Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Edel Wedge Video

Here's a video with host, golf instructor Chris Como (www.chriscomo.com), on the Edel wedges. There are some really good features on the wedges that I didn't go over in my review.










3JACK

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Edel Golf Wedge Review

I just got my Edel wedges in last week. Here are some peripheral pictures of them.




Here are the specs:

52° loft & 16° bounce angle
56° loft & 18° bounce angle
60° loft & 27° bounce angle
Standard length and loft
KBS C-Taper shafts
2,725, 2,691 and 2,677 kg/cm2 MOI-weight (respectively)

I have the cast model, made from 304 stainless steel. Edel has a forged model made from 1025 carbon steel

And yes, you read that correctly.

27° bounce angle.

First up, here’s a general look at the grinds. The grinds on the 56° and 52° are very similar.



Now, here’s the grind on the 60° which has a bit of a ‘split-sole’ grind.



The main point of these pics is you should be able to tell that the sole isn’t some big, clunky sole with such a big bounce angle. Here’s a pic showing what the 56° looks like when I fan it open.



The range I play at has certain areas where it’s genuine ‘hardpan’ and I’ve practiced with the Edel wedges and actually found this to be a strength of the Edel design. Take a look at this video of me off the hardpan.



No problem whatsoever.

The idea behind the big bounce angles is to not have the clubhead stick into the ground. When that happens, golfers become conscious of that and Edel Golf’s idea is that the golfer will ‘hang back’ (aka leave their weight on their back foot) on the downswing.

What I believe Edel’s wedge design does for the more full swings is it allows the golfer better distance control since the club won’t stick into the turf. Here's some pics of the divots I take with my 56° Miura K-Grind which has 12° of bounce.



And here's my divots with the Edel 56° with 18° bounce angle.



You can see a bit of a difference with the Edel divots being smaller.

Another great feature is how the grooves and Center of Gravity is moved away from the heel. Here’s a pic comparison between my 56° Edel and my 56° Miura K-Grind wedge. Take a look at the difference in the grooves towards the toe.



I know that when I use wedges, particularly on chips and flops, the shots tend to go off towards the toe. This design of the grooves towards the toe allow me to avoid hitting the knuckleball shots.

Here’s a pic of the grip (in black).



This is a Lamkin grip and it’s a longer sized grip than your standard grip. This allows the golfer to choke down on the club more.

It’s a very workable wedge. I could hit every shot with it. While I like the Miura K-Grind for it’s playability, I think Edel has managed to one-up them with their custom designs. I could hit flips, lobs, pitches, punches, etc. off of all types of lies. And bunkers are a cinch.

I recommend finding an Edel wedge fitter in your area and giving them a try.








3JACK

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Tour Rundown - Week 12



Here's something I wrote 3 weeks ago:

Whether his critics like him or not, Sean Foley has done a tremendous job in turning around Tiger’s swing. And as far as putting goes, Tiger is currently ranked 101st in Putts Gained after a good 3rd and 4th round of putting upped his Putts Gained ranking. However, Tiger is t-1st in Percentage of Putts Made from 3 to 5 feet. Historically, the best putters rank very well from 3 to 5 feet and golfers who improve from 3 to 5 feet tend to ‘get hot’ with the putter eventually.

In other words, I project Tiger to win soon and it wouldn’t surprise me if he flat out dominates the field. And that could even be in the Masters


Tiger's ballstriking continues to be strong and he's made 33 out of 34 putts this year from 3 to 5 feet.

I think the Tiger we will be seeing is more of a great, legendary ballstriker type who will be able to consistently strike the ball well. His putting may still be good, but since he doesn't have to scramble nearly as much as he did in the Haney era, it won't see quite as good as it once was, but in reality he could be on par with those days, putting-wise. I think he will be more consistent of a ballstriker than in the Butch days, but I would be hard pressed to see him reach the pinnacle of ballstriking like he did at times with Butch, particularly at the 2000 US Open.

I think the one thing that separates Tiger and Rory from the rest is that they really work the trajectory and curves of the shots and can hit all of the windows, depending what the shot calls for. It's not that you cannot play great golf hitting one type of shot. It's just that when you can hit all of the windows comfortably, you start to get into the zenith of ballstriking.

Anyway, I had a rough week with my picks at Bay Hill, but since Tiger won and was 7/1 odds (I don't pick anybody better than 25/1 odds), it didn't really matter anyway:

Bo Van Pelt: 28/1 (Did Not Play)
Jim Furyk: 33/1 (t-11th)
Brandt Snedeker: 40/1 (t-63rd)
Spencer Levin: 50/1 (Missed Cut)
Harris English: 80/1 (Missed Cut)

Value Pick: DJ Trahan 125/1 (t-53rd)


Here are my picks for the Shell Open:

Ernie Els: 28/1
Aaron Baddeley: 33/1
John Senden: 40/1
Bryce Molder: 50/1
Bud Cauley: 50/1

Value Pick: Nick O'Hern: 125/1



ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING



1. Bubba Watson
2. Tiger Woods
3. Hunter Mahan
4. Paul Goydos
5. Roberto Castro
6. John Rollins
7. Jeff Maggert
8. Heath Slocum
9. Tom Gillis
10. Jason Dufner


175. Tommy Biershenk
176. Ryuji Imada
177. Chad Collins
178. Nick O'Hern
179. Billy Hurley III
180. Steve Wheatcroft
181. Matt Bettencourt
182. Anthony Kim
183. Derek Lamely
184. David Duval


PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)

1. Scott McCarron
2. Bo Van Pelt
3. Phil Mickelson
4. Aaron Baddeley
5. Martin Flores
6. Richard H. Lee
7. Johnson Wagner
8. Derek Lamely
9. Chris Stroud
10. Tiger Woods


176. Robert Garrigus
177. Boo Weekley
178. Heath Slocum
179. Troy Kelly
180. Scott Stallings
181. Ricky Barnes
182. Chad Campbell
183. Scott Brown
184. Greg Owen
185. Kyle Thompson


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1. Matt Jones
2. Mark Anderson
3. Kevin Kisner
4. Nick O'Hern
5. Ian Poulter
6. Sean O'Hair
7. Daniel Summerhays
8. Johnson Wagner
9. Scott McCarron
10. Cameron Tringale


169. J.B. Holmes
170. Chez Reavie
171. Mathew Goggin
172. Jason Kokrak
173. Jeff Maggert
174. Ryan Moore
175. Heath Slocum
176. Chris Kirk
178. Billy Hurley III
179. Kyle Thompson


BIRDIE ZONE PLAY (75-125 YARDS)



1. Troy Kelly
2. Jeff Maggert
3. Padraig Harrington
4. Vaughn Taylor
5. Brendon de Jonge
6. Sergio Garcia
7. Mathew Goggin
8. Ryuji Imada
9. Jeff Overton
10. Steve Stricker


170. Geoff Ogilvy
171. D.J. Trahan
172. Kris Blanks
173. Ryan Moore
174. Billy Hurley III
175. Boo Weekley
176. Scott Brown
177. John Huh
178. Stephen Gangluff
179. Jhonattan Vegas


SAFE ZONE PLAY (125-175 YARDS)



1. Nick O'Hern
2. Marco Dawson
3. Jeff Maggert
4. Matt Kuchar
5. Robert Allenby
6. Lee Westwood
7. Boo Weekley
8. Tom Pernice Jr.
9. Ernie Els
10. Chad Collins


163. Ryuji Imada
164. Derek Lamely
165. Stewart Cink
166. Sean O'Hair
167. Ryan Palmer
168. Billy Hurley III
169. J.B. Holmes
170. Briny Baird
171. Mark Anderson
172. Jamie Lovemark


DANGER ZONE (175-225 YARDS)



1. Nathan Green
2. Justin Rose
3. Gary Woodland
4. Bubba Watson
5. Bo Van Pelt
6. Webb Simpson
7. Nick Watney
8. Robert Garrigus
9. Jason Day
10. Lee Westwood


170. Steve Wheatcroft
171. Erik Compton
172. Derek Lamely
173. Stephen Gangluff
174. Joe Ogilvie
175. Nick O'Hern
176. Ryuji Imada
177. Mark Anderson
178. Richard H. Lee
179. Chad Collins





3JACK

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some Observations from Bay Hill



I went to Bay Hill this week to catch some action on Saturday and Sunday and here's some observations.

1. Bay Hill is a really fun tournament to go to. The parking and shuttle is a short ride from Universal Studios with only $10 for parking. I've been to events where it's $25 for parking and a 30-40 minute shuttle ride before.

But, there's a real party atmosphere there as the course is surrounded by homes with people throwing little parties and watching the golfers go bye. I was shocked how fun it was.


