Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Perfect Shank on the Phantom Camera

Another interesting video from Kelvin Miyahira showing a shank on the high speed camera. Notice how the ball 'rolls along the face'.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

3 Bays Golf Swing Analyzer

Here's a video from friend of the blog, Tour Striker creator and 3Jack Top-50 Instructor, Martin Chuck, showing the 3 Bays Golf Swing Analyzer.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 Pro Golf Synopsis Update

Just an update on 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis e-book. 

I am working diligently on PGS every day. Currently, I'm trying to finish up on the player-by-player Tour analysis. That should take me thru weekend to finish. Each player on Tour will have their own page. 191 players qualified statistically. Soooooo...that's 191 pages in just Tour player analysis alone. And you would be surprised what I can find to write about Tom Pernice's game, much less Rory McIlroy's.

After that, I will put the finishing touches on the rest of the book. Most of that has been written for a while now. Then some editing and some revision. The plan is to get the e-book finished by December 31st. Hopefully, no later than January 6th as that is when the Hyundai Tournament of Champions starts.

I am pretty sure I will put it up on an Web site for sale. That's what the SITD crew uses for their work. Until then, I will be doing less blog posts as I work to finish up 2012 PGS.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

AimPoint Practice 12.11.12

One of the more difficult parts of AimPoint to master is simple in design.

When you have calculated where you have to aim using the chart, then you have to have the ability to:

1) identify where to aim in accordance to the calculation.

2) being able to actually aim the putter at that target.

So, if you calculate that you need to aim 6 inches right of the hole, you need to know who 6 inches right of the hole is located. Then you have to be able to aim the putter face at that target 6 inches right of the hole.

This is what requires the most practice for somebody like myself. And I believe other golfers will find the same as well. But, with proper practice I believe that golfers will not only get better at finding where to aim and aiming at that spot, but their stroke mechanics will improve.

Granted, this is more detailed, hard working practice than the other practice I have mentioned when it comes to the basics of determing the stimp and feeling with your feet. But, if you were to take the time you normally practice putting using 3 balls and stroking some putts....and replaced it with this will see your putting improve much more rapidly.

Here's an AimPoint practice that I like, using the 'Swinkey'. In this situation, the Swinkey is being used with a string above the putter's line of the putt

One of the Tour's best putters, Aaron Baddeley does something similar.

The idea is simple. Calculate where you need to aim. Then install the string apparatus to from behind the ball to where you are supposed to aim. Finally, aim the putter at that point and stroke the putt.

IMO, the key is be able to observe the putts. If the putt does not go in, the question becomes 'why?' Did you aim incorrectly? Did you make the right calculation? Did you hit the putt too hard or too soft? Eventually, you may start to see a trend.

I know when I went to my AimPoint clinic that was hosted by John Graham ( saw that most of the golfers attending the clinic constantly made all sorts of compensations in their stroke.

While I think much of that had to do with their inability to aim their putter correctly. I also think much of it had to do with their inability to read greens and poor concepts about putting.

For instance, many golfers would *try* to aim the putter where they thought the apex of the break was going to be. You are supposed to aim the putter above the apex of the break. Due to this, if they hit the ball the right speed, they will miss on the 'low side.' To counter that, they would often hit the ball entirely too hard to reduce the amount the putt breaks. But, after missing putts because they hit them too hard, they would end up getting nervous and hitting putts short. And essentially, their speed was so bad that their confidence would be completely shot.

The other common trait was for a golfer to mis-aim their putter. If they were trying to aim 10 inches right of the hole, they may aim 5 inches right of the hole instead. They would then compensate by 'pushing' the ball out to the right. Or they could do what I used to do, have a rightward aim bias and try to pull the ball with my stroke back towards the target.

If you're practicing like shown above, you can start to identify any possible stroke issues. The main idea behind AimPoint is to read the putt correctly, find where to aim and aim the putter correctly. If you can continue to master these parts, your brain will gain a better feel for the speed of the putt. Furthermore, your stroke should improve as well.

From reading a lot of the SAM Puttlab reports of good putters on Tour versus the rest of the golfers, the key difference is that these good Tour putters have extremely consistent putting strokes. Their actual stroke mechanics may not exactly be pretty, but they are incredibly consistent.

Here is the link to the SAM Puttlab report of 'The Boss of the Moss', Loren Roberts.

As you can see on page 1, he would aim his putter face 1° closed at address. But at impact, his face averaged out to be 0° square to the target. Just as impressive is his 'consistency' scores, ranking 87 on putting aim at address and 95 on putter face aim at impact.

Also on page 2 they show what his stroke looks like thru impact. It's an outside-to-in stroke. SAM Puttlab gives it a technique score of 65. But, the consistency score of 95. The same on the face rotation on page 5, with a so-so technique score of 72, but a consistency score of 94.

While I would not recommend utilizing Roberts' technique and mechanics because the compensations are a bit too difficult for most of the golfing population to ever master, it does show how important stroke consistency is to putting. And if you practice AimPoint properly and are aware enough to figure out what you are doing in your stroke, you can start to develop a very consistent putting stroke because you're reading the putts correctly and establishing the correct target which helps eliminate some of the compensations from the get-go.

In part, that's why there is a marriage between AimPoint and Edel Golf. AimPoint calculates the read, Edel Golf has putters designed so the golfer can naturally aim at the target that has been established (along with superior custom weighting to fit the golfer's stroke)

For information about SAM Puttlab locations in the US, go to:


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DeFrancesco on Sevam1's Swing

Here is a video from Wayne DeFrancesco analyzing Mike Maves (aka Sevam1’s) swing. While I think the video is interesting, I think that DeFrancesco may have missed the point that Maves has made about his swing from Day 1, he calls it a combination of Ben Hogan and Moe Norman’s swing mechanics. In fact, Mike has often been referred to by the nickname ‘Moegan.’

Furthermore, in my time talking with Mike personally and reading his work, he does not really shoot down golf instructors work as ‘being too complicated.’ He has shot down some common theories like the ‘flat spine’ and the ‘chin up’ at address. However, he’s been very complimentary of other teachers as well. I know he has taken a keen interest towards TGM and other swing philosophies because he has been very complimentary about them and inquired about them in our conversations.

Now, he has acted like Hogan’s ‘5 Lessons: Modern Fundamentals of Golf’ book is the gospel. And he has been critical of some instructors and some instructors being too complicated. However, I do not see him pigeonholing all golf instructors that do not follow his theories as being that way. More often than not, I cannot say that for other instructors who talk about golf instructors who do not subscribe to the same theories.

Either way, I still think the comparisons and contrasts between the Hogan and Maves’ swing is interesting. But, I think some of the peripheral thoughts about Mike as a person and what he says are often misinformed hyperbole.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Evolution of a Golf Swing Over 17 Years Video

Interesting video showing the evolution of a golfer's swing over 17 years. The golfer in the video worked with Alex Sloan, a GSED of The Golfing Machine


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mangum On Merits of Anchored Putting Lawsuit

3Jack Top-25 Putting Instructor, Geoff Mangum, posted this on his own Web site ( about the merits of a possible lawsuit against the anchored stroke. Mangum is a former attorney, so a lot of this is very 'legalize' type of speak.

Generally, he's stating that a golfer would probably have to sue under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). And that would still be a long shot.

"In the (Casey) Martin case, the Court rejected the argument that "fatigue" was an essential aspect of golf. Here, the question is whether using allowable clubs and strokes is part of the essence of the game. That question seems more likely to be answered in the affirmative than the one posed in the Martin case."

And it sounds like the only legitimate case would have to be made by the clubmakers, whose putters were once deemed legal and were sold with the anchored stroke in mind.

You can find this post at


Dear Folks,

The question of a possible lawsuit filed to defeat either the ban on "anchoring" clubs when making a stroke or against any outright ban on belly and long putters doubtless is provoking a lot of nonsense presently from uneducated golfers nonetheless motivated to spout opinions. So, mostly as an antidote to confusion and gross stupidity in golf, and also because the issue has intrinsic interest, I offer the following educated analysis for the benefit of visitors to this PuttingZone Blog.

