Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Upcoming Equipment Experimentation

Next week I will be playing my qualifier for the Florida state amateur at Metrowest. If I qualify, the state amateur match-play championship will be from August 9 thru the 12th. If I don’t qualify, I will likely try out for the state mid-amateur, which doesn’t take place until October (qualifier in September).

With that, I have some upcoming experiments I want to try with equipment.


First, I am in the process of being fitted for TrueAim. I should have a review of their product in the next week or so. I do plan on using their product on my driver for the qualifier as so far, so good. I’m still tweaking the decals on the driver and now want to try it with my 3-wood.


I am also going to experiment with a driver that will optimize carry distance. I will do this by altering the loft of the driver. I’m thinking that a 12° loft or so could optimize carry distance with the same shaft, shaft length, etc. I could then use this in several different situations, like on soft, wet courses or downwind tee shots and since I can already hit my 10° loft driver off the deck well, I can still use the 12° off the deck as my ‘3-wood.’


I’m also interested in trying a belly putter. Statistically, the Tour really hasn’t seen a big improvement in golfers switching to the belly putter. However, we have seen over time golfers greatly improve their putting going to the long putter. But, the long putter has a much larger ‘sample size’ than the belly putter. Personally, I like the idea of being able to ‘automate’ your stroke a little more with the belly putter. I think if you can get the aim down, the feel for the putter and know how to read greens, there’s no reason to not greatly improve. I think the biggie for me is finding a belly putter that I can aim well. I will have to get together with Edel Golf and see what they are doing in this area of putters.


I’m also interested in experimenting with a graphite iron shaft. My thinking here is that with what we know about shaft bend profiles along with MOI matching, I don’t foresee any reason why we cannot have a graphite shaft that is the same MOI and launches the ball just like steel shaft and we don’t have to add length to the club either. The advantages would be the potential for a lighter static weight, which could add clubhead speed along with the vibration dampening attributes that graphite shafts have which can be more friendly on the hands and wrists. The goal here is simple, if I can hit graphite 1-2 clubs longer, but keep the trajectory, accuracy and consistency the same it may be worth the extra dollars to shoot lower scores and better avoid potential injury.

I will experiment with the Wishon Black Series graphite iron shaft. This shaft weights 85 grams compared to the Wishon Stepless Steel (which is performing great) at 115 grams. My only concern is I may wind up having to add too much weight to the head in order to match the MOI. So I will experiment with a 6-iron and see how it works from there.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Mis-Hits and Ball Flight Video w/John Graham

Here’s a great video done by 3Jack Top-20 Golf Instructor, John Graham, showing how ball flight can sometimes be deceptive it what is actually going on at impact.

One thing…1-dimple on a golf ball is supposed to be roughly 0.14 inches. In the video, Graham clearly can tell that he hit the ball off the toe. He estimates that he missed the sweetspot by about ½-inch. Now remember, the sweetspot is about the size of a needle point. It is NOT an ‘area’ around the center of the club. It is extremely minute in size.

So when John misses by roughly ½-inch, he’s missing by roughly 3.5 dimples. Where ball flight can confuse golfers even more is when the golfer misses by less than 3.5 dimples because they tend to not even feel that mis-hit. It doesn’t mean you can’t hit great shots, but it can help explain some things more clearly about your swing and you can use that knowledge and work on your mechanics and/or change your equipment specs to start hitting the ball on the sweetspot. Of course, you could run into an issue of now hitting the ball on the sweetspot due to changing your specs, but hitting more inaccurate shots because your impact conditions are designed to hit that push-cut that John shows in the video.

In that sense, it’s much like fixing your aim in putting. One can certainly be a great putter despite mis-aiming their putter at address. But, it requires compensatory moves to consistently get that putter face pointing at the target at impact. And if they don’t, that can cause a myriad of other problems like hitting the ball harder or softer to get the ball into the cup. And from there, it can snowball into some awful putting.

Lastly, impact tape/spray is good to have and test out what is going on at impact from time to time. When I fit golfers for clubs, the last thing we fit is the lie angle.

The reason being is that there are many factors that go into fitting the lie angle that can alter where you strike the ball on the clubface. Typically we find the head, shaft and shaft length first. Then we figure out the MOI using a 6-iron and trying to find their approximate fitted lie angle for that 6-iron.

I’ve had golfers, including myself, mis-hit the 6-iron towards one part of the clubhead and start to think the club is too flat for them. But as we add weight and get their optimal MOI, they not only see their impact dispersion get smaller, but they start finding the sweetspot as well. So sometimes it’s not a lie angle issue, but a weight/MOI issue.

After we get the head, shaft, shaft length, grip and MOI fitted and I get the clubs, I then assemble the club and I instruct the customer to get the impact tape/spray out with each iron and hit 3-5 shots. The good part of the MOI fitting is that it will keep the impact dispersion small and in one area. So the golfer should not be too confused as to where they are striking the ball on the face. You won’t see them hit 3 shots towards the toe and 1 towards the heel. Generally if they are hitting a shot off the toe, they will now hit every shot off the toe. And we now know that they have to bend the lie angle upright to some degree.

I’ve also found that impact tape/spray is very helpful when you mis-hit a shot and miss the sweetspot low or high. Sometimes a shot can FEEL like a toe hit when instead you hit it up too high on the face, even off the heel.

So not only can a Trackman and some impact tape/spray help your swing, but it can help you find the right equipment for your game. You can find John at


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ben Hogan's True Equipment Specifications


Recently, Jeff Martin over at, was able to get the measurements of Ben Hogan's irons from the USGA House. In particular a set of 1953 irons Hogan used and a ‘practice’ set that he also used. You can follow the thread at this link:

His 1953 set had different lie angles than his ‘practice’ set. We don’t have the measurement of the 1953 iron lengths. However, I will assume that Hogan used the same length irons as his practice set.

Here’s a look at the lie angle specs:

1-iron: 54.6°
2-iron: 55.6°
3-iron: 57.2°
4-iron: not available
5-iron: 59.3°
6-iron: 60.2°
7-iron: 61.7°
8-iron: 61.7°
9-iron: 62.6°
PW: 62.5°
SW: not available

Here’s the lengths (based off the practice set):

1-iron: not available
2-iron: 38-1/2”
3-iron: 38-0”
4-iron: 37-1/2”
5-iron: 37-0”
6-iron: 36-3/8”
7-iron: 36-0”
8-iron: 35-3/8”
9-iron: 35-1/4”
PW: not available
SW: 34-7/8”

And here are the swingweights (based off the practice set):

1-iron: not available
2-iron: C8
3-iron: C7
4-iron: C7
5-iron: C9
6-iron: C8
7-iron: C8
8-iron: C7
9-iron: D2
PW: not available
SW: D5


So, what do we see?

