Monday, October 31, 2011

MOI Matching Experience - Part I

I received my MOI machine today.

For those who haven't read, this is used in place of swingweight.

Swingweight essentially measures the effective weight of the club when we are physically swinging it. MOI measures the amount of force required to swing the club.

I can have two Taylor Made R11 6-iron heads made by Taylor Made. They can have the same swingweight. But, due to factors like shaft length, where the weight in the club is located, shaft, etc...the amount of force required to swing the club can be *vastly* different. The idea is that swingweight is more of a 'feel' while MOI is more of a unbiased measurement.

First up, I had to calibrate the MOI machine. It's not all that hard, but they have bubble levels on the machine and you must get them machine level or you will not be able to do the reads. There's a good video showing the basics of setting up the video:

First up, I wanted to measure my current bag. The woods are done separately because they should have a separate MOI. The Driver is at D-2.5 swingweight, 3-wood at D-2 and the hybrid at D-3. Here are their MOI measurements (kg/cm)

Driver Adams 9064LS: 2822
3-wood Adams Speedline F11: 2642 (-180)
Hybrid Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK: 2740 (+90)

The irons are next. The SW and LW really don't matter since I don't use them on full swings. But the irons measure in at D-4 swingweight. Here's their MOI readings.

3-iron 555C: 2625
4-iron 555C: 2702 (+77)
5-iron 555M: 2670 (-32)
6-iron 555M: 2680 (+10)
7-iron 555M: 2694 (+14)
8-iron 555M: 2658 (-36)
9-iron 555M: 2639 (-20)
PW 555M: 2653 (+14)
SW Miura K-Grind: 2688 (+35)
LW Ping Tour-S: 2655 (-33)

Out of all of my irons, I probably hit the 4-iron, 5-iron and 7-iron the best. So the fact that the 4-iron and 7-iron are close to the same MOI, that is interesting.

However, I will be trying out the new KBS C-Taper shaft in a 6-iron and if that doesn't work, I'll try to work with the KBS Tour shaft.


Friday, October 28, 2011

New Golf Evolution Indoor Facility

If you're in the Erie, PA area, I highly recommend that you check out Golf Evolution's new indoor facility. Golf Evolution is owned and operated by Dave Wedzik, a 3Jack Top 50 Instructor and a D-Plane Certified Instructor. The facility will be open year-round. Here's what Erik Barzeski (3Jack Golf Top 20 Putting Instructor and D-Plane Certified Instructor) had to say:

The result is a 10,000 square foot indoor golf academy with a downstairs "man cave" student lounge, 2,000 square foot putting green built for AimPoint that stimps at 10 and reacts perfectly to chipped balls, a simulator, a private teaching bay, a fitness room with an on-staff personal trainer, and more. We've got the Edel fitting system, TrackMan, SAM PuttLab, our high speed cameras, and more.

Check it out at


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Iron Factory Project

I believe in January I will be sending 1 of my vintage sets of irons to The Iron Factory ( to get re-chromed.

What I would like to do is just get the head re-chromed and then I can spine align the shafts and MOI match the clubs and then assemble them together. I feel The Iron Factory has very reasonable prices, but anytime I can save some money I have no issue doing it. Here’s some of the key prices (

Re-Chrome (head only) $26
Re-Chrome & Re-Groove (head only) $34
With Shaft (add $6)
Lie and Loft ($6)

I’ll actually have the lie and lofts bent here since I can get It done for $4 a club instead of $6 a club.

The Iron Factory has 2 different finishes to choose from.

Bright Chrome

Satin Finish

In general, I prefer the satin finish. Although I think a good general rule of thumb with these clubs is that the more artwork and different paintfill colors, I think it looks better in bright chrome. Less artwork and paintfill colors look better in the satin finish.


The Mizuno Pro-TN 87 is a very popular set of irons with diehard club collectors. It was designed for Tommy Nakijima’s use in 1987 (hence, TN-87). They are rumored to be designed with the 1982 Ben Hogan Personal irons in mind.

Having owned the Hogan Personal irons, the TN-87’s have a much more compact looking head. They are known for their legendary soft feel. They myth is that they are soft because it has a ‘copper underlay’ beneath the chrome. But according to Tom Wishon, most vintage clubs utilized that copper underlay beneath the chrome and eventually OEM’s figured that they could save money and accomplish the same thing with a nickel underlay. I agree with Wishon. However, they are a great feeling club due to what I believe is an excellent design.

They currently have Project X 5.5 shafts and the lengths are standard, the lies angles feel a bit upright and one of the lofts we measured (PW) was extremely strong. I think they would look good in either the bright chrome or satin finish, but I would lean towards putting them in bright-chrome.

PROS: Great set of irons that are ready for play. They can also be used in Florida since they do have modern bounce angles. They are not too heavy, so adding a modern shaft should not weigh too much. I think the grooves are still in tact. I could probably re-sell the Project X shafts on eBay.

CONS: Sort of a weird market for these clubs since they are popular with ‘club ho’s’, but are still not that well known.

Estimated Cost: $470


I believe these were the 2nd set of irons built by Hogan Company with the Percussion Center concept. They are very typical Hogan designed irons with the ‘blade on blade’ design, the sharp leading edge and no bounce angles on the irons. I also love their simple look.

These have a pretty lukewarm reaction to most Hogan fans. They were made from 1020 carbon steel and feel fantastic. They have a square toe and zero offset.

I actually like the original idea of chroming part of the iron and ‘frosting’ the muscleback. But, I don’t think I can have that done here. I think that they would still look good in a Satin Finish.

PROS: Great feeling and great looking iron. About as sharp of a looking iron as it gets, IMO. Performance is excellent with modern shafts.

CONS: No bounce angle and sharp leading edge is difficult on Florida Bermuda grass. I have a 5-iron with a KBS shaft in it and it’s very heavy (D-6 swingweight). Not a big time collector’s set.

Estimated Cost: $575


There were one of the first irons designed by Hogan with a bounce. I think we have to remember that Hogan grew up playing on Texas hardpan, so bounce wasn’t really necessary for him.

These current irons have Hogan Apex 3 shafts which are too light and too whippy for me. They look a bit like the 1967 Hogan Percussions, even with a sharper leading edge and no offset. They are more popular with collectors as well. Judging by what the Iron Factory has done in the past, I believe these would look best in the Bright Chrome.

PROS: Quality set of clubs. Perform better in Florida conditions given the bounce angles.

CONS: In rough shape, but not impossibly rough shape. Probably an ‘upper tier’ set of irons for collectors, but not the very elite.

Estimated Cost: $575


The Apex PC irons were a precursor to the famous Hogan Apex Redline irons. The main difference I see is that the Apex PC’s had a slightly smaller head and actually look much more like modern irons. Hogan irons have always had this weird thing where the 8-iron, 9-iron and Equalizer are very round in shape and look completely different from the rest of the iron sets. But the Apex PC 8-iron thru PW do not have that round shape to them and look ‘normal.’