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are not legal advice but reporting and discussing issues of concern to golfers generally, and anyone considering a specific legal situation or taking legal action should consult a licensed attorney for advice.]

There are two possible lawsuits: one by a player, and one by a maker / seller of belly or long putters.

Player Suit

1. The federal law, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., requires an entity operating public accommodations to make reasonable modifications in its policies when necessary to afford such accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of such accommodations, §12182(b)(2)(A)(ii). The ADA mandates that "[n]o individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of a disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the privileges of any place of public accommodation." §12182(a).

2. In the case of PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661 (2001), the United States Supreme Court held the ADA prevented the Tour from applying a Rule prohibiting use of carts at Q School's final stage against Casey Martin; specifically ruling against the PGA Tour on four points, the Court held (1) that the Tour events including Q-School take place on places that are "public accommodations" and (2) that Casey Martin's leg problem preventing him from walking 18 holes was a "disability" and (3) that his request to be allowed to use a cart in the final stage of Q-School when others were not allowed was "a reasonable accommodation" the Tour was required to make and (4) that the use by Martin of a cart in the final stage of Q-School would not "fundamentally alter" the nature of" the Tour's "public accommodation" event.

3. In the case of the potential claim of a player to be allowed to use a belly putter or a long putter or to "anchor" the stroke, the same four elements would have to be established to win the ADA claim.

4. But the player would not be requesting this of the PGA Tour. He would be asking that the Rules of Golf not be applied as written against him only, and he would be suing the USGA (or the R&A) or whoever is operating the golf event.

5. The USGA is not subject to the ADA as an organization, but only to the extent it operates a golf event that takes place on a place as a "public accommodation" under the ADA. The Tour made two arguments that its events were not "public accommodations" under the ADA, and both were rejected. First, the Tour claimed it was a private club. Title 42 U. S. C. §12187 provides: "The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to private clubs or establishments exempted from coverage under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U. S. C. §2000a(e)) or to religious organizations or entities controlled by religious organizations, including places of worship." Second, the Tour argued that even if the event is held to be a "public accommodation", the only area that is public is "outside the ropes" and "inside the ropes" where Casey Martin would be is not a "public accommodation." The District Court ruled against the Tour on both arguments, holding that a "golf course" is named specifically in the ADA as a place of "public accommodation" and that the Tour in holding events is "a commercial enterprise operating in the entertainment industry for the economic benefit of its members rather than as a private club." The District Court rejected the second argument as an attempt to create enclaves in "public accommodations" where the ADA would not reach. The Tour gave up on the "private club" argument in higher appeals, but persisted in the "enclave" argument. The Tour lost its appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then the case went to the Supreme Court.

6. In a related case at about the same time, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a player requesting to be allowed to use a cart in the U.S. Open, ruling in favor of the USGA on the ground that allowing one player to use a cart and compete with less fatigue than the other competitors would "fundamentally alter" the nature of the competition. Olinger v. United States Golf Assn., 205 F. 3d 1001 (7th Cir. 2000). In Martin's case, the USGA had allowed him a waiver in events that it sponsors, including the U.S. Open, but had denied Orlinger's request. The Supreme Court resolved the issues in both the Martin case and the Orlinger case by its decision in Martin.

7. In the Supreme Court the Tour switched up its argument from asserting that it was a "private enclave" to asserting that the Tour was an "entertainment or exhibition" to the public but that players were like actors and employees of the exhibition, and the ADA only protects the consuming public, not employees in this sense. The Supreme Court viewed the Tour events as both entertainment for the public and as competitions in which the players were public consumers since they were paying entry fees and competing for money, and so rejected the argument and held the Tour events were "public accommodations".

8. The USGA as the ruling authority for golf is not by that alone a "public accommodation". "No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation." 42 U. S. C. §12182(a). The twelve categories of places deemed "public accommodations" includes "golf courses" but do not include organizations per se, only public places like restaurants, bars, museums, stadiums, bowling alleys, and the like. The USGA is not a "place" but the ruling organization. It is only when the USGA operates a public golf event at a "place" that the ADA applies to the USGA, so that includes all the Opens and amateur championships. But when an amateur is suing the USGA to be allowed to play in a stipulated round on a golf course somewhere but the USGA does not specifically "own, lease (or lease to), or operate a place of public accommodation" for that golf event, the suing player has no claim.

9. The player might have a claim against a golf course or tournament sponsor who applies the USGA Rules (and in certain events that would be the USGA), since then the course owner or event operator would likely be deemed operating a "public accommodation", provided the public generally is entitled to access and the event is truly not a "private club" event.

10. 42 U. S. C. §12102 provides, in part: "The term disability means, with respect to an individual (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual . . . ." Clearly, there was no dispute that a person who cannot walk 18 holes and who is a professional golfer is someone with a physical limitation that limits one of his major life activities. Can the same be said about a person claiming a "need" to use a belly putter or a long putter, on the one hand, or to "anchor" any club, on the other hand? That depends on the "physical or mental impairment" the player says requires use of the putters or the anchoring. Presumably, the player could claim he suffers from the "yips" and the yips are either a mental or physical impairment. That claim is medically substantiated. Another possible claim is some sort of orthopedic inability to bend over at address on the green. But he would also have to sustain the argument that the impairment limits one of his major life activities, and that would seem to be "playing USGA-Rules golf events at public accommodations." (Golfers with the yips, according to the medical literature, never complain about the problem except on the course, and never experience the problem in connection with off-course movements.) Is that one of his "major life activities"? For a typical amateur, that claim does not necessarily take wing -- playing the casual round of golf 2-3 times a month, as most amateurs do, and then playing in a tournament 2-3 times a year, with the amateur-staus restriction against acceptance of event money, substantially undercuts the claim that playing in such an amateur event is a "major life activity" for that typical amateur. The case would be stronger for an avid golfer playing 2-3 times weekly and entering 6-7 amateur tournaments annually, but even then there is a major issue whether the impairment limits the player in "one of his major life activities". A professional playing in U.S. Open competition (for men, women, or seniors) paying entry fees and playing for money would not have difficulty with this aspect of the ADA case.

11. Assuming that the player's case of the yips or other impairment amounts to a "disability" in the limiting sense, the player next would have to sustain the claim that not being exempted from the ban on belly or long putters or the ban on "anchoring" amounts to "discrimination" against him. "Discrimination" is defined in the ADA to mean "a failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations." §12182(b)(2)(A)(ii). In plain terms, this means that discrimination occurs unless the player is exempted from the ban by a "modification" of the rule or policy, that the modification is "necessary" to give the player full access to the event, and that the exemption does not "fundamentally alter" the nature of the golf event. Exemption from the Rule is not hard, but there is the subtle question of whether exemption actually helps the player overcome the impairment. The statute provides that the "modification" sought has to be "necessary" to afford the player full access to the event. In Martin's case, there was no question that riding in the cart overcame his inability to walk 18 holes and was therefore "necessary". Not only was the cart effective in making Martin able to play the 18 holes, but it was also the ONLY way he could have his impairment addressed, and so the cart was "necessary" in both senses as effective and as the only option. But does use of a belly or long putter or anchoring actually alleviate the impairment of the yips (or other impairment) such that the "modification" is "necessary" in either of the two senses? That would require proof.

