Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Looking at Par-3 Strategy

This past week, the PGA Tour did not keep ShotLink data because the Mayakoba is in Mexico and the Accenture was a match play event.

Anyway, here are my picks for the Honda:

Kyle Stanley: 30/1
Justin Rose: 35/1
YE Yang: 40/1
John Rollins: 66/1
Spencer Levin: 66/1

Value Pick: Alex Cejka 200/1

Yesterday, I was playing MetroWest Golf Club. I started the round -2 thru the first 7 holes. I then get up to #8 with the pin in back. The distance to the pin was about 182 yards. The distance to the middle of the green was about 170 yards. I chose to hit a 6-iron, which I usually hit about 180-185 yards. I flushed the 6-iron and wound up in the back bunker with a very short sided bunker shot. I then hit a bunker blast to 15 feet, missed the 15 footer and made bogey.

The reality was that the bogey stemmed from poor course management. Obviously, I hit too much club because looking back the odds of me getting the ball pin-high and finding the green are slim. And the area off the green that was a makeable up-and-in is very small.

One of the things I discussed in the 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis is that when Tour players ‘go low’, they usually do it more with great ballstriking than great putting. They’ll hit more shots closer which will increase their odds of making the birdie putt.

This means that pro golfers HAVE to fire at the flags on approach shots. The trick is figuring out which flags to fire at and which ones not to fire at. And that was sorta the crux of the situation on #8 at MetroWest, wanting to fire at the flag to get the ball close to the pin, but risking a very difficult up-and-in if I missed.

Later on in the round, I was in the rough on #13 and the pin was tucked back right behind a bunker. I fired at the flagstick again. This time I did so knowing that if I missed, the up-and-in was much more makeable. The bunker wasn’t really a difficult bunker shot. And if I missed a little right I had room to get up-and-in comfortably. If I missed left, I was on the green. I wound up finding the bunker and just as I thought, the shot wasn’t that difficult and I made par.

In next year’s Pro Golf Synopsis, I will show a simple scoring system I created to help people better gauge their decision making of going for the flag or shooting for the middle of the green. In the meantime, after the round I started to question how aggressive should golfers be on par-3’s.

I decided to look at the metrics on Tour. The first question I asked ‘what are the birdie or better % on Tour from par-3’s, par-4’s and par-5’s?’

Here they are:

Par-5’s: 42%
Par-4’s: 16%
Par-3’s: 13%

I’ve discussed how players are typically better off being aggressive on par-5’s. What I have noticed in my own game is the key is to be aggressive on the 2nd shot more than the drive. But, if you are good at hitting that driver 20-30 yards longer when you need it, then by all means let the shaft out on the driver. I just have a difficult time hitting it consistently when I try to add yardage.

But, the par-3 and par-4 birdie (or better) percentage is not that different. Still, with this data I believe that in general golfers should be much more conservative on par-3’s than on par-4’s.

The difference lies in the amount of par-3’s and par-4’s we play in a round of golf. Typically in a golfer course we will play only 4 par-3’s while playing 10 par-4’s. Thus, the Tour averages approximately 1.6 birdies a round on par-4’s while average 0.5 birdies a round on par-3’s.

My conclusion is that in general, par-3’s are just more difficult for Tour golfers on average. While par-4’s are more likely to have more easy holes and it’s just that the difficult par-4’s offset the percentage of birdies one can make.

Thus, I think golfers in general are better off seeking the middle of the green on par-3’s, both directionally and yardage wise, in order to lower their scores over time.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Using a Tour Striker Pro & Vintage Blade 2-iron

About a week ago, I had a reader ask me what should the purchase to help with their range practice, the Tour Striker Pro 7-iron or an old blade 2-iron.

I am a fan of both ideas, I just think that golfers need to understand what will help improve what parts of their game.

The Tour Striker Pro 7-iron was created by friend of the blog, Martin Chuck. The idea is to ‘shave off’ the bottom part of the club and that forces the golfer to get some forward shaft lean at impact in order for them to hit the ball properly. I’ve hit both the regular Tour Striker and the Tour Striker pro. I can hit the regular Tour Striker with relative ease, but the Tour Striker Pro really demands some precision.

The idea behind practicing with a blade 2-iron came from John Erickson ( The theory is that the old blade 2-irons had very little offset, small heads and no bounce. Thus, practicing with an iron that is this difficult to hit will help with your timing and if you can hit a blade 2-iron well, you can certainly hit a 7-iron or a PW well.

I think the Tour Striker Pro is beneficial to golfers who flip at impact and have troubles compressing the ball and getting a lower ball flight on a well struck shot. The total cost for one is about $99. I do believe one would benefit from MOI fitting and matching a Tour Striker Pro. That’s actually rather affordable to do, you just need a clubfitter who can MOI fit and match clubs.

With the vintage blade 2-iron models, I believe that this helps more with the longer clubs, even the driver and fairway woods. It also helps with golfers who have too steep of an attack angle angle and in general, the mechanics required to hit a higher trajectory shot.

I carry a 1976 blade Hogan Apex 2-iron that is 39.5 inches long and I had the MOI match the rest of my irons at 2,725 kg/cm^2. I got the iron head at Overall, it cost me about $20 for the head, another $16 for the shaft (Dynamic Gold XP) and $5 for the shaft. However, I do believe that it’s more important to MOI fit and match the 2-iron than the Tour Striker pro given the difference in length and loft. When the MOI is off on longer clubs, you really start to notice it more than the shorter, higher lofted irons.