2. The course was your typical Arnie design, one of the most underrated designers in my mind. Arnie is adept at doing little things in his design that make the most out of the land he has to work with. #1 and #10 is a great example. Doglegs where you can't really see around the corner, but you generally don't want to cut the corner to begin with. It's not a blind tee shot, but since you can't see the hole from the tee, it gives you the feel of not knowing what's around the corner. Palmer also uses a lot of greens that tend to sit lower which usually adds an aesthetic to the hole design.


3. While Palmer design courses usually have some severe slopes, you just cannot leave the ball above the cup on tour. Your chances of 3-putting go up dramatically. If you leave yourself with a sidehill putt, your chances of making it go down, but you can usually 2-putt. But, avoiding downhill putts is really crucial on Tour.


4. I think that's one of the reasons why the long hitters who can hit it high have an advantage on Tour. They can hit less club and hit it higher in the Danger Zone. #2 at Bay Hill is a great example of this. It plays 218 yards into a shallow green. I watched Kevin Chappell hit a 4-iron well and go long because the green is so shallow and then have almost no chance of 2-putting on such a downhill putt. Then somebody like Bubba Watson hits a 6-iron about a mile high and can keep it below the cup much easier.


5. The best tournaments to go watch live are the ones at courses you have played before. It makes it much easier to gauge yourself against the Tour pros. For instance, I watched JB Holmes play and I *know* that he hits it far. But, I couldn't quite appreciate his length off the tee because I couldn't gauge it against my length off the tee since I've never played Bay Hill before.


6. The only Tour pro that I saw in the field that consistently makes that 'sound' that separates himself from the others was Gary Woodland. Not even Tiger could quite do it as much as Woodland does.


7. It's amazing how much these guys fire at flags. #3 was a good example on Saturday because the pin was tucked back left and hugging the water. The green has a swale on the right side which makes for a tough putt unless you hit it pin high. But the green is very narrow once you get about pin high. I saw golfer after golfer fire at that flag without batting an eye.


8. I think the main thing I see from the Tour pros is that they are very aggressive on approach shots and more conservative on tee shots. However, being 'conservative' on tee shots means that they are still aiming for the fairway. It's just if there's trouble left, they make sure to hit down the right side of the fairway and vice versa.


9. If you want to play on Tour, you probably need to learn how to hit the 3-wood very well off the tee. They don't seem to use it all that often, maybe 1-3 par-4's a round. But when they do use it, it's usually needed. We have to remember that the ball rolls more on Tour than it does at a home course because the Tour's fairways are much tighter. But, if you want to go to that next level, a 3-wood is a very valuable club to learn how to hit.


10. Everything I've researched and concluded with regards to metrics was accurate. Danger Zone shots are crucial and that's where most of the bogeys come from. Go For It's usually see lower scores than players laying up. Impeded shots are killers. Downhill putts and chips are really hard to make or to save par.







3JACK

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Con of Popular Golf Instruction

If you follow golf swing instruction enough, inevitably you will hear golf swing instructors say the same thing ‘you have to teach the golf swing in simple terms.’ Of course, this will then be utilized as an attack against other instruction like M.O.R.A.D. and The Golfing Machine as being ‘too complex’ and ‘the teachers are trying to prove how smart they are.’

I used to believe this as well. I had a friend of mine, about 6 year older than myself, who was going to an instructor who was very detailed and was not afraid to delve into the complexities of the golf swing. I was a teenager at the time and my friend was explaining some of the instruction and I was a bit baffled by it. Later on, my friend struggled that entire year and I chalked it up as ‘too complex and not simple enough.’


Eventually, my friend wound up going to a TGM instructor where the instruction was still complex and detailed, but discussed terms differently with geometric alignments and terms like ‘sustaining the line of compression’, ‘lag pressure’, ‘drag load’, etc. His game improved from this instruction tremendously. This was when I was in college and I later on went to this same instructor and saw my ballstriking improve as well.

Afterwards, I would still try and listen to ‘simplistic’ instruction or what I like to call ‘Bagger Vance’ instruction. But, it never seemed to really work or work nearly as well as the more complex and detailed TGM instruction. In the end, I started to wonder why I could not improve under ‘simple instruction.’


Eventually, I learned the rest of The Golfing Machine with the help of Ted Fort (www.fortifiedgolf.com). After that was done I eventually moved to Orlando and started to work with George Hunt (www.moradgolfgeorgehunt.com) on my swing using the knowledge he had from his dealings with the M.O.R.A.D. investigation. All along the way, my ballstriking and scores kept improving even though it’s alleged by many that M.O.R.A.D. is the apex of swing complexity.

Also along the way I started to understand things like Trackman, AimPoint for green reading and many other complexities of golf instruction. All of which helped improve certain facets of my game and lower my scores.

Part of my problem with ‘pop golf instruction’ and the claims that golf instruction has to be kept simple is that it does not really differentiate the top instructors who ‘keep it simple’ versus Joe Schmoe the golf pro working out of a driving range. If they have knowledge of the golf swing, than ‘keeping it simple’ is something that just about anybody can do. IMO, it takes less skill to simplify subject matter than it does to understand the complexities of subject matter. To me, I do not think that everybody who understands the complexities of subject matter can simplify it. However, I think most of the time people can simplify things pretty well more than they cannot simplify things.

I believe that swing instruction is much like the golf swing. There is no one way to do it. Not every golfer will have the same swing issues, swing compensations and swing fixes. And not every golfer will need to have every subject in the golf swing simplified.

Something like being laid off or being across the line at the top of the swing can probably be simplified in golf instruction. But, something like a golfer coming ‘over the top’ may take some very thorough and detailed set of golf instruction to fully remove that over the top move from that particular golfer’s swing.


I look at it this way.

Let’s say I got to meet a heart surgeon. And the heart surgeon told me ‘y’know, the one thing I liked about where I interned about becoming a heart surgeon is that the other surgeons taught everything in simple terms and didn’t go into detail at all. They told me that stuff is just too much to learn.’

I think I would hope that I never wind up having to get heart surgery from him.

Obviously, the example is a bit extreme. But, I don’t think anybody can legitimately deny that the golf swing is a very complex motion. Thus, treating everything in simple terms has to be a bit flawed in some senses.

I think the real con of pop golf instruction is that they lure golfers in with all this ‘simple talk’ and drill it into golfer’s heads that it is the ONLY way to learn the golf swing. But, for all of the simple talk…the golfers wind up learning things that are much more difficult to execute or they are flawed or could possibly cause injury or just be completely irrelevant to what it takes for a golfer to consistently hit quality golf shots.

And because of that, the golfer winds up thinking that it is their fault for not grasping ‘simple golf instruction’ and either wind up eschewing golf instruction all together or wind up going back to that ‘simple golf terms’ instructor again.

I also think that part of the con of pop golf instruction is that many instructors who avoid going into detail about their instruction simply don’t quite understand their instruction as they claim. They don’t understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what they are teaching will result in consistently better shots or putts instead of ‘that’s what I want the swing to look like.’

To me, the teacher’s real job is, come hell or high water, to get the student to comprehend the information and be able to eventually implement that into their own game. If that takes some simple terminology, great. But, inevitably there will be times when complex and thorough information is needed.

The key is for the teacher to figure out the method that works best to get the student to fully understand it. Which has always been every teachers job in every profession to begin with. Golf should not be viewed as an exception.






3JACK

Thursday, March 22, 2012

40-60 Yard Shots with Shawn Clement

Here's 3Jack Top-20 Putting and Short Game Instructor, Shawn Clement, with some instruction on those difficult 40-60 yard pitch shots.







3JACK

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Tour Rundown - Week 11

Luke Donald got back on track with a win at the Transitions last week.