His clubs were very short in length. Hogan was only about 5’6” tall, but he had no problem with making his clubs rather short in length. Even back then, they were about ½” shorter than vintage iron standards.

His lie angles were fairly flat. But, we have to understand that for every ½” difference in shaft length. That equates to 1° in effective lie angle. So, Hogan’s clubs with relation to today’s standard were more like this (rough approximation):

1-iron: 7° flat
2-iron: 6° flat
3-iron: 5.5° flat
4-iron: 5.5° flat
5-iron: 4° flat
6-iron: 4° flat
7-iron: 3° flat
8-iron: 3.5° flat
9-iron: 2.5° flat
PW: 3° flat
SW: 1.5° flat

His clubs also had a very light swingweight to them. However, we would need to get a better idea of the total weight of the club and the MOI to understand more. That’s part of the problem with swingweight, Hogan may have had very heavy static weight clubs that would be difficult to swing with any real velocity. But if the weight was primarily located towards the butt end of the club, the swingweight will drop.

I have been told by people who have hit his irons how stiff and difficult they were to hit. Give this information, I think it is within reason that Hogan may have put an inordinate amount of weight on the butt end of his clubs.

Once again, thanks to Jeff Martin and the USGA people for putting this together.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 28

Zach Johnson wins the John Deere Classic:

Here’s how my John Deere Classic picks finished, with me correctly predicting my 4th winner this year in Johnson:

Zach Johnson: 12/1 (1st)
Ryan Palmer: 25/1 (Missed Cut)
Brendon de Jonge: 33/1 (19th)
John Senden: 40/1 (4th)
Carl Pettersson: 40/1 (36th)
Ken Duke: 50/1 (Missed Cut)
Daniel Summerhays: 66/1 (Missed Cut)
Brian Davis: 66/1 (Missed Cut)
Kevin Stadler: 80/1 (Missed Cut)

Value Pick: Chris Stroud-100/1 (68th)

Here are the updated rankings:


1. Bubba Watson
2. Boo Weekley
3. John Rollins
4. Charlie Beljan
5. Hunter Mahan
6. Jason Dufner
7. Graham DeLaet
8. Kyle Stanley
9. Roberto Castro
10. Brandt Jobe

179. Aaron Baddeley
180. Tommy Biershenk
181. Matt Bettencourt
182. Nick O'Hern
183. Stephen Gangluff
184. Tom Pernice Jr.
185. Derek Lamely
186. Michael Bradley
187. Ryuji Imada
188. Joe Ogilvie

Most Improved: Steve Wheatcroft
Biggest Decline: Colt Knost


1. Zach Johnson
2. Aaron Baddeley
3. Ben Curtis
4. Luke Donald
5. Brandt Snedeker
6. Martin Flores
7. Bo Van Pelt
8. Bryce Molder
9. Derek Lamely
10. Carl Pettersson
10. James Driscoll

179. Greg Owen
180. Kris Blanks
181. D.J. Trahan
182. Ricky Barnes
183. Vijay Singh
184. Kyle Stanley
185. Alexandre Rocha
186. Scott Brown
187. Scott Stallings
188. Boo Weekley

Most Improved: Troy Matteson
Biggest Decline: Edward Loar


1. Ian Poulter
2. Jerry Kelly
3. Jason Dufner
4. K.J. Choi
5. Justin Rose
6. Bubba Watson
7. Brian Gay
8. Jonas Blixt
9. Bob Estes
10. Greg Owen

179. Gary Woodland
180. Hunter Mahan
181. Kyle Reifers
182. Michael Thompson
183. Steve Wheatcroft
184. Sang-Moon Bae
185. Harris English
186. Billy Horschel
187. Cameron Beckman
188. Edward Loar

Most Improved: Jamie Lovemark
Biggest Decline: Edward Loar


1. Steve Stricker
2. Padraig Harrington
3. Jason Bohn
4. Garth Mulroy
5. Henrik Stenson
6. Webb Simpson
7. Brendon de Jonge
8. Jeff Maggert
9. Sergio Garcia
10. Roland Thatcher

179. Jhonattan Vegas
180. Jonas Blixt
181. D.J. Trahan
182. Scott Stallings
183. Aaron Baddeley
184. Brandt Jobe
185. Miguel Angel Carballo
186. Billy Hurley III
187. Edward Loar
188. Jamie Lovemark

Most Improved: Ben Crane
Biggest Decline: Nathan Green


1. Lee Westwood
2. Graeme McDowell
3. Nick O'Hern
4. Ian Poulter
5. Gavin Coles
6. Webb Simpson
7. Jason Dufner
8. Ted Potter, Jr.
9. Louis Oosthuizen
10. Boo Weekley

179. Charles Howell III
180. Edward Loar
181. Troy Kelly
182. Henrik Stenson
183. Scott Stallings
184. J.J. Killeen
185. Jamie Lovemark
186. Matt Jones
187. Briny Baird
188. Mark Anderson

Most Improved: Marco Dawson
Biggest Decline: Zach Johnson


1. Steve Stricker
2. Chad Campbell
3. Bubba Watson
4. Bo Van Pelt
5. Justin Rose
6. Louis Oosthuizen
7. Daniel Summerhays
8. Webb Simpson
9. John Senden
10. Brandt Jobe

179. Lee Westwood
180. Sung Kang
181. Ted Potter, Jr.
182. Sang-Moon Bae
183. J.J. Killeen
184. Stephen Gangluff
185. Edward Loar
186. Joe Ogilvie
187. Derek Lamely
188. Nick O'Hern

Most Improved: Scott Brown
Biggest Decline: Garth Mulroy


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tommy Two Gloves, a Statistical Analysis

One of the players fighting for his Tour card as we head down the stretch in Tommy ‘Two Gloves’ Gainey. He is currently ranked 104th on the Money List and even more disconcerting, 170th in Adjusted Scoring Average. Last year he finished 35th on the Money List and 88th in Adjusted Scoring Average.

In fact, here’s what I wrote about Gainey in the 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis:

There are some similarities between Gainey and (Rickie) Fowler and as I stated before, I find them to be two of the best players without a PGA Tour victory.