My current set has True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts in them and I really don’t want those shafts. I think this set is the typical set that looks better in a satin finish.

PROS: Great set of clubs that are ready for play.

CONS: Not a big set for collectors since there are plenty of sets out there on eBay.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ken Venturi Video

Here's a video I saw on YouTube with the legendary Ken Venturi discussing quite a few different topics about the game.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Working on AimPoint With David Graham - 10.23.11

As some readers may recall, I discussed how I wanted to really improve my AimPoint green reading skills and felt like I needed to work with an AimPoint instructor on a monthly basis or so individually to develop those skills.

On Sunday I got together with David Graham from the Faldo Golf Institute in Orlando. For anybody looking for a place to stay and to have a practice facility nearby, I highly recommend the Faldo Golf Institute as it is as good as it gets for a practice facility.

First off, I found the lesson to be tremendously helpful not only because of David’s teaching style, but the information presented made things a little more clear and easier to execute. That being said, I would highly recommend going to one of their group clinics, first. That’s because not only do the clinics teach the fundamentals, but I honestly believe that one of the things you really have to get down first is how to feel the slope of the green with your feet. When I first started doing it, I wasn’t doing it quite correctly and John Graham ( gave me some tips and demonstrated what I was doing wrong at the clinic. I then practiced feeling with my feet and it took a couple of months, but I started to really develop my skills in that area. In fact, I found it neat that I was reading an old Golf Digest article where the legendary Moe Norman said ‘You can see all you need standing behind the ball and can feel the slope through your feet when you stand over the ball.’

One of the first things David and I worked on was to check to see if I was utilizing the method to get the stimp of the greens correctly. I find this to be very important because not only do you need to have the correct stimp, but it’s a good way to practice AimPoint. Once I showed him that (I was doing it correctly), we got into a quicker and I believe easier way to get the slope. But once again, I really feel that you need to feel the slope by walking around in a circle first to develop your ‘feeling with your feet skills.’

In fact, I think that’s a bit of an overall important theme with AimPoint….you need to practice it. You don’t have to put in hours of practice each day. But, the more you practice the better you will develop important skills like feeling with your feet or knowing what 4 inches left of the cup looks like from 5 feet away versus 25 feet away. I remember I didn’t think you had to actually get on the practice green and practice AimPoint and that’s why I didn’t quite grasp it at first.

The next part we worked on was a little trickier and that was what I call ‘fragmenting’ the putt. Let’s say you have a 15 foot putt that breaks left. Let’s say the putt has a 3% slope in the first 5 feet of the putt. But in the last 10 feet it has a 1% slope. AimPoint has an advanced way of reading the putt so you can account for the 3% slope early on and then the 1% slope in the last 10 feet. Before I would probably read that as a 3% slope the entire way and it would give me a decent ballpark. But by fragmenting the putt, the read is more exacting.

The only difficulty with fragmenting the putt is that it takes a little while to get used to doing it because you have to do some math, but it’s mostly just addition and taking ½ of a number.

Finishing off, I went onto a few holes and hit some 80 yard wedge shots. I actually hit better wedge shots that I thought I would The 1st hole I hit one to 10 feet and one to 5 feet. We went over what we discussed. What was fun was that I slightly pushed those putts but they still went in. AimPoint works because it reads everything to make a putt that goes into the cup dead center. I think everybody would agree that nothing will be perfect, so if you slightly mis-read it or mis-aim it you do have some room for error and still make the putt.

One of the things David and I discussed, borrowing a line from Johnny Miller…is that AimPoint really ‘trims the fat’ from green reading. There’s no need to look for mountains, streams, the sun, getting behind the ball, crouching, plumb bobbing, etc. You can take that nonsense out and actually play faster because you have ‘trimmed the fat’ from your green reading.

We ended the day with me draining a 30 footer that I had to aim 45 inches left of the cup. That also made me recognize that essentially when I have to aim more than 18 inches outside of the cup, I tend to not aim high enough. Another thing I will practice.

This was a great experience and I’m excited about getting better and better at AimPoint working with David. If you would like to contact David to help you with your game and your AimPoint skills, he can be found at

For other information with regards to AimPoint, I would check out their Web site at


Monday, October 24, 2011

3Jack Golf E-Book Preview

Here are some excerpts from my new e-book ‘2011 Pro Golf Synopsis’ which will hopefully be ready in December. I plan at pricing the e-book at $12.95.

From ‘How To Build a Ryder Cup Team’


What I find nonsensical and it is bound to happen every Ryder Cup, is the captain picking a golfer based on ‘experience.’ One of the golfers I’m sure will get a Captain’s Pick sometime down the road is Phil Mickelson, based upon his ‘experience.’ But Phil is a career 11-17-6 in the Ryder Cup.

What’s absurd about this line of thinking that ‘experience is so important' is that many golfers are actually proving to be poor Ryder Cup players instead of good Ryder Cup players. But instead of looking at it in that fashion, the captains continually go with the idea that experience trumps everything. It’s like that old saying that the ‘definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ If that was the case, just about every Ryder Cup captain over the years should be sent to an asylum.

It’s not that experience is not helpful, but a captain should disregard players who have proven that they do not play well in the Ryder Cup. I think the European teams have avoided these players over the years and are much more willing to give an unproven, young player a chance. That’s how players like Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia became great Ryder Cup players. Their captains didn’t care that they didn’t have experience and essentially had their best players play

From ‘Statistical Conclusions’

The wedge game is an extremely overrated part of the game.
I hear about the importance of the wedge game quite often. In fact, the wedge industry has developed tremendously over the years with companies like Scratch Golf, Miura, Titleist (Vokey) and others doing millions in revenue from wedge sales each year.

The one thing about this statistical analysis is that any time a golfer can improve any facet of their game, it will help their scores, regardless of their level of play. But, there are certain facets of the game that have a great impact on a golfer’s score than others. From 75-100 yards out, the PGA Tour average is to leave the ball about 17 feet from the cup. And from 15-20 feet, PGA Tour golfers make an average of about 18% of those putts. The idea of ‘get a PGA Tour player inside 100 yards and they’ll get up and in with 2 shots’ is patently false. A golfer is far better off becoming a better player from the Danger Zone or a becoming a better driver of the ball or a better putter or developing a better short game around the green than they are at becoming a better wedge player from 75-125 yards.

The reason being is that a poor wedge player, will more often than not, leave the ball on the green. And if they miss the green, they are more likely to miss it in a makeable up and down position. Whereas a great wedge player is averaging shots in the 10-15 feet range where the odds of making the putt are only about 30%. Thus, a bad wedge player is much more likely to come away with the same score as a good wedge player if they are hitting from the same distance.

