Monday, April 30, 2012

Sean Foley on Masters Preperation

I thought this was an interesting, short video that some may enjoy.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 16

Ben Curtis wins the Valero Texas Open

While I had a rough week with my Valero picks because of the wind, Curtis
was one of the golfers that was a part of my ‘Players to Watch’ blog post
back in January:

"Curtis was a streaky player as he started off the year hitting the ball
very well and putting very poorly by his standards. Then as he started
to get his putting back, his ballstiking dipped. I think he’s a player that
turns it on and off, like a faucet. And I think he’ll likely put it all together
for stretches at a time this year. I could see perhaps him playing the
role that Mark Wilson played last year, the Tour veteran who comes
out and gets a couple of early wins and becomes the talk of the Tour
and then comes back down to reality, with a good finish or two in the Majors."

Read more:

Here’s how my Valero picks finished:

John Rollins (40/1) – Missed Cut
Brendon De Jonge (60/1) – t-77th
Kevin Na (25/1) - Withdrew
Kevin Streelman (40/1) – t-13th
Ryan Palmer (30/1) – t-32nd

Value Pick: Richard H. Lee (250/1) – Missed Cut

Here are my Zurich picks:

Graeme McDowell: 28/1
Cameron Tringale: 66/1
Harris English: 66/1
Chris Stroud: 80/1
Scott Piercy: 80/1

Value Pick: Brian Harman 150/1


1. Bubba Watson
2. Roberto Castro
3. Jason Dufner
4. John Rollins
5. Boo Weekley
6. Graeme McDowell
7. Lee Westwood
8. Jeff Maggert
9. Hunter Mahan
10. Tiger Woods

176. Gavin Coles
177. Joe Ogilvie
178. Tommy Biershenk
179. Derek Lamely
180. Matt Bettencourt
181. Billy Hurley III
182. Stephen Gangluff
183. Ryuji Imada
184. Anthony Kim
185. David Duval


1. Bo Van Pelt
2. Luke Donald
3. Phil Mickelson
4. Bryce Molder
5. Brian Gay
6. Michael Thompson
7. David Duval
8. Martin Flores
9. Aaron Baddeley
10. Tiger Woods

176. Robert Garrigus
177. Boo Weekley
178. Arjun Atwal
179. Ricky Barnes
180. Scott Stallings
181. Scott Brown
182. Chad Campbell
183. Heath Slocum
184. Patrick Sheehan
185. Greg Owen


1. Patrick Sheehan
2. Steve Stricker
3. Ian Poulter
4. Jerry Kelly
5. Sean O'Hair
6. Kevin Kisner
7. Johnson Wagner
8. Brandt Jobe
9. Tiger Woods
10. Rory McIlroy

176. Gavin Coles
177. Jason Kokrak
178. Bobby Gates
179. Scott Piercy
180. Billy Hurley III
181. Bo Van Pelt
182. Ryan Moore
183. Chris Kirk
184. Angel Cabrera
185. Charlie Beljan


1. Sergio Garcia
2. Steve Stricker
3. Padraig Harrington
4. Brendon de Jonge
5. Johnson Wagner
6. Jeff Maggert
7. Jason Bohn
8. Jeff Overton
9. Jim Furyk
10. Lee Westwood

176. Jonas Blixt
177. Charlie Beljan
178. Geoff Ogilvy
179. Kris Blanks
180. Billy Hurley III
181. Jhonattan Vegas
182. Matt Jones
183. Scott Brown
184. Angel Cabrera
185. Stephen Gangluff


1. Marco Dawson
2. Lee Westwood
3. Robert Allenby
4. Jeff Maggert
5. Will Claxton
6. Matt Kuchar
7. Tom Pernice Jr.
8. Nick O'Hern
9. Gavin Coles
10. Graeme McDowell

173. Stewart Cink
174. Mark Anderson
175. Ryuji Imada
176. Derek Lamely
177. Scott Stallings
178. Shaun Micheel
179. J.B. Holmes
180. Billy Hurley III
181. Briny Baird
182. Jamie Lovemark


1. Louis Oosthuizen
2. Chad Campbell
3. Justin Rose
4. Gary Woodland
5. Bubba Watson
6. Nick Watney
7. John Senden
8. Bo Van Pelt
9. Daniel Summerhays
10. Jonathan Byrd

176. Henrik Stenson
177. Steve Wheatcroft
178. Ted Potter, Jr.
179. Lee Janzen
180. Stephen Ames
181. Ryuji Imada
182. Stephen Gangluff
183. Joe Ogilvie
184. Nick O'Hern
185. Richard H. Lee


Thoughts On Driver Lengths

The most common question I get asked from golfers when I put together clubs for them is undoubtedly ‘how long should my driver be?

Here’s a list of the things that I think are affected by the length of a driver:

1. Clubhead Speed
2. Consistency of Centeredness of Contact
3. Swing Mechanics


According to Tom Wishon (pictured above), he states that since 2006 the average length of a driver on the PGA Tour is 44.5 inches long. I tend to believe him because when I was fitted by Avery Reed, a former Tour Van employee of Taylor Made, he told me that he never fitted a Tour player for a driver longer than 45-inches long in his time on Tour.

Wishon has also stated that when it comes to clubhead speed, there is just no discernible difference in clubhead speed on clubs that are ½-inch or less in length. I know I used to think that ½-inch of shaft length would make a difference. Now we know that’s not true.

That being said, I don’t quite agree with the wrist-to-floor methodology that Wishon uses when it comes to driver length fitting. I have found that the problem is that it usually fits the golfer for too short of a shaft.

For instance, I used the wrist-to-floor methodology and came up with a 43.5-inch driver length. That’s because I have very short legs and long arms for somebody my height (6’3” tall with a 28.5 inch inseam).

Now, while ½-inch in driver length won’t make a difference with clubhead speed, 1-inch or more will. I had a golfer come to me saying that they were fitted for a 43-3/4 inch driver that they hit very consistently and accurate. But the way I fitted them was different and they were using a 44-3/4 inch shaft. We had to order the same shaft again, this time make it longer. The result was their clubhead speed went from about 102 mph to 110 mph. I know that we were doing it with different driver heads (going from an Adams driver to a Wishon 919THI), but I found the difference in clubhead speed rather astonishing.


Another thing most golfers don’t consider is how the length of the shaft will affect their swing mechanics. One of the key parts starts at address with the waist bend. Simply put, you must have some waist bend at address. That’s one of the big things that separates a golf swing from a baseball swing…the bend of the waist at address. There are plenty of other differences, but waist bend is an integral part of the swing. Without it, you can make it difficult to control your clubface, path and low point while losing clubhead speed.

That’s why it’s ridiculous to see a golfer who is using a 45-3/4 inch driver when they stand 5’8” tall. My driver is 45-inches long and I’m 6’3” tall. Masters Champion Bubba Watson is 6’4” tall and has been usinga 44-3/4 inch driver until recently when a PING rep told me he’s down to 44-1/2 inch driver.

So if you’re using too long of a driver, your mechanics could be off at address and never give you much of a chance in the rest of the swing.


The longer the shaft, it almost inherently becomes more difficult to consistently hit the ball on the sweetspot. This is understandable given the added length to the club.

Recently, Miles of Golf Driving range in Michigan did a study where they had different golfers swing the same driver head with the same shaft and swingweight…but with different shaft lengths. One being a 44.5 inch length and the other at 45.5 inches.

The results showed that there was almost no rhyme or reason to what golfers hit what driver better. Some hit the longer driver better in all facets…distance, accuracy, centeredness of contact and consistency. Others hit the shorter driver better. And it didn’t matter what the golfer’s clubhead speed was.

As I posted here, I believe what happened was the club’s MOI was very different (the entire club, not the MOI of the clubhead).

So the shorter club, which most likely had a lower MOI may have fit certain golfers swing and the longer club probably had a higher MOI that fit the other golfer’s swing.

I know I’ve trimmed of ¼-inch off the butt end of a shaft before and it altered the MOI by 60 kg/cm2 less than it was before. Of course, that may vary with different shafts because much of MOI matching has to do with how the weight is distributed throughout the club. But, 60 kg/cm2 is a LARGE difference.

Where drivers are so different from the rest of the club is that drivers are pretty much based on golfers trying to find the club they hit the longest, most accurately and with the most consistency. With irons, distance control tends to play a bigger factor as well as trajectory.

So while finding the right shaft model is often the golfer’s main consideration, they should probably look at driver shaft length FIRST and then consider the model second. And if they can understand the ramifications of going with a longer or shorter shaft, they are now pointed in the right direction of finding the best driver for them.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Underrated Aspects of Driver Head Designs

One of the big eye openers for me when I started learning about club design, club making and club fitting was from Tom Wishon’s book ‘The Search For The Perfect Driver.’

In the book, he discusses the fallacy of the ‘hot spot’ of the driver. The fallacy goes as this….there’s supposed to be a ‘hot’ spot of the driver head up towards the top of the face (near the crown). This is a fallacy rampant throughout the golf industry. I’ve seen Martin Hall talk about the ‘hot spot’ in his show on The Golf Channel and heard this quite a bit at the PGA Merchandise Show this year.


Wishon’s explanation of the fallacy was that the face of the driver curves vertically (bottom to the top of the face). This is called the ‘face roll.’ With 460cc driver heads, the clubface became longer both vertically and horizontally. Since the face became longer vertically, the face roll became more pronounced. And when that happened, the clubface would increase in loft towards the top of the face and decrease in loft towards the bottom of the face.


Face roll wasn’t a problem pre-titanium. As you can see the difference between a persimmon driver and the titanium driver in the photo above, the pre-titanium driver heads were so small that the face roll was not as pronounced.


With the driver it’s ultra-important to fit for loft. 1° of loft difference in a driver can greatly influence how well you hit a driver. However, Wishon recommends that you first look at clubhead speed in order to start to fit for loft. The more clubhead speed, the less loft a golfer should use. And of course, attack angle plays a factor as well. But most of the time, it’s far more about clubhead speed in loft fitting than it is attack angle. This is something most golfers either don’t get or go the opposite way (thinking attack angle first, then clubhead speed)


So according to Wishon, the reason for the fallacy of the ‘hot spot’ was that golfers were playing with drivers that had too low of a loft for their clubhead speed. They would then hit the occasional shot up high on the face where there was more loft which fit their swing better. So a golfer who swings the driver at 100 mph may be best off with a driver with a 11-12° of loft. Instead, they are using a 9.5° lofted driver head. Eventually they discover when they hit the ball up high on the face, they hit it longer. But in reality they are just hitting the ball on the part of the clubface more where the loft is comparable to their swing speed.



One of the things I hear some clubmakers talk about is how the Quality Control of OEM drivers is poor. I usually hear that the lofts are higher than the what they are stamped on the club. So, you may hear a clubmaker say that he has a driver that has a stamped 10° loft, but when they measured the loft, it was actually more like 11.5° loft.

Obviously, a club can have the incorrectly stated loft from time to time. However, the loft of a driver is measured from the center of the face. Thus, if a clubmaker is measuring an OEM driver and happens to measure more above the center of the face where the loft has increased because of face roll, then they are not quite getting the most accurate measurement of loft.



One of the questions that a reader asked me was ‘if you can hit the ball further by hitting above the sweetspot, then why not just keep hitting the ball above the sweetspot?’

I thought about this for a while and I’ve come up with a few reasons to avoid this:

1. Toe shots

From my personal experience of believing in the hot spot hype and then getting out of that hype is that my toe shots off the tee dramatically decreased just by no longer trying to hit that ‘hot spot.’ First, the ‘hot spot’ is alleged to be slightly towards the toe. So, if you try to hit slightly towards the toe…your chances of hitting one woefully off the toe increases. I also find that swing mechanics wise, if you try to hit the ‘hot spot’ and in particular try to hit up on the driver and hit the ‘hot spot’, I think that tends to cause your swing mechanics to be more likely to hit that toe-hook shot. I don’t have a problem with hitting up with the driver, but you should hit up and try to hit the actual sweetspot instead of trying to hit up and hit the faux ‘hot spot.’

2. Less Distance Off The Hot Spot

The closer you are to the sweetspot (somewhere in the center of the face, aligned with the clubhead’s Center of Gravity), the clubhead’s Moment of Inertia is at its highest. The higher the MOI, the less twisting of the clubhead as the ball hits it.

You will hit the ball further with less twisting from the sweetspot than from the Hot Spot. I don’t think it’s a giant difference because I think the ‘hot spot’ still has a rather high MOI, but not as much as the optimal MOI of the sweetspot.

In general, I think golfers will be much more accurate and consistent to avoid trying to hit the faux ‘hot spot.’ But, I think those 2 reasons above are the things that become obvious once you stop believing in the hot spot hype.


One of the things Wishon Golf decided to do was to counter how much the loft of the driver can change because of the pronounced face roll. So what they created was something they call ‘Graduated Roll Technology.’

Graduated Roll Technology (GRT) keeps the face roll down to a minimum.



