Monday, December 30, 2013

Hit It Further with Footwork by Chris Como

Video from 3Jack Top-50 Instructor, Chris Como, discussing how to hit it further using your footwork:


Thursday, December 19, 2013

51 Orlando Area Courses to Play

With winter here I wanted to go thru the entire list of golf courses in Orlando that I have played that are available to the public for play for those golfers looking to play golf in the area in the next few months. These courses are in alphabetic order and most can have their tee times booked at Some courses I have left off the list is due to having not played there since moving to the area in 2010 (I played these courses in the 90’s; i.e. Timacuan, The Claw at USF, etc). I have ranked the courses on a scale of 1-10. 5 is considered ‘average.’

1. Bella Collina CC – Used to be an exclusively private course designed by Nick Faldo. One of the hilliest courses in all of Florida. Features a $50 million club house and plays to 7,900 yards from the back tees. Difficult to figure out where you are going the first time you play it. A little too long with too many uneven lies for my tastes. 18th hole is ridiculous. 5.5/10

2. Black Bear GC – Used to be a premier course in the area although it is located in Eustis which is nowhere close to anything. Pete Dye design. Very long and some very unfair driver shots which is common for Dye. Was not in good shape when I played it last year, but I think it’s a course if you play it a couple of times it can grow on you. Not meant for the higher handicappers. 4.0/10

3. Celebration GC – Designed by Robert Trent Jones’ son. It’s in Celebration which is down the road from Disney. Gorgeous housing around the course. Front nine is a bit goofy in its design. Back nine is excellent. 6.0/10

4. Champions Gate (International) – Designed by Greg Norman and is where they held Champions Tour Q-School qualifier. Very difficult course on the front nine which is very tight. Back nine is very open and very links style. 6.0/10

5. Champions Gate (National) – More of a parkland style of course and much easier than the International course. A few holes are a bit goofy in design and the course is not nearly as in good of shape and the international course. I believe it’s due to the layout not allowing the rain, wind and sun to set on the grass properly. 5.0/10

6. Continental CC – Located near The Villages in Wildwood. Very short course (only 6,300 yards from the back tees), but very tight. Usually greens are in good condition, but very slow. Back nine is much better than the front nine. 3.0/10

7. Deer Island CC – Located in the middle of nowhere. After we played the course the nearest place to eat is about 15 miles away. Overall a very nice course with a lot of scenic views. No real goofy holes and in good condition. 6.5/10

8. Deltona Club – Located in Deltona which is close to DeBary and Sanford. Great design and last time I played there the greens were in great shape. Still struggling with the tees and fairways. Usually very cheap to play there and a fun course to play. 6.0/10

9. Duran Golf Club – Located in Viera and down the road from the Stadium where the Washington Nationals spring training is played. A course with a large membership. Since it is near the coast the terrain is very flat. Decent design and in decent condition. 5.0/10

10. Eagle Creek GC – Located on Narcoosee Drive, right down the road from North Shore and Lake Nona CC. Very fair course and when I played there the course was in excellent condition. Heard they had condition troubles this year. Still, I will base it off when I played there. 6.0/10

11. Eagle Dunes – Located near RedTail in the Clermont/Monteverde section of Orlando. Starts off as hilly on holes #1 and #10, but flattens out quite a bit from there. Very so-so design and conditioning. 4.0/10

12. Eastwood GC – One of my former home clubs. Plays about 7,300 yards from the back tees. One of those courses that grows on you if you play it a handful of times. Too many poorly thought out design features (#2, #4, #6, #8, #10, #12, #13) and too many greens designed like a potato chip. Heard that course conditions have worsened. Depending on the day one can play a super fast round or a super slow round. Located near UCF. 3.0/10

13. El Diablo G & CC – Designed by Tom Fazio’s brother and located up near Ocala. Very difficult course but a fairly good design. Course was in rough condition when we played it. Overall enjoyed it but it’s not a confidence builder. 4.5/10

14. Grand Cypress (new course) – ‘Inspired’ by St. Andrews. Each green is a ‘double green’ and there is hardly any rough. Even if you’re 100 yards off line, it’s all fairway or green or tee. Filled with pot bunkers. Fantastic condition and a treat to play. Right in the heart of the golf area of Orlando (Central West or Southwest Orlando). 8.5/10

15. Grande Pines – Located in the same area as Grand Cypress (not part of the same company). It’s in a resort/time share area but it is not anything like your typical resort style of course. It’s actually quite narrow and has some demanding tee shots. Generally a great course although a couple of the holes were a bit wacky in design. In fantastic condition. 8.0/10

16. Harbor Hills – Located near The Villages and is a course that typically has members from the surrounding community as golfers. Some incredibly demanding shots, particularly from the back tees on #10. Very solid golf course here. 6.0/10

17. Hawk’s Landing – Located in the ‘golf area’ of Orlando. Extremely weird entrance as it is part of a time share, hotel and convention center. They give free valet parking if you’re playing golf. Course is in excellent condition. The front nine is a little tricked up for my tastes, but I thought the back nine was superb. 6.0/10

18. Juliette Falls CC – Located 10 miles west of Ocala. Was a private course but now accepts tee times on GolfNow. Excellent course. If there is a complaint, the par-3’s are nearly impossible from the back tees. Otherwise some outstanding golf holes and a great atmosphere for golf and being able to have some food and drinks afterward. One of my favorites and well worth the trip. 9.0/10

19. La Cita CC – A hidden gem located in Titusville. It’s a private course that you can only call to make reservations. Winter rates are pricey, but it’s a Ron Garl and Lee Trevino design. Features a lot of dog legs. First 6 holes could be better, but holes 7-18 are as strong of a design as anywhere in Orlando. Usually greens are in good shape, tees and fairways leave a lot to be desired. 6.5/10

20. Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes – Private course that you can only book tee times thru Located near Lake Mary and is a Tom Fazio design. Tough course in general, but open to some low scores if you hit it well. Generally in great condition. New ownership should take the conditioning to the next level. 8.0/10

21. LPGA International (Hills Course) – World class facility where the LPGA Q-School is hosted. You will see a lot of mini-tour and junior golfers here. The Hills course is the better of the two and much more difficult. Fabulous design by Arthur Hills. 8.5/10

22. LPGA International (Jones Course) – This course was designed by Rees Jones and is a much easier design. No real bad holes here, but nothing that stands out like they do on the Hills Course. 6.5/10

23. Metrowest GC – Located on the west side of the city about 10 minutes from the Amway Center. Robert Trent Jones design that has its fair share of hills. The 14th tee is the highest point in Orlando. Recently renovated with $1.5 million which made the course much easier, but much more fun. They also installed TifEagle greens, my Bermuda green of choice. 7.5/10

24. Mission Inn (El Campeon) – One of the best courses in the area that is home to the Gary Gilchrist junior golf academy. It doesn’t look like it when you get there, but the course is extremely hilly. It was designed in 1917 and it has the feel and design of an old school PGA Tour course before the Tour went to all of these TPC designs. And because of the hilly landscape, it feels like a top tier course in a more elevated area like Western Pennsylvania. Generally in very good shape, but not in top-tier condition. 8.5/10

25. Mission Inn (Las Colinas) – Designed by Gary Koch and redesigned recently. The front nine is excellent. But, the back nine becomes incredibly narrow. The narrowness of the back nine is surrounded by trees, but it is too narrow that there is not a lot of strategy and overwhelming skill. It becomes more about luck. 4.5/10

26. Mystic Dunes – Designed by Gary Koch. Reminds me a bit of a Mike Strantz design where it is more about art than golf (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). The only thing I didn’t like about the course was the green designs which left for some ludicrous putts. One on hole with a giant tier in the green that ran from the front to the back (splitting the green in 2) we actually thought the flag was cut off the green. Outside of the 18th hole, the holes were fairly logical in design. 5.5/10

27. North Shore – Located down the road from Lake Nona and Eagle Creek. Has great TifEagle greens. The front nine is more of a links style course and the back nine is more parkland. Generally a fun course to play and it can yield some low scores. Pace of play is often horrendous there. 6.5/10

28. Orange County National (Crooked Cat) – Another world class facility that hosts the demo day for the PGA Merchandise show. Has the largest range in North America. Probably the best conditioned public course in Orlando, particularly in the winter. Crooked Cat is the easier of the two. It’s much more reasonable, but doesn’t quite have those great holes. 7.5/10