I believe just about anybody can benefit from both the Tour Striker Pro and an old vintage blade 2-iron. But, I would probably recommend to most amateurs to start off with the Tour Striker Pro first to help understand the concepts of hitting down on the ball and making ball first contact.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Updated 3Jack Golf Certified D-Plane Instructor List 2.25.12

If you are interested in joining the list, please e-mail me at

Recently, I've added:

Grant Waite (Florida)
Chris Como (Texas)
Greg Graham (Kentucky)
Rick Nielsen (New York)
Bob Grissett (California)
Lloyd Higley (Illinois)
Jeff Ritter (Arizona)


Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL



Denny Alberts
Tuscon, AZ

Steve Bishop
Scottsdale, AZ
contact info not available

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ

Jeff Ritter
Phoenix, AZ



Steve Khatib
Carlton, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia


Dana Dahlquist
Long Beach, CA

Paul Gorman
Fairfax, CA
Phone: 415-699-9117

Bob Grissett
Calabasas, CA

Chris Gustin
San Juan Capistrano, CA

Andrew Marr
San Diego, CA

Bill McKinney
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Phone: (949) 702-2022

Michael McLoughlin
San Diego, CA
Phone: (858) 602-8608

Mike McNary
Santa Ana, CA

Palm Springs, CA


Matt Diederichs
Victoria, BC

Chris Lutes
Coquitlam, BC

John Randle
Victoria, BC

Nick Starchuk
Toronto, ON

Matthew Wilson
Toronto, ON



Dave Bove
Trumbull, CT

Matt Noel
Norwalk, CT



Mario Bevilacqua
Destin, FL
Phone: (484) 995-1629

Justin Blazer
Orlando, FL

Robert Campbell
Miami, FL

Dan Carraher
Winter Garden, FL

Sara Dickson
Naples, FL

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL

David Graham
Orlando, FL
(407) 238-7677

Keith Handler
Palm Beach Gardens, FL!

Steve Sieracki
West Palm Beach, FL

Grant Waite
Ocala, FL

TJ Yeaton
St. Augustine, FL


Jeff Evans
Macon, GA

George Hunt
Dacula, GA

Tom Losinger
Woodstock, GA
Phone: (770) 345-5557

Brian McGrew
Dalton, GA
Phone: (706) 299-0013




Nick Clearwater
Chicago, IL

Lloyd Higley
Chicago, IL

Ronnie Martin
Addison, IL


John Dal Corobbo
Carmel, IN




Greg Graham
Louisville, KY

Mike Finney
Anchorage, KY

Chris Hamburger
Simpsonville, KY
Phone: (502) 722-2227

Jon Hardesty
Anchorage, KY


James Leitz
Slidell, LA

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA

Brad Pullin
Choudrant, LA



Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD

Phil Rosenbaum
Hunt Valley, MD
(410) 527-4653 ext. 115


Billy Bondaruk
South Dennis, MA








Meindert Jan Boekel
Rijswijk, Netherlands


Joseph Mayo
Las Vegas, NV

Tom Sheely
Las Vegas, NV

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

John Graham
Webster, NY

Mike Jacobs
Manor Hill, NY

Rick Nielsen
New York, NY

North Carolina

Bill DeVore
Charlotte, NC

Spencer Huggins
Buies Creek, NC

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC

Jason Sutton
Charlotte, NC

North Dakota


Josh Boggs
Canal Westchester, OH
(614) 596-1057

Tony Trace
Columbus, OH
(614) 507-8963


Stephan Kostelecky
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 749-0000


Martin Chuck
Bend, OR


Erik Barzeski
Erie, PA

Mike Bennett

John Dunigan
Newton Square, PA

James Hirshfield
Erie, PA

Andy Plummer

Kevin Shields
Sewickley Heights, PA

Dave Wedzik
Erie, PA

Audrey Ziff
Warminster, PA
(215) 517-7452

Rhode Island

Dennis Sales
Providence, RI

South Carolina

Tim Cooke
Hilton Head, SC

Andrew Rice
Bluffton, SC

South Dakota


Jaacob Bowden
Zurich, Switzerland


John Dochety
Tullahoma, TN

Errol Helling
Franklin, TN

Rob McGill
Murfreesboro, TN


Chris Como
Dallas, TX

United Kingdom

Phillipe Bonfanti
Swanage, UK

Ian Clark
Surrey, UK

Sam Quirke
Surrey, UK

Simon Williams
Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK





West Virginia




Friday, February 24, 2012

Going From a 'Feel Player' to a 'Mechanics Player'

One of the questions I often see on forums is a golfer asking about going from what they call a ‘feel’ swing to a ‘mechanical’ swing.

I think the problem that these golfers have is that they don’t quite understand the role of mechanics and feel in the golf swing and how to best utilize them. Not to worry, I think almost every golfer has struggled with this at some point.

I think most golfers start off with some basic mechanical tips. Like how to grip the club, how to address the ball, and even ‘keep your head down.’ From there they may be taught little things like ‘if you want to hit the ball higher, move the ball position forward’ or ‘turn the face over to hit a hook’ (yes, a faulty way to hit a hook, but a mechanical tip nonetheless).

And what tends to happen early on is that they will use those simple feels to self-correct problems on the course. They may start off hooking the ball and move the ball position back in their stance and all of the sudden they stop hooking the ball. That’s their interpretation of being a ‘feel player.’

Bubba Watson and Tommy Gainey are usually crowned the kings of the ‘feel players.’ Bubba Watson is particularly noticeable as he may get up on a hole and feel comfortable hitting a giant hook off the tee and then he will clearly turn his wrists over thru impact to hit that hook. Then the next day on that hole he may feel more comfortable hitting a giant cut and take a swing where he clearly ‘holds off’ in order to hit a cut.

I think there are few major disconnects people have when it comes to understanding feel and mechanics:

1) Feel and mechanics are NOT exclusive from each other. You can (and I recommend) using both.

2) Feel players like Watson and Gainey do consciously change their mechanics.

3) Mechanical players like Robert Rock do use feel.

4) Mechanical players like Robert Rock do hit shots that they feel most comfortable hitting.