The main benefit I’ve found of GRT is that it allows the golfer to increase their distance off the tee *over the course of a round.*

What I mean by this is that a properly fitted Wishon driver and a properly fitted OEM driver will likely go about the same distance when they hit the ball on the sweetspot.

However, we don’t always hit the sweetspot. And often times we may not hit it off the toe or the heel, but just miss the sweetspot by hitting it a little too high or too low off the face. Usually these shots wind up fine, but they just don’t go quite as far as we would like.


Recently I discussed something called ‘vertical gear effect.’ Vertical Gear Effect is similar to Horizontal Gear Effect in that it helps ‘self-correct’ the golfer’s ball flight when they miss the sweetspot.

For example, with horizontal gear effect…if I hit a shot off the toe the ball will have hook spin to it. So the horizontal gear effect will launch the ball out to the right and the ball’s hook spin will bring it back towards the target. Without horizontal gear effect, we would miss the target badly every time we missed the sweetspot.

Vertical gear effect works in a bit of a similar fashion.

If I hit a shot with the driver above the sweetspot, the ball will initially launch higher. You can lose a lot of distance, but the vertical gear effect will produce less spin. The lower spin allows the ball to not go too high. This is another reason behind the ‘fallacy of the hot spot.’ Golfers would hit the ‘hot spot’ and the ball would carry better for them and with less spin.

Conversely, if you hit below the sweetspot, the initial launch of the shot will be lower. So the vertical gear effect kicks in and the ball will spin more to help bring the trajectory up.

So, let’s take the difference between a driver with GRT and one without. We will say that both are optimally fitted for the golfer and the golfer understands the fallacy of the sweetspot.


Here the golfer is using an 11° loft driver in both cases as that is what they were optimally fitted for.

Hits Above The Sweetspot

The golfer will actually hit the GRT driver further because while the loft is higher with each driver, the GRT loft is more in line with what they were fitted for. The vertical gear effect will help bring both trajectories down. The difference in lofts here above the sweetspot is 1.5°.

Hits Below The Sweetspot

The GRT driver will go much further because the loft has not changed from what they were fitted for. However, the non-GRT driver has a much, much lower loft. The difference in lofts is now 3°. Imagine having the choice of buying 2 drivers with a difference in 3° of loft. That’s a massive difference.

So over the course of a round, the golfer would likely pick up yardage because when they go above or below the sweetspot, the GRT driver consistently allows them to hit the ball further.



With all of this being said, another benefit is that better players are in a better position to hit driver off the deck with a GRT driver than a non-GRT driver.

Think about it for a second. If you hit a driver off the deck, the ball contact will be lower on the face. With a non-GRT driver, the loft will be very low on that part of the face. While the Vertical Gear Effect can help, the loft may just be entirely too low with the non-GRT driver off the deck.

Perhaps the player on Tour that uses the driver off the deck the most is Bubba Watson. I think Bubba faces the same issues with his non-GRT PING driver. However, his clubhead speed is so high (around 125 mph), that allows him to more easily (and naturally) get the ball up in the air. But for mere mortals, even those who generate a good amount of clubhead speed (say, 112-115 mph), using a non-GRT driver off the deck is a difficult proposition

The main point in all of this is to really try and understand your equipment. Even if you utilize a non-GRT driver, you can still hit a driver really well. But, you are likely to become a better driver if you truly understand the features of the clubhead design than if you are going into it blind.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Bubba Watson's Swing - Right Handed

Here's a video of Masters Champion, Bubba Watson, flipped to have him swinging right handed.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 15

Carl Pettersson wins at Harbour Town.

Here is how my picks finished up at Harbour Town:

Bo Van Pelt: 25/1 (Missed Cut)
Kevin Na: 33/1 (t-8th)
Zach Johnson: 40/1 (2nd)
Bryce Molder: 50/1 (Missed Cut)
Brian Davis: 50/1 (t-13th)

Value Pick: Will Claxton 250/1 (t-60th)

Here are my Valero picks:

John Rollins (40/1)
Brendon De Jonge (60/1)
Kevin Na (25/1)
Kevin Streelman (40/1)
Ryan Palmer (30/1)

Value Pick: Richard H. Lee (250/1)

Here are the rankings up-to-date:


1. Roberto Castro
2. Bubba Watson
3. John Rollins
4. Jason Dufner
5. Boo Weekley
6. Graeme McDowell
7. Matt Kuchar
8. Lee Westwood
9. Jeff Maggert
10. Hunter Mahan

173. Michael Bradley
174. Nick O'Hern
175. Tommy Biershenk
176. Billy Hurley III
177. Matt Bettencourt
178. Chad Collins
179. Stephen Gangluff
180. Ryuji Imada
181. Derek Lamely
182. Anthony Kim


1. Bo Van Pelt
2. Luke Donald
3. Phil Mickelson
4. Bryce Molder
5. Michael Thompson
6. Ryan Palmer
7. Aaron Baddeley
8. Tiger Woods
9. Y.E. Yang
10. James Driscoll

173. Bobby Gates
174. Boo Weekley
175. Justin Leonard
176. Arjun Atwal
177. Scott Stallings
178. Heath Slocum
179. Ricky Barnes
180. Chad Campbell
181. Greg Owen
182. Scott Brown


1. Kevin Kisner
2. Steve Stricker
3. Ian Poulter
4. Jerry Kelly
5. Cameron Tringale
6. Johnson Wagner
7. Sean O'Hair
8. Nick O'Hern
9. Tiger Woods
10. Mark Anderson

171. Dustin Johnson
172. Jimmy Walker
173. Jason Kokrak
174. Heath Slocum
175. Bo Van Pelt
176. Ryan Moore
177. Chris Kirk
178. Angel Cabrera
179. Shaun Micheel
180. Billy Hurley III


1. Brendon de Jonge
2. Sergio Garcia
3. Padraig Harrington
4. Steve Stricker
5. Anthony Kim
6. Chad Collins
7. Jeff Maggert
8. Rickie Fowler
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Jeff Overton

173. D.J. Trahan
174. Steve Wheatcroft
175. Jhonattan Vegas
176. Charlie Beljan
177. Jonas Blixt
178. Kris Blanks
179. John Huh
180. Angel Cabrera
181. Scott Brown
182. Stephen Gangluff


1. Marco Dawson
2. Lee Westwood
3. Robert Allenby
4. Jeff Maggert
5. Will Claxton
6. Matt Kuchar
7. Tom Pernice Jr.
8. Nick O'Hern
9. Gavin Coles
10. Graeme McDowell

173. Stewart Cink
174. Mark Anderson
175. Ryuji Imada
176. Derek Lamely
177. Scott Stallings
178. Shaun Micheel
179. J.B. Holmes
180. Billy Hurley III
181. Briny Baird
182. Jamie Lovemark


