Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Quintic Ball Roll Videos

Here's a video of the Quintic Ball Roll in action.  One of the things that David Orr has been discussing on his Web site, The Flatstick Academy is Smash Factor of the putter.  Whereas the technical Smash Factor limit with a regular club can only go as high as about 1.49 (ball speed / club speed = smash factor), the smash factor with the putter can range from 1.6 to 1.9 according to David and instructors like Phil Kenyon.

They are able to measure the smash factor using the Quintic Ball Roll device:

What I think is interesting about the Smash Factor part of putting is that we can now better measure what type of feel of putter head contact we prefer.  Some people may prefer the feel of a putter that has a Smash Factor of 1.6 where as others may find that too soft and prefer a Smash Factor of 1.75.  It can obviously measure so much more to help golfers understand what is the best putter for them. 

David told me that he plans on getting his own Quintic Ball Roll software, soon.  And I would imagine that he will discuss what he finds with it on his Web site which is only $10 a month with no commitment. 


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wedge Game 2.0 by James Ridyard Trailer

Here's a video trailer for James Ridyard's Short Game 2.0 video.

In the meantime, you can check out his Short Game 1.0 videos.  Short Game 2.0 should be available for sale.  Check out www.shortgamesecrets.tv for updates.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Videos on Spin Loft with Chuck, Waite and Mayo

Here's a couple of videos on Spin Loft with Martin Chuck and Joe Mayo with Grant Waite:


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fujikura Golf Exclusive ENSO Machine

Here's a video from Fujikura showing more of their state-of-the-art ESNO shaft fitting system:


Monday, December 14, 2015

Chuck Evans Interview with Bernard Sheridan

Here's an interview with golf instructor, Chuck Evans, hosted by Bernard Sheridan:


Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 Pro Golf Synopsis Update

I have been getting inquiries as to when the 2015 Pro Golf Synopsis will be coming out.

Typically, Pro Golf Synopsis has been published in the first week of December.  However, due to new research that took longer than expected that has pushed back the deadline.  I am pushing to get PGS finished before Christmas.  However, that may be pushed back to no later than the before the Sony Open, January 14th (it should be done well before then).

I have conducted new research that I think is interesting and helpful to all golfers understanding their game.  I have looked further into par-4 designs since par-4 performance is so critical to a golfer's score.  And this season I have examined dogleg left versus dogleg right and straight-away par-4's, what correlations were involved with them and understanding the challenges that they bring.

I have also conducted new research involving a different analysis on Loss Aversion and how it affected Tour players.  But, the information applies to golfers of any skill level.  There is also an introduction of the 'clutch putting' metric and I look at the question as to whether or not a golfer should work on improving their weaknesses or continuing to work on their strengths.

There will be new information on strategy, a look at where the trends of the game to see where the modern game is going.  And of course, the 184 player-by-player statistical analysis of the 2014-2015 season.  In total, Pro Golf Synopsis should be over 300-pages long.

When 2015 Pro Golf Synopsis is up for sale, I will post it on this site as well as my Twitter page https://twitter.com/Richie3Jack.  The price is only $10!

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail them to me at ProGolfSynopsis@yahoo.com


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Alex Dee Explaining Fujikura Shafts

Here's a video from Fujikura VP, Alex Dee, explaining his company's shafts.  Last I checked, Fujikura was the #1 used wood shaft on Tour.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Search for Flatstick Nirvana Part XI (12.09.15)

Part I - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-i.html
Part II - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flat-stick-nirvana-part.html
Part III - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part IV - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_9.html
Part V - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-v.html
Part VI - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part VII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_12.html
Part VIII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_19.html
Part IX - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part X - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-x.html

In David Orr's most recent video on his Web site (www.flatstickacademy.com) he has a lengthy discussion on putter weight.  David warns that he is by no means a master club fitter.  However, I believe he has a great amount of knowledge when it comes to putter fitting that he has obtained through all of the study. 

