Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Day At The Faldo Institute With Edel Golf


On Saturday I went to the Faldo Golf Institute for another putting fitting with Edel Golf (www.edelgolf.com) with the company’s head of operations, Bobby Dean. I wanted to practice at the FGI along with get fitted for a belly putter and learn more about Edel’s fitting process as well as what else is coming up for Edel in the future. I also wanted to get on Trackman again to see if some of my Trackman numbers improved along with trying a shorter length driver shaft and what impact that had when put on Trackman.


As far as Trackman goes, my attack angles all improved. In fact, my driver attack angles where usually in the -0.5 to -2.0 down range which is fine by me. It’s my belief that while Trackman can give you a good ballpark of where the ball is being struck on the face, you should check to see where the face contact is anyway. I didn’t find this to be an issue with the irons, but with the driver it’s so difficult to tell as I was hitting too steeply a week ago, but hitting the ball up higher on the clubface, where there is more loft. That is why I could hit -4 to -5* down with the driver and still get a high ball flight. You can use David Graham’s suggested trick of buying some $5 Dr. Scholl’s spray and lightly spray it on the face and see the face contact easily.

As far as the shorter driver goes, which I will blog about tomorrow, I have a spare Wishon 919THI driver that has an Aldila RIP Beta X-Stiff shaft and that was 45-inches long. My ‘gamer’ is a Wishon 919THI with a UST Mamiya shaft at 45-1/8” long. I wanted to see if there was a difference in attack angle and clubhead speed if I trimmed my spare driver to 44-3/8 inches. I made them both the same MOI (2,825 kg/cm^2). In the end, the difference was about 1 mph of clubhead speed slower with the shorter driver and the attack angle was the same. I will go into detail more tomorrow.


This was the Faldo Institute's first time doing Edel fitting, so they did this one for free and anybody was invited to come and try it out, with no obligation to buy. My putting instructor, David Graham along with felling FGI Instructor, Justin Blazer are now certified AimPoint instructors along with Edel Putter and Edel Wedge certified fitters. For those who live in Florida, you now have a place to go and for those who plan to take a visit to Orlando in the winter, they are your guys to help with your putting and wedge needs.

While the idea and fitting process for the putters is interesting in itself, I found it even more fascinating of how the putter influences a golfer’s putting stroke. Personally, I had a rightward aim bias and then would make the compensation of a cutting across stroke to counter my rightward aim bias. As Bobby put it, your brain is trying to find a way to get you to make putts. When I first got my Edel putter, I still had that cut across motion. But since I was now aimed correctly, I could now make progress on eliminating that cut across motion. Without being aimed correctly, I would always fight against my inaccurate aim at address.

This was particularly interesting with each person I saw get fitted. One of them was a promising junior who primarily used a long putter. And with his standard putter he would use the left-hand low grip. His problem was that he aimed left with the putter at address. He then used the left hand low technique which in reality greatly closed his shoulders at address. That closing of the shoulders would create an inside-to-out stroke. He was much like the opposite of myself, he would aim left and then use an inside-to-out stroke as his brain was trying to get him to make putts thru large compensatory movements. Eventually frustrated with his putting, he went to the long putter as a junior golfer.

Bobby recommended that he dump the long putter as it was a crutch for him. I tend to agree in the sense that I look at the long putter as a last resort for golfers. If you can’t putt with the long putter, then you need to make wholesale changes with your putting technique because from an equipment perspective, you have nothing else to go to. With a normal putter and a standard right hand low grip, at least if the golfer struggles with that they can go left hand low, piston style putting, belly putter and then long putter. If you are a junior golfer and are already trying the long putter with no success, it could creep into your mind at an early age that you can’t putt.

As far as my belly putter goes, my fitting didn’t take very long at all. What I found interesting was my first initial aim was with a ‘dummy’ putter head and the alignment was not too far off to begin with, probably 6-inches to the right. That was much better than when I initially was fitted back in 2011 for a standard putter where I almost aimed off the screen in the backdrop. So my thinking is that the way the belly putter is setup for me, that it helps with my aim to begin with. We found that the optimal length for me was at 43 inches long.

What was also interesting is that Bobby had told me that with so many possible combinations, it’s quite possible for 2 different fitters to fit the aim for a golfer with 2 different designs. Well, I must be predictable because we wound up fitting me for the same exact head and hosel as my current putter.


The only difference is that this belly putter will have 2 lines in the cavity and 1 line on the top-line. We then worked on the weight fitting with placing weight in various places along the head and the grip to get the hand speed where we want it. I have the tendency to speed up the hands thru impact. The junior golfer with the left-aim bias had the same problem and that would cause him to open the face, a problem I sometimes suffer with as well.

I ordered a putter and will also get to try their new DeVicenzo model (picture below) with the torque balanced feature coming out soon and I will review that as well.


I was told that Edel will be going international with both their wedges and putters and will be hitting the European market very soon which is great for the European readers who have inquired about that. I honestly feel that with Edel and AimPoint, you have an unbeatable combination on the greens.

I did watch some of the wedge fittings. Lately I have had some issues with my own 56° Edel wedge. Part of the problem is that with my steep attack angle, even 18° of bounce is not enough for me. However, Bobby showed that I had too much forward shaft lean at address and that alone helped me tremendously. With that and some of my driver struggles, that’s why I think it’s important to use a video camera with different clubs in your bag, there’s always that chance you may employ different mechanics with different clubs that may not be quite suitable for the equipment.

Everybody liked the wedges. As I have found, they are extremely well suited for Florida because you can play 3 straight holes in Florida and get 3 varying types of lies from plush, to thick grass, to hardpan. I also think the high bounce angles are invaluable for distance control because you don’t have to worry about digging too much turf which can cause the golfer to hit it short or nuke one way too long. Last week on the Trackman combine test I scored extremely well using my LW from 70-90 yards. In fact, I had 2 scores of 100 and 2 scores of 99 on the 90 yard shot which shows how well the Edel wedges control distance.

I was informed that the dot punch designs will be on all of their forged wedges and golfers can still get the scorelines on the cast models.


The irons will be on display at the Las Vegas PGA Merchandise show coming up as well. Here's a prototype of their irons.


I've seen pictures of the finished product and it's much more of a clean look. Some of the principles of the wedges are in the irons like the extra bounce angle. Again, distance control is so crucial with iron play and if they can get the bounce angle to help with distance control on their irons, that would separate them from the other manufacturers.

I did ask if the scorelines were moved out to the toe like the wedges.


They will not be moved out, but will have the punch dot design. I takes roughly 30 minutes to dot punch each club, thus 4 hours goes into dot punching an entire set alone.

I did introduce Bobby to MOI Matching. I think that's another process that can really separate Edel from the rest of the manufacturer's out there.

I wound up leaving the day learning so much about putter design and the stroke and how golfers tend to react to the stroke, which is something that this blog is really about. I would highly recommend checking out David Graham and Justin Blazer at the the Faldo Golf Institute as it's the best place to practice in Orlando and they have all of the resources and knowledge to help improve your game.



No comments: