Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finding The Low Point Video

I thought this was a pretty neat video done by PGA professional Todd Dugan


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

3Jack Updated PGA Tour Stat Rankings 6.28.11

Last week's winner, Fredrik Jacobson

Here's a look at last week's top 5 finishers and their standings in the main statistical categories.

Fredrik Jacobson………....103………....9……...131……..23
John Rollins…………….…......8…………...99……...47……..128
Ryan Moore…………...….....50……...…..10……...60……..86
Michael Thompson ……..169……..…..37……...36……..131
James Driscoll………..….....122……..…..90…….179……..1

DZ = Danger Zone
SG = Short GAme

Last week in Connecticut it was wet from the rain so that allowed below average drivers of the golf ball like Jacobson, Thompson and Driscoll to keep the ball in play off the teen and to use their short game to their advantage more.

Here are my picks for this week's AT&T National

Boo Weekley
Nick Watney
Robert Garrigus
JB Holmes
Bo Van Pelt

Value Pick: Chris Couch


1…Bubba Watson
2…Boo Weekley
3…David Toms
4…Heath Slocum
5…John Merrick
6…Hunter Mahan
7…Brandt Jobe
8…John Rollins
9…Bo Van Pelt
10…Chez Reavie
11…Dustin Johnson
12…Graeme McDowell
13…Nick Watney
14…Webb Simpson
15…Gary Woodland
16…Tom Gillis
17…Keegan Bradley
18…J.J. Henry
19…Chris Couch
20…J.B. Holmes

179…Marc Leishman
180…Shaun Micheel
181…Paul Stankowski
182…Martin Piller
183…Derek Lamely
184…Michael Sim
185…Kevin Na
186…Chad Collins
187…Bio Kim
188…Anthony Kim


1…Greg Chalmers
2…Brandt Snedeker
3…Charlie Wi
4…Steve Stricker
5…Luke Donald
6…Kevin Na
7…Lucas Glover
8…Zach Johnson
9…Fredrik Jacobson
10…Ryan Moore
11…Kent Jones
12…Michael Putnam
13…Bryce Molder
14…Aaron Baddeley
15…Henrik Stenson
16…Brian Gay
17…Angel Cabrera
18…Y.E. Yang
19…Padraig Harrington
20…Jason Day

180…Paul Goydos
181…Kris Blanks
182…Jeff Maggert
183…Scott Gutschewski
184…D.J. Trahan
185…Adam Scott
186…Heath Slocum
187…Kyle Stanley
188…Boo Weekley
189…Ernie Els


1…David Toms
2…Phil Mickelson
3…Robert Garrigus
4…Nick Watney
5…Rickie Fowler
6…Padraig Harrington
7…Scott Stallings
8…Dustin Johnson
9…Davis Love III
10…Alex Cejka
11…John Senden
12…Sergio Garcia
13…Boo Weekley
14…Paul Stankowski
15…Peter Tomasulo
16…John Daly
17…Robert Allenby
18…Heath Slocum
19…Jim Furyk
20…Brendan Steele

179…James Driscoll
180…Scott McCarron
181…Greg Chalmers
182…Kevin Kisner
183…Rich Beem
184…John Merrick
185…Charlie Wi
186…Michael Sim
187…Bio Kim
188…Henrik Stenson


1…James Driscoll
2…Jonathan Byrd
3…Steve Flesch
4…Brian Gay
5…Rod Pampling
6…Kevin Sutherland
7…Ricky Barnes
8…D.A. Points
9…Nick Watney
10…Greg Chalmers
11…Bill Haas
12…George McNeill
13…Chris Riley
14…Stewart Cink
15…Rory Sabbatini
16…Bio Kim
17…Michael Bradley
18…Steve Stricker
19…Kevin Na
20…Billy Mayfair

179…David Duval
180…Harrison Frazar
181…Graeme McDowell
182…Sunghoon Kang
183…Alex Prugh
184…Ben Martin
185…Robert Garrigus
186…Henrik Stenson
187…Garrett Willis
188…Billy Horschel


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Patrick Cantlay Golf Swing

Here's the DTL view of American amateur phenom, Patrick Cantalay


Monday, June 27, 2011

A-B-C-D Plane Video

Well done video by friends of the 3Jack Golf Blog, Erik Barzeski and James Hirschfield of Golf Evolution school ( on the D-Plane and geometry of the circle.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Open Rebuttal To Brandel Chamblee

I actually didn’t want to do this because I’m getting tired of repeating the same, boring thing. But once again, Brandel Chamblee has found a way to put down golf instructors with strawman arguments, contradictory statements and fallacies that I could drive a tank thru.

I’ve been here before in a different sport with reporters like Chamblee. Their attitude is that there is ‘no such thing as bad publicity’ (which if you have studied and worked in public relations and advertising like I have, you would know that is not true). So what happens is instead of the Chamblee-esque reporter or analyst taking the time to make their arguments factual and stronger, they just keep repeating these same inflammatory half-cocked arguments because it suits them well.

Unfortunately, The Golf Channel is just like every other media outlet these days in that their only concern is the bottom line…in this case, TV Ratings and Web Clicks. Those annoying and pesky things like journalistic integrity take a backseat. So as long as we keep arguing with Chamblee and paying attention to him, he’ll probably wind up getting a pay raise out of the entire ordeal.

With that, this is my last argument against Chamblee. I’d like to think that I don’t generally suffer fools too kindly. After this, he can freely make an ass out of himself as he deems fit.

This is coming from the GOLF Magazine Article ‘Plane Truth: Rory McIlroy’s Swing is Similar to Sam Snead’s’,28136,2079371,00.html

Just for a comparison, here is Rory’s swing and Sam’s Swing on video.

Chamblee sez:

Rory McIlroy’s swing -- a combination of perfect positions, tempo and balance -- makes comparisons with the great Sam Snead inevitable.
Well, wait a second Brandel. You said in December 7, 2010 interview with GOLF Magazine, the following:

‘When you learn the swing watching and obsessing over videotape, you become fixated on your flaws, on perfection. Well, you cannot obtain perfection in the golf swing.’,28136,2033769-2,00.html#ixzz1Q6PnRwyj

So apparently in the course of 7 months you’ve gone from ‘you cannot obtain perfection in the golf swing’ to discussing how Rory McIlroy has a ‘combination of perfect positions, tempo and balance.’

Sadly, it took me all of the first sentence to point out that contradiction.
Meanwhile, McIlroy’s surrounded by technique-addicted golfers who have been stack-and-tilted, golf-machined and one-planed to death. Rory (below) is dismissed as a natural by those who think that the swing should be more complicated. Teachers who preach a series of static positions over a fluid motion and scoff at the word fundamentals are the root of the problem. Until 30 years ago golf was taught by former Tour players
First off, the ‘one planed to death’ swing you scoff at is prominently being taught by Jim Hardy, a former PGA Tour player. And as you know, Bobby Clampett is a former Tour player who is currently an Authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine and grew up learning TGM from his mentor, Ben Doyle.

Now, I do not know of any one plane golf instructors, stack and tilt instructors or The Golfing Machine instructors who by and large dismiss Rory’s swing mechanics. I would recommend that if you want to be taken with more than a grain of salt, you cite examples of this. My guess is that you cannot.

But, I do know that Harvey Penick never played on the PGA Tour. Neither has Jim Flick or Jimmy Ballard or Jack Lumpkin or Davis Love, Jr. and many others.