29. Orange County National (Panther Lake) – My only gripe is that there is some confusion as to where to tee off between the 3rd hole and the 7th hole. It also has a couple of tee shots where you have to hit it 260 carry from the back tees in order to have a chance. Other than that, it’s excellent. 9.0/10

30. Orange Lake Resort (Legends Course) – Arnold Palmer design and one of the best designed courses in all of Orlando (including Bay Hill). Usually in terrific condition and features wooden flag sticks. Not a bad hole on the course. It is a bit loud because of the resort. 9.0/10

31. RedTail Club – Located in the Monteverde area and is a bit of a trip to get out there. However, this is a very fun and well designed course. The best part is the design of the par-5’s. The back nine is a bit more difficult. Great club house and nice finishing hole. Conditioning took a bit of a hit this year, but still in pretty good shape. 8.5/10

32. Rio Pinar CC – Typically a private course now offering tee times on GolfNow. Built in 1957 and has that feel of an old school Tour course as it is where the PGA Tour used to hold the Citrus Open. Requires better driving of the ball than most people think. Currently going thru a $4.5 million renovation with new, Championship Bermuda greens. The facelift was much needed. One of the most fun designs in all of Orlando. If the newly installed greens play well, the ranking would be higher. 7.0/10

33. Ritz Carlton – Grande Lakes – World class facility and treatment from the staff. Recently held the PNC Father/Son Challenge there. Course is in phenomenal condition and is mostly filled with well designed holes, but nothing that leaves you with something to remember. And if the conditions are not in your favor (either rain or wind), it can be pretty brutal out there. 8.0/10

34. Shingle Creek – Excellent course design that is not too resort-ish and won’t beat you up either. In the winter time the greens are in superb condition. This is not too far from Universal Studios and they take good care of the customers here. Some really excellent holes here like #3, #4, #9, #11 and #15. 8.5/10

35. Southern Dunes – Noted for having the best greens in Orlando and I have to agree. About 15 minutes south of Disney and a very nice parkland style course. Played there in the Summer and the greens were smooth reading at 13 on the stimp. Lovely course and layout with a lot of fun golf holes. 9.0/10

36. Spruce Creek – Located up towards The Villages. Front nine is very short (about 3,000 yards) and back nine becomes longer (about 3,500 yards). Quite a few wacky holes with very sharp doglegs, but it also has a lot of good holes. One of those courses that if you play it a few times it will grow on you. 4.0/10

37. Stonecrest – Located near The Villages. Another course that if you play it more often that it will grow on you. Starts out tough with a par-5 that has two large fairway bunkers right in your landing area. Then a 210 yard par-3 into a small island green. Then the next few holes feature a lot of weird terrain. 4.5/10

38. Stoneybrook East – Located near UCF. Very tight course that has water and hazards surrounding both sides of the hole. Not overly long. Typical Clifton and Ezell design in that it’s a nice course from tee to green, but some ridiculously designed greens. If you can drive it well, you can go low on the course. Type of course where I could shoot 68 one day and then 86 the next day. TifDwarf greens which means that they are in inconsistent condition. 6.0/10

39. The Villages (Arnold Palmer) – 27 hole design by Arnold Palmer. Typical Villages course in that it has a nice design from tee to green, but the greens are very slow and very undulated. Better hit it well to shoot a low score. 7.0/10

40. The Villages (Cane Garden) – 27 hole design. I cannot remember which nine is which, but one of the nines was very goofy. The other 2 nines were quite nice, forgiving and fun. Has had problems with the condition of their greens. 5.5/10

41. The Villages (Evans Prairie) – Best designed course in the Villages. The one course that does not feature slow, undulated greens. Brand new course that needs a little more time to mature. 7.5/10

42. The Villages (Glenview) – Perhaps the most difficult of The Villages courses. Not as well designed as the Palmer course or Evans Prairie, but still a very solid course. 6.5/10

43. The Villages (Nancy Lopez) – 27 hole design by Nancy Lopez. A little less sever on the green slope and is generally well designed. 6.5/10

44. The Villages (Tierra Del Sol) – One of the first courses at the Villages. Has a lot of decent holes, but too many poorly designed ones. It’s also in fair condition compared to the top courses in The Villages. 4.5/10

45. Venetian Bay – Located near Daytona Beach. A course with a fairly good sized membership. Very flat and I found this course rather dull, but in good condition. 5.0/10

46. Victoria Hills – One of the best designs in all of Orlando. Just a fun, interesting and well thought out layout. Located near Sanford. Tees and fairways are in so-so condition, but the last time I played there the greens were in excellent shape. Some great par-5’s on this course. 7.5/10

47. Viera East – Located a bit north of Melbourne. A decent front nine design that improves dramatically on the back nine. Decent conditioning. 5.0/10

48. Walkabout GC – Located north of Titusville. Fairly hilly for that part of Florida. Pete Dye design with holes 1-12 being as tough of a stretch as anywhere in Florida. Building a 25,000 square foot club house. In good condition in the winter. Bring plenty of balls. 5.5/10

49. Windermere CC – Private club now accepting tee times at GolfNow. I think this would be a nice course to be a member at. But playing it I was not blown away by it. Good conditioning and I thought the back nine was a very good design. 5.5/10

50. World Woods (Pine Barrens) – Ranked in the top-100 in Golf Digest. It’s a hike to the middle of nowhere to get there. Course was designed by Tom Fazio as a tribute to Pine Valley. Dramatic and beautiful landscape. Top course I’ve played in the area. 9.5/10

51. World Woods (Rolling Oaks) – Fazio designed this course as a tribute to Augusta National. The excellence of Pine Barrens overshadows the greatness of Rolling Oaks. Some of the finishing holes are a little unfair, but otherwise a great course. 8.0/10


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

No Ground Reaction Force Swing

Here's a video from 3Jack Top-50 Instructor, Chris Como. The idea is showing what a golf swing would look like without any 'Ground Reaction Force.' In other words, what the swing would look like if a golfer could not use the ground.

What's particularly interesting is how much rotation plays a part in this. As we can see, there's not much rotation in the swing that Chris tries to provide.

And if you look at his hip rotation in the downswing, it actually goes in the opposite direction as he swings through.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MOI & Balance Matching FAQ's - Part III

Doherty states in his MOI Balance Index Spreadsheet that he was able to change his club path with the Balanced clubs. Is this really possible?
I do not believe that this is really possible.

For instance, if a golfer has a path that is -4° left of the target I do not see it suddenly changing to +2° right of the target.

At least I do not believe that Balancing a set of clubs is directly related to the path. I think that MOI matching helps the path become a little tighter in dispersion, thus the smaller impact dispersion when clubs are properly MOI matched. For instance, I feel a golfer whose path ranges from -3 to -9° left with a swingweight matched set of clubs may go to -3 to -6° left with MOI matched clubs.

Mind you, I have no actual evidence of that. However, I have good evidence that impact dispersion greatly improves with clubs that are properly MOI matched. Thus, I am theorizing *why* that is.

Doherty states in his spreadsheet that he was seeing distance gains with his clubs Balanced. Is this possible?

Yes, I believe so. With a 3-iron that is not Balanced, the club already has a low loft. So if we hit it low it will not go as far. And if the club’s mass is more concentrated in the shaft, it’s just going to launch lower.

Conversely, with a PW the club has more than enough loft to produce a high launch and spin ball flight. With the club’s concentration of mass more in the club head, the ball will just be launched higher and spin more. With the clubs properly balanced the launch and spin conditions become more ideal for each club.

How much does this really help?

Here’s a Trackman record of Tour averages. Pay close attention to the Max Height column:

The max height for clubs should roughly be the same. But even the Tour players have some difficulty accomplishing that.

The lowest flying club?


We see the 9-iron and PW fly lower than the 7-iron. However, the point is that Tour golfers have to alter their swing mechanics to hit those short irons lower and the long irons higher. From my experience, I feel it is easier to produce lower ball flights than higher. I can easily knock a shot down lower than normal than to try and hit one noticeably higher than normal.

With Balancing the set, the clubs are designed so the golfer doesn’t have to make wide sweeping changes in swing mechanics to hit their long irons high enough and get that penetrating ball flight with their short irons.

How would counterweighting work with Balance matching clubs?