Statement #2 probably drew the ire of some people. But, when a player like Bubba Watson goes onto the course and is struggling with his fade and then may alter something like his ball position or ‘holding off’ more, he IS making a conscious effort to change his swing mechanics. Even something like changing the ball position by an inch will alter some swing mechanics to a degree. Otherwise, Bubba would never attempt it.

The difference is that a player like Bubba and Gainey probably have little idea as to the ‘why’ and ‘how’ a small change may alter the results. Whereas a more mechanical player like Charlie Wi may understand that by moving his ball position slightly backwards, the distance between the ball and the low point becomes greater which will steepen the attack angle and likely cause the path to go more inside-to-out. Thus, if somebody like Wi is hitting high cuts that he doesn’t like, he may move the ball position back in order to hit a lower draw shot.

It’s not to say that one is ‘good’ or one is ‘bad’, but more to clear up the misconception of ‘feel players’ who are actually making a conscious effort to alter their mechanics.


I think where most golfers have issues making the change from that ‘feel player’ to the mechanical player is that they wrongly assume that mechanical players don’t use feel. That’s actually incorrect.

A ‘mechanical golfer’ may want to alter the mechanics of their backswing because they believe it is affecting their downswing. For instance, a golfer may want to stop over-swinging in order to improve their shaft plane in the downswing. But, they may utilize a feel in order to prevent them from over-swinging like feeling like they only take the club 3/4 of the way back or stopping their backswing when they feel that their thumbs are pointing directly towards the sky.


One of the biggest common mistakes golfers make is that they often believe that what they feel when they are swinging the golf club is what is actually happening. For example, a golfer who takes the club well to the outside may be taught to take the club more inside. And that may feel to them like they are whipping the hands so far inside that they are going behind their rear hip.

What often happens is the golfer will THINK that they are taking the club too far inside and it doesn’t feel comfortable to them. But, in reality when viewed on camera that could be far from the case.

In my mind, understanding that usually the ‘feel is not real’ is a giant piece in understanding your swing better and how to alter the mechanics on command.


If there’s an irony to The Golfing Machine book it’s that for all of the technical jargon and debated science, it’s a book that has a system for the golfer to develop their golf swing by learning how to best incorporate feel into their swing. Every now and then some critic, who probably has never read the book or taken the time to understand it will talk about how it takes the feel out of the swing for the golfer when in reality it does the exact opposite.

As Kelley had stated, most instructors teach mechanics from feel. For instance, they may want a golfer to stop being laid off at the top of the swing and tell them to ‘feel like you are sticking your thumbs into your right ear at the top of the swing.’ The thought is that when they do that, the golfer should stop getting laid off at the top of the swing.

The problem is that the feel may work for one golfer, but not the other. And the other issue I find is that the golfer can often times over-do it. In this case, it may be common for the golfer to go from being laid off at the top to being across-the-line at the top.

I often have instructors tell me that they ‘recommend feels.’ The problem I find with that is they usually wind up neglecting to explain the mechanics that they are trying to alter to the student. So you often wind up with 2 scenarios:

A) All the instructor is doing is teaching ‘feels’ and in reality, teaching mechanics from feel.

B) Because the student doesn’t really understand the mechanics, they are not really ‘owning’ the feel and that feel will quickly ‘wear off’ after the lesson and then they cannot develop a new feel because they don’t understand the mechanics to begin with.

Personally, I believe recommending feels as a last resort with golfers. And only after they have learned the mechanics.

I hear a lot of people talk about teaching the game in ‘simple terms.’ But, teaching things in ‘simple terms’ does not equate to being a ‘good teacher.’ Good teachers find a way, come hell or high water, to get their students to understand the subject matter regardless of how difficult it is. And many times that cannot be done by teaching things in simple terms. Perhaps the teacher needs to teach the subject matter in small pieces or teach it in reverse order or use illustration. But, when all is said and done the student has to understand what was being taught.


Where there’s a conundrum in golf is the fact that golfers do not actually hit the ball anytime in their backswing. However, there are plenty of times when in order to change the downswing mechanics and to change what is happening at impact, the golfer may first have to start by altering the backswing mechanics because their current backswing mechanics have put them in a position from which they cannot consistently make the proper amount of compensation on the downswing.

It does not always happen that way. Sometimes downswing mechanics need to be changed purely in the downswing. But, I find it’s usually a little bit of both. The golfer has to alter some of the backswing mechanics along with some of the downswing mechanics.

From my personal experience, I find that the more one has to work on the backswing mechanics and incorporate that feel for those backswing mechanics, they more likely they will struggle with their ballstriking.

That being said, that does not mean you should never concentrate on altering the backswing mechanics. It just means that you should recognize that you will probably struggle a bit when you are working on the backswing mechanics and once you feel like you have changed those mechanics and can execute them comfortably, then your ballstriking should really improve.

If I’m just thinking about downswing mechanics or address position mechanics, I’m usually fine. It’s a big reason why I don’t agree with ‘you can only think of 2 things at once.’ I actually believe that is an inaccurate depiction of the capabilities of the human brain. I just think that when you start thinking about backswing mechanics, it more difficult for the typical golfer and is more or less an necessary evil.

But in the end, I find that the successful ‘feel golfers’ like Bubba and Gainey are more the exception than the rule. And if their ballstriking dramatically regresses and the normal things they do to improve don’t work, that’s when golfers like Bubba and Gainey get into real trouble because they now have to figure out the mechanics that they don’t understand and they may have to seek a teacher who truly knows the mechanics or can put them in better mechanics. And since they don’t really understand the mechanics to begin with, they run the risk of going to an instructor who has a better ‘sales pitch’ over being a better instructor.

