Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Quintic Ball Roll Videos

Here's a video of the Quintic Ball Roll in action.  One of the things that David Orr has been discussing on his Web site, The Flatstick Academy is Smash Factor of the putter.  Whereas the technical Smash Factor limit with a regular club can only go as high as about 1.49 (ball speed / club speed = smash factor), the smash factor with the putter can range from 1.6 to 1.9 according to David and instructors like Phil Kenyon.

They are able to measure the smash factor using the Quintic Ball Roll device:

What I think is interesting about the Smash Factor part of putting is that we can now better measure what type of feel of putter head contact we prefer.  Some people may prefer the feel of a putter that has a Smash Factor of 1.6 where as others may find that too soft and prefer a Smash Factor of 1.75.  It can obviously measure so much more to help golfers understand what is the best putter for them. 

David told me that he plans on getting his own Quintic Ball Roll software, soon.  And I would imagine that he will discuss what he finds with it on his Web site which is only $10 a month with no commitment. 


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wedge Game 2.0 by James Ridyard Trailer

Here's a video trailer for James Ridyard's Short Game 2.0 video.

In the meantime, you can check out his Short Game 1.0 videos.  Short Game 2.0 should be available for sale.  Check out www.shortgamesecrets.tv for updates.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Videos on Spin Loft with Chuck, Waite and Mayo

Here's a couple of videos on Spin Loft with Martin Chuck and Joe Mayo with Grant Waite:


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fujikura Golf Exclusive ENSO Machine

Here's a video from Fujikura showing more of their state-of-the-art ESNO shaft fitting system:


Monday, December 14, 2015

Chuck Evans Interview with Bernard Sheridan

Here's an interview with golf instructor, Chuck Evans, hosted by Bernard Sheridan:


Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 Pro Golf Synopsis Update

I have been getting inquiries as to when the 2015 Pro Golf Synopsis will be coming out.

Typically, Pro Golf Synopsis has been published in the first week of December.  However, due to new research that took longer than expected that has pushed back the deadline.  I am pushing to get PGS finished before Christmas.  However, that may be pushed back to no later than the before the Sony Open, January 14th (it should be done well before then).

I have conducted new research that I think is interesting and helpful to all golfers understanding their game.  I have looked further into par-4 designs since par-4 performance is so critical to a golfer's score.  And this season I have examined dogleg left versus dogleg right and straight-away par-4's, what correlations were involved with them and understanding the challenges that they bring.

I have also conducted new research involving a different analysis on Loss Aversion and how it affected Tour players.  But, the information applies to golfers of any skill level.  There is also an introduction of the 'clutch putting' metric and I look at the question as to whether or not a golfer should work on improving their weaknesses or continuing to work on their strengths.

There will be new information on strategy, a look at where the trends of the game to see where the modern game is going.  And of course, the 184 player-by-player statistical analysis of the 2014-2015 season.  In total, Pro Golf Synopsis should be over 300-pages long.

When 2015 Pro Golf Synopsis is up for sale, I will post it on this site as well as my Twitter page https://twitter.com/Richie3Jack.  The price is only $10!

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail them to me at ProGolfSynopsis@yahoo.com


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Alex Dee Explaining Fujikura Shafts

Here's a video from Fujikura VP, Alex Dee, explaining his company's shafts.  Last I checked, Fujikura was the #1 used wood shaft on Tour.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Search for Flatstick Nirvana Part XI (12.09.15)

Part I - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-i.html
Part II - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flat-stick-nirvana-part.html
Part III - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part IV - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_9.html
Part V - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-v.html
Part VI - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part VII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_12.html
Part VIII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_19.html
Part IX - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part X - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-x.html

In David Orr's most recent video on his Web site (www.flatstickacademy.com) he has a lengthy discussion on putter weight.  David warns that he is by no means a master club fitter.  However, I believe he has a great amount of knowledge when it comes to putter fitting that he has obtained through all of the study. 

When it comes to clubfitting, I am fanatical about weight/heft of clubs.  I find more experienced golfers like myself are much more sensitive to the weight of any club through my time fitting golfers with MOI matching.  I know that I am pretty good at telling if a club is only 15-25 MOI points off from another club (provided they are the same model club and shaft). 

And I have greatly benefited from MOI matching as it has improved my impact dispersion and trajectory.  Since I've taken things a bit further with MOI matching and gotten more into Balance Index, I've found ways to improve the spin rate of my clubs as well. 

One of the things I really like about David's video on putter weight was that he takes into account the weight of each individual component of the putter from the head, shaft, grip and grip tape (yes, you have to consider the weight of the grip tape).  David also goes into how too heavy or too light of a putter can affect the putting stroke.

Unfortunately, David uses a swingweight machine to demonstrate the points.  I've discussed the issues with swingweight before.  One of them being that you can have two clubs with the same swingweight, but they may feel very different and when you put them on the MOI machine, you might find a noticeable difference in their measured MOI.

Another issue is that the swingweight measurement is static (lays still on the machine) while the MOI machine is a dynamic measurement.  Here's a video from Tom Wishon showing the difference and showing how a MOI machine works:

Not only is the MOI machine a dynamic measurement, but the movement is actually similar to a putting stroke motion.  So, I wanted to start and look at putters by MOI and total weight instead of just looking at swingweight.


In David Orr's video on putter weight, he talks about the swingweight and how it affects the feel of the putter.  He also mentions some key points on its affect on the putting stroke as well.  How too light of a putter or too heavy of a putter will affect the putting stroke in a certain way.

One of the big issues that MOI Matching clubfitters have to overcome is the golfer's belief that MOI matched clubs are mostly about feel instead of actually improving ballstriking results.  When swingweight matching devotees hear that MOI matching is a 'a more advanced version of swingweight matching', they tend to just think that the benefits are just feel and they like the way their clubs feel, so why change?

However, what they don't realize is that the impact dispersion will likely improve greatly.  Here is an example from clubmaker Richard Kempton of a before and after MOI matching:


Another aspect I've seen with MOI fitting is the trajectory can greatly improve. In fact, the first time I fit myself for MOI I purposely used a very light driver that I hit extremely low for the fitting session. And as I got closer to the ideal MOI for my swing, the trajectory was much higher. Almost a night-and-day difference in trajectory.

So, why can't we use this for putting? 