12. Does use of a belly or long putter or anchoring the stroke overcome or substantially reduce the impairment caused by the yips in playing golf? The conventional wisdom is that players most often opt for the long or belly putter or anchoring not because of the yips, but because of problems making a conventional stroke with conventional and traditional clubs. Those players have no ADA case because they have no "disability" the ADA recognizes. But as to yips-afflicted golfers, even then the conventional wisdom is that it is not the club per se that addresses the yips but the change in the body action from the specific movement the yips afflict to another form of movement. The use of a belly or long putter MAY shift the movement to a new movement pattern, and thus help, but not necessarily. The anchoring is more often thought to address the afflicted movement, provided what gets anchored is not the club but the limb or body part that is afflicted. That also is not necessarily the case for anyone using these putters or anchoring. So there is a gap in the proof that needs filling with medical evidence to show that the belly or long putter or anchoring is necessary and effective to alleviate the impairment, since otherwise it is not any "accommodation" for the player at all. To date, there is no systematic study of this issue, and only anecdotal evidence from this or that individual without any clear establishment of the use of the special putters or anchoring actually causing alleviation of the yips. Even if there is proof that the modification sought by the player is effective to alleviate the yips, it is not necessarily the only option. Is it not possible that the player's yips can be alleviated in a manner that leaves the player using a conforming, conventional putter or a conforming, non-anchored stroke? In effect, the player might be required to prove that there is NO intervention for the yips OTHER THAN the use of a belly or long putter or an anchored stroke that alleviates his yips. It is possible that such a player with such a specific form of yips might make this case, but there are also abundant claims by others to "cure the yips" with interventions having nothing to do with the club or anchoring. One such is hypnotherapy; another is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT); others include acupuncture, Botulinum injection, changing a right-hand grip of a right-hand yips golfer to left-hand-low grip, using a heavy putter, using a "claw" grip to tame the right hand out of the stroke, doing deep breathing exercises, taking rehabilitative training, and more. None of these require the long or belly putter or anchoring as the exclusive remedial modification. And with respect to a claimed impairment like a "back problem," this actually is advanced only in connection with "practicing putting for a lengthy period of time", and is almost never advanced as a problem making one or two putts per hole while playing a round. Afterall, the "back problem" doesn't seem to be serious enough to interfere with the 40-50 or more full swings taken in a typical round of 18 holes. So this "back problem" is not likely to be accepted as a serious "impairment" requiring use of a long or belly putter (and in any event has nothing to do with "anchoring").

13. The more weighty question is whether allowing one player to use a putter design that others cannot use or a grip form that others cannot use would fundamentally alter the competition. The Supreme Court in the Martin case identified two ways exemption from a Rule of the game might "fundamentally alter" the nature of the event: "In theory, a modification of petitioners golf tournaments might constitute a fundamental alteration in two different ways. It might alter such an essential aspect of the game of golf that it would be unacceptable even if it affected all competitors equally; changing the diameter of the hole from three to six inches might be such a modification. Alternatively, a less significant change that has only a peripheral impact on the game itself might nevertheless give a disabled player, in addition to access to the competition as required by Title III, an advantage over others and, for that reason, fundamentally alter the character of the competition."

14. First, does allowing use of a non-traditional putter design concern such an essential aspect of the game as to be unacceptable to call it golf when a player used such a putter or anchoring? At first blush, that's doubtful, so the player would appear likely to win that argument -- NOT a fundamental alteration to allow the non-traditional putter or anchoring. However, it is possible that the Court could say otherwise, and many golfers would indeed share the opinion, so one never knows how the argument would be received. There is, however, a stronger form of this argument. Unlike the Martin case, where use of carts was widespread in golf generally, and the Tour was simply arguing its authority to ban them in Q-School and in PGA Tour events, while allowing them in Senior Tour and Nike Tour events and in early stages of Q-School, the issue here is really about the authority of the Rules authority to specify what equipment is allowed for actually playing golf in the making of strokes. In other words, once the Rules authorities says that in ALL competitions everywhere and always, NO player can use a belly or long putter and must use only clubs that conform to the specifications it has set, and cannot use anchoring, but must only make strokes that conform to the Rules that apply equally always to everyone, and there are never any exceptions, may a player with a physical impairment that would be alleviated by use of the non-conforming belly or long putter or non-conforming anchoring have the right under the ADA to compel the Rules authority to allow him to use a non-conforming club or non-conforming stroke? Does allowing that "fundamentally alter" the nature of golf? There is a strong argument that it does, simply because what the impaired golfer is asking to be allowed to play just is not "golf." The Rules define the nature of the game in the equipment specifications and in the allowable stroke rules. This defines "golf". Exempting any player from those rules, for any reason, means the player would not be playing "golf". In this sense, the allowance of non-conforming clubs or non-conforming strokes is the equivalent of changing the size of the hole by judicial fiat. Yes, that fundamentally alters the nature of the game, because the game is "essentially" defined by these Rules of equipment and strokes. In the Martin case, the Court rejected the argument that "fatigue" was an essential aspect of golf. Here, the question is whether using allowable clubs and strokes is part of the essence of the game. That question seems more likely to be answered in the affirmative than the one posed in the Martin case.

15. Second, if allowing one player with the yips or other impairment to use a non-traditional design or stroke is deemed not to be an essential change, does it nonetheless give that player "an advantage over others" that fundamentally alters the competition? If the player has difficulty documenting that the long or belly putter or anchoring actually alleviates the impairment, the Rules authority will surely have a steeper hill to climb proving that the use affords that player "an advantage over others." The player is likely to prevail on this argument that use of the special putter or anchoring does NOT fundamentally alter the nature of the competition. Everyone who espouses the idea that belly and long putters and anchoring don't help that much are making the argument that helps a lawsuit to stop the Rule from applying to a player with the yips. In the Martin case, the Tour argued that exempting Martin from the fatigue of walking 18 holes that all other competitors had to endure gave him an unfair advantage, but the Court held that the "fatigue" the Tour claimed was proved by physiologists to be insignificant. So the claimed advantage in a suit about the putter or anchoring will likely be shot down immediately simply by quoting the widely held belief in golf that "It's not the arrow, but the Indian" to the effect that putters don't give significant advantages. (Obviously, putter makers don't want to admit this, but they don't have any proof to the contrary, and the only scientific study of the claimed benefits of putter designs says the manufacturers' claims of benefit are utterly insignificant and don't matter to score (Werner and Grieg, How Golf Clubs Really Work and How to Optimize Their Design.)) Moreover, no company making and selling belly or long putters (such as SeeMore) has ever claimed any expertise about the yips or about what putter designs might have to offer to address the yips phenomenon. These companies simply follow a transitory trend in golf following a noted success of some player using a belly putter or long putter and the ensuing media puffing that makes the belly or long putter a trendy, popular item. The companies follow the wind, wherever the market interest blows them, and certainly are not conducting medically-relevant R&D simply to help a few golfers suffering the yips. So no manufacturer can credibly claim that its long or belly putter design evolved in response to medical expertise to address and alleviate the yips and therefore has proof that the design gives any advantage. Likewise, there is not any scientific evidence that anchoring alleviates the yips. The well-known example of Bernard Langer clasping his right hand against his left forearm, also pinning the putter handle against his forearm (i.e., "anchoring"), appears to have served him well in "controlling" his specific form of the yips, but there was never any scientific probing of his yips and his mechanical prevention of the movement disorder disrupting his stroke. And there is clearly no proof he thereby gained a superior level of performance over other competitors. The Decisions under the Rules already prohibit any "artificial device" being use as a mechanical control of the stroke, such as strapping the putter handle to the forearm underneath a watch band. Anchoring the handle or hand against the body is mainly to "eliminate a degree of freedom" for any golfer making a stroke and therefore make good strokes easier for players struggling with conventional putting. The usual claim is that "anchoring" benefits any golfer precisely because it "eliminates a degree of freedom" from the conventional style, but there is never any accompanying proof that this "eliminating a degree of freedom" causes better results and lower scores compared to what other competitors can accomplish without this. So, the player would not lose on the ground that any putter design or anchoring gives the player an advantage.

Club Maker / Seller Suit

16. These lawsuits against the USGA never end in victory for the club maker, since courts recognize the authority of a sport to establish it own terms for equipment specifications. The only case that ever came close was the claim of Ping about the u-groove clubs that once were not illegal and then were allowed to be made and sold but then were ruled illegal. In that case, an out-of-court settlement ended the case with a grandfathering in of the existing u-groove clubs already made but future clubs to be made only with v-grooves, and Ping agreeing not to make any more u-groove clubs. But that small scent of club-maker positive outcome has unduly encouraged other club makes to have hope where on the merits of the claim, there really is not much hope.