I think the main factor holding players back from understanding the mechanics is the fear of failure and confusion. But, I think it all stems from not understanding how to incorporate both feel and mechanics into their golf swing.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The 3Jack Golf US Ryder Cup Team - 2.20.12

Back in January, I wrote a piece on who I would like to see on the US Ryder Cup team.

The basic principles in selection were:

1. Favor players with a good track record in the Ryder Cup.

2. Favor young, unknown players over veterans with a poor Ryder Cup record.

3. Look for Good Putters

4. Favor players who are better at avoiding bogeys than those players who are good at making birdies

Back in January, my ‘picks’ were:

Webb Simpson
Nick Watney
Matt Kuchar
Steve Stricker
David Toms
Brandt Snedeker
Zach Johnson
Rickie Fowler
Bryce Molder
Gary Woodland
Hunter Mahan
Dustin Johnson

Out of that selection, I’m now leaning towards removing the following players:

Nick Watney – He does not look anywhere near like his 2011-self and struggled in the Majors in 2011. Obviously, not counting him out but I don’t like how he has started off the year.

David Toms – Currently averaging 103.8 mph of clubhead speed according to the’s Trackman data. I doubt that he’s THAT slow, but at this age he may have seen his clubhead speed dip nonetheless and that could be a cause for concern at the lengthy Medinah Golf Club.

Gary Woodland – Has not looked like his 2011-self. May be due to the swing instructor change and making some tweaks here and there.

Rickie Fowler – A little too inconsistent for my tastes at this point. Makes a lot of birdies, but too many bogeys.

Here would be my replacements as of *now*.


I would not favor Mickelson because of his ‘experience’, but rather his play. As I wrote in 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis, experience does not do a player much good if they have a poor Ryder Cup track record.

It appears that Mickelson has finally accepted the fact that trying to ram every putt actually hurts his odds of making the putt because his capture speed becomes far less than optimal. Currently, he’s ranked 15th in putting and is having a good year in the Birdie Zone and has always been a strong Danger Zone player. He’s still best suited for the low-score format versus alternate shot, but I would feel much more comfortable with him on the team if he keeps playing at the pace he has been playing at recently.


I feel a bit silly now having predicted that Bradley could possibly slide in 2012. He’s a tremendous driver of the ball. He hits it long, accurately and consistently. He also hits it quite high. The difference between him and another high ball hitter like JB Holmes is that Bradley is just much much more consistent.

However, his Zone play were poor in 2011 and I felt that if that didn’t improve, he would struggle all year long. This year he’s 15th in the Birdie Zone, 86th in the Safe Zone and 53rd from the Danger Zone. He’s also 31st in Putts Gained. Lastly, I believe that he will fit Medinah quite well as it’s a course that usually requires long and precise driving of the golf ball.


While I appear to be off on my Bradley projection for 2012, I appear to be on the mark with my projected breakout year for Kyle Stanley. The only thing that concerns me about Stanley is that his putting is pretty average (91st in Putts Gained). But, he’s a player that just hits everything well and is probably a top-5 ballstriker on either the PGA or European Tour right now, ranking 25th in Adv. Total Driving, 32nd from the Birdie Zone, 97th from the Safe Zone, 10th from the Danger Zone while generating 118 mph of clubhead speed.


Again, I favor putting for the Ryder Cup. Currently, Crane leads the Tour in Putts Gained and has always been considered an excellent putter. His ballstriking worries me for now given that the best ranking he has is 107th from the Danger Zone. However, he’s driving the ball pretty well (64th). I do question his slow play and if it will throw off his playing partner. Although it could throw off the Europeans just as much. Put him together with Zach Johnson and you may start to figure out the meaning of life by the time they finish their match.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Driver Shaft Length and Performance

The Miles of Golf Store and Driving Range ( did an interesting article on driver club length and performance at

The basic premise is that the length of drivers have become increasingly longer over the years, but from what their research shows is that it does not always equate to longer distances, more clubhead speed or better overall performance. The subjects they tested were given both 45.5 inch and 44.5 inch shafted drivers.

Last July I went to the now defunct FuZion Golf center to get fitted for clubs and they stated that they have never fitted anybody for a driver over 45 inches long. It should also be noted that Bubba Watson plays a 44.75 inch driver and when I went to the PGA Merchandise Show, a PING rep told me that his driver is now 44.5 inches long. And according to Tom Wishon, he’s never seen any difference in distance between clubs that are ½” apart in distance. I tend to agree with this as well.

So why does shaft length with the driver make a difference?

I think the main reason is that if the driver is too long for a golfer they will now be standing too upright at address and this will throw off their alignments and mechanics in their swing.

Secondly, I think the MOI of the club is DRAMATICALLY affected. Unfortunately, while I really enjoy Miles of Golf’s work and recommend them for club fitting, they are still behind on the MOI fitting and matching process.

As I have discussed earlier, when I measure MOI on the GolfMechanix Auditor MOI Machine, it is measuring the amount of *force* required to swing the club. The idea behind MOI fitting is to determine the MOI of the golf club that best matches your golf swing.

Now, with the irons it’s rather simple. We can measure that by looking at the impact dispersion as we alter the weight of the *test* club.

And yes, the impact dispersion will change dramatically as you get closer to the MOI that fits you best.

However, with the driver it’s a bit different. That’s because the length of the driver is longer, so the impact dispersion will likely never be as small as it would be with a 6-iron.

With the driver the impact dispersion will get smaller (just not as small as with the iron). Thus, the secondary key to determining the best MOI for a golfer is the ball flight. Combine those two and you will find the best MOI for your driver.

