Friday, October 29, 2010

The Taly Mindset

Here's a video with 3Jack Top 50 Instructor, Lynn Blake and creator of the Taly training aid, Taly Williams

While I do not use the Taly anymore, it's probably IMO, the best training aid on the market and in particular is great for beginners/novices and the golfers getting introduced to the FLW at impact.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

9 year old Rory McIlroy Golf Swing

Very Ricky Fowler-ish. While it's very raw, for a kid at 9 years old it's pretty impressive and the changes he's made over time are even more impressive.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trackman Results Analysis 10.26.10

Here’s a look at a golfer’s Trackman numbers with a 6-iron

6 iron Averages
Speed 87.8mph (87.7, 87.2, 87.9, 88.5)
Attack angle -1.1 (-1.4, -0.4, -1.7, -1.0)
Club path -1.1 (-2.4, -2, -0.5,-0.6)
Vertical Swing plane 56.3 (56.6, 60.3, 55.7, 52.7)
Horizontal swing plane -1.8 (-3.3, -2.2, -1.6, -0.2)
Dynamic Loft 23.6 (23.2,22.7,23.4,25)
Face angle 0.0 (-0.9, -1.2, 0.5, 1.5)
Horizontal Launch (-1.3, -1.3, 0.3, 1.4)
Spin Axis (-1.8, 0.7, 0.1, 2.4)
Max height 35.9yrds, 33.1, 34, 38.5
Side (Yrds) 8L 4.4L 3L 6.5R
Distance 162.4 159.9 162 162.5

The general theme is that the golfer hits the ball quite accurately with a tiny fade. Their average face angle is dead square to the target (0.0*), while their average path wound up being -1.1*

But, there are some things that stand out. Mainly the AA (Attack Angle) and Average distance (161.6 yards).

The PGA Tour Average clubhead speed with a 6-iron is 92 mph, with an average carry of 183 yards and an average AA of -4.1* (

So there is a clubhead speed difference of about 4 mph from the average Tour player (92 – 87.8). IIRC, the typical rule of thumb is that every 1 mph in clubhead speed = approximately 2.5 yards of distance. That average Tour clubhead speed (92) and this golfer’s average clubhead speed (87.8) should equate to roughly 10 yards in difference. Instead it is about 18 yards in difference.

That’s where I believe the AA comes into play. The average PGA Tour player has a much steeper AA than this golfer’s average AA. (-4.1 vs. -1.1). This golfer also winds up hitting the ball much higher than the average PGA Tour player. The average PGA Tour player’s 6-iron max height is 30 yards. This golfer’s average ball max height is 35.4 yards, so this golfer is hitting it roughly 15 feet higher than the average PGA Tour golfer. Thus, if this golfer’s AA was more towards the PGA Tour average and that resulted in the max height being more like the PGA Tour average, this golfer would likely hit their 6-iron more like 10 yards short of the PGA Tour average instead of 18 yards shorter.

Of course, there are a myriad of possible reasons, like equipment issues. However, if could be something simple like ball position or something more difficult like flipping. The golfer’s VSP is somewhat flat for the most part, but when they had their most upright VSP (60.3*), that’s when they has the shallowest attack angle. This golfer may have hit that shot thin. Without looking at the golfer’s swing, the golfer may want a bit of a more upright downswing plane and an attack angle that is steeper to get the optimum results.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Short Game Lesson With Shawn Clement

Here's a short game lesson video from 3Jack Top 50 Instructor, Shawn Clement.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

3Jack Swing Update, A Story

The day after my 2009 2nd place finish in the club championship, perhaps the toughest question any golfer can face arose ‘now what?’

I had quit the game for eight years and got back into it on January 2, 2009 and fought and grinded my way from a 5 handicap to a +1.7 that year. That eventually led to that 2nd place finish with rounds of 75-76-75 at Windermere GC and Olde Atlanta Club in the suburbs of Atlanta. The eventual winner is now a mini-tour pro and former D-II Collegiate All-American. The 3rd place finisher is a former mini-tour pro and the 4th place finisher was a former pro who still owns and operates his own golf instructional school.

So there was a bit of a pad on the back for myself finishing 2nd and playing pretty well with this type of competition in 2 rain soaked days and one very nice day. And that was hitting 37/54 GIR and for the life of me not being able to buy a break on the putting green. But the ambiguous question of ‘now what?’ remained.

How good will I get?

Is that the best I can do?

What do I need to do to get better?

What do I need to avoid so I don’t get worse?

And plenty of other self instrospective questions.

Strangely enough, what largely kept me going in a sense is what drove me away from the game for eight years. Back in 1999 I shot the then course record at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club of a 64. But the previous day I had shot an 88 at the same course.

That’s right, a 24 stroke difference in less than 24 hours at the same course.

Most would have probably taken great joy in the achievement alone. But for me it was the every grueling battle of improbable, roller coaster-ish type inconsistent play. And that’s a brutal roller coaster to handle because one minute you feel like an extremely talented player, the next minute you feel like the biggest hack of all time and then the next minute you feel like there’s so much untapped potential.

And the latter drove me away from the game for eight years. I had become disillusioned about the game and in particular my own game as well.

Back in high school I was one of the best junior golfers in the state of New York. Eventually a car accident left me in the hospital for 10 days and when I got back, I had completely ‘lost’ my golf swing. I went from being a very solid ballstriker with a solid overall game, to hitting it sideways…in roughly 10 days.

Eventually it was decided that I needed to get my clubs ‘fitted’ for my swing. I stand at 6’4” tall and had a pretty decent growth spurt from the age of 14-18 and it was deemed that my clubs were just ‘too small for my size.’ That led to me bending my old Ram FX Tour Grind blade 5* upright. That worked for awhile, but my ballstriking got progressively back to its lousy old self.

From there, my college coach more or less demanded that I start playing with cavity back irons. By then I had developed a borderline exceptional short game. I could chip, pitch, flop, blast and putt with about the best of them. Unfortunately, a day of ‘flushing lasers out there’ for me was hitting 13 greens. So my coach said I needed to ‘play for my misses’ and that cavity backs were the answer.

But since they were made out of cast, I couldn’t bend the 5* upright. So instead we put shafts in that were 1” longer than standard and got them 2* upright. And because the shafts were so long, we had to have graphite shafts installed.

In time that led to my swing and ballstriking further dissolving into a mess and I started to believe that the game was mostly about talent because most instructors didn’t know much about mechanics or how to teach them. And that 6’4” golfers were faced with the problem of having to hit more ‘normal’ equipment specifications, which is extremely difficult to do at that height and requires more ‘talent’ than mechanics.

Fast forward to late 2008 and I decided I wanted to get back into the game. It’s a fun game and this time I was bound and determined to really discover how I can create a good golf swing for me to tap into all that potential whether it killed me or not.

And that’s why I kept going when that question ‘what’s next?’ was posed about 1 year ago. Because from January 2009 to October 2009, I discovered a ton of those answers or was headed in the right direction. And probably what was just as exciting to me is when I would get an answer, discover its flaws, and then would learn from that mistake and become more adept at deciphering accurate answers from inaccurate answers.

You see, like most people as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to know myself more and my tendencies and what my reactions will be. I also have gotten better at understanding how I learn things the best. With golf, I realized that I absolutely needed to know the ‘how and why’ instead of just the ‘how.’


Because for me I may learn the how, but eventually I may stop doing the ‘how’ exactly the way it’s supposed to be executed or I may be doing the ‘how’ pretty well, but other things may arise and cause shots to go awry. But if I know the ‘why’ I can better understand the ‘how’ and I can better troubleshoot problems.

I think this is a huge problem with golf instruction across the board…even with TGM Authorized Instructors. There’s a large belief in the golfing community that you don’t need to learn the ‘why’, just the ‘how.’ But my assertion is that idea just leads to more confusion and doesn’t help golfers. I feel more golfers, from a mental standpoint, are more like Hogan than they are like Fred Couples. Sure, it would be nice to just naturally step up there like Freddy and not think and blast a driver 340 down the middle. But the reality is that most golfers need to know the ‘how and why’ of the swing, work at it, troubleshoot it which will add their own elements of the swing, and continue to work at it.