Here’s how my picks for the Transitions fared:

Jason Day: 33/1 (t-20th)
Bo Van Pelt: 40/1 (9th)
Martin Laird: 40/1 (Missed Cut)
Gary Woodland: 50/1 (t-29th)
Harris English: 66/1 (Missed Cut)

Value Pick: Jason Kokrak 150/1 (Missed Cut)


Here are my picks for Bay Hill:

Bo Van Pelt: 28/1
Jim Furyk: 33/1
Brandt Snedeker: 40/1
Spencer Levin: 50/1
Harris English: 80/1

Value Pick: DJ Trahan 125/1



ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING



1. Tiger Woods
2. Bubba Watson
3. Hunter Mahan
4. Tom Gillis
5. Jeff Maggert
6. John Rollins
7. Roberto Castro
8. Paul Goydos
9. Jason Kokrak
10. Chad Campbell


178. Tommy Biershenk
179. Stephen Gangluff
180. Nick O'Hern
181. Chad Collins
182. Ryuji Imada
183. Steve Wheatcroft
184. Matt Bettencourt
185. Billy Hurley III
186. Anthony Kim
187. Derek Lamely


PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)

1. Luke Donald
2. Martin Flores
3. Bo Van Pelt
4. Chris Riley
5. Sergio Garcia
6. Aaron Baddeley
7. Phil Mickelson
8. Richard H. Lee
9. Ryan Palmer
10. Derek Lamely


179. Heath Slocum
180. Justin Leonard
181. Troy Kelly
182. Scott Brown
183. Boo Weekley
184. Garrett Willis
185. Kyle Thompson
186. Chad Campbell
187. Greg Owen
188. Roland Thatcher


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1. Matt Jones
2. Mark Anderson
3. Sean O'Hair
4. Kevin Kisner
5. Johnson Wagner
6. Nick O'Hern
7. Louis Oosthuizen
8. Tiger Woods
9. Cameron Tringale
10. Ian Poulter


171. Mathew Goggin
172. Roland Thatcher
173. Jason Kokrak
174. Jimmy Walker
175. Heath Slocum
176. Chris Kirk
177. Jeff Maggert
178. J.B. Holmes
179. Billy Hurley III
180. Kyle Thompson


BIRDIE ZONE PLAY (75-125 YARDS)



1. Trevor Immelman
2. Troy Kelly
3. Jeff Maggert
4. Sergio Garcia
5. Padraig Harrington
6. Vaughn Taylor
7. Brendon de Jonge
8. Jason Dufner
9. Garth Mulroy
10. Mathew Goggin


172. Kevin Sutherland
173. Geoff Ogilvy
174. Gary Woodland
175. D.J. Trahan
176. Ryan Moore
177. Kris Blanks
178. Scott Brown
179. Garrett Willis
180. Stephen Gangluff
181. Billy Hurley III


SAFE ZONE PLAY (125-175 YARDS)



1. Boo Weekley
2. Nick O'Hern
3. Jeff Maggert
4. Trevor Immelman
5. Marco Dawson
6. Robert Allenby
7. Matt Kuchar
8. Ernie Els
9. Lee Westwood
10. Ian Poulter


161. Richard H. Lee
162. Ryuji Imada
163. Derek Lamely
164. Stewart Cink
165. Sean O'Hair
166. Scott Stallings
167. Briny Baird
168. J.B. Holmes
169. Mark Anderson
170. Jamie Lovemark


DANGER ZONE PLAY (175-225 YARDS)



1. Jim Furyk
2. Nathan Green
3. Louis Oosthuizen
4. Webb Simpson
5. Justin Rose
6. Bubba Watson
7. Robert Garrigus
8. Gary Woodland
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Robert Allenby


168. Derek Lamely
169. Stephen Gangluff
170. Joe Ogilvie
171. Nick O'Hern
172. Ryuji Imada
173. Ryan Moore
174. Erik Compton
175. Mark Anderson
176. Richard H. Lee
177. Chad Collins





3JACK

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stroke of the Future Video Review

Recently, I purchased Secret In The Dirt’s video ‘The Stroke of the Future’ with Craig Foster and Steve Elkington. The video is a computer download costing $35 with a run-time of 54 minutes. You can download the video to your iphone and other mobile devices.



Craig Foster created ‘Dynalign Golf’, an approach to help align the golfer in a dynamic, biomechanical position. Foster states that this can be done with any type of swing, but in this video it is being utilized for the putting stroke.

The idea here is for the golfer to biomechanically torque some of their body parts so it can create a very repeatable golf stroke. This way golfer’s don’t have to worry about the yips or leaving the putter blade open (my tendency) or closed right before impact. Once the certain body parts are torqued, Foster’s system has the golfer simply use their body to align the putter face wherever they want to.

Since I’m hardly a biomechanical expert, it’s hard for me to criticize a video too much. I actually enjoyed the video, which I will get to in a bit. However, it appeared to me from how Foster talked that he was an average, everyday golfer who stumbled across this by accident and is not an expert in the field of biomechanics. That doesn’t mean he’s wrong and cannot research the subject and become extremely knowledgeable. Michael Lavery of ‘Whole Brain Power’ was not an expert in the field of understanding ambidexterity, but he did enough diligent research involving some very heavy scientific studies like neurobiology, that I found his information credible and extremely interesting.

Still, since we don’t know Foster’s background we really don’t quite know how credible the information is. He may be dead on or dead wrong or somewhere in between. From my experience with biomechanics, I really didn’t like how he discussed mostly the bones in the hands and arms versus getting into the muscles and the joints. I also think that with putting, neurobiology (scientific study of the nervous system) is very important to understand and that the biomechanics should be interleaved with the ‘optimal’ neurobiological motions. Perhaps Foster has studied that and is just trying to simplify it for the sake of the video, but we really don’t know.


That being said, I thought the good from this video far outweighed the bad.

For starters, if you have purchased a Secret In The Dirt video before, you are getting the same quality of production. It’s very easy to hear and see everything. But, where the SITD crew really does well in their videos is that they have the ability to create a conversational format with this time, Elkington conversing with Foster at Elkington’s home, on the drive in the car and then on the putting green.

Elkington has a real knack for these type of video. He does have some charisma (it seems like everytime somebody introduces Elkington, they mention he’s famous for being a guest on the Jim Rome show), but he’s got a certain timing that he knows when the instructor needs to explain their instruction further. Elkington also understands a lot of instruction whether it be the highly detailed M.O.R.A.D. or TGM since he has worked with both. He can then relate that to the more mechanically knowledgeable golfer or relate the information to the lesser knowledgeable golfer so they can understand it.

If there’s one thing I’ve harped on in my blog and in the forum is that ‘teaching things in simple terms’ is NOT the best way to teach everything. The teacher’s job is to teach the subject to the golfer so they fully understand it. Teaching something in simple terms only often means that the golfer really doesn’t fully understand the subject and instead learns a little. Put it this way, if I was talking to a heart surgeon who raved that his professors taught everything in simple terms and didn’t bother to go into detail, I would not want that surgeon operating on me or my loved ones.

I think that is the ‘hook’ of pop-golf instruction. They draw golfers by saying things in simple terms, but in reality what they are trying to get the golfer to do is actually more difficult or even impossible to do or very flawed or relatively unimportant. But because they talk in simple terms, golfers make the mistake of thinking that it is simple and that when they fail, it’s because they didn’t follow that simple instruction properly. In reality, the instruction was poor and the simple terminology reeled them in.

This is where Elkington continually shines because he’s good at helping the instructor out with getting the viewer to truly understand the subject at hand. Sometimes he explains it in simple terms because that’s all that needs to be done. But on the more complex subject matter, Elkington has a great way of ‘thinking it out’ and eventually drawing enough correct conclusions that eventually he starts to fully understand it and the viewer can fully understand it as well.

The other positive is the stroke does not look all that unorthodox. In fact, it looks a lot like how many players from the 60’s and 70’s used to putt and a bit like how Nicklaus putted.


It’s a little less wristy than say a Nicklaus or Palmer. But, in my work on the golf swing with George Hunt (www.moradgolfgeorgehunt.com), I have really become to prefer the swing mechanics of the great ballstrikers of yesteryear versus the modern great ballstrikers. So, if there’s a more ‘old school’ putting stroke style, it definitely has piqued my interest.

I tried the Dynalign system myself after the video. The perspective of the putter is very different and I think it takes practice getting used to it. I also think it takes practice to do it correctly because you want to torque the hands, wrist and hips properly with the right amount of spine tilt so the stroke becomes ‘automatic.’ Sometimes I could get it down, sometimes I struggled with it.

I think that this system may help, but I need to practice much more with it to find the strengths and flaws (if any) of the system. However, from the onset I do think it would probably help a lot of golfers with the yips. I think some golfers may have such violent muscle twitching yips that their only recourse is a long or belly putter. But, I think this could help the other yippers.

In the end, my final judgment on Dynalign is unclear because I don’t have enough experience with trying it out. But, it’s certainly something different that appears to have more positives than negatives and seems well thought out enough to give it serious consideration to adding to your putting stroke.






3JACK

Monday, March 19, 2012

MOI-Weight Fitting and Matching OEM Clubs


Recently, I’ve had some readers inquire about MOI-weight fitting and matching non-Wishon clubs.

While that can be done, one of the reasons for my preference of the Wishon line of equipment is that it is designed to more easily MOI-weight fit and match the clubs.

What I mean by that is the clubhead weights for Wishon clubheads are lighter than the OEM companies. I have measured clubhead weights for companies like Adams, Mizuno and Titleist and each clubhead measured out heavier than the comparable Wishon heads. I’ve only found one set of clubs that measured out lighter, and that was some old Muirfield Lite clubheads which I will get to in a bit.


