Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Road to Golf Club Fitting Nirvana - Part XI

Part I:
Part II:
Part III:
Part IV:
Part V:
Part VI:
Part VII:
Part VIII:
Part IX:
Part X:

This will be the final part of this series. I still have to do my 3-wood, switch out the KBS C-Taper shafts in my wedges with the KBS C-Taper R+ shafts and I will also be getting my YAR Putter tomorrow. I will save those for regular blog posts. First, here are my final specs:


Here are some of my final thoughts on the MOI and MBI matching process:


With my irons that were only MOI matched, I noticed that the long irons flew lower and the short irons flew higher. With MBI, I was able to hit the ball higher and produce more spin with the long irons while getting a more penetrating ball flight with the short irons. While I cannot reconcile with Monte Doherty's claims that his path changed when his Balance Index got closer to his target, I do believe him when he states that he gained distance.

From a simple perspective, if we have a greater percentage of the weight towards the head, that would logically produce a higher launch with more spin. Thus, if you have a greater percentage of weight in the shaft+grip, that will produce a lower launch and less spin.

The problem we have with long irons is that they tend to fly low and not get much spin. Thus with MBI, we are getting a higher percentage of weight in the head and thus producing a higher launch and more spin. Conversely, with the short irons we are getting a smaller percentage of the weight in the head and thus the ball will penetrate more in flight. These changes in launch and spin have allowed me to gain a little more distance (about a 1/2 club). I think it allows for better yardage gapping as well. And that's why I believe Doherty was hitting his clubs further; the distribution of weight fit his swing better.

With the feel, I think it is advantageous to get the feel of the heft of the clubs the same. Imagine your brain trying to adapt to the feel of a 3-iron which normally has a low MBI on one shot and then switch to a 9-iron with a high MBI on the next shot. The distribution of weight is very different and I think it throws a lot of golfers off.


The typical irons fitting, even with MOI matching, consists of hitting a 6-iron until the clubfitter can find specs and components that produces the optimal results for the golfer. Then the rest of the set is built according to the baseline, the 6-iron.

I believe the flaw here is that the golfer ends up being optimally fitted for the 6-iron.

If you ask golfers 'what is your favorite club in your bag?'

I would say that almost all of them will say the 6-iron. If not, they will say the next closest club, either the 5-iron or the 7-iron. Again, they were fitted for a 6-iron.

I believe that if we were to use a 3-iron as a baseline, we would find golfers being fitted for lighter shafts. Conversely, if the Pitching Wedge was the baseline I believe that most golfers would be fitted for heavier shafts.


Iron shafts are designed the same in the sense that the longer the club, the more the shaft weighs. Looking at how shafts are designed in woods and then in irons, I start to see some failed logic in the design.

Typically we use the lightest shaft in our driver. We then have heavier shaft weights in our 3-wood and then a heavier shaft weight in the 5-wood or the hybrid.

Yet, with irons we go the other way around. With the heaviest being the 2-iron and then they will typically get incrementally lighter. So with woods we have them getting incrementally heavier and then with the irons they get incrementally lighter.

And with my findings that the distribution of weight influences the ball flight and spin, we can see why the iron shaft design is flawed. It's likely to produce trajectory that is too low with the long irons and too high with the short irons.


While we cannot match the Balance Index just by using MOI matching, I found that it helps narrow the gap in the Balance Index between clubs. I disassembled my Wishon 555 irons which are stand-alone MOI matched clubs and found that Balance Index ranged from 35-45.

When I did the same with my swingweight matched Titleist 690 MB irons, the Balance Index ranged from 32-56.

I have also seen time and time again where MOI matching by itself greatly improves a golfer's impact dispersion.


Like anything you put together, it's a lot easier when you have the right tools. I would recommend the GolfMechanix MOI Auditor Machine, the Balance Point measuring setup as described in Doherty's spreadsheet, a good digital scale (measuring to the nearest tenth), Wishon's Shaft Bend Profile software and plenty of lead tape.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Road to Golf Club Fitting Nirvana - Part X

Part I:
Part II:
Part III:
Part IV:
Part V:
Part VI:
Part VII:
Part VIII:
Part IX:

While I have been pleased with the performance of the MOI and MOI Balance Index (MBI) clubs I have done so far, I felt that the performance of the driver was of the most importance. If MOI/MBI works well with the driver and the irons and the wedges, then I felt it can work with virtually any club and is something that golfers need to consider and this could eventually revolutionize club fitting and perhaps club designs. If it doesn't work for the driver, then we have something that is limited to working well for irons and wedges.

I had decided to get a new driver head. My Wishon 919THI head was wearing down from so much use, so I decided to get a new head with the same loft (10 degrees) and face angle (0 degrees). I also planned on just removing my driver shaft (UST Mamiya ProForce VTS Red 7x) and installing it into the new driver head.

First, let's discuss the shaft and shaft length in this series on ultimate fitting.

In initially had a lighter version of this UST Mamiya VTS Red 7x shaft in the Silver 6x model. That was because I had a 45-1/8" driver length.

