I kind of do this with some caution. I am averse to taking myself too seriously. Years of playing golf will create that in a person because just as soon as you think you're hot stuff, the game will rear its ugly head right back at you. However, I thought it would be *fun* to go over the stuff I've reviewed this year and came up with my own "3Jack Awards." This is basically awards for things I watched, read or used during this year. Thus, it's not important as to when the product, video, book etc came out...it's whether or not I reviewed it this year. Anyway, you'll get the point soon enoughBEST TRAINING AID DEVICE
Second Runner Up: Tour Striker Driver
Runner Up: Rope It Golf Ball
Winner: Trueline Putting Coach
3JACK NOTES: Perhaps it is out of skepticism for training aids, but I feel we are seeing less and less in quality golf training aids. However, I think 2012 presented us with a few quality products in the ones listed. The Tour Striker driver is designed to help with the centeredness of impact with the driver. It’s also a great feeling club which is unusual for training aids. I purchased the Rope It ball for my dad. It’s a golf ball with a rope attached to it so the golfer can hit an actual ball in their back yard without the ball going more than 30 feet.
The Trueline Putting Coach was designed by 3Jack Top-25 Putting Instructor, Errol Helling (www.errolgolf.com) and allows the golfer to practice a variety of stroke mechanics and AimPoint fundamentals all at once.
BEST YOUTUBE VIDEO
Second Runner: The Perfect Shank at 24K FPS (by Kelvin Miyahira)
Runner Up: Bo Van Pelt Swing Analysis (by Dana Dahlquist)
Winner: The flop Shot at 24K FPS
3JACK NOTES: Both 3Jack Top-50 Instructors, Dahlquist and Miyahira filled YouTube with excellent videos this year. Miyahira’s videos were shot with the Phantom camera and provided insight as to what actually goes on when the club collides with the ball. The flop shot videos were particularly interesting since it explained why we hit those shots off the toe and how at the very least, the ball levitates when you hit a flop shot off a mat. Dahlquist did a great job of explaining Bo Van Pelt’s swing, which was a top-5 swing on Tour this year as indicated by his performance in key metrics as shown in 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis.
BEST PREMIUM GOLF INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO
Second Runner Up: Stack and Tilt 2.0 DVD
Runner Up: 5 Simple Keys Golf DVD
Winner: Stroke of the Future
3JACK NOTES: Like training aids, we are not seeing as many instruction videos as we saw a few years ago. However, there were some quality videos made here. Whether or not one agrees with the philosophy or theory, the videos were very well done and enough to pique the viewer’s interest. The S&T video gave an entirely better description of what Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett teach and the numbers and subsequent ball flight results behind it. The 5 Simple Keys was along the same lines at the S&T video, although less rigid in structure. And the Stroke of the Future was another superbly executed video by Steve Elkington providing possible insight into a way of not only better automating one’s putting stroke, but one’s golf swing as well.
BEST EQUIPMENT COMPONENT OR CLUBMAKER TOOL
Runner Up: Wishon 739 CCG driver head
Winner: Compact Heavy Duty Shaft Prepping Center
3JACK NOTES: Since most companies were in between product cycles in 2012, there was not a lot to choose from. The Wishon 739CCG driver head is an innovative concept as it allows for much more different adjustability in head weight design. It still features the Graduated Roll Technology present in all Wishon heads. The Shaft Prepping Center is very neat as a friend of mine recently purchased one. The cutoff wheel makes trimming any shaft a cinch and also inserts the ferrules with ease. If you’re doing a lot of shafts and clubmaking, this is the tool for you.
BEST EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER
Second Runner Up: Romaro Ray
Runner Up: Edel Golf
Winner: Wishon Golf
3JACK NOTES: Most companies were in the middle of their 2-year product cycle, so 2013 should provide us with a lot more competition. Romaro Ray is a Japanese company that has made a nice range of equipment, from grips to woods, to cavity back irons to blades to drivers. Edel Golf will be debuting their irons at this year’s PGA Show. The irons will feature high bounce angles for better performance. Their LW is the best LW I’ve ever owned by a long shot. And as I say, they have the best putters on earch. Wishon continues to impress with their new products in 2012; most notably the 575MMC irons (I plan on trying these out in 2013) and their 739CCG driver, the ultimate in adaptability and custom fitting. I can’t wait to see what new products come out for 2013 from guys in Durango.
BEST GOLF WEB SITE
Second Runner Up: My Golf Spy (www.mygolfspy.com)
Runner Up: The Sand Trap (www.thesandtrap.com)
Winner: Secret In The Dirt
3JACK NOTES: It’s tough to be the mass amount of content that the SITD crew provide. The Sand Trap does an excellent job of providing content and keeping their forum busy. My Golf Spy does a great job with informing the public about new products, although I feel like that has regressed a bit in the past year.
BEST GOLF BLOG
Second Runner Up: Geoff Shackelford (www.geoffshackelford.com)
Runner Up: Gotham Golf Blog (www.gothamgolfblog.com)
Winner: Top 100 Golf Courses Blog (http://top100golf.blogspot.com)
3JACK NOTES: Shackelford runs an informative blog that keeps the reader up-to-date on so many important golf news stories. Ralph Perez’s golf blog had another great year of utilizing more talented, but unheralded instructors to give their thoughts and theories on the game and the golf swing. And the top-100 Golf Course blog does such a tremendous job of not only going over the top-100 ranked courses in the world (he’s only got to play ANGC to play all 100 courses), but other great unknown courses he has had the fortune to play. Taking you into the world of the great courses like the Sand Hills in Nebraska, Hirono Golf Club in Japan or Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand. Each month is a treat to read from the top-100 golf course blogger.
BEST LOOKING GOLF SWING (CURRENTLY) ON YOUTUBE
Second Runner Up: Glenn Hansen
Runner Up: Robert Rock
Winner: Roger Chapman