1. Louis Oosthuizen
2. Justin Rose
3. Chad Campbell
4. Gary Woodland
5. Bubba Watson
6. Nick Watney
7. John Senden
8. Bo Van Pelt
9. Jonathan Byrd
10. Rory McIlroy

173. Ted Potter, Jr.
174. Jerry Kelly
175. Henrik Stenson
176. Steve Wheatcroft
177. Stephen Gangluff
178. Joe Ogilvie
179. Ryuji Imada
180. Nick O'Hern
181. Richard H. Lee
182. Chad Collins


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Composure, The Hidden Game Within The Game

I was watching a replay of ESPN’s 30 For 30 on the 1986 Masters. One of the things that really caught my attention was Nicklaus stating that as he started to make that run, he started to ‘learn how to play golf again.’ And what he meant by that, was he started to remember how to do the little things that don’t have a lot to do with actually hitting a golf ball, but do show up in the score at the end. One of the very first things Nicklaus mentioned was ‘learning how to keep my composure.’

I thought this was particularly ironic after Tiger’s kicking the club incident.

And former Ryder Cup Captain, Paul Azinger, certainly didn’t think too highly of Tiger’s actions as well.

I will say that I find keeping your composure to be one of the most difficult parts of this game. Especially if you are serious about the game and very passionate about it. It’s easy to lose your composure at the flip of a switch.

However, I do think it cuts both ways and I think that’s what Nicklaus was talking about. It’s one thing to keep your composure after he missed that par-putt on #12. But, you also have to keep your composure when you start birdieing holes as well because if you get too excited, you can lose your focus. Nicklaus was able to level out the highs and lows in ’86 and that was just as key of an element to his success on the back-9 at Augusta as his ballstriking and putting were. Without it, he probably doesn’t strike the ball or putt as well.

I also noticed how composed Louis Oosthuizen was at the Masters and remember the same from Charl Schwartzel when he won last year’s Green Jacket. I know both work with 3Jack Top 50 Instructor, Pete Cowen, on their golf swing and I know one of the things Cowen really delves into with his Tour students is the mental game. So I definitely think Cowen is really onto something.

For me, losing my composure from an anger perspective is much more of an issue than losing my composure when I’m on top of my game. I would not call myself an expert at either, but I think losing my composure when things don’t go my way is far greater than when things are going my way. I suspect it’s the same for just about every golfer.

This past weekend I started to formulate some ideas as to why I (and others) tend to lose their temper on the golf course:

1. To steal a line from Hank Haney, you tend to lose your temper when your performance doesn’t meet your expectations.

I’m sure a lot of us have had rounds of golf where we come in there thinking we are going to hit the ball great or shoot a really nice score and then when that happens, it’s like the game stuck a dagger in your back and starts to twist away.

In the town I grew up in, I would see this every year. We had 2 public golf courses on opposite sides of the town. One was rather difficult because it was very long and just had more difficult designed holes. The other was quite easy. It was very short with a lot of birdie and eagle opportunities.

But what was amazing to me was the members at the difficult course often struggled and struggled badly at the easy course. In fact, many members could almost never shoot a lower score at the easy course than they could at their difficult course.

I remember time and time again, members at the difficult course would say to the effect ‘I can’t wait to get on the easy course and shoot a really great number because that course is so easy and I’ve been playing so well here.’ And then they would shoot 85 or something completely crazy.

My experience was that their expectations were high and perhaps too high. And instead of focusing on the process (sticking to a pre-shot routine, making good swings, hitting so many greens and fairways, avoiding double bogeys or worse, etc), they would bogey the first hole and lose their composure and it would be a long day from there.

I think the problem is here is that we tend to do a poor job of placing expectations upon ourselves. How many times have we heard a football coach after his team blows out a tough competitor say ‘we expect to play this well’ or something similar to that?

I think in golf you have to set your expectations differently. I think you need to set your expectations that you will have good focus on every shot, that you won’t make poor decisions and that you will be prepared to play golf. If you do those things, then over time it will show up on your scores. The rest is stuff that is really out of your control.

2. Confusion as to why you hit a bad shot

This is something that I’ve never seen discussed. But, if you have ever hit a bad shot, particularly a certain bad shot that you have a great tendency to hit. And if you don’t have any clue as to why you hit that bad shot, usually this starts to fester anger inside of you. Think about it for a second. Ever get a lesson and you start hitting the ball well and you eliminate that one bad shot that you tend to hit? You walk away happier than a pig in shit.

That’s what most teaching professionals state that they do, make the game more enjoyable for golfers. Well, how do they do that? Getting them to hit the ball better and IMO, get the golfer to understand why they hit certain bad shots so the golfer, over time, can stop hitting those bad shots. It’s really strange how I have yet to see this acknowledged, yet we see angry golfers complaining that they don’t know why they hit a certain bad shot every day. And I think this was a major source of Tiger’s anger issues under Haney and probably a little bit today.

3. You Take The Game Too Personally

I see this a lot with lower handicappers to Touring pros. The Big Break often has a contestant that is like this where bad shots or bad scores are treated like an affront to them as a person and as a golfer.

However, if you look at the PGA Tour you will often see that really great players will occasionally shoot a very bad score (80 or worse) or go thru a very bad stretch of golf. But, the stalwarts of the Tour keep their composure and understand that it’s just a ‘dry spell’ and they’ll be back to playing well soon. They understand that the Tour is really a roller coaster ride and the ones that are successful are the ones who stay on the ride instead of jumping off when things don’t go as planned.

I used to struggle with this quite a bit, but I then realized that like Moe Norman said…if I play bad today it’s no big deal because I can play tomorrow and play well. In other words, a bad score does not define me as a person or as a golfer.

4. Bad Luck

Sometimes you just get bad luck and usually it coincides with 1 of the first 3 reasons I listed above. A few weeks ago I was playing a course where I landed up against the lip on 2 fairway bunkers and 1 greenside bunker and no shot was poorly struck or woefully inaccurate. In fact, the first shot up against the bunker came off of a terrible kick on the tee shot.

You really cannot counter bad luck, but I think it helps to recognize that bad luck can trigger you to lose your composure on the golf course.

