Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How Kyle Stanley Lost The Farmers

On Sunday, Kyle Stanley had a lead of 3 strokes going into #18 at Torrey Pines.

#18 is a reachable par-5 with water short and left of the green, some bunkers right. The green actually slopes quite a bit towards the water.

Stanley hit a nice driver and left himself with 241 yards into the green from a good lie in the rough. He had 2 options:

1) Utilize the traditional golf strategy of 'laying up because you have the tournament won' and then putting it on the green and 2-putt for par and win the tournament.


2) Utilize 3Jack Golf's 'Metric Based Golf Strategy' which recommends that you go for the green in 2 shots unless you simply do not 'have the shot' to get there.

Stanley chose #1. Even announcer David Feherty stated to the effect that 'if he doesn't lay up here, I will have to cross check him.'

Stanley then:

- laid up nicely with an iron into the fairway.
- Hit a shot that landed about 10 feet past the pin and spun back into the water.
- Dropped into the 1st cut of rough to take the spin off.
- Hit one onto the green, about 30 feet away and downhill.
- 3 putted

He then proceeded to lose in a playoff against Brandt Snedeker.

Of course, people will label this as a 'choke.' In fact, that's what the YouTube member who posted the video said.

However, I contend that Kyle Stanley did NOT choke. Instead, he used an ill-conceived strategy that put him in a position to possibly choke.

Hey, nobody wants to be the next Jean Van de Velde:

However, there are extremely different circumstances here. Van de Velde is playing a tough par-4 and had to hit a tough tee shot while Stanley is playing a relatively easy par-5 and already hit a good tee shot (yes, Van de Velde's decision was stupid in epic proportions).

Stanley's situation was something I wrote about in 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis.

Essentially, there is an extremely high correlation to par-5 'Go For It' percentage and par-5 scoring average. Laying up so you 'have a full wedge into the green' is actually putting that AGAINST you on average compared to if you can go for it and get it closer to the green.

Part of what this amounts to is by laying up, Stanley actually increased his 'expected score' instead of 'lowering his expected score.' Obviously, nobody thought that he would hit it into the drink (and he did get screwed). However, because his expected score raised and he needed to make double bogey to win, he actually increased his chances of making a triple bogey.

The other part is this...

Had Stanley gone for it in 2 shots and hit it into the water, he could have dropped into the 1st cut of rough. Then knocked it on the green and 3-putt like he did...EXCEPT, he would have made a 7 and would have won the tournament. And they would have never said 'choke.'


Monday, January 30, 2012

More PGA Merchandise Show Pics

TRADITIONAL GOLF (www.traditionalgolf.com)

Great looking clubs. The irons have an ultra-thin topline. They use 1025 carbon steel in the irons.

ROYAL COLLECTION (http://www.rc-golf.com/main/)

I thought Royal Collection (who is now working with Mercedes-Benz on golf equipment), had the best looking driver head I saw at the entire show.

One of the new Bobby Grace putters

Here's the Miura MG hybrid

I felt Yonex's EZone Muscle backs were big winners at the show. The picture doesn't quite do it justices because the head looks different than most blades, but still beautiful in shape.

They also make some nice looking wedges.

Callaway Razr Fit driver. This comes with weight ports. Currently, they only have 2-gram and 12-gram ports, but they plan to add more. I thought the driver felt nice.

Here's the Exotics XCG5 3-wood. I could get the 13* 3-wood up nicely. The 11.5* 3-wood flew too low.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Merchandise Show Journal - Day 2

Thursday night was the 'Tweet Up' that John Graham and I put together at the Brick House Tavern. Roughly 40 people showed up in total. Professionals like:

- TJ Yeaton (www.tjyeaton)
- Dan Carraher (www.dancarrahergolf.com)
- Sara Dickson (www.saradickson.com)
- Bobby Siravo (www.ifitgolf.com)
- Dave Wedzik, Erik Barzeski, Michael McLoughlin (www.golfevolution.com)
- Stan Moore (http://www.thumbtack.com/ga/atlanta/golf-lessons/golf-instructors-stan-moore-performance-golf)
- Chris Como (www.chriscomo.com)
- Rob McGill (http://rm4golfblog.wordpress.com/)
- Jon Hardesty
- Jason Sutton (www.golfgurutv.com)
- Mark Sweeney (www.aimpointgolf.com)

And many more. If I forgot to add you, I apologize.