I think the problem is that golfers usually go for ‘tips’ and even lessons and it eventually doesn’t do them any good because they don’t improve and they think that they ‘over-analyzed’ the swing and it didn’t do them any good. The truth is that they really just got bad information and had a poor gameplan to improve their swing.

And that’s why I created this blog, as a place where golfers could hopefully get the accurate ‘why’ and ‘how’ to the golf swing instead of just the ‘how’ and if they got a ‘why’, it would be largely inaccurate.

Eventually this led me to Ted Fort

had worked with a TGM instructor back in college, but he was unwilling to go too much into TGM. And while I liked most of what I understood about TGM (which was little), I didn’t really have an idea how valid it was, but I believed that I should learn it and then I could figure out what parts I liked and didn’t like. And if I decided to look elsewhere for help with my swing, I could use the TGM knowledge to help decipher the quality of that instruction.

One of the many great things about Ted is that in my first lesson with him I told him that I fully intended on understanding the book and was looking for an instructor who wasn’t afraid to go into the terminology and answer questions I had specifically about the book.

Ted eagerly looked forward to it. Although from my experience watching him give lessons, he only gets into specific TGM jargon if the student is looking for it.

Ted’s strengths are how he relates and gets along with people. While I believe it’s incredibly important to understand the physics, geometry and biomechanics of the swing, I believe that golf instruction is a ‘people business’ first and foremost and all of the knowledge of physics, geometry and biomechanics cannot overtake that.

And I mean that Ted is exceptional in the ‘people business’ and is probably in the top 3 that I’ve ever seen. Truth be told, as a Yankee, I’m somewhat averse to southern people. I do have plenty of southern friends, but in general it’s hard for me to relate to southern people because of the culture clash. But Ted is one of those people that relates well with any type of person regardless of where they are from, gender, race, handicap, golf experience, etc.

He’s also excellent a key point of golf instruction that every legitimately good golf instructor *must* be good at….being able to tell when the student does not actually understand the instruction being presented to them.

This is difficult for instructors because a lot of times students will tell you that they understand, but they really do not. But Ted is one of the best at deciphering that and then providing alternative ways to get the student on track.

And true to his word, Ted answered every question I ever had on The Golfing Machine. It probably seems like nothing to him, but I think he would be surprised at how many TGM AI’s are unwilling to answer those questions that students have. Which is really silly because I think the problem that students have is that they don’t know what questions to ask and are often too afraid to ask questions at the risk of coming off impolite or stupid…so if I was an instructor I’d love to answer any questions a student may have.

But after the Club Championship I had a bit of a dilemma in that I was very curious about some of the MORAD golf instruction as well as getting the idea of moving to Florida. Plus, that winter in Atlanta was very cold and we got a ton of rain.

I wound up giving John Dochety (aka Lake1926) a try as he’s a MORAD golf instructor based out of Tullahoma, TN.

Lake gave a fantastic 2-hour lesson that was only $50 per hour. We discussed a lot about the swing in particularly how to better save the right arm, the wrist conditions, shoulder plane in the downswing, etc. And I was hitting the ball better than I had been in the previous few months.

But the issue became that:

1) It was a 3.5 hour drive from Atlanta to Tullahoma, in the very hilly Tennessee mountains.
2) I was contemplating moving to Florida

At that time I was reading a lot of posts from John ‘Lag’ Erickson and his thoughts on the swing and the game of golf.

Typically I would be a bit put off by people who want everything to ‘be like the old days.’ A lot of my feelings are along the lines that guys like Snead and Hogan would readily hit titanium drivers if they were available and that there are some factors that have changed to make golf courses harder these days to offset the changes in equipment which have made the game easier. Plus, the difficulty of the game has its advantages and drawbacks. It certainly does attract people to the game because it’s an ongoing quest for excellence, but it also detracts people from the game because often times the harder the try the worse you can get. So in many senses I’m all for making the game easier to play because if we lose golfers, then we won’t have courses, cool technology, golf industry jobs, etc.