5. Playing Partners with a bad temper

Again, not much one can do about it, but it’s easy to get coaxed into anger if your partner(s) are slamming and throwing clubs throughout the round. I think the key is to understand those things that trigger you to lose your composure and to understand that when you lose your composure, you’re more likely to see your score increase.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Rhythm In The Sand with Martin Chuck

Here's a video from 3Jack Top 50 Golf Instructor and Tour Striker creator, Martin Chuck, dealing with rhythm in the sand.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Scott McCarron on AimPoint

Here's a testimonial from PGA Tour player, Scott McCarron, on AimPoint golf's green reading. Scott was the very first PGA Tour player to give AimPoint a try and his caddy, Bradley Whittle, is an AimPoint certified instructor. Last year, McCarron finished 9th in Putts Gained and this year he was ranked #1, but currently does not have enough putts to qualify statistically.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Golf Student-Teacher Confidentiality

With Hank Haney’s book ‘The Big Miss’ release, I thought I would give my thoughts on what some people are calling ‘teacher-student confidentiality.’

Some call it an ‘unwritten’ rule when it comes to golf. However, I believe it’s more of an unwritten rule when it comes to life.

It’s like Jimmy Conway said to Henry Hill in Goodfellas, ‘never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.’

First, I think we have to delve back to the 2009 PGA Championship. With the lead in the final round, Tiger was paired with YE Yang. Tiger simply did not trust his driver and IIRC, hit the driver only 3 times in the final round, 2 of the drives missed wildly to the right. For the most part, he hit a lot of 2-irons off the tee. This was a bit unusual for Tiger because he would not even pull out his 3-wood off the tee. Before then, when Tiger’s driving was still very wild, he would usually use a 3-wood and golfers often debated that Tiger should just use a 3-wood instead of a driver the entire time on a golf course.

Meanwhile, Yang had no issue using the driver in that final round and he was routinely putting it well past Tiger’s 2-irons off the tee. While Tiger struck the iron approach shots extremely well, the fact that he was giving up to 70 yards to Yang off the tee was too much to overcome. Yang’s driving ability eventually led to him almost driving the par-4 14th hole and then chipping in to take the lead, which he never lost.

Come 2010, Tiger’s driving was still woeful and even becoming worse. In the 2010 Player’s Championship, it was rumored that Tiger had been seeking some advice from Sean Foley (his current instructor) and was hitting hacker-ish pop-up drives. There were reports that these pop-ups had been sneaking into Tiger’s rounds for months. This was at the end of April. Then about 2 weeks later, Haney notifies Fox Sports that he sent a text to Tiger saying that he was going to quit being his golf instructor.

Getting back to the ‘unwritten rule’ with teachers and students…its golf, not a person’s health, legal situation, psychological state or religious confessional. I do think that it’s distinctly different from those scenarios.

However, I can’t help but think that I would be leery of getting a lesson from Hank Haney if he is going to blabber about my personal life. Now, for all intents and purposes I am a ‘nobody.’ But, if I were a CEO for a big corporation or one of the celebrities in his ‘Haney Project’, I would question the confidentiality of our relationship.

I’ve worked with my share of golf swing instructors and while I have never planned to shove this down their throat, I do believe that I am the customer and that the customer deserves to be treated with respect. I also believe it’s the understanding that they will not discuss my feelings, thoughts, and personal life to others because it’s nobody’s business. With that, I also believe it’s an understanding that I would not publish their teachings without their consent or try to claim it as my own because they have a business.

And with somebody like Tiger, whether we like it or not, he’s a VIP customer because just being associated with him in golf is going to equate to making a lot of money. He is to golf as to Oprah Winfrey is to home products and Michael Jordan is to basketball. In fact, Haney has made so much money from being associated with Tiger that he probably does not have to teach golf anymore and can just make millions thru endorsements and now golf course design. And in today’s economy, he should be thankful that he hit the Tiger lotto.

Now, if Tiger had been bad mouthing Haney I could understand why Haney would write a book to let the world know the Tiger Woods he knows.

Instead, Tiger would always say to the effect ‘Hank and I know what the problem is and I’m not quite doing what he is teaching me every time. I have no plans to change instructors.’

This went on to the very end and even to this day, Tiger has taken the high-road when it comes Haney’s instruction. So even if Haney came away legitimately not liking Tiger, he still failed to live by the ‘golden rule’, something we are usually taught in our childhood.

What I think happened after that Players Championship in 2010 was Haney was upset about the rumors that Tiger was seeking advice from Sean Foley. I think Haney got together with his agent and the team of people that manage his brand and they decided that the best decision was to quit Tiger before Tiger quits Hank. They probably realized that Tiger dumping Haney will damage the brand and if he improves greatly, it could really damage the Haney brand. It’s no coincidence that ‘Team Haney’ got ahold of ESPN, The Golf Channel and Fox Sports immediately after he texted Tiger that he was quitting him as a coach.

I think the book is probably done in part to protect the Haney brand. Tiger’s play was improving, particularly his ability to drive the ball. By putting the book out, it paints Tiger in a very negative light and makes it seem like he is impossible to work for. So the public loses focus on the fact that Tiger’s ballstriking has improved dramatically and places it more on the person that Haney writes about in the book.

I think the entire book reeks of an ingrate that as Tiger said ‘is all about the money.’ If Haney really found Tiger that reprehensible, he should have quit teaching him long ago. He didn’t and despite all of the millions he’s made just by being associated with Tiger, he’s going to the well once again with ‘The Big Miss.’


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

3Jack Golf 2012 Masters Review

Bubba wins the Masters

Not trying to take anything away from Watson because he was the best player in the field this past weekend, but my love for the Masters has significantly waned over the years due to what the course has become with the new technology sending the ball so far.

Before the final round, CBS showed a nice little highlight reel of the 1987 Masters which consisted of the following golfers who were in contention. I put their driving distance ranking that year in parentheses:

Larry Mize (128th)
Greg Norman (t-4th)
Ben Crenshaw (86th)
Roger Maltbie (81st)
Jodie Mudd (13th)
Jay Haas (t-134th)
Bernhard Langer (t-111th)

My dislike of what the Masters has become is too many awful shots followed by the tremendous recovery shots in the proclaimed ‘greatest tournament in the world.’ And it’s also become a tournament where unless there are inclement weather conditions (mostly wind), then you can pretty much scratch off more than half the field before the tournament even starts.

It kinda reminds me of Major League Baseball which back in the 90’s proclaimed that ‘home runs = fans.’ Well, it doesn’t and it didn’t really work for them.

It initially piqued fan interest because all of these home runs was a new thing. But after a while fans started to realize that guys like Sammy Sosa who were routinely hitting 60+ home runs a year were doing so more because of circumstance than actual skill. That it was more about steroids, bringing the fences in, lowering the pitching mounds, etc. than legitimate greatness. After a couple of years, the home runs diluted itself and nothing really stood out and the game of baseball was far more popular in the 70’s and 80’s when they had lower scores and less home runs.