17. The maker /seller of long or belly putters would most likely not be allowed to stand in the shoes of a yips-afflicted golfer and assert that players' claim under the ADA, but would have to assert some independent claim on its own behalf.

18. The likely claim would be some sort of fairness claim that prior USGA approval of the seller's long or belly putter precludes or "estops" the USGA from changing its mind and later banning the designs by changing the definition of what clubs are allowed in a way that excludes these long or belly putter designs as non-conforming. This eliminates any seller from bringing suit who had not previously obtained USGA approval and was currently marketing the designs. But even as to those selling pre-approved belly and long putters, the claim essentially means that those making money from the game of golf have gained by thee prior design approvals the right to prevent the USGA from altering the rules and equipment in the game until all sellers stop marketing belly or long putters. The more reasonable view, and therefore the more likely outcome in a lawsuit, is that the USGA maintains its authority to alter the club rules, since everyone recognized before that this authority existed and could be used (as indeed shown in the Ping case), and the likely development is that the USGA would give sufficient lead time before applying the change so that the business cycle could run its natural course to sell off existing inventory and change over to different product designs that conform. The end result is not that any company cannot continue to make money from golf, but that the company would have to allow the current designs to play out and start making money in a different product line. Against that, a seller who still claims a "right" to sell belly or long putters notwithstanding the Rule-maker's decision is taking an obstinate position, based either upon its admitted inability to shift to a conforming product line or upon simple intransigent refusal to yield to the rule-making authority of the USGA. Either way, that is not a sympathy-garnering position.

That's pretty much the analysis. How such a case would actually come out is anyone's guess, and depends upon the caliber of the lawyering, the judges, the claimant, the evidence, and any other number of wildcard factors. But the above analytical skeleton maps the tracks the main lines of argument that any such case would have to follow. Make of it what you will as fair-minded "judge".

For my personal view of the player lawsuit, I think the USGA argument that allowing use of clubs or strokes that are not part of the game's definition would fundamentally alter the nature of the event by affecting its essential nature is pretty strong (point #14), and the player's argument that a long or belly putter or anchoring amounts to a "necessary modification" that alleviates the yips is weak (point #12,) and the player's claim that the impairment amounts to a "disability" limiting the player's "major life activity" would be problem for a casual amateur even if not as much a problem for an avid amateur or no problem at all for a professional in one of the the US Open competitions (point #10). But otherwise, a yips-afflicted amateur or professional golfer could bring suit if denied exemption from a Rule banning use of the long or belly putter or anchoring, against whoever operates the event as a "public accommodation". But sustaining all four elements of the ADA case is not likely.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lost Art of Lifting the Left Heel

Interesting video from swing instructor, Wayne DeFrancesco.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

USGA and R&A Propose Anchored Stroke Ban

USGA and R&A Propose Anchored Stroke Ban


As expected, the USGA and R&A are proposing to ban the anchored putting stroke starting in 2016. My thinking is that this will be met with little resistance because they only banned the stroke and not the equipment. Had they banned the longer putter, the OEM’s could have joined in a lawsuit and proclaimed that the USGA and R&A have hurt their business that they initially approved and are now banning. But, since they are banning the stroke there is no tangible financial loss by a person or a company and a lawsuit would be less likely.

I do play with a belly putter that I anchor against my stomach. However, I have only recently started using it and I am unafraid to go back to a standard style of putting stroke that I have used since I was 11 years old.

However, I think the proposed ban is a silly overreaction to what is more or less a fad. And once again, the USGA and R&A have listened to popular golfers in the game instead of seeking facts in order to avoid major holes in their arguments. More importantly, they have neglected the amateur golfer AGAIN, the people that drive and fund the game and the respective golf rules associations.

I take no issue with banning a method or a piece of equipment, but there should be a process in place to eradicate situations like this from happening. The long putter has been around for 20 years. The belly putter became popular around 2001 and burned out as a fad shortly after. It was not until Keegan Bradley won with the belly putter and Adam Scott putted better with the long putter that the powers that be got up in arms.

Yes, TWENTY years the long putter was used without any real issue. Nobody was going to a long putter because they wanted to. And Adam Scott’s ‘improved’ putting has netted him 143rd in Putts Gained in 2011 and 148th in 2012. What was Scott’s best year with the putter? 2004, when he ranked 1st in Putts Gained with a standard Scotty Cameron putter.

I have no problem is the R&A and USGA ban a piece of equipment or a technique because it provides an ‘unfair advantage’ that has the golfer relying less on skill. But whether they like it or not, the best thing for golf is for the USGA and R&A to show some evidence to the golfing public behind their reasoning. Otherwise it’s just another irrational dictatorship that leaves the customers jaded.

Just like when the grooves rule came out and how that was supposed to force golfers to focus on finding the fairway more often and make it more difficult on shots around the green. Except that all of those key metrics have never changed. Tour players are still favoring distance over accuracy and can still get up-and-down the same rate as they ever could. And they can still generate spin on the wedges by using higher spin producing shafts.

The main contradiction lies with the banning of the stroke because it provides and advantage and requires ‘less skill’, but this is never mentioned when it comes to the modern day titanium driver. In 1980, the longest driver on Tour was Dan Pohl at 274.3 yards. In 2012, Bubba Watson led the Tour in driving distance of 315.5 yards. That’s a 15% increase in distance! Think about it for a second. I hit my driver about 290 yards on a good strike. If I had a driver that gave me automatically 40-45 yards more distance THAT would be a giant advantage. And not due to my skill either.

Furthermore, the increase in length off the tee has made many excellent golf courses obsolete. These golf courses have no more room to lengthen the course or the lengthening drastically changes the original designer’s intent. It’s also led to what I call ‘Forced Carry Designs’ which are pretty in nature, but lead to slow rounds of golf as golfers find themselves hitting into hazards and having to look for golf balls. And the #1 reason why more people play less golf these days? Not enough time due to the slow play.

The USGA and R&A cannot be taken seriously when they claim that they are interested in protecting the game when they allow the modern driver to still exist. They are more interested in protecting their authority in the game while avoiding legal and financial turmoil. I can actually accept that, but at least be forthcoming about it.

Of course, many golfers would not be frustrated if the USGA and R&A would stop legalizing things like the anchored putting stroke only to change their mind decades later. It is what got them into trouble with PING in the 80’s, the reason why they could never attempt to ban the titanium driver, the reason why their attempts to curb the distance golf balls travel became a joke, the reason why they had to change the grooves rule in order to benefit the OEM’s while screwing over the golfers and why we are where we are today.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New GolfWRX Column - Pettersson and the Long Driver

One of the interesting cases of 2012 was Carl Pettersson. Pettersson switched from a standard-length driver of about 45 inches to a 47-inch long driver. The idea, according to Pettersson, was to improve his launch conditions and to hit the ball further.

According to fellow GolfWRX Featured Writer, Tom Wishon, the average length of a driver on the PGA Tour is 44.5 inches. Wishon said he uses a golfer’s body dimensions, such as height and wrist-to-floor measurement, to properly fit the length of the driver for a golfer. We know that Bubba Watson used a 44.75-inch driver and is listed at 6-foot 3-inches tall. While I do not know Pettersson’s measurements, he is listed at 5-feet 11-inches tall on the PGA Tour’s website. I feel it is safe to say that a 47-inch driver is an abnormally long driver for him and not what most club fitters would recommend fitting him into.