This is not an attempt to promote or knock a certain teacher or teaching philosophy, but to show that your diatribe is woefully inaccurate. Flick, Love, Ballard and Lumpkin were very prominent instructors on the PGA Tour over 30 years ago, yet have no actual PGA Tour experience. Somebody like Jim Hardy and Bobby Clampett, along with others like Mac.O.Grady, Grant Waite and others have plenty of experience combined with PGA Tour victories and they teach swing philosophies and theories that you criticize.

Your comments have been revisionist history, at best.
who talked about grip and grip pressure, stance, posture, ball position, tempo, rhythm and the waggle. These are the fundamentals.
Says who?

That statement is presented as fact when it’s merely your opinion.

My opinion is that for something to be a fundamental, it should be uniform in nature.

Here’s a list of 10 all-time great ballstrikers in golfing history

Jack Nicklaus
Ben Hogan
Sam Snead
George Knudson
Moe Norman
Nick Price
Lee Trevino
Johnny Miller
Peter Thomson

There is nothing uniform between that small selection of great ballstrikers when it comes to grip, grip pressure, stance, posture, ball position, tempo, rhythm and the waggle.

Trevino has a far stronger grip than Hogan did. Hogan and Price’s tempo was far faster than Nicklaus’ and Thomson’s. Moe had a swing wildly different from all of these players. Snead gripped it somewhat loosely whereas Moe (and Tiger under Butch Harmon) claimed they gripped it rather hard. I could go on and on, but you should get the point.

My point about this is that if there is such a wide ranging variation in these parts of the swing, how can a golfer tell whether or not that these fundamentals are in tact?

If the grip was truly a fundamental, then who is to say that Paul Azinger (very strong grip) or Ben Hogan (weak grip) or Moe (who used a 10-finger grip) or Nicklaus (who used an interlocking grip) have that fundamental down pat? Or that they don’t have that fundamental down pat.

My guess is that had a young Nick Price coming to Brandel Chamblee for swing advice years ago, you would’ve told him he was swinging too fast. Why? Because Rory has ‘perfect tempo’ and Nick Price’s tempo is way, way faster than Rory’s. So was Ben Hogan’s.

And what in the world does the waggle have to do with hitting a golf ball? Tiger at his ballstriking peak barely even made a waggle and the same goes for Rory. But, what does the waggle have to do with hitting the ball. You simply do not hit the ball with your waggle unless you do it by accident.
Recently I read a blog by a teacher who said that I was reaching when I used the word fundamentals, to which I say he is reaching if he doesn’t
I would have to read the blog in question. I will say that as I have pointed out, there are some flaws into thinking that the parts of the swing you listed are ‘the’ fundamentals of a golf swing. I think it speaks volumes that I can state my opinion and back it up with detailed reasoning and you apparently state your opinion as fact with, well…no facts or reasoning.
What makes Rory’s swing perfect is not the positions he hits, but an approach that allows him to achieve those positions. His posture is relaxed and poised for athletic movement.
If Rory’s swing is like Snead’s swing, then why don’t they have anywhere near the same type of posture at address?

Was Snead’s posture not relaxed?

Was Snead’s posture not ‘poised for athletic movement?’

They are clearly different.

And I would be willing to bet that if I hit my local driving range that after a few hours I could find a golfer with almost the same posture as Rory’s and is a double digit handicapper.
By comparison, his fellow competitors look as if they are trying to achieve prescribed angles at address and straining to do so. Rory’s grip is perfect, but the lack of tension is the best element, because it allows him to hinge the club perfectly and unhinge it properly.

1. Let me remind you that less than a year ago you stated ‘you cannot obtain perfection in the golf swing

2. What constitutes a ‘perfect grip?’ Seriously, I would love to know so I can add it to my own swing.

3. If Rory’s grip is perfect, then how did golfers like Hogan, Moe, Trevino, etc. get away with imperfect grips?

Some will use his swing as a model and show their students the positions he gets in and make it a goal to copy the original, but the genius of Rory’s swing is its simplicity. Simplicity that’s born out of fundamentals, which sadly are considered antiquated in today’s world.
What makes his swing ‘simplistic’, Brandel. You’re expecting the audience to just take what you say at face value. Meanwhile, you’re giving a thumbnail sketch of those who disagree with your beliefs towards the golf swing.

I know that many of your critics have the exact or similar belief that the fundamentals of the golf swing are:

1. Clubface control
2. Clubhead Path control
3. Low Point Control
4. Effectively and Efficiently Pivoting the body

Sure, there are wide ranges of different clubface and clubhead path angles. Wide ranges of low point positions and different ways the great ballstrikers pivot their body. But, control can be measured by consistency and getting the clubface, path and low point where the golfer wants it on any given shot. Furthermore, it can actually be measured by devices like Trackman.

You see, it’s not that I disagree with the fundamentals of a golf swing being important…I just disagree with what you define as the fundamentals of the golf swing. And I’m more able (and more willing) to articulate the fundamentals and why I believe they are the fundamentals to the swing compared to you where you seem to want every golfer to just take your word for it because you played on the PGA Tour.

But, you lack credibility when you come up with statements like ‘the game was taught by Tour players until 30 years ago’…which is a barefaced fallacy…and that the swing philosophies you criticize are actually being taught and even created by former PGA Tour players (some of whom had more success than you ever had on Tour).

If the viewer/reader finds even the most benign statements to be false, how can they take any of your opinions which you represent as facts, seriously?


Thursday, June 23, 2011

What's Happened to Top American Golfers?

The most recent question being asked in the golf world is ‘what has happened to American golf?’ This has become the hot topic since this was the 5th major championship in a row without an American winner…a first in golf history. Also, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell are back-to-back European winners of the US Open. Before McDowell’s victory, it had been 30 years since a European player had won the US Open.

There seems to be the theories that college golf, the turf and different styles of courses the Euros play and the friendship and mentoring that some European players do for younger European players is the reason. But, I don’t buy that because those things have been going on for decades and it’s only been recently since the international players have dominated the Americans. I don’t think those things finally reared their ugly heads, but I think some things that have changed quite a bit over the last 15 years have now finally reared its ugly head on American golf.

College golf in itself is not the issue. If it was, it wouldn’t explain why golfers like Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell and others have had success. And the reality is that most good college programs have coaches who have been with the team for 20+ years or have bounced around a tad on the college scene for about 20+ years. Reason being is that if the pay is decent enough, being a college coach is a good way to make a living.

Men’s college golf offers 5 full scholarships per team (for D-I golf programs). They typically have 10 players on a team, so each player gets a 50% scholarship. From there, each player typically gets some free financial aid which will come out to about 2/3rd of their tuition paid for. For the American golfer, typically that’s very affordable. For the international golfer, that’s problematic because they have to uproot their entire life to the United States. So not only is it often times not affordable, but there is a fear of becoming homesick as well. But, for the most part if the International Golfer can afford the cost to play college golf, they will play college golf if they are offered the scholarship.

What most people don’t understand is that about 95% of the college players have their own personal swing coach who is not the college golf coach. The college golf coach is more of an organizer and a coach who makes sure the players are following NCAA rules, preparing for the summer golf and trying to direct their careers with the team. If you get a really good coach, he’s there for the player on an emotional level and can help them mature as a person and a player over time.

So, if this doesn’t dispel the myth that ‘college golf is ruining American golfers’, I’m not sure what will.