So, what’s going on with ‘Two Gloves?’ First, let’s take a look at his rankings:


Advanced Total Driving…….111…………………..77

Putts Gained.……………….110…………………..78

Short Game Play……………162………………….159

Birdie Zone…………………77………………….151

Safe Zone…………………146………………….71

Danger Zone………………78…………………...64

There are some metrics that stand out, but I should go over them before we delve further.

I’m sure some will see the dip in Putts Gained, but Putts Gained is by far and away the most ‘volatile’ metric I use. Meaning, it can change dramatically from one week to the next. Last week Gainey was ranked 99th and now he’s 110th. If he has a pretty good tourney with the flatstick, he can easily be at the ranking he was last season. I would be more concerned if the difference in ranking was 50 points or more at this time of the year. But since it’s still pretty close, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

While I’m a big believer in the Danger Zone play for Tour players, the difference between 78th and 64th would only equate to a minute difference in Adjusted Scoring Average and money earned. So I wouldn’t read too much into that at the moment.

What’s interesting though are his rankings in Advanced Total Driving, Birdie Zone and Safe Zone play.

He’s greatly improved in Birdie Zone play (shots from 75-125 yards). Last year it was a weak spot for him and I believe during the offseason he worked on shots from this distance. It’s a real common theme from the Tour players, caddies and coaches I’ve worked with, each of them talk about wanting to be an elite wedge player. But as Gainey shows, it’s often a very overrated part of the game, something I pointed out in 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis.

There are 2 big reasons for Birdie Zone shots being overrated.

1. The penalty for a ‘bad’ shot by a Tour player is rather small and the best Birdie Zone players only average hitting the shot to about 16 feet, where the make percentage is still fairly low. In other words, put the best vs. the worst Birdie Zone players together and the difference in their final scores will be smaller than Safe Zone and Danger Zone shots.

2. It’s the least frequently hit Zone shot per round on Tour.

The Safe Zone (shots from 125-175 yards) is the most frequently hit zone on Tour. However, it falls behind the Danger Zone in terms of importance because the Danger Zone is the zone that is the 2nd most frequently visited by Tour players and the penalty is much more severe.

So in terms of shot attempts per round, it goes in order of:

1. Safe Zone
2. Danger Zone
3. Birdie Zone

And there’s a sizeable drop-off in frequency between Danger Zone and Birdie Zone.

In terms of differences in Expected Score values from best to worst, it goes:

1. Danger Zone
2. Safe Zone
3. Birdie Zone

And of course, as far as the correlation to Adjusted Scoring average, it also goes:

1. Danger Zone
2. Safe Zone
3. Birdie Zone



There is a correlation between a player’s percentage of shots in the Safe Zone that come from the fairway or tee box and their Safe Zone proficiency. With ‘bomb and gouging’ being all of the rage, the Tour still shows that to a degree, hitting fairways is important. Particularly when it comes to how well you will play from the Safe Zone.

With that, golfers who are struggling from the Safe Zone tend to run into 1 or 2 areas:

1. Hitting too high of a percentage of their shots in the Safe Zone from the rough (instead of fairway or tee box).

2. Just a lack of skill of hitting those shots regardless if they are from the fairway/tee box or the rough.


In Gainey’s case, he’s gone from a player who was more or less ‘above average’ off the tee in 2011 and is now ‘below average’ off the tee this season. My Advanced Total Driving metric is a proprietary formula that factors in:

1. Driving Distance
2. Fairway Percentage
3. Average Distance from Edge of Fairway on tee shots that wind up in the rough.

Driving Distance – Gainey went from 46th in driving distance last year (296.7 yards) to 25th in driving distance this year (298.6 yards). When looking at driving distance, it’s better to look at the *ranking* than the yardage to get a more accurate idea of the player’s driving distance. I like to think of this along the same lines as Putts Gained, while an improvement of 21 spots on the ranking is better than no improvement, I would have to see an improvement of 50+ spots to really see a difference.

Fairway Percentage – Here’s where we start seeing a difference as Gainey went from hitting 58.97% (130th) in 2011 to 53.47% (160th) in 2012. Last year he hit 822 fairways (out of 1,394 attempts). This year he would be on pace to hit 745 fairways. In a world where the difference in 100 ranking spots in Scoring Average can be less than 1 stroke, the drop in fairways hit is hurting Gainey’s game.

Distance To Edge of Fairway – Here’s where we see an even bigger discrepancy as Gainey has gone from 92nd in this metric to 150th.

And having looked at his radar metrics (club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin, etc), they are virtually identical. In essence, he’s just more wild with the driver this year.

So that explains the dip in his Advanced Total Driving metric, but does it explain his Safe Zone woes?

Not exactly.

He’s certainly hitting a lower percentage of his Safe Zone shots from the fairway or tee box. In 2011, 73.5% of his Safe Zone shots came from the fairway or tee box. That was 151st highest percentage on Tour. But this year he is hitting 69.0% of his Safe Zone shots from the fairway or tee box, 171st on Tour.

And here’s a look at his rankings from the Safe Zone distances out of the rough and the fairway/tee box:


125-150 (rgh)………35……………91

125-150 (fwy)………33…………..112

150-175 (rgh)………115………….150

150-175 (fwy)………63…………….83

So part of Gainey’s Safe Zone issues are also flat out worse execution from the Safe Zone. He’s seen a massive drop-off in his fairway shots from 125-150 yards and a drop-off in his shots from the fairway at 150-175 yards.

Still, his rough play is even more worrisome and he’s had even bigger declines from that area. I think that what is happening is he’s hitting more shots off the grid and further away from the fairway and he’s having more difficulty from the rough and hitting more shots from the rough, which is not a good combination.

IMO, the way to secure his Tour card for this season is to focus on the driving accuracy and consistency. That will prevent those big number scores that can make him miss cuts, not make any money and put him behind the 8-ball. It will also help with his proficiency from the Safe Zone and continue to help him from the Danger Zone, which he’s shown to be fairly well skilled at. But it does go to show you how you misleading the idea of improving wedge play can be to a player’s game.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Golf Shaft Flex Distortion Video

Here's a good video on how a camera can distort the visual of the flexing of the golf shaft when it's being swung.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 27

Ted Potter, Jr. gets his first PGA Tour victory at the Greenbrier.