One of the things I wanted to do was take all of the putters I own and measure their impact dispersion and then look at their MOI numbers.  Here's the putters I looked at ranking at lowest MOI heft to heaviest MOI heft

Ping B61 -- 2,700 MOI 

This putter is 35-3/4" long.  I have a slim, Pingman grip, but added so much athletic tape so that it is now a midsize grip.  The impact dispersion on this putter was pretty good.  This came from the 1980's (possibly the 1970's) and they used to make putters very light because greens were much slower back then.  There is some offset in the hosel, but the hosel is way out on the heel.

Cleveland Classic 3 -- 2,770 MOI


This is 35 inches long with a Pingman grip. I did not strike this putter well, although it was way too flat for me. This is a 1/4 offset hosel.

Mizuno Bettinardi C06 -- 2,945 MOI

This is a face balanced design.  The putter is actually much lighter than what I have for the MOI, but I had put a lot of lead tape to the head years ago.  I don't know how much.  But, the face contact was very good.  This club has a Winn Grips midsize putter grip and is 35" long.  This appears to have a 1/4 offset with a face balanced shaft.

Edel E3 Torque Balanced -- 2,970 MOI

This is the putter I've been using for the past few months.  The face contact was pretty consistent, but not as consistent as the Bettinardi.  However, this performs much better on the Pelz Putting Tutor than the Bettinardi.  This putter is 35-1/2" long with a no offset shaft.

TaylorMade Ghost Daytona Tour Black --- 3,010 MOI

This putter is 35-1/2" long with a standard plumber's neck and a GripMaster USA Leather Wrap grip.  I installed a Nippon putter shaft which is heavier than your typical shaft.  The putter is a little too flat for me, but the impact dispersion was better with this than the Cleveland Classic 3 putter which came in at 2,770 MOI. 

Edel Columbia Custom - 3,025 MOI

This was originally a belly putter.  I then had the belly putter shaft taken off and replaced with a normal putter shaft.  The grip is a PURE Grips putter grip (the slim model), but the head weighs 365 grams.  It is 35" long and the impact dispersion wasn't that great.

YAR Golf Putter -- 3,990 MOI

Yes, this putter had a MOI of 3,990.  Almost 1,000 points higher than the heaviest putter.  This putter was still that heavy despite the hole in the middle of the head.  This putter is 38" long and I think it is too flat for me.  The face contact was decent, but it's a very small head so you don't have much room to miss.

In the end, the most consistent face contact putters were the Ping B61, the Bettinardi C06 and the Edel E-3 putters.  They were 3 of the 4 lowest MOI heft putters.  The 2nd lowest MOI putter (Cleveland Classic 3) was just too flat for me. 


I decided to use my Edel E-3 putter to test for MOI.  Not only is it my 'gamer' putter, but it also has a head weight port.  My putter has a 12-gram weight installed, but I also had a 6-gram weight available as well.

I decided to take the following steps:

1. Remove the head weight and measure the impact without a weight on the head.

2.  Add 3-grams of lead tape, putt and measure the impact pattern

3.  Remove the 3-grams of lead tape, add the 6-gram weight, putt and measure.

4.  Add the 3-grams of lead tape with the 6-gram weight (9-grams total), putt and measure.

5.  Remove the 3-grams of lead tape, add 12 gram weight, putt and measure.

6.  Add 3-grams of lead tape with 12-gram weight (15-grams total), putt and measure.

In the end, I found that 6-gram weight with 3-grams of lead tape worked best.  When I measured the MOI afterward, it came out to 2,930 MOI.

I think it's funny since the rule of thumb is that you should probably have a driver that is +100 MOI points higher than your irons and my putter is nearly +200 MOI points than my irons.  Perhaps that is the rule of thumb needed.

In the end, I noticed much better impact dispersion and started to see differences in my putting stroke for the better.  The old weight appears to be a bit too heavy of an MOI for me.  That's plausible since I do not have a very wristy stroke and in the golf swing, typically the wristy swings require a higher MOI set of clubs. 

This will be something that I will pay close attention to from here on out.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Managing Putter Face Angle with Jeff Smith and Mario Bevilacqua

Here's a video from Jeff Smith and Mario Bevilacqua discussing managing the face angle with your putter.


Monday, December 7, 2015

The Search for Flatstick Nirvana – Part X (12.7.15)

Part I - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-i.html
Part II - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flat-stick-nirvana-part.html
Part III - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part IV - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_9.html
Part V - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-v.html
Part VI - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part VII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_12.html
Part VIII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_19.html
Part IX - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html

In the last segment, I discussed my basic practice regimen. But, with the time change it is getting dark too early and I don’t have time to practice on the practice green as much. Instead, I have resorted to the following indoor practice:

Early Morning Practice – warm up hitting 20 putts. Then hit 20 putts with the Pelz Putting Tutor

Lunch – Get out the Dr. Scholl’s foot power spray and measure the impact location. If I’m hitting putts more towards the toe or towards the heel, I generally know what the issue is.

Night Time – More Pelz Putting Tutor practice filled with some Mi Putting Template practice and using my pre-putt routine and hitting to dimes or pennies on the floor as well as corners of the wall.

I am also excited to try out David Orr’s Mushroom Drill which he described on his Web site, www.flatstickacademy.com (again, $10 a month with no commitment).

I think it’s a great drill to do once a week and the day before an event and I love how it is done so it combines mass practice with interleaving practice along with adding some pressure into the putting.

I made a couple of changes to my Edel E-3 Torque Balanced Putter.

1. Added a ½ inch extension to the putter shaft

This was done in order to improve the face contact which would often get out towards the heel. The putter was also a little too flat for me, so by adding ½’ inch, the effective lie changed to 1* more upright.

I believe that heel strikes were largely due to the putter being a bit too short for me and causing me to thrust the upper body in order to ‘reach the ball’ which will shift the putter head out and away from me and thus cause the ball to be hit off the heel.

Conversely, toe strikes are likely about having my stance too narrow as that causes me to lift the left shoulder too much upward and inward on the thru-stroke so the head shifts inward more and the ball is struck off the toe.

I started to putted badly once I started to go to 34” and 33” putters based on the craze started by Dave Pelz where Pelz wanted ‘straight arms’ at address because he felt it reduced the tension in your arms. But as David Orr describes in the Flatstick Academy, that’s not always the case. And based on my experience, I completely agree with him!

2. Removed the PURE Grips Big Dog grip and replaced it with a GripMaster USA Midsize Stitchback Grip

This was done to help reduce the pushes I hit as the PURE Grips Big Dog grip was a bit too large for me. I don’t hit a lot of pushes, but just enough to make me re-think it and I rarely hit a pull. Unfortunately, I’m not happy with the stichback grip as it is a bit too slick for my tastes. The size if fine, but the slickness makes it uncomfortable for me to hold.