Compare that to the Danger Zone where the best Danger Zone player leaves themselves with about a 35 foot putt on average. But the worst can leave themselves with a shot that is 55+ feet from the green. A Tour player can 2-putt from 35 feet. But when they start missing by a wide margin, their odds of 2-putting or getting up and in from 55 feet drop dramatically. Thus, a bad Danger Zone player is less likely to come away with the same score as a good Danger Zone player if they are hitting from the same distance

Clubhead speed is usually a good indicator of a Tour player’s potential.
The Tour average clubhead speed with the driver is 112.5 mph. When looking at young golfers on Tour, they typically start off struggling in at least one of the major areas of the game (driving, putting, short game or Danger Zone). But, the players who tend to turn into something substantial on Tour are the ones who generate higher clubhead speeds, in particular the ones who are over 115 mph.

A Tour player is better off hitting it high than low.
Typically the high ball hitters do better. There’s a correlation to ball trajectory height and power. Furthermore, on the PGA Tour a high ball hitter can typically play any course whereas the low ball hitter can be at a large disadvantage at some courses, like Augusta National Golf Club

And from ‘Player Summaries’

Earlier in the season golf pundits were proclaiming that Steve Marino was the ‘best player on Tour without a PGA Tour victory.’ That title should have belonged to Fowler who has yet to get his first official victory. Fowler is an elite Danger Zone player who hits it longer than Marino while generating the same amount of clubhead speed. He’s also a far better putter than Marino.

I expect Fowler to get an official victory early next season. Those are typically the best times for a golfer like Fowler to do so, playing in fields where he is the superior talent. The issue he had this year was early into the season he was struggling badly with his driving accuracy, which prevented him from winning those tournaments. In fact, when I first started doing the Advanced Total Driving statistics, he was ranked 153rd in the category. He then strung a good month together and got down in the 90th to 115th range, but by then the fields he was playing in were stronger and he kept just missing out on his first Tour win.

He did finish 55th in Advanced Total Driving in the 2010 season, so he has shown that he can drive the ball quite well. But, the clear strength in his game is his Danger Zone play and he turned out to be an elite putter as well. His big weaknesses is with his wedges. I doubt he’ll ever be a good wedge player from 75 to 130 yards out given his swing mechanics. His Short Game is equally as poor. However, he went to 4 wedges recently and then went out and won the Korean Open. If he can maintain his strong Danger Zone play and improve his wedge game and Short Game, then it’s worth it. If he starts to lose his effectiveness in the Danger Zone, he’ll need to thinking his strategy


Friday, October 21, 2011

Equipment and Miscellaneous Updates

Here’s an update on some equipment and miscellaneous things I’ll be experimenting and using in the near future.


I plan on purchasing an MOI machine by the end of the week, I just have a few questions that I sent to Wishon Golf to be answered. I think I’ve got the basics down pretty well.

I will also be ordering 555C and 555M 6-iron heads for those who would like to demo them. I already have 1 person reserving to demo the 555C iron head, which I will put a KBS Tour 90 shaft in. The 555M I am going to put a KBS C-Taper shaft in as I will be the first to demo it. If I like what I see, I’ll start to figure out what the best MOI is and buy a set of the C-Taper shafts and MOI match those clubs to them.

What I found with MOI matching is that they typically utilize 3/8” club length increments instead of the standard ½” increments. So, that makes the lower lofted clubs a little shorter and the higher lofted clubs a little longer.


My current Wishon set with KBS Tour shafts (.370 tip), is the first set of clubs I’ve ever had spine aligned and quite frankly, I do believe it works. Very noticeable on shots that range from slightly below average to really good, but I missed it by a hair shots. It just holds its line better, which can be the difference between flagging one and having a 30 footer or having a 30 footer and missing the green and short-siding yourself.

My first spine finder stopped working. I wasn’t a fan of it because it was a pain to work with since you had to hold the spine finder in the vise at a 30* angle. The issue with that is the spine finder will move when you try to locate the spine. Now the thing doesn’t work and I can’t return it. However, this spine finder sets straight in vise and it is designed to hold the shaft at a 30* angle (instead of the entire spine finder). Plus, the guarantee is better. So if it doesn’t work, I can return it.


As some of you may know, I have Talamonti shafts in my driver and in my 3-wood. I was going to do a review on them, but I’ve decided to wait until I tried their hybrid shaft as well.

I’ve decided I’ve got a really good hybrid that I like (Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK 20*), but I think I could probably get a better shaft. I’ve hit the Oban Devotion Hybrid shaft and was impressed. Same with the KBS Hybrid shaft. But, I wanted to give the Talamonti hybrid shaft a try.

The problem is that I needed to find a Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK that was originally designed for the stock graphite shaft. The reason being is that I found that this hybrid had 2 different hosel diameters for the steel shaft and graphite shaft versions. And the graphite shaft version matches the tip diameter of the Talamonti hybrid shaft (.370). I recently purchased a used Fli-Hi CLK that matches this and should be delivered soon.


Our friends at My Golf Spy ( did some initial testing on different types of tees and the early results had the 4 yards or More tee adding an average of 15.7 yards to drives. Now, it was just a very small sample size (3 golfers), but for $6 it’s worth trying and I hope to try this out on Trackman soon and will post my findings.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Achieving 1-Way Golf Ball Curvature

One of the questions I’ve been receiving from readers is about my believe in playing golf with a ‘1-way curve.’ How do we go about that, see progress, etc?

First off, I would like to go a bit off topic and say that I believe the good thing about all of this is that I now understand D-Plane which makes the process much easier to figure out than understanding the ‘old ball flight laws.’ It’s why I find that information is actually a good thing and I believe it is better for most golfers than using a ‘Bagger Vance’ teaching approach or assuming that everything must be kept as simple as possible. The problem with simplicity is that it often leaves out too much important information for the golfer to fully understand what they are trying to do. And often times, ‘making it simple’ means that the instructor is teaching mechanics from feel, rather than the superior teaching of feel from mechanics.

I think where golfers get screwed up is when teachers have inaccurate information, apply information incorrectly, or apply information that is unnecessary. Golfers chalk it up to being ‘too analytical.’ But in reality, it’s just bad information or poorly applied information.


What do we know about the basics of D-Plane?

The clubface is responsible for about 80% of the golf ball’s initial direction.

The path is responsible for about 20% of the golf ball’s initial direction.

Thus…if we have a clubface that is pointing about 10* right of the target at impact and the path is square to the target, the ball will start somewhere around 8*right of the target.

Now, the curve is influence by what the path is doing with relation to the clubface. If the path is inside-to-out with relation to where the clubface is pointing…the ball will have a hook spin on it. If it’s outside-to-in with relation to where the clubface is pointing…the ball will have a slice spin on it.

Thus…if we have a clubface that is pointing 10* right of the target and the path is square to the target (0*), the ball will initially go about 8* right of the target and then slice further to the right.


