGHT LAWS wrong and why are they labled "Old" as if they were wrong?

I recognize that using the title LAWS from a scientific standpoint my be incorrect. SPEED, for example, in scientific terms would be called velocity. But this was not a text book for scientists...the golf world talks about clubhead speed,(not clubhead velocity), so I wrote it in the language of golf.



Respectfully, (not always what I got) Gary

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More MOI Matching Questions Answered


I’ve received a few more MOI Matching Questions.

RON from Philly asks about how MOI matching would pertain to what he is learning with John Erickson’s ‘Advanced Ballstriking’ swing theory (www.advancedballstriking.com)

For those who don’t know, Erickson believes in having heavy equipment. I do not disagree, although I think it’s probably a little too heavy for my tastes. I think his swingweights for his long irons are about D-4, then mid-irons about D-6, then short irons are in the D-8 to E-0 range.

Essentially, Erickson is applying some of the same principles in his own set as done with MOI Matching. He’s doing it by his own feel and with the help of a swingweight machine. However, MOI Matching is more exact and easier to accomplish if you have the machine.

If you are in ABS or any type of swing theory, you can use MOI Matching just fine. The clubs can still be quite heavy, it’s just making sure that the amount of force required to swing each club is the same. I used moderately heavy equipment and my optimal MOI with the irons is probably around 2,725 to 2,750. I would imagine Erickson’s optimal MOI is in the 2,800 – 2,825 range. Could be even higher.



ETHAN from London doesn’t quite understand the difference between swingweight and MOI because the difference between weight and mass is confusing.

Let’s break down swingweight and then really break down the term ‘force.’

Swingweight is the effective weight of a club when you are swinging the club. Force is mass multiplied by Acceleration (F = M x A)

Weight is the amount of gravitational pull an object has. Mass is the amount of matter an object has. Let’s say you have a 200 pound man on earth, fly to the moon. If he goes to the moon, he may weigh less than a pound. That’s because the gravitational pull from the earth to the moon has changed. However, his mass is still the same.

Where this applies to the golf club is that I can have two six irons that have different mass, but the same swingweight. I can take one of the six irons, install a heavier shaft and backweight it to make it the same swingweight as the other six iron with a lighter shaft and heavier clubhead.

But, that’s not all. The acceleration component also comes into play. And for the purposes of the golf club, we are talking about the ‘loading’ and ‘unloading’ of the shaft. Somebody like David Toms with a full sweep release accelerates the club differently than John Senden who has more of a snap release.






So a big part of finding the right MOI is to fit the MOI measurement to the golfer’s swing and how they accelerate the club. Somebody like Toms would probably want a lower MOI than Senden.


JIM from San Jose wants to know how the process of MOI Matching is done after the golfer is fitted for their MOI measurement.

Once the golfer has been fitted, you take the club and measure it on the machine. If you hit a 6-iron at 2,750 kg/cm2, we now want the rest of the irons at 2,750 (within 5 kg/cm2)

Typically, weight will be added to the clubhead. Most MOI fitters prefer to use hosel weights. The hosel weights actually go into the tip end of the shaft, then the fitter can just epoxy them into the shaft so they don’t come loose. What most fitters do is that they will dry assemble the club, put it on the MOI Machine and measure it. They will have to add so many kg/cm2 to account for the grip, ferrule and epoxy. So a dry assembled club at 2,720 the clubmaker may add 20 kg/cm2 in order to account for the grip and epoxy.

One can simply use lead tape as well. But, the cosmetics of lead tape are not as good and the lead tape tends to erode over time which will affect the MOI measurement. I have found that one 2 inch strip of high density lead tape equals about 30 kg/cm2. Thus, if the lead tape erodes, it can throw off your MOI measurement too much.

From there, clubfitters typically add about 70 kg/cm2 to the hybrids, 100 kg/cm2 to the fairway woods and 150 kg/cm2 to the driver. Thus, if your irons are matched to 2,750 kg/cm2, then your hybrid should be at 2,820, your 3-wood and 5-wood at 2,850 and your driver at 2,900.



CRAIG in Albany, NY is worried about the 3/8” club length increments over the traditional 1/2” increments

The good news is that it is NOT mandatory to use 3/8” increments in order to MOI match clubs. The reason why some clubmakers do that is that the clubheads get heavier as the iron club gets shorter. Thus, a 9-iron clubhead will weigh more than a 3-iron clubhead. Companies typically make the difference in weight in increments as well. MOI fitters have found that the 3/8” increment makes it easier to MOI match. And in reality, the difference in traditional increments versus MOI matching increments is unnoticeable. However, if a person wants to keep the clubs at ½” increments, it can be done. It may require some lead tape along with the hosel weight to make it exact.


STEVE in Des Moines, doesn’t understand my statement of clubmakers saying that MOI Matching is superior to frequency matching when they measure two different aspects of the club.

Frequency Matching is the measurement of the stiffness of the shaft. It’s done by measuring the cycles per minute (CPM) of the shaft when the shaft is deflected. MOI Matching measures the amount of force required to swing the club.

So yes…they are very different aspects.

I’m not saying I know for sure that MOI Matching is superior to frequency matching, but I understand the idea.

The main reason is that I can hit a shaft that is way too weak (and too stiff) quite well. In fact, I had an Adams Speedline driver with a shaft that measure at a Senior flex that I could hit extremely well for a long period of time.