Here’s a look at the current putter:


I had been putting pretty well, but inconsistently. Then on the weekend I putted extremely well, but did it 2 days in a row and shot 71 (-1) at Rio Pinar with 28 putts and 69 (-3) at Deltona Club with 25 putts.

I think the 1/2" shaft extension has made the bigger difference as now the impact location is more consistent and more towards the center of the head. But, I have yet to feel comfortable with the stichback grip. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm going to try the GripMaster USA Clubmaker putter grip in midsize and see if that provides the feel I'm looking for.

Meanwhile, I look to get on the SAM Puttlab next week and we'll see what the report says and it will be interesting to see what changes show up on the machine.  I'm still having problems with missing right-to-left putts low, but overall I'm very happy with the progress that has been made.


Friday, December 4, 2015

The State of Modern Golf Club Head Design with Tom Wishon

Here are a couple of videos from Tom Wishon (www.wishongolf.com) discussing the state of modern driver head and iron head design:


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Andrew Rice on How to Spin Your Wedges

Here's a nice set of videos from instructor, Andrew Rice, on how to spin your wedges:


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Preston Combs Demonstrates the New SAM Puttlab 3D Software

Here's a video from Preston Combs showing the features of SAM Puttlab's new 3D software:


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

GolfWRX Column: The Stats Behind Mickelson's Switch to Andrew Getson

It was big news in the golf instruction industry when Phil Mickelson decided to part ways with long-time coach Butch Harmon and hired Andrew Getson to take over. Mickelson was not exactly performing poorly by normal Tour standards, as he made 16 out of 19 cuts and finished 48th in Adjusted Scoring Average for the season. But Mickelson’s seasons are judged by victories and performance in the majors, and Phil may have felt that there was a need to change after two winless seasons.

As a golf statistician, I wanted to look at Phil’s performance from this past season along with his performance in his most recent “big” season, 2013, when he won the British Open, finished 12th in Adjusted Scoring Average and earned nearly $5.5 million. I would assume that performance in 2013 is something that Phil wants to get back to.

While the two most important metrics in the chart above are Par-4 Scoring Average and Bogey Rate, it’s always good to look at all of the metrics to help paint a more clear picture of what is going on with the golfer’s game. In Phil’s case, the drop-off in Par-4 Scoring Average and Bogey rate is dramatic and needs to be addressed.

For most of Phil’s career, he’s been a great iron player and a weak driver of the ball with fantastic ability to get up-and-down. So I would immediately wonder how his typical game is playing a factor in this decline in performance. The silver lining in all of this, however, is that he can still make a lot of birdies.

Read More: The Stats Behind Phil Mickelson's Switch to Andrew Getson


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An Update to the Refutation of the MyGolfSpy Article

After the refutation of the MyGolfSpy article post, I received some feedback from MyGolfSpy that I would like to rebut.

Here is from the MyGolfSpy Twitter feed:

3.5 million data points sounds great, but the actual point is was making was not about sample size. It was the conclusions they were drawing from a chart that lacked very key and important data.

Here are some of the flaws I see with using this chart:

1. It actually does not show the total time spent. It shows the percentage of time a golfer works on certain parts of their game. For example, the chart shows that a 30 handicap works on their driver roughly 22.5% of their practice. And the 0-4 handicap works on their driver about 16% of their practice. If the 0-4 handicap practices for 5 hours a week, that means the golfer is getting 56 minutes of driver practice per week. If the 30-34 handicap is only putting in 30 minutes a week of practice time, then they would be projected to put in 6 minutes and 45 seconds of time on the driver.

2. The chart shows nothing in terms of improvement in any part of the game. It only shows the practice habits, in terms of percentage of time practicing a certain part of the game, for each handicap. We don’t know if golfers of different handicap ranges are actually improving in any way, shape or form in anything…even score.

3. Correlation does not imply causation. So while there is a correlation between practice time percentages of short game and handicap (supposedly), that does not necessarily mean that just because you practice a greater percentage of time you will have a lower handicap. A good example of correlation does not imply causation is in the NFL where QB’s that kneel down in the 4th quarter tend to win the game nearly 100% of the time. While true, it does not mean that being able to kneel down in the 4th quarter will win the team the game.

With this example of percentage of golf practice time, MyGolfSpy does not consider why lower handicaps are better golfers. Things like the total amount of practice time spent each week, how often they play, how long have they been playing, when they started playing, physical health, money spent on golf each year, age, etc. are all factors that were not considered in their conclusion from the chart.

I don’t think that was the point of my refutation. However, I think you did imply some criticism of Every Shot Counts as the book talked about how overrated the short game and putting was and how golfers should work on improving their long game more in order to lower scores. The MyGolfSpy article was trying to discredit that premise from Every Shot Counts.

In the end, I am actually not saying that the point of the MyGolfSpy article is absolutely 100% incorrect. I have not tested against this theory of practice time nor do I know of any other test of practice time and improvement. I would assume that the more time spent practicing a certain part of the game, the better the golfer will get at that part of the game. Therefore, practicing the long game and the driver more would logically help you improve those parts of the game and because the data shows how important the long game is to lowering scores, it would logically help the golfer more.

But again, that logic has not been tested either.

For this hypothesis to be more properly tested, we would need to see something like certain handicaps deciding to focus more of their practice time on one part of the game and what their scores were and then change the practice focus to the other part of the game and see what the scores were after that.  We would also need to know how percentage of time practice works versus length of time practiced.  That and many other aspects need to be considered to draw a more meaningful and accurate conclusion.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Refutation of MyGolfSpy's Practice the Short Game Article

Here's an article from MyGolfSpy.com and their belief that amateurs, regardless of handicap, should practice their short game more instead of practicing their long game.


The article cites Dr. Mark Broadie's book Every Shot Counts in which Dr. Broadie mentions throughout the book that the 'long game' is more important in golf than the 'short game.'  The article does not mention my annual e-book Pro Golf Synopsis (2015 version due out before Christmas).  However, I am in agreement with Dr. Broadie's research for the most part.  I have published Pro Golf Synopsis since 2011, so it has been out there for quite some time.  In fact, one of the main sticking points of the article is how the wedge game is vastly overrated by golfers of all skill levels.

First, let's examine what Dr. Broadie defines as the 'long game' versus the 'short game.'