However, that doesn’t mean that college golf is off the hook entirely. While I think college golf does a decent enough job of developing golfers, it tends to develop the ‘wrong players.’ In other words, I feel it does not recruit the best pool of players possible.

Mainly this is because that collegiate recruiting comes down to two main factors:

1. AJGA/IJGT playing resume
2. Swing coach recommendation.

And the players that can get those working for them are usually from wealthy families or from a warm weather climate.

A player who can play in almost every junior ‘tour’ event and major junior tournament may have a high stroke average. But, they can use the law of averages and have a few top 10’s and a couple of top 25’s. Add that to their playing resume and at least draw some good interest from mid-level Division 1 programs. Meanwhile, the golfer who lives in North Dakota and dominates his high school state championship and everything he plays in, but can’t make it to AJGA events, may be lucky to land a D-II scholarship.

Of course, this stuff was around when I was a junior golfer. But before that, one could be like that North Dakota player and be much more likely to land a scholarship. In fact, these days if a player doesn’t make it to AJGA/IJGT events it comes off to college coaches like they are not serious enough about their game. Which is a shame because often times it’s a case of a talented golfer who cannot afford to make it.

The same goes with the swing coach. And quite frankly, parents who are paying $40-$50K a year for their kid to attend a Hank Haney or David Leadbetter ‘School of Golf’, they are expecting…come hell or high water…that their child will wind up with a D-I scholarship.

Essentially, the recruiting game for American kids tends to be more about wealth and where they are located that purely finding the most talented players possible. I know the college golf coaches will say that they are on a limited budget and I agree with them on that point. It’s not like football or basketball where they have huge recruiting budges and coaches and assistants can scour the country for diamonds in the rough. However, when it comes to recruiting I think the less than prestigious programs have taken too easy of a path and that’s why they can never become substantially better over time because they are more or less waiting for a hidden gem to fall in their lap instead of using some alternative methods of discovering those diamonds in the rough.


I took a look at the world golf rankings and found that the top 10 ranked Americans had an average age of 35 years old. The average top 10 Euros was at 31 years old.

Delving a bit further I noticed that the Americans were far entirely more likely to make major swing changes throughout their career whereas the international players almost exclusively did not make any noticeable swing changes.

Not only that, the American golfers on Tour tend to gravitate towards 4 instructors (or their disciples)

1. Butch Harmon
2. David Leadbetter
3. Hank Haney
4. Jim McLean

Let’s call a spade a spade, I do not think that highly of the teaching philosophies of those instructors listed. However, that does not mean that I think there are not a lot of mediocre method instructors outside the United States and that top International players are avoiding these instructors.

But where I see the difference is that the International players tend to seek a much wider ranging pool of instructors. Outside of Pete Cowen, who has had nowhere near the amount of Tour players see him as the instructors listed above, the International stars have swing instructors of all types, methods and systems.

What I believe happens is that once a teacher develops enough popularity, they will likely find themselves teaching in the States. And what happens is because the teacher is supposed to be the best or the next big thing, American golfers flock to that teacher. The juniors seek them out so they can get a golf scholarship in college. The mini-tour players seek them out so they can make the PGA Tour. And the PGA Tour player seeks them out to take their game to the next level.

And it doesn’t make a difference how good the teacher actually is, just as long as they are perceived to be a world class instructor, denizens of American golfers will seek out their service.

So what happens is if a teacher who is more or less a so-so method instructor who has had some success with a couple of players all of the sudden becomes extremely popular, they eventually find themselves in America where they can ruin American golfer’s swings and the European golfers can’t afford to see them.

It’s not that method instruction never works. It certainly can and I would imagine that for at least our generation, the top 20 golfers in the world will be predominantly taught by a method instructor of their choice. But the difference is that because the Europeans utilize a wider range of method instructors, the chances are better that they will find the method teacher that fits them better than the American golfer who is basically choosing from 4 methods.

Also, when the teacher becomes popular enough, their instruction becomes mass produced and it loses some of its luster as it doesn’t quite translate as well to ‘certified instructors.’ I’m pretty positive that each of the 4 instructors I have listed have big-time agencies that have campaigns geared around them and their ‘brand’ and thus the focus shifts away from being on the leading edge of instruction to brand development and marketing. This just isn’t nearly the same over in the international countries.

I also don’t like how the current PGA Tour system is setup as well. It allows the aging veteran who is just good enough to make cuts at the big events, but nowhere near good enough to be a contender and really has reached their ceiling as a golfer to keep their Tour card while the young, budding golfer has to actually play better because they are playing smaller purse events. I think they need to level the playing field for the young budding players like Kevin Chappell, Justin Hicks, Scott Stallings and Jamie Lovemarks so they have a better chance to possibly develop into superstars. Don’t get me wrong, I understand a golfer like Billy Mayfair qualified thru Q-School this year. He should be on a more level playing field as well. But most Q-school qualifiers and Nationwide qualifiers are in their 20’s and they have wind up having to out-perform veteran performers with no upside if they want to keep their Tour card. And it’s not good for the PGA Tour or for American golf.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3Jack Updated PGA Tour Stat Rankings 6.21.11

Saw the trailer for the movie ‘Moneyball’ last week.

The movie is based on the book ‘Moneyball’ written by Michael Lewis. Moneyball is about how Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane utilized detailed and advanced statistics instead of conventional scouting wisdom to develop his Oakland A’s squads. In baseball a team can have an unlimited payroll (although there is a tax added to that payroll if it goes over a certain amount). So teams like the Red Sox can have a $120 million payroll. But, teams like the A’s who are in a small market (and quite frankly, have owners who want to keep the revenues for themselves), may have a payroll of only $50 million. In baseball in particular, while it’s a team sport…if one can buy truly the best players, they are likely to put forth the best team.

Since Beane was only afforded a very small payroll by baseball standards, he needed to come up with alternative ways to find players that were very productive, but the team could afford. Thus, SABRmetrics (which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research) comes into the fold.

As shown in the trailer, the character played by Jonah Hill (in real life, Peter Podestra), tells Beane that you’re looking to buy runs…not players. What they really don’t go into is that the big factor that contributes to runs in baseball is what they call ‘on base percentage.’ Furthermore, on base percentage at the time Beane was taking over the A’s was greatly undervalued by the entire league. Obviously a player like Albert Pujols, who commands a huge salary, will have a high on base percentage because he hits for a high average and for power. Between those two he will also force a lot of walks and get on base a high percentage of the time. But, the A’s could never afford a player like Pujols. Instead, they would go after journeymen like Scott Hatteberg who had moderate power and may bat about .270 or so, but they have a ‘good eye’ and draw a ton of walks and may get their on base percentage up to .400 or so, which is superb. And ‘Moneyball’ revolved around getting a lot of players like that. For the rest of Moneyball, I recommend getting the book or checking out the Wikipedia page on it

So, how does that apply to golf? The golf version of ‘Moneyball’ is about trying to gain strokes and to prevent strokes lost. In fact, it’s really more about not losing strokes than anything. And whereas On Base Percentage is the biggest factor towards run scored, my statistical research shows me that Danger Zone play is the biggest factor towards strokes lost. And the other stats like Putts Gained, Advanced Total Driving and Adjusted Short Game are other factors. However, like On Base Percentage 10 years ago when Beane started out with the A’s…Danger Zone play is very undervalued by golfers all across the board. Mainly because there’s a chance that they may only hit a club that they use in the Danger Zone, once a round. For instance, my typical ‘Danger Zone’ clubs are my 3 iron (goes about 220 yards) thru my 6-iron (goes about 180 yards). I may play a course where I almost never use my 3-iron and may hit my 4-iron once on a par-3, my 5-iron once on a par-4, and my 6-iron twice…one time on a par-3 and one time on a par-4.