Everything went quite well and we had a good time discussing the game, state of the industry, problems that pros come across, jokes, etc. There were some that were interested in the 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis and had more specific questions about it.

On Friday, I hit up the show at about noon and checked out a few places. To me, one of the big winners was Edel Golf. And since everybody has been asking about their wedges, we'll start off with some pics.

First, Edel wedges are custom fit wedges. So, they have a 'fitting cart', just like the ones you see for other OEM's.

Each cart has a boatload of different heads with different grinds and different bounce angles along with the bunch of different shafts to choose from.

One of the big facets of the Edel wedges is that the CoG is moved away from the heel and more towards the toe. If you have ever hit a wedge, invetibably you will have shots off the toe and it marks up the toe. Part of the problem is that when it goes off the toe, the ball doesn't make full contact with the grooves and you can hit some knuckleball shots. Here's a look at the wedges and you can see how they move the grooves (along with the CoG) more towards the toe.

Here's some pictures of some other wedges:

What's unique as well is that the Edel wedges are designed to have extra bounce so the golfer doesn't get scared of sticking it into the ground and winds up 'hanging back' on the downswing. But, the grinds are designed where the golfer can still hit off of tight lies and hit flops without any issue whatsoever.

Here's the irons prototype:

Edel plans on making 99 sets this year. The idea is similar to the wedges, more bounce without the giant sole and moving the CoG away from the heel.

Edel also has some belly and long putters available. The putters are 'torque balanced' which are designed so that the face doesn't open up thru impact. There should be more about this on the Web site.

I firmly believe that Edel makes the best putters on the market, so I'm confident that the rest of their equipment will meet that level of greatness.

I also got some pictures of the Tour Striker driver. These are available now and retail at $199. Excuse the pictures as I had difficulty getting the proper amount of light. I think the Tour Striker driver is excellent.

I then talked with 3Jack Golf Certified D-Plane Instructor Errol Helling on a new training aid that works in conjunction with AimPoint.

This training aid combines a lot of things into one. First, it serves as a bubble level than can measure the slope of a putt. It also serves as a 'putting gate' so the golfer can aim and hit the ball where they want it to initially roll. Furthermore, it's designed so you can aim it perfectly at your intended target with a protractor design. For instance, if you move it 6 degrees, that equates to 6 inches from the edge of the cup. Lastly, you can put a putting track onto it as well.

I plan on purchasing one of these myself from my AimPoint practice and they will be up on Aimpointgolf.com pretty soon.

I then went over to the Mizuno hitting booth. I hit their new MP driver and liked it. I think Mizuno makes underrated woods. They then put me on the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer, something I haven't tried in a couple of years.

The Mizuno Shaft Optimizer has been upgraded. You can now attach it to whatever clubhead you want instead of having to hit an model head. I asked about them updating their shaft database and they said they do that constantly, but they didn't add KBS' C-Taper shaft because they found that the C-Tapers were too heavy and didn't get the results they wanted. Anyway, I was fitted for the following:

- True Temper Dynalite XP X-100 (Soft Stepped once)
- Project X 6.0
- KBS Tour X-Stiff (soft stepped once)

I then headed over to Scratch Golf and was mostly interested in their putters. They did tell me that their deal with the forging house in Chicago fell thru and now they are considering a forging house in Michigan. However, they are looking to retail putters.

This picture is blurry, but it's a new finish that Scratch is experimenting with that is used for handguns. It creates a finish where no 2 finishes are alike.

Here's a wedge grind and a flatback custom iron.

Later, I checked out the Scor Wedges booth. Scor Wedges have a V-shaped Sole, so there's 2 different bounce angles to work with on shots.

I will have more pictures tomorrow.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Merchandise Show Journal - Day 1

The first day of the merchandise show is the 'Demo Day.' It's held at Orange County National which has this humongous driving range that is in the shape of a circle. This year, most of the companies are in between a 2-year product cycle, so I don't think there was a lot of hype going into this show. However, the weather was gorgeous today, 75-80* with a nice breeze throughout the day.