We have to remember that with clubs here are the rules of thumb as far as weight added at certain locations and how it changes the club's MOI:

1-gram to club head = 10-12 MOI points

1-gram to balance point = 5 MOI points

1-gram near shaft label (below grip) = 2-3 MOI points

1-gram on butt-end of shaft = 0 MOI points

Let's say we have this scenario here where our 9-iron is assembled and we are trying to reach a target of 2,725 kg/cm^2 and a Balance Percentage of 60%.

balance 3.png
If we add 3.5 grams of lead tape to the head, that will get us to 2,725 kg/cm^2:

Balance 4.png

However, that lowers the balance to 55.18%.

What we know is that if we were to keep the head weight at 284.5 grams, that 60% of that would be 170.7 grams. 

And since our grip weighs 49 grams, that means the shaft needs to weigh 121.7 grams.

In this scenario, if I were to add a 12-gram counterweight, the components would now look like this:

Balance 5.png

Now, that is not at 60%, but we have a +/- 2 % margin of error to work with. 

Earlier you mentioned that you found that counterweights can often be used in the driver, 3-wood, short irons and wedges.  Why is that?
Aerotech, Nippon and now UST with the Recoil line of shafts appear to be seeing the flaws with swingweight and swingweight matching and are now favoring MOI matching.  But, every other shaft company is deeply entrenched into swingweight matching.  And the OEM's that make the drivers, irons, wedges, etc are the same way.  So the way many clubs are designed with swingweight matching in mind makes them a bit more in need of adding shaft weight in order to balance the club.

I will start with the driver.

Generally, the driver is not a giant issue if the club is designed to spec.  But, the typical shaft lengths of a driver are 45.5" to 46" long.  The shaft's weight and Bend Profile may fit the golfer just fine.  But, it's length may present an issue.  The golfer may have way too long of a driver shaft and now their alignments at address are thrown off.  They'll either end up having too little waist bend at address or they will stand further away from the ball to get that waist bend.  Both of which can set off a lot of compensations to be made in the swing.

So if the golfer wants to fit their driver closer to their height and arm length, they will likely need something in the 44" - 44.75" long range.  In fact, Bubba Watson and Adam Scott, two fairly tall golfers, use a 44.5 and 44.75 inch drivers respectively.

The problem is that just trimming the shaft from the butt end will present some MOI issues.  The MOI will become much lower.  Again, that shaft's weight may have fitted you nicely at 45.5" long, but at 44" long the weight and the heft changes.  And if you like the shaft's Bend Profile you will either need to find a shaft with a similar bend profile that is heavier in weight or use a counterweight. 

I believe that OEM's have struggled to make 3-woods with the correct amount of heft.  Your typical driver head weighs about 200-205 grams.  Your typical 3-wood head weighs about 207-212 grams.

But, the typical driver is 45.5" long while the typical 3-wood is 43" long.  That's a giant difference in shaft length while only having about a 7-gram difference in head weight.

The normal head weight discrepancy in *irons* is 7-grams.  But, irons are only in 1/2" or 3/8" shaft increments.  Here we have a 7-gram increment from teh driver to the 3-wood, but a 2.5" shaft length difference.

The typical adjustment made is that the golfer will use a similar shaft to their driver, but about 10-grams heavier.  I just do not believe that the difference in weight makes up for the 2.5" shaft length difference (or even a 1.5" shaft length difference).

The issue with short irons and wedges is that virtually no matter how heavy of a shaft you use, the shaft will not be heavy enough once it is trimmed.  I purchases a 138 gram wedge shaft, the heaviest I could find, and after trimming it only weighed 110 grams.  And I needed a 122 gram shaft weight.  The same with the shorter irons, except you can get away with using less weight in the counterweight.

In the end, I think this is something consider if a golfer is seeking the ultimate in club fitting and trying to figure out why some clubs either do not feel or perform quite like other clubs in their bag.  And I really think that it can provide a giant benefit to golfers looking to hit their driver better if they are willing to patiently try out different scenarios.


Monday, December 16, 2013

MOI & MOI Balance Matching FAQ's - Part II

In part II I will go over the FAQ’s involved with ‘MOI Balance Index’ often referred to as ‘balancing’ clubs.

What is MOI Balance Index?

MOI Balance Index means that the clubs are MOI matched *AND* the static weight of the components of the club (shaft, grip and head) are in the same proportion. The concept of MBI was developed by an engineer named Monte Doherty. He created an extensive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to help determine MBI. It not only accounted for the weight of the components, but the Center of Gravity of each component.

Have you ever heard of the ‘balance point’ of a shaft? If so, Doherty’s spreadsheet accounts for the balance point of the shaft as well as the balance point of the grip and the type of head (driver, fairway wood, hybrid, muscleback iron, player’s cavity back iron and Game Improvement iron). Between that and the weights of the components, he created a MOI Balance Index number. The number ranges from 0-100. In reality, the number will range more from 30-70.

I don’t understand what you mean by ‘weight of the components being in the same proportion. Can you explain?


Here’s a table of the weight of the components of a set of irons that are swingweight matched.

What many golfers don’t realize is 2 things:

1. Head weights gets progressively heavier as the club has more loft.
2. Shaft weights (trimmed) get progressively lighter as the club gets shorter

Clubs have been designed this way since the beginning of swingweight. When you trim a shaft, the shaft’s static weight becomes lighter (less shaft = less weight). So in order to counter those shafts getting lighter, OEM’s make the heads heavier as the club gets shorter.

However, that causes the proportion of the weight of the clubs to change. When we take the shaft + grip weight and divide that by the head weight, we see dramatic differences. The 3-iron percentage is at 65.1% and the Pitching Wedge percentage is at 51.1%.

So, with ‘balancing a set of clubs’, the percentage would be roughly the same. Let’s say we wanted to match everything to our 6-iron (58.5%), the table would look something like this:

Why is Balancing the set important?

It’s certainly not mandatory to balance a set of clubs. However, the main benefits are launch and ball flight. Provided that you are fitted for Balancing a set of clubs, the concentration of the club’s mass will be roughly the same.

In this set that was not balanced:

We have a 3-iron where there is a higher concentration of the club’s mass in the shaft (65.1%) than with the Pitching Wedge where the concentration of mass is more towards the head.

Now, let’s go back to our example where we want to use the 6-iron’s Balance Percentage (58.5%).

The 3-iron (65.1%) will have a higher concentration of its mass in the shaft. That will produce a lower launch and spin than the golfer is fitted for. And the issue with the 3-iron is that it already has a low loft and does not need to launch lower.

Conversely, the pitching wedge (51.1%) will have a higher concentration of its mass in the head. This will produce a higher launch and higher spin. But, the club already has enough loft to produce that.

To counter their clubs being un-balanced, golfers (even Tour players) will often alter their swing mechanics to get the long irons up in the air and their shorter irons to have a more penetrating ball flight. With Balanced clubs, that requires less of that altering of swing mechanics to produce your desired ball flight.

Do we Balance all of the clubs or just the irons?

Each club can be set to the same percentage, from the Driver to the Lob Wedge. In fact, I feel that the largest benefit of Balancing the clubs is with the driver because that is the club where launch, max height and spin rate is the most important.

Do I have to use Doherty’s spreadsheet to Balance my clubs?


I find that as long as the clubs are MOI matched you can simply figure out what your target % is and then derive how much the shaft + grip should weigh. You may be off a little, but we have a margin of error of +/- 2%.  Doherty's spreadsheet helps account for more finite details like the Center of Gravity of the components.

Won’t this make the clubs super heavy if both the shafts and head ascend in weight?


If we harken back to our discussion on MOI matching; if we match our MOI in our irons and then measure the swingweight, the swingweight will increase as the club gets shorter. So if one were to use the swingweight method with balancing their clubs, they would find that the swingweight gradually increases. But since swingweight does not accurately depict heft, the heft of the club would not change if clubs are balanced properly and the MOI matches.

So how does one get ascending shaft weights since shafts get lighter as you trim them shorter?

First, we are starting to see to see major shaft companies addressing this issue with equipment. Nippon shafts have made ‘constant weighted’ shafts where the shafts remain the same weight after they are trimmed (margin of error of +/- 1 gram). Furthermore, Aerotech has created a model of shafts called the Player Spec and UST has created the Recoil model of shafts that ascend in weight. I believe that we will start to see more and more companies go in this direction.

However, there are a couple of ways to do this.

For starters, you will need access to Wishon’s Bend Profile software. If you’re being fitted with a 6-iron, which I recommend, it’s likely that the shaft fitted for the 6-iron will be too heavy in the 3 & 4-irons. If so, you will need to find a shaft with a similar bend profile that is lighter in weight to install into those clubs.