Conventional wisdom will have golfers warming up with a wedge, then hitting a ton of 7-irons, then a few 5-irons, then hitting a bunch of drivers. Why? ‘I may use the 4-iron once today.’ But that one time you use the 4-iron could cause the golfer to lose 2 strokes, easily. Or that 5-iron you hit and found the green but was 50 feet away and you 3-putted from wasn’t really a putting issue, it was a ballstriking issue. Hit that 5-iron to 30 feet and now a 2-putt is much easier. Hit a really great one to 10 feet and make the putt, now you’re well ahead of where most golfers are.

Anyway, here are my top picks for this week.

Hunter Mahan
Bubba Watson
JB Holmes
Chris Couch
Kyle Stanley

Value Pick: Scott Stallings

Advanced Total Driving

1…Bubba Watson
2…Boo Weekley
3…David Toms
4…Hunter Mahan
5…Chez Reavie
6…Heath Slocum
7…Dustin Johnson
8…Graeme McDowell
9…John Merrick
10…Bo Van Pelt
11…Brandt Jobe
12…Tom Gillis
13…Keegan Bradley
14…Gary Woodland
15…Nick Watney
16…John Rollins
17…Bill Haas
18…Justin Hicks
19…J.J. Henry
20…Webb Simpson

176…Kevin Kisner
177…Shaun Micheel
178…Martin Piller
179…Derek Lamely
180…Paul Stankowski
181…Kevin Na
182…Michael Sim
183…Chad Collins
184…Bio Kim
185…Anthony Kim

Adjusted Danger Zone Ranking

1…Phil Mickelson
2…David Toms
3…Robert Garrigus
4…Scott Stallings
5…Rickie Fowler
6…Padraig Harrington
7…Dustin Johnson
8…Nick Watney
9…Davis Love III
10…Alex Cejka
11…John Senden
12…Sergio Garcia
13…Boo Weekley
14…Brendan Steele
15…Peter Tomasulo
16…Heath Slocum
17…Robert Allenby
18…Chris Kirk
19…Charley Hoffman
20…Brandt Snedeker

176…Scott McCarron
177…Greg Chalmers
178…James Driscoll
179…Kevin Kisner
180…Rich Beem
181…Charlie Wi
182…John Merrick
183…Bio Kim
184…Michael Sim
185…Henrik Stenson

Adjusted Short Game (0-20 yards)

1…James Driscoll
2…Jonathan Byrd
3…Brian Gay
4…Ben Crane
5…Steve Flesch
6…Michael Bradley
7…Ricky Barnes
8…Rod Pampling
9…Kevin Sutherland
10…D.A. Points
11…Aaron Baddeley
12…Nick Watney
13…Bill Haas
14…George McNeill
15…Scott Gutschewski
16…Stewart Cink
17…Greg Chalmers
18…Chris Riley
19…Rory Sabbatini
20…Steve Stricker

176…Ben Martin
177…David Duval
178…Harrison Frazar
179…Graeme McDowell
180…Sunghoon Kang
181…Alex Prugh
182…Robert Garrigus
183…Henrik Stenson
184…Garrett Willis
185…Billy Horschel


1…Greg Chalmers
2…Charlie Wi
3…Brandt Snedeker
4…Lucas Glover
5…Steve Stricker
6…Luke Donald
7…Michael Putnam
8…Zach Johnson
9…Kevin Na
10…Kent Jones
11…Padraig Harrington
12…Henrik Stenson
13…Ryan Moore
14…Brian Gay
15…Angel Cabrera
16…Nick Watney
17…Vaughn Taylor
18…Y.E. Yang
19…Ben Martin
20…David Toms

178…Kris Blanks
179…Paul Goydos
180…Scott Gutschewski
181…Jeff Maggert
182…Kyle Stanley
183…Adam Scott
184…D.J. Trahan
185…Heath Slocum
186…Boo Weekley


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Winner vs. A Loser

Consider this video by 2011 US Open Champion, Rory McIlroy, after he lost his 54 hole lead at the Masters a few months ago.

Now, consider this video by Lebron James after his Miami Heat team lost the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

When I first watched the Lebron James video, it angered me for all of 5 minutes. But, after that I realized something about that video that subsided my anger towards James completely.

Lebron James is a loser.

Ironically, when I saw the video I thought about Rory’s interview after blowing a giant lead at the Masters. How Rory handled the meltdown at Augusta with class and how that was a far cry from the way Lebron handled the loss against Dallas.

You see, both Lebron and Rory have a big facet of their lives in common. Both are supposed to be the ‘next big thing.’ Lebron is supposed to be the heir apparent to Michael Jordan. Rory is supposed to be the heir apparent to Tiger.

But, it’s apparent that is where the similarities stop.

It’s really discouraging to see an athlete like Lebron take defeat in such an immature fashion. Jordan was known as the guy who couldn’t win it all. Many said that Kobe Bryant couldn’t win without Shaquille O’Neal. Other sports had these types of players like Peyton Manning and Steve Walsh in the NFL and Mike Schmidt and Albert Pujols in baseball.

But, there was a discernable difference between those players and Lebron. When they were criticized for not being able to ‘win the big one’, their replies were either along the lines of ‘I will keep working at it and grow from this’ or ‘How dare you judge my greatness and I will prove to you just how great I am when I do win the big one in the future.’

You see, that’s how winners think. And that’s how Rory thought after his meltdown at Augusta this year. Instead, Lebron thinks that he can win a consolation prize by having what he perceives as a better life than the very people who pay his salary. There was no ‘hopefully this will build some character’ and ‘I will learn from this.’ More or less it was a ‘I make more money than you do so I must have a better life.’

Thankfully, Rory reaffirmed my thoughts about him and his attitude. And now he has a US Open title to his credit…and the same amount of NBA Championship rings as Lebron does.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Robert Rock Golf Swing

If you follow the blog, you might remember Robert Rock...who won my 2010 3Jack Awards for best golf swing on YouTube.

Well, he won the Italian Open last week. He also played Congressional blind on Thursday and shot a nifty -1 under par.



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Laid Off or Across The Line

Here's a video by 3Jack Golf Blog Top 20 Putting/Short Game Instructor, Shawn Clement, on being 'laid off' or 'across the line' in the golf swing.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thoughts on Tweaking My Approach Shot Strategy

This past Sunday I played Rio Pinar Country Club and shot 73 (+1) and 71 (-1) in 36 holes of golf. On the first round I only had 27 putts. The second round I had 31 putts. Goes to show the importance of ballstriking over putting.

However, it’s still disconcerting because if you want to go low, you have to combine good ballstriking with good putting. That’s unless you impart some phenomenal ballstriking and you’re left with tap ins. Or if you are JB Holmes long (who is currently leading the Tour by 7 freaking yards in driving distance) and you just happen to find fairways that day and just dominate the par-5’s and get some help on the rest of the holes. But for the common golfer, even the Tour professional, it’s:

Good Ballstriking + Good Putting = Going Low

Thus, shooting 73 and only having 27 putts really meant that my ballstriking was off. Which was indeed true. However, it wasn’t all that bad as I did hit 11 greens (which ain’t Hogan in ’53 by any stretch, but it’s not awful either).