The first thing I came across is the Tour Striker driver.

The main idea of the Tour Striker driver is the face design creates a smaller 'center' to help train the golfer to hit that center.

I have been reading Tom Wishon's book 'In Search For The Perfect Driver.' One of the things he says is that the sweetspot is:

1. A very small point where the CoG of the club is. It's about the size of a needle point.

2. The 'sweetspot' of the driver is in the center of the club...NOT towards the crown and toe.

One of the reasons why it is misinterpreted as the 'hot spot' of the driver for golfers is that with the deeper face drivers, the roll of the driver actually causes the driver to have more loft located up by the crown. So, the center of the driver face may be at 9.5* of loft, but the top towards the crown may have 11* of loft.

Wishon's claim is that golfers usually have NOT ENOUGH loft on their driver and have to hit it up towards the crown in order to get that loft. But, in reality they are causing themselves to hit the driver *SHORTER* than if they had the proper loft and worked to hit the center of the face.

My first couple of strikes came off the heel and missed the face and were basically 'worm burners.' But after that I started hitting it quite well and I was surprised at just how good the club feels. The driver will retail for $199 and is currently being sold. I will have up close pictures of it on Friday.

After that and some mulling around I got to meet with the Edel Golf people and try their new wedges.

The idea behind the Edel Wedges is to give the golfer enough buonce angle in the wedge so the golfer does not have to worry about the club getting stuck in the ground.

One of the things I noticed when I moved to Florida was how easy it was to stick a wedge into the ground on the wirey bermuda. But, I purchased some wedges with more bounce angle and that helped.

However, Edel wants to give a LOT more bounce angle. I was fitted for a 52* 'Digger' grind and a 56* and 60* 'Driver' grind. I cannot remember what the bounce angle was at, but it was around 25* of bounce.

Yes, that's right...25* of bounce.

I was told that was quite common with the Tour players they work with.

The idea is to make it so the golfer can take their swing without the fear of sticking it into the ground. And what will happen is now when you swing the wedge, the divot decreases.

I think one of the important things this does is with distance control. One can now not have to worry about catching one thick and losing yardage and wedges are mainly about distance control. You can also hit low punches without worrying about the club sticking and causing your pivot to stall.

The other thing Edel did was the moved the CoG of the club further away from the heel. And to top it off, the grooves now go all the way out to the toe. So if you ever have those marks towards the toe, those shots will actually be by the CoG and it will make impact off the grooves and you don't have to worry about hitting a knuckleball shot. Also, if you have a chip shot and the club is more upright, now you don't have to worry about the uncertainty of how the ball will react off the toe.

Edel also has a special grip that is 1 inch longer than the typical grip. Edel has done this so the golfer can choke up on the club more in case they are in between yardages or want to hit a lower shot.

I was fitted for a KBS C-Taper shaft and I should get my wedges in March. I will take more pics of the Edel Wedges on Friday.

Also, Edel is looking to make 99 sets of irons for 2012 and see how they perform. The concept will be similar, more bounce without a huge sole. I got to hit the 9-iron and really liked it. Although it was a cavity back club.

I then went over to Oban shafts and saw Oren Geri from Big Break hitting balls there. I don't think Oban quite fits me as when it comes to the driver shaft, but I think they make a great shaft. I tried their Kiyoshi line and thought it was pretty good. Oban also has some new irons shafts (graphite). I thought those were pretty solid as far as graphite iron shafts go.

I also got to try the Matrix Program shaft. In fact, Matrix was giving the 95 gram iron shaft out for free and I brought one home with me. The problem with graphite iron shafts is that it's made so long that it just doesn't quite feel right. Although the shots I hit well with it really went well.

After that I was very impressed with Honma's new driver (S-02). This is a 7-piece design and it's extremely forgiving and it's very long. I was quite impressed with this driver.

One of the big winners for me was the new Yonex EZone Muscleback irons.