From the clubs that require heavier shafts, there are a couple of options.

For starters, one could go into the Bend Profile software and look for heavier shafts with similar bend profiles.

The other part is to add weight to the shaft. Either via a counterweight, an internal shaft weight like the Tour Lock Opti-Vibe or using lead tape to place on the shaft.

Chances are you will likely need to do this with the shorter irons because if the irons are going to ascend in weight you will probably not find a heavier shaft that is heavy enough. For instance, I’ve taken 133 gram wedge shafts that weight 108 grams when trimmed to SW length. And if the SW shaft needs to be 120 grams, then you have a problem.

The best method is to add weight to the shaft, either thru lead tape, a counterweight or the Tour Lock Opti-Vibe.

Do we have to measure the weight of the ferrule, epoxy, grip tape, etc?

For most accurate measuring, yes. 

The ferrule will weigh about 1.0 to 1.5 grams.  The epoxy weighs about 0.3 grams.  Grip tape will measure about 1 gram per wrap.  So if you put 2 wraps of tape, it will weigh roughly 2 grams.  With the epoxy and ferrule, we just count that as part of the head's weight.  The grip tape would count as part of the grip's weight.

How does adding weight to the shaft affect the club's MOI?

It depends on where the weight is added.  The closer down the head, the more it adds to MOI.  General rule of thumb is:

1-gram on balance point of shaft = 5 MOI points

1-gram near shaft label (below grip) = 2-3 MOI points

1-gram on butt-end of shaft = 0 MOI points

So, how does using a counterweight work?

Since the counterweight is on the butt end of the grip, it will have little affect on MOI.  IIRC, 1-gram of weight on the butt end of shaft equals about 1/400th of a MOI point.

Tour Lock makes a counterweight called the 'Tour Lock Pro Counterweight.'

They also make a product called the 'Opti-Vibe.'

The Opti-Vibe is *not* a counterweight.

It is called an 'internal shaft weight.'  It is a weighting product that the installer can put into the shaft thru the butt end and then move the weight up and down the shaft depending on how much MOI they want to add.  The further down the shaft they move the Opti-Vibe, the more MOI it adds to the club.

Here's a demonstration:


Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 Pro Golf Synopsis E-Book Available for Sale!

The 2013 version of Pro Golf Synopsis e-book, the Moneyball Approach to Golf and the Indispensable Handbook for the 2013 Golf Season is available for sale for only $10.

You can click the 'add to cart' button on the upper right hand corner or just click this link to purchase it.

Here's the Table of Contents:


Statistical Index

Flaws in Traditional Golf Metrics      

Statistical Truths         

Metrics Based Strategy

• Tee Shot Strategy       
• Understanding Driving Effectiveness   
• Understanding Precision       
• Key Radar Metrics
Zone Play
• Birdie Zone Play        
• Safe Zone Play        
• Danger Zone Play        
• 225-275 Yard Zone Play       
• Zone Play Strategy   
Short Game Play         


Scoring Data          

• Par-4’s         
• Bogey Rate        
• Par-5’s         
• Birdie Rate        
• Par-3’s         

2013 PGA Tour Player Metrics Analysis      


• Introducing the 15/5 Score      
• Death Trap        
• The Extinction of Great Driving      
• The Phranken-Folly       

2013 PGA Tour Tournament Picks and Results     

2013 PGA Tour Statistical Rankings Index      

The book is 284 pages long and is written for all golfers of all handicaps.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

MOI & Balance Matching FAQ's - Part I

I’ve been working on 2013 Pro Golf Synopsis and have not had a lot of time to do work on the blog. Over the past few months I’ve been writing on the GolfWRX message boards about MOI matching and I’ve received more questions. So I thought I would write about them here.

What is MOI matching?

Simply put, it’s a replacement of swingweight matching. We use swingweight to measure the ‘heft’ of a club. Then we match the rest of the set of the irons to that swingweight. With MOI matching we are measuring the MOI of a club and then matching the rest of the set of irons to that MOI.

How does measuring the MOI of the club head measure the heft of a club?

It doesn’t. MOI matching has nothing to do with the MOI of the club head. It has to do with the MOI of the ENTIRE club. So when we are discussing MOI matching, it has nothing to do with the club head’s rotation on off-center hits. It’s about heft and force.

Why doesn’t swingweight work?

The main reason is that it does not account for the total weight of the club. There’s also no scientific backing behind using a 14-inch fulcrum. And outside of the digital swingweight scales, I would not trust the accuracy and precision of swingweight scales. I’ve seen them come up with all sorts of different measurements.

The main point is that it does not account for the total weight of the club and therefore things like making the grip 10-grams heavier will make the swingweight lower, but does not accurately depict the heft of the club as the club is actually heavier to swing with a heavier grip.

Is getting the proper heft of a club really that important?

Yes. When properly MOI fitted the impact dispersion improves dramatically.

Have you ever had a set of irons where you hit 1-2 clubs far better than the rest and then hit 1-2 clubs far worse than the rest? When properly fitted for MOI and getting the heft right, it will get you to hit each club more similarly. Instead of having 1-2 clubs you hit far better, now you hit each club as well as those 1-2 ‘best clubs.’

I don’t understand how MOI matching will improve impact dispersion?

When we measure a club’s MOI, we are essentially measuring the amount of force required to swing the club. MOI fitting is about taking the amount of force required to swing the club and matching that to the amount of force a golfer applies to the club in their swing.

So, imagine if you were swing a club that weighed roughly the weight of an alignment stick. You would find that you apply too much force in your swing for that particular club which is incredibly light. Your odds of making good, solid contact will lesson. Conversely, if you had a club that weighed as much as a sledgehammer, your swing does not apply enough force and again, it would be difficult to make good, consistent contact.

How do I measure a club’s MOI?

The best way is to get a MOI Auditor Machine.

There is a formula for measuring MOI, but I’m a bit more skeptical of its accuracy. I’ve seen some readings that do not seem probable.

If you can’t afford a MOI machine, I would look for club fitters that are ‘MOI certified’ or that match for MOI.

I don’t understand what the measurements mean?

The MOI number is kg/cm^2; meaning that it is kilograms divided by centimeters squared.

The number will typically range from 2,450 to 2,850 for irons. A bit higher for woods. The higher the number, the more heft the club has.

How does one fit for MOI?

I take the following tools:
  • Notepad
  • Impact tape
  • 1-inch strips of high density lead tape

For irons I usually take a 6-iron. I do not want any extra weight added. In fact, I want the MOI of the 6-iron to be as low as I can get it. We fit for MOI *last*. That means that the lie angle, length, grip, shaft, club head, etc have all been fitted, first.

Put a strip of impact tape on and hit 3-5 balls. Remove the strip and put it on the notepad.

Put a new strip of impact tape on. Now, put a 1-gram strip of lead tape on the head. Hit 3-5 balls. Look at the impact tape and place that on the notepad (you’re trying to look at the progression in impact dispersion).

Put a new strip of impact tape on and another 1-gram strip of lead tape on the head. Hit 3-5 balls.

Repeat the process.

As you get closer to your optimal MOI you will see the impact dispersion get tighter and tighter. If you add too much weight to the head, the impact dispersion will start getting wider and wider. So when that happens, remove that strip(s) of lead tape to get back to your tightest dispersion.

Then, DO NOT REMOVE THE LEAD TAPE. You will need to take the club and measure the club’s MOI.

From there, you will know your optimal MOI and can build your set accordingly.

I was told you can only MOI match Wishon clubs. Is that true?

No, that’s categorically false. Any club can be MOI matches.

What is done to MOI match a set of irons?

If one is only MOI matching, the basics are they add or subtract weight to the head. Some people can do this simply with lead tape. Some use hosel weights. I prefer lead tape because if I have to change something I don’t need to disassemble the head and try to remove the hosel weights which can be a real pain.

If you have to subtract weight, then you likely have a problem. It’s always more difficult to remove head weight than to subtract it. Unless you have a weight port on the head like you see in some of the Taylor Made heads.

To me, if the MOI of the club has to go down, then either the head was made too heavy or the shaft is too long or the shaft is too heavy for the golfer or some combination of those factors.

If I were to MOI match a set of irons and then measure the swingweight for fun, what would happen?

The swingweight would get progressively heavier. So the swingweight with a 3-iron may be at D-1, but with the 9-iron it could be at D-6.