One thing that really appealed to me about Lag’s posts were his thoughts on equipment. In particular favoring muscleback blades over the bigger cavity back irons. Preferring persimmon to titanium. And Lag is the first person to ever tell me that the upright lie angles, lightweight clubs and oversized heads with thicker soles was hazardous to the development of the golf swing and that a big reason why a swing will devolve will be due to just switching from a muscleback blade iron set to cavity back.

At that time I also started reading Michael Lavery’s book ‘Whole Brain Power’, which discussed things like refining your motor skills and Lag’s assertion on equipment made even more sense.

More upright lie angles mean that in order to hit it flush, the downswing plane needs to get steeper and the handle needs to be raised higher. And if you start using more upright lie angles, you’ll just work to incorporate those upright downswing planes and higher handles into your swing.

Thicker soles are there so you can get away with catching some turf earlier than you should. Basically, it’s there to help you not worry about controlling the low point and if you stop having to worry about that, you’ll eventually lose the precision in your low point control. And the same with the larger sweetspots.

I also noticed that lie angles today were much more upright than clubs of yesteryear. And then I recounted about how as a junior golfer I would often switch between blades and cavity backs, but I always remember hitting the blades better than the CB’s (which is why I would often go back to blades) and then I realized the true importance of equipment feedback. And then I remembered just how much my swing eroded as I went to cavity back irons with +1” graphite shafts.

So I joined Lag’s Advanced Ballstriking Modules and thought that if I didn’t like it, I could just quit and not invest too much time or money into it.

I actually started striking the ball quite well for awhile. Especially after Module 2. I remember on Easter of this year when I flushed my 1970 Hogan Bounce Sole 1+ 6-iron something like 30 times in a row on the range. And I’m talking pure flushed. Then I hit the next 50 or so that I either flushed or hit very well and it wasn’t until shot 85 or so that I hit one poorly.

And it showed up in the scores as well, with a 66 at Hamilton Mill GC (very tough course) and a 67 at Olde Atlanta Club (not so tough, but extremely difficult greens to make putts so your ballstriking has to be on to shoot 67) and a 65 at Windermere GC. And all of those courses have slopes in the 140 range.

But eventually I moved to Florida and moved onto Module 3 and I started to struggle a bit. A big part of the problem was the struggles I had with the backswing, getting laid off and that was causing me to come over the top. And since the ABS program has its own set of steps to developing the swing and Module 3 is a very taxing module physically, I was hoping to go back to more of a standard golf instructor-student relationship.

Which eventually led to me to a 1-day clinic with Dan Carraher (iteachgolf)

Dan held a 1-day clinic just outside of Orlando and it was a lot of fun. In fact, he’s holding a 2-day clinic in Orlando on November 6th and 7th along with instructor Nick Starchuk.

In just 1 day I actually learned quite a bit and far more than I ever expected. Things like the left arm and right arm positions at the different spots in the downswing and follow thru and how that effects ball flight. Simple steps on how to fade or draw the ball. Shortening the backswing can lead to more power by staying on plane, etc.

And I noticed a big increase in power, too.

After that club championship that was a big point of emphasis for me because when you’re hitting it about 260-270 off the tee, even if you’re extremely consistent and accurate, you need to be an unbelievable putter (I don’t have those short game skills anymore) in order to keep up with top level amateurs.

I figure at the top amateur level, you need to consistently hit it about 285 off the tee at least and hit your 3-iron on average about 225 yards at the very least because the long par-4’s and long par-3’s will require that you parachute an iron into the green with some spin on it and the hybrid is too risk most of the time or probably won’t get you within 30 feet. So at that level, while I think accuracy and distance control is the most important part of iron play, distance does have it’s importance as well and being able to hit it high with power.

That’s really an endorsement of Dan’s great teaching skills because you will always hear Stack and Tilt critics claim that the S&T swing is not very powerful, but yet I increased power after the clinic. But another endorsement of his teaching is that the reality was that his instruction didn’t ‘feel’ very Stack and Tilt, it just felt more like a very different way at looking at the golf swing (which I feel my blog is about, too).