Dr. Broadie has segmented the game of golf as the 'long game' being any shot that is from a distance longer than 100 yards and the 'short game' as any shot shorter than a distance of 100 yards.  He does have the ability to utilize his strokes gained method to distinguish driving from long game shots that are not hit off the tee on a par-4 or par-5.  He also has the methodology to distinguish putting from short game shots within 100 yards.  And in all, he can use strokes gained in a variety of different ways to distinguish bunker play versus non-bunker short game shots, shots from certain distances, etc.

There are some things with the strokes gained methodology that my colleagues and I disagree with in terms of accuracy.  But all in all, I find it a valid measurement, particularly when it comes to putting and that is why I refer to Strokes Gained - Putting in Pro Golf Synopsis.

Throughout Every Shot Counts Dr. Broadie mentions how putting is overrated and that is his main point of contention.  However, he contradicts that mantra by showing how important putting is to winning an event.  Again, I'm in perfect agreement with the concept that putting is important when it comes to winning an event from a statistical standpoint.  It just is.  The vast majority of winners on the PGA Tour gain +0.5 strokes or more per round in the event they won.  Furthermore, I'm in perfect statistical agreement that putting becomes less important over time when it comes to Tour success.  But, the same applies for a golfer that gradually wants to lower their handicap.  Perhaps 'putting was overrated' was a tagline set forth by the publisher to sell the book.  But, that is where I disagree with Every Shot Counts.

My statistical research which includes amateur research shows that all-in-all, putting is roughly the 2nd most important part of the game.  However, I should mention that I prefer to further segment the game of golf more than Dr. Broadie does because of the following reasons:

The Short Game vs. Long Game segmentation is not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

Let's say for all intents and purposes the long hole we can play is a 650 yard Par-4.  With the long game segment, that's essentially comparing 550 yards of data (650-100) versus 100 yards (Short Game) of data.  I think the comparison warrants something more similar in terms of distance (doesn't have to be exactly similar, but more similar).  And therefore it should not be a big revelation that shots coming from 550 yards of distance range would be more important than shots coming from a 100 yard distance range.  I can understand the segment to a degree because there is a theory that putting is most important because you it can be 'half of the shots you hit in a round' and that is an invalid representation of the game.  But, this broad segmentation is too broad to draw conclusions as well.

For instance, if I was looking at crime data and was looking at the total crimes of city with 5 million residents versus a city with 500,000 residents, I don't think it would be a revelation that the bigger city had more total crime.

There are different skill sets, technique, equipment, etc. involved at different distances within the Long Game vs. Short Game parameters.

The skill sets, techniques, equipment, etc. involved with a 10 yard pitch shot is far different than a 50-yard shot which is far different from a 100-yard shot which is far different from a 150-yard shot which is far different from a 200 yard shot which is far different from hitting your 3-wood off the ground which is far different from hitting a driver off the tee box.  Therefore, you're not giving the golfer precise parts of the game to work on and that can lead to a golfer working on the wrong things.

Not all Short Game shots have the same value and not all Long Game shots have the same value.

For a Tour player, putting is far more important than shots from 100-150 yards.  So, if we were to use the advice that 'the Long Game is far more important than the Short Game' this could lead a Tour player working far more on their 100-150 yard shots versus their putting.  It could lead to a player working on their 75-100 yard shots when they do want to practice their short game more than their putting or 10-20 yard shots because the reasoning would be that the 75-100 yard shots are closer to that 'Long Game' range.  If a Tour player could improve their Driving, Red Zone play (175-225 yards), shots from 10-20 yards and their putting from 5-15 feet, they would be far better served from a historical statistical standpoint...than they would be if they improve their play from 20-100 yards, 100-150 yards, shots from 225-275 yards and fairway bunker play.

Again, for the overwhelming most part, I agree with Dr. Broadie's conclusions based on my own statistical research.  However, it is important to note what Every Shot Counts entails since that is what MyGolfSpy is arguing against.  Furthermore, while my research shows that for amateurs that putting is the second most important factor to improving their handicap, I agree more with Dr. Broadie's statements than I do with the MyGolfSpy article.

First up, the Dave Pelz video:

Mr. Pelz states in a matter of fact fashion that 'putting is number one' which is not the case over time and is often not the case in many events.  In fact, James Hahn won at Riviera last year with a negative strokes gained per round of -0.050.

The debate from MyGolfSpy and Mr. Pelz is the amount of time and how you can practice.  Mr. Pelz argues that they could get a player that could practice every hour they are away for 5 years and never hit the ball as well as Rory McIlroy.  But, that does not make his point valid.  Nobody is saying that you have to hit the ball like Rory McIlroy in order to improve your handicap.  In fact, if we were to take a 10-handicap golfer and give them the choice of improving 1 of the following:

- Improving their driving to a level of Billy Hurley III driving from the 2014-2015 season where he ranked 168th (out of 184 golfers) in Driving Effectiveness while generating 108.5 mph club speed (something reasonable for many amateurs to achieve).


- Improve their putting to Bubba Watson's level in 2014-2015 season where he ranked 54th (out of 184 golfers) in Strokes Gained - Putting.

The 10 handicap would see their handicap get lower with the Billy Hurley improved driving performance than they would with the Bubba Watson improved putting performance.

The MyGolfSpy article then states the following:

The chart above clearly illustrates that as handicap goes up, the amount of practice time devoted to the short game goes down.

What’s also interesting is that when you look at practice time with longer clubs (5 iron and above) and driver, an inverse relationship is revealed. As playing ability goes up, the time spent on this portion of the game goes down.

This presents an interesting dilemma, and it goes against Broadie’s findings. Based on his data you would expect that better golfers would devote more of their practice time to the long game, but the reality is exactly the opposite. - MyGolfSpy

Broadie's book, Every Shot Counts, never states that lower handicaps practice a certain way.  Therefore, the chart does not go against his findings because practice habits are not part of his findings in Every Shot Counts.

I think it is reasonable to expect that if you want to improve upon something, there is a correlation with practice time and improvement.  So Broadie inferring that people should practice their long game more because better long game play will improve a golfer's score more than improvement in short game play at the same level is perfectly reasonable.  The chart does not show actual performance in the short game or the long game.  Furthermore it doesn't show improvement either.  Nor the length of practice.  It just shows the % of time golfers of different handicap levels spend on various clubs.

So, the chart completely ignores the key point in Broadie's work...when it comes to reducing scores, performance in long game matters more than performance in short game.