The concept of a longer driver shaft increasing distance off the tee is not new. In fact, long drive competitors almost exclusively use longer driver shafts in order to hit the ball further. Part of the reason for the ball going further has to do how the longer shaft alters the geometry of the golf swing. The other part is physics. All things being equal, the longer the driver shaft the lighter the club’s static weight will be

Read More:


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sports Science on Cold vs. Warm Golf Balls

Another interesting piece by the Sports Science crew on how temperature affects the golf ball's flight


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sports Science on Lip Outs

Here is a good video from Sports Science on putting speed and lip outs.

Pretty much all of this is right in line with Geoff Mangum's ( research on the subject.

I know we have discussed uphill putts being easier to make and the video indicates that it may not be the case as the downhill putts gravitate more towards the cup. From my reading of Mangum's work, he likes to point out that *may* be a reason as to why downhill putts *may* be easier to make.

However, the research done from Mark Sweeney of AimPoint and David Orr ( shows that golfers make a higher percentage of uphill putts than downhill putts for all levels. To me, that is the final decider.

Perhaps it can explain why there are some exceptions to the rule. I remember Ben Crenshaw saying that he preferred downhill versus uphill putts. Whether he actually made more downhill than uphill putts is up for debate.

Either way, I think this is a required viewing for a better understanding of putting.


Monday, November 19, 2012

How PGA Tour Yardage Books Are Made

Great video on caddy Mark Long, who makes the yardage books for the PGA Tour.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week in Review - 11.18.12

This video discusses:

1. AimPoint Practice
2. Tips for Prospective Collegiate Golfers
3. Driving Effectiveness on the PGA Tour
4. What Amateurs can learn from Driving Effectiveness on Tour
5. Flop Shot Video at 24,000 FPS thoughts


Friday, November 16, 2012

Flop shot at 24,000 Frames Per Second

Real interesting video from 3Jack Top-50 Instructor, Kelvin Miyihara, utlizing his Phantom Camera.


As was noted by Jeff Martin, this was struct off a mat and from the face on angle, the ball is actually elevated in the air before it is struck, due the clubhead hitting the mat first and the ball being suspended in the air.

The bird's eye view is interesting as well as it shows why we tend to hit flop shots off the toe, they angle that the clubhead comes into the ball more or less dictates that a toe hit is likely. Thus, the Edel Wedges with their grooves that go out towards the toe and the CoG moved away from the heel make a lot more sense with the design of the flop shot.


New Column Is Up

In the era of modern technology, advanced fitness regimens and long driving competitions, there has been a growing sentiment towards golf favoring the ‘bomb-n-gouge’ style of play. However, we still see many shorter-hitting golfers like Zach Johnson who are successful in the game. Most of the clients on Tour I work with have questioned the advantages that power can have on Tour versus hitting the ball the more accurately. As a competitive amateur golfer myself, it was one of the first things I investigated from a statistical standpoint.

Part of the issue deals with the main metric designed to determine driving skill on Tour, called ‘Total Driving.” Total Driving utilizes a very simple formula by adding the rankings of a player’s Driving Distance and Fairway Percentage together. The lower the combined ranking, the better the golfer will rank in Total Driving. But it’s metrics like Total Driving that have only produced more questions than answers for golfers.

Read More: The Real Numbers Behind Driving the Ball On Tour

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tips for Prospective Collegiate Golfers

It’s about that time of year again where junior golfers are thinking about college golf. Here’s an overview of some basics to college golf.


Here are the different divisions of college golf:

Division I: Men’s teams are permitted 4.5 scholarships in total. Women’s programs are permitted 6.0 scholarships. Typically the men’s teams have 9-10 players on a team and they give roughly a ½ scholarship to each player. Women’s teams have 6-7 players and they usually get 90-100% scholarships. However, the men’s teams usually find ways to give some free financial aid. I know when I was in college, it came out to roughly 65-70% of tuition, room and board was paid for. For the girls teams, they will come away with their entire schooling paid for.

Division II: Men’s teams are allotted 3.6 scholarship and women’s teams are allotted 5.4 scholarships. The format of the team’s is generally the same although there’s a tendency to get less money because the school’s budgets are smaller. Typically, D-II schools are ‘satellite’ schools. For instance, University of South Carolina is headquartered in Columbia, SC. That is a D-I school. University of South Carolina has a satellite branch in Aiken, SC. USC-Aiken is a D-II school.

Historically Black Colleges: Historically black colleges do have golf teams and do offer scholarships for players who are not African-American. In fact, most golfers at Historically Black colleges are Caucasian. Sean Foley played on scholarship at the Historically Black College, Tennessee State.

Division III: Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships. However, there are plenty of D-III schools who have a sizeable budget set aside for the golf team and provide a good atmosphere for competitive golf. I know that the University of Rochester golf team used to have frequent access to practice and play at the world famous Oak Hill Country Club.

NAIA: These schools offer limited money for scholarships, if any money at all. They generally consist of very small schools with very minute budgets for the golf team. However, they can also provide a great atmosphere for competitive golfers to grow their game.


One of the advantages of college golf for the student-athletes is that transferring is much more common than people think and in other sports like football and basketball. It’s not uncommon for a golfer who wants to go to play for a big school like Wake Forest, but initially can only get into a smaller school like UNC-Wilmington. But after a year or two of good golf and good enough grades, they end up transferring to the bigger and more prestigious Wake Forest if the coach wants them.


More often than not, coaches will always preach grades and test scores. However, I think that leads to some misunderstanding for prospective players. We have to remember that college golf is not a money making venture for schools, unlike college football and basketball.

Because football and basketball make schools money, schools often times lower their academic requirements for those athletes to be allowed into their school. In golf, a golfer does not have exceed a school’s academic requirements. But, they have to meet the same requirements that the average student at the school has in order to be accepted.

Thus, if a golfer is the next Rory McIlroy and wants to play at Duke, they will not be accepted unless they can meet Duke’s minimal academic requirements for non-student athletes. It simply does not matter how great the golfer is.

However, if a golfer does meet the academic requirements and the golf coach wants the golfer on his team, he will likely be guaranteed entrance into the school and will not have to meet all of the extra requirements that some schools demand like writing an entrance paper as to why the school should accept you, getting references, etc.


Once again, because golf is not a money-making venture for schools the recruiting aspect is different from recruiting in football and basketball (and to a lesser extent other sports like baseball and lacrosse). The student-athlete in golf has to do their fair share of taking the initiative and letting schools that they are interested in about their game, academics, and interest in their team and institution. Once that is done, the coaches who are interested in you may ask for more information and want to be kept up-to-date on tournament scores.

From my experience, most recruiting is based off of the results in AJGA and IJGT events. Those are events where the competition is stronger and for the most part, most coaches do not care how well a golfer does in local high school events; even if the golfer wins their state high school championship.

Lastly, having a reputable golf instructor can help as well. The instructor does not have to be Hank Haney or David Leadbetter. But, if the instructor has a good track record of producing quality college golfers, having them put in a good word to college coaches can be the key to getting a scholarship.


For the life of me, I will never quite understand this. But, most coaches I have seen have zero interest in golfers ‘walking on’ the team (golfers who make the team via tryout, but are not on scholarship). So if you are thinking of going to a school that you like and you believe you can make the team as a walk-on, guess again. And if not having the opportunity to make the team as a walk-on would sway your decision of going to the school, you should consider other options.


There is an abnormally high rate of change in majors in college. I personally started off as an Accounting major. Then I switched to Business Administration and eventually went to Marketing with a minor in Applied Mathematics. I would highly recommend thinking out AT LEAST 2 majors you may be interested in and seeing if the school has both of those majors. That will offer the student some flexibility because it would be difficult to be at the school and on the team the golfer wants to be on, but in a major they do not want to be involved with.