I will go over the big one….clubface contact. Hit the ball off the toe, the ball will generate hook spin. Hit it off the heel…it will generate slice spin.

According to Trackman, if you hit a driver 250 yards long and you have a 0* face and 0* path, BUT…you miss by 1 dimple (0.14 inches), your ball will travel 10 yards off line. If you miss by ½ an inch, the ball will travel 35 yards off line.

But, what often happens is a golfer may be aiming down the right side of the fairway and hit one ¼ of an inch off the toe and the ball pushes out towards the right rough and hooks back into the fairway. Or they may have a face angle of -1* left at impact with a path of -3* left…which would produce a slight fade, but they catch it off the toe by 1 or 2 dimples and the ball actually goes straight.


1. While the path creates the spin axis on the ball, the clubface is more important for controlling the curve.

If I have a 0* path on 3 shots, but the first shot has a +5* open clubface, the 2nd shot has a -5* closed clubface and the 3rd shot has a 0* square clubface, it will produce 3 different shots (slice, hook, straight ball).

2. The path plays a bigger influence on clubface contact

The further the clubpath gets away from the baseline, the more likely you will mis-hit the shot.

3. The face is much more difficult to control than the path.

Mainly because if you look at Trackman shot results, even for PGA Tour level pros, the clubface angle is more dispersed at impact than the path numbers. It’s not unusual for a PGA Tour player to have a clubface that is open at impact on one shot, then closed on the next shot. But, if their path is inside-to-out on one shot, it’s likely to be inside-to-out on almost every shot. This also applies to the 20 handicapper.
In essence, golf does not make it easy…if you want to have 1-way curves. You have to control both the clubface and the path. The clubface is too important with how the ball will curve and how much it will curve and the path is too important for clubface contact. BUT, if I had to choose, I will always take clubface control over path control.


One of the principles I plan on employing in my golf swing is to be able to keep the clubface ‘square to the arc.’ As we know, the clubhead swings on what resembles an arc on the downswing. The goal is to keep the clubface square with relation to the arc throughout the downswing and post impact.

A lot of people ask ‘if the ball is already struck, why do I care if the clubface is square to the arc?’

One of the smart things that John Erickson teaches ( is that you need to ‘connect the dots’ when learning the golf swing.

A good example of this is let’s say you have established what mechanics you want at p3. If you know where you are at p1, then figuring out p2 can be done by ‘connecting the dots’ and comprehending how you would get to p3 from p1. Often times golfers (myself included), think we MUST go from p1 to p2 then to p3, but we can cut a step out by just connecting the dots instead.

With relation to the clubface being square to the arc post impact…if my clubface happens to be closed post impact, we can ‘connect the dots’ that the clubface was in the *process* of closing pre-impact.

Yes, we can still hit a great, straight shot at impact. Or in Kenny Perry’s case, consistently hit draws and hooks.

But, this requires precise timing that many golfers, even top PGA Tour players, simply don’t have.


Trackman is a great, measuring device. I think people get the idea that Trackman fans are saying that it is more than that, but really…that’s not the case. Trackman is like a GPS system for your car. It doesn’t make you a good driver, but it will tell you ‘where you are’ and which direction you need to go to get to your final destination.

Obviously, Trackman measures the clubface angle at impact and the path as well (along with various other data). But, we can also use it to figure out the clubface contact.

I discussed how a shot that misses the sweetspot of a 250 yard driver by 1 dimple will move the ball offline by 10 yards. The issue, in my mind, is that we will not be able to feel that. Thus, if I am producing a club face of 0* and a path of 1* inside-to-out, but hitting a fade, then it’s obvious that I’m catching the heel of the club on some level and that should be fixed.


LEVEL 1 – Tighten the Dispersion of the clubface angle at impact

LEVEL 2 – Get the clubface consistently pointing 1-way (closed or open)

LEVEL 3 – Get the clubface consistently pointing 1-way and closer to square

Achieving 1-Way Golf Ball Curvature
– Get the clubface to consistently pointing on command depending on the desired shot>


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preparing For 2012 During the Winter

Many people that read the blog know that I grew up in upstate NY where we get a lot of snow (called ‘lake effect’, which will produce snowflakes the size of small dogs). With that, it makes it difficult to improve your golf game into the following golf season or to carry over a good year of golf into the following season. Here are some tips that I would have to prepare for golf while it’s snowing.


If you have a garage or another indoor place you can swing your clubs, I recommend the Fairway Pro golf mat (

I’ve tried a few other mats that felt a little better than the fairway pro, but they are much more expensive and not nearly as portable. I got to try the Fairway Pro out at the 2011 PGA Merchandise show and was quite impressed with it. Does it simulate a divot? Not really. But, it feels good for a mat and doesn’t kill your wrists and hands when you miss.


I’ve been told that the issue with nets is that they break open after use. I’ve been told that best solution is to get the mesh Army nets.

I don’t think these mesh Army nets are necessarily cheap, but from what some readers have told me is that you save money in the end versus having to buy a new golf net.


It may be difficult to shoot this indoors unless you have the proper lighting. But, I typically recommend the Casio line of products. Although, from what I’ve been told the latest model, ZR-100 is an inferior product to the previous ones.

I think in the offseason, many golfers work too much on their timing instead of working on getting rid of those 1 or 2 big mechanical flaws that cause them the most problems. I think the offseason is the time to fix those and it’s best to do those with a camera, if you don’t have an instructor around to help.


Over the past year or so, I’ve become a bigger and bigger believer in the importance of speed/touch in putting. If you have a decent amount of carpet to putt on, I think you can work diligently on your putting and improve it without needing a putting green.

I would recommend getting Geoff Mangum’s ‘Reality of Putting’ video (

I’ve found this video to be tremendously helpful to my putting, mostly from a putting mechanics perspective. What I’ve found is that most people who have purchased this video have wound up glossing over the part where Geoff tells us how every golfer has touch and how to use their brain, along with the rhythm and tempo of the stroke to get the right touch. It’s amazing how well this works, but even more amazing is how many viewers completely ignore this.

It’s not even difficult to do, but it will require a change (most likely) in your pre-putt routine. And if you have carpet, you can incorporate this and work on a new pre-putt routine to start hitting more putts with a better touch.

As far as training aids go, I still think Dave Pelz’s ‘Truthboard’ is a good product.

I like it because it helps with getting the initial direction of the putt correct and you can start to see where you may have issues with aiming the putter. It also allows you to make for breaking putts as well. Typically, the best putters on the PGA Tour according to the Putts Gained data…are really good from 3 to 5 feet. It’s not that 3 to 5 footers matter more, but they are a sign of quality of mechanics, aim and speed/touch (often overlooked on short putts) of the golfer.