Other than that, GolfSmith makes clubs with the same clubhead weight in their Snake Eyes line. But, Tom Wishon headed up GolfSmiths club design department not too long ago and obviously left his footprint on the company. KZG offers a set of ZO Blades that are about 3 grams heavier, but the rest are more like 5 grams heavier. That’s actually pretty common for what I see from the OEM iron and wood heads. However, KZG’s drivers are slightly (2-3 grams) lighter than Wishon’s flagship driver model, the 919THI. But Wishon’s new driver model, the 739CCG, is actually much lighter, only weighing in at 188 grams.


But outside of the Snake Eyes and KZG lines, most of them weigh much more than the Wishon heads. From there, Wishon utilizes 7-gram increments in clubhead weight (so does GolfSmith and KZG). Here’s a look at the head weights of the Wishon 555C model irons:

2-iron: 232 grams
3-iron: 239 grams
4-iron: 246 grams
5-iron: 253 grams
6-iron: 260 grams
7-iron: 267 grams
8-iron: 274 grams
9-iron: 281 grams
PW: 288 grams

As you can see, right on 7-gram increments and the weight gets heavier as the club has more loft.

This is important because if you’re using a 1/2-inch or 3/8-inch club length increments that means the lower lofted clubs are longer than the higher lofted clubs. That means the mass of the club increases and you need to have sound weight increments in order to get that MOI-weight to properly match your golf swing.


Now, here’s a look at my set of Muirfield Light clubhead weights. Remember, these are the only iron heads I’ve found to be lighter than Wishon’s iron heads so far:

3-iron: 222 grams
4-iron: 228 grams
5-iron: 228 grams
6-iron: 233 grams
7-iron: 240 grams
8-iron: 246 grams
9-iron: 246 grams
PW: 260 grams

So, not only lighter, but MUCH lighter. However, look at the increments in weight. The 4-iron and 5-iron along with the 8-iron and 9-iron are the same exact weight. It’s no small wonder why Jack Nicklaus reportedly read MacGregor the Riot Act during this time when it came to their quality control.

However, I have seen this stuff with modern OEM lines as well. I won’t name the offenders, but I will say that it’s not nearly as bad as the Muirfield Light heads, but I’ve seen some that are way off and it affects the golfer’s performance.


So, why does this matter?

What I often see is that the MOI-weight for clubs are too heavy, particularly in the longer irons for people above a 5-handicap. And more in particular for those who don’t generate a clubhead speed of over 100 mph.

Recently, I helped fit the MOI-weight for a golfer using a Wishon 555C 6-iron and KBS Tour 90 shafts. The MOI-weight came out to 2,565 kg/cm2. In swingweight terms, his 5-iron came out to C-8.5 and his Pitching Wedge went up to D-2.0. Thus, the MOI-weight that fit his swing was rather light.

Here is the amount of weight I added to each of his irons in order to get the MOI-weight to match to 2,565 kg/cm2 throughout the entire set.

5-iron: ½-gram of lead tape
6-iron: no weight added
7-iron: no weight added
8-iron: 2-gram hosel weight
9-iron: 2-gram hosel weight
PW: no weight added

So, I wound up adding such a small amount of weight to 3 of the clubs and added no weight to the other 3 clubs in order to get the MOI-weight to match.

This golfer needs a light MOI-weight for their swing and swings under 100 mph with the driver. Now, if he had an OEM’s line of irons where the clubheads may be 6-grams heavier, there’s a good chance that every single iron in his bag is much heavier than the fitted MOI-weight of 2,565 kg/cm2. So, if he tried to fit himself with his OEM irons, he may be fitting himself for a weight that is too heavy for him to begin with.

And if he did happen to find the MOI-weight of 2,565 kg/cm2, he would then have to find a weight to reduce the MOI-weight of the clubs that are heavier than 2,565 kg/cm2.

How would we reduce the MOI-weight of a club?

A. Different, lighter shaft
B. Trim the club shorter
C. Grind the head

Not exactly appeasing options because they can dramatically change the key characteristics of the club. Lighter shaft may have a completely different shaft bend profile. Trimming the club shorter could make the club stiffer in the butt-section, change the kick point of the shaft (making it go lower) and may not suit the golfer’s setup. And grinding the head is something I simply would never do.


I’ve also found that MOI-weight is big for taller golfers.

It came as a surprise to me that when I trimmed off ¼-inch of a steel shaft from the butt end, it affected the MOI-weight by 60 kg/cm2. So, if you’re a golfer who is adding ½-inch or a full inch of shaft length to your clubs for your tall height, you may want the lighter clubheads so you can offset the extra MOI-weight that will come with the extra shaft length.

From my own personal experience, when I assembled my Wishon set of irons with ½-inch longer KBS Tour shafts which are fairly heavy (130 grams), every single iron came in lighter than my personal fitted MOI-weight of 2,725 kg/cm2 (for irons only).

The heaviest Wishon iron in my bag, pre-MOI fitting was the 4-iron at 2,702 kg/cm2. From there, I simply did a fitting and found my optimal weight of 2,725 kg/cm2 and then added the appropriate amount of weight to each club

On that note, I also had a set of Titleist 690MB’s with the same shaft and the same extra ½-inch shaft length. And the 3-iron thru 6-iron along with my 8-iron all came in above my fitted MOI-weight of 2,725 kg/cm2.

In the end, I have been able to MOI-weight fit and match OEM clubs for golfers. But, there’s no guarantee that one can reasonably do it without having to change the shaft. And in particular, if you are using longer shafts and/or have a driver swing speed under 95 mph, you may find some major issues with the MOI-weight of your OEM clubs.









3JACK

Friday, March 16, 2012

John Gustin Swing

I've never heard of John Gustin, but was impressed by his golf swing.








3JACK

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is Tiger Unafraid To Use The Driver?


Many readers enjoyed my post ‘Anatomy of a 62’, delving into Tiger’s magnificent final round at the Honda Classic.

But, one thing I have been asked and I’ve read about is the accusation that Tiger is taking a lot more fairway woods and irons off the tee than normal. Well, the attempts per round from the Birdie Zone, Safe Zone and Danger Zone do not show anything out of the ordinary.

However, in the post of ‘Anatomy of a 62’ people noted how much shorter some of Tiger’s drives were than they thought and stuck to the story of ‘he’s using more fairway woods and irons off the tee.’

Granted, that’s exactly what Tiger did in the 4th round of the PGA Championship against YE Yang. He had ZERO confidence in his driver and I think he used it all of 3 times in the final round, and only once finding the fairway. This created a problem for Tiger because even though his Danger Zone and ‘long’ Safe Zone play was fantastic at the time (and he did hit them well for the entire round), he was competing against Yang who was now having shots up to 70 yards closer to the hole. Even Ben Hogan would have a hard time competing with that.

I wanted to make sure that Tiger wasn’t ‘cheating the Advanced Total Driving System’, so I went into his 3rd round at this weekend’s WGC Tournament at Doral. I didn’t want to compare the 4th round because he got hurt and only played 12 holes. I also wanted to compare him versus Bubba Watson to better gauge.


So why Bubba?

Mark Wilson’s caddy told The Golf Channel that the amazing thing with regards to Bubba is he almost never leaves the driver in the bag on a par-4 or par-5. Not only is Bubba long (longest on Tour), but he’s not using irons, hybrids or a 3-wood off the tee. I think it’s a good way to gauge what Tiger is doing.

So, here’s a look at the 3rd round, where Bubba played well and Tiger had a decent day. Tiger’s distances are off the tee are in (parentheses)

#1 - 327 yards (338)
#2 - 259 yards (339)
#3 - 290 yards (303)
#5 - 271 yards (249)
#6 - 291 yards (304)
#8 - 309 yards (292)
#10 - 259 yards (259)
#11 - 284 yards (250)
#12 - 324 yards (292)
#14 - 351 yards (323)
#16 - 317 yards (306)
#17 - 315 yards (288)
#18 - 289 yards (307)

So, Tiger out-drove Bubba on 5 different holes (1, 2, 3, 6 and 18).

They drove it the same distance on #10.

It appears that Tiger did indeed lay-up on #11. We could probably cancel that one out. Same with #5 where both probably laid up. Bubba may have used a very soft driver.

Bubba ‘bested’ Tiger on #8, #12, #14, #16 and #17.

However, it appears to be easy to see that the wind was somewhat in the player’s face on the front 9 and then it was a tail-wind on the back 9. That’s probably why Tiger hit most of his drives further than Bubba on the front because Tiger hits it lower. But on the back-9 Bubba could hit it sky-high and watch the wind take it.