Can’t I just make a set of clubs with progressive swingweight?

It could be done. The general consensus is that the swingweight should progress in 0.7 increments. However, good luck finding a method to accurately measure that. And I have found that the 0.7 increment theory isn’t exactly true. I’ll find some irons that come close to that and others that are different. As far as the MOI Auditor Machine goes, it’s not cheap ($450), but it’s easily the best money I’ve ever spent on ANY piece of golf related technology.

Can I MOI match my driver?
Not exactly.  The driver, hybrids and fairway woods will require heavier MOI than the irons and wedges.  This is because of a few factors:

1. The shafts are often completely different. 

2. The head designs are different.

3. The shaft lengths are very different.

We typically see drivers at 45" long and 3-woods at 43" long.  They will have lighter graphite shafts.  This just simply requires a heavier MOI than the irons.

The process for fitting for MOI for the driver, fairway woods and hybrids is still the same.  The only difference is that you will not get as tight of an impact dispersion during the fitting process.  That's because these are longer, lighter static weight clubs swung at higher speeds.  When you fit for MOI, the impact dispersion will get tighter, but it won't be as tight as the 6-iron. 

Still, it's an extremely beneficial process.

How come none of the OEM’s do this?

Well, there is a rumor going around that a major OEM is going to take a stab at doing this. The reason for the lack of it is simple, it would be extremely difficult to pull off for the masses and be cost effective. I think it could be done with the weight ports that Taylor Made has done with their Tour Preferred MB models. Still, it would require proper fitting and for the tolerances to be correct. I still think it would be better than nothing. Typically I see sets where the 3-5 irons are way too heavy, the 6 and 7-irons are about spot on, and then the 8-PW are way too light. So if those differences were less I think it would be beneficial to the golfer.

There are some versions of MOI matching used by OEM’s in the sense that the swingweight of wedges is much heavier than it is for irons. That’s because OEM’s understand that if you make a SW at a D-2 swingweight, it will feel way too light for a golfer.

How come none of the Tour pros do this?

Not exactly true as there are some European Tour players that use MOI matching. Richard Kempton performed a study of over 500 golfers that switched to MOI matching and only 1 player asked to go back. This study included European Tour players. You would have to ask him what the name of the players that switched were.

We also see poor man’s version of MOI matching with some players using slightly lighter swingweights in their long irons and heavier swingweights in their short irons.

Essentially, there are Tour players that can feel the difference but don’t know exactly what they are feeling. And the OEM’s don’t have any intention of bringing this to the forefront.

Why does MOI matching require 3/8” shaft increments instead of 1/2” increments?

It doesn’t. You can use either. The 3/8” increments make MOI matching assembly process easier. If I have fitted for everything else, I can often add only 2-grams to certain heads instead of having to add 8-grams in one head and 1-gram in another.

It also allows for a little more weight to be put in the heads in long irons and less weight in the heads for the shorter irons (I’ll get into this in a bit).

How do you do the 3/8” increments?

Fit for your 6-iron length. Use 3/8” shaft increments from there.

How does counter weighting affect the MOI?

The more weight added towards the head of the club, the more it increases the MOI. Here’s some scenarios:

1-gram of weight added to head = 10-12 MOI points
1-gram added on the balance point of the club = 5 MOI points
1-gram added on the shaft by the shaft label = 2.5 MOI points
1-gram added to the butt end of the club = 0 MOI points

Unlike swingweight measurements, if I add weight to the grip, the MOI does not go down. The MOI will go up, but very slightly (around 1/400th of a point per gram of weight added).

There are some arguments that MOI matching will produce heads that are too light or too heavy. Is this correct?

Partially correct when only MOI matching is performed. However, swingweight matching actually produces an even bigger discrepancy in head weight versus the rest of the components of the club. I will discuss this further in Part II.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

High Spinning, Low Pitch Shot with Trackman Maestro

Great video from 3Jack Top-50 Instructor, Joe Mayo, on the low, high spinning Tour pitch shot.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Miura MB001 Blade

Exciting news as Miura comes out with their newest blade in the last 4 years:


Monday, October 28, 2013

Uphill Lies with BJ Hathaway

Here is a video from Augusta, GA instructor BJ Hathaway on hitting shots from uphill lies.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

BodiTrak Force Plate System

I came across BodiTrak's force plate system the other day and felt it was very interesting tool to use to measure pressure and Center of Pressure (CoP) tracing. Here are some videos on the system which has a retail price of $1,995:


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Drill for Hitting a Draw with Trackman Maestro

Here is a video from 3Jack Top-50 Swing Instructor, Joe Mayo, on tips for hitting a draw.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Swing Catalyst with Alex Miceli and Grant Waite

Here's a brief video with The Golf Channel's Alex Miceli and 3Jack Top-50 Swing Instructor Grant Waite, discussing the Swing Catalyst.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ben Crane Short Game Video

A long video about one of the best on Tour, Ben Crane, and his Short Game:


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shoulder Plane in the Golf Swing Video

Here's a video from 3Jack Top-50 Swing Instructor, Zach Allen, on the shoulder plane in the golf swing.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Low Point Control Video w/Jason Sutton

Here's a video from golf instructor Jason Sutton ( on low point control.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chris Como and Sasho MacKenzie on the golf swing

Here's an interesting video from 3Jack Top-50 Instructor, Chris Como, and golf swing researcher Sasho MacKenzie on the golf swing.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Probability of Green Reads Video

Interesting video from John Graham examining the probability of reads.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Foresight Sports HMT Launch Monitor

Over the past year the blog has identified some of the issues with using the two most popular radar launch monitors on the market, Trackman and the FlightScope X2. Now there is a growing new player into the game, Foresight Sports.

Foresight makes different launch monitors based on what is trying to be accomplished. However, the HMT (head measurement technology) is being touted as the best for measuring impact data. However, the HMT model does NOT measure ball flight data.

Here's an overview of the HMT model:

What I find interesting is the HMT's factors in what Trackman and FlightScope fail to measure/calculate...where the ball is struck on the face. Furthermore, I think it would be a terrific fitting tool as it determines what the lie angle of the club is like at impact.

I have used some of the other Foresight products and they were fairly easy to use off of grass. At the demo day for the PGA Merchandise Show, Foresight has their launch monitors virtually everywhere for anybody to use.

From what I've been told, an HMT unit by itself retails for $5,000 which is a much more affordable option than a Trackman or FlightScope X2.

It's something I will look to examine more in the future.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

1997 Moe Norman Clinic

Here's some 1997 footage of Moe. He seems to have a little more pep in his step in these videos:


Thursday, August 22, 2013

3Jack Golf's 5th Annual Top-50 Swing Instructor List

After much deliberation, here is the 5th Annual 3Jack Top 50 Instructor list. I've listed them alphabetically, by last name. I will have my 3rd Annual Top-25 Short Game/Putting Instructor list up soon.

The list is hardly scientific, but the main theme is finding instructors who help their students improve regardless of their level of play. The wider the range of students improved, the better. There are some other factors involved as well.

If you are an instructor in the list, feel free to make not of this on your own Web site or whatever. I only ask that you add a link back to my blog at

Lastly, I wanted to thank all of the instructors and students who gave me videos and other information.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at

Denny Alberts
Tuscon, AZ

Zach Allen
Burbank, CA

Matt Belsham
Hertfordshire, UK

Mike Bennett

Mario Bevilacqua
Las Vegas, NV

Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL

Lynn Blake
Eatonton, GA

Dan Campbell
Phoenix, AZ

Dan Carraher
Jacksonville, FL

Martin Chuck
Phoenix, AZ

Ian Clark
Surrey, UK

Nick Clearwater
Chicago, IL

Chris Como
Plano, TX

Dana Dahlquist
Long Beach, CA

John Dal Corobbo
Carmel, IN

John Dochety
Tullahoma, TN

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ

Mark Evershed
Toronto, ON

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL

Ted Fort
Marietta, GA

Jim Goergen
Cumming, GA

Ron Gring
Mobile, AL

Keith Handler
Lake Mary, FL

James Hirshfield
Orlando, FL

Peter Hollington
Guildford Surrey, UK

Spencer Huggins
Buies Creek, NC

George Hunt
Dacula, GA

Geoff Jones
Texarkana, AR

Brendan Kennedy
Longwood, FL

James Leitz
Slidell, LA

Ted Long
Sankt Leon-Rot, Germany

Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA

James Marshall
Barcelona, Spain

Joseph Mayo
Las Vegas, NV

Greg McHatton
Valencia, CA

Mike McNary
Santa Ana, CA

Kelvin Miyahira
Oahu, HI

Palm Springs, CA

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC

Andy Plummer
West Linn, OR

Ian Rae
St. Andrews, Scotland

James Ridyard
Bedford, UK

Brech Spradley
Austin, TX

VJ Trolio
West Point, MS

Grant Waite
Ocala, FL or Las Vegas, NV

Dave Wedzik
Erie, PA

Dan Whittaker
United Kingdom

Simon Williams
Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK

TJ Yeaton
Indianapolis, IN or St. Augustine, FL


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 33

Patrick Reeds wins at the Wyndham Championship:

Here is how my picks finished at Sedgefield Country Club:

Webb Simpson: 12/1 (t-11th)
Brandt Snedeker: 14/1 (MC)
David Toms: 40/1 (t-16th)
Carl Pettersson: 50/1 (MC)
Chris Kirk: 50/1 (65th)
Robert Garrigus: 66/1 (t-11th)
Scott Stallings: 80/1 (DNP)
Chez Reavie: 100/1 (MC)
Ross Fisher: 100/1 (t-52nd)

Value Pick: Jeff Maggert 250/1 (t-52nd)

Here are my picks for the Barclays:

Adam Scott: 16/1
Phil Mickelson: 18/1
Justin Rose: 33/1
Jim Furyk: 40/1
Jordan Spieth: 40/1
Charl Schwartzel: 50/1
Luke Donald: 50/1
Chris Kirk: 150/1
Jerry Kelly: 200/1

Value Pick: Luke Guthrie 200/1

Here are my current, up-to-date rankings:


1. Keegan Bradley
2. Justin Rose
3. Boo Weekley
4. Hunter Mahan
5. Jordan Spieth
6. Graham DeLaet
7. Chez Reavie
8. Jim Herman
9. Henrik Stenson
10. Adam Scott

178. Ben Curtis
179. Johnson Wagner
180. Luke List
181. James Driscoll
182. Michael Bradley
183. Tim Herron
184. Casey Wittenberg
185. Aaron Baddeley
186. Andres Gonzales
187. Mike Weir


1. Scott Langley
2. Charlie Wi
3. Kevin Chappell
4. Luke Donald
5. Tim Clark
6. Michael Bradley
7. Brian Davis
8. Brandt Snedeker
9. Paul Haley II
10. Charl Schwartzel

178. Kyle Stanley
179. Shawn Stefani
180. Bubba Watson
181. Jonas Blixt
182. Charlie Beljan
183. Sean O'Hair
184. Michael Thompson
185. Tom Gillis
186. Graeme McDowell
187. Martin Kaymer


1. Phil Mickelson
2. Ken Duke
3. Chris Kirk
4. Jeff Maggert
5. Ross Fisher
6. Chez Reavie
7. Luke Donald
8. Matt Every
9. David Toms
10. Jason Bohn

178. Morgan Hoffmann
179. Jeff Gove
180. Andrew Svoboda
181. Jason Day
182. Alistair Presnell
183. Stephen Ames
184. Justin Bolli
185. John Senden
186. Aaron Baddeley
187. Luke List


1. Robert Garrigus
2. Lee Westwood
3. Ryan Palmer
4. Tiger Woods
5. Daniel Summerhays
6. Jim Furyk
7. Michael Thompson
8. Kyle Stanley
9. Graham DeLaet
10. Rory McIlroy

178. Luke List
179. Casey Wittenberg
180. Steven Bowditch
181. Andres Romero
182. Justin Leonard
183. Ted Potter, Jr.
184. Bobby Gates
185. Aaron Baddeley
186. Vaughn Taylor
187. Aaron Watkins


1. Jim Furyk
2. Bob Estes
3. Jerry Kelly
4. Tiger Woods
5. Justin Leonard
6. Steven Bowditch
7. Luke Donald
8. Dustin Johnson
9. Chris Stroud
10. Charles Howell III

178. Johnson Wagner
179. Gary Woodland
180. Bobby Gates
181. Robert Garrigus
182. Nicolas Colsaerts
183. Scott Gardiner
184. Davis Love III
185. Ross Fisher
186. Eric Meierdierks
187. Derek Ernst


1. Greg Chalmers
2. Tiger Woods
3. Sergio Garcia
4. Aaron Baddeley
5. Brandt Snedeker
6. Luke Donald
7. Stephen Ames
8. Bryce Molder
9. Phil Mickelson
10. James Driscoll

178. Kyle Stanley
179. Boo Weekley
180. Ryo Ishikawa
181. Greg Owen
182. Will Claxton
183. Ross Fisher
184. Vijay Singh
185. Lucas Glover
186. Eric Meierdierks
187. Jeff Gove


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 30

Brandt Snedeker wins the RBC Canadian Open:

Here's how the top-3 finishers ranked in the key performance metrics at the Canadian Open. This was based out of 120 players (click to enlarge):

Playing well at Glen Abbey meant playing well from the Safe Zone and Danger Zone. In Snedeker’s case, he drove it poorly and struck it from the Danger Zone poorly. However, he was brilliant from the Safe Zone and made up for his driving and Danger Zone deficiencies by out-putting and out-Short Gaming the other contenders.

Here is how my picks finished at the Canadian Open.

Matt Kuchar: 18/1 (t-2nd)
Billy Horschel: 33/1 (t-68th)
Chris Kirk: 50/1 (t-21st) M
att Jones: 55/1 (DNP)
Morgan Hoffmann: 55/1 (t-52nd)
Ryan Palmer: 60/1 (t-31st)
Jerry Kelly: 66/1 (DNP)
Nicholas Thompson: 75/1 (t-28th)
Cameron Tringale: 100/1 (t-44th)

Value Pick: Tom Gillis 150/1 (MC)

Here are my picks for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Adam Scott: 12/1
Justin Rose: 22/1
Dustin Johnson: 25/1
Lee Westwood: 25/1
Keegan Bradley: 40/1
Henrik Stenson: 40/1
Jim Furyk: 50/1
Nick Watney: 100/1
John Merrick: 150/1

Value Pick: Russell Henley 150/1


1. Justin Rose
2. Keegan Bradley
3. Hunter Mahan
4. Boo Weekley
5. Graham DeLaet
6. Jordan Spieth
7. Adam Scott
8. Chez Reavie
9. Henrik Stenson
10. Billy Horschel

182. David Lynn
183. Luke List
184. Johnson Wagner
185. James Driscoll
186. Michael Bradley
187. Tim Herron
188. Casey Wittenberg
189. Aaron Baddeley
190. Mike Weir
191. Andres Gonzales


1. Charlie Wi
2. Scott Langley
3. Kevin Chappell
4. Adam Scott
5. Brian Davis
6. Brandt Snedeker
7. Michael Bradley
8. Tim Clark
9. Luke Donald
10. Robert Karlsson

182. Scott Gardiner
183. Kyle Stanley
184. Matt Jones
185. Graeme McDowell
186. Shawn Stefani
187. Sean O'Hair
188. Jonas Blixt
189. Charlie Beljan
190. Tom Gillis
191. Martin Kaymer


1. Phil Mickelson
2. Ken Duke
3. Chris Kirk
4. Adam Scott
5. Chez Reavie
6. Ross Fisher
7. Jeff Maggert
8. Brandt Snedeker
9. Vijay Singh
10. Jason Bohn

182. Michael Thompson
183. Justin Bolli
184. Alistair Presnell
185. Bobby Gates
186. John Senden
187. Stephen Ames
188. Andrew Svoboda
189. Jason Day
190. Aaron Baddeley
191. Luke List


1. Robert Garrigus
2. Ryan Palmer
3. Daniel Summerhays
4. Kyle Stanley
5. Boo Weekley
6. Graham DeLaet
7. Lee Westwood
8. Greg Owen
9. Charl Schwartzel
10. Rory McIlroy

182. Andres Romero
183. Justin Leonard
184. Kevin Sutherland
185. Ted Potter, Jr.
186. Bobby Gates
187. Andres Gonzales
188. Peter Hanson
189. Aaron Baddeley
190. Vaughn Taylor
191. Aaron Watkins


1. Jim Furyk
2. Jerry Kelly
3. Dustin Johnson
4. Bob Estes
5. Steven Bowditch
6. Justin Leonard
7. Luke Donald
8. Tiger Woods
9. Camilo Villegas
10. Chris Stroud

182. Angel Cabrera
183. Gary Woodland
184. Bobby Gates
185. Scott Gardiner
186. Davis Love III
187. Robert Garrigus
188. Johnson Wagner
189. Nicolas Colsaerts
190. Eric Meierdierks
191. Derek Ernst


1. Sergio Garcia
2. Greg Chalmers
3. Aaron Baddeley
4. Tiger Woods
5. Stephen Ames
6. Bryce Molder
7. Peter Hanson
8. James Driscoll
9. Sang-Moon Bae
10. Brandt Snedeker

182. Ricky Barnes
183. Ryo Ishikawa
184. Nicolas Colsaerts
185. Greg Owen
186. Will Claxton
187. Ross Fisher
188. Vijay Singh
189. Jeff Gove
190. Lucas Glover
191. Eric Meierdierks


Monday, July 29, 2013

New GolfWRX Column: The Myth Behind the One Way Miss

We often hear from professional golfers how important it is to have a “one way miss’”and to be able to “take one side of the golf course out of play” in order to drive the ball more effectively. However, statistical evidence indicates that this is not quite an accurate depiction of how the best golfers in the world effectively drive the ball.