Recently, PING Golf’s Dr. Paul Wood had made a comment that they did not find value in MOI matching clubs because it made the longer clubs too light. However, one has to be fit for MOI first. And, the driver has be to be fitted separately from the fairway woods which have to be fit separately from the hybrids which are fit separately from the irons. For example, here are my MOI readings for the clubs I fit myself for:

3 iron thru SW: 2,725 kg/cm^2
Hybrid (40.75” long, 18° loft): 2,765 kg/cm^2
3-wood (43.5” long, 15.5° loft): 2,785 kg/cm^2
Driver (45.25” long, 10° loft): 2,826 kg/cm^2

I’m not sure of Dr. Wood’s exact assertion or findings. But, first we must fit for MOI. MOI matching alone helps a little. But, if you’re best at 2,700 MOI and you have matched your clubs to 2,650 that means that the clubs require less of a force and effort than you put on them with your normal swing.

Using the ‘best club in the bag’ theory to MOI fit your clubs helps a little more, but it still doesn’t give the full effect. For instance, I initially used the ‘best club in the bag theory’ which was my 4-iron at 2,702 MOI. So I matched the rest of the set to that MOI. That 4-iron also had the highest MOI of my entire set of irons. But, since my optimal MOI was 2,725 I was still too light of where my clubs needed to be.

Lastly, as you can see with my clubs the MOI fitting gets higher as you go from the irons to the hybrid to the fairway wood to the driver. Thus, if a person fitted their entire set of clubs to one number, the hybrid, fairway woods and driver would be like Dr. Wood stated…too light.

So, how does this all relate back to the Miles of Golf post?

Taking an inch off the club length greatly affects the MOI which greatly affects the performance of the club for certain golfers.

A couple of days ago I installed a 69 gram UST Mamiya VTS shaft in a 203 gram Wishon 919THI driver head. When I initially trimmed the shaft, I trimmed it to 45.5 inches long. I then measured it and trimmed off a ¼” off the butt end and here’s the readings I got on the MOI machine:

45.5 inches long = 2,830 MOI
45.25 inches long = 2,775 MOI

Now, it’s apparent that Miles of Golf added some weight to the driver with the shorter shaft in order to get the swingweight heavier. Thus, I don’t believe the discrepancy in MOI between the 44.5 inch shaft and the 45.5 inch shaft was more than 100 MOI points.

However, I do believe that it could have been about 30 to 75 MOI points range, which is enough to make a difference in the performance, particularly with the driver. And as you can see, certain golfers in the Miles of Golf test had better launch conditions and better impact dispersion with one length of driver versus the other and for no rhyme or reason.

Well, there is a rhyme or reason and it really starts with the MOI of the club.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Tour Rundown - Week 7

Bill Haas won the Northern Trust Open, which was in particular painful for me as he was the last player I cut from my list of predicted winners.

Haas mainly won the Northern Trust with his flatstick, finishing 3rd in Putts Gained for the tournament. Nothing else really stood out for Haas statistically other than he had a solid tournament around the green and in the Birdie Zone.

Here’s how my picks finished up:

Aaron Baddeley: 30/1 (t-11th)
Hunter Mahan: 33/1 (t-24th)
Nick Watney: 33/1 (t-34th)
KJ Choi: 40/1 (t-24th)
Brendon De Jonge: 80/1 (t-42nd)

VALUE PICK: Jonathan Byrd: 100/1 (t-8th)

Here are my pics for the Accenture Match Play

Webb Simpson (28/1)
Bubba Watson (33/1)
Matt Kuchar (40/1)
Brandt Snedeker (50/1)
Graeme McDowell (50/1)

VALUE PICK: Kevin Na (125/1)

And here are the weekly rankings in the metrics:


1. Bubba Watson
2. Tom Gillis
3. John Senden
4. Heath Slocum
5. Roberto Castro
6. Hunter Mahan
7. Chad Campbell
8. Jeff Maggert
9. Carl Pettersson
10. John Rollins

178. Stewart Cink
179. Billy Hurley III
180. Joe Ogilvie
181. Chad Collins
182. Steve Wheatcroft
183. Patrick Sheehan
184. Gavin Coles
185. Stephen Gangluff
186. Derek Lamely
187. Daniel Chopra


1. Ben Crane
2. Martin Flores
3. Billy Hurley III
4. Scott McCarron
5. Aaron Baddeley
6. Johnson Wagner
7. Chris Riley
8. Rory Sabbatini
9. D.J. Trahan
10. Y.E. Yang

174. Scott Dunlap
175. Stuart Appleby
176. Scott Brown
177. Arjun Atwal
178. Kyle Thompson
179. Heath Slocum
180. Justin Leonard
181. Tom Gillis
182. Chad Campbell
183. Roland Thatcher


1. Mark D. Anderson
2. Kevin Kisner
3. Nick O'Hern
4. Sean O'Hair
5. Johnson Wagner
6. John Rollins
7. Stephen Ames
8. Andres Romero
9. K.J. Choi
10. Bob Estes

149. Mark Wilson
150. Bo Van Pelt
151. Charles Howell III
152. Kris Blanks
153. Kyle Reifers
154. Gary Woodland
155. Chez Reavie
156. Heath Slocum
157. J.B. Holmes
158. Billy Hurley III


1. Trevor Immelman
2. Jeff Maggert
3. Troy Kelly
4. Brendon de Jonge
5. Charlie Wi
6. Ryuji Imada
7. Vaughn Taylor
8. Jason Dufner
9. Mathew Goggin
10. Brian Gay

150. Bubba Watson
151. Kevin Sutherland
152. Robert Garrigus
153. Nick Watney
154. Will Claxton
155. Aaron Baddeley
156. Ryan Moore
157. Jamie Lovemark
158. Chad Campbell
159. Stephen Gangluff


1. Alexandre Rocha
2. Nick O'Hern
3. Matt Every
4. Jeff Maggert
5. Mark Wilson
6. Will Claxton
7. Lee Janzen
8. Kyle Thompson
9. Brian Gay
10. Bo Van Pelt