If you want to argue the ability to improve, the chart ignores a key component of how long was the practice session.  A 5 handicapper may spend 10% of their total practice on the driver compared to a 20 handicapper spending 50% of their total practice.  But, if the 5 handicapper is practicing for 4 hours a week and the 20 handicapper is practicing for 30 minutes a week, the 5-handicapper is spending much more time practicing.  And if you polled instructors across this country, they would tell you that their students that improve the most are the ones that are dedicated to practicing more.

And the chart doesn't account for other factors as far as why lower handicaps are better than high handicaps such as practice time, golf experience, equipment, physical condition, age, etc.

And in all, the chart never shows improvement which is what this thing is about.  In statistical analytics, the chart would be deemed worthless in terms of conveying the point of whether you should practice more with long game or more with the short game.

I think Every Shot Counts goes overboard with the 'putting is overrated' mantra, but if a player wants to make the largest and most permanent improvement on their handicap, they simply have to improve their long game.  Putting can improve the handicap quicker, but the improvement level is far more limited than improving ballstriking by the same level or even at a lesser level.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Search for Flatstick Nirvana - Part IX (11.12.15)

Part I - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-i.html
Part II - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flat-stick-nirvana-part.html
Part III - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part IV - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_9.html
Part V - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-v.html
Part VI - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html
Part VII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_12.html
Part VIII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_19.html

My putting has more or less ‘progressed’ rather than improved. I am much more adept and now more confident on putts inside 6 feet. I have created a solid practice routine that I think allows me to get the practice I need to get in and figure out what to work on. Since the time change, there’s not much daylight for me to get on the practice greens with, so I do the following.

1. I grab 10 Titleist Pro V1x balls (my gamer golf balls).

2. I will start off simply by putting 10 balls toward the fringe of the green. I will then putt the 10 balls against towards the other fringe of the green. The purpose is to simply get ‘warmed up’ and get a feel for the stroke, the green and get my eyes adjusted to putting again instead of looking at a computer screen. I also want to work on some key pieces to my putting stroke.

3. I will then do the clock drill with the 10 golf balls

I usually do it from about 5 feet. Some days I will do it from 8 feet or 10 feet. I never really go beyond 10-feet. This is also part of the warmup because now I get the feel of trying to make a putt which also goes into reading the putt and working on your pre-shot routine. If I have time, I will do the clock drill, twice.

4. From there I will grab 5 balls and hit 5 putts from the same spot on usually a sidehill putt from 10-15 feet. I will hit each putt doing my AimPoint Express read, then my pre-shot routine and stroke the putt. I will do 5 putts on a right-to-left breaking putt and then 5 putts on a left-to-right breaking putt. Then I will do the same process, again. The idea here is to not only get practice in on leftward and rightward breaking putts, but to become equally adept at both types of putts and if not, determine what type of breaking putt is giving me more problems and where the common miss is.

5. If I have time, I will then grab the 10 golf balls and put them in pairs and place them in different locations. So, I may have 2 balls that are 30 feet away with an uphill, left-to-right putt and 2 balls that are 7-feet away with a downhill straight putt and 2 balls at 15 feet away at a sidehill left-to-right putt, etc. This is randomizing the practice which actually helps stimulate the creativity in your brain which is needed to start incorporating the mechanics I want with the putter. However, it will give me 2 attempts at the shot so I can self-correct a poor putt. I will use the AimPoint Express read and my pre-shot routine on each putt.

6. If I have time (usually only for the weekend), I will use the string drill using yarn and threading needles:

This is helpful for starting to better see the line. I have also found that this is helpful if I start to push (or pull) putts. One of the things David Orr talked about in a video on his Web site (FlatstickAcademy) is that depending on how the putter head moves in the stroke, it will make the ball’s initial launch angle *look* differently and creates an illusion.

For me, the illusion is that the ball is launching to the right of where I want it to launch. So a ball perfectly launched appears almost like a push for me due to my stroke pattern. This really cleared things up for me because I could see how I was adjusting my putting stroke, especially on breaking putts. Below is a SAM Puttlab report that I did with John Graham back in January. The first pictures is my aim at address (Aiming Report) and my face angle at impact (direction). This is on STRAIGHT PUTT.

The second picture shows the same thing (address versus impact), but this time on a LEFT-TO-RIGHT putt.

I think it’s pretty simple to see that my misperception of ball launching to the right was causing me to aim well left on the left-to-right putts. I think my stroke back in January just closed the putter face anyway from address to impact. But, on the straight away putt my face was closing 2.1 degrees and on the left to right putt it was closing 3 degrees. Again, the misperception of pushing my putts when I was actually launching them correctly was likely the cause for this and the string drill really helps with this (although it helps to understand where your misperception is likely to be).

Here’s more evidence of the ball launch misperception. Take a look at my putter path on the straight putts (2.1* left) versus left to right putts (7.5* left)

You can see these differences and the struggle with the launch direction misperception throughout both SAM Puttlab reports.

I plan on getting on the SAM Puttlab again, perhaps in December. I would be interested in seeing what the results look like, particularly my acceleration profiles. One of the things I have been doing is measuring my face impact spot and I’m still too much towards the heel. I simply use Dr. Scholl’s foot power spray and then hit a few putts. I then get some warm water and use a toothbrush to remove the spray from the face. I tend to think that with my putting stroke style, I really should try and avoid heel strikes, even if they are slight. I don’t think it’s quite compatible with my putting stroke and I wonder if I have a putting stroke issue or a putter fitting issue or both. I still feel like I’m on the right track with the Edel Torque Balanced putter, but the little things like lie, loft, length and grip need to be tweaked.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Devoted Golfer Dr. Rob Neal Interview

Here's a couple of videos of an interview that Devoted Golfer did with the founder of Golf Biodynamics, Dr. Rob Neal.

Dr. Neal has worked with many PGA Tour players and not only studies the golf swing, but short game and putting as well.

Back at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, Dr. Neal did a presentation on the Short Game at Nick Chertock's Open Forum that I found very interesting.  One of the major revelations is that when it comes to short game shots from Tour players, there is no real correlation between how far they carry those shots and the launch and trajectory.  Players tend to have different preferences as to how high they want to hit a certain shots.  One Tour player may prefer to hit a 50 yard carry shot with a much lower launch than another Tour player.  And when it came to carry distance, the biggest correlation was ball speed which translates into club speed. 