I’m thinking that my golf strategy could use some tweaking. Remember, for a golfer of my caliber, playing the course lengths that I play and hitting it as far as I do, I separate each approach shot into 3 different zones:

Birdie Zone= 110 yards and in on par-4’s and par-3’s, 60 yards in on par-5’s

Safe Zone = 111-174 yards on par-4’s and par-3’s, 61-174 yards on par-5’s

Danger Zone = 175-225 yards

For those who don’t recall, my main strategy on the Danger Zone approach shots is what I call ‘The Watson Strategy.’ Tom Watson said on longer iron shots he just focused on hitting the ball on the sweetspot and just finding the green. I actually still find this to be a very good strategy because it’s so easy to miss the green on a Danger Zone shot. Furthermore, it’s very easy to miss the green and leave yourself in a bad position when you hit from the Danger Zone.

My belief with ‘just find the green’ is that you want to generally find the easiest spot to hit…which is usually the middle of the green. Occasionally there will be a green where say the left side of the green is very big and easy to find and the right side of the green is very small, like #17 at North Shore GC.

It’s important to understand a green like that. However, those types of greens are more of the exception than the rule. So in general, on Danger Zone shots we probably want to aim at the middle of the green.

I also recommend that we *consider* the middle of the green from a distance standpoint as well. Meaning, if we have a back cut pin that says we are 190 to the pin, but it’s 175 to the middle of the green, we should *consider* playing to the middle. So that may mean taking 1 less club than the actual yardage to the pin…just so we can find the green. The same applies if the pin is cut up front.

However, the key word here is *consider.*

We have to judge what our chip/pitch will be if we miss short or long.

#17 at North Shore is a great example. We have a very average chance of getting up and down if we miss short. However, the hazard is there and we don’t have much room for error. Missing long will make for a difficult up-n-down.

So, we really need to aim for the middle of the green. If the pin position is at #1, we really need to play for the yardage on pin position #4 (you’ll see the pin positions on the top left corner of the yardage book overview). And the same if the pin position is at #2, we want to play for the yardage at the #4 position. That way if he flush one, we won’t go too long and if we miss it, we have a good chance at clearing the hazard.

However, if the pin is cut in the back and missing long is not that difficult of an up and down or if you miss pin-high but right or left is not that difficult of an up and down, take the club you need for that yardage.


Generally, I aim at the flag stick in the Birdie Zone. Although I think I still needed to aim at it even more often than I did. My thoughts on the Safe Zone were to consider leaving myself with an uphill putt.

I do believe this actually worked. I was able to score some rounds in the 60’s, despite hitting 12 or so greens. However, I think there is probably an even better way.

I think in the Safe Zone I need to aim at more flagsticks. The reason being is that it’s too difficult to pinpoint uphill and downhill putts from that distance. And here’s a graph from 3Jack Top 20 Putting/Short Game Instructor, John Graham, showing the % of putts made on average by the PGA Tour pros.


This past Monday on The Big Break, Petey and Justin were in an elimination. Essentially, Petey had an 8 foot uphill putt. Justin had a 13 foot downhill putt. Petey had to decide who would putt. Whoever makes the putt, wins. If they miss, they lose.

Petey chose to have Justin putt. The hosts and the other participants, Russell and Robert (and probably Justin) thought Petey made a bad decision. But I think he made the right choice.

As we can see from the chart, the PGA Tour average from 5 to 10 feet is 55%. But from 10-15 feet it is 30%. Also, according to Mark Sweeney and David Orr, their studies show that golfers make more uphill putts than they do downhill putts. So the odds of making an uphill putt from 8 feet is probably a bit higher and conversely, the odds of making a downhill putt from 13 feet are a bit lower.

Let’s say those odds increase and decrease by 5%. That would putt Petey at 60% and Justin at 25% chance of making their putts. To me, it’s like saying this….Petey could take choice A of having a 60% chance of winning or choice B of having a 75% chance of winning. He chose B. He played the odds correctly. And Justin missed his putt and Petey won.

Where this all ties into is on the Safe Zone approach shot. Odds are that I’m not going to be able to pin point a shot from that distance and leave myself with an uphill putt. So if I can, shoot at the flag. That is unless there’s too good of a chance of leaving myself with too difficult of an up and down. If I can hit some shots to 5 -10 feet, I’ll take my chances on those downhill putts. And I should come away with par. Sure, I’d love to have a 7 foot uphill putt over a 5 foot downhill putt. But, it’s not that easy from that distance.


I think this is still a good idea. I also think that this is very good on 3-5 foot putts. And where do I get most of my 3-5 foot putts from? Chips, pitches, flops, lobs and bunker shots.

So my feeling (at the moment) is that if I’m going to consider leaving myself with an uphill putt, do it on those shots. The Rule of 12 chipping method is a good example. Here’s 3Jack Top 50 Swing and Top 20 Short Game Instructor Brian Manzella, showing how that is done.

Let’s say I’m in between an 8 iron and a 9 iron according to the Rule of 12. I should consider the club that will likely leave me with a uphill putt.

I just think that typically when I miss 3-5 foot putts, it’s usually downhill putts that don’t roll quite like I expect to. Mainly because the ball is rolling so slow and they are now at the mercy of the ‘Wobble Effect’ and things like spike marks and indentations on the green.


The key with all of this strategy talk, whether it be on the approach shot or the tee shot, is to think…from a strategic standpoint…1 shot ahead. You want to keep your swing thoughts with the shot at hand. But you also want to think, strategically, 1 shot head. That will allow you to have easier shots and put you in a better opportunity to score.

So, my general strategy now is:

1. Danger Zone = just hit it solid and just find the green.

2. Safe Zone/Birdie Zone = go for the pin, but determine your chances of getting up and down if you miss short, long, right or left.

3. Shots Around the Green = consider leaving yourself with an uphill putt


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Miura K-Grind Wedge Review

I don’t do a lot of equipment reviews because I tend to think that equipment has such varying opinions that I’m not sure my reviews would help. However, I do think there is a club that a lot of golfers should try and demo.

I purchased the Miura K-Grind wedge this past week and have practiced with it for almost a week now and logged in 54 holes of golf with it.

I’ve had some keen interest in Miura since I’ve got back into the game after an 8-year layoff in 2009. I always liked the looks of the Miura equipment and since I’m a devout muscleback blades player, Miura has equipment after my own heart. Currently, Nick Price plays their 1957 Small Blade irons and KJ Choi recently won The Players with their cavity CB-501 irons and traditional wedges.

My first encounter with the K-Grind came at the Demo Day for this year’s PGA Merchandise Show. Miura did not have a tent at the Demo Day, but the KBS Shafts tent had the K-Grind installed in one of their black wedge shafts. I had never even read about the K-Grind at that point, but I really liked the club. I hit a variety of different shots from the short grass and long grass and came away very interested in what I had experienced.

Later on, I read about the K-Grind and the description behind the ‘fluted’ design was able to articulate exactly what I felt when I demo’d the club.

“These three channels reduce the resistance against the wedge in sand, thick rough, and even the fairway. The sole of the wedge moves with the grass instead of against it. The channels move around the sand instead of colliding with it. It allows the wedge to accelerate thru the ball with less effort in every condition to improve the odds of hitting a good shot.” –

With that, I eventually decided to purchase one for myself. I was a little skeptical about how it would operate from the fairway. I was typically carrying a 47* pitching, a 54* Sand Wedge and a 60* lob wedge. I was a little worried that I would lose too much distance compared to my 54* and that would possibly cause some problems when I got in between a PW and a SW for distance. However, those worries were put to rest. I had a KBS wedge shaft put in there and added ¼” to the shaft length. The results were that I don’t think I lost any distance at all, despite keeping the loft at 56*. And living up the Miura trademark of a great, soft feeling club. When you catch this baby flush, you cannot get a club to feel better than this.