But the issue here became that Dan’s plan is to hold 1 or 2-day clinics across the country and he would be in Florida about once every 3 months or so. And one of the things I’ve learned and learned to accept is that when I’m learning something new about my swing, I’m better off going about once every 3-4 weeks to start off with and then eventually as I start to make noticeable progress, I can come back less frequently.

I think one of my assets as a student is that I pick up things in general, very quickly. But I need those things to be compartmentalized and prioritized and the 1-day clinic is a bit too much information that I struggle to prioritize.

So that put me with George Hunt out of Orlando.

George is a MORAD instructor out of Rio Pinar CC which is about 10 minutes from where I live. In essence, I got what I wanted…it just took me a year to get there. I got a MORAD based instructor that was a short drive away and I had access to get lessons from for about 1-hour, once every 3-4 weeks to start off with until my swing starts to take more and more shape.

I won’t go into too much detail other than to say that my grip, stance, takeaway, left wrist, etc have all changed in my swing and I’m starting to show flashes of hitting the ball extremely well. In fact, I hit the longest drive since I got back into the game with a 312 yard drive, on an uphill slope at Eastwood GC and a damp fairway from a rain day (no wind as well).

I haven’t put tape of my swing on the blog recently because it is getting darker out earlier now and the picture doesn’t show up well and I also figured it would be neater to see something that was close to the finished product.

But with all of this, I’m afraid that people may misinterpret my thoughts of the quality of these instructors. But I can tell you confidently that not only do I believe they are excellent instructors, but I still talk about the swing with them from time to time and I would still get a lesson from each of them.

However, my main goal was to always know the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of the golf swing and allow that to propel me into better golf and enjoying the game more. There’s only so much you can learn from one person, regardless of how brilliant they are. In the end, it wasn’t about ‘dismissing’ instruction, it’s about reaching the goals that I set out for myself so I wouldn’t get disillusioned and frustrated like I was 9 years ago when I quit the game.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Clubfitting and Waist Bend

Here's an example of a golfer who doesn't benefit from the design of the modern day driver.

Most modern day drivers are 45.0" to 46.5" long. I use a driver that is 45" long, but I am 6'3" tall

The problem with clubs too long is that in this case, they do not allow for the golfer to bend their waist enough.

So why is that an issue?

So when you get too little waist bend, the shoulders will likely turn on too flat of a plane, which then will likely cause an over the top move.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ball Flight Laws and Ball Flight Lies

One of the topics brought up on the forum was the importance of Trackman and is it overused. Or in other words, if you know what causes the ball to fly, why would you really need a Trackman?

As some posters put it, the ball flight will ‘lie’ to the golfer.


Because according to Trackman, an iron shot hit 170 yards and that misses the sweetspot by one dimple will cause the ball to fly off line by 2 yards either way. Meaning that if all things being equal (no wind, golf ball in good shape, etc) and the ball is struck with a 0.0* face and a 0.0* path, if you hit it 1 measly dimple off the sweetspot towards the heel, the ball will fade about 2 yards off line. And off the toe it will draw 2 yards off line. With a driver hit 250 yards long, the ball 1 measly dimple off the sweetspot will fly off line by 10 yards.

Again, that’s just one measly dimple.

And the issue is that nobody can tell if they missed the sweetspot by 1 measly dimple or 2-3 measly dimples off the sweetspot. So you could have a 0* path and face and the ball could miss a few yards left of the target and you might assume that you had a closed face at impact or a path that is a bit inside-to-out…..but the reality is that you took a great swing and you missed it ever so slightly in this game where the margin for error is ridiculously small.

I also think the ability to measure the attack angle is a key measurement that Trackman provides. For starters, I think it’s big for drivers if one can understand how to not hit too far down on the ball and still hit the ball consistently and fairly straight. This is one of the processes that I think Tiger Woods is going thru right now as his attack angle with his driver is being measured at -3* in the Hank Haney days. It’s my contention that his attack angle is becoming more shallow with the driver and that’s why we are starting to see him ‘regain’ his old power off the tee as he continues to work with 3Jack Top 50 Instructor, Sean Foley.