Still, it indicates that Tiger is unafraid to use the driver on the course and while he doesn’t hit it as long as he used to, he’s still one of the longest players on Tour. He’s currently been measured at 119.2 mph clubhead speed, 9th fastest on Tour.








3JACK

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Tour Rundown - Week 10



Justin Rose returns to the winner’s circle as well as 3Jack. Here’s how my picks at Doral faired:

Dustin Johnson: 28/1 (t-35th)
Matt Kuchar: 33/1 (t-8th)
Keegan Bradley: 33/1 (t-8th)
Adam Scott: 40/1 (t-13th)
Justin Rose: 50/1 (1st)

Value Pick: Charles Howell III: 100/1 (t-17th)

That’s makes my 2nd picked winner along with 3 2nd place finishers in 8 tournaments this year (including the brutal Kyle Stanley collapse on the 72nd hole at the Farmers).

Here are my picks for the Transitions:

Jason Day: 33/1
Bo Van Pelt: 40/1
Martin Laird: 40/1
Gary Woodland: 50/1
Harris English: 66/1

Value Pick: Jason Kokrak 150/1



Here are the rankings for this week:

ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING



1. Tiger Woods
2. Roberto Castro
3. Tom Gillis
4. Chad Campbell
5. Jeff Maggert
6. Heath Slocum
7. Hunter Mahan
8. John Rollins
9. Bubba Watson
10. Paul Goydos


178. Tommy Biershenk
179. Nick O'Hern
180. Chad Collins
181. Steve Wheatcroft
182. Patrick Sheehan
183. Gavin Coles
184. Stephen Gangluff
185. Billy Hurley III
186. Derek Lamely
187. David Duval


PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)

1. Marc Turnesa
2. Scott McCarron
3. Martin Flores
4. Dicky Pride
5. Chris Riley
6. D.J. Trahan
7. Aaron Baddeley
8. Phil Mickelson
9. James Driscoll
10. Greg Chalmers

179. Matt Jones
180. Robert Garrigus
181. Heath Slocum
182. Justin Leonard
183. Greg Owen
184. Scott Brown
185. Kyle Thompson
186. Arjun Atwal
187. Chad Campbell
188. Roland Thatcher


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1. Sean O'Hair
2. Kevin Kisner
3. Johnson Wagner
4. Nick O'Hern
5. Tiger Woods
6. Ian Poulter
7. Brandt Jobe
8. Steve Stricker
9. Cameron Tringale
10. Chris Couch

166. Chris Kirk
167. Jeff Maggert
168. Heath Slocum
169. J.J. Henry
170. Chez Reavie
171. J.B. Holmes
172. Kris Blanks
173. Kyle Reifers
174. Billy Hurley III
175. Kyle Thompson


BIRDIE ZONE PLAY (75-125 YARDS)



1. Trevor Immelman
2. Jeff Maggert
3. Troy Kelly
4. Vaughn Taylor
5. Padraig Harrington
6. Ryuji Imada
7. Garth Mulroy
8. Jason Dufner
9. Brendon de Jonge
10. Charlie Wi

165. Jonas Blixt
166. Kevin Sutherland
167. Jamie Lovemark
168. Chad Campbell
169. Gary Woodland
170. Ryan Moore
171. Jerry Kelly
172. Stephen Gangluff
173. Billy Hurley III
174. Kris Blanks


SAFE ZONE PLAY (125-175 YARDS)



1. Boo Weekley
2. Alexandre Rocha
3. Lee Janzen
4. Will Claxton
5. Jeff Maggert
6. Dicky Pride
7. Brian Gay
8. Trevor Immelman
9. Nick O'Hern
10. Marco Dawson

175. Matt Jones
176. Ryuji Imada
177. Jeff Overton
178. Sean O'Hair
179. Charley Hoffman
180. Jamie Lovemark
181. Scott Stallings
182. J.B. Holmes
183. Mark D. Anderson
184. Briny Baird


DANGER ZONE PLAY (175-225 YARDS)



1. Nathan Green
2. Jonathan Byrd
3. Webb Simpson
4. Bubba Watson
5. Bo Van Pelt
6. Gary Woodland
7. Roland Thatcher
8. Justin Rose
9. Lee Westwood
10. Ryo Ishikawa


169. Stewart Cink
170. Joe Ogilvie
171. Ryuji Imada
172. Alexandre Rocha
173. Erik Compton
174. Ryan Moore
175. Jerry Kelly
176. Mark D. Anderson
177. Richard H. Lee
178. Chad Collins




3JACK

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Playing In Windy Conditions Thoughts...

With the end of winter and early spring coming to Florida, I’ve had my fill of 30+ mph wind rounds. In the meantime, I’ve learned some things and wanted to share some thoughts about playing in the wind.

1. My belief is that a straight shot in a cross-wind will go straight until it reaches the apex and then curve as it descends towards the ground. So, if you have a wind blowing to your left, a true ‘straight ball’ will start out straight until it reaches the apex and then curve left as it descends due to the wind. Again, just my belief. I’ve been trying to contact one of my friends who is an expert rifle shooter to get his thoughts, but this is from what I’ve observed.


2. Be more careful about using your lob wedge. The problem with using wedges is that they will launch higher and thus the wind has a great impact on distance control. I advise using the lob wedge mostly on full shots WITH the wind. Other than that, use it on some bunker shots where necessary. If you’re using the Lob Wedge on pitch shots, flops and lobs, it’s often very hard to come anywhere close to having the right distances. You will make more putts on the green than you will make putts on the fringe or chips off the green. So sometimes you may be better off leaving yourself a little further away on the green rather than trying to hit the perfect shot with a lob wedge and risking missing the green all together.

3. Part of the reason why playing in wind is so difficult is that typically you are going to find the wind in your face in some fashion more often than it will be with you. One of the reasons why is if you have a hard wind blowing to the right, now you have to aim to the left to play for the wind curving the ball to the right. But by aiming left, now the wind goes more in your face. So when it seems like the wind is blowing in your face every hole, it probably is.

4. You really have to figure out how difficult the hole is going to be before you tee off. On holes where the wind is going to make the hole very difficult, I recommend a more conservative strategy. And when I mean ‘conservative’, I mean a focus on hitting the actual fairway and playing more for the middle of the green on the approach shot. I do NOT mean aiming so far away from a hazard or trees that you increase you expected score.


5. A good way to determine the added difficulty of a hole is by estimating how much yardage you will have into the green on the approach shot and then determine how much club you will need into that shot. Let’s say the wind is in my face and I am playing a 410 yard par-4. I may determine that a pretty good driver will go about 250 yards. I then know I will have approximately 160 yards into the green. But, if it’s a 3-4 club wind, I’m now hitting a 5-iron and maybe a 4-iron (or even a 3-iron). Typically I hit my 5-iron 195 yards and my 4-iron 208 yards. Those are ‘Danger Zone shots.’ Thus, it turns a 410 yard par-4 into effectively a 480 yard par-4. When faced with that and knowing it’s very likely I wind up effectively in the ‘Danger Zone’, I want to keep my drive in the fairway so I can have the easiest Danger Zone shot possible.

6. You can hit up on the ball with the driver into the wind and hit the ball further that if you hit down on the ball. I believe that all things being equal, hitting up higher will allow the ball to carry more and spin less. However, with the ball up in the air more it’s more likely to go off-line than a lower tee shot. Also, if you don’t quite catch it and you put some extra spin on it, the ball will go nowhere.

7. To me, playing well on windy days is about:

A. Your ability to hit half-swing shots and punches.
B. Your ability to consistently make centered contact.
C. Clubface control
D. Short Game
E. Putting

Quite frankly, your bad holes come on errant shots and that’s why clubface contact and clubface control are so important. What happens with many good amateurs is that they can hit it pretty well on full swings, but are a disaster on half swings. When it’s breezy, you will undoubtedly find yourself in position to hit half-swing shots on both tail winds and when the wind is in your face. Many good amateur golfers struggle with face contact and control on half swings. I think it usually stems from them stalling their pivot in the impact area and the clubface turns over and they cannot control their low point as well.

Lastly, you’re not likely to hit a lot of shots close on windy days. So, the short game and putting will need to be on in order to save your around the course.





3JACK

Monday, March 12, 2012

Anatomy Of A 62

Was Tiger Woods’ 62 in the 4th round at the Honda Classic the best round of the year so far?

Metrics wise, it’s actually a bit questionable. I’ve gone thru each round on Tour this year and I have looked at the average score for that round along with the lowest score and determined what was truly the lowest score versus the average.

So far this year, the metrics suggest this guy had the best round this year.