I know that Dr. Neal also works with David Orr in the Flatstick Academy and there are two interesting tidbits that they came up (there are countless other pieces of info as well):

1. No two golfers have the same putting stroke.

2.  No golfer can make the same exact putting stroke twice in a row.

As golf instructor Mike Hebron says, 'golf is not a hard game...it's an inconsistent game.'


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Martin Chuck with Pelvic Awareness on GEARS

Here's a video from Tour Striker creator, Martin Chuck, discussing pelvis awareness and how to apply it to your own golf swing using the GEARS computerized system:


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gabe Writer Vlogcast with Andrew Fischer - Episode 1

Here's the debut vlogcast from Gabe Writer with PGA Tour Fitness Coach Andrew Fischer.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lucas Wald with Brandel Chamblee

Here's a video from Lucas Wald showing his work that he did with Brandel Chamblee.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Short Game Practice and Concepts with James Ridyard

Here's a video from short game guru, James Ridyard, showing some practice and short game concepts in action:


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Accelerating Putter with Preston Combs

Here's a video from golf instructor, Preston Combs, discussing the acceleration profile of different golfers with their putting strokes using the SAM Puttlab and the new SAM Puttlab 3D view:


Monday, October 19, 2015

The Search for Flatstick Nirvana - Part VIII (10.19.15)

Part I - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-i.html

Part II - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flat-stick-nirvana-part.html

Part III - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html

Part IV - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_9.html

Part V - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-v.html

Part VI - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html

Part VII - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_12.html

What may seem like downright shilling for his site, I’m genuinely amazed by what I learn each week on David Orr’s Flatstick Academy Web site. While the putting results are still a work in progress, the key term is ‘progress.’ Rome wasn’t built in a day and guys like Jimmy Walker and Aaron Baddeley just didn’t wake up one day with that ability to putt. But, the point of this series of posts is to find that ‘Billy Baroo’ and not only am I improving my putting stroke mechanics, but I’m starting to learn more about finding that putter that will help me best fit a putter to my stroke and allow that putter to become the ‘Billy Baroo’ in my bag.

From my research in statistics on Tour, I’ve found that putting from 3-15 feet matters most. And if you want to refine it even more, putting from 5-15 feet matters the very most. Occasionally you can get that good putter that struggles from 3-5 feet. But, that’s more the exception than the rule.

But what I see out of the best putters is that they tend to show up on the greens that have the lowest make percentages like Pebble Beach and Riviera. Torrey Pines has a low make percentage, but the course is so long that it often times counts out long hitters. However, great putters like Brandt Snedeker and Ben Crane have had success and Tiger has dominated the course (Jason Day won there this past season and he’s an excellent putter as well). And what these courses have in common is more undulated greens.

One of the things that David has discussed on his site is the different kinds of strokes one can employ by how they ‘power’ the putting stroke. I have decided to start using a ‘lead side’ stroke and as David has pointed, it tends to favor making right-to-left breaking putts. There’s a tendency to push the left-to-righters and if a player struggles with the right-to-left breaking putts, it’s likely that it is due to an under-read of the putt. With AimPoint, I don’t worry too much about under-reading a putt.

And having practiced a lot of clock drills, I’ve found that I am more likely to push those left-to-right putts:

The only difference in my clock drill is that I use 10 golf balls instead of 4. It really helps determining the differences in the break.

Well before I got into David’s site, I had felt that the best putters on Tour were the best at making break putts, particularly sidehill and downhill breaking putts. And that’s because the courses like Riviera and Pebble feature a lot of breaking putts.

After reading his articles on the Web site, it has only strengthened my confidence in that belief. It’s very likely for any type of stroke to have a bias to struggle on a certain kind of putt and I think the best putters have figured out how eliminate those biases while the other putters have started to compensate for their inability to make a certain type of breaking putt.

Obviously, I think stroke mechanics and practice are involved. But, I still want to find a putter that will make pushing those left-to-right putts less likely. With the Edel Torque Balanced putter, it’s fairly light (345 grams) it is a blade style putter, but it has the weight removed from the toe:

So I think in general it has features to make it less likely to push the putt. However, I believe that the grip (PURE Grips midsize grip) may be a little too large for my right hand which can cause some pushes.

Another great video from David was posted this past week with regards to putter fitting and the length and lie to fit a putter.

There were 2 things I didn’t know until now:

1. You need to fit for length by physical makeup the golf. Not only by height and wingspan, but also by the anatomy and flexibility of your shoulders, elbows and thumbs.

2. You can have a putter too short for you that causes your arms to be too straight and when your arms are too straight for your physical make, those straight arms can increase tension throughout your arms, shoulders and neck. I was only taught before that having the elbows flexed too much would cause tension and that ‘straight arms’ would reduce tension. But now David is showing that is often not the case.

It’s funny because I can pinpoint a lot of my putting issues to when I started to go with putters that were 34” or shorter and I used to putt better with 35” putters. The ‘straight arms’ putting was all the craze.

In fact, let’s take a look at these incredible putters and their elbow bend in their putting.








It doesn’t mean that the straight arms can’t work as we take a look at some of these great putters:




So, IMO, both styles can work, but the bent arm style is far more prevalent than the straight arm style which is contrary to what many instructors and instruction books are telling us.

What got me was that I never knew that straight arms could cause tension and it would explain my issues with getting yippy once I went to a shorter putter. Fortunately, David shows how we can fit length properly. Unfortunately, my putter is only 34” long and needs to be about 35” long (David showed fitting himself for length and he came out to 34” and he’s only about 5’8” or 5’9” tall). When I started to try and fit myself as he prescribes in the video, I had to stand a little closer to the ball. But once I did, the tension went away in my arms despite having more elbow bend.

So the next steps in finding the Billy Baroo may be getting a slightly smaller grip from the midsize PURE Grip and finding something about 1 inch or so longer.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Kelvin Miyrahia on Matthew Fitzpatrick Golf Swing

Here's a video from Kelvin Miyahira going over the swing from 2015 British Masters Champion, Matthew Fitzpatrick:


Monday, October 12, 2015

The Search for Flatstick Nirvana - Part VII (10.12.15)

I had actually written up this post last week and was scheduled to post it up today, but I started to read some articles and videos on David Orr’s Flatstick Academy (http://flatstickacademy.com) and I believe I’ve made a major breakthrough in my putting.

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not very technical or mechanical when it comes to golf. I’m very feel oriented (as I believe every golfer is) and I like details (which I don’t believe every golf cares for). It’s very important for me to not only figure out what to do going forward, but to determine what I did poorly in the past, what I did well in the past and what I did ‘in between’ in the past and why. When I get all of that information, I start to improve by leaps and bounds and start to ‘own’ what I’m doing. I have hopes that I have finally figured out many of those things I did with my putting stroke in the past after coming across some of the articles on David’s site.