These clubs look fantastic, feel fanstastic and really perform. I hit the 4-iron, 8-iron and PW and all of them were spectacular. I also got to hit the EZone driver. Yonex offers their heads in 380, 420 and 460 cc sizes. I think they have a winner here.

I also started to fall in love with a 9* Black Tour Cleveland driver and the Miyazaki Kusula shaft. I did hit the new Cleveland Classic driver but came away unimpressed.

I did hit the new Taylor Made Rocketballz fairway wood. The 3-wood does come off the head well, but it's rather large in size. Some may not like that big of a clubhead.

Lastly, I was turned onto Ernest Sports new ES12 launch monitor. I didn't get the entire spiel on it, but I believe it measures clubhead speed, ball speed and it can record your swing.

Here's a video for that.

More to come on Friday.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Understanding the 'Hot Spot' For the Driver

Recently, I purchased Tom Wishon’s book ‘The Search For the Perfect Driver’ (www.wishongolf.com). I have only read the first few pages of it and I will have a review for it when I finish.

Anyway, one of the things that I came across that surprised me was Wishon discussing where the ‘hot spot’ or the ‘sweetpot’ of the driver is.

For the past 10 years or so, we have been

We have been told that the ‘hot spot’ of the driver is located towards the toe and up towards the crown of the club. We have been told when you hit there, that is where the golfer gets the most distance. However, Wishon essentially says that this is very very flawed in theory.

One of the things Wishon discusses if the ‘bulge’ and the ‘roll’ of the club. As most of us know, the driver face has a very slightly curved design. The face will curve horizontally to the ground from heel to toe.

This is called the ‘bulge.’ This helps the golfer with mis-hits. Thus, if a golfer misses the tee shot off the toe, the bulge and the gear effect will cause the ball to usually push and draw a bit.

Conversely, the head curves a little vertically from the bottom to the crown of the club. This is called the ‘roll.’ Wishon states in ‘The Search’ that he never really has found a function for the roll and for years it was not a factor for golfers in any way whatsoever.

However, that changed once the drivers got bigger. The loft of a driver is measured from the center of the clubface. Thus, if you have a 9* lofted driver on the stamp, that means that the loft was measured at 9* at the center of the face. But, as driver heads became larger, the roll started to become more pronounced and started to affect the loft of the clubface. So what happens is a driver with a 9* loft at the center of the face may have 11* of loft towards the crown and 7* of loft towards the sole.

So, where is this driver head sweet spot?

First, the ‘sweet spot’ is actually NOT an area. It’s actually a very fine point, about the size of a needle point. According to Wishon, when companies say they have ‘increased the sweet spot’, all they have done is increase the MOI of the clubhead around the actual sweet spot. I often get asked this with Trackman’s measurement of how far offline a ball can travel if it misses the sweetspot by 1 dimple. My answer is ‘no’, we really can’t feel a shot that misses the sweetspot by 1 dimple or probably even 3 dimples. However, that’s provided Trackman measured the sweetspot as a specific point about the size of a needle tip, not an area.

Anyway, the actual sweet spot of the driver is where we had it…at about the center of the clubhead. It’s where the clubs Center of Gravity is located.

Wishon surmises that the reason why people get into the myth of the ‘hot spot’ being located towards the crown of the club is that most golfers play with drivers with too low of a loft. So when they hit one towards the crown where the loft increases, that is more towards their optimal loft that they should be playing.

However, a golfer could hit the ball further by getting the proper amount of loft on their driver and hitting towards the center of the club instead of using a lower lofted driver and hitting towards the crown. They can also increase their accuracy. This is where fitting for loft based upon clubhead speed, attack angle and dynamic loft comes into play.

I recently spoke to a customer wanting a Wishon 919THI driver that he was surprised how far he hit it. He asked me what makes it go so far and I told him that at 11* of loft (what he purchased), the loft was much more optimal to what he had been playing at 9.5*. Personally, I think my optimum loft is more like 10*, although I’m currently using a 9* Wishon 919THI.