170. Andres Romero
171. Matt Bettencourt
172. Jeff Overton
173. Charley Hoffman
174. Y.E. Yang
175. Vaughn Taylor
176. Scott Stallings
177. Mark D. Anderson
178. J.B. Holmes
179. Briny Baird


1. Nathan Green
2. Justin Rose
3. Bubba Watson
4. Jonathan Byrd
5. Webb Simpson
6. Kyle Stanley
7. Ryo Ishikawa
8. Gary Woodland
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Daniel Summerhays

156. Jerry Kelly
157. Ryan Moore
158. Joe Ogilvie
159. Ryuji Imada
160. Jeff Overton
161. Mark D. Anderson
162. Brian Davis
163. Erik Compton
164. Richard H. Lee
165. Chad Collins


Monday, February 20, 2012

Basics to Shaft Bend Profile Numbers

One of the questions I’ve been receiving lately is different shaft bend profile data that different shaft companies give.

For instance, Miyazaki shafts use what they call an ‘International Flex Code’ for their shaft bend profiles. Here’s an example


Let’s look at the first shaft on the list, the Kusala Black 83, X-Stiff Shaft. It has an ‘international flex code’ of 5689.

What it is measuring is the stiffness of the shaft at different parts of the shaft. The first number is the butt end of the shaft. The last number is the tip end of the shaft. The higher the number, the stiffer that part of the shaft is.

Take a look at the Miyazaki Web site to get a better idea.

So, ‘3’ is considered ‘regular flex’, 5 is a ‘stiff flex’, 7 is X-Stiff and 9 in XX-stiff.

Thus, by judging the Kusala Black 83 X-Stiff shaft with an International Flex Code of 5689, the butt end of the shaft is ‘stiff’ and so is the mid section and the tip end is extremely stiff.

From what we know about shafts, the stiffer butt end of the golf shafts are designed more for very aggressive and hard swings. The stiffer the tip end of the golf shaft, the lower the ball will initially launch off the clubface.

So with the 5689, it’s supposed to be designed for golfers who generate a good amount of clubhead speed and have no issues getting it up in the air, but do so by having a slower, non-aggressive transition.

John Senden (116 mph clubhead speed) would probably fit more into this type of shaft.

But, we do have a problem with this International Flex Code. Since it’s Miyazaki’s measurement, we can only compare the shafts that Miyazaki has measured with it.

Let’s say you want a shaft with a similar bend profile to Miyazaki’s, but more torque. If you can’t find the torque and bend profile match, the International Flex Code is useless.

That’s what we are starting to see with more shaft manufacturers, their own version of bend profile measurements. But, if you find the shaft bend profile you want…but don’t like the torque or the weight, etc…then you will need to find a way to figure out what other company’s shafts have a similar bend profile and the other characteristics that you want.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Expected Score, Variance and Golf Strategy

A little while ago I made a blog post stating that Kyle Stanley’s conservative play on #18 at Torrey Pines cost him the Farmers Championship.


I still steadfastly believe that. In fact, as this was discussed more I started tor realize the folly in the ‘lay up’ crowds belief.

They never quite considered the rewards between the 2 decisions.

Meaning, if Stanley had hit a pretty good shot for him, he would have cleared the water and won the tournament in regulation. However, he could have hit the greatest layup shot he could have ever hit in his life….and he still has to cross over the water on the next shot.

With that, I’ve had a few readers bring up a valid point about ‘expected score’ and ‘score variance’ when it comes to golf strategy.

‘Expected Score’ means the average score a golfer would take from a certain spot given their skill level. Thus, if one golfer blasts their drive on #18 at Pebble Beach to 240 yards away, their ‘expected score’ into the hole may be 3.2 strokes. But, if they find the rough and are 280 yards away, their ‘expected score’ might be something like 4.5 strokes.

‘Score Variance’ is the range of scores a golfer may take from certain positions into the cup and what strategy they take. A golfer may try to drive a par-4 and their variance my go from 2 strokes to 6 strokes, thus a variance of 4 strokes.

So what we wind up with is the debate of going for ‘expected score’ or ‘lowering your variance.’ For instance, a golfer could go for a par-4 on the driver and have a variance of 4 strokes (2 – 6 strokes), but an expected score of 4.1 strokes by adopting that strategy. While the golfer who hits a 4-iron off the tee may have a variance of 2 strokes (3 – 5 strokes), but the same expected score of 4.1 strokes by adopting the more conservative strategy.

The question has come down to what strategy should a golfer take, less variance or lower expected score?

My feeling is that the golfer should pretty much always lean towards a lower expected score. My belief is that when it comes to strategy on the golf course, there is usually a bigger discrepancy in expected scores than there is a difference in score variance.

Let’s use the par-4 where we can possibly drive the green or lay-up. My belief is that it’s much more likely that 1 of the strategies will have a distinctly better expected score. Like we could say 3.9 strokes going for the green on the drive versus 4.5 strokes laying-up.

However, the score variance would probably be something like 4.0 strokes going for it on the driver versus 3.8 strokes laying-up.

Unfortunately, I have no way to measure this so I am theorizing. But, I think the differences in score variance is likely going to be minimal because of the human element involved.

Stanley’s 8 on #18 at Torrey Pines was a bit of an aberration for a Tour player. The likelihood that he would end up in the water, particularly for his Birdie Zone skill (top-50 player from the BZ) was very unlikely. And then for him to knock it on with a wedge and 3-putt was very unlikely.

But, the human element and something like the pressure to win his first tournament probably caused him to take an 8 on a hole he never should have taken an 8. I honestly believe…without question…that his expected score is noticeably lower if he goes for the green in 2 shots. But, I believe the variance was so similar that laying-up to reduce the variance was an illogical decision.

However, that does not mean that there are never instances where playing for score variance is a good idea.