I see a lot of golfers on the internet discuss shortening their shaft because the average Tour driver is 44-1/2" long. The problem is that they don't understand that the static weight of the driver has to change in order to get the heft of the club to fit the golfer's swing. Furthermore, this will alter the distribution of the weight of the components in the club which can alter the feel and ball flight.

Remember, this was my first attempt to use a 44-3/8" driver. This club was NOT Balance Index matched. But in order to get the heft (MOI) to match to the longer 45-1/8" driver, the static weight was 13 grams heavier.

I was a bit skeptical of how this would work because since we are using a shaft that is 3/4" shorter and a club that is 13 grams heavier, there was a fear that I would lose a lot of club head speed. Instead, when using Trackman at the Marriott Golf Academy (formerly the Faldo Golf Institute), I found that I only lost 1 mph of club head speed. But, I started to hit the ball further than the old 45-1/8" driver shaft.


Because my launch angle improved by nearly 2-degrees. I was also making more consistent contact. That went along with being much more accurate and precise with the shorter driver shaft.

I would say that the *potential* distance was better with the 45-1/8" driver. But the average distance was better with the 44-3/8" driver. And the standard deviation in driver distance was MUCH better with the 44-3/8" driver. I discussed this briefly in 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis and I plan to further elaborate on the importance of consistency in DISTANCE when a golfer is hitting a driver in 2013 Pro Golf Synopsis (which should be out in November).

I established that I should use a 44-3/8" driver based on Tom Wishon's 'wrist-to-floor' chart on page 22 of 12 Myths That Could Wreck Your Game ( If you look at the chart, you can see that golfers generally use way too long of a driver shaft and probably a little too short on the iron shafts. I stand 6'3" tall and I'm using a 44-3/8" shaft. Granted, I do have short legs for somebody my height (only a 29" inseam). But, I highly doubt most golfers should be using a driver that is more than 45 inches long.


The next part of this fitting is the Bend Profile of the shaft. I highly recommend Tom Wishon's Shaft Bend Profile software if you want to determine what the best shaft is for you. First, it can save one a lot of money on shafts as I've seen plenty of $300+ shafts that are virtually the EXACT SAME as a $50 shaft. But, we can also use the Bend Profile software to better understand what shafts we hit best. And if you're doing MOI Balance Index, you'll need this as you will likely need to alter your shafts in your irons.

The problem I discovered with my swing I figured out when I first got the Bend Profile software was that graphite wood shafts were often not fitted for my swing.

I think what happened is that for years and years the shaft industry made shafts with very soft tip sections (remember how whippy graphite shafts often were?). I think to counter that, eventually shaft manufacturers started to create very stiff butt and tip sections.

What would happen for me is that if I went to a X-Stiff driver shaft, the tip section was usually good for me, but the butt section was too stiff. Thus, I struggled to rotate the wrists and would leave the face open (sometimes called 'not being able to get around on it'). Conversely, if I went to a 'stiff flex' graphite wood shaft, the butt section would work for me, but the tip section would be too soft, causing me to hit a very spinny ball flight and lose distance.

Now we are starting too see wood shafts that are more 'stiff' in the butt section with a 'x-stiff' in the tip section. I discussed this with UST Mamiya Director of R&D, Michael Guerette, and he recommended the new VTS model shafts and I finally started to find a shaft that fit my swing.

Here's a look at one of the shafts that I struggled with, the Wishon S2S Black 65 (stiff) and comparing it to the UST ProForce VTS Red 7x shaft.


As we can see, the Wishon S2S Black is much softer than the UST ProForce VTS shaft.

It's like one of my Top-30 Club Fitter Russ Ryden ( states; if we really want to be optimally fitted for shafts, we need to start thinking and talking like the designers of these shafts think and talk. We need to stop talking 'flex' because it doesn't mean anything. Instead, shaft design and analysis is about analyzing cylinders. Here we show that UST has a shaft labeled as 'X-Stiff' and Wishon has a shaft labeled as 'Stiff'. Yet, the Wishon 'stiff' is much softer from butt to tip section than the UST 'X-Stiff' shaft.

And that's why I couldn't hit the Wishon S2S Black shaft. It is not a 'bad' shaft. It just does not fit my swing.


Now, let's take a look at my 44-3/8" driver before it was MOI Balance Index matched:

So, the Balance Index is at 46.35. I want it at 38-42. Because the Balance Index is above the target, that means that I need to be able to match MOI while adding more weight to the shaft because the club is too 'head heavy.' So, this will require me to remove the lead tape from the head and either find a heavier shaft or add lead tape to the Balance Point of the club on the shaft.

Since I received a new driver head, the weight was not the same of the raw head. The original head had a raw weight of 202.5 grams. I had to add 1.3 grams from the epoxy and the ferrule. Thus, the 'raw head weight' of the original head came out to 203.8 grams.

The new head had a weight of 204.1 grams. Thus, the total weight of the head would be at least 205.4 grams (adding 1.3 grams for epoxy and ferrule).