Yes, Robert Garrigus’ 61 in the 3rd round at the Humana Challenge was -14.77% below the average score in that round.

However, this presents some problems as a tournament like the Humana takes place on multiple courses. Furthermore, the Humana doesn’t have a cut until after the 3rd round. So more players are on the course which could likely provide a higher average score than a round after the cut.

With that, the next best round this year is a tie between Brian Harman’s 2nd round at the Honda (61) and Tiger’s 62, which were both -14.02% below the average. Thankfully, with Shot Tracker data we can go over Tiger’s round:

#1 – 365 yard par-4

216 yard tee shot, leaving him in the Safe Zone (142 yards). Shot to 14-feet and a 2-putt for par. (E)


#2 – 464 yards par-4

266 yard tee shot, leaving him in the Safe Zone (163 yards) in the fairway. Shot on the green to 36 feet and a 2-putt for par (E)


#3 – 538 yards par-5

340 yard drive in the fairway. 192 yards to the hole. A ‘Go For It’ with the shot going 27 feet to the cup, makes the eagle. (-2)


#4 – 376 yards par-4

249 yard tee shot into the fairway bunker (impeded shot). In the Birdie Zone (113 yds), shot to 29-feet and a 2-putt for par (-2)


#5 – 194 yards par-3

Danger Zone shot (194) to 9-feet. Makes birdie (-3)


#6 – 479 yards par-4

304 yards drive in the fairway, in the Safe Zone (145 yards), Shot to 10-feet and a 2-putt for par (-3)


#7 – 195 yards par-3

Danger Zone shot (195), to 11 feet. Makes the birdie (-4)


#8 – 427 yard par-4

257 yard drive in the fairway. Safe Zone shot (165) to 28 feet and a 2-putt for par (-4)


#9 – 421 yard par-4

265 yard drive into the right rough. Safe Zone shot (166) to the left greenside rough (78 feet). 26 yard pitch to 5 feet, made the par putt (-4)



Now, let’s get back to the Back-9


#10 – 508 yard par-4

303 yard drive into the fairway. Safe Zone shot (174) to 59 feet. 2-putt for par (-4)


#11 – 450 yard par-4

265 yard drive in the fairway. Safe Zone shot (154) to 14 feet. Makes the putt for birdie (-5)


#12 – 427 yard par-4

272 yard drive in fairway. Safe Zone shot (161) misses green to 18 feet. Up-and-in for par (-5)


#13 – 388 yards par-4

265 yard drive in fairway. Birdie Zone shot (109) misses green to 15 feet. Up and in for par (-5)


#14 – 465 yard par-4

280 yard drive in fairway. Danger Zone shot (189) to 17 feet. 2-putt for par (-5)


#15 – 179 yard par-3

Danger Zone shot (179) to the front rough, 45 feet away. Chip to 6 feet and a 1-putt for par (-5)


#16 – 434 yard par-4

261 yard drive in the fairway. Danger Zone shot (191) hit to 28 feet on the green. 2-putt for par (-5)


#17 – 191 yard par-3

Danger Zone shot (191) to 25 feet. Makes birdie (-6)


#18 – 556 yard par-5

325 yard drive to left rough.

205 yard ‘Go For It’ to 8-feet

Here’s the tally:

31-31=62 (-8)
12/14 fairways
14/18 GIR

Now we get into the real nitty gritty:

Birdie Zone: 1/2 GIR. Even Par. 22 feet Avg. Proximity to Cup

Safe Zone: 6/8 GIR. -1 score. 31.8 feet Avg. Prox. To Cup

Danger Zone: 5/6. -3 score. 22.5 feet Avg. Prox. To Cup

One thing to note was just how great Tiger’s long iron play was. If you include his 2nd shots on the par-5’s with his Danger Zone shots, he hit them an average of 21.3 feet. With his average shot being from 192 yards.

As I’ve mentioned, typically the leader in Danger Zone play will average 34 feet to the cup. Tiger was hitting it to 21 feet in the 4th round.

Here’s a look at his putting

3-5 FEET PUTTS MADE: 3/3 (100%)
5-10 FEET PUTTS MADE: 3/4 (75%)
10-15 FEET PUTTS MADE: 2/3 (67%)
15-25 FEET PUTTS MADE: 1/2 (50%)
25-35 FEET PUTTS MADE: 1/4 (25%)
35-50 FEET PUTTS MADE: 0/1 (0%)
50+ FEET PUTTS MADE: 0/1 (0%)

While Tiger putted well, I don’t think he was going nuts on the green. I also think it goes to show how ballstriking plays a role in most great rounds of golf and in Tiger’s case, he was on fire with the long irons. If you want to shoot 62, this is the way to do it.





3JACK

Friday, March 9, 2012

3Jack's Stance On Trackman


Recently, some of my blog readers and forum members have been asking my thoughts on Trackman. The frequency in inquiries has grown due to some of the things that I have posted on my forum (http://richie3jack.proboards.com) and others.

First off, I’m a fan of Trackman. However, I don’t think it’s infallible in its effectiveness in improving golfers. I think much of what we are seeing in the praise of Trackman is due to it being a new device for many golfers and what usually happens with golf, when something is new and the golfer initially has success with it, it gets overblown as the ‘greatest invention of the century of the week.’ Hell, it wasn’t too long ago that golfers were saying the same thing about the Medicus training aid device.

That stuff happens and after a great deal of experience in this sort of thing, I understand it but it has also made me skeptical of the ‘greatest invention of the century of the week.’


One of the big things I’ve noticed with Tour players using Trackman is that they initially improve and improve greatly. But after a while what happens is they revert back to hitting it about the same as they were before their Trackman usage-ownership.

Kevin Streelman is a pretty good example. He went from a fairly average to above average driver of the ball with a steep attack angle who went to a good driver of the ball using Trackman. Then last year he finished 68th in Advanced Total Driving and what appears to be a somewhat steep attack angle with the driver judging by these radar numbers:

9.33° launch angle (161st)
92.5 feet max height (92nd)
3,002 rpm spin rate (174th)
2.52 Distance Efficiency (165th)

Now, finishing 68th in Advanced Total Driving is nothing to sneeze at, but he was a top-25 player in ATD in 2010, when he first purchased a Trackman for himself.

The same could be said for Darren Clarke, who won the British Open right after purchasing a Trackman, but hasn’t done much since. Same with other owners like Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer. It’s not that they are poor players by any stretch. And in the end, *if* the tradeoff of getting hot immediately after purchasing a Trackman and being able to win a Major and then more or less go back to a level of ballstriking that you were at pre-Trackman…is worth it. But, not everybody will wind up that way.

This is probably the biggest reason for me thinking that Trackman is the ‘magic machine’ that will cure all ills and will turn weak teachers into good teachers and good teachers into great teachers is a really a delusion.

Take a look at this video of Graeme McDowell using Trackman.



I’ve discussed this personally with a few anonymous Tour players who use Trackman and they tend to use it in a similar matter that McDowell is using Trackman in this video.

If you can hear McDowell, he now understands the proper laws of ball flight. And he understands that his path going inside-to-out with relation to the face will produce a draw. He appears to be fine with that. He also understands that in order to hit the draw at the target, he will do it with an open clubface at impact.

All McDowell is doing is if he feels like he is aligned ‘square’ to the target, that will produce that inside-to-out path of around +2° to +3° which will allow him to hit the push-draw he desires. However, his ‘work on Trackman’ really does not go beyond that.

I think this sorta leads to a few things.

For starters, it reminds me a bit of what Geoff Mangum (www.puttingzone.com) once wrote about on his forum as to the difference between working with Tour players and working with amateurs. I’m paraphrasing, but he said that essentially Tour players are more or less there to beat the guy in front of them, not to become the absolute best player they can possibly be. Life on Tour is a very good one and they simply will not risk losing their Tour card no matter what.

I think part of the issue with something like a Trackman is that if a Tour player is just worried about numbers and has little to no concern with the actual mechanics of the golf swing, eventually those vague things they did (like address alignment) will ‘wear off’ and they’ll need to figure out the mechanics in order to produce more consistent numbers with Trackman.

That being said, I think 2 of the positives of Trackman is:

1. Golfers get to really understand the proper laws of ball flight.

2. This should help reduce the Ian Baker-Finch’s and David Duval’s of the world, players that drastically ‘lose’ their golf swing.

I think the reason for the sudden improvement for Tour players is by understanding the laws of ball flight *clearly*, it’s sort of an awakening for them. What I’ve found talking to Tour players is that they usually give muddled answers when you ask them ‘what causes the ball flight’s initial direction.’ Typically, the Tour players I’ve talked to will say the face (which isn’t quite accurate, but somewhat close). But, when they talk about hitting a draw or fade on purpose, they then start discussing the path as responsible for the initial direction. And as far as the path’s relationship to the face, they usually have zero idea.