The other concern I had was how would it react to the turf in Florida. Central Florida is a bit unique because come June it will get very hot out, but also will rain a few times every week. However, if we go a week without rain, the ground gets very hard quickly.

In other words, you get a various amount of lies even on the same golf course. One can get nice, plush lie on one hole, then a very tight lie on the next hole, then some hard pan on the very next hole. And then there’s the plushy lies that go into the grain of the bermuda grass and you can easily stick one into the turf.

With the K-Grind’s high amount of bounce angle (12*), I was worried that the tight lie and hard pan lies may present some real difficulty. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case at all. In fact, I could hit every shot imagineable…with ease…from just about any type of lie. The only shot I could not hit with consistency is a flop shot from a hard pan lie. But, the wedge that I can do that with will be the first.

Have to hit a low pitch from 6 inch rough? Not a problem.

Need to flop one from a tight lie? Piece of cake.

Long, high greenside bunker shot? You’ll make it look easy.

In fact, the facet of the wedge that took me the longest to get used to is that it is so good from difficult and bad lies, that I actually needed to slow down the clubhead a bit or I would hit it too far. I actually wonder if they are thinking of a similar grind for a set of irons.

Nonetheless, I am extremely happy with my purchase.

The wedge conforms to the 2010 USGA grooves rule. I got my K-Grind fro $179 from Miura dealer Victory Custom Golf ( They offer 11 different shaft options (some are at an added charge) and 45 different grip options (no extra charge). For other Miura dealers, check out


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

3Jack Updated PGA Tour Stat Rankings 6.13.11

I took a week off from the rankings with the 3rd Annual Top 50 Swing and 1st Annual Top 20 Short Game/Putting list. Here are my picks for the US Open. I did 10 picks this time since it's a major.

David Toms
Nick Watney
Steve Stricker
Luke Donald
Hunter Mahan
Rickie Fowler
Martin Laird
Jason Day
Gary Woodland
Dustin Johnson


1…Bubba Watson
2…Boo Weekley
3…David Toms
4…Hunter Mahan
5…Chez Reavie
6…John Merrick
7…Tom Gillis
8…Keegan Bradley
9…Bo Van Pelt
10…Dustin Johnson
11…Brandt Jobe
12…John Rollins
13…Heath Slocum
14…Nick Watney
15…J.J. Henry
16…Gary Woodland
17…Chris Couch
18…Graeme McDowell
19…J.B. Holmes
20…Sergio Garcia

178…Shaun Micheel
179…Martin Piller
180…Derek Lamely
181…Paul Stankowski
182…Kevin Na
183…Michael Sim
184…Chad Collins
185…Anthony Kim
186…Bio Kim
187…Mike Weir


1…Phil Mickelson
2…David Toms
3…Robert Garrigus
4…Scott Stallings
5…Rickie Fowler
6…Padraig Harrington
7…Dustin Johnson
8…Nick Watney
9…Davis Love III
10…Alex Cejka
11…John Senden
12…Sergio Garcia
13…Boo Weekley
14…Brendan Steele
15…Peter Tomasulo
16…Heath Slocum
17…Robert Allenby
18…Chris Kirk
19…Charley Hoffman
20…Brandt Snedeker

178…Scott McCarron
179…Greg Chalmers
180…James Driscoll
181…Kevin Kisner
182…Rich Beem
183…Charlie Wi
184…John Merrick
185…Bio Kim
186…Michael Sim
187…Henrik Stenson


1…James Driscoll
2…Jonathan Byrd
3…Brian Gay
4…Ben Crane
5…Steve Flesch
6…Michael Bradley
7…Ricky Barnes
8…Rod Pampling
9…Kevin Sutherland
10…D.A. Points
11…Aaron Baddeley
12…Nick Watney
13…Bill Haas
14…George McNeill
15…Scott Gutschewski
16…Stewart Cink
17…Greg Chalmers
18…Chris Riley
19…Rory Sabbatini
20…Steve Stricker

178…Ben Martin
179…David Duval
180…Harrison Frazar
181…Graeme McDowell
182…Sunghoon Kang
183…Alex Prugh
184…Robert Garrigus
185…Henrik Stenson
186…Garrett Willis
187…Billy Horschel


1…Greg Chalmers
2…Charlie Wi
3…Brandt Snedeker
4…Lucas Glover
5…Steve Stricker
6…Luke Donald
7…Michael Putnam
8…Zach Johnson
9…Kevin Na
10…Kent Jones
11…Padraig Harrington
12…Henrik Stenson
13…Ryan Moore
14…Brian Gay
15…Angel Cabrera
16…Nick Watney
17…Vaughn Taylor
18…Y.E. Yang
19…Ben Martin
20…David Toms

178…Kris Blanks
179…Paul Goydos
180…Scott Gutschewski
181…Jeff Maggert
182…Kyle Stanley
183…Adam Scott
184…D.J. Trahan
185…Heath Slocum
186…Boo Weekley
187…Ernie Els


Monday, June 13, 2011

Driver vs. 3-Wood Strategy Talk

“A scratch has a consistent swing and can put together very good rounds, but too often he makes that double bogey or multiple bogeys in a row. A (tour) pro learns to eliminate that.”Matt Kuchar, Golf Digest (June 2011)

Some questions were asked on the forum ( about the strategy of when to hit driver or leave it in the bag. I have some more updated thoughts on that.

First off, let’s be very clear here. I am AVERSE to hitting anything BUT A DRIVER off a par-4 or a par-5. Leaving the driver in the bag is something I do NOT like to do. However, many times it is unavoidable. The main point here is that I believe an aggressive golf strategy is generally a good golf strategy. The golfer just cannot play with a dumb and reckless strategy.

I cannot stress that enough…my belief is that the best strategy is to play fearless, aggressive golf while playing the odds smartly. Unfortunately golfers tend to do the opposite…fearful, conservative golf and taking gambles instead of calculated risks.

Most of the time, hitting a driver on a par-4 or par-5 should come without even having to put much thought towards it. However, we all know that there are usually 2-3 holes where it comes into question and whether or not we should hit driver or take out the 3-wood off the tee.

I think the very basic questions a golfer needs to ask themselves is ‘what is the risk?’ and ‘what is the reward?’

For me, I hit my driver on average approximately 290 yards. And off the tee, I hit my 3-wood about 250 yards. Thus, if I hit both well the inherent reward of using driver is 40 extra yards of distance. But, we need to drill down more than that.

I think where golfers tend to screw up with using the driver when they need to hit 3-wood off the tee, is that they tend to focus too much on increasing their odds of making a birdie. I feel that they are better off on focusing upon their odds of making a bogey or worse.

What I mean by this is with regards to the approach shot. I’d say that in my own game, I’m quite confident that if I have an approach with a 7-iron thru Lob Wedge in my hand, my odds of making a bogey or worse are pretty slim. And obviously, if I have a shorter club into the green, my odds of making birdie do increase. Although I believe it’s the same for PGA Tour pros, if I have a PW in my hands instead of an 8-iron, my odds of making birdie increase, but not by a wide margin.