We know from the simple formula that I showed in Part IX that this would mean that the trimmed shaft would have to weight roughly AT LEAST 73.2 grams.

205.4 grams * 60% = 123.48 shaft+grip weight

123.24 - 50.3 grip weight = 72.94 minimum trimmed shaft weight.

Well, I know that my shaft weighs 73.1 grams after it was trimmed. So I haven't gone too far over. When I dry assembled the club I found the MOI to be at 2,770. That means I had a good amount of room to add weight to the shaft to match the MOI and meet the target MBI.

Here is what the final specs of the driver:

So, we notice some change here.

Less Weight in the head (210.3 vs. 205.9). More weight in the shaft (73.1 vs. 81.0). This causes the total weight to be heavier (333.7 vs. 337.2). While the MOI stays the same (2,825). The Balance Index is practically on the money (40.09).

Of course, the big question is 'has it improved performance?'

I believe so.


For starters I hit this driver much longer now.

I believe what has happened is that since there is less weight in the head, the driver is now getting less spin. However, the trajectory has practically stayed the same. So the height has not lowered, but the landing angle is flatter and the spin is less, causing the ball to carry about the same (maybe a tad further), but a major increase in roll. This also helps with accuracy and precision as the ball doesn't hang in the air as much.

Therefore, I am even more pleased with the MOI/MBI concept and technique and feel that it is the final piece to the ultimate club fitting.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 25

Ken Duke gets his first career PGA Tour victory at the Travelers:

Here is how my Travelers picks finished:

Justin Rose: 14/1 (t-13th)
Hunter Mahan: 16/1 (t-24th)
Lee Westwood: 18/1 (74th)
Jason Dufner: 20/1 (MC)
Tim Clark: 50/1 (t-58th)
Graham DeLaet: 66/1 (3rd)
Chez Reavie: 100/1 (t-43rd)
Matt Every: 100/1 (MC)
Kevin Stadler: 150/1 (t-51st)

Value Pick: Vijay Singh: 175/1 (t-43rd)

Here are my picks for the AT&T National:

Adam Scott: 10/1
Bo Van Pelt: 25/1
Graham DeLaet: 28/1
Charley Hoffman: 40/1
Freddie Jacobson: 50/1
Russell Henley: 50/1
Gary Woodland: 100/1
John Merrick: 125/1
Daniel Summerhays: 150/1

Value Pick: Ben Kohles 250/1


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

176. Matteson, Troy
177. Haley II, Paul
178. Curtis, Ben
179. Wagner, Johnson
180. Williams, Lee
181. Herron, Tim
182. Bradley, Michael
183. Wittenberg, Casey
184. Baddeley, Aaron
185. Weir, Mike


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

176. Blixt, Jonas
177. Romero, Andres
178. Curtis, Ben
179. O'Hair, Sean
180. Gardiner, Scott
181. Daly, John
182. Stefani, Shawn
183. Jones, Matt
184. Kaymer, Martin
185. Gillis, Tom


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

176. Presnell, Alistair
177. Streb, Robert
178. Marino, Steve
179. Ernst, Derek
180. Park, Jin
181. Daly, John
182. List, Luke
183. Baddeley, Aaron
184. Herman, Jim
185. Ridings, Tag


1. Garrigus, Robert
2. Palmer, Ryan
3. Furyk, Jim
4. Presnell, Alistair
5. Weekley, Boo
6. Schwartzel, Charl
7. Colsaerts, Nicolas
8. Owen, Greg
9. Westwood, Lee
10. DeLaet, Graham

176. Wittenberg, Casey
177. Claxton, Will
178. Bowditch, Steven
179. Baddeley, Aaron
180. Gates, Bobby
181. Potter, Jr., Ted
182. Hanson, Peter
183. Watkins, Aaron
184. Taylor, Vaughn
185. Marino, Steve


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

176. Fisher, Ross
177. Wagner, Johnson
178. Gates, Bobby
179. Daly, John
180. Woodland, Gary
181. Herman, Jim
182. Colsaerts, Nicolas
183. Gardiner, Scott
184. Ernst, Derek
185. Meierdierks, Eric


1. Ames, Stephen
2. Garcia, Sergio
3. Chalmers, Greg
4. Baddeley, Aaron
5. Woods, Tiger
6. Donald, Luke
7. Hanson, Peter
8. Mickelson, Phil
9. Henley, Russell
10. Howell III, Charles

176. Mathis, David
177. Singh, Vijay
178. Glover, Lucas
179. Fisher, Ross
180. Claxton, Will
181. Castro, Roberto
182. Meierdierks, Eric
183. Owen, Greg
184. Tomasulo, Peter
185. Colsaerts, Nicolas


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Road to Golf Club Fitting Nirvana - Part IX

Part I:
Part II:
Part III:
Part IV:
Part V:
Part VI:
Part VII:
Part VIII:

I am returning to this series after a bit of a layoff. Most of it was due to me getting my Sand Wedge grinded by Joe Kwok ( The other part was to me installing a new driver head (still the same Wishon 919THI model) along with studying Monte Doherty’s worksheet some more.