A metric that I have explored quite frequently is “miss bias.” This is the percentage of time a player misses a fairway right or left. What I have found is that there is no direction that is better to miss the fairway. Having a right miss bias is equal to having a left miss bias. Typically, what is more important is the ratio of the miss bias.

Read More:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Uphill Putts Minimizing Surface Variation Video

Here's a video from AimPoint Golf showing an example of uphill putts having an extremely consistent roll using the 'Perfect Putter.'

We have to remember a few things here:

Optimal speed is roughly 2-3 revolutions per second as it reaches the hole. This is often referred to as 'capture speed.'

As the ball starts to slow down it is more likely to wobble, much like a front bicycle wheel would wobble if a person is struggling to get the bike up a hill.

With uphill putts, the speed of the ball has to be faster as it collides to with the putter and rolls on the green before it reaches its capture speed.

So...the faster the ball speed, the surface imperfections have less influence on the ball.

Conversely, if we are to roll a downhill putt...the optimal capture speed is still 2-3 revolutions per second. But since it is going downhill, the initial speed of the putt will be slower (than it would be for the speed on an uphill putt). And thus the surface imperfections come into play more.

This is a good reason why it's very difficult to putt on aerified greens. If you're left with a downhill putt, it's almost pure guesswork because the slower ball speed will react to imperfections more. Thus, if you catch yourself on aerified or bumpy greens, it's an imperative to try and keep the ball below the cup.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

3Jack's Prep For the Florida Mid-Am: Part II

Part I:

From what I’ve encountered with golfers of all levels is that they are caught between two thoughts on strategy with golf. There is the old adage ‘those who fail to plan, plan to fail.’ And there is the other old adage ‘everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face’ (this was not invented by Mike Tyson, it’s a very old boxing phrase).

I believe golf strategy is very important. The issue is that it is very fluid in nature. Meaning, that it changes from shot to shot.

Let’s take the 10th hole at my home course, Walkabout GC, and use it as an example of how golf strategy is ‘fluid’ in nature.

The idea is to favor the left side of the fairway. The water does not really come into play. But, if you look over to the right where I drew a yellow ‘X’; that is the place to avoid. The yellow ‘X’ is a gulley where it is almost impossible to reach the green from due to the poor lie the golfer will likely end up with. The left side not only avoids the gulley on the right, but the lie is usually the flattest on the course and it gives the golfer a better angle into the green.

Obviously, the strategy is to aim for the left part of the hole. However, if we ‘get punched in the face’ and hit it where the yellow ‘X’ is located, we still have to figure out how to strategize the hole from there.

One of the smarter things I’ve ever heard came from Jim Furyk who pointed out that after he hits a bad tee shot on a par-4, he tried to picture that he’s playing another par-4 from where his ball lies. Obviously he wants to ‘birdie’ it from that spot if possible, but he wants to make sure that he doesn’t ‘bogey’ it from that spot. So in this case, if he were to hit his tee shot in the gulley, he would envision himself playing the hole as a par-4 from that tee shot (essentially trying to make no worse than a 5 on the hole).

I believe that in this situation, part of the visualization of the hole should be to picture a ‘new fairway’ and the path to the hole. In the example above, if we were to hit a tee shot in the gulley and tried to play it as a par-4 from there, the hole now plays almost as a dogleg. The fairway is off to our left and the ideal position off our next shot would be to find the left side of the fairway in order to give ourselves a better angle into the hole.

What I see out of many golfers, myself included, is that they either think that any strategy is a lost cause or they give up any semblance of a strategy if they do not hit a shot according to plan.

To me, golf strategy is a must. I just think that golf strategy is usually not overly complicated and it’s about understanding simple factors that will give the golfer the best odds of hitting their shot as close to the hole as they can.

I think simple golf strategies are about understanding basics of when to leave your driver in the bag, which in reality should be the golfer’s last option. It’s about understanding what side of the hole is most advantageous IF the hole is designed that way. It’s about understanding what your up-and-down chances are like from different locations around the green. And it’s about little things like certain shots playing longer than the yardage suggests. Understanding that you’re more likely to make an uphill putt than a downhill putt.

Often times, no real strategy on a golf hole is needed. It’s either too plain or simple and it requires nothing out of the ordinary. Like #1 at North Shore GC, a drive-able par 4 that is fairly straight forward.

Or the hole can be extremely difficult to the point where the golfer has to simply hit quality golf shots. #1 at Walkabout is a great example. The golfer cannot hit anything less than a pretty good tee shot and then a pretty good approach shot. You’re essentially looking to make par and get out of there.

In past tournaments, I have tried to make it about the ‘process’ instead of the ‘results.’ This usually meant goals of:

• No Double Bogeys or Worse
• No Back-to-Back Bogeys
• No 3-Putts

I have found that worrying about the process presents just as many issues as worrying about the results. For instance, if I double bogey the first hole with a 3-putt, now I’ve just failed to achieve 2 of my ‘process goals.’ And I still have 17 holes to play. It’s not exactly the best way to put yourself in a good frame of mind to come back and turn in a good score.

The other part is that I believe it starts to give a golfer a conservative mentality. They start thinking about ‘not screwing up’ instead of getting shots close. And as my research has shown, more often than not golfers screw up because they try to not screw up and they leave themselves with more difficult 2nd shots. This is something I will discuss in 2013 Pro Golf Synopsis quite extensively.

Instead, I won’t have any particular goals that I will set. I will just try to rack up birdie opportunities that are inside 15 feet and par saves that are inside 5 feet.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Thoughts on the British Open

Here is how my British Open picks finished:

Justin Rose: 16/1 (MC)
Phil Mickelson: 16/1 (1st)
Adam Scott: 20/1 (t-3rd)
Dustin Johnson: 33/1 (t-32nd)
Matt Kuchar: 40/1 (t-15th)
Jordan Speith: 125/1 (t-44th)
Robert Karlsson: 150/1 (MC)
Graham DeLaet: 150/1 (t-83rd)
Marc Leishman: 200/1 (MC)

Value Pick: Luke Guthrie 300/1 (MC)

Here are my picks for the Canadian Open:

Matt Kuchar: 18/1
Billy Horschel: 33/1
Chris Kirk: 50/1
Matt Jones: 55/1
Morgan Hoffmann: 55/1
Ryan Palmer: 60/1
Jerry Kelly: 66/1
Nicholas Thompson: 75/1
Cameron Tringale: 100/1

Value Pick: Tom Gillis 150/1

I thought the British Open was one of the more exciting ones to watch in recent memory as we had roughly 10 different players all in contention going into the back nine on Sunday.

One of the issues that tends to ruin the Open for many fans is how the weather can change so drastically and hurt a golfer’s chances just by getting a bad tee time. We didn’t have that here this weekend as the weather was moderately nice for Scotland. The wind was there, but it was blowing about at 12-15 mph and didn’t seem to get above that.

However, the recent weather conditions made it difficult to really appreciate Muirfield. The course resembled some of the courses I grew up playing in Upstate New York during the summer when there is little in the way of irrigation. It looked dry, hard and fast. Outside of the Masters, it’s hard to get a real feel for the any distinctive features of golf holes in the other majors. But I find that to be most difficult at the British Open given the links design and the holes at Muirfield started to all run together.