I believe ANGC was designed to present golfers with risk-reward decisions. I think holes like #13 and #15 were thought that if you layed-up, you were supposed to come away with the ‘safe’ par most of the time. If you did go for it and made it over, you were going to come away with a birdie or maybe an eagle. I don’t think it was designed to be an afterthought where the bombers could hit it as far as they possibly could hit one, go into the trees and still have a good shot at making the green in two shots. I cannot imagine any scenario were designers from that era didn’t want to penalize a golfer for a tee shot that was very inaccurate.

The fact is that Augusta never really ‘Tiger Proofed’ the course. They only helped promote his style of play even more. The solution? Who really knows, but I don’t think it’s much to ask that golfers who hit poor shots, regardless of how long they are, get penalized for it. I can assure you that the rough at Bay Hill is much higher than it is at Augusta, but not unreasonably high by any means. But enough to penalize golfers who find the rough and it’s not a coincidence that Tiger, who found fairway after fairway and rarely hit bad shots, won at Bay Hill this year. Perhaps they need to remove more of the pinestraw and just have simple grass there to make the lies more difficult.

Anyway, here are how my picks at Augusta finished:

Phil Mickelson: 11/1 (t-3rd)
Luke Donald: 16/1 (t-32nd)
Justin Rose: 28/1 (t-8th)
Matt Kuchar: 66/1 (t-3rd)
Bo Van Pelt: 80/1 (t-17th)

Value Pick: Kyle Stanley 125/1 (missed cut)

Here's my picks for Harbour Town.

Bo Van Pelt: 25/1
Kevin Na: 33/1
Zach Johnson: 40/1
Bryce Molder: 50/1
Brian Davis: 50/1

Value Pick: Will Claxton 250/1


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Explaining Bubba's Hooked Pitching Wedge

The famous shot on the 10th hole in the playoff:

This arose some debate on Twitter as this was happening. What most golfers don't quite understand is that Bubba was able to hit that with a face that was NOT closed at impact.

I can hear it now 'he HAD to close the face to hit that hook?'

Well, what do we know from the physics of D-Plane?

1. The ball's initial direction is about 70-85% due to where the clubface is pointing at impact.

So that means that if Bubba's clubface was closed at impact, he likely would have missed the green dead-right (remember, he's left handed). A closed face would be pointing out to the right at impact and that's where the initial direction of the ball flight would have been.

I can also hear 'well, he had to rotate the face thru impact!'

No. A rotation of the clubface *by itself* does not make the ball hook. It's the direction of the path with relation to the face at impact.

Meaning...Bubba had to swing the path well 'inside-to-out' from where the face was pointing at impact. So, if the face was pointing 3* open at impact, his path had to go further inside-to-out than 3* and in this case it may have been something like 10* given the severity of the shot.

'You mean to tell me that these guys don't know how to work the ball?'

Not at all.

However, there are easier and more dependable ways to work the ball than rotating the clubface thru impact to hit a hook or to 'hold it off' to hit a cut.

This way takes a lot of hand and eye coordination.

That and Bubba has one key element correct.

He swung the club well inside-to-out. When you do that, I've found that it's very hard not to close the face as it exits in your swing. But what happened at impact is a complately different story. Anybody who understands D-Plane can give a pretty good ballpark as to what was happening there.


Friday, April 6, 2012

A Possible Case For Parallel Tip Shafts

In the golf equipment side of things, there are essentially two kinds of iron shafts, parallel and taper tip.

To my knowledge, when steel shafts were first made, they were made as taper tip shafts. Here’s a diagram showing the differences in parallel tip (.370, shown on top) and taper tip (.355, shown on bottom).

As you can see, the tip of the parallel shaft runs ‘parallel’ to each other. The taper tip ‘tapers’ down to 0.355 inches in diameter as it gets towards the tip section.

With taper tip, each shaft is a different length and it has a certain club it fits into. For instance, a PW shaft may be 37-inches long. The clubmaker then trims the shaft from the *butt* end of the shaft length. So a golfer who wants a 36 inch long PW, may have to get the *butt* end of the shaft trimmed 2 inches and then with the shaft installed it will come out to a 36 inch club.

The parallel tip has every shaft the same length and there is no one particular shaft for each club. If you’re installing parallel tip shafts in a set of irons, the raw/un-cut shafts may all be 41 inches long. You first trim from the tip end. The shaft company usually gives instructions as how much to trim from the tip end depending on the club.

For example, you may have to trim ½-inch from the tip end on a 3-iron and 2-inches from the tip end on a 7-iron. Once the tip end is trimmed on a parallel tip shaft, you then trim from the butt end to the length you want the club to be.

It’s reported that in the 70’s, more companies started to go to parallel tip shafts because it would save them money on inventory. No more having to worry if you have, say, enough 6-iron shafts for your 6-iron heads in stock. All you have to do with parallel tip is grab any shaft, trim to specs and you’re good to go.

However, parallel tip shafts started to develop a bad reputation. People often thought of them as ‘cheap’ because they saved the OEM’s money which people thought meant that they were lesser in value.

Last year I wound up purchasing some Wishon 555 irons and installed some parallel tip KBS Tour shafts in them. I don’t think I’ve ever played with parallel tip shafts before then, but I decided to install them because I was not familiar with installing taper tip shafts (.355) inside parallel tip (.370) hosels. However, I do currently install taper tip inside parallel tip hosels using a brass shim and it’s quite easy.

One of the biggest gripes against parallel tip is supposedly the feel of the shaft. However, I’ve never had a problem with the feel of a parallel tip shaft versus its counterpart in taper tip. I can see why there could be a difference in feel as if you look at Wishon’s Shaft Bend Profile software (, you will see different shaft bend profiles of a parallel tip versus the same make and model with a taper tip. Usually, it’s not dramatically different. But, it can be different enough to alter the feel. So if you were fitted for a taper tip shaft and then tried that shaft in parallel tip, you could think that just because they are parallel tip that is causing the difference. But the reality is that the bend profile has changed because they simply have different bend profile characteristics.

However, what I’m starting to notice in some very early research is that the parallel tip may be overall better for golfers than parallel tip.


Because if I make a parallel tip and taper tip clubs the same MOI-weight, the static weight for the parallel tip has been lighter.

According to Wishon in his book ‘The Search For The Perfect Driver’, one of the biggest determining factors in being able to swing a certain club faster is static weight. If at rest, a driver that is the same length, loft, etc is lighter than the other driver, I’m likely to see some increased clubhead speed.

This makes sense…the club is truly lighter, so it’s easier to swing it faster. Of course, that does not always equate to hitting it longer or better, but as far as clubhead speed goes…lighter usually equates to faster.

So what I’m seeing with the parallel tip vs. taper tip is that I can take two shafts that weigh the same, but have different tip diameters. For example, a KBS Tour parallel and taper may both weight 130 grams.

I can then take both clubs and make everything the same, including the MOI-weight (we’ll say at 2,725). But, when I measure the static weight of the club, so far the parallel tip shafts have weighed lighter than the taper tip shafts.

For example, I did this recently with a couple of Wishon 555M 6-irons. I have a KBS Tour parallel tip shaft weighing in at 130 grams. Then I installed a Nippon 1150GH taper tip that weighs in at 125 grams. I then matched the MOI in at 2,725. Despite being the same make and model 6-iron, with the same grip, length, etc….the parallel tip KBS Tour 6-iron weighs about 8-grams *less* than the Nippon 1150GH taper tip 6-iron. And remember, the Nippon shaft actually weighs about 5-grams less than the KBS Tour, but when installed and MOI-matched, the static weight of the 6-iron with the KBS shaft is lighter.

The reasoning appears to lie within the taper tip having a ‘constant weight’ design. So when the parallel tip shaft is trimmed, it takes a lot of weight off the shaft. But since I match the MOI of the clubs, it still is taking the same amount of force to swing the club, I can just add some speed to it with the lighter static weight club.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

3Jack Golf 2012 Masters Rundown

The first major of the PGA Tour kicks off this week with the Masters Invitational at Augusta National Golf Club.

The thing about Augusta National is that if you follow it for awhile on TV, you begin to feel like you really know each of the golf holes on the back nine. However, once you step on the grounds you quickly realize that your feel is quite a bit off.

Augusta National is one of those few things in life that is extremely hyped and still manages to exceed your expectations, like the first time you go to Vegas or Tokyo or what I would imagine it would be like to hang around Babe Ruth or to see the Pyramids in Egypt. That may sounds like hyperbole, but honestly it’s not.

For starters, Augusta National doesn’t even feel like a golf course. It feels more like a gigantic state park or something like the Vanderbilt Estates, but even more manicured. Go there on Monday thru Wednesday and you will be amazed at how much green grass there is and a good game to play with your buddies is to see if you can find a patch of dirt anywhere on the course. You’ll be lucky to do so in the practice rounds.

The course is far hillier than it looks on TV. Things like #18 looks like a tiny shoot thru the trees, but it’s actually a fairly decent sized opening. Put it this way, if a Tour golfer hits an average driver off that tee, they’ll have no problem with the trees. But things like #10 and #11 feel like they almost go directly downhill. The trees, particularly the Eisenhower Tree are nothing short of magnificent.

The last time I went to Augusta I was a little tired and decided to lay down by a tree in the shade on #15. Eventually, I accidentally fell asleep. When I woke up I was a little embarrassed. But that was until I looked around and saw about 6 other guys asleep next to a tree.

When you get there you will see a bit of a southern debutante thing going on there, very much akin to the Kentucky Derby. For a NY’er like myself, I really don’t find much appeal to that sort of thing. But Augusta and the Masters are truly an international experience for the most part because anybody who likes golf, cannot help but be curious about experiencing Augusta.

I would not only highly recommend going to the Masters at least once if you’re a golf fan, but for the non-golf fan as well. If they have any appreciation for the beauty of the outdoors, they assuredly have never come across a place like Augusta National.

And to top it off, everything at Augusta is very affordable. $2 Pimento cheese sandwiches, $1 bottle of soda, $12 visors, $15 golf shirts, etc. Even the tickets are very affordable, just getting your hands on them is difficult.

All that being said, the past couple of years of the Masters has disappointed me a bit because the course has now turned into a bomb-n-gouge venue. What I used to really dig about the Masters is that the committee was always on top of the latest advancements of the game of golf and usually made a well informed decision on how to approach potential problems. For instance, years ago when the US Open courses were becoming notorious for not having the greens hold on any shot from the rough, the Masters Committee decided to the effect that a properly compressed golf ball with an iron that lands on the green should hold that green, regardless of whether or not it’s hit from the rough or the fairway. To me, that made perfect sense of how to handle that situation.

Of course, the Augusta diehard fans have said that Augusta was always about the long ball (not true) and that the course was designed after St. Andrews (not quite true) and that St. Andrews was about the long ball (not true). I think too many people have forgotten that many of Augusta’s past champions were shorter hitters of the ball like Nick Faldo (3-time winner), Ben Crenshaw (2-time winner), Jose Maria Olazabal (2-time winner), Bernhard Langer (2-time winner), etc. To me, one of the strong points of Augusta used to be that for the most part, any golfer’s style of game can work there. The bomb-n-gouge player has the advantage on the par-5’s. The short knocker who putts well has the advantage on the greens. The ballstriker can take advantage of the long approach shots and the delicate wedge approaches.

But now it’s become a ‘hit the ball as hard as you can off the tee because if you’re long enough, you can hit it past the trees. Last year was more of the exception than the rule as Charl Schwartzel, who is not a bomber but hits it a long ways, won the the Green Jacket. It also wound up being the 2nd greatest Master I have ever watched, next to the '86 Masters of course.


These are the amateur players that typically do not do much outside of fighting to make the cut. Cantlay may be the exception this year and nobody is talking about it:

Patrick Cantlay
Hideki Matsuyama
Kelly Kraft
Randal Lewis
Bryden Macpherson
Corbin Mills

I think Kelly Kraft could give Cantlay a run at low amateur, but I think it's pretty much Cantlay's spot to lose.


This is the flight of past champions that are really too old to do anything and they know it, but it’s the Masters…so why not play?

Ben Crenshaw
Sandy Lyle
Larry Mize
Bernard Langer
Mark O’Meara
Jose Maria Olazabal
Craig Stadler
Tom Watson
Ian Woosnam

Woosnam is a perfect example of why Augusta was never a bomb-n-gouge course. When he won his Green Jacket, he would aim dead left on #18 on each round. He was a long hitter back then and knew that he could easily carry the left fairway bunker and since there was little rough over there, he would have a fairly simple shot into the green, despite missing the fairway by 40 yards and that would take the trees on the right hand side out of play. The very next year the Masters Committee moved that tee back to ensure nobody could bomb-n-gouge like Woosnam did.

Also, if you look at this group, you see a lot of shorter hitters for their era like Olazabal, Langer, O'Meara and Mize.

Out of this crew, I like Langer to finish the lowest of the bunch.