First, let’s take a look at my SAM Puttlab report that I did with John Graham back in January. I was using a custom Edel putter during this time and rarely practiced my putting. This stroke was awful:

At the time, I thought the stroke was awful because it was going left with an open face. But, the stroke is more awful because of other things which I will get to. I will not try to give away what is on David’s Web site, but I learned that this is a similar stroke pattern used by many great putters like Jimmy Walker and Loren Roberts.

Here’s my report in October with the Edel Torque Balanced Putter (which I aimed at address much better).


So, we see a very different putter path, going from 2.1 degrees to the left in January to 1.6 degrees to the right in October. That’s a change of 3.7 degrees in 10 months. The face is now closed as well. The consistency is down a bit when it comes to face impact and putter path from January. Although overall the stroke in October was FAR BETTER (again, overall) than it was in January.

Here’s the overall stroke pattern in January:

The dashed line represents the backstroke. The straight (un-dashed) line is the thru-stroke. As we can see in January, the backstroke is very much going back down the line without much of an arc.

Here’s the stroke from October.

Now we a much bigger arc inward with the follow thru going more down the line or a little outside (inside-to-out). We can also see that the follow thru is shorter. This despite in January I was hitting about 7 foot putts and in October I was hitting about 12-foot putts.

Here was the timing of the stroke back in January:

I feel the key numbers are backswing time and time to impact. That is the time it takes to go from the address position to impact. It depends on who you talk to, but the general consensus is the Tour average is about 1.0 seconds (or 1,000 milliseconds) to go from address to impact.

Here’s the timing of the stroke in October.

As we can see, the stroke gets a little quicker in October by about 45 milliseconds.

But the real key is the acceleration profile.

Here’s a diagram that Erik Barzeski (www.thegolfevolution.com) created a while ago to show what poor versus good versus great acceleration profiles look like:


You can find the rest of the fantastic article by Erik here: http://thesandtrap.com/forums/topic/74295-putting-do-not-accelerate-through-the-ball/

In essence, since we are using a pendulum like motion with the putter and we want to hit up on the ball, the peak speed and acceleration will be at the bottom of the pendulum. And that means that the best acceleration profiles will have the golfer reaching peak speed and acceleration (speed over time) BEFORE impact.

Here’s Loren Roberts’ acceleration profile:

Roberts has a funny stroke because he hits the peak acceleration and speed before impact pretty clearly and then accelerates again well after impact. But that’s because he has a very long and very slow putting stroke. In order to keep the follow thru as long as Roberts does, I believe he has to re-accelerate after impact. Probably tough to do, but all that matters is that he hits peak speed and acceleration prior to impact.

Here is Tiger Woods (from 2007):

Again, peak speed and acceleration prior to impact. And Tiger and Roberts have 2 completely different strokes. Tiger has much more arc and face rotation and is far quicker than Roberts’ stroke.

And here’s Paul Azinger’s:

I believe Azinger was using a belly putter on this stroke.

Here’s my awful stroke in January:


So, I worked on that diligently and later on started working with the Pelz Putting Tutor. And here’s my acceleration profile from October:

This is far better than it was in January. I would label this as somewhere between Barzeski’s ‘poor’ and ‘good.’ Still, it bothered me that I could not get the peak speed and acceleration prior to impact.

That is when I started to read David’s articles on cataloging putting strokes by how the golfer powers the stroke. I feel David’s work is about getting the arc and the face rotation to come close to matching (wider the arc more face rotation is needed) and having compatible biomechanical and neurological pieces to the corresponding arc and face rotation.

What I didn’t know are things like the arc of the backstroke doesn’t have to match the arc of the thru stroke, that there are different ways to reach a ‘great’ acceleration profile (peak speed and acceleration prior to impact) and how different strokes produce different paths, different face angles at impact and different impact dispersion (and different smash factors).

So thru reading the articles and watching the videos on David’s site, I started to piece together what went on:

- When I was a very good putter in college, I utilized a ‘lead side’ stroke that had compatible pieces to it.

- Eventually I started to read too much and listen to too many people and thought my backstroke needed to have more arc (and therefore more face rotation).

- I thought that I needed to get the face angle more square at impact (in January it was 0.5 degrees to the right)

- I then started to use my lead side to make the backstroke and the trail side to make the thru stroke (death to your acceleration profile).

- In January, I started to work on speeding up my backstroke in order to allow ‘gravity to do the work’ which is ill-advised with a lead side stroke

- I then started to use my lead hand to make the backstroke and used the trail arm to make the thru stroke, but over time I was starting to use more of my trail side to make that backstroke (more compatible). This produced a better overall stroke and a better acceleration profile. And the stroke started to resemble what you see out of trail side strokes (cataloged on David’s site).

- The problem now is that I don’t think the trail side stroke is for me. But I have started to develop pieces that work with a trailside stroke. So, I either need to continue to develop those pieces with a trail side stroke or work on the lead side stroke.

For now, I’ve decided to revert back to the lead side stroke. The good thing is now I understand the lead side stroke far better than I ever did even when I executed it very well. I just feel that I was likely a good putter in college because I had a good acceleration profile and trying to re-create a good acceleration profile with a stroke that is the exact opposite of what I used to do when I had a good acceleration profile is likely inadvisable.

So, how does that relate to finding my Billy Baroo?

David talks extensively about putters and their designs which includes things like head and hosel design along with weight and length and I can now see why I prefer a putter that felt heavier the shaft and why I putted well with the Ping B61 (head shape) and the Wilson 8802 (hosel design and shaft to head weight). And why I started putting so well with the Edel Torque Balanced putter. I went decided to switch back to the lead side stroke on Friday night and worked diligently with the Pelz Putting Tutor and on Saturday that was the best I’ve putted since July.

I hope to get another SAM Puttlab report, this time with the lead side stroke up soon.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Search for Flatstick Nirvana - Part VI (10.7.15)

Part I - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-i.html

Part II - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flat-stick-nirvana-part.html

Part III - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html

Part IV - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_9.html

Part V - http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-v.html

I had come across David Orr’s Flatstick Academy Web site thru my interview on Tony Wright’s Podcast (http://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/interview-with-tony-wright.html)

For those that don’t know, the irony of this is that David grew up about 15 minutes from my hometown in New York. At the time, David was playing the Ben Hogan Tour (now the Web.com Tour) and was an excellent ballstriker that struggled badly with the putter. In fact, David gave me a swing lesson when I was in 10th grade (one of only 2 lessons I ever had before I went to college).