In fact, I discuss this for a bit in the 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis. I call it ‘playing for your average swing.’

The problem that most amateurs have is that they do the opposite. They will either play for a poor swing or play for the greatest swing that they can make. Meaning, you have to be able to accurately gauge the results if you take your ‘average swing’ at the ball and play the shot based on that. For instance, an ‘average’ swing with the driver for me will send the ball about 280-290 yards and will find the fairway about 80% of the time and should go no worse than the first cut of rough about 90% of the time and should fade a little. I also know that when I take an average swing but still ‘miss it’, the miss is usually off to the right a bit and I have a pretty good gauge how much to the right I will miss the shot.

Thus, if I get on a hole like #3 at North Shore, I have to play for the results of my ‘average swing.’

For me, the average swing has me aim at the bunker where the 127 yard marker is (I cannot reach that bunker, it’s just an aiming point for me). This gives me enough room so that if I take an average swing and it fades, I should find the fairway. If I take an average swing and miss to the right like I typically do on my average swing ‘misses’, I should still be okay. And if I hit it straight, I’m still down the middle.

But most amateurs will either aim too far left (playing for a bad swing) or try to hug the water too close (playing for a great swing).

Brandt Snedeker played for ‘variance’ on #18 at Torrey Pines. He hit a driver in the left rough and he had a *chance* to make it over the water in two shots. However, that would mean he would have to take a great swing and still get some fortune his way. Instead, he played for his ‘average swing’, laid-up, and put it close and made birdie and put the pressure on Stanley to come in with at least a double bogey to win outright.

That being said, I believe that Snedeker also was playing for the lowest expected score as well. He just happened to have the lowest variance as well.

In other words, play for your average swing and you will likely play to the lowest expected value and over time that will allow you to lower your scores.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wishon on Nunchuk Shafts

One of the popular items at the PGA Show was the Nunchuk Driver Shaft.

Personally, I could not hit the thing to save my life. However, that doesn't mean it's a 'bad shaft', just that the properties of the shaft (bend profile, kick point and torqure) may just not fit my swing.

Here's what Tom Wishon said about the Nunchuk shaft on his forum (

In terms of the bend profile design of shafts, the Nunchuk is pretty different. What I am talking about is the combination of bend profile frequency measurement numbers for shafts. If you were to spend some time studying the Bend Profile measurements of many different wood shafts in our Bend Profile software program, you would see that most shafts follow one of a handful of common, similar progressions of bend profile measurements.

Sure, they vary a little when you look at all the numbers, but with a bit of study, you can see that most all of the wood shafts out there are created within a somewhat narrow range of these measurements for how the shafts graduate from their butt to the center to the tip end of the shaft. Shafts for avg players have their typical graduation of Bend Profile frequency measurements, shafts for a little better player have theirs and shafts for good players have their progression of frequency measurements.

The Nunchuk deviates a lot from these typical norms when it comes to its bend profile measurements. It starts out at the butt end as VERY, VERY STIFF compared to any other wood shafts - FAR more stiff than any of the X flexes that are out there. Then it drops down in the middle part of the shaft to be quite flexible in relation to its butt stiffness design. And after that it ramps back up to being very, very stiff in the tip section.

Their concept is that the flexible middle section has the effect of softening up the butt stiffness so that together, the butt + middle section then won't play either as stiff as the butt is on its own or as flexible as the middle section is on its own. But still, for as stiff as they have created the butt section to be, even with it dropping down to being flexible in the middle, it's still a very stiff shaft when you talk about its overall stiffness design.

What's tough for most to believe, and count me in that group, is Nunchuk's claim that this one bend profile they have created is a good fit for all golfers. That to me is a ridiculous statement. Now in all fairness, it is true that many golfers, chiefly those with early to midway release moves at the ball, could play and hit the ball the same with any shaft flex/bend profile. So from a pure distance and launch angle standpoint, it is true that a very wide range of golfers would all end up hitting the ball no different for their swings with a Nunchuk than with a hundred other shafts of different stiffness design. This is because we believe completely that the performance of a shaft with respect to its launch angle/trajectory only shows up for golfers as their release gets later and later and later in the downswing.

On the other hand, it is true that most golfers, regardless of their handicap or swing characteristics, will feel differences in impact solidness from shafts of a greatly different stiffness design. It is a fact for many golfers that if they hit the ball on center with a club that has a very stiff shaft, the feeling of impact will be much more DEAD or BOARDY and unresponsive than if they hit the ball on center with a more flexible shaft.

In this sense, I do believe that most people who would hit a Nunchuk shaft, and meaning most golfers with a swing speed under 100mph who also have an early to midway to even slightly later than midway release would sense that this shaft creates an unsolid feeling of impact with the ball.

But, what I will say is that the fact that the Nunchuk shaft does open the door to thinking about really upsetting the norms of the usual and typical progression of stiffness design in a shaft. I think the NUnchuk as it is made is a viable shaft for a strong, high swing speed golfer with a late release - but not for anyone else than this. However, some other radical varations on the releationship of the butt to center to tip stiffness could be found that might be acceptable to other golfer swing types.


So when looking at shafts, make sure you understand their characteristics (weight, torque, bend profile, kick point, etc) so you can understand what type of shaft fits you and your swing the best.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

3Jack PGA Tour Rundown - Week 6

After picking the 2nd place finisher 3 weeks in a row and then picking Kyle Stanley to win at the Waste Management, I had a rough week at the AT&T

Rickie Fowler: CUT
Rory Sabbatini: CUT
Martin Laird: MDF
Cameron Tringale: T-61st
DJ Trahan: t-40th

VALUE PICK: Ryan Palmer: t-29th

I think the issue I run into with the AT&T is that they are playing 3 different courses and that makes it more difficult to ‘profile’ the golfers that typically have success there. I also think that the Pro-Am format doesn’t help matters either and I think what winds up happening is that success at the AT&T is usually from the same golfers who play well there year in and year out instead of golfers whose game fits the course. It’s a similar type of issue I run into at the PGA Championship, US Open and British Open because they are playing new courses each year.