Here’s how my picks for the Greenbrier finished:

Tiger Woods: 7/2 (Missed Cut)
Keegan Bradley: 35/1 (t-46th)
Dustin Johnson: 20/1 (t-33rd)
Greg Owen: 66/1 (Missed Cut)
Charley Hoffman: 66/1 (t-67th)
Pat Perez: 50/1 (t-27th)
Boo Weekley: 125/1 (Missed Cut)
Scott Piercy: 125/1 (t-12th)
Roberto Castro: 150/1 (t-7th)

Value Pick: Chris Couch: 200/1 (t-52nd)

Here's my picks for the John Deere Classic:

Zach Johnson: 12/1
Ryan Palmer: 25/1
Brendon de Jonge: 33/1
John Senden: 40/1
Carl Pettersson: 40/1
Ken Duke: 50/1
Daniel Summerhays: 66/1
Brian Davis: 66/1
Kevin Stadler: 80/1

Value Pick: Chris Stroud-100/1


1. Bubba Watson
2. John Rollins
3. Boo Weekley
4. Hunter Mahan
5. Jason Dufner
6. Graham DeLaet
7. Rory McIlroy
8. Roberto Castro
9. Brandt Jobe
10. Charlie Beljan

175. Billy Hurley III
176. Tommy Biershenk
177. Nick O'Hern
178. Tom Pernice Jr.
179. Stephen Gangluff
180. Derek Lamely
181. Matt Bettencourt
182. Michael Bradley
183. Joe Ogilvie
184. Ryuji Imada

Most Improved: Charlie Beljan
Biggest Decline: Nathan Green


1. Aaron Baddeley
2. Ben Curtis
3. Luke Donald
4. Brandt Snedeker
5. Zach Johnson
6. Bo Van Pelt
7. Derek Lamely
8. Bryce Molder
9. Martin Flores
10. Ryan Palmer

175. Heath Slocum
176. Greg Owen
177. Kris Blanks
178. Vijay Singh
179. Chris Kirk
180. Ricky Barnes
181. Scott Stallings
182. Kyle Stanley
183. Scott Brown
184. Boo Weekley

Most Improved: Troy Kelly
Biggest Decline: Cameron Beckman


1. Ian Poulter
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Jason Dufner
4. Kevin Kisner
5. Jerry Kelly
6. Brian Gay
7. Justin Rose
8. Bubba Watson
9. K.J. Choi
10. Jonas Blixt

175. Bobby Gates
176. Edward Loar
177. Charlie Beljan
178. Cameron Beckman
179. Gary Woodland
180. Hunter Mahan
181. Ryan Moore
182. Steve Wheatcroft
183. Michael Thompson
184. Harris English

Most Improved: Charlie Beljan
Biggest Decline: Steve Stricker


1. Steve Stricker
2. Padraig Harrington
3. Jeff Maggert
4. Henrik Stenson
5. Webb Simpson
6. Jason Bohn
7. Brendon de Jonge
8. Garth Mulroy
9. Sergio Garcia
10. Bo Van Pelt

175. Jonas Blixt
176. Jhonattan Vegas
177. D.J. Trahan
178. Scott Stallings
179. Aaron Baddeley
180. Brandt Jobe
181. Miguel Angel Carballo
182. Billy Hurley III
183. Edward Loar
184. Jamie Lovemark

Most Improved: Sang Moon Bae
Biggest Decline: Patrick Sheehan


1. Lee Westwood
2. Graeme McDowell
3. Ian Poulter
4. Nick O'Hern
5. Gavin Coles
6. Webb Simpson
7. Jason Dufner
8. Louis Oosthuizen
9. Bud Cauley
10. Robert Allenby

175. Charles Howell III
176. Tom Gillis
177. Scott Stallings
178. Henrik Stenson
179. Troy Kelly
180. Edward Loar
181. J.J. Killeen
182. Jamie Lovemark
183. Briny Baird
184. Mark Anderson

Most Improved: Scott Brown
Biggest Decline: Nathan Green


1. Bubba Watson
2. Steve Stricker
3. Bo Van Pelt
4. Chad Campbell
5. Justin Rose
6. Louis Oosthuizen
7. Webb Simpson
8. Daniel Summerhays
9. Brandt Jobe
10. Gary Woodland

175. Rocco Mediate
176. Sang-Moon Bae
177. Sung Kang
178. Edward Loar
179. Stephen Gangluff
180. Ted Potter, Jr.
181. J.J. Killeen
182. Joe Ogilvie
183. Derek Lamely
184. Nick O'Hern

Most Improved: Richard H. Lee
Biggest Decline: Marco Dawson


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Understanding the Wishon June 2012 e-Tech Report

About every month or so, Tom Wishon has an updated ‘e-Tech Report’ which is more or less a newsletter discussing equipment, clubfitting and his research that has been conducted. I have found his e-Tech Reports to be very enlightening, in particular the last e-Tech report, which can be found here.

The latest e-Tech report goes into shafts. Shafts are something I’ve been studying quite a bit this year. Ironically, I ordered Wishon’s ‘Shaft Bend Profile Software’ program right around the time the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show happened and from there I started to notice that I played better with a softer shaft or so I thought.

Before I go on further, if you’re into equipment and want to really find the shafts for you, I recommend Wishon’s Shaft Bend Profile software, which is available to be purchased by the public (even if you’re not a clubmaker) for $130. The database is updated for free about twice a year to include new shafts and not only can you start to understand shafts that fit your swing, but also much more affordable shaft alternatives. The software can be purchased at


I think the concept that has to change about how a golfer thinks about shafts is to stop labeling shafts as a ‘good’ shaft or a ‘bad’ shaft. The reality is that the level of quality of a shaft does not really differ from one company to another. The difference is that the shaft may or may not fit your golf swing. So if you like a certain shaft or a certain companies shafts, you are more or less finding that the shaft(s) just happen to fit your swing.

Now, some stock shafts are just poorly made in the sense that they *might* be designed to be a little thinner than their after market counterpart in order to save some money. But, it’s not like some golfers cannot hit those shafts well. I just think that they are a little more apt to break if you slam or throw the club. Also, I believe that the characteristics of *some* of the stock shafts are different from their after market counterparts. In fact, Wishon’s Shaft Bend Profile software does indeed have different data for some of the stock shafts and their after market counterparts.

Even still, some golfers may hit that stock shaft well. It’s simply a case if the attributes of the shaft fit the golfer’s swing. You may be a little averse, and rightfully so, to stock shafts for those reasons. But you should look at shafts as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ with regards to how they fit your swing instead of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in terms of quality.


One of the first things Wishon discusses when it comes to shaft weight is when the golfer uncocks their wrists on the downswing. In Golfing Machine terms, this is called ‘releasing the #2 Power Accumulator.’

Here’s a set of pictures of golfers with different times when they un-cock the wrists in their swing.