I would also seek out former players of the coach and ask for their honest opinion of the coach. In fact, if I had a child I would probably not allow that child to go play for a coach until I got some sort of references from a few former players. While there are many reasons to go to college and a particular college and they should not be limited to just the golf team you desire to play for, the fact is that the golf team and the golf coach will be a major part of the student-athlete’s life for the next 4 years. For better or for worse, it’s important that things go well for the student-athlete on the team and with the coach. While there are many tremendous college golf coaches out there, there are just as many that are a completely different person once you come on to their team. Like this former coach here (warning, NSFW):

It’s also important that if the student-athlete wants to be in a particular major that the golf coach and the school be willing to accommodate this. When I was in school, there was a physiology course that I could pass, but I could be certified for because you could not be certified if you missed 1 class, for any reason. Thankfully, that was not required for my major. You will hear from time-to-time how a golfer cannot be a student-athlete and be in a certain major. Many times this is true, but it depends on the coach and the school. I know former Ohio State star, Craig Krentzel, graduated with a degree in Advanced Molecular Genetics. Former Florida State football star, Myron Rolle, went on to be a Rhodes Scholar. So a golfer can possibly be an athlete and major in a very difficult course of study, if the school and the coach will allow it to happen.

From there, it’s up to the golfer to gauge what school fits them by balancing out the academics, social environment and the golf team. But I hope this was some help to prospective collegiate golfers. As always, the sooner a golfer can be committed to focusing on getting a college golf scholarship, the better position they will be in to do so. And there’s no reason why they cannot have the time of their life being a student-athlete while reaping the benefits of college and college athletics.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

AimPoint Practice Thoughts - 11.13.12

Here's a video from 3Jack Top-25 Putting Instructor, John Graham.

To me, being able to determine the stimp using AimPoint is the fundamental aspect of the green reading system.

First, you have to determine the % of slope.

Then you determine where the ball is with relation to the slope.

Then you have to be be able to aim the putter correctly, hit the ball where you have aimed and do it with the right amount of speed to correctly determine the stimp.

It's like starting off practice on the driving range with a few half-wedge swings to get warmed up. It's very simple and very basic, but if you cannot properly determine the stimp using this method, then you are not going to perform AimPoint very well.

What I usually do is once I think I have the stimp from 5 feet away, I then putt a few from 10-feet away to make sure that I have the stimp correct. Plus, the same fundamentals apply in being able to read the % of slope, where the ball is with relation to the slope, aim, hitting it where you aim and hitting it the righ amount of speed.

What's nice is that if you practice it for a while, you start to get to the point where you can generally tell what the stimp is by just looking at length of the grass on the green.

But, understanding how to find the stimp is more than getting your AimPoint chart set correctly, it's about being able to execute the basic principles of AimPoint.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week In Review - 11.11.12


1. Children's Hospital at Disney
2. Charlie Beljan
3. Players who made and missed the top-125 on the Money List
4. AimPoint Practice Thoughts
5. Guan Tianlang swing and thoughts


Thursday, November 8, 2012

AimPoint Practice Thoughts - 11.7.12

I think most of my readers understand what AimPoint green reading is about. And I know many readers have gone to AimPoint clinics.

With that, I want to focus my AimPoint posts on practicing AimPoint. Obviously, all of us have some time constraints. The idea is to find ways to effeciently practice AimPoint and get more and more adept at it over time.

One of the issues I've found is that golfers who often go to an AimPoint clinic will give it rave reviews, but fail to bring AimPoint on the actual golf course. That's exactly where it's needed.

With all of the talk about anchored putters being possibly made illegal, the metrics show that none of the anchor putters will make a Tour player a great putter or even a really good one. At best, the long putters have improved Tour golfers putting, but that still doesn't make them a great putter. Furthermore, on average the Tour player with the long putter takes about 4 years for them to make that noticeable improvement in their putting.

But what I've seen in the metrics for putting, AimPoint has had a tremendous effect on a Tour player's putting. Somebody like Scott McCarron, who would be labeled as a pretty good putter on Tour, ranking around 50th to 60th in Putts Gained *before* AimPoint, has now turned into a top-10 putter after AimPoint. The same for Bo Van Pelt, who was at best an average putter on Tour. He went from 144th in putts gained to 11th.

Even better, I have found that it takes about 1 full year for AimPoint to really kick in and effect a Tour player's putting tremendously.

I think the main key is that we have to replace our typical practice green putting with more AimPoint centric practice green putting. And while you're waiting on it for the winter, there are other ways to practice AimPoint as shown in this video by instructor, Matt Dynda.

I believe that being able to decipher the amount of slope is one of the key elements to becoming more accurate with your AimPoint reads and to make those reads quickly.

You have to actually practice and train yourself to identify the differences in slope.

You can measure the slope using a Husky Digital Bubble Level, an Excelys Breakmaster (which has an iphone app) or use my preference, the AimPoint Bubble.

When it comes to practicing how to determine the amount of slope, I would recommend going to different points of the practice green and guess how much slope there is using your feet. Then measure the slope and see how often you were correct.

You may want to write down your estimate vs. the actual percentage of slope. I believe if you do this enough times, you'll start to see some sort of trend. For me, I've found that I tend to over-read too much slope.

For example, I had a tendency to read a 1% slope as a 2% slope and so on.

I will have more of these as I go along...


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guan Tianlang Golf Swing

Here's the swing and some videos of Guan Tianlang, the 14 year old who will play in the 2013 Masters. The first couple of videos are when Guan was only 10 years old. Congratulations, Guan.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 44

This week is the final official PGA Tour event for the 2012 season at Disney. My projections have #125 on the Money List around $660K for the year.

Here is a list of some notables without a 2013 exemption under that mark:

123. Kevin Chappell $623,775
124. Rod Pampling $620,893
125. Billy Mayfair $619,961
127. Gary Christian $616,457
128. Alexandre Rocha $605,117
129. Bill Lunde $593,598
130. D.J. Trahan $587,407
132. Chez Reavie $571,875
134. Tim Petrovic $558,862
135. Richard H. Lee $547,733
136. Tim Herron $547,479

Here are my Disney picks:

Brendon De Jonge: 14/1
Robert Garrigus: 14/1
Jeff Overton: 20/1
Will Claxton: 66/1
Russell Knox: 66/1
Ken Duke 66/1
Heath Slocum: 80/1
Billy Horschel: 80/1
Camilo Villegas: 80/1

Value Pick: Jeff Maggert 100/1

Here are the rankings going into the last official tournament of the season.


1. Bubba Watson
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Hunter Mahan
4. Charlie Beljan
5. Boo Weekley
6. Jason Dufner
7. John Rollins
8. Graeme McDowell
9. Graham DeLaet
10. Keegan Bradley

181. James Driscoll
182. Stewart Cink
183. Nick O'Hern
184. Matt Bettencourt
185. Tom Pernice Jr.
186. Daniel Chopra
187. Stephen Gangluff
188. Derek Lamely
189. Michael Bradley
190. Ryuji Imada


1. Brandt Snedeker
2. Jonas Blixt
3. Luke Donald
4. Derek Lamely
5. Bryce Molder
6. Zach Johnson
6. Brian Gay
6. Aaron Baddeley
9. Martin Flores
10. Phil Mickelson

181. Robert Karlsson
182. Charlie Beljan
183. Heath Slocum
184. Kris Blanks
185. Roland Thatcher
186. D.J. Trahan
187. Kyle Stanley
188. Scott Dunlap
189. Boo Weekley
190. Kyle Thompson


1. Jerry Kelly
2. Brian Gay
3. Robert Karlsson
4. Ian Poulter
5. K.J. Choi
6. Jason Dufner
7. John Mallinger
8. Rocco Mediate
9. Jonas Blixt
10. Fredrik Jacobson

181. Alexandre Rocha
182. Michael Thompson
183. Martin Laird
184. Ryan Moore
185. Louis Oosthuizen
186. Charlie Beljan
187. Harris English
188. Cameron Beckman
189. Sang-Moon Bae
190. Edward Loar


1. Steve Stricker
2. Garth Mulroy
3. Bo Van Pelt
4. Jason Bohn
5. Vaughn Taylor
6. Roland Thatcher
7. Padraig Harrington
8. Sergio Garcia
9. Ken Duke
10. Nick O'Hern