When it comes to clubfitting, I am fanatical about weight/heft of clubs.  I find more experienced golfers like myself are much more sensitive to the weight of any club through my time fitting golfers with MOI matching.  I know that I am pretty good at telling if a club is only 15-25 MOI points off from another club (provided they are the same model club and shaft). 

And I have greatly benefited from MOI matching as it has improved my impact dispersion and trajectory.  Since I've taken things a bit further with MOI matching and gotten more into Balance Index, I've found ways to improve the spin rate of my clubs as well. 

One of the things I really like about David's video on putter weight was that he takes into account the weight of each individual component of the putter from the head, shaft, grip and grip tape (yes, you have to consider the weight of the grip tape).  David also goes into how too heavy or too light of a putter can affect the putting stroke.

Unfortunately, David uses a swingweight machine to demonstrate the points.  I've discussed the issues with swingweight before.  One of them being that you can have two clubs with the same swingweight, but they may feel very different and when you put them on the MOI machine, you might find a noticeable difference in their measured MOI.

Another issue is that the swingweight measurement is static (lays still on the machine) while the MOI machine is a dynamic measurement.  Here's a video from Tom Wishon showing the difference and showing how a MOI machine works:

Not only is the MOI machine a dynamic measurement, but the movement is actually similar to a putting stroke motion.  So, I wanted to start and look at putters by MOI and total weight instead of just looking at swingweight.


In David Orr's video on putter weight, he talks about the swingweight and how it affects the feel of the putter.  He also mentions some key points on its affect on the putting stroke as well.  How too light of a putter or too heavy of a putter will affect the putting stroke in a certain way.

One of the big issues that MOI Matching clubfitters have to overcome is the golfer's belief that MOI matched clubs are mostly about feel instead of actually improving ballstriking results.  When swingweight matching devotees hear that MOI matching is a 'a more advanced version of swingweight matching', they tend to just think that the benefits are just feel and they like the way their clubs feel, so why change?

However, what they don't realize is that the impact dispersion will likely improve greatly.  Here is an example from clubmaker Richard Kempton of a before and after MOI matching:


Another aspect I've seen with MOI fitting is the trajectory can greatly improve. In fact, the first time I fit myself for MOI I purposely used a very light driver that I hit extremely low for the fitting session. And as I got closer to the ideal MOI for my swing, the trajectory was much higher. Almost a night-and-day difference in trajectory.

So, why can't we use this for putting? 


One of the things I wanted to do was take all of the putters I own and measure their impact dispersion and then look at their MOI numbers.  Here's the putters I looked at ranking at lowest MOI heft to heaviest MOI heft

Ping B61 -- 2,700 MOI 

This putter is 35-3/4" long.  I have a slim, Pingman grip, but added so much athletic tape so that it is now a midsize grip.  The impact dispersion on this putter was pretty good.  This came from the 1980's (possibly the 1970's) and they used to make putters very light because greens were much slower back then.  There is some offset in the hosel, but the hosel is way out on the heel.

Cleveland Classic 3 -- 2,770 MOI


This is 35 inches long with a Pingman grip. I did not strike this putter well, although it was way too flat for me. This is a 1/4 offset hosel.

Mizuno Bettinardi C06 -- 2,945 MOI

This is a face balanced design.  The putter is actually much lighter than what I have for the MOI, but I had put a lot of lead tape to the head years ago.  I don't know how much.  But, the face contact was very good.  This club has a Winn Grips midsize putter grip and is 35" long.  This appears to have a 1/4 offset with a face balanced shaft.

Edel E3 Torque Balanced -- 2,970 MOI

This is the putter I've been using for the past few months.  The face contact was pretty consistent, but not as consistent as the Bettinardi.  However, this performs much better on the Pelz Putting Tutor than the Bettinardi.  This putter is 35-1/2" long with a no offset shaft.

TaylorMade Ghost Daytona Tour Black --- 3,010 MOI

This putter is 35-1/2" long with a standard plumber's neck and a GripMaster USA Leather Wrap grip.  I installed a Nippon putter shaft which is heavier than your typical shaft.  The putter is a little too flat for me, but the impact dispersion was better with this than the Cleveland Classic 3 putter which came in at 2,770 MOI. 