I would also recommend getting an Edel putter fitting if there’s a fitter nearby. Granted, the Edel putters are not cheap. But, I’ve had mine for 7 months and the only thing I’ve contemplated with it is possibly getting the same putter, but with the Vari-Weight model (allows for you to change the weight). And even still, I don’t think I’m going to do that.

The only complaints I’ve heard about the Edel putters is that I had 1 reader say that he changed his address position quite a bit with his putting instructor and that changed how he aimed. And a few golfers said that they didn’t like the stock round Edel putter grip. But, you can get any putter grip you would like on the Edel and I actually love the round Edel putter grip.

I actually believe that the majority of golfers really do not need to change their address position with their putting in order to putt better. Obviously, the address position can cause the golfer to aim a certain way. But, that’s kinda the point of Edel putters…they fit the putter to the way your eyes aim. So if you get fit for an Edel now, you’re not going to start mis-aiming it by the time the 2012 golf season starts.

When I lived up north, I always wanted to focus on greatly improving at least 2 things and the winter season gave me some time to do that because I didn’t have playing golf getting in the way of making progress in those weak areas. Identify those weak areas and you can get off to a fast start come 2012.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Baseball and Putting

With the World Series coming up, here's a video from 3Jack Top 20 Putting/Short Game Instructor...Shawn Clement...relating baseball to putting.


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Myth of Shot Dispersion

One thing I noticed after the FSGA Mid-Am was that there is a real myth behind tightly dispersing shots. I think it has to do with how one achieves it.

If you go to a PGA Tour event and head out to the range, you are bound to see a few golfers noticeably struggling on the range. Amazingly enough, they are able to put together respectable rounds. Some may miss the cut, some may actually get somewhere near contention.

I think that has intrigued me and I think most people chalk it up to 'good short game, course management and mental outlook.'

I actually there's more to it than that.

I remember back in 2009 when The Golf Channel held a special clinic featuring both Tiger Woods (injured at the time) and Anthony Kim, there was an interesting comment both guys made.

I'm paraphrasing them....whatever shot you show up on the range with that day, take that out onto the golf course. Don't try to change it.

Essentially, if your stock shot is a push-draw, but you show up to the range before a round hitting pull-fades...just play the pull-fade. Don't try to force yourself into hitting the push-draw.

Sounds simple enough.

But to take that a step further, I think to play on the level of a PGA Tour veteran, you need to, at the very least, hit one type of shot.

What I mean by that is if you primarily hit a fade, you should almost never hit a draw (unless the shot calls for it and you purposedly try to hit a draw). Conversely, if you hit should avoid fades.

I think where I got lackadaisical with this is that I was content with hitting a shot flush and hitting a fade and then hitting another shot flush and hitting a slight draw. Each shot would end up close to the pin, but I think there's a danger in doing that.

I believe that unless I purposedly intend to do otherwise, I want to play golf where...if I were hitting shots would go straigh or push or fade at the target or over fade right of the target. Same with if I'm hitting a draw (straight, pull, draw at target, over-draw left of target).

I think most low handicap golfers, when they are swinging well, will hit the ball relatively straight. Particularly with today's ball that curves less.

I think there's a great advantage to hitting the ball straight on command. I think that was why Moe Norman could separate his ballstriking from other great ballstrikers, Moe could always hit it straight on command. While nobody else is Moe Norman...I do feel that when good players are playing really well, they will hit stretches where they can hit a shot straight on command. But for the rest of the time, we need to hit one type of shot when we don't hit it straight.

I think the myth behind tightly dispersing shots is that we often are a bit too focused on the actual result...meaning, where the shots are with relation to the target. But, if we focused our intention on hitting it straight or having one type of curve on each shot...we would actually more tightly disperse our shots on average.

This is why I think the Tour pros can really struggle on the range and still post up a solid score. They might be struggling, but they are putting the same type of curvature on the golf ball.

Where I think this really helps is with avoiding what I call 'impeded shots.'

I say a shot is 'impeded' when your ball winds up:

- O.B.
- Water
- Fairway Bunker
- Deep Rough
- Trees

If your ball is either going straight or has one type of curvature, you can pretty much avoid those things that 'impede' shots much more easily. And believe me, if you keep track of your rounds and the shot impeded each round, you will see your scores lower when you avoid impeded shots.

A good example was my FSGA Mid-Am qualifier at Shingle Creek. I only had 1 impeded shot the entire round, and that was on the 3rd hole, a par-4 where I tried to play smart and take a hybrid off the tee. I actually striped it, but it didn't carry enough and wound up in the rough. The rough wasn't deep, but combined with it being on a swale, I counted it as an impeded shot. And I still wound up hitting the green in regulation.

In the end, I hit the driver okay, hit the irons well, and putted mediocre...and shot (+2) 74 with 13 greens in regulation


I knew that day I simply was not going to miss left. I think I might have hit one shot with a draw the entire round. I used that to avoid impeded shots and that allowed me to more easily advance the ball towards the hole on each shot

But the key isn't so much that I had a 1-way that I was either hitting it straight, a push, fade or an over-fade.

I couldn't do that in the actual Mid-Am. I actually hit some great shots, but some would draw and some would fade. And when I had a difficult shot, I had nothing to rely on in order to avoid leaving myself with an impeded shot.

Of course, the question will be raised 'well, how does one develop a 1-curve shot?'

My feeling is that it has to do with clubface control.

While D-Plane tells us that the the ball's spin axis will be due to the clubhead path's relationship to the clubface, I think many golfers tend to think that in order to improve the amount of curvature or to develop a 1-way curve of the golf ball, they need to work on the path.

Let's say we hit 3 golf shots. And each shot the path is at 0* square to the target. But, the clubface is:

Shot 1: -3* closed

Shot 2: 0* square

Shot 3: +3* open

Each shot will produce a different curve:

Shot 1: Hook Spin

Shot 2: Straight

Shot 3: Slice spin

That's why I think PGA Tour players are...PGA Tour players. They can control their clubface in their swing better. And when they are struggling, they don't fight it on the course and just go with the curvature of the ball they are hitting and go about playing their round. And I believe that most of them, unless the purposedly do it, do not hit many shots that curve the opposite way that often. It's only after the round or in between tournaments that they tend to try to get the ball to fly like they prefer.

Think about all of the great golfers in the history of the game. Nicklaus...fade. Trevino...could always hit a fade. Billy Casper....draw. Kenny Perry....draw.

Being able to avoid the opposite of the way they typically curved the ball....even if they hit it flush, was more important to them than actually flushing a golf shot.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

MOI Matching

After my last blog post, I had some golfers ask me about ‘MOI Matching.’

First, we should know that MOI stands for ‘Moment of Inertia.’ Secondly, there is essentially 2 different types of weight matching with golf clubs…MOI matching and ‘swingweight matching.’

I would estimate that 99% of golfers have clubs that are swingweight matched. In fact, many golfers have clubs where the manufacturer or clubmaker tries to do a poor man’s version of MOI matching. But, I will get to that in a moment.