The problem is that if I did not time the release of the clubhead properly, it would usually kick the shaft too soon. I believe that Dr. Sasho Mackenzie’s measurements are that for every 1 centimeter of forward shaft deflection, the face closes by 0.7*. That’s why we tend to hook shafts that are too weak. The shaft kicks too early for us and the face closes too much and that forces our path to be inside-to-out with relation to the face.

However, if MOI Matching gives the golfer the club with the same amount of force required to swing the club, the golfer is now swinging clubs that require a similar amount of acceleration. When that becomes consistent, it’s now easier for the golfer to release the club consistently. Instead of having to release one club at a different time than another club.

The problem with frequency matching is that graphite shafts typically come in quite weak as far as shaft flex goes. For instance, I ordered a Harrison Saga X-stiff shaft and it measured in at ‘stiff’ flex. I had a Fujikura shaft labeled at ‘stiff’ flex and it came it at Ladies stiff flex.

The way to combat that is to carefully trim the proper amount from the tip end and butt end of the shaft and measure the CPM. The problem is that it may require trimming more from the butt end or the tip end then you want. The more you trim from the tip end, that lowers the kick point…which will launch the ball higher with more spin. More you trim from the butt end, the kickpoint is moved up higher and that will launch the ball lower with lower spin. Therefore, by frequency matching, you may find it difficult to find a shaft with the flex you’re looking for and the shaft profile you are looking for.

With MOI Matching and the Harrison ShotMaker insert, I think it allows more shafts to ‘come into play’ and if a shaft is too weak, the ShotMaker Insert can stiffen it up a bit and cut down the spin while the MOI matching makes it easier to consistently time the release.






3JACK

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gary Woodland Swing Sequence

Here's a video where Gary Woodland discusses his swing with the driver.







3JACK

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Updated 3Jack Golf Blog Certified D-Plane Instructor List


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:

Robert Campbell (Florida)
David Graham (Florida)
Sara Dickson (Florida & Illinois)

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

Robert Campbell
Miami, FL
www.robertcampbellgolf.com

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

Sara Dickson
Naples, FL
http://saradickson.wordpress.com

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL
www.coregolfacademy.com

David Graham
Orlando, FL
(407) 238-7677

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

Brad Pullin
Choudrant, LA
bradpullin@squirecreek.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

Jason Sutton
Charlotte, NC
www.golfgurutv.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/

Errol Helling
Franklin, TN
www.errolgolf.com


Texas


United Kingdom

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

Phillipe Bonfanti
Swanage, UK
www.philippebonfantigolf.co.uk

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


Utah


Vermont


Virginia


Washington


West Virginia


Wisconsin



Wyoming

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How a Persimmon Wood Is Made

Here's an interesting video on how the old persimmon woods were made.








3JACK

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Influence of Point of Impact

Here's a diagram from 3Jack Top 50 instructor, James Marshall. It is showing how the launch angle will change with regards to where the ball is struck on the face of a driver.


Here's another diagram showing the impact point and how it affects the ball speed.


What's interesting is just how much the results change if one hits below the sweetspot. The issue is finding the sweetspot. I have been personally told that the sweet spot was more up towards the crown and a little towards the toe. Perhaps that was a bit of an erroneous concept because one could hit 1/2" above the center of the club and only lose 1 mph of ball speed, but add 2.5* of launch angle and perhaps that adds a little more distance to the shots.

For more of James Marshall's work, check out his Web site at www.jamesmarshallgolf.com.







3JACK

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

iswingbox.com

Here's a new golf 'net' invention that I thought some golfers would be interested in for the upcoming winter season.









3JACK

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Release by David Graham

Here's Faldo Golf Institute's, David Graham, on the 'golfer's flail' and the release of the club. Some great TGM basics.










3JACK

Friday, November 4, 2011

Best and Worst of Driving

The best driver on Tour at the end of the year wound up being Boo Weekley. Here’s a look at Weekley’s metrics:

Driving Distance (296.9 yards – 49th)
Fairway Percentage (66.7% - 31st)
Avg. Distance to Edge of Fairway (20.1 feet – 7th)

Here’s a look at Weekley’s swing:







Here are some of Weekley’s radar stats:

Clubhead Speed: 114.7 mph (57th)
Attack Angle: -3.3* (from recent Trackman data)
Launch Angle: 8.9* (11th lowest)
Max Height: 82.1 feet (24th lowest)
Spin Rate: 2,807 RPM (136th lowest)


The worst driver on the PGA Tour in 2011 was Anthony Kim.

Driving Distance (294.2 yards – 69th)
Fairway Percentage (47.0% - 186th)
Avg. Distance to Edge of Fairway (38.2 feet – 186th)

Here’s a look at Kim’s swing:





Here’s a look at Kim’s radar stats:

Clubhead Speed: 114.7 mph (56th)
Launch Angle: 11.1* (81st highest)
Max Height: 94.3 feet (93rd highest)
Spin Rate: 2,407 RPM (15th lowest)








3JACK

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Best and Worst of Iron Play

I've tallied up the metrics and I've found that Luke Donald was the best iron player on Tour in 2011.

Here's a look at his golf swing.






Surprisingly, the worst iron player on Tour in 2011 was Scott McCarron. McCarron is typically known as a great ballstriker, but hit the irons poorly this year.















3JACK

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wishon 555C & 555M Irons

Here's a video from Tom Wishon (www.wishongolf.com) on the 555C (cavity back) and 555M (muscle back) irons.

I currently use the 555C 3 & 4-irons along with the 555M 5-PW and I'm extremely pleased with them. I also thought this would be a good video to understand what the forging process of clubs is like.









3JACK