As the picture frame goes to the right, the later the golfer uncocks the wrists (the left and middle pic are the same golfer).

So what Wishon is saying is that the earlier the uncocking, the more important the weight of the shaft is to the golfer versus the Bend Profile (which I’ll get into in a bit).

Conversely, the later the uncocking of the wrists, the more important the Shaft Bend Profile is to the golfer. So the golfer on the left is more dependent on the weight and the golfer on the right is more dependent on the Shaft Bend Profile for optimal performance.


One of the things I had questions about is why some higher clubhead speed players can use ‘softer’ shafts than some lower clubhead speed players. I had a friend of mine who generated close to 120 mph of driver speed, yet hit some old True Temper Dynamic Gold R500 shafts the best. So that always puzzled me when I was at a lower speed and playing better with the X100 shaft.

You’ll hear a lot of golfers say that it has to do with how the golfer ‘loads’ the shaft. Well, what does that mean?

I think a simpler way to put it is ‘how does the golfer get to their top clubhead speed.’

Another way to think of it as a sprinter. Let’s say you have 2 sprinters running the 100 meter dash and both clock in at 10.0 seconds. If sprinter A is 6’3” tall and has long legs and is known as a ‘long strider’, he may take a while to hit that top speed. Springer B could be 5’7” tall and from the get-go he’s running fast. So in the first 40 meters or so, Sprinter B could beat out the long strider Sprinter A. But in the last 60 meters, the long strider could be running at a faster speed and in the end catch up to the shorter Sprinter B.

Where it applies to golf is to understand the swing enough to understand what shaft characteristics fit your swing. And the key part of your swing to understand is the level of acceleration your swing produces.

Acceleration = the rate of change of velocity per unit of time.

Let’s say you have 2 cars traveling.

Car A is going 90 mph. The Driver then presses on the gas and is now going 100 mph.

Car B is going 40 mph. The driver presses on the gas and is now going 60 mph.

What has more acceleration?

Car B.


Because the change in velocity in Car B is 20 mph. In Car A, while moving at a faster velocity, has less acceleration.

Again, you can start to get an idea of the golfer’s acceleration in their downswing by when they start to uncock their wrists.


Remember Sprinter A vs. Sprinter B?

The swing on the left is more like 5’7” short Sprinter B. They have less acceleration and get their speed up as soon as the starter’s gun is shot in the air.

The swing on the right is more like the long-strider Sprinter A. They have more acceleration as they start out slower and gradually build up a lot of speed in a hurry.


1) The later the uncocking of the wrists = shafts that are heavier and stiffer in the tip section.

2) The earlier the uncocking of the wrists = lighter shaft and softer tip section.

So that’s why my friend liked the old R500 Dynamic Gold Shaft. He generated more speed overall than I did, but his swing had less acceleration. I don’t think they make the R500 anymore and I do not have the shaft bend profile numbers, but my guess is that the shaft had a soft tip section.


The butt section determines the feel of the shaft and helps with squaring up the clubface. Have you ever hit a shaft that is supposed to be the correct flex for your swing, but it feels ‘stiff’ and ‘boardy?’ Or how about that shaft that you feel like you ‘can’t get around on?’

Chances are the butt section profile is too stiff for your swing. It also may have more of the weight towards the butt section of the shaft.

Again, here’s where we start to look at how the golfer accelerates the club. But instead of focusing on the uncocking of the wrists, we are looking at the golfer’s downswing transition.

To me, this is a little more of a murky area. But, Iook at the golfer’s swing mechanics in the startdown.

Somebody like Jamie Sadlowksi is a good example of a ‘forceful’ startdown.

If you look at Sadlowski’s startdown, while he’s clearly lagging the club, he almost does it all with a rotational motion of his shoulders and it has a look of him really cranking down. Granted, Sadlowski generates unearthly clubhead speed numbers. But to me, if he only swung at 110 mph, his startdown would be still considered ‘forceful’ and he would probably need a bit stiffer of a butt section profile on his shafts over other golfers with 110 mph of clubhead speed.

Somebody like Boo Weekley I think has a smoother and less forceful transition.

Boo lags the club as well, but he utilizes his wrists and shifting the body pivot towards the target in the startdown to help with that. His rotation of the shoulders is not nearly as much as Sadlowski’s at this point and he has a look that is less ‘cranking down’ than Sadlowski’s swing.

That’s not to say one is superior than the other as Weekley generates about 115 mph of clubhead speed and is one of the best ballstrikers on Tour. But, it’s to say that part of the way they accelerate the clubhead in the downswing is different and it would provide different butt section profiles that fit them best.


The tip section plays a bigger role in the launch angle and spin rate. The stiffer the tip section, the lower the ball launches and less it spins.

There’s a common fallacy amongst amateurs that they want to have as little spin as possible in order to maximize distance for their clubhead speed. Instead, they should look to maximize launch conditions because if you can increase carry, it will help you hit it further more than if you can increase roll. Of course, one can overdo it by having too much carry and not getting any roll out of the ball. But, we generally want to see launch conditions optimized and to get the ball to land on an angle of about 40-45*, so we maximize total distance.

Tip section profiles is one of the reasons why I stopped worrying about ‘frequency matching’ shafts. To my knowledge, most frequency shaft measurements either measure the total frequency of the shaft or the butt frequency of the shaft.

If it’s just measuring the butt frequency, that would be good to know when trying to fit the butt section profile, but what if the tip section is way too stiff or way too soft? The launch conditions won’t be optimized.

Again, we go back to the uncocking of the wrists on the downswing to help point us in the right direction for tip stiffness.


The later the uncocking of the wrists (right) the stiffer the tip section will likely need to be. Of course, clubhead speed does play into this as shown by Wishon’s chart in the e-Tech report.



Once you understand your downswing mechanics along with speed, you should be able to get a general idea as to what shafts work for your swing.

For instance, here’s a swing I made back in January.

I generate 110 to 113 mph of driver head speed. I’ve found that I play best with a ‘stiff’ butt section shaft, but a very tip firm (X-stiff) shaft. That’s because I have a fairly average aggression in the startdown with a later uncocking of the wrists. Since I uncock the wrists later (and I uncock them later now than in the video), shaft weight is not as important than if I uncocked the wrists earlier in the swing.