When I get to 6-iron and 5-iron, I think my chances of making bogey increase quite a bit. It’s not by confidence that I hit my 6-iron about 182 yards and my 5-iron about 195 yards…both of which are in the ‘Danger Zone’ (175 – 225 yards). And I think my odds of making bogey spike when I get the 4-iron, 3-iron, 3-hybrid and 3-wood in my hands on the approach shot.

I think this is crucial to understand because bogey avoidance percentage has a greater correlation to adjusted scoring average on the PGA Tour than birdie or better percentage does.

Read that last line again because it is that important to understand.

So if the difference between hitting a driver vs. a 3-wood off the tee is a PW vs. a 7-iron on the approach, the reward really goes no further beyond having about 3 less clubs into the green. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a nice advantage. But, if the difference between a driver vs. a 3-wood off the tee is a 8-iron vs. a 4-iron, that’s a MUCH GREATER advantage and thus there is much more of a reward for hitting a good driver off the tee than hitting a good 3-wood off the tee.

Of course, we still have to assess risk. When doing so, I ask myself 3 questions

1. What are the things that would ‘impede’ my approach shot into the green? (i.e. O.B., water, woods, fairway bunker, deep rough, etc)

2. If I hit a good shot that is pretty much going at the intended target, what are the odds I will be okay?

3. How much room do I have to deviate from the intended target before I get into trouble? In other words ‘what is my margin for error?’

#2 is an important question to ask because sometimes you get a hole where you can miss your target a bit and still wind up okay, in part because of dumb luck. However, you may hit a pretty good shot at your target and wind up in trouble. Usually this happens on doglegs.

#3 at Shingle Creek is a 394 yard par-4. This is a hole where I take 3-WOOD off the tee

If I hit driver well off the tee, I have a Sand Wedge into the green. With a 3-wood, I have a 9-iron into the green. Don’t get me wrong on this, I’m more likely to make birdie with a SW into the green vs. a 9-iron into the green. But, my odds of making BOGEY are pretty slim with either. So outside of the 40 yards gained, there is substantial advantage to hitting driver off the tee.

Still, that does not persuade me until I assess the risk. There are some pretty heavy things that impede the approach shot. Water on the right, which will almost automatically force me to make at least a double bogey on the hole. And woods on the left which would probably force me into making a bogey.

Then we have margin for error. I would probably be fine with a driver that was well struck and at the target outside of some random times. But, my margin for error is pretty small. 5 yards right or left of my intended target and things get dicey. And the risk is so big, that it outweighs the reward in this situation. So we take out the 3-wood on this tee.

#5 at North Shore GC is a 367 yard par-4. This is a hole where I take DRIVER off the tee.

If I hit driver off the tee, I have about 70 yards into the green. If I hit 3-wood, it’s more like a pitching wedge into the green. So why would I take a driver?

Despite the reward ‘only’ being about 40 extra yards of distance, the risk is rather manageable for me. There is O.B. right and sand dunes and fairway bunkers left, but it’s pretty wide open. Furthermore, if I hit a ball O.B on this hole, it’s a very bad swing and I would likely go O.B. with that swing had I hit 3-wood instead. So for me, the play is a driver, favor it a little left of center and give it a good rip.

#3 at North Shore is a different situation. This is a 454 yard par-4 with water right.

Here I take driver even though there’s a chance I can go into the water with the driver and it’s very unlikely I would go into the water with the 3-wood.

But, the left side is well open. And a solid driver wood mean an 8-iron into the green whereas a good 3-wood would mean a 4-iron into the green.

However, it’s different on #12, a 417 yard par-4

If you look at the yardage book, where it says 153 yards in the fairway, that’s a huge overhanging oak tree. It’s only 261 yards to that tree, but the opening between the oak and the trees right of the fairway is about 15 yards. And if I hit a driver, it’s almost pot luck as to whether or not I wind up behind the tree, impeding my approach shot.

OTOH, because the 3-wood would wind up a further distance away from the oak tree, it’s not likely to wind up where I can’t hit a clean shot at the green.

Here, a good driver will put me about a 9iron or PW away. A good 3-wood will put me about a 5-iron or 6-iron away. So, there’s a big advantage for me hitting a driver well off the tee than a 3-wood off the tee on this hole. However, since it is almost pot luck with regards to hitting a driver and winding up in good position, I play a 3-wood. Obviously, I’m not that keen in hitting less club off the tee and winding up with a 5 or 6-iron into the green. But sometimes you just have to grin and bear it….hit the shot, 2-putt and take part.

This type of strategy can work great at a course you are not too familiar with. But, I’ve seen it work even better at golfers’ home course, where they pull out the 3-wood because that’s what they’ve always done. When I lived in Georgia, members commonly took a 3-wood out on the 3rd hole, a par-5 that is 497 yards from the back tees (you tee off a cliff).

One of the good things for the golfer on this hole is that since they are teeing off a cliff, they will get a maximum of 5 yards of roll.

If a 5-handicap or less golfer aimed at the middle of the fairway, they would be alright as long as they didn’t hit a decent sized pull or have a block that was the result of a very open clubface at impact. In other words, they were fine in large part because they didn’t have to worry about the roll, as long as they didn’t take a poor swing. Or in other words, the only advantage using the 3-wood is that if you took a very poor swing on a block shot, you have a better chance of winding up okay. But then we are ‘playing for bad swings’ instead of ‘playing for good swings’ and *reasonable* misses.

This was a big advantage for me in their 2009 Club Championship as almost every golfer used 3-wood off the tee while I was using driver. And I wound up with hybrids into the green, leaving it to 7-feet for eagle in the first round and then a chip and kick in for birdie in the 3rd round (we played a different course in the 2nd round).

So remember, there’s almost always an inherent reward of extra distance with the driver over the 3-wood off the tee. The question then becomes how big of an advantage and how big of a risk. And the golfer has to figure out that for themselves. But as I always like to say, I’d rather ‘go down swinging’ than to play conservative and get burned in the end anyway.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

6.10.11 Golf Ball Data - PGA Tour

Recently I took a look at the golf balls being used by the players on Tour. I found the golf balls used by 185 current Tour players and here are the stats with regards to them.


Pro V1x………..89……48.1%
Pro V1………....34……18.4%
Tour iz………....13……7.0%
One Tour D…...4……2.2%
Z-Star XV……...3……1.6%
Tour is……….....3……1.6%


Pro V1………11.08
Tour is………10.86
Pro V1x………10.50
One Tour D…10.37
Z-Star XV……10.08
Tour iz………....9.74


Pro V1……….....2,749
Tour iz……….....2,707
Z-Star XV……….2,705
Tour is……….....2,684
One Tour D…….2,615
Pro V1x………....2,512


One Tour D………115.71
Tour iz…………..…113.14
Pro V1………..……112.25
Pro V1x………...…112.15
Tour is………….…111.89
Z-Star XV…….……111.85


One Tour D……….170.92
Tour iz…………..….167.44
Pro V1…………..….165.91
Pro V1x…………....165.88
Tour is……….…….165.57
Z-Star XV…….…….165.01


Tour iz……….1.4799
Tour is……….1.4798
Pro V1x………1.4791
Pro V1……….1.4780
One Tour D…1.4772
Z-Star XV……1.4753


Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Look At The Current 2011 Top Ten Off The Tee

I decided to take a look at the top 10 players in each of my weekly statistical rankings.