The other thing Wishon has done is he has made the ‘roll’ on the clubface as flat as one can possibly make it. This means that you won’t get the added loft if you hit it towards the crown or the lower loft if you hit the ball towards the sole. Thus, it encourages the golfer to hit the real ‘hot spot’ of the driver, right towards the center of the face.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Tour Rundown - Week 3

Here were my picks for the Humana and how they finished:

Ryan Palmer: CUT
Harrison Frazar: CUT
Kyle Stanley: CUT
Martin Laird: t-14th
Robert Garrigus: t-2nd

VALUE PICK: Kevin Chappell: t-30th

Here’s the current rankings of the players who finished in the top-5

Mark Wilson ……………...68…….51……139…..85……40…….56
Johnson Wagner ……….117…….5…….28……47……101…….71
John Mallinger …………..52…….53…….22……41……18…….108
Robert Garrigus ………...29……159…..105…..89……63…….N/A
Jeff Maggert ………………45…….11…….102….13……19……..27

Wilson’s rankings really don’t show it, but he excelled at driving, putting, and Birdie Zone play at the Humana. He also had a good tournament with his Short Game. His Safe Zone play was pretty average and his Danger Zone play was slightly above average.

Here are my picks for the Farmer’s:

Kyle Stanley: 80/1
Robert Garrigus: 50/1
Dustin Johnson: 28/1
Bubba Watson: 28/1
Charles Howell III: 33/1

Value Pick: Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Here’s the rankings:


1. John Senden
2. Jamie Lovemark
3. Bo Van Pelt
4. Chez Reavie
5. Matt Kuchar
6. Bobby Gates
7. Jason Dufner
8. Charlie Wi
9. Camilo Villegas
10. Ryan Palmer

156. Tommy Biershenk
157. Anthony Kim
158. Alexandre Rocha
159. Stephen Gangluff
160. Gavin Coles
161. Joe Ogilvie
162. Steve Wheatcroft
163. Matt Bettencourt
164. Corey Pavin
165. Derek Lamely


1. Mathew Goggin
2. Scott McCarron
3. Hunter Haas
4. Chez Reavie
5. Johnson Wagner
6. Greg Chalmers
7. David Hearn
8. Bo Van Pelt
9. Brendon Todd
10. Steve Jones

163. Scott Brown
164. Stephen Gangluff
165. Charley Hoffman
166. Mike Miles
167. Chad Campbell
168. Ryan Moore
169. Mark Brooks
170. Rich Beem
171. Bill Lunde
172. Heath Slocum


1. Joe Durant
2. Sam Saunders
3. Stuart Appleby
4. Nick O'Hern
5. Tadd Fujikawa
6. Brett Quigley
7. Mathew Goggin
8. Ryan Moore
9. Steve Stricker
10. Chris Couch

159. Ken Duke
160. Graham DeLaet
161. Richard H. Lee
162. Gary Christian
163. Tommy Gainey
164. Tom Gillis
165. Billy Hurley III
166. Gary Woodland
167. Kyle Thompson
168. Charley Hoffman


1. Joe Durant
2. Colt Knost
3. Chez Reavie
4. Paul Goydos
5. Matt Kuchar
6. Brendon de Jonge
7. Gary Christian
8. Brett Quigley
9. Bob Estes
10. Phil Mickelson

118. Scott Stallings
119. Jason Kokrak
120. Ben Crane
121. Jhonattan Vegas
122. Charlie Beljan
123. Gavin Coles
124. Tadd Fujikawa
125. Chris DiMarco
126. Kevin Chappell
127. Doug LaBelle II


1. Tom Gillis
2. James Driscoll
3. Matt Kuchar
4. Lee Janzen
5. Bo Van Pelt
6. Corey Pavin
7. Tadahiro Takayama
8. Justin Leonard
9. Blake Adams
10. Alexandre Rocha

144. Stewart Cink
145. Camilo Villegas
146. Billy Hurley III
147. John Huh
148. Matt Bettencourt
149. Jamie Lovemark
150. Derek Lamely
151. Ryan Palmer
152. Richard H. Lee
153. Gary Woodland


1. Alex Aragon
2. Carl Pettersson
3. Pat Perez
4. Kris Blanks
5. Nick Watney
6. Matt Every
7. Webb Simpson
8. David Hearn
9. Jason Kokrak
10. Jonathan Byrd

129. James Driscoll
130. Troy Matteson
131. Troy Kelly
132. John Merrick
133. Bud Cauley
134. Duffy Waldorf
135. Ryan Moore
136. Jamie Lovemark
137. Chad Collins
138. Russell Knox


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 3Jack Prepares For Golf


This year I plan on trying to qualify for the Florida State Amateur Match Play championship. Last year I played in the Florida Mid-Am. My end goal is to make the match play portion of the US Amateur, but I project that my game will not quite be ready in time for me to seriously qualify for it this year.