It was not too long ago that I recommended that Tiger should get on a Trackman so he can really learn the proper laws of ball flight. I had a lot of people criticize my thoughts for that because as they put it ‘surely Tiger knows D-Plane!’

Well, he didn’t



What I think has been confused with my recent thoughts on Trackman is when I was posed with the question ‘if you HAD TO choose between Trackman or Casio, which one would you take?’ My answer is the Casio and it has nothing to do with money.

In reality, a good golf swing instructor will teach swing mechanics that will produce good Trackman numbers on a consistent basis. Meaning, a good swing instructor does not actually need a Trackman because their teachings will be geared to produce powerful, accuracy and precise golf shots. So if the student then gets on a Trackman, the work with ‘show up’ in the data.

However, I do believe golfers trying to only learn thru Trackman are doing themselves a bit of a disservice since they are eliminating one of the key cognitive learning processes for no reason.

Furthermore, I’ve personally found that I can work to achieve ‘good Trackman numbers’ without a video, but do it with convoluted swing mechanics. Then when I get onto the golf course, those convoluted swing mechanics that produced ‘good Trackman numbers’ eventually ‘fade away’ and I’m back to my old way of hitting the ball.

Sound familiar?

The ideal is to have all 3 aspects. Good instruction, a Casio to help the student see what the teacher’s instruction, a Trackman to help further understand the teacher’s instruction, and the Casio for the student to take on the range with them so they can make serious progress mechanically.

In fact, Trackman itself has recognized the importance of a camera as their latest model:


I find that one of the biggest benefits of Trackman is that if the golfer has addressed the swing mechanics and is progressing towards those swing mechanics, Trackman really helps them better understand and get that feel of what needs to happen to finally get it. If you’re a golfer working on mechanics to help achieve a higher trajectory by creating a shallower attack angle, you can hit balls trying to achieve those mechanics and eventually understand the feel you need to execute those mechanics.

But I don’t agree that cameras are not very useful nor do I agree that the Trackman is far more useful than the camera. I think somebody like Tiger has a good idea of how to make permanent, positive change in his golf swing. He has the instruction from Foley, they use a Casio to view the mechanics and the Trackman to understand the proper laws of ball flight and to tweak the feels in order to achieve those mechanics. And that’s why in a short time, despite a torn ACL and all of the other mess, he’s gone from one of the worst drivers on Tour to #1 in Advanced Total Driving. And that’s why the others have not seen that permanent vast improvement in their ballstriking.

The reality is that Trackman only makes certain teachers and certain golfers better. And usually it’s the ones who want to learn how to get better.








3JACK

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Not at Home On The Range w/Fran Pirozzolo


Here's a recent Wall Street Journal article on practice and golf that I found very interesting:

Wall Street Journal - NOT AT HOME ON THE RANGE

Here are some quotes I found interesting:

One technique that clearly doesn't work is "massing"—that irresistible urge most golfers have to hit interminable balls at the range until, maybe, they get it right for a short spell. "Massing can be useful for introducing new skills because you have to create a basis. But fairly quickly, if you want to progress and retain what you've learned, you need more advanced techniques," Pirozzolo said.


"Interleaving" is one example. That's neuroscience-speak for constantly alternating clubs, drills and targets. In one experiment that Levitt and Pirozzolo conducted, the goal was to increase proficiency on 110-yard wedge shots. One group of participants hit 90 shots to targets exactly that far away. A second group hit 30 shots to 70-yard targets, 30 shots to 110-yard targets and 30 shots to 120-yard targets. In the end, the second group substantially outperformed the first group in hitting to 110-yard targets, even though they had hit only a third as many shots to that distance

In general, I liked the article.

One of the things I've stated repeatedly is that many golfers come to me and say 'I hit it great on the range, but on the golf course it's a different story.'

And my solution is to have them hit a bunch of balls, but switch the club and the target after each shot. So, you may hit one ball with the 7-iron at the blue flag pole on the range and then the next shot, hit a 3-iron to the red flag pole on the range. By using different clubs and hitting at different targets with different angles, it translates to what you have to do on the course.

Part of the problem with the way most people practice is that they are essentially making themselves comfortable with a particular shot. So, if you're hitting a 7-iron repeatedly on the range, you're more or less making yourself comfortable with a 7-iron on a range to a particular target on the range. When you really are on with your mechanics, it's when you can hit a variety of different shots with precision.

The other part I found interesting was something I mentioned in 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis...how golfers should visualize and practice certain shots on the range before they go out and play golf. Ben Hogan stated that he did the same thing in one of his interviews with Golf Digest. Essentially, I agree with Hogan...determine what particular shots on the course are going to be the most difficult and visualize and practice those shots on the range before the round. That way you're not going into those shots 'cold' when playing the round.

For example, the tee shot at #3 at North Shore is a particularly difficult one.


So on the practice range I will visualize the hole and imagine me aiming at the bunker (127 yard marker) and hitting the shot.

The only thing I don't quite agree with is how the author, John Paul Newport, sort of contradicted the point of the article. Newport says that massing (hitting shot after shot) 'clearly doesn't work.' But, Pirozzolo then says that massing 'can be useful for introducing new skills.'

I agree with Pirozzolo based on my own personal experience. It's one of the things that my swing instructor, George Hunt (www.moradgolfgeorgehunt.com) go over quite a bit. How to practice. How to more effectively practice so you can change the mechanics in the swing more quickly. And I've found that George is right, when I practice the way he prescribes, the improvement happens quicker and I can hit less golf balls. Whereas 'massing' often means more time on the range with less improvement.

However, I am going to take in Pirozzolo's idea of using constantly different clubs and different shots while working on mechanics and see how that goes.






3JACK

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Updated MOI Weight Thoughts 3.7.12

Here’s some thoughts based on my personal experiences of doing more MOI weight fitting and matching of clubs.

First though, I will refer to MOI Matching as ‘MOI Weight.’ Simply because we know we often utilize the term MOI for clubheads and the amount they will twist on shots that miss the sweetspot. With MOI matching, we are simply looking to alter the weight of the club. So, I will now refer to it as ‘MOI Weight.’

Here is what I’m typically seeing as far as MOI weight for clubs go:

Drivers: Too light of a MOI weight
Fairway Woods: Too light of a MOI weight
Hybrids: Slightly too light of a MOI weight
3 thru 7-iron: Too heavy of a MOI weight
8 thru Wedges: Too light of a MOI weight

This is interesting to me because we are seeing fewer and fewer golfers using longer irons like 3 and 4-irons and replacing them with hybrids. And more companies are abandoning muscleback long iron designs.

While I think the hybrid head is designed to be easier to hit, I also think that it sacrifices spin control and distance control over a 3 or 4-iron. However, I think that since the hybrids tend to be slightly off with MOI weight whereas the 3 or 4-irons are way too heavy golfers are hitting the hybrids better because it comes closer to a MOI weight they can handle.


What’s also interesting is I think it explains some of the Mizuno ‘love.’ From my own experience and speaking to customers, the feel of the irons seem much better once they are MOI weight fitted and matched.

With Wishon’s equipment, it’s quite easy to MOI weight fit and match because he has lighter clubheads than the leading manufacturers. So when the golfer is fitted for MOI weight it is usually heavier than the weight of the Wishon club. From there, I just add weight to the clubhead using lead tape and/or hosel weights.

The problem with OEM’s equipment is that the clubheads are heavier. Thus, if I get a customer whose fitted MOI weight is 2,700 kg/cm2 and their 5-iron weighs in at 2,750 kg/cm2 I have to reduce the weight of the club to 2,700. The only way to do that is to either use a different, lighter shaft or grind the head or trim the shaft. All of which can greatly affect other properties of the club.

Mizuno offers 3 different types of clubheads for each model. They offer a lightest clubhead model, a heavy clubhead model and a ‘standard’ clubhead model. Because they can offer a light clubhead model, they can prevent the 3 thru 7-irons from having too heavy of a MOI weight. What I’ve found with Mizuno irons I’ve tested is that they are extremely consistent in MOI weight from 3 thru 7-iron. Then the 8 thru PW is usually much lighter, but still consistent in MOI weight.

For example, my Mizuno Pro TN-87 irons have a MOI weight of 2,725 – 2,740 in the 3 thru 7-irons. Very consistent (and a little heavy as I play to 2,725). But, the 8 thru PW measure in at 2,660 to 2,680. Consistent, but much lighter than the 3 thru 7-irons.