Here is the Web site link to the Flatstick Academy. Membership is only $10 a month with no commitment. He updates the site every week with new videos and articles on putting.

I was a bit skeptical of the site in trying to determine what my issues were with putting and how to apply it to my putting. But, I’ve found that in particular the student lesson videos are extremely helpful because there is such a variety of golfers with different putting issues which have different symptoms and different plans for those problems that I started to determine what some of my issues were.

The other thing I really like about the FlatstickAcademy.com is that you can see David’s influence from M.O.R.A.D., Stack and Tilt and The Golfing Machine in the sense how he has cataloged the biomechanics of the putting stroke and it’s not about what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but more about understanding the movements and trying to make biomechanical pieces of the entire putting process compatible.

One theme of David’s work is that we want the arc of the stroke and the face rotation to come close to ‘matching.’ If you have a wide arc, you’ll need more face rotation. If you have a small arc, you’ll need less face rotation and vice versa.

So, if you have a posture like Michelle Wie’s, it is compatible with a smaller arc and therefore less face rotation.

So if one utilizes the Wie stance and had a wider arc, then perhaps there is something they are doing biomechanically that is creating that wider arc such as how their arms are position at address. And I *think* David’s philosophy is to determine if the player needs to either change their arm position to have a narrower arc or change their posture to fit their arm position and arc.

And unlike a lot of other instruction in different areas of the game, David doesn’t have a particular preference. If you want to putt left hand low, so be it. Let’s figure out what the student has to do in order to putt better left hand low. Same with the armlock method, anchoring or whether you want to use a high MOI putter, blade putter, Anser style model, etc.

I do believe in golf that it is a more prudent way to learn by figuring out what the greats had in common. I think too much of swing instruction relies on looking at ‘the Tour average’ or even worse, looking at some player on Tour that ‘looks pretty’ instead of looking at a player that is actually an excellent ballstriker. We see a lot of Stuart Appleby swings on YouTube and he’s more or less a mediocre ballstriker, but we see very few swings of players like Jim Herman, Kevin Chappell and Charles Warren who are far more skilled ballstrikers.

With putting, I think there are FEWER similarities by the legitimately great putters compared to the swing similarities of the legitimately great ballstrikers. Carl Pettersson and Scott McCarron used the broomstick. Crenshaw used a blade with a very wide arc and a large backstroke. Loren Roberts actually cut across his putts (albeit slightly). Brandt Snedeker has a ‘wristy pop-stroke.’ Daniel Summerhays is much more hunched over than Jimmy Walker or Aaron Baddeley who has his forearms much more on plane than Walker. Therefore, I tend to believe it’s more important to understand all of the biomechanics. And David shows his influence from Geoff Mangum as he can thoroughly discuss neuroscience with putting. Combine that with his nearly 25 years of teaching, he actually knows how to teach golfers so he can take his knowledge and apply it to the student so they can implement it into their putting.


With that, I started to make some changes. I felt that I had the following issues with my putting:

1. I didn’t see the lines well and I was worried that my aim, which has usually been awful, was still poor.

2. I felt that I had a small arc type of stroke but had too much face rotation.

3. My backstroke was too slow.

I decided to change the following based on watching David’s videos on the Flatstick Academy:

  • Change my grip in hopes of reducing the amount of face rotation
  • Change the position of my elbows in hopes of increasing the stroke arc a little.
  • Make sure to keep my foot pressure stable and towards the ball of my left foot in hopes of avoiding a ‘cut-across’ stroke.

I felt my backstroke was too slow, but I didn’t know exactly what the timing of the backstroke was, so I wanted to get on a SAM Puttlab to get a confirmation. I then went to see Billy Ore at the PGA Village to get on his SAM Puttlab and see what he thought.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Search For Flatstick Nirvana - Part V (10.6.15)

Part Ihttp://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part-i.html

Part IIhttp://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flat-stick-nirvana-part.html

Part IIIhttp://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part.html

Part IVhttp://3jack.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-search-for-flatstick-nirvana-part_9.html

I had taken a one week vacation and with being swamped with work coming back from vacation, I took a break from The Search for Flatstick Nirvana.

During this time I was at the PGA Tour Superstore trying some putters out while I was awaiting for them to put a new grip on.
  I tried out one particular putter and I was knocking almost everything I look at it with it.  5-footers, 25-footers, even 50-footers. I started to harken back to that day I tried out the Wilson 8802 on the practice green and was making everything with it and decided I had to buy THAT particular putter before somebody else did.  

The new putter? 

The Edel Torque Balanced E-3 model.

 I was actually introduced to the Torque Balanced putter by David Edel when he started to make the DeVincenzo series putter.
The idea is that the ‘face balanced’ putter design is not actually face balanced.  Check out this video discussing the subject.

The SeeMore putters do have toe hang to them, they just get ‘face balanced’ when you put them on plane.
  My guess is that it creates for a putter that fits well with a wider arc and more face rotation.  The Edel Torque Balanced series actually has the opposite of ‘toe hang.’  The putter actually hangs ‘toe up.’

They offer the current Torque Balanced models in one of these 3 designs:

I had only tried the mallet version (E-1) before since I felt my eye was better for the mallet version.  So, I happened to try out the E-3 version (blade) and fell in love with it.  It’s about as solid feeling of a putter as you can find. 
The Edel Torque Balanced putters can also be fit in the same way their custom style putters.  They can fit for aim as they can use one of the 3 head designs, change the sight dots and alignment lines and also offer 3 different shaft offsets.  They also have a black finish if preferred. 
When I brought the putter home and started to use it on the Pelz Putting Tutor I was not only getting it thru the gate far more often, but I went from hitting the left marble when I missed with the Anser style putter to hitting the right marble when I missed with the Edel putter.  I hit 50 putts a piece with my TaylorMade putter, my Ping B61 putter and a Edel Torque Balanced putter thru the Pelz Putting Tutor and here were the results.

Ping B61: 31 out of 50 = 62%

TaylorMade Ghost Daytona: 28 out of 50 = 56%

Edel E-3 Torque Balanced: 44 out of 50 = 88%

So, a massive improvement in launching the ball where I'm aiming which is one of the key 4 skills to putting.  

Have I found that Billy Baroo?  

Stay tuned...