The main idea is to get each club to feel the same when we swing it. With swingweight matching, we put the club on a swingweight scale and if we want the swingweight at D-3 for a 3-iron, then we want it at D-3 with our 9-iron. Where some OEM’s and clubmakers do a ‘poor man’s version of MOI matching’ is that they will slightly increase the swingweight the shorter the club gets. Thus, a 3-iron may have a D-2 swingweight, but the golfer’s 9-iron may have a D-4 swingweight. More on that in a bit.

As Tom Wishon says on his Web site, MOI matching in its simplest form is scientifically making each club require the same amount of effort to swing.

Now, I’m still learning about MOI matching, but the main difference I see is that with swingweight matching, one can have two clubs that are the same length, but the weights can be completely different. One head can weigh more, one shaft can weigh less, the balance point of the shaft can be different, the weight up towards the grip end can be different…and yet, still manage to have the same swingweight. The problem is these two clubs can swing nothing alike.

For instance, ever have one club in your bag that feels lousy compared to the rest? This happens with me as there is a distinct difference in how my Wishon 555C 3-iron feels from my Wishon 555C 4-iron. I hit the 4-iron fantastic, but the 3-iron feels off to me every time I hit it. I can hit some great shots with it, but not with much consistency. But, they have the same exact swingweight. My philosophy is that the MOI is likely very different.

And that’s where I hope to have MOI matching come into play.

There are a few different ways to determine what the best MOI is for each golfer, but it’s based on actual results. One way some clubfitters MOI match is to ask the golfer what their favorite club is in the bag, measure the MOI on a MOI frequency machine (pictured above) and then strategically place weights (not lead tape) in the club to get the MOI to match that favorite club of the golfer. Again, that’s one way a clubfitter can find the best MOI, there are other methods as well.

What will happen when the clubs are MOI matched is that the swingweight will actually get heavier as the clubs get shorter. So, you may have a perfect MOI match throughout your set of irons, but the 3-iron may be at a D-2 swingweight and the PW may be at a D-6 swingweight. However, the clubs will take the same amount of force to swing.

The reason why I say some OEM’s and clubmakers use a ‘poor man’s MOI matching’ is that they more or less blindly add more swingweight as the clubs get long, but that does not mean that they are MOI matched.

I plan on getting to this in the next month or so and I will be offering this service, at a fee, for those who are interested.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3Jack's Thoughts After the Mid-Am

First, I would like to thank the FSGA ( along with Shingle Creek Golf Club ( and Old Marsh Golf Club (

I though the preparation for the Mid-Am was impeccable and very user friendly. Everything from the sign in to the tee times to the practice round to the actual tournament was very easy for me to set up and do.

I highly recommend Shingle Creek to anybody staying in Orlando and looking to play some golf. The course is a great design and in fantastic condition.

Old Marsh is my favorite course I've played in the state of Florida. I would like to get onto Sawgrass, Doral and Seminole sometime, but they'll have their work cut out for them in order to pry that title from Old Marsh.

What was even better was how friendly the staffs at both Shingle Creek and Old Marsh Golf Club were. I've played my fair share of tournaments like this where the staff at the host course is not too thrilled to have a tournament, but that could not be further from the truth with Old Marsh and Shingle Creek. Once again, I applaud them for everything they did.

Unfortunately, the outcome was disappointing as I shot my worst round of the year in the first round. In the 2nd round, I played 10 holes and was +3 and it started to rain, so I called it quits and headed home.

The golfing goal for me is to make the match play of the US Amateur. While it's a lofty goal, I actually don't view the FSGA Mid-Am as a setback because I was good enough to make it to the Mid-Am and I learned a lot of invaluable things about what I believe it takes to make match play of the US Amateur.


Here, I'm talking about score wise because there are so many different ways to do it.

The Orlando US Am qualifier also took place at Shingle Creek where a 2-day total of 140 advanced to the actual US Amateur Championship.

My feeling is that in order to qualify for the match play portion, I would need to not only be able to shoot in the 60's at a course like Shingle Creek, but also at a tougher course like Old Marsh. In the qualifying rounds of the Mid-Am, only 3 players shot 140 or less...and one of them was Gary Nicklaus (Jack's son), who used to play on the PGA Tour.

From a handicap perspective, I think it means that I need to play to a consistent +4. Currently, I'm at +1.7.


Unfortunately, I was ill-prepared for the actual Mid-Am which I take complete blame for. Things like making the trip down after work, getting the hotel setup, finding a place for breakfast, etc.

Little things.

But, they added up. Even the small aspect of having to get up at the crack of dawn to play competitive golf is something I must get better at.


I believe that the physical conditioning aspect of the game has been overblown over the years. Personally, I think physical conditioning is mainly good for endurance. When you're playing in Florida heat and you need to hit 3 good shots to finish your round, it helps to be doing it with a slower pulse and blood pressure.

I also think stretching helps with...longevity.

I actually have plenty of flexibility, but I think I could use a little more. So, my goal is to lose 30 pounds in the next 6 months. I also have some other type of conditioning I want to get into, but it's a secret for now until I see how it works out.


I'm quite satisfied with my equipment. I was thinking about getting an Edel Vari-Weight putter, but after putting on Old Marsh's slick greens, I realized that it's not an issue. I may do some tweaking to the driver and 3-wood as my swing mechanics improve.

The Lob Wedge (Ping Tour-S Rustique) might get changed out and I'm interested in trying a Talamonti hybrid shaft into a Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK 20* hybrid.

I also plan to get into doing MOI Matching which I will go into in a future post. I will make this service available for a fee in 2012 as well.


One of the great things about Trackman is that it can give the golfer numbers and data to strive towards to improve their ballstriking.

I plan on getting back on Trackman again and this time, I will probably use it about once a month until I feel my swing and the numbers I can produce are where I want them.

Last time I went on Trackman, my driver clubhead speed was about 109 mph, but I had to strive to work my attack angle to -2. My goal here is to get to 112-113 mph with a consistent attack angle around 0*. I'd like to be able to generate a smash factor of 1.48 with a spin rate right around 2,800 rpm's.


I think one of the things I must develop is a consistent type of curvature with my shots.

I think if my stock shot is a fade, I basically need to hit it dead straight or with a fade. And if I miss, it's an 'over-fade.' Same with the draw...draw it, hit it straight or over-draw it. But whatever I do, I can't be mixing up fade shows with draw shots.

I feel my course management is actually quite strong, but the last step is to develop a 1-way miss. Particularly in the environment I will be playing in because I feel the best way to cure tournament jitters and the uncertainty of playing a new course is to have a 1-way miss.

If you watch the PGA Tour pros out on the range, you'll often see some guys struggly badly out on the range and still manage to put in a good score. I believe it's because while they may not be hitting it like they want, they are able to go onto the course with a 1-way miss and make it around pretty well.