PGA Tour player Kevin Streelman suffered from the ‘hitting down too steep’ affliction as he was measured with a -5* attack angle with his driver when he started working with Trackman. One year later after working with Trackman, his attack angle with the driver got down to -1* and he started hitting the ball 40 yards further and more accurately.

The problem with looking at the ball flight is that it’s often hard to figure out just how steep one hit down on the golf ball. I’ve hit plenty of drivers with a nice trajectory where one swing had me hitting down on the ball and the other hand me hitting up on the ball. But the swing where I was hitting down on the ball winds up creating much spin on the ball and the distance winds up going well shorter than the swing with an upward attack angle.

At the level of a PGA Tour player, they should certainly want access to Trackman for constant help with their swing and staying on top of optimizing their driver. In windier conditions they could use Trackman to figure out what trajectory they want and have the Tour van get them the driver they need.

For the average amateur who is serious about the game, they don’t need as much access to Trackman, but it’s still a very helpful tool to use from time to time.


Monday, October 18, 2010

How the Spine Works with Miyahira

Here's a video by 3Jack Top 50 instructor, Kelvin Miyahira, on how the spine works in the golf swing.


Friday, October 15, 2010

The Perry and Monty Story

A poster over at Brian Manzella’s forum ( asked the question about how much is too much inside-to-out path and too much outside-to-in path?

According to Trackman newsletters, the most inside-to-out path on the PGA Tour is Kenny Perry with a path of +6*. The most outside-to-in path on the PGA Tour is Colin Montgomerie with a path of -6*.

Note that this is the PATH of the club and not the Horizontal Swing Plane aka ‘swinging left’ or ‘swinging right.’ It also doesn’t account for attack angle. We know that attack angles will almost always change from club to club as the longer the club the more shallow the attack angle will likely be. And that plays a big part in how Perry and Monty use these ‘extreme’ paths to play their golf.

First up is Kenny Perry.

If you have ever seen him play, you notice that he hits the ball quite high. You will also hear about how big of a draw he plays, but if you watch him play live, his driver doesn’t have nearly as much draw as it’s hyped to have on TV. You’ll find that a lot in PGA Tour players the first time you ever go to an event, they typically don’t have a ton of bend on their ball flight off the tee.

But when you watch him hit his irons they start to bend the ball flight more the shorter the club gets.

What happens with Perry is interesting as I feel it’s based solely on his attack angles and his ability to get his attack angles to ‘fit’ his Horizontal Swing Plane so he can hit the best shots possible with his swing.

What we know about Perry is he’s one of the longer drivers on the PGA Tour. However, his swing speed is only at 110 mph

That’s a clear indication to me that Perry has an upward attack angle with his driver because his clubhead speed with the driver is a low slower than many golfers on Tour, but he’s still one of the longest hitters on Tour.

What we know about ‘swinging out to the right’ is that it works well with upward attack angles. Why? Because if you have an upward attack angle, your clubhead has already passed the low point.

This means on the downswing your clubhead went downward and rightward, then it hit he low point and started working upward and leftward. So to get that path closer to 0.0* to the target, you need to ‘swing out to the right.’

Remember, a good rule of thumb from Trackman is to get the Horizontal Swing Plane to ‘match’ the attack angle. Meaning that if your attack angle is +3*, then in order to square up the path you need the HSP to be at +3*. That’s why Perry hits the driver relatively straight, his attack angle ‘fits’ his HSP.

But what happens with the irons, particularly those mid-to-short irons, is that he *has to* hit down on the ball with those clubs and that forces the path out more toward +6* and a club like a 9-iron he will have a very noticeable bend to it. Thus his game is a power and accuracy game off the tee and then big bending shots with his irons, but since he can control those shorter clubs easier, he gets around the course with good rounds.

I’ll explain in a bit as to why I think he’s become a better golfer as he’s gotten older.


Monty is pretty much the exact opposite as Perry. Monty was always known for his low cut. In fact, during the ’92 US Open at Pebble, Monty remarked to NBC that people are amazed just how low and how much he cuts the ball.