For Advanced Total Driving, the averages for the current top 10 were the following:

113.1 MPH clubhead speed
10.3* launch angle
2,697 spin rpm
9.5 static driver loft

#1 Bubba Watson
124.4 mph clubhead speed
8.7* launch angle
2,587 spin rpm
7.5* static driver loft
Ping G15 Driver
Grafalloy Shaft
Titleist Pro V1x ball

#2 David Toms
107.8 mph clubhead speed
12.6* launch
2,324 spin rpm
10.5* static driver loft
Cleveland Launcher DST Driver
Aldila Shaft
Titleist Pro V1 ball

#3 Boo Weekley
114.4 mph clubhead speed
8.7* launch angle
2,939 spin rpm
9.5* static driver loft
Cleveland Launcher DST 310 Driver
Miyazaki Shaft
Srixon Z-Star ball

#4 Hunter Mahan
111.8 mph clubhead speed
11.2* launch angle
2,390 spin rpm
10.5* static driver loft
Ping V2 Driver
Ping Shaft
Titleist Pro V1 ball

#5 John Merrick
108.6 mph clubhead speed
12.7* launch
2,830 spin rpm
8.5* static driver loft
Titleist 910 D2 Driver
Aldila Shaft
Titleist Pro V1x ball

#6 Tom Gillis
114.1 mph clubhead speed
8.1* launch
2,900 spin rpm
10.5* static driver loft
Titleist 910 D3 Driver
Mitsubishi shaft
Titleist Pro V1 ball

#7 Chez Reavie
110.3 mph clubhead speed
11.6* launch angle
2,707 spin rpm
9.5* static driver loft
Titleist 910 D2 Driver
UST Shaft
Titleist Pro V1x ball

#8 John Rollins
114.4 mph clubhead speed
11.2* launch angle
2,700 spin rpm
8.5* static driver loft
Taylor Made R11 Driver
Oban Shaft
Srixon Z-Star ball

#9 Nick Watney
117.2 mph clubhead speed
8.3* launch angle
2,846 spin rpm
10.5* static driver loft
Titleist 910 D3 Driver
Mitsubishi Shaft
Titleist Pro V1x ball

#10 Ben Curtis
107.9 mph clubhead speed
10.4* launch angle
2,750 spin rpm
9.5* static driver launch
Titleist 910 D3 Driver
Aldila Shaft
Titleist Pro V1x ball

Driver Count

Titleist 910 D3 – 3
Cleveland Launcher DST – 2
Titleist 910 D2 – 2
Ping G15 -1
Ping V2 – 1
Taylor Made R11 -1

Shaft Count
Aldila – 3
Mitsubishi -2
Grafalloy – 1
Oban – 1
Ping – 1
UST – 1

Ball Count
Titleist Pro V1x – 5
Titleist Pro V1 – 3
Srixon Z-Star – 2

Essentialy, nobody was under 108 mph of clubhead speed (rounded up). The highest spin RPM is 2,900, but the reality is that they keep the spin RPM in the 2,600 to 2,800 range. The highest launch angle is 12.7 and the lowest is 8.3.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2011 3Jack Top 20 Putting/Short Game Teacher List

Below is my first annual Top 20 Short Game/Putting Instructor list. I found this necessary to put together because the short game and putting instruction is very different than the full swing instruction. It would be similar to having a list of the greatest movies and with so many different genres, the difficulty would be figuring out if a movie like ‘Animal House’ would be better or worse than ‘The Godfather.’

An instructor on this list may or may not give both putting and short game instruction. Some of these teachers deal just with the putting instruction aspect and some teachers are not adept at putting instruction, but are more skilled in the short game around the green instruction. Lastly, there are some instructors who are in both the swing and short game/putting lists.

I don’t have a badge made up for the Top 20 Short Game/Putting Instructor list, yet. However, feel free to mention this if you are an instructor on the list. I would recommend that you link back to this post for your viewers.

Mike Adams
Florida or New Jersey

Shawn Clement
Richmond Hills, ON Canada

Brenndan Cooper
Ridgedale, MO

Jamie Donaldson
United Kingdom

Dr. Craig Farnsworth
La Quinta, CA

Jason Goldsmith
San Diego, CA

John Graham
Webster, NY

Keith Handler
Rye, NY!

Steve Kisner
Holly Springs, NC

Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD

Geoff Mangum
Greensboro, NC

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA

James Marshall
Barcelona, Spain

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC

Jim Sieckmann
Omaha, NE

Tom Stickney
Edwards, CO

Mark Sweeney
Celebration, FL

VJ Trolio
West Point, MS

TJ Yeaton
St. Augustine, FL


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

3rd Annual 3Jack Top 50 Instructor List - Part II

Here is Part II of the list. Part I can be found at

The Top 20 Putting/Short Game Instruction List will be up tomorrow.

George Hunt
Orlando, FL

Mike Jacobs
Manor Hill, NY

Lloyd Johnson
Harbor Springs, MI or Naples, FL

Geoff Jones
Texarkana, AR

Steve Khatib
Carlton, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia

Ed Laprade
Thompsonville, MI

James Leitz
Slidell, LA

Ted Long
Sankt Leon-Rot, Germany

Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA

James Marshall
Barcelona, Spain

Greg McHatton
Valencia, CA

Mike McNary
Santa Ana, CA

Kelvin Miyahira
Oahu, HI

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA

Palm Springs, CA

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC

Andy Plummer
West Linn, OR

John Rohan-Weaver
Burleson, TX

Paul Smith
The Vines, Australia

VJ Trolio
West Point, MS

Dave Wedzik
Erie, PA

Dan Whittaker
United Kingdom

Simon Williams
Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK

TJ Yeaton
St. Augustine, FL


Monday, June 6, 2011

3rd Annual 3Jack Top 50 Instructor List - Part I

After much deliberation, here is the 3rd Annual 3Jack Top 50 Instructor list (Part I). I've listed them alphabetically. Part II will be tomorrow and then my 1st annual Top 20 Short Game/Putting Instructor List will be on Wednesday.

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

I logged in quite a bit of hours watching video sent from instructors and their students who wanted to nominate them for the Top 50 List and I thank you for doing that as it makes me more confident in the final list. And just because you're not on the list does not mean that I don't think highly of you as an instructor. Sometimes I just never came across your name or never saw video of your work. There were probably another 20 candidates that I strongly considered putting into the list, but couldn't because I had not seen enough video of their work.

This year we'll be handing out 3Jack Golf Blog Top 50 Instructor 'badges.' If you are an instructor in the list, feel free to take the badge below to put on your own Web site or whatever. I only ask that you add a link back to my blog at

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

Denny Alberts
Tuscon, AZ

Mike Bennett

Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL

Lynn Blake
Eatonton, GA

Billy Bondaruk
South Dennis, MA

Dan Carraher
Winter Garden, FL

Martin Chuck
Bend, OR

Ian Clark
Surrey, UK

Nick Clearwater
Chicago, IL or Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Pete Cowen
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dana Dahlquist
Long Beach, CA

John Dal Corobbo
Carmel, IN

John Dochety
Tullahoma, TN

Gary Edwin
Queensland, Australia

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ

Jeff Evans
Macon, GA

Mark Evershed
Toronto, ON

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL

Ted Fort
Marietta, GA

John Furze
Sandringham, Australia

Ron Gring
Mobile, AL

Keith Handler
Rye, NY!

Paul Hart

Bryan Hepler
Scottsdale, AZ

Spencer Huggins
Buies Creek, NC

PART II - tomorrow