Edel Columbia Custom - 3,025 MOI

This was originally a belly putter.  I then had the belly putter shaft taken off and replaced with a normal putter shaft.  The grip is a PURE Grips putter grip (the slim model), but the head weighs 365 grams.  It is 35" long and the impact dispersion wasn't that great.

YAR Golf Putter -- 3,990 MOI

Yes, this putter had a MOI of 3,990.  Almost 1,000 points higher than the heaviest putter.  This putter was still that heavy despite the hole in the middle of the head.  This putter is 38" long and I think it is too flat for me.  The face contact was decent, but it's a very small head so you don't have much room to miss.

In the end, the most consistent face contact putters were the Ping B61, the Bettinardi C06 and the Edel E-3 putters.  They were 3 of the 4 lowest MOI heft putters.  The 2nd lowest MOI putter (Cleveland Classic 3) was just too flat for me. 


I decided to use my Edel E-3 putter to test for MOI.  Not only is it my 'gamer' putter, but it also has a head weight port.  My putter has a 12-gram weight installed, but I also had a 6-gram weight available as well.

I decided to take the following steps:

1. Remove the head weight and measure the impact without a weight on the head.

2.  Add 3-grams of lead tape, putt and measure the impact pattern

3.  Remove the 3-grams of lead tape, add the 6-gram weight, putt and measure.

4.  Add the 3-grams of lead tape with the 6-gram weight (9-grams total), putt and measure.

5.  Remove the 3-grams of lead tape, add 12 gram weight, putt and measure.

6.  Add 3-grams of lead tape with 12-gram weight (15-grams total), putt and measure.

In the end, I found that 6-gram weight with 3-grams of lead tape worked best.  When I measured the MOI afterward, it came out to 2,930 MOI.

I think it's funny since the rule of thumb is that you should probably have a driver that is +100 MOI points higher than your irons and my putter is nearly +200 MOI points than my irons.  Perhaps that is the rule of thumb needed.

In the end, I noticed much better impact dispersion and started to see differences in my putting stroke for the better.  The old weight appears to be a bit too heavy of an MOI for me.  That's plausible since I do not have a very wristy stroke and in the golf swing, typically the wristy swings require a higher MOI set of clubs. 

This will be something that I will pay close attention to from here on out.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Managing Putter Face Angle with Jeff Smith and Mario Bevilacqua

Here's a video from Jeff Smith and Mario Bevilacqua discussing managing the face angle with your putter.


Monday, December 7, 2015

The Search for Flatstick Nirvana – Part X (12.7.15)

Part I - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-i.html
Part II - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flat-stick-nirvana-part.html
Part III - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part IV - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_9.html
Part V - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-v.html
Part VI - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part VII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_12.html
Part VIII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_19.html
Part IX - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html

In the last segment, I discussed my basic practice regimen. But, with the time change it is getting dark too early and I don’t have time to practice on the practice green as much. Instead, I have resorted to the following indoor practice:

Early Morning Practice – warm up hitting 20 putts. Then hit 20 putts with the Pelz Putting Tutor

Lunch – Get out the Dr. Scholl’s foot power spray and measure the impact location. If I’m hitting putts more towards the toe or towards the heel, I generally know what the issue is.

Night Time – More Pelz Putting Tutor practice filled with some Mi Putting Template practice and using my pre-putt routine and hitting to dimes or pennies on the floor as well as corners of the wall.

I am also excited to try out David Orr’s Mushroom Drill which he described on his Web site, www.flatstickacademy.com (again, $10 a month with no commitment).

I think it’s a great drill to do once a week and the day before an event and I love how it is done so it combines mass practice with interleaving practice along with adding some pressure into the putting.

I made a couple of changes to my Edel E-3 Torque Balanced Putter.