181. Kris Blanks
182. Harris English
183. J.B. Holmes
184. Miguel Angel Carballo
185. Aaron Baddeley
186. Jonas Blixt
187. Edward Loar
188. Brandt Jobe
189. Billy Hurley III
190. Adam Scott


1. Graeme McDowell
2. Kyle Thompson
3. Nick O'Hern
4. Scott Dunlap
5. Lee Westwood
6. Tim Clark
7. Boo Weekley
8. Gavin Coles
9. Jim Furyk
10. Webb Simpson

181. J.J. Killeen
182. Martin Flores
183. Brendan Steele
184. Mark Anderson
185. Stewart Cink
186. Harrison Frazar
187. Tom Gillis
188. Edward Loar
189. Daniel Chopra
190. Matt Jones


1. Kevin Stadler
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Bo Van Pelt
4. Robert Garrigus
5. Tiger Woods
6. Chad Campbell
7. Steve Stricker
8. Charlie Beljan
9. Graeme McDowell
10. Dustin Johnson

181. Ryuji Imada
182. Edward Loar
183. Brendon Todd
184. Ted Potter, Jr.
185. Brian Gay
186. John Rollins
187. Nick O'Hern
188. Derek Lamely
189. Sang-Moon Bae
190. Sung Kang


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week In Review - 11.4.12

Week in Review for 11.4.12

1. Debut column at GolfWRX
2. Effect on Adj. Scoring Average of best vs. average DZ play
3. Some things unaccounted for in DZ play
4. Importance of a FLW
5. Steady head discussion


Thursday, November 1, 2012

5 Simple Keys Video - Steady Head

Here's a video done by 3Jack Top-50 Instructor, Dave Wedzik, on key #1, the steady head in the golf swing.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Importance of a Flat Left Wrist Video

Hopefully all of our friends in the Tri-State area are okay with Hurricane Sandy. Here's one of them, out of Colts Neck, NJ...Mario Bevilacqua on the importance of a flat left wrist in the golf swing.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

3Jack's GolfWRX Article

Here's a new column that I did for GolfWRX. Nothing is etched in stone as far as our relationship goes, but I plan on doing more metrics based columns for GolfWRX while I try and concentrate more on golf instruction and theory on the blog. Who knows how this will turn out, but the more views and comments the articles receive, the better it will be for all parties involved.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week In Review - 10.28.12

Week in Review, we'll discuss:

1. Orlando and Myrtle Beach Golf

2. Mangum's video on putter variations and why high MOI designs may be bad for you.

3. The best drivers on Tour (think Charles Warren)

4. Miyahira vs. Manzella on Rate of Closure.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Perspective on Manzella vs. Miyahira on RoC

Earlier this week, I posted the video below from 3Jack Top-50 Swing Instructor Kelvin Miyahira; utilizing the Phantom Hi-Speed Camera to examine impact conditions.

The video has spurred debate amongst Miyahira and his followers along with Brian Manzella ( and his followers. For more information on the subject, I would recommend visiting the following sites: (Miyahira centric site)


At Manzella’s last ‘Anti-Summit’, it was discussed that the initial direction of the ball’s flight was primarily where the clubface was pointing at ‘maximum deformation.’ Maximum deformation is another term for saying that it is when the ball compresses to its max.

One of Miyahira’s swing preferences is for the golfer to have a slow rate of closure. The rate of closure is the amount the clubface closes thru the ‘impact interval’ (initial impact-max compression-separation). Here’s a video showing an example of ‘slow rate of closure.’

Other golfers with a slow rate of closure are Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson.

A higher rate of closure would look more like Luke Donald or Phil Mickelson:

The main point of the argument is whether or not the rate of closure from when the ball is initially contacted by the face will influence the ball flight when the ball reaches maximum compression.

Miyahira argues that it does, Manzella (and Trackman creator Fredrik Tuxen) claim that it does not.


The concept of rate of closure and ball flight still works in accordance with the D-Plane.

Initial D-Plane theory stated that the ball’s initial direction was about 85% due to where the face was pointing at impact.

The other 15% was due to the path. Then the curvature of the ball was due to the path’s relationship to the face angle at impact. One of the interesting findings brought forth by Trackman in the past two years was how the initial direction of the ball changed with the clubhead speed. As you will see below, only the fastest clubhead speeds had the face angle being close to 85% responsible for the initial direction of the ball flight.

As you can see, given the typical swing speed of most golfers, even Tour pros; the face angle is more like 75% responsible for the initial direction according to Trackman.

With that, we also have to remember that face angle plays a big part in the actual curvature of the ball flight. Below is an example of the projected curve of the ball given 3 different impact conditions:

A) 0° face angle, 0° path = straight ball flight
B) +3° open face angle, 0° path = slice
C) -3° closed face angle, 0° path = hook

In each of the swings, the path was the same with relation to the target. But, the face angle changed and that subsequently changed the relation of the path to the face angle; which causes the change in curvature of the ball flight.

Where this relates to the arguments between Miyahira and Manzella is that if Miyahira is correct and the rate of closure can alter the clubface’s direction from ball contact to maximum compression, then the ball initial flight direction and curvature can change.


The main argument for the Manzella side is that the time from initial club-ball contact to maximum compression is roughly 0.0005 seconds. And that there is no way that the clubface can alter in that timeframe and therefore, rate of closure is not all that important.

They also argue that the Phantom Camera (which goes for $50,000 to $150,000 retail) cannot measure all of these factors. Furthermore, their claim is that it cannot accurately measure the Center of Gravity of the club and any change in face angle as the ball is being maximally compressed is due to the gear effect of the club; as missing the CoG of the club by 1 dimple causes the gear effect of the clubhead to come into play.

Miyahira argues that since Trackman does not actually measure the face angle at impact and that since nobody else has done concrete studies actually measuring all of the variables thru the impact interval, that Trackman and Manzella cannot dismiss his initial research.


The rub comes down that if Miyahira’s initial assertions are true, then it does provide some more interesting insight into ball flight. Hypothetically, if Miyahira ends up being correct Trackman could probably state that their face angle readings are a calculation based off of the point of the ball’s maximum compression rather than initial impact.

But, that would leave Trackman with a ‘hole’ in the system, not being able to measure the rate of the closure in the golf swing which would be important to the golfer’s capability of controlling the impact conditions. Let’s say we want to hit the ball straight and get the path and face angle at 0° square to the target. Now the golfer has to properly factor in rate of closure to more consistently achieve those numbers. For Manzella, this would be more devastating due to his recent studies labeled as ‘Project 1.68’ where he believes a low rate of closure in the swing is sub-optimum. That and he’s probably the biggest advocate for teaching with Trackman in the world. This would perhaps have to lead to utilizing a more expensive piece of equipment to figure out the rate of closure, like the ENSO machine which goes for around $200k and/or the Phantom Hi-Speed Camera.

If Miyahira were proven wrong, he would have to come up with a different reason why he thinks a slow rate of closure is more ideal in the golf swing. For most fans of slow rate of closure, like myself, they could justify in their minds that it is easier to time a slow rate of closure. But the actual scientific proof of that justification would still be lacking.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

PGA Tour Players On The Best Driver On Tour

Here's an entertaining video of PGA Tour players answering who is the best driver of the ball.

Most of the answers line up with my metric Driving Effectiveness. Here are the current top-10 players in Driving Effectiveness:

1. Bubba Watson
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Hunter Mahan
4. Charlie Beljan
5. Boo Weekley
6. Jason Dufner
7. John Rollins
8. Graeme McDowell
9. Graham DeLaet
10. Keegan Bradley

A few things I disagree with are:

- Using the Tour's 'Total Driving' metric is flawed because of the way the 'formula' is designed (adding the rankings instead of looking at the actual numbers) and it doesn't account for how bad the player's miss is when they miss the fairway. My Driving Effectiveness metric is a proprietary formula that utilizes the actual numbers of the player's driving distance, fairway percentage and average distance to edge of fairway.