A big congratulations goes to Mickelson for winning the Open in brilliant fashion, including birdieing 4 of the last 6 holes. I would put that round up there with Charl Schwartzel’s final round heroics at the 2011 Masters where he snuck up on everybody, birdied the last 4 holes and won a heavily contested Green Jacket. From a drama perspective, it was not as beautiful as say Nicklaus’ Augusta victory in 1986. But, I could appreciate it more than Ernie Els’ victory last year as Mickelson ‘won’ the Open instead of having Adam Scott ‘lose’ the Open.

There were a few big things that I took away from the Open.

Mickelson has an entirely better demeanor on the course than Tiger (and most players on Tour)

We’ve seen this all year from Lefty, even at the Masters where he played terribly. He emphatically states his confidence that he can win the tournament after each round. And it seems organic rather than a false sense of confidence. Tiger seems to saunter around the course more, particularly after hitting a bad shot. Phil has entirely more composure which is odd given that Tiger generally strikes it better than Phil. In the end, this allows Phil to hit better shots down the stretch than Tiger.

Tiger is hurt by his conservative play off the tee.

I think the 2008 PGA Championship lost to YE Yang has set a precedent for Tiger. In that final round Tiger played extremely conservative off the tee while Yang continually blasted his driver well past Woods’ 3-wood and 2-iron off the tee. The end result was Yang had much closer approaches. Tiger could hit those longer approaches amazingly close given the distance he was hitting them from, but Yang would continually put them inside Tiger and that’s why he won.

It’s very difficult to play conservatively and be successful on Tour. Tiger can do it because he’s excellent with his 3-wood off the tee and is an excellent long-iron player. He also has a knack for getting hot with the putter from long distance.

But, he’s putting his odds against him when he plays conservatively. And eventually those long putts will not fall because they don’t consistently fall for anybody on Tour, ever. Perhaps his conservative play off the tee this year is due to not trusting his driver. Either way, he needs to be able to pull the driver out of his bag much more often and be able to hit quality shots with the driver. There’s a reason why he’s never won a major when he has not had the lead after the 3rd round.

The Mickelson way works for now.

There has been a debate about Phil Mickelson’s ballstriking skill. As I have stated repeatedly in Pro Golf Synopsis, Phil is a good to excellent irons player. However, he’s a lousy driver of the ball. I have yet to see any other data that can refute that.

I think a major problem for Phil is that his driver doesn’t quite fit him. At the US Open he didn’t carry a driver. Instead he utilized a 43-1/4” 3-wood with a 12° loft. He could hit it up to 300 yards, but the shorter shaft and subsequently heavier club allowed him to hit it off the tee much more effectively than if he had used his 45-1/2” driver. And even in the end, the 3-wood inaccuracies stymied him a bit at Merion.

When Mickelson wins, he wins in spite of his driving. Here’s a look at his current metrics going into Muirfield:

Driving Effectiveness: 155th (out of 190 golfers)

Birdie Zone play: 27th
Safe Zone play: 1st
Danger Zone play: 54th

Short Game Play: 31st
Putts Gained: 11th

And that has been a bit of a dip in performance from the Danger Zone for Mickelson, who usually ranks in the top-20 in the category.

At Muirfield, everybody was hitting a lot of irons off the tees and thus Mickelson was no longer at the disadvantage as he would lose strokes if he had to hit driver, like he did at Bay Hill, Sawgrass and Greenbrier (all courses were driver use is frequent and Phil missed the cut each time). Instead, Mickelson was now at an advantage off the tee because most of the golfers were using long irons and they do not strike the ball with their long irons as well as he does.

It will be interesting to see what happens at Oak Hill in August as having played that course a few times, there’s no way one can get around the course not hitting driver. And the punishment from the rough is severe. Perhaps Phil goes to the 3-wood off the tee again (which may serve him well), but I think he has a long road to hoe to try and get into contention there.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 28

Jordan Spieth records his first career PGA Tour victory at the age of 19.

Here is a look at how the top-3 finishers ranked in the Tournament in the key performance metrics. This was based out of 115 golfers.

(Click to Enlarge)

Here is how my picks finished at the John Deere Classic:

Keegan Bradley: 20/1 (t-61st)
Jordan Spieth: 33/1 (1st)
Brendon de Jonge: 40/1 (t-54th)
Chris Kirk: 55/1 (t-22nd)
Ted Potter, Jr.: 66/1 (MC)
KJ Choi: 80/1 (t-33rd)
Kevin Streelman: 100/1 (t-44th)
Jerry Kelly: 80/1 (t-4th)
Bryce Molder: 100/1 (t-27th)

Value Pick: Chez Reavie: 150/1 (t-15th)

Here are my picks for the British Open:

Justin Rose: 16/1
Phil Mickelson: 16/1
Adam Scott: 20/1
Dustin Johnson: 33/1
Matt Kuchar: 40/1
Jordan Speith: 125/1
Robert Karlsson: 150/1
Graham DeLaet: 150/1
Marc Leishman: 200/1

Value Pick: Luke Guthrie 300/1


1. Rose, Justin
2. Bradley, Keegan
3. Mahan, Hunter
4. DeLaet, Graham
5. Weekley, Boo
6. Spieth, Jordan
7. Reavie, Chez
8. Scott, Adam
9. Horschel, Billy
10. Streelman, Kevin

181. Wagner, Johnson
182. Marino, Steve
183. List, Luke
184. Driscoll, James
185. Herron, Tim
186. Bradley, Michael
187. Wittenberg, Casey
188. Baddeley, Aaron
189. Weir, Mike
190. Gonzales, Andres


1. Chappell, Kevin
2. Wi, Charlie
3. Scott, Adam
4. Schwartzel, Charl
5. Langley, Scott
6. Davis, Brian
7. Clark, Tim
8. Haley II, Paul
9. Snedeker, Brandt
10. Woods, Tiger

181. Jones, Matt
182. Ogilvie, Joe
183. Presnell, Alistair
184. Stefani, Shawn
185. O'Hair, Sean
186. Blixt, Jonas
187. Beljan, Charlie
188. Gardiner, Scott
189. Gillis, Tom
190. Kaymer, Martin


1. Mickelson, Phil
2. Duke, Ken
3. Kirk, Chris
4. Scott, Adam
5. Reavie, Chez
6. Fisher, Ross
7. Stadler, Kevin
8. Singh, Vijay
9. Maggert, Jeff
10. Snedeker, Brandt

181. Ridings, Tag
182. Claxton, Will
183. Ames, Stephen
184. Day, Jason
185. Senden, John
186. Marino, Steve
187. List, Luke
188. Baddeley, Aaron
189. Svoboda, Andrew
190. Gates, Bobby


1. Garrigus, Robert
2. Palmer, Ryan
3. Summerhays, Daniel
4. DeLaet, Graham
5. Schwartzel, Charl
6. Weekley, Boo
7. Owen, Greg
8. Westwood, Lee
9. Furyk, Jim
10. McIlroy, Rory

181. Wittenberg, Casey
182. Gonzales, Andres
183. Claxton, Will
184. Gates, Bobby
185. Potter, Jr., Ted
186. Hanson, Peter
187. Baddeley, Aaron
188. Watkins, Aaron
189. Taylor, Vaughn
190. Marino, Steve


1. Furyk, Jim
2. Kelly, Jerry
3. Johnson, Dustin
4. Estes, Bob
5. Donald, Luke
6. Bowditch, Steven
7. Stroud, Chris
8. Leonard, Justin
9. Woods, Tiger
10. Villegas, Camilo

181. Cabrera, Angel
182. Hoffman, Charley
183. Woodland, Gary
184. Gates, Bobby
185. Wagner, Johnson
186. Garrigus, Robert
187. Gardiner, Scott
188. Colsaerts, Nicolas
189. Ernst, Derek
190. Meierdierks, Eric


1. Garcia, Sergio
2. Chalmers, Greg
3. Ames, Stephen
4. Woods, Tiger
5. Driscoll, James
6. Donald, Luke
7. Baddeley, Aaron
8. Molder, Bryce
9. Hanson, Peter
10. Henley, Russell

181. Colsaerts, Nicolas
182. Byrd, Jonathan
183. Fisher, Ross
184. Gove, Jeff
185. Owen, Greg
186. Claxton, Will
187. Singh, Vijay
188. Tomasulo, Peter
189. Meierdierks, Eric
190. Glover, Lucas