I will continue to work on my swing with my swing instructor, George Hunt ( I've enjoyed the success I've had with him and I honestly feel that I'm not that far off from swinging it and hitting it extremely well.

However, I need to be more diligent and disciplined with my practice. While I put in a lot of practice, I need to start practicing more like George prescribes in the lessons. I would often start out practicing like that and then go to hitting balls. Part of that was due to wanting to make big changes, but the other part was due to enjoying hitting it better.

George prescribes more of a slower and deliberate practice to ingrain the mechanics. And it's something I have to be committed to.


The good news is that I was very happy with my putting at the Mid-Am. I thought I did a pretty good job of making reads and I thought my speed/touch was superb.

I did notice that if I have a 3-footer that cannot be aimed at the middle of the cup, I will miss it because I don't read the break. So that's something I have to look out for.

I will be getting lessons on AimPoint thru Faldo Golf Institute teacher David Graham ( in the future.

I'm looking to improve my precision with my reads and then advance it to being able to make the more advanced reads. For instance, if I have a putt on a planar slope...I can usually read it, figure out where to aim using the AimChart. I'm also becoming adept at reading the putt based on where the ball is with relation to the low anchor (all AimPoint lingo, which readers should learn).

But, if I have a 40 foot putt that goes into a saddle slope and one side of the saddle is steeper than the other and the putt sorta runs diagonally into the saddle slope...those are types of putts that I'm still a novice at figuring out.

I think if I want to reach my goal, I need to be adept enough where I could be a certified instructor if I wanted to be.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

3Jack FSGA Mid-Am - Round 1

Course: Old Marsh Golf Club
Ball: Srixon Z-Star
Bag Setup: Adams 9064LS driver (10.5*), Adams F11 Speedline 3-wood (15*), Wishon 555C 3&4 irons, Wishon 555M 5-PW, Miura K-Grind (56*), Ping Tour-S Rustique (60*)

It was about 80-85* on Thursday, wind blowing again at 20 mph, but this was more from the East than from the North which is what we had on Wednesday.

I had the greens at a 10 on the stimp.

#10 - 313 yards par-4

I smoked a driver down the middle into the wind. Had 55 yards into the back of the green. Flew the green with a LW. Bump-n-run with a SW to about 3 inches and tapped in for par (E)

#11 - 405 yards par-4

Hit a good driver down the middle. Caught a 9-iron a little heavy, but put it to 10 feet. Read the putt right and drained the birdie (-1)

#12 - 502 yards par-5

Hit a driver well, but pulled it, but actually found the fairway. Short yardage home and flushed a 5-iron , but the wind never took it left. Tried a bump-n-run again with a SW, but it spun too much and stayed on the fringe. Pretty good first putt, didn't play enough break on a 3-footer and missed the putt and made a bogey. Thats probably something I need to work on...playing 3-foot putts that have to be aimed outside the edge of the cup. (E)

#13 - 395 yard par-4

This is a tough driving hole and I took a poor swing and wound up on the cart path. You have to play it off the cart path here because it's a sand path. I had a weird shot because there is a big mound right in front of me. So I pulled a PW out and flushed it. Should've hit the club I needed which was an 8-iron. Anyway, found the bunker. Long bunker shot to a front pin. Left it short. Terrible chip and then made a good 5-footer for double (+2)

#14 - 205 yard par-3

Flushed a 5-iron a little long. I was near the bottom anchor. Couldn't tell if I was 5-feet or closer to 10-feet to the bottom anchor. It was about a 40 foot putt. I played it 3 inches left. Not sure if was correct because I didn't quite get it there. It was a good speed on the putt, but unclear if I had the read. But, I tapped in for par (+2)

#15 - 375 yards par-4

Crushed this driver down the middle. Went at the flag because it was in the back. If you go on the green and are on the front side, you almost have no chance of 2-putting because there's a huge mound in the middle of the green. I went at the flag with a little PW and went over. Good first, but it rolled on bye. But, I made the 5-footer for par (+2)

#16 - 170 yards par-3

Flushed an 8-iron that landed even with the cup and just about a foot right of the hole. Missed the 5-footer. Actually a good read, but it was too hard as it went about 18 inches past the cup. That's why that 18 inches past stuff just doesn't work.

#17 - 570 yards par-5


Hooked a driver and hit a tree. Was in a position I've never been in before. I had a swing, but no shot...unless you have a 100 yard hook on a 200 yard shot in your bag. I actually had to hit a chip with a SW by the cartpath, which I did perfectly.

I then hit a hybrid, but it caught a bush and stayed in the bush. Had to drop and take an unplayable. Good hybrid, ugly 3-iron, Flop on...2-putt for a quad. Ugly (+6)

#18 - 460 yards par-4

Good driver down the middle. Hit a nice 4-iron into the wind to about 30 feet. Read the putt perfectly and just missed and made par (+6)

#1 - 370 yards par-4

Here I'm thinking that if I can shoot even par on the back...I could come in with a 78 and give myself a shot on Friday.

I hit a good driver down the middle, followed by a choked up 7-iron to 12 feet. Here's where I need to get more advanced in my AimPoint as this was a nasty little putt that I had the right idea, just not enough break. Even my playing partner remarked how he couldn't believe it broke left at the end and I played it correctly. (+6)

#2 - 530 yards par-5

Good driver down the middle. I laid up because there's a nasty fairway bunker I wanted to avoid. Hit a SW to 18 feet. Another putt like #1...had the right idea, just not where exactly to aim. Made par (+6)

#3 - 180 yards par-3

Flushed a 6-iron to the back of the green. I thought I was 5 feet to the low anchor, but I was actually 10 feet away and I made a decent run at it and made par (+6)

#4 - 400 yards par -4

I hit a good driver here down the middle. Tried to choke up with a 6-iron into the wind, but missed it right. Hit the chip too hard with a LW. Had the line, but the wind just killed the putt and made bogey (+7)

#5 - 370 yards par-4

Here's where I got greedy and dumb. I tried to hit big shots instead of sticking with the overall gameplan. I hit a driver well, but pulled it. Hit a PW over the green. First chip was short of the green. 2nd chip to 3-feet and made bogey (+8)

#6 - 470 yards par-3

Nice driver down the middle. Ugly 5-iron that went into the water. At this point, my confidence was shot. Took a drop, air-mailed a SW over the green. Hit back...and now I'm playing tennis instead of golf. Ugly pitch and a 2-putt for another quad (+12)

#7 - 560 yards par-5

Good driver down the middle. Tried to hit a 3-wood, but went into the water. I didn't know there was water left...I thought it was O.B. or possible lost ball. Dropped, hit a hybrid and pull hooked that one. SW onto the green, 2-putted for double (+14)

#8 - 155 yards par-3

Decent 9-iron to 20 feet. Read the putt perfectly and made birdie (+13)

#9 - 460 yards par-4

Hit a driver a bit high which isn't good into the wind. Hit an ugly 3-hybrid into the right rough. Had a bad lie and the ball just never got any spin and went long. Good first putt and made bogey (+14)

THOUGHTS: Because I haven't hit it well lately, my confidence was down and I never quite trusted myself or felt comfortable out there today.