My guess with Monty is that he has a pretty steep attack angle with the driver. He’s probably in the -3 to -5* range. That makes it so he doesn’t slice the driver off the planet. And in order to hit it accurately, he’ll close the face a bit at impact which also helps de-loft the club. Thus the combination of steep attack angle, closed face at impact and a big move to ‘swing left’ results in those low cuts.

However, Monty was always known for his excellent iron play. Why? Because he has to hit down with his irons and that attack angle makes it so he can better square up the path and hit those irons very straight and accurately.


As both Perry and Monty started to get into their 40’s, Perry became a better and better golfer while Monty’s success started to fade away. Obviously, it’s pretty normal for golfers to follow Monty’s route as they get older. But that still doesn’t explain the success for Kenny Perry.

My belief is that the modern day equipment worked really well for Perry and didn’t work well for Monty and Monty more or less failed to adjust.

What I mean by that is that I believe that Monty has a very steep attack angle with the driver, probably about -4*. One can hit any driver accurately by doing that, but power wise it’s far from optimal.

But back in the days of the smaller metal woods, it was hard for any golfer to consistently hit drivers well if they had a very positive attack angle with the driver. For one, the fear of skying the ball is prevalent with the smaller metal heads. But it’s also very hard to make consistent contact and in the day of the metal woods, mis-hits would often lead to severe results.

So golfers back then couldn’t live with a bomb-n-gouge type game and even the longer hitters that were legit good Tour players were probably hitting their metal woods with an almost ‘flat hit’ (0.0* attack angle).

So while the field could out-drive Monty, the discrepancy wasn’t big enough to counter his superior iron play and short game.

It’s like the article points out about the importance of ballstriking in the 175 yard to 250 yard range. With titanium the fear of skying the ball was almost nil and mis-hits were much more forgiving. So they could outdrive Monty by 30-40 yards on average and have a lot less club into the greens.

OTOH, Perry adjusted extremely well to the titanium driver and could now use that positive attack angle to his advantage as he would hit it past guys with more clubhead speed and would now hit it straighter and more consistently. He still had a sizeable bend with his irons, but since he was able to hit shorter irons into greens he could control that sizeable bend and shoot great scores.

I’d suggest that a golfer probably not go to the extremes that Perry and Monty went to, but if they do or come near it, they need to understand what their attack angle needs to do and what clubs they are likely to hit well and not hit as well.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Urban Golf

Some lighter side of golf stuff.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Right Sided Swing vs. S&T Swing

Here's a video where the author (not me) shows the differences between the Gary Edwin 'Right Sided Swing' and the S&T swing.

I disagree with the author that the Right Side swing maintains a constant axis tilt (they call it 'spine angle') on the downswing. I think it noticeably changes. Not as much as Aaron Baddeley's does, but I don't think the S&T guys would even say Baddeley was the 'model' S&T swing.

One of the issues I don't like about the right sided swing is that it has the feet 'squared in' or the feet are not flared out at address. This makes hip turn harder to accomplish and that is a tremendous source of power in the golf swing.

But, one of Edwin's students is Stuart Appelby, who shot 59 this year and Peter Senior, one of the most underrated great ballstrikers of all time.

I think both the S&T and the Right Sided swing can be very helpful for higher handicappers who don't have a lot of time to overhaul their swing. But we'll have to look into the right sided swing some more before I can make final judgements.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Clubface Control, Shaft Torque & the Flying Wedges

Here's a video about clubface control from 3Jack Top 50 Instructor, Brian Manzella.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

2011 New Driver Technology

Friends of the blog,, with a report on the hot new material in drivers...magnesium.

So What Is The Big Deal About Magnesium?

Well for one it is a very versatile metal for making golf clubs and is super cheap to produce. An entire head can be cast in magnesium in the $4-8 range. Yes…you read that right $4-8 Bucks! Secondly…it is extremely light (about 60% lighter than Titanium). This is very important…because the average head weighs about 200 grams. So if you want to have 30 grams of weights to redistribute around the head like almost every other driver has nowadays…your head will needs to start out weighing 170 grams. This way you have that extra 30 grams to play with. Which can be done…

But if you really want to be able to move the Center of Gravity (CG) around and be able to allow golfers to move the ball almost anywhere they want then Magnesium is the metal to do it with. And that is why this is such a big deal now with the whole Adjustable Weight Technology that is available. I actually had a design 10 years ago that incorporated many of these same adjustable weight technologies that are used today but could not be produced because at that time none of the foundries overseas could make a head light enough to allow all the adjustable weight I had incorporated into the design.