Thus, I believe what happens with Mizuno is that they feel so good because the MOI weight of the 3 thru 7-irons is pretty close to what the golfer’s fitted MOI weight is. And since the 8 thru PW are easier clubs to hit because of the higher loft and shorter shaft length, they really don’t quite notice them being too light of a MOI weight until I match their MOI weight to what the golfer has been fitted for.


Speaking of Mizuno, what I’ve found from their Mizuno Shaft Optimizer is that it gives a pretty good fit for shafts based on launch conditions and shaft flex. But, I think it struggles to fit for weight properly as it’s prone to offer too light of a shaft. And judging from Wishon’s thoughts on ‘soft stepping’ and ‘hard stepping’, I think it could do a better job with the shaft profiles. I’ll have to reserve my final thoughts after I get the Nippon 1150GH shaft in which Mizuno doesn’t recommend, but Wishon’s Shaft Bend Profile software infers would be a good shaft for me.


I’ve also found that MOI weight tends to favor taller players. Mainly because taller players like longer shafts in their irons. But, the issue is that with added shaft length the MOI weight will increase. In fact, I can trim off less than 1/4-inch off the butt end of a club and make the MOI weight 50-70 kg/cm2 lighter. So, it doesn’t take much to affect the MOI weight.

I play irons that are +1/2-inch longer than standard. I still do not recommend more than 1/2-inch over standard, but many taller golfers simply do not want to hear that.

Since I use Wishon’s 555 model irons with the lighter clubheads, the added 1/2-inch shaft length does not affect me because my fitted MOI weight is 2,725 kg/cm2. The heaviest MOI weight in my set when I assembled them was the 4-iron which came out to 2,702 kg/cm2. I then simply added weight to the head of each club.

However, what I’ve found with a couple of customers who play non-Wishon clubs with longer steel shafts is that their irons become way too heavy for them. In fact, one customer of mine had Adams irons with a heavier MOI weight than his Taylor Made driver.

Since he insisted on +1-inch shafts in his irons, I simply recommended a lightweight steel shaft that made the MOI of his irons much lighter. We installed this into his 6-iron and since he lives close by, I personally MOI weight fitted him. We found that installing a shaft that was 100 grams instead of 130 grams and then adding about 1-2 grams to each head fit him perfectly. I then took his driver and 3-wood and we wound up adding about 4 grams of weight to each head and now he hits the ball much better.

Shorter golfers who don’t change their shaft length don’t really have to worry about this as much.


The consensus is that you don’t have to fit for hybrids if the hybrid is using the same shaft as the irons. However, I’ve found that to be slightly true in a few cases, but other cases I found that to be inaccurate. Thus, I would recommend getting fit for MOI with the hybrid because it doesn’t hurt to do so.

Where my customers have seen the biggest help is with the 3-wood and the long irons. Mainly because those clubs are the most difficult to hit and the 3-wood is usually too light and the long irons are too heavy.

The shorter irons wind up feeling much better and there’s improved consistency and accuracy, but because they are easier to hit and the mis-hits are less severe it’s not as noticeable.

With the driver, customers have noticed better ball flight and consistency. My feeling is if I a golfer can max out their distance and the shaft bend profile suits them, but they are struggling with some consistency and accuracy…all that needs to be done is to fit them for MOI weight.

If I had the choice I would much rather see a golfer who can optimize distance than one who hits a driver very accurately and consistently but doesn’t max out distance. I believe proper MOI weighting can get the accuracy and consistency. But if you cannot maximize your distance, then you will need to either get a new shaft or a new clubhead loft to improve the distance.






3JACK

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Tour Rundown - Week 9

Rory McIlroy wins the Honda Classic and becomes the #1 ranked player in the world.



Here’s how my picks finished:

Kyle Stanley (30/1): Missed Cut
Justin Rose (35/1): t-5th
Y.E. Yang (40/1): t-30th
John Rollins (66/1): Missed Cut
Spencer Levin (66/1): t-21st

Value Pick: Alex Cejka (200/1): Did Not Play


Rory mostly won with his driving, putting and Safe Zone play. He’s currently ranked #1 in Putts Gained, but has a rather small sample size.

Here are my picks for Doral:

Dustin Johnson: 28/1
Matt Kuchar: 33/1
Keegan Bradley: 33/1
Adam Scott: 40/1
Justin Rose: 50/1

Value Pick: Charles Howell III: 100/1



This is the first week that Tiger has had enough shots to qualify statistically in some of the metrics. As you will see, he’s ranked 1st in Advanced Total Driving. In his last few years under Haney, he could not break the top-125 in Advanced Total Driving. While the sample size is still rather small, the performance still infers a tremendous turnaround in his driving:

14th in Driving Distance.
3rd in Driving Accuracy (72.1%)
23rd in Distance To Edge of Fairway

Whether his critics like him or not, Sean Foley has done a tremendous job in turning around Tiger’s swing. And as far as putting goes, Tiger is currently ranked 101st in Putts Gained after a good 3rd and 4th round of putting upped his Putts Gained ranking. However, Tiger is t-1st in Percentage of Putts Made from 3 to 5 feet. Historically, the best putters rank very well from 3 to 5 feet and golfers who improve from 3 to 5 feet tend to ‘get hot’ with the putter eventually.

In other words, I project Tiger to win soon and it wouldn’t surprise me if he flat out dominates the field. And that could even be in the Masters.

I will have my picks for Doral up tomorrow.


ADVANCED TOTAL DRIVING



1. Tiger Woods
2. Bubba Watson
3. John Senden
4. Roberto Castro
5. Hunter Mahan
6. Tom Gillis
7. Chad Campbell
8. Jeff Maggert
9. Heath Slocum
10. John Rollins


172. Tommy Biershenk
173. Nick O'Hern
174. Chad Collins
175. Steve Wheatcroft
176. Patrick Sheehan
177. Gavin Coles
178. Stephen Gangluff
179. Billy Hurley III
180. Derek Lamely
181. David Duval


PUTTS GAINED (VIA PGATOUR.COM)

1. Rory McIlroy
2. Martin Flores
3. Scott McCarron
4. Aaron Baddeley
5. Chris Riley
6. D.J. Trahan
7. Ben Crane
8. Johnson Wagner
9. Erik Compton
10. Phil Mickelson

173. Boo Weekley
174. Troy Kelly
175. Ricky Barnes
176. Heath Slocum
177. Justin Leonard
178. Greg Owen
179. Arjun Atwal
180. Scott Brown
181. Kyle Thompson
182. Chad Campbell


ADJUSTED SHORT GAME PLAY

1. Mark D. Anderson
2. Sean O'Hair
3. Kevin Kisner
4. Johnson Wagner
5. Nick O'Hern
6. Brandt Jobe
7. K.J. Choi
8. Cameron Tringale
9. Chris Couch
10. Troy Matteson

160. Heath Slocum
161. J.J. Henry
162. Bo Van Pelt
163. J.B. Holmes
164. Kris Blanks
165. Kyle Reifers
166. Gary Woodland
167. Chez Reavie
168. Billy Hurley III
169. Kyle Thompson


BIRDIE ZONE PLAY



1. Trevor Immelman
2. Jeff Maggert
3. Troy Kelly
4. Vaughn Taylor
5. Padraig Harrington
6. Ryuji Imada
7. Brendon de Jonge
8. Jason Dufner
9. Charlie Wi
10. Mathew Goggin

155. Kevin Sutherland
156. Ben Crane
157. Nick Watney
158. Aaron Baddeley
159. Jamie Lovemark
160. Chad Campbell
161. Ryan Moore
162. Jerry Kelly
163. Stephen Gangluff
164. Billy Hurley III


SAFE ZONE PLAY



1. Will Claxton
2. Jeff Maggert
3. Bo Van Pelt
4. Brian Gay
5. Trevor Immelman
6. Zach Johnson
7. Nick O'Hern
8. Marco Dawson
9. Mark Wilson
10. Robert Allenby

150. Derek Lamely
151. Stewart Cink
152. Robert Garrigus
153. Jeff Overton
154. Sean O'Hair
155. Charley Hoffman
156. Jamie Lovemark
157. J.B. Holmes
158. Mark D. Anderson
159. Briny Baird


DANGER ZONE PLAY



1. Lee Westwood
2. Nathan Green
3. Bubba Watson
4. Jim Furyk
5. Jonathan Byrd
6. Webb Simpson
7. Justin Rose
8. Ryo Ishikawa
9. Kyle Stanley
10. Gary Woodland

166. Stewart Cink
167. Joe Ogilvie
168. Ryuji Imada
169. Alexandre Rocha
170. Erik Compton
171. Ryan Moore
172. Jerry Kelly
173. Mark D. Anderson
174. Richard H. Lee
175. Chad Collins





3JACK