Although, I think the first step is a big step in all of this....not being embarrassed about the round.

Really, I'm not.

If anything, I'm a bit frustrated with not sticking to the gameplan and pressing when I really didn't need to press.

I will say playing partner is one of the better amateurs in the state and he shot 72 and I honestly feel like I could've shot 74 with a lack of confidence in my swing and playing smarter. I actually think he would tell you that I hit more 'great' shots than he didn, but we know that golf isn't about hitting great's about avoiding the bad ones.

Still, it's a learning experience and that's what I was thinking coming into the tournament. I'm pretty happy with my putting, I just think I need to get more adept with my AimPoint skills. Obviously, my swing has some work to do. I have some plans for that as well. I think one thing with playing courses like this that I've never played before...I really need to develop a 1-way shot and a 1-way miss to make it more comfortable for me on the course.

As Moe Norman once said (paraphrasing), there's nothing wrong with shooting a bad score because I'll always have tomorrow to play and get it back.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Afternoon With Moe...

Here's a video shot by 3Jack Top 50 Instructor (and Tour Striker inventor), Martin Chuck...shot back in 1998 in Toronto.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Best and Worst of Adjusted Short Game Play

Adjusted Short Game Play is a formula I used to determine the quality of play by a PGA Tour player from 0-20 yards off the green. I’ve found that as far as short game goes, this is the distance range that is most important for Tour players in shooting good scores. I believe that a distance of 20-30 yards tends to revolve a little more around luck because that is a larger miss and a more skilled short game player may hit worse shots due to having worse misses from this distance.

The PGA Tour leader in Short Game play in 2011 was Brian Gay.

First, I would like to go into Gay’s bag setup.

I believe the setup is still the same as the pic below, I think the actual equipment models have changed.

So, Gay utilizes a 3 wedge setup, going PW (58*), SW (55*) and LW (60*)

This is a setup that I personally recommend for good players because in order to get better, the golfer will need to improve their Danger Zone play (shots from 175-225 yards) and you want the yardage gaps to be spread evenly there. You won’t be able to do it as effectively if you carry more than 3 wedges in your bag.

The worst short game player on Tour in 2011 was Billy Hosrchel.

The only thing I could find on Horschel’s bag setup was that he actually carried 4 wedges, a PW, Gap Wedge (52*) a SW (56*) and a LW (60*). Horschel’s bounce angles appear to be 12* and 10*. I’m not sure what the bounce angles are on Gay’s clubs, but I think they are about the same. If there’s one thing I’ve found by looking at PGA Tour player bags, they tend to carry wedge bounce angles that are in the 8-12* range.

What’s a bit unique is that outside of clubhead speed, both Horschel and Gay have very similar driver radar statistics.

Clubhead Speed……………103.5………………….111.6
Launch Angle………………11.79………………….11.49
Spin Rate…………………...2,461………………….2,517
Distance Eff. Rank………….33………………………13

What I’ve typically found is that the best short game players tend to carry 4 wedges in their bag. I think Horschel understands that his short game is weak and is trying to rectify it. However, he might be better suited by working on his technique over the equipment. It’s not like he can get any worse (he was not only last, but dead last in short game). If he can get better in the Danger Zone, he can still be last in Short Game and actually be more successful.


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Best And Worst of Advanced Total Driving

One of the features in my statistical golf e-book (planning on being out in November or December) will be to go thru each player on the 2011 PGA Tour that qualified statistically and analyze their stats and how it applies to their game.

There’s a few more tournaments to be done for the year, mostly to help determine those who make the top 125 on the money list and those who need to go back to Q-School. But, I am pretty confident that the main metrics I work with are pretty much set.

Here, I wanted to look at what I call ‘Advanced Total Driving.’ This is a proprietary formula I utilize based off of driving distance, driving accuracy and average distance from edge of the fairway (on drives that find the rough). I want to look at the #1 on the list and the last player on the list.

The #1 ranked driver of the golf ball in 2011 is John Merrick.

Here’s a look at Merrick’s stats for the year.

297.7 yards average drive
68.7% fairways hit
22.4 feet average distance from edge of fairway

Clubhead Speed - 110.04 mph
Launch angle - 11.3*
Spin rate - 2,943 rpm
Apex Height - 97'10"

Merrick also uses a 9* Titleist 910D2 driver

Merrick, from a stats perspective, reminds me a lot of another one of the Tour’s all-time great drivers of the golf ball….Kenny Perry.

Perry generates only about 110-111 mph of clubhead speed, but is known as a long ball hitter. Merrick is only generating 110 mph of clubhead speed, but is hitting 298 yard drivers on average. Given the power he gets from his clubhead speed and his launch angle for a 9* driver, I think it’s obvious that Merrick hits up with the driver and is able to consistently execute those mechanics.

I know Trackman would recommend something like 2,800 rpm as an optimal spin rate. Merick is a little above that while Perry usually hovers around 2,500-2,600 rpm.

Currently, the worst driver on Tour is Chad Collins.

I do not have any swings of Collins nor do I know what’s in his bag. But, here are the stats of Collins:

273.5 yards average drive
55.5% fairways hit
30.8 feet average distance from edge of fairway

109.36 mph clubhead speed
9.38* launch angle
2,844 rpm spin rate
83’10” apex height

There’s actually 2 more telling statistics between Merrick and Collins.

Smash Factor – We know that smash factor = Ball Speed / Clubhead speed. Smash factor helps tell us how well the ball was struck because if you generate virtually the same clubhead speed, but hit a shot off the toe…the ball speed will be lesser than if you had hit it on the sweetspot. Also, we know from Trackman with the way the modern driver is designed that two shots struck in the same spot can have different smash factors if one swing has a noticeably steeper attack angle than the other swing.

Here, Merrick ranks 11th and Collins ranks 142nd.

Driving Distance Efficiency – This is taking driving distance / clubhead speed. There are numerous factors that play into this, but essentially it’s about who optimizes their distance given their clubhead speed.

Now, I think some people misinterpret what this stat is saying. For starters, it’s not a measurement of somebody’s power. If you want to measure actual power, look at a stat like average driving distance. Other people think that it’s a measure of the efficiency of a golfer’s swing.

Driving Distance Efficiency is really more of an indicator of how well the golfer strikes the driver, if they hit up or down with the driver and if they have the right equipment for their swing.

Here, Merrick ranks 13th and Collins ranks 184th.

I think that it’s an interesting case of how 2 golfers with very similar swing speeds that are below the Tour average can achieve completely different results off the tee.