That being said, Bill Haas' pick of Charles Warren (which Haas based off of Warren's Total Driving on Tour) is an excellent pick. When Warren has been on the PGA Tour, he's been consistently in the top-10 in my Driving Effectiveness ranking.

He not only hits it accurately and precisely, but with great power. And he's rather small in stature, which amazes me that swing instructors rarely have his swing on video while you can find the golf swing of Stuart Appleby on YouTube with ease. Appleby is at best an average driver of the ball (and a below average total ballstriker).

- Hitting it short but accurately does not make a golfer effective off the tee, particularly against the rest of the Tour. While Brian Gay has had some effective years driving the ball, he's currently 167th in Driving Effectiveness on Tour. Even if he's hitting the most fairways and having the best distance to the edge of the fairway, he can still be less effective than a Boo Weekley who hits it 30 yards further and hits less fairways and has a greater distance to the edge of the fairway.

According to my metrics, the best short hitting drivers of the ball on Tour are:

Graeme McDowell
Heath Slocum
Jim Furyk

Personally, I would rank these players as the best drivers on Tour. This is based on the metrics along with the types of players I think can carry their driving prowess into the toughest courses in the world:

Boo Weekley
Rory McIlroy
Hunter Mahan
Jason Dufner
John Rollins
Graeme McDowell
Keegan Bradley
Bo Van Pelt
Kevin Stadler
John Senden


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mangum On Variations of Putter Designs

Here's 3Jack Top-25 Putting Instructor, Geoff Mangum, on variations of putter designs.

Geoff can be found at


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Miyahira on Ball Flight and Curvature

Here's a video from 3Jack Top-50 Instructor, Kelvin Miyahira, analyzing impact and ball curvature using a Phantom Hi-Speed camera


Monday, October 22, 2012

3Jack's Top Courses Played in 2012

For those who have followed the forum (, you have noticed that I have played a lot of different golf courses this year. Since I live in Orlando and it’s a popular winter vacation, I wanted to rank the top-10 courses I have played this year.

1. Juliette Falls Country Club (Dunellon, FL –


Juliette Falls is located about 10 minutes west of Ocala. That would make about a 90 minute drive from those staying in Disney or I-Drive. But the price to play there should be very affordable come winter time and since it is a former private club that is out of the way, pace of play should be quick. In other words, it is well worth the trip.

It’s a parkland style course with some of the most beautiful and difficult par-3’s you will ever face. It’s tough, but fair and in good condition. The greens were moderately fast when we played there in the Summer, so I would expect them to be very good in the winter.

Designer: John Sandford
Favorite Hole: #8, 446 yard par-4

2. RedTail Golf Club (Sorrento, FL –


Another formerly private club now available for public play. It is also fairly affordable and the pace of play should be quick. Probably looking at a 1-hour drive from Disney or I-Drive in Orlando. Combines a bit of parkland style and American links style of design. Starts out fairly tough and ends a little tough, but it’s still reasonable in its design. Not quite in the shape Juliette Falls was in, but still in good condition and should be in better condition come winter.

Designer: David Harman
Favorite Hole: #17, 554 yards par-5

3. Mission Inn, El Campeon Course (Howey-in-the-Hills, FL –


Fascinating course because it may be the hilliest course in all of Central Florida and you don’t recognize it until the 4th hole. The course was built in 1917 and holds up perfectly to all of the advancements in technology. The course also has a very old school PGA Tour venue type feel to it. Again, the greens were a little on the slow side, but we were playing it in the Summer, so by the winter in should be in great shape. About a 45 minute drive from Disney and more like 35 minutes from I-Drive.

Designer: George O’Neill
Favorite Hole: #10, 569 yards par-5

4. Legends at Orange Lake Resorts – Orlando, FL (


Very pleasant surprise that is located just a 10 minutes from Disney. I think Arnold Palmer is the most underrated architect by architecture critics, although I was not a big fan of one of his most famous designs…Kings North in Myrtle Beach. But he creates another dandy at Orange Lake resorts. This was more of a Austalian sand dune style of design which is something I’m not accustomed to seeing from Arnie, but he beautifully pulled it off. And try the cheeseburger made with macaroni and cheese.

Designer: Arnold Palmer
Favorite Hole: #9, 420 yards par-4

5. Legacy Club @ Alaqua Lakes – Longwood, FL (


I tend to think Fazio designs are a little overrated because he is rather conservative in his designs to avoid bad golf holes. But he has designed a wonderful course here which is very parkland style and has a little bit of flare on some holes like #9 and #18 with how the trees overhang in the fairway, much like you would see from Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island, SC or Valderama in Spain with their famous cork trees. The rest of the course is a traditional design, but still well done. It’s mostly a private club, but you can get on via The course is about 35 minutes from I-Drive and 45 minutes from Disney. It’s not cheap to get on, but it’s in terrific condition and you won’t have to worry about pace of play. Furthermore, it’s just off I-4. Oh, check out the house on #11, one of the biggest in all of Central Florida.

Designer: Tom Fazio
Favorite Hole: #15, 557 yards par-5

6. Southern Dunes – Haines City, FL (


Southern Dunes is not in Orlando, but is only about 10 minutes from Disney and about 15-20 minutes from I-Drive. It’s a traditional parkland style of course known for having the best greens in the area and I agree. When we played there the greens were 11 on the stimp and smooth. Furthermore, they had just aerified the course about 3 weeks earlier. Both nines are about equal in difficulty and there are a lot of tremendous sight lines throughout the course.

Designer: Steve Smyers
Favorite Hole: #7, 454 yard par-4

7. Grande Pines – Orlando, FL (


Another Steve Smyers design that is a little more exotic and offers more of a mix of traditional parkland and sand dunes style of design. Right down the road from Sea World and across the street from the Faldo Golf Institute. The course is more narrow, particularly on the front, than one would imagine for a resort style course. It also has some fairly complicated green designs. But the course was fun for everybody and in terrific shape. The greens have TifEagle grass and putt beautifully.

Designer: Steve Smyers
Favorite Hole: #11, 551 yards Par-5

8. Harmony Golf Preserve – Harmony, FL (


Located about 25 minutes from the Orlando Airport, so about close to an hour from either Disney or I-Drive. We started on the back nine when we played there and I thought the back nine was phenomenal. However, I had to remember that the front nine was a bit lacking. Still, the front nine is pretty darn good outside of #2 (par-4) and #6 (par-3). This is another course with a bit of an Australian Sand Dunes style of feel to it. When we played there in April, the greens were in rough shape, but the course has come around since then. One of the toughest courses we played all year.

Designer: Johnny Miller
Favorite Hole: #16, 548 yard par-5

9. Sugarloaf Mountain – Minneola, FL (


Sugarloaf Mountain is rough around the edges, but it’s a blast to play. It’s located in the Clermont area, about 30 minutes from I-Drive and 45 minutes from Disney. While I’ve never played golf in Australia, I tend to imagine that this would be more of what it’s like to play there. I think my only problem with the course is that while most of the rough spots are designed that way, some of them need to be taken care of since you have to take a golf cart and sometimes you have no idea where to drive. Tough course with some tremendous drop offs like #17, the 275 yard par-3. But it ‘only’ plays to 225 yards with the downhill slope to the green.

Designers: Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore
Favorite Hole: #1, 445 yards par-4

10. Celebration Golf Club – Celebration, FL (


You usually know what you are going to get with a Robert Trent Jones design, a solid course that if a few things work out well, it can be a top tier design. The course is located about 5-10 minutes from Disney in the newly developed town of Celebration. It has probably the nicest houses off the course than any course in the Orlando area, including Lake Nona and Bay Hill. And they are eerily quiet.

The front nine was a little too screwy for me, particularly on holes 3 thru 5 and 7 and 8. But the back nine is a masterpiece and is just flat out fun to play.

Designers: Robert Trent Jones
Favorite Hole: #15, 361 yards par-4


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week In Review - 10.21.12

Week in review for 10.21.12