So I play with a UST Mamiya VTS 65x shaft in my driver. With the 3-wood I play a UST Mamiya VTS Red 75x shaft. And then I play with the KBS Tour stiff flex shafts, which spin a little too much for me, but again…they have softer tip sections. So that’s why I’m in the process of switching to a Wishon Stepless steel shaft, which has a stiffer tip section to help bring down the spin a bit.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 26

Tiger picks up his 3rd victory this season at the AT&T National

Here’s my Greenbrier picks:

Tiger Woods: 7/2
Keegan Bradley: 35/1
Dustin Johnson: 20/1
Greg Owen: 66/1
Charley Hoffman: 66/1
Pat Perez: 50/1
Boo Weekley: 125/1
Scott Piercy: 125/1
Roberto Castro: 150/1

Value Pick: Chris Couch: 200/1


1. Bubba Watson
2. John Rollins
3. Hunter Mahan
4. Jason Dufner
5. Rory McIlroy
6. Boo Weekley
7. Brandt Jobe
8. Kyle Stanley
9. Graham DeLaet
10. Graeme McDowell

176. Tommy Biershenk
177. Billy Hurley III
178. Tom Pernice Jr.
179. Nick O'Hern
180. Michael Bradley
181. Derek Lamely
182. Matt Bettencourt
183. Stephen Gangluff
184. Joe Ogilvie
185. Ryuji Imada

Biggest Improvement: Billy Hurley III
Biggest Decline: Dustin Johnson


1. Ben Curtis
2. Aaron Baddeley
3. Luke Donald
4. Derek Lamely
5. Zach Johnson
6. Bo Van Pelt
7. Bryce Molder
8. Ryan Palmer
9. Carl Pettersson
10. Brian Gay

176. Greg Owen
177. Kris Blanks
178. Vijay Singh
179. D.J. Trahan
180. Chris Kirk
181. Ricky Barnes
182. Kyle Stanley
183. Scott Stallings
184. Scott Brown
185. Boo Weekley

Biggest Improvement: Stewart Cink
Biggest Decline: Mark Anderson


1. Ian Poulter
2. Kevin Kisner
3. Jerry Kelly
4. Rory McIlroy
5. Jason Dufner
6. Bob Estes
7. Brian Gay
8. Rocco Mediate
9. Justin Rose
10. Steve Stricker

176. Sang-Moon Bae
177. Cameron Beckman
178. Jeff Maggert
179. Hunter Mahan
180. Blake Adams
181. Ryan Moore
182. Michael Thompson
183. Gary Woodland
184. Harris English
185. Charlie Beljan

Biggest Improvement: Billy Hurley III
Biggest Decline: Mark Anderson


1. Steve Stricker
2. Jason Bohn
3. Padraig Harrington
4. Henrik Stenson
5. Brendon de Jonge
6. Webb Simpson
7. Jeff Maggert
8. Sergio Garcia
9. Vaughn Taylor
10. Bo Van Pelt

176. Jonas Blixt
177. D.J. Trahan
178. Aaron Baddeley
179. Brandt Jobe
180. Billy Hurley III
181. Jhonattan Vegas
182. Sang-Moon Bae
183. Scott Stallings
184. Jamie Lovemark
185. Edward Loar

Biggest Improvement: Angel Cabrera
Biggest Decline: Sean O’Hair


1. Lee Westwood
2. Graeme McDowell
3. Nick O'Hern
4. Ian Poulter
5. Steve Wheatcroft
6. Jeff Maggert
7. Angel Cabrera
8. Robert Allenby
9. Bud Cauley
10. Jason Dufner

176. Billy Hurley III
177. Tom Gillis
178. J.J. Killeen
179. Gary Woodland
180. Henrik Stenson
181. Edward Loar
182. Troy Kelly
183. Jamie Lovemark
184. Briny Baird
185. Mark Anderson

Biggest Improvement: Jason Day
Biggest Decline: Charles Howell III


1. Bubba Watson
2. Bo Van Pelt
3. Steve Stricker
4. Chad Campbell
5. Justin Rose
6. Louis Oosthuizen
7. Gary Woodland
8. Jim Furyk
9. Daniel Summerhays
10. Boo Weekley

176. Jerry Kelly
177. J.J. Killeen
178. Stephen Ames
179. Joe Ogilvie
180. Derek Lamely
181. Ryuji Imada
182. Ted Potter, Jr.
183. Nick O'Hern
184. Richard H. Lee
185. Edward Loar

Biggest Improvement: Dicky Pride
Biggest Decline: Sang Moon-Bae


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

AimPoint Bubble Review


One of the fascinating parts of learning about the game is when good golf instruction adapts over time to find more accurate information. While most golf instruction fanatics prefer accuracy of information first and foremost, the applicability of that information should also be given tremendous consideration. While information may be great in theory, it does the golfer little good if they cannot reasonably apply that to their own game. From there, we should seek to make the applicable information more efficient and easy to execute.

My putting instructor, David Graham (, went over a new method to learning AimPoint green reading earlier this year. The older method of walking around the putt in a circle, finding the high anchor, finding the low anchor, etc, is still applicable to reading greens. However, a new method has been developed to make AimPoint easier to execute and take much less time. I actually still use some of the techniques to the older method from time to time, in particular locating the high and low anchor points. And, the old method of walking around in the circle does help with training yourself to feel the slope with your feet. But, the new method has probably increased my accuracy and efficiency by tenfold.

One of the issues I’ve come across in discussing AimPoint with other students is that many students do not realize that you MUST practice AimPoint if you want to get better at it. Learning to feel with your feet takes practice just as learning how to improve your takeaway in the backswing takes practice on the driving range. The same goes for diagnosing the amount of slope, deciphering what the aim looks likes from different putting distances, getting a routine down, trusting the read, and basic troubleshooting.

Many people who have learned AimPoint don’t understand that and they think that they can just bring it out on the course and have no problems. If they would spend their putting practice focusing on AimPoint instead of blindly hitting some putts or putting some sort of putting stroke training aid device, I believe they would understand putting much better and would sink more putts.


Recently I was introduced to AimPoint’s new product, the AimPoint Bubble. It’s a rather simple bubble level device that helps detect the slope. It retails at $40 and can be found here

Here’s a little demonstration of the AimPoint Bubble by its inventor, Stephen Aumock.

Originally, I had some skepticism about the AimPoint Bubble because the price point was not a lot less than the Husky Digital Bubble Level that I own that I use for AimPoint. However, I had some issues with the Husky Digital Level as well:

1. It requires batteries.
2. It’s about 1 foot long and is a little cumbersome to carry around.
3. It does not easily find the zero line.