1. Added a ½ inch extension to the putter shaft

This was done in order to improve the face contact which would often get out towards the heel. The putter was also a little too flat for me, so by adding ½’ inch, the effective lie changed to 1* more upright.

I believe that heel strikes were largely due to the putter being a bit too short for me and causing me to thrust the upper body in order to ‘reach the ball’ which will shift the putter head out and away from me and thus cause the ball to be hit off the heel.

Conversely, toe strikes are likely about having my stance too narrow as that causes me to lift the left shoulder too much upward and inward on the thru-stroke so the head shifts inward more and the ball is struck off the toe.

I started to putted badly once I started to go to 34” and 33” putters based on the craze started by Dave Pelz where Pelz wanted ‘straight arms’ at address because he felt it reduced the tension in your arms. But as David Orr describes in the Flatstick Academy, that’s not always the case. And based on my experience, I completely agree with him!

2. Removed the PURE Grips Big Dog grip and replaced it with a GripMaster USA Midsize Stitchback Grip

This was done to help reduce the pushes I hit as the PURE Grips Big Dog grip was a bit too large for me. I don’t hit a lot of pushes, but just enough to make me re-think it and I rarely hit a pull. Unfortunately, I’m not happy with the stichback grip as it is a bit too slick for my tastes. The size if fine, but the slickness makes it uncomfortable for me to hold.

Here’s a look at the current putter:


I had been putting pretty well, but inconsistently. Then on the weekend I putted extremely well, but did it 2 days in a row and shot 71 (-1) at Rio Pinar with 28 putts and 69 (-3) at Deltona Club with 25 putts.

I think the 1/2" shaft extension has made the bigger difference as now the impact location is more consistent and more towards the center of the head. But, I have yet to feel comfortable with the stichback grip. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm going to try the GripMaster USA Clubmaker putter grip in midsize and see if that provides the feel I'm looking for.

Meanwhile, I look to get on the SAM Puttlab next week and we'll see what the report says and it will be interesting to see what changes show up on the machine.  I'm still having problems with missing right-to-left putts low, but overall I'm very happy with the progress that has been made.


Friday, December 4, 2015

The State of Modern Golf Club Head Design with Tom Wishon

Here are a couple of videos from Tom Wishon (www.wishongolf.com) discussing the state of modern driver head and iron head design:


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Andrew Rice on How to Spin Your Wedges

Here's a nice set of videos from instructor, Andrew Rice, on how to spin your wedges:


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Preston Combs Demonstrates the New SAM Puttlab 3D Software

Here's a video from Preston Combs showing the features of SAM Puttlab's new 3D software:


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

GolfWRX Column: The Stats Behind Mickelson's Switch to Andrew Getson

It was big news in the golf instruction industry when Phil Mickelson decided to part ways with long-time coach Butch Harmon and hired Andrew Getson to take over. Mickelson was not exactly performing poorly by normal Tour standards, as he made 16 out of 19 cuts and finished 48th in Adjusted Scoring Average for the season. But Mickelson’s seasons are judged by victories and performance in the majors, and Phil may have felt that there was a need to change after two winless seasons.

As a golf statistician, I wanted to look at Phil’s performance from this past season along with his performance in his most recent “big” season, 2013, when he won the British Open, finished 12th in Adjusted Scoring Average and earned nearly $5.5 million. I would assume that performance in 2013 is something that Phil wants to get back to.

While the two most important metrics in the chart above are Par-4 Scoring Average and Bogey Rate, it’s always good to look at all of the metrics to help paint a more clear picture of what is going on with the golfer’s game. In Phil’s case, the drop-off in Par-4 Scoring Average and Bogey rate is dramatic and needs to be addressed.

For most of Phil’s career, he’s been a great iron player and a weak driver of the ball with fantastic ability to get up-and-down. So I would immediately wonder how his typical game is playing a factor in this decline in performance. The silver lining in all of this, however, is that he can still make a lot of birdies.

Read More: The Stats Behind Phil Mickelson's Switch to Andrew Getson