But Magnesium changes all that…because an almost all Magnesium head can get the raw head weight down in the 120-140 gram weight range. Which allows for 60-80 grams of extra weight to play around with. And that amount of weight can actually allow you to move the ball not only left to right but up and down as well. So sorry to tell you…but all those 4 and 8 gram weights on your drivers that golf companies have been telling you can supposedly fix your slice or give you that draw you have always been looking for…really is just a bunch of hogwash.
So some exciting and interesting news for you equipment afficianados out there.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FlightScope News

Since the golf blog has started I've discussed the Trackman launch monitor on several occasions. The big reason for the preference in Trackman over other launch monitors is not only does it have military grade doppler radar technology, but it can accurately measure the Attack Angle, which plays a large part in figuring out what the clubhead path and horizontal swing plane are doing in the swing.

The issue with Trackman is the expense. It costs about $28K with an addition $300 a month maintenance fee.

FlightScope has the same doppler radar technology, but costs only $10K However, the issue with FlightScope has been the accuracy of the data.

For instance, this Michael Jacobs video shows FlightScope measuring swing dimensions that are geometrically impossible.

Jacobs claims that with a 7-iron he has:

-3.3* attack angle
-0.1* Horizontal Swing Plane
-1.6* Swing Path

It's geometrically impossible to hit down with a club and have the direction of the low point area to the right of the actual path. I also find it odd that FlightScope doesn't measure the attack angle with a negative number. It just reads it as 3.3*, instead of -3.3*. Now the other measurements have a negative number associated with them. And one of the problems that FlightScope has had is with reading the attack angles correctly.

Now, if you were to hit a club with a *positive* attack angle of +3.3* and your HSP was at -0.1*, then your path could very well be at -1.6*. But since this is a 7-iron (and it appears that way by the clubhead speed and spin rate), we don't hit up on irons.

However, here's what I've been told recently about FlightScope's continually improving technology.

The new version that they've been using on the Euro. Tour has a camera alignment and runs wireless. It can also be used on the course with the info. being transferred to an Android or I-Phone, no computer needed.

I found out about the angle of attack data and why is sometimes has an occasional anomaly. They've done numerous side-by-side tests and the data is virtually identical, with the new product.

The engineer said that when the Flightscope bounces back bad information, it's a blast of reflective microwaves that bounce back and confuse the system. He said it happens mostly on mats. But, he said when Trackman gets the same data bounced back, it gives no data instead of bad data. He said Flightscope doesn't filter the bad, but you can delete a shot.
So it's a wait and see, but I think the technology is getting there.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mangum and Elk

"Check out the video that Geoff Mangum put up on delivery speed.....I found Geoff on the internet, got him to come to Houston in the off season and help me with my putting......1st time I've ever been in the top 10 in putting on tour in 25 years."—Steve Elkington
Some very exciting news as 3Jack Top 50 Instructor, Geoff Mangum, is coming out with a putting DVD with Steve Elkington.

Why is this exciting?

Because I believe Geoff may be the best putting instructor on the planet (along with Dave Orr, who Geoff taught….and yes, I know Dave will say that Geoff is better than him).

But, take a look at these putting stats from Elk:

Before GM:

Stroke Avg: 70.69 (85th)
GIR: 67.5% (33rd)
Putting: 1.785 (122nd)
Scrambling: 58.1% (99th)
Results: 11/23 cuts (48%), 3 top-25s

After GM:

Stroke Avg: 69.82 (3rd)
GIR: 68.89% (29th)
Putting: 1.762 (44th)
Scrambling: 63.3% (15th)
Results: 14/19 (74%), 3 top-10s and 9 top-25s

Here again is the Delivery Speed video that Geoff shot.


Monday, October 4, 2010

A Look at 2011 Muscleback Irons

Credit to for the pics.