The first thing you will notice about the AimPoint Bubble is that it is small in size. It’s about the size of a silver dollar. In fact, if you are practicing AimPoint on the course, you can use it to mark your ball (obviously, it’s not legal for play). It is also a basic level of sorts, so it does not require any batteries or any electrical power.


When using the Husky Digital level, the idea is in order to find the zero line, you want to want to get the reading of the slope as steep as you can. But, I have found issues with that and unless you understand how to feel with your feet, you can produce some fairly inaccurate reads using the Digital Level.

I think the issue with the bubble levels is that the bubble lays horizontally. The AimPoint Bubble lays on top of the ground. Plus, it has directional measurements on the bubble which are applicable to using AimPoint.

While Aumock shows us how to use the AimPoint Bubble a certain way. I tried it in different fashions. For starters, I would put the Bubble where the ball is located and point the 0-line on the bubble at the hole. If it’s a planar slope putt, the Bubble will give you a read directly on that putt. So if you have a putt that is 60° down (aka 2 o’clock), if you have the bubble where the ball is located, the Bubble will be located at 60°.

Again, it’s not legal for play. But, I would use this for practice to help better understand my skill level with AimPoint. Sometimes I would flip the Bubble over so it wouldn’t show the break. Then I would go thru my routine of calculating the break and then I would flip the bubble over and see what it says. I would also use Aumock’s method in the video and try to see if I could guess the zero line.

What I found was I have a tendency to read towards 90° (3 or 9 o’clock) too often. And I also read too much break when I was actually directly on the zero line.

Probably the greatest part of the Bubble is that I was surprised by its accuracy. Not only from a slope direction perspective, but also in slope steepness. The little arc markings are spot on for determining the percentage of slope.

If own the Husky Digital level, you can still use it. The AimPoint Bubble only measures the slope to 4%. So if you are looking for readings on slopes more than 4%, you could use both in conjunction with each other.

The only complaint I have heard is that due to the small size of the AimPoint Bubble that a spike mark could throw off the reading. While that could be true to a degree, I’ve found from owning the Husky and the Exelys Breakmaster, that alterations in the green from spike marks and ball marks actually reek more havoc because they are electronic. Not that I think it really matters because I go by the old carpenter’s rule of ‘measure twice, mark once.’

In the end, the AimPoint Bubble really surprised me with how well it works and I recommend it for AimPoint users.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Thoughts On Carrying 2 Drivers...


With Tropical Storm Debby drenching much of Florida, I started to think about owning 2 different driver lofts and/or shafts in order to better suit myself for the weather. Florida summers usually see heat, humidity and then downpour for about 15 minutes to an hour. This actually works out nicely for courses from tee to green as the rain gives the ground the water it needs and the extreme heat and a little breeze dries everything up nicely. Then it’s a rinse and repeat process.

However, if we go without rain for 2-3 days, the ground gets very hard and you’re now likely to see brush fires. Conversely, sometimes the rain goes into overload for a few days and absolutely drenches the course.

With that, I was curious about approaching 2 different drivers. Now, obviously one could change their swing mechanics to hit the ball lower or higher. In fact, I usually do that a few times a round with my irons, usually switching to a higher ball flight mechanics on front pin locations. But, that may occur 2-3 times a round max.


Because if I’m in the Danger Zone, I’m usually just thinking about making good contact and finding the green. So that generally takes away my 3-iron, 4-iron and 5-iron shots. And if I have less than 150 yards into the green, I’m probably hitting no more than a 9-iron with my stock swing and those shots generally fly high enough and spin enough to get a front pin location shot close.

However, if I’m trying to hit high ball drivers to counter soft fairways, now I’m probably altering my swing at least a dozen different times on the course and I don’t quite feel that comfortable in doing so.



From my reading, it appears that essentially there’s ‘optimal total distance’ and ‘optimal carry distance’ with the driver. So, optimal distance does NOT necessarily mean that the driver will carry the furthest. In fact, there’s likely to be some driver components that will max out the carry distance, but in ‘normal conditions’ will not max out the total distance.

The main factor appears to be the launch angle. And it appears that if you can find the driver components that equate to maxing out total distance, than you need to find the driver and components that will increase the launch angle by roughly 2°. So, if you’re optimal total distance launch angle is 9.3°, then your optimal carry distance launch angle will somewhere in the neighborhood of 11.3°.



My belief is that if you’re going to do this, you should just change the loft of the club. The shaft and head model should probably remain the same. Sometimes companies will have similar clubhead models, but alter the location of the Center of Gravity. The lower CoG can produce a higher launch angle while the higher CoG can produce a lower launch angle. I believe Titleist’s D2 and D3 models are built that way.

This may not be a bad way to go, if you can find a company that has driver models built like this. Still, the differences in CoG may not affect the launch enough and may affect the spin more which may or may not be conducive to increasing your carry.

The shaft can help with this, particularly if the tip-section of the shaft is softer which will help loft the ball in the air. But, I think it’s very risky to change a shaft too much. In Tom Wishon’s June 2012 eTech Newsletter ( he states that the maximum difference in launch angles they see between shaft bend profiles that fit a golfer is 2°. While that sounds exactly what we want, it sounds like that is still a rare case to get as high as a 2° difference. Plus, that 2° difference is from the lowest launch angle to the highest launch angle for those given shafts. So, if I hit a Graphite Design shaft that ‘fits’ my swing and it’s the lowest launching shaft of the bunch at 8°, then the highest launching shaft could be an Aldila shaft at 10°. But, the optimal total distance launch angle may belong to a Harrison shaft at 9.3°. So in order to max the carry, I actually need to find a way to get the launch angle at +2° higher than the 9.3° Harrison shaft.

Lastly, you would need a lot of shafts to try out with a Trackman or a FlightScope X2 in order to get closer to that 11.3° launch angle that optimizes carry distance.

Thus, my belief at this time is that you can probably alter the launch angle consistently by altering the static loft in the driver and keeping the head model along with the shaft model the same. How much the static loft will have to change would probably need Trackman or FlightScope X2 to get a precise measurement.


One of the things that I have found to be a myth is that hitting the ball high into a wind will automatically cause the golfer to lose more distance than if they hit it lower. I don’t find that necessarily true. Where I think golfers get mostly into trouble with high trajectories into a tough breeze is with accuracy and predictability of the ball flight.

I think where the distance differences come from a lower ball flight versus a higher ball flight is from a ‘spinny’ shot. The extra spin causes the ball to balloon in the air and the golfer would have been better hitting a lower trajectory shot. But, if the golfer hits a higher trajectory and keeps the spin loft lower, they can easily hit the higher trajectory shot into the wind further.