One thing I figured out is a bit of a better way to understand MOI Balance Index (MBI). Here’s a chart showing each of my irons that are MBI matched. It shows the weight of the clubhead versus the weight of the shaft+grip. And then the percentage of shaft+grip weight to the clubhead weight.

(Click to Enlarge)

There is some significance to this:

1. We can see that the percentages are roughly at 58% to 62%. My target MBI is 38.0 to 42.0.

2. If we understand the ratio of shaft+grip to head weight, we can then get a better idea of how much the shaft will have to weigh given the weight of our club head and grip. For example, let’s say we have a driver head that weighs 208 grams. And we have a grip (w/grip tape included) that weighs 50 grams. If we want out shaft+grip to weigh 50% of the head weight, we know that our shaft (trimmed) will need to weigh *roughly* 54 grams:

50 g (grip) + 54 g (shaft) / 208 g (head) = 50%

Now, I say it is a ROUGH estimate because as you can see some of my irons stray from the 58%-62% shaft+grip versus clubhead ratio. This is the reason for Doherty’s spreadsheet as it factors in the balance point of the club along with the type of head design to calculate the rest.

The other part is that we STILL have to match the MOI of the clubs. So, in the driver example if we have a 208 gram driver head and a 50 gram grip, we could put a 54 gram shaft in there and get the percentage at 50%. But, if the MOI comes out to 2,700 and we need the MOI at 2,750; we need to add weight to the head and/or the shaft in order to match the MOI.

We’ll want to keep the percentage roughly at 50% still as we add weight so we match the MOI. In the end, the knowledge of the percentage of weight between the shaft+grip versus the clubhead gives us a START as to rough amount of shaft weight. And we can always add weight to either the head or the shaft. But, removing weight from the shaft or the head is a different story.


When I originally started this series, I had determined that I did not want to fool around with my Lob Wedge since I hit that very well. But, as I started to MOI and MBI match my irons and I liked the process, I decided to alter all of my clubs. In the end, I figured that if I started hitting my Lob Wedge worse with MBI matching, I could always go back to the old specs of the club.

Ironically, the Edel wedges were the clubs that initially got me into MOI Balance Index. When I first started hitting them, I was not hitting them as well as I did in the fitting. The heft of the clubs didn’t quite feel the same. I then measured the static weight of the clubs and noticed they were quite heavy despite being MOI matched. Later, I disassembled the clubs and noticed that Edel uses heads that are quite heavy. The Gap Wedge came in at 305.3 grams, the Sand Wedge at 307.4 grams and the Lob Wedge at 309.5 grams. The Sand Wedge and Lob Wedges are much heavier than any raw OEM wedge head that I’ve found. That is not a bad thing, but for optimal fitting there needs to be the right amount of head weight versus shaft weight and the right MOI.

My solution at the time was to try to match the MOI, but to lower the overall static weight. I did this by using a much lighter shaft in the Dynamic Gold SL model which is roughly 12 grams lighter than the originally installed KBS Tour C-Taper shafts. I started to hit the clubs a little better. But in conclusion, I had always been hitting the Lob Wedge well and I just struggled with the Sand Wedge.

Here is a look at the Sand Wedge specs BEFORE I sent it to Joe Kwok:

As we can see, the MOI matched. But, the Balance Index was WELL off (50.12 with a target of 38.0 to 42.0) and the % of the shaft+grip weight vs. Head weight was also well off (48.43% vs. 58% to 62%). Essentially, the Balance of the Club is well off for my swing and head was too heavy with relation to the shaft.

Often times with MBI matching, the solution is simple. Get a heavier shaft. So I tried to install my old KBS C-Taper shaft and found the following results (again, this is BEFORE I sent to wedge to Joe Kwok):

What we see is that the heavier KBS C-Taper shaft helped get the Balance Index down more towards the target (38.0 to 42.0). The problem was that the maximum weight I could add to the shaft in order to lower the Balance Index was 3 grams. Any more lead tape added to the shaft would cause the MOI to not match.

That’s when I started to determine that the weight of the head had to be lighter. And the only way to achieve that was thru having a professional club grinder to properly grind the head and take some of the weight off. Thankfully, with Doherty’s sheet I could determine roughly how much weight I should take off.

Here’s a picture of the head grind as Joe ground some off the head. The grind made a little indentation which is what I asked for:

And here are the new specs:

Joe was able to shave off about 5 grams off the head. I then added a little extra lead tape to get the head weight just right. This allowed me to add a lot of weight to the shaft and the end result was a MOI and MBI that matched. And in turn, I hit the Sand Wedge much better and it’s a full-time club in my bag.

One question I am sure that will arise is ‘why didn’t you just get a heavier shaft?’