I will likely forego qualifying for the Mid-Am this year because the qualifier is held at a private club (Legacy at Alacqua Lakes) and I don’t care to pay money and take time off from work to play a qualifier at a course that I will likely only get 1 practice round in. The Florida Amateur qualifier is at Metrowest, a well known public course in downtown Orlando. Furthermore, the actual championship will be held at the Country Club of Orlando. If I qualify, it would just be a short 15 minute drive from my home.

First, let me once again thank the Florida State Golf Association for the excellent work they do. They treated us tremendously last year and once again, their Web site is so efficient and user friendly and helps make things easy for us competitive golfers in Florida. They really go all out for us.

Here’s the scorecard from MetroWest.

Also, here’s a link of their ‘course tour.’


I’ve only played MetroWest once, but I plan on playing there at least once a month up until the qualifier this year. It’s a Robert Trent Jones design (and pretty typical one). Even though it’s in downtown Orlando, from a central Florida perspective it’s probably one of the hilliest courses you’ll find in the area. Overall, I would recommend this course to vacationers. It’s not as good as say Shingle Creek, World Woods, Orange County National or Reunion, but it’s a slight step below those and probably above places like North Shore, Eagle Creek and Falcon’s Fire.

Anyway, one of the things that stands out about MetroWest is its long par-5’s. I believe that we will not play fully from the back tees (although I will practice from there).

#4 will likely be moved up to no further than 568 yards (probably more like 580 yards).

#10 will probably be moved up. And #17 will probably be moved to 198 yards. The committee usually moves up 2-4 of the tees to help keep the pace of play moving.

Still, when you see long par-5’s on a course that is only 7,050 yards I think the overall theme is that it will be tough to go real low here. Also, MetroWest clearly favors the bombers, in part because of the long par-5’s. The good news is that I’ve picked up distance switching back to a Wishon 919THI 9* driver with an Aldila RIP Beta shaft in part to better launch and spin conditions. I’ve also been hitting the Wishon 929HS 3-wood quite well and long (topping out at 270 yards off the deck, but more like 255-260 yards). In preparation for MetroWest, I will be practicing a lot more with the 3-wood.

Since I have only played there once, almost 2 years ago, my memory of the course is still a little fuzzy. However, I think the problem holes are:

#4 610 yard par-5 (pictured above)

If I recall, it’s an elevated tee and then the second shot will go around a bend. So the dilemma becomes how much the golfer can cut off on the 2nd shot without going in the water.

#6 429 yard par-4

IIRC, this goes uphill. So I believe a Danger Zone shot on the approach is likely.

#8 178 yard par-3

Danger Zone shot

#9 405 yard par-4 (first picture)

Another elevated tee with the hole going around water. This time the water is on the left. I believe to go in a straight line from the tee to the green is about 330 yards and John Daly actually drove the green with the driver. But, the ‘normal’ play is to hit down the right side. I don’t think you hit driver if playing down the fairway because you’ll likely hit it too long. Here’s where the 3-wood or hybrid off the tee play may be a factor.

#10 584 yard par-5

I just remember this hole being fairly tight off the tee with a lot of difficult downhill lies on the 2nd shot.

#15 – 196 yard par-3

Danger Zone shot.

#17 – 226 yard par-3

Very difficult shot. Particularly into the wind. I believe they will move up the tees to 200 yards and still a difficult shot into the par-3.

Other than that, for now I’m going to keep working on the swing. But, I will set aside 1 day a week for just putting practice (probably on Wednesday). From there, just keep tweaking equipment and keep the mental and course management sharp.