Again, here’s the formula for spin loft:

Dynamic Loft – Attack Angle = Spin Loft

So what happens with those high ballooning shots is the golfer may increase the steepness of their attack angle and/or increase their dynamic loft. Both of which will increase the spin loft and cause a ‘spinny’ shot that balloons into the wind.


Let’s say my ‘stock’ swing produces these numbers:

10° Dynamic Loft - 0° Attack Angle = 10° Spin Loft

However, I hit the following shots into a 25 mph breeze:

Shot #1: 10° Dynamic Loft – (- 2°) Attack Angle = 12° Spin Loft. Max Height 93 feet

Shot #2: 10° Dynamic Loft – (+) 2° Attack Angle = 8° Spin Loft. Max Height 110 feet

All things being equal, I would hit Shot #2 further, even though I hit it higher in the air because the Spin Loft had decreased and I’m not hitting nearly as ‘spinny’ of a shot as Shot #1 which had a lower Max Height.


With that, I have talked to clubfitters who have discussed success with having themselves and their customers who use 2 drivers in the bag at once. These are often in windy areas where the golfer can use the higher lofted driver on a hard tailwind and a lower lofted driver in a strong headwind.

So as long as the golfer does not alter their attack angle, they can effectively reduce the Spin Loft or increase Spin Loft.

The idea is that they could take their ‘normal swing’ and if their attack angle stays the same, they’ll reduce the Spin Loft with the lower lofted driver into the wind. And with the wind, they’ll increase their spin loft which is okay in a strong tailwind. However, it should be noted that if the wanted to hit it purely FURTHER with a tailwind, they wound want to actually decrease the Spin Loft by shallowing out our hitting up with their attack angle. But again, this requires the golfer to alter their swing and many golfers, even PGA Tour players, do not like doing this in a round of golf.



The most famous case of using 2 drivers at once goes to Phil Mickelson. Of course, most presume that Phil was automatically correct in his decision because the first time he used 2 drivers at Augusta, he won the Masters. But, winning doesn’t always necessarily mean that the player made the right move.

However, upon further examination, I think Phil made a brilliant move because it not only put him at a SIZEABLE advantage over the rest of the field, most of the golfing world thought he was nuts and he did it anyway.

First, we should understand that from a statistical standpoint, expected scores for Tour players start to change when there’s a difference of 25 yards or more. Also, we should remember that hitting the fairway does provide an advantage to golfers, even Tour players. From about the same distance, Tour players will hit their approach shot about 30-40% closer on average from the fairway than the rough.

However, that does not mean that a Tour player should just take a 3-wood out and hit fairways. Why? Because the loss of distance between using a 3-wood versus a driver off the tee is too great. And I think most Tour players probably hit their 3-wood about 40 yards shorter than their driver off the tee. So not only does their expect score likely go up when they scale back 40 yards, but you add that up over a round of 18 holes and now you are seeing a sizeable difference.

In other words, ask yourself ‘would you buy a driver that you hit 40 yards shorter but can hit 80-90% of the fairways with?’

I think most golfers would say ‘no way.’


Okay then…who should consider using 2 drivers in the bag at once?

1. Golfers who can be pretty sure that they can get about 25+ yard advantage with each driver when used for each condition (ala tailwind vs. headwind drivers)

2. Golfers who are long enough where they likely will not need a 3-wood off the deck on par-5’s.

3. Courses that do not call for many 3-wood shots off the tee.

4. Golfers who can hit one of the drivers well off the deck.

In Mickelson’s situation, his drivers were designed to work the ball. One could hit a draw, the other a fade. So, there was no 25+ yard advantage from that perspective.

Mickelson fit well into #2. Holes 13 and 15, Phil could get in two with an iron. #8 may be a stretch for Phil to go driver-hybrid into, but I think he can get somewhat close. Furthermore, it’s a tall order to reach that green in 2 shots for anybody.

Phil also doesn’t hit the driver off the deck much like a Bubba Watson would, so that ruins #4 for him.

However, the brilliance of the idea was behind #3 and in the end, that affected #1.

Augusta does generally call for some 3-woods off the tee for long hitters like Phil. #10 is a perfectly example. It’s a 500 yard par-4, but it goes straight downhill and bends to the left. The longer hitters generally take a 3-wood off the tee and with the downhill slope and super-fast fairways, they can belt one about 310 yards down the middle. The golfers who use driver are almost exclusively shorter hitters, who will hit it the same distance or thereabout.

But with Phil and his 2 drivers, he had such confidence in them drawing and fading on command, he could comfortably belt the fade driver on #10 and hit it, let’s say 350 yards. Thus, while he technically didn’t hit either driver noticeably further, the fact that he could use the driver on holes where the longer hitters were using 3-wood, Phil was gaining a sizeable advantage.

With the golfers who want to use 2-drivers for wind purposes, I would first ask “can I get a 25+ yard advantage with either driver versus using the stock driver?’ If so, I would then start to contemplate using 2-drivers, if I feel I won’t need a 3-wood that much or that I am really adept at hitting one of the drivers off the deck.


In the ’09 US Open at Torrey Pines, Mickelson did not utilize a driver and while he missed the cut, that does not automatically mean that he’s wrong.

However, I do believe that was a poor decision.

For starters, I do believe that he reasonably could use the driver on 2-3 holes at that tournament. And on those holes he was probably losing roughly 40 yards on each tee shot. Total that up, and it comes to 80-120 yards.

Secondly, if he gets in a situation where he desperately needs a birdie, he needs to leave himself with a shorter approach if he can. But, he doesn’t really have that option if he doesn’t have a driver to bomb away with.

Given his length off the tee, my belief is that the only way going without a driver would have been a smart decision is if he was very confident that he could hit his 3-wood accurately enough to be in the top-5 in the field in driving accuracy. Otherwise, he’s really putting himself behind the 8-ball.


This is something I may wind up trying out. Currently, I utilize a 10° loft Wishon 919THI driver with a 45-1/8” UST Mamiya VTS Silver 65x shaft. My feeling is that if I don’t optimize my total distance with this club, I come very close. Thus, I think I probably need something like a 11.50 to 12.0° head with the same components in order to find a driver that maximizes carry.

That being said, I don’t think a golfer has to gain 25+ yards off the tee with an alternate driver if they are only using one of the drivers for those set of conditions. It’s when you carry 2-drivers in the bag, which may be an entirely smart move, that you need to consider the potential pitfalls and rewards.