Remember, we have 2 things that take precedent over MOI Balance Index matching:

- Matching the MOI of the entire club
- Getting the correct shaft bend profile for your swing

Without those two, Balance Index matching is virtually worthless. I just simply could not find a substantially heavier shaft that would allow me to match both the MOI and the Bend Profile.

With that said, Wishon’s new Shaft Bend Profile software was updated. And we found that his Wishon Stepless Steel (stiff) shafts have virtually an identical bend profile to the KBS C-Taper R+ shaft model. The Stiff flex model has a much stiffer tip section.


I know when I tried the C-Tapers out in my irons with a Stiff flex, I was losing about 1-club of distance. I also know that as far as the flex labels go, Wishon’s shafts tend to play quite a bit stiffer than most OEM shafts. So, if the KBS C-Tapers play stiffer than the Wishon shafts, you’re really dealing with a very stiff shaft.

Anyway, while I’m pleased with the wedges and the changes made by Joe Kwok. I plan on installing the KBS C-Taper R+ shafts soon and I think then we have found the ultimate fit for these wedges.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

3Jack Golf's Quickie PGA Tour Rundown - Week 24

Justin Rose won the US Open:

Since ShotLink does not operate at the US Open, there is no update as far as the rankings go. Here are how my US Open picks finished

Graeme McDowell: 20/1 (MC)
Matt Kuchar: 20/1 (t-28th)
Justin Rose: 22/1 (1st)
Charl Schwartzel: 28/1 (14th)
Jim Furyk: 40/1 (MC)
Boo Weekley: 100/1 (MC)
Kevin Chappell: 100/1 (t-32nd)
Ryan Palmer: 100/1 (MC)
Kyle Stanley: 125/1 (t-73rd)

Value Pick: Justin Hicks 250/1 (MC)

Here are my picks for the Traveler's Championship

Justin Rose: 14/1
Hunter Mahan: 16/1
Lee Westwood: 18/1
Jason Dufner: 20/1
Tim Clark: 50/1
Graham DeLaet: 66/1
Chez Reavie: 100/1
Matt Every: 100/1
Kevin Stadler: 150/1

Value Pick: Vijay Singh: 175/1


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Busting the Worst Myth in Golf - Version 1.0

In a recent poll, only 10% of the golfing population claimed that they take more than 1 less per year. While there are many factors contributing to the lack of lessons taken by the golfing public, I believe the biggest issue deals with the lack of knowledge from the golfing public as to why they need a lesson from a quality golf instructor.

I believe that most amateurs simply want to hit the ball reasonably well. They want the ball to get airborne consistently and to not have too much curvature on it. If they can break 90 fairly consistently they can go away satisfied.

With that said, I believe that many amateurs get really hooked on the game when they start to see substantial improvement. A 15 handicap who drops to an 8 handicap in a few months and starts hitting the ball further, more accurately and more precisely is more likely to go the extra mile and play more golf, practice more and become more passionate about the game. This is a good thing. It means more money for golf instructors and more money for the game of golf in general.

The largest issue I see with the lack of lessons being taken by the golfing public is the Biggest Myth in golf (accurately labeled by instructor Zach Allen in a video he did); the idea that golfers ‘pick up their head’ or ‘look up’ or ‘take their eye off the ball’ at impact.

As time has gone by, I feel that this is one of the largest detriments the entire game faces. It prevents players from getting better. Thus, the enjoyment level of golf is less and rounds will also take longer to play. And pace of play is a large reason why golfers are not logging in as many rounds as they used to. We simply live in a society where the middle class has less paid vacation time than it used to. Thus, there is a time crunch for golfers and in reality, even playing a 4 hour round is too long for most golfers.

Here’s a classic example of a golfer hitting about as terrible of a tee shot (twice) as one can hit (go to 2:13 in the video.)

The golfer almost practically whiffed on the first drive and the second drive he virtually shanked it. Yet, here’s a look at his swing slightly post-impact.

As we can see, he has his ‘head down’, he’s not ‘looking up’ nor did he ‘take his eye off the ball.’

What most golfers don’t understand is that the way the eyes and the brains are designed, there is a natural reflex (called Vestibular Ocular Reflex) that allows for the golfer to ‘keep their eye on the ball’ and to ‘not look up’ at impact. Perhaps some beginners and small children struggle with the concept of head positioning when they very first start to play golf. But, that’s probably close to less than 1% of the golfing population.

For instructors, I firmly believe that they miss out on lesson business because they cannot break this misconception by amateur golfers. Amateur golfers want to get the ball consistently airborne. When they don’t, like the golfer in the video, they blame it on ‘looking up’ or ‘taking their eye off the ball.’ If they understood how that was patently false and that they would need the guidance of an instructor to help them improve their mechanics in order to consistently get the ball airborne, then they could not just fall back on the idea that there is no reason to get a lesson when all they really need to do is remind themselves to ‘look at the ball.’


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 23

Harris English wins at Memphis:

was on vacation this week, thus I didn’t make any picks for Memphis.

