Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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

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

That post can be found here:

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Respectfully, (not always what I got) Gary

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