These are rookie Masters players. The rookies typically don’t do much outside of somebody like Zoeller, who won a Green Jacket in his first Masters

Sang Moon Bae
Keegan Bradley
Kevin Chappell
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Harrison Frazar
Robert Garrigus
Webb Simpson
Scott Stallings
Kyle Stanley
Brendan Steele

This is a pretty strong group for Augusta as the only players that don't quite fit Augusta are Castano and Bae. Simpson has struggled with the driver this year and Stallings has just struggled, period. Out of the bunch, I think either Keegan Bradley or Kyle Stanley will finish the best.


Here’s something that is a stupid pet peeve of mine. When people say something is bad, they refer to it as ‘DEFCON 5’ in reference to the movie War Games with their missile defense system. It’s actually DEFCON 1 that is the worse. DEFCON 5 is no threat at all. These guys are at DEFCON 1 as they are playing pretty awful right now.

Thomas Bjorn
Tim Clark
Stewart Cink
Trevor Immelman
Sean O'Hair
David Toms
Mike Weir
Scott Verplank


When I spent 9 painful years of my life in Atlanta, the first thing the locals will tell you to do is to go to a fast food joint called ‘The Varsity’ which is in Midtown, across from Georgia Tech. You hear all of the rave reviews about it and how great it is supposed to be. Then you get there, wait 30 minutes in line and get an awful burger and soggy French fries. They do make a good milkshake, but wildly disappointing nonetheless. It’s like the anti-Augusta National…something that is so hyped that not only does it not live up to the hype, you cannot believe there was any hype surrounding it whatsoever.

That is what a lot of living in Atlanta was like, something was supposed to be great and you get there and it’s not great, but really awful. Thus, my friend Johnnie and I termed it ‘The Varsity Principle’ (it only applies to things in Atlanta).

Anyway, this is the flight of golfers who everybody thinks is playing well, but really are not and I expect them to miss the cut this week.

Jonathan Byrd
Paul Casey
Darren Clarke
Ben Crane
Jason Day
Rickie Fowler
Fredrik Jacobson
Geoff Ogilvy
Ian Poulter
Brandt Snedeker
Rory Sabbatini
Mark Wilson
Gary Woodland


As great as Lee Trevino was, his game was the exact opposite of what fits in at Augusta. Hitting low fades and being of average distance off the tee and a mediocre putter, as great as Lee was..that ain’t Augusta. My instincts tell me the same about these guys

Jason Dufner
Sergio Garcia
Charles Howell III
Ian Poulter
YE Yang


Named after the character from Fight Club when Edward Norton tells him he’s too damn old to join. These guys are good, but they are too damn short off the tee to win. Unless the weather becomes a factor, these guys may contend, but I don’t see them winning

Zach Johnson
Steve Stricker
Ben Crane
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Jim Furyk
Graeme McDowell
Kevin Na


I don’t mind the Olive Garden, but it’s not something I’m overly excited about. Rather, non-plussed about the situation, much like these guys.

Kevin Chappell
Vijay Singh
Bill Haas
Lucas Glover
Padraig Harrington
Kyung-Tae Kim
Louis Oosthuizen
Ryan Palmer
Johnson Wagner
Nick Watney


Pretty self explanatory

Anders Hansen
Simon Dyson
Ross Fisher
Eduardo Molinari
Francisco Molinari
Paul Lawrie
Peter Hanson
Henrik Stenson


Guys that I actually think could win if they can have a pretty good week with their weakest part of their game and have some breaks go there way.

Aaron Baddeley
Fred Couples
Alvaro Quiros
Chez Reavie
John Senden


I think what we are seeing now is the 'ballstriking' Tiger. He will probably never reach the zenith that he did under Butch Harmon, but I believe his ballstriking (and putting) will be more consistently at a high level. I think it's unlikely he will putt as well as he did under Haney.

In the end, I think he'll be the type that needs to get that 3rd round lead in order to win tournaments because I'm not quite sure his putting and 'magic' will be there for big 4th round comebacks (although he almost pulled one off at Doral this year).

Last year at Augusta was the first time in a long time we started to see him comfortable with the driver in the 4th round where he blistered the front 9 with a 30 (-6) and couldn't keep it going. So, it's pretty scary what he could possibly do now if he can shoot 30 on the front-9 (much more difficult than the back-9) when his knee was hurting, the pandamonium surrounding him, and his swing was far less developed than it is now.

Is he worth the lowest odds in the tournament? Probably not given that people have suddenly had renewed confidence in him and that Rory McIlroy is deservedly the #1 ranked player in the world. I think this time around Tiger has to worry about McIlroy who has been thru the heartbreak and the triumph, has a David Duval in his prime type talent and game and is perhaps the strongest player mentally that Tiger has faced.


I don’t think these guys will win, but I think they make the cut, perhaps get in the lead early on Saturday and have a nice showing

Angel Cabrera
Martin Kaymer
Robert Karlsson
Ryo Ishikawa

Cabrera just seems to fit well into Augusta. Last year he led the Masters in fairways hit, which was incredible given he's usually last in fairways hit every year. Given he hits it so long off the tee, him leading the tournament in fairways hit was a big advantage for him. I just think he really gets into playing the Masters.

Kaymer hasn't really done much lately, but the talent is obviously there. I really like Karlsson's game and I think he could surprise people. Ishikawa has struggled with his driver, but hits it long and is very good with the long irons which is a must at ANGC.


I think these guys have a chance of winning, but something tells me that they are not playing as well as I think they are:

Adam Scott
KJ Choi
Martin Laird
Charl Scwhartzel
Bubba Watson
Hunter Mahan


Phil Mickelson
Bo Van Pelt
Rory McIlroy
Luke Donald
Justin Rose
Lee Westwood
Matt Kuchar

Mickelson is the most difficult player to predict each year, outside of his driving which generally blows. But, at Augusta you can bomb it anywhere and Phil's putting has dramatically improved so he may be gearing for another Green Jacket.

Van Pelt almost won it last year and has putted great and has been great with his long irons this year and is still the great driver of the ball that he always is.

Even though Luke Donald hits it short, the Master is probably his best shot at winning because he's such a good iron player and is the greatest putter in the world. I think what hurts him is that it plays so much in the hands of bombers that he winds up fighting against a lot more guys who can blindly give it a rip unlike if the course was setup to reward pure ballstrikers.

Rose, Kuchar and Westwood have looked sharp this year. And of course, McIlroy is probably the favorite for those who haven't picked Tiger.

This has the makings for another great Masters with Tiger's play, the young lion McIlroy and plenty of other names that could make an appearance.

Here's my picks:

Phil Mickelson: 11/1
Luke Donald: 16/1
Justin Rose: 28/1
Matt Kuchar: 66/1
Bo Van Pelt 80/1

Value Pick: Kyle Stanley 125/1