Here are my picks for the US Open:

Graeme McDowell: 20/1
Matt Kuchar: 20/1
Justin Rose: 22/1
Charl Schwartzel: 28/1
Jim Furyk: 40/1
Boo Weekley: 100/1
Kevin Chappell: 100/1
Ryan Palmer: 100/1
Kyle Stanley: 125/1

Value Pick: Justin Hicks 250/1


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

174. Matteson, Troy
175. Noh, Seung-Yul
176. Haley II, Paul
177. Curtis, Ben
178. Williams, Lee
179. Herron, Tim
180. Wittenberg, Casey
181. Bradley, Michael
182. Baddeley, Aaron
183. Weir, Mike


1. Wi, Charlie
2. Haley II, Paul
3. Chappell, Kevin
4. Clark, Tim
5. Schwartzel, Charl
6. Molder, Bryce
7. Noh, Seung-Yul
8. Bradley, Michael
9. Snedeker, Brandt
10. Davis, Brian

174. Blixt, Jonas
175. Gardiner, Scott
176. Stefani, Shawn
177. Poulter, Ian
178. Romero, Andres
179. O'Hair, Sean
180. Herman, Jim
181. Jones, Matt
182. Kaymer, Martin
183. Gillis, Tom


1. Mickelson, Phil
2. Kirk, Chris
3. Duke, Ken
4. Fisher, Ross
5. Stadler, Kevin
6. Reavie, Chez
7. Singh, Vijay
8. Harrington, Padraig
9. Every, Matt
10. Snedeker, Brandt

174. Hoffmann, Morgan
175. Marino, Steve
176. Ames, Stephen
177. Ernst, Derek
178. Park, Jin
179. List, Luke
180. Baddeley, Aaron
181. Daly, John
182. Herman, Jim
183. Ridings, Tag


1. Garrigus, Robert
2. Palmer, Ryan
3. Furyk, Jim
4. Owen, Greg
5. Weekley, Boo
6. Schwartzel, Charl
7. Colsaerts, Nicolas
8. Presnell, Alistair
9. McIlroy, Rory
10. Stanley, Kyle

174. Bowditch, Steven
175. Wittenberg, Casey
176. Claxton, Will
177. Gates, Bobby
178. Potter, Jr., Ted
179. Baddeley, Aaron
180. Hanson, Peter
181. Taylor, Vaughn
182. Marino, Steve
183. Watkins, Aaron


1. Leonard, Justin
2. Immelman, Trevor
3. Kelly, Jerry
4. Estes, Bob
5. Furyk, Jim
6. Choi, K.J.
7. Watkins, Aaron
8. Park, Jin
9. Jones, Matt
10. Wittenberg, Casey

174. Overton, Jeff
175. Yang, Y.E.
176. Meierdierks, Eric
177. Lee, Richard
178. Hoffman, Charley
179. Fisher, Ross
180. Wagner, Johnson
181. Garrigus, Robert
182. McNeill, George
183. Ernst, Derek


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

174. Herman, Jim
175. Fisher, Ross
176. Claxton, Will
177. Castro, Roberto
178. Singh, Vijay
179. Owen, Greg
180. Meierdierks, Eric
181. Mathis, David
182. Tomasulo, Peter
183. Colsaerts, Nicolas


Friday, June 7, 2013

A Look at the YAR Putter

In the past few months I had received a few inquiries from readers about the YAR Putter. Recently, friend of the blog Jeff Martin ( commented that he switched over to the YAR Putter and was impressed by its work. Then Geoff Mangum ( has given the YAR Putter his 'stamp of approval' as well.

This finally got me to start to check out the putter. I have not purchased one, but I plan on doing so in July.

As a serious golfer who has 'seen it all', I have come to trust my instincts when it comes to my perception about equipment. One of the advantages I have as an amateur is that I can really seek out the best in equipment and fitting techniques and implement those into my bag. I'm not bound by some equipment endorsement deal and having to play with inferior equipment. In fact, I was just discussing this with a PGA Tour veteran the other day who has hit the Wishon 919THI driver and told me how amazed he was by the driver as he hit it 25 yards further. But, he's tied to an endorsement contract and has to use his Taylor Made driver instead.

For me, I am always on the lookout for something different. Not just from an aesthetics standpoint, but how the equipment is engineered and what are the proposed advantages to the unique design. Here's a pic of the YAR putter and as you can see, it's very different from an aesthetics standpoint.

But, what about the actual design and what are the advantages to the design?

From what I gather the main idea behind the YAR putter is that it does not have ANY Moment of Inertia (MOI) in the putter. The putter is designed by Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt; an aerospace engineer that who works for the Department of Defense designing air-frames for sophisticated aircraft. The way I view it now is that where most putter designs are concerned chiefly with being able to produce a 'better roll', the YAR putter is designed so the 'flight' of the clubhead path with be stable throughout a stroke, just like the flight of a B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Here's a Kelvin Miyahira video showing the stability of the putter head on a toe hit.

What this allows the golfer to do is to look at the hole while they are putting. The idea is that the putter head is stable while it is in motion and if the golfer mis-hits it, the putter head will remain stable on the mis-hit.

That's enough for me to give it a shot. You still have to aim the putter well enough and make the appropriate reads. But, your best putting will come when you are doing the best at optimizing your speed on your putts. It's currently being used by Aaron Baddeley. I will give an update when I receive mine.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Facts About Backspin Factors of a Driver Head

This is from Tom Wishon ( and his latest e-Tech newsletter which I believe is a must read for serious golfers (even if they don't own Wishon equipment).

One of the areas of interest to more accomplished players is the matter of whether a driver head can be designed to intentionally deliver a higher or lower amount of backspin on the shot. Thanks to the greater presence of launch monitors combined with the reports from the professional tours that top players all focus on hitting the driver with between 2,000 and 3,000 rpms of backspin, a very high number of players today seem to be obsessed with finding a driver that will deliver a spin measurement in this desired range.

The purpose of this article is to clearly state what is and is not possible with respect to designing a driver head to deliver a difference in backspin performance.

First off, when a golfer hits two drivers and notices a difference in spin between the two, it is very difficult to know precisely what brought about the spin difference. To really know requires a testing procedure that must isolate each possible variable between the two drivers that contributes to spin. Few golfers are in a position to be able to do that in a very controlled environment. Hence it is very common for a golfer to hit two drivers, see that one launches the ball lower or with less spin, and make the wrong conclusion about what caused those differences in the shot.

The elements that can bring about a difference in spin between two driver heads are:

1. Loft – obviously the lower the loft, the lower the spin with all other things being equal. The problem with assuming that a loft difference brought about a spin difference is the fact that the real loft of a driver head often times is not what is stated on the head. +/- tolerances as well as some companies’ intentionally making some of their driver heads with a different loft than what is stated makes this comparison more difficult. Hence the ONLY way to know the difference in loft between two driver heads is to have the lofts measured by someone who is very experienced in doing this, using the proper precision equipment. Robot tests we have done show a spin difference of 260 rpms for each 1° change in loft at a clubhead speed of 100mph, for the same center face impact point. (And of course, as clubhead speed increases so too does the spin and vice versa)

2. Vertical Roll Radius – All driver heads are made with a certain amount of radius up and down on the face. (there is also the hoizontal radius on the face, but that is not pertinent to this discussion) Not all driver heads have the same vertical roll radius. The more roll (meaning more curvature as indicated by a lower radius number in the measurement) the higher will be the loft above the center of the face, and the lower will be the loft below the face center. The less roll, the less the loft increases above the center of the face and the less the loft decreases below the center of the face.

3. Point of Impact on the Face– FOR THE SAME LOFT and FOR THE SAME VERTICAL ROLL RADIUS, impact above the center of the face reduces spin due to the phenomenon of VERTICAL GEAR EFFECT. Likewise due to VGE, impact below the center of the face increases spin. VGE can be quite significant. Our robot tests done with the same driver head at 100mph with the same ball show a spin reduction of 400rpms for impact 1/2? above the face center and a 400 rpm spin increase for impact 1/2? below the center of the face.

4. Face Angle of the Driver Head – For some golfers, even a 1° change in the face angle can bring about a slight change in the effective loft of the head at impact that can result in little differences in the launch angle and spin of the shot.

5. Face to Back Center of Gravity Position in the Driver Head - By varying the wall thickness of the head body in the front vs rear of the head it is possible to create a little more forward CG vs little more rear CG position inside the driver head. It is also possible to vary the CG position by using materials of different density (graphite, tungsten, etc) within the head construction which are placed/oriented more to the front or back of the head body. The closer the CG is to the face, the lower the launch angle and lower the spin can be, and the farther back the CG is from the face, the higher the LA and spin can be.

This is a CAN BE because and NOT a “for sure” result for all golfers. The reason is because the effect of face to back CG depends entirely on its effect on the amount of forward bending of the shaft coming into impact. A more forward CG can cause the shaft to bend forward LESS which means the dynamic loft at impact will not be increased as much, which means slightly lower launch angle and spin. A more rear CG can cause the shaft to bend forward MORE which means the dynamic loft at impact will be increased a little more, which means slightly higher launch angle and spin.

But not all golfers can make the shaft bend forward coming into impact. Only golfers with a later to very late unhinging of the wrist cock angle on the downswing are able to make the shaft come into impact in some amount of forward bend position. The earlier the golfer unhinges the wrist cock angle, the sooner the forward bending action on the shaft occurs. So for early to midway release golfers, the shaft goes into its forward bend position before impact so by the time the clubhead gets to the ball, the shaft has had the time to rebound back from being bent forward. Thus only for later to very late release golfers will the more forward CG position in the driver head bring about a slightly lower launch and slightly lower spin.

The other variable affecting the face to back CG position on spin is the shaft’s stiffness design vs the golfer’s clubhead speed, transition force, downswing tempo and point of release. The stiffer the shaft overall, and/or the stiffer the tip section of the shaft all in relation to the golfer’s swing characteristics, the less the shaft can bend forward to have an effect on the launch angle and spin of the shot. And vice versa, the more flexible the shaft overall, and/or the more flexible the tip section of the shaft all in relation to the golfer’s swing characteristics, the more the shaft can bend forward to have an effect on the launch angle and spin of the shot.

6. Vertical Center of Gravity of the Driver Head – While everyone has been taught that a low CG in any clubhead means higher shot and higher spin and a higher CG means vice versa, the vertical CG in a driver head can be a very confusing factor for ball flight because 99%+ of the time we hit the ball with the driver off a tee.

Due to the use of a tee the position of the CG of the ball to the vertical CG of the driver head can be all over the map. Golfers tee the ball in all manner of different heights relative to the driver head. Because of this, the point of impact on the face relative to the CG of the ball can vary tremendously. This is not nearly as much the case with the other clubheads which are far more often hit with the ball sitting on the ground.

In addition, because so many driver heads are designed so close to the same 450-460cc volume “size”, driver heads today simply do not offer much in terms of a variation in the vertical CG position as can all other clubheads. When you design a driver to be close to the limit for volume, owing to the fact the head cannot weigh much more than 200g, the wall thickness of the body cannot be varied by more than a small amount to try to have a different effect on the vertical CG position.

As a result, theoretically the vertical CG position can have an effect on launch angle and spin, but in practice because of the tremendous range in tee height, point of impact and angle of attack into the ball coupled with the narrow range in driver size, the vertical CG of a driver simply does not account for much of the difference in launch angle and spin on the shot.

Bottom Line regarding spin characteristics of different driver head models – While there can be slight differences in launch angle and spin from different driver head designs, if the golfer wishes to hit the driver lower or higher in height and spin, the number one way to do that is by using a driver head with a lower or higher loft than the golfer currently plays. For each 1 degree change in loft, the launch angle changes by 0.8°. And based on a driver clubhead speed of 100mph, for each 1° change in driver head loft, the height of the shot changes by 10 to 12 feet and the spin changes by around 250 rpms. These factors apply to ALL golfers regardless of swing characteristics. The effect of a change in the face to back CG location on launch angle, shot height and spin only happen for golfers with a later to very late release.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In Defense of Radar Launch Monitors

This was recently tweeted by David Duval and Olin Browne

While I have had my share of criticisms towards Doppler radar launch monitors, I do not believe it ‘ruins swings.’ In fact, the real irony here is that Duval’s swing was ‘ruined the most’ perhaps in the history of golf and it had nothing to do with using a radar launch monitor; simply because he didn’t use one at the time.

I think many golfers treat radar launch monitors as ‘magic pills’ and I think there is a folly to that. For instance, my father is a 15 handicap and knows next to nothing about swing mechanics. If I were to put him on a Trackman and teach him the numbers and D-Plane and left him on his own, I highly doubt he would get any better.

I kind of find it ironic how many instructors will debate me on that matter because if it were true then there would be no need for an instructor. One could simply get on a Trackman and start shooting lower scores.

And that’s really the crux of the situation that Browne and Duval don’t understand; Trackman has never given a lesson to anybody. It is simply a tool that measures and calculates data with regards to ball’s flight and the facets of the club that design the ball’s flight.

Do I think it makes a teacher better?


Teachers only get better when they improve their knowledge of the swing and learn how to become more effective at communicating that knowledge. What I think radar launch monitors do is help provide a pathway for teachers to understand how mechanics can alter impact conditions and the subsequent ball flight. It’s up to the teacher to try and take that pathway.

But radar launch monitors have not ruined swings. I think if anything they have helped a few swings. Case in point, Tiger Woods.

Back when Tiger was working with Hank Haney, it was obvious that he had a serious issue with a path that was well out to the right and a face that had a tendency to get well open. He was also hitting down quite a bit. At that time I mentioned that I felt Tiger should get on a Trackman because he obviously does not understand the D-Plane and the geometry of impact.

It was funny as I was told that Tiger ‘obviously knew D-Plane and the geometry of impact’ by several critics. Then when he finally got on Trackman with his new teacher, Sean Foley, it was obvious that Tiger did not understand D-Plane and the geometry of impact. He was hitting down on the ball roughly by -4° with the driver and producing a club head path of +10° (inside-to-out).

As you will see in this video, Justin Rose didn’t understand D-Plane and the geometry of impact either

Both Tiger and Rose still needed Foley’s knowledge of swing mechanics in order to produce the numbers on the launch monitor. But, I believe that acquiring that knowledge of D-Plane and the Geometry of Impact and being able to SEE it on Trackman helped speed up their learning process. If they were not able to see it in action, I think the learning process is slower and they may end up doubting the information and looking elsewhere for swing instruction.

As of last week, Rose is #1 in my Driving Effectiveness ranking.

Golf swings are ruined by neglect, ignorance and misinformation from the golfer and/or the teacher. It’s really as simple as that. Leave the launch monitors out of it.