For those who want to know, Mickelson won the AT&T with his putting as he demolished the field in the Putts Gained category. Mickelson has stated that he’s worked extra hard on his putting in the offseason. I noticed that he didn’t seem to be ramming putts at the cup and instead getting a better capture speed. Could be something to watch out for this year.

Here are my picks for the Northern Trust Open:

Aaron Baddeley: 30/1
Hunter Mahan: 33/1
Nick Watney: 33/1
KJ Choi: 40/1
Brendon De Jonge: 80/1

VALUE PICK: Jonathan Byrd: 100/1


1. John Senden
2. Matt Kuchar
3. Jason Dufner
4. Chad Campbell
5. Tom Gillis
6. Kevin Streelman
7. John Rollins
8. Carl Pettersson
9. Jeff Maggert
10. Hunter Mahan

173. Steve Marino
174. Stephen Gangluff
175. Tommy Biershenk
176. Matt Bettencourt
177. Steve Wheatcroft
178. Patrick Sheehan
179. Gavin Coles
180. Stewart Cink
181. Derek Lamely
182. Daniel Chopra


1. Sam Saunders
2. Ben Crane
3. Briny Baird
4. Martin Flores
5. Johnson Wagner
6. Derek Lamely
7. Phil Mickelson
8. Scott McCarron
9. Greg Chalmers
10. Chris Riley

175. Arjun Atwal
176. Tom Gillis
177. Boo Weekley
178. Kyle Thompson
179. Heath Slocum
180. Vaughn Taylor
181. Justin Leonard
182. Stuart Appleby
183. Chad Campbell
184. Roland Thatcher


1. Matt Jones
2. Steve Stricker
3. Mark D. Anderson
4. John Senden
5. Kevin Kisner
6. Scott McCarron
7. Nick O'Hern
8. Sean O'Hair
9. Bryce Molder
10. Steven Bowditch

164. Ryo Ishikawa
165. Kyle Reifers
166. Jhonattan Vegas
167. Kris Blanks
168. Bo Van Pelt
169. Heath Slocum
170. Vijay Singh
171. Kyle Thompson
172. Stewart Cink
173. Billy Hurley III


1. Trevor Immelman
2. Jason Dufner
3. Matt Kuchar
4. Bob Estes
5. Jeff Maggert
6. Troy Kelly
7. Charlie Wi
8. Brandt Snedeker
9. Scott Dunlap
10. Ricky Barnes

159. Aaron Baddeley
160. Ian Poulter
161. Will Claxton
162. Billy Mayfair
163. Gary Woodland
164. Jhonattan Vegas
165. D.J. Trahan
166. Tommy Gainey
167. Jamie Lovemark
168. Ryan Moore


1. Boo Weekley
2. Alexandre Rocha
3. Sam Saunders
4. Geoff Ogilvy
5. Nick O'Hern
6. Jeff Maggert
7. Troy Matteson
8. Matt Every
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Hunter Mahan

171. Vaughn Taylor
172. Andres Romero
173. J.B. Holmes
174. Charley Hoffman
175. Jonathan Byrd
176. Gary Woodland
177. Scott Stallings
178. Mark D. Anderson
179. Scott McCarron
180. Briny Baird


1. Ryo Ishikawa
2. Anthony Kim
3. Marc Leishman
4. Bubba Watson
5. Nathan Green
6. Michael Thompson
7. Nick Watney
8. Stuart Appleby
9. Ian Poulter
10. Kyle Stanley

165. Stephen Gangluff
166. Alexandre Rocha
167. Kyle Thompson
168. Russell Knox
169. Jeff Overton
170. Chad Collins
171. Mark D. Anderson
172. Richard H. Lee
173. Brian Davis
174. Daniel Chopra


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Importance Of Driving For Amateurs

One of the things I’ve been working on is trying to better figure out the parts of the game that matter more to amateurs.

In the 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis, I stated that the on the PGA Tour, the following facets of the game matter in this order of importance:

1. Danger Zone Play
2. Putts Gained
3. Advanced Total Driving
4. Safe Zone Play
5. Short Game Play
6. Birdie Zone Play
7. Clubhead Speed
8. Shots from 225-275 yards

Obviously, there are differences for amateurs. As I noted in the 2011 PGS, amateurs play shorter courses and thus, the yardage gap for the Danger, Safe and Birdie Zones change and get shorter to the hole.

However, I think there are other differences as well, like the order of importance.

My current thinking is that *driving* becomes more important the higher the handicap becomes. I think the differences in where the ball winds up on a ‘good drive’ vs. a ‘bad drive’ is so much different for a 15 handicap than an elite amateur. I think the discrepancy is far larger for a 15 handicap versus a 10 handicap.

One of the things that Tommy Armour talks about in his book ‘How To Play Your Best Golf All of the Time’ is that amateurs should start thinking about hitting shorter irons out of the rough, even if it means that they can’t reach the green. Simply putting the ball in the fairway was Armour’s strategy to get the golfer to shoot lower scores.

I think the rough is not nearly the factor that it once was, but I think Armour was onto something. Whether he recognized it or not, I believe that the higher the handicap, the more trouble the golfer gets into with their driver.

I believe that putting will always be about #2 in order of importance, regardless of handicap. I just believe that driving and Danger Zone play become more or less important depending upon the handicap.

Thus, a 20 handicap may look like this:

1. Advanced Total Driving
2. Putts Gained
3. Safe Zone Play
4. Danger Zone Play
5. Short Game Play
6. Birdie Zone Play
7. Clubhead Speed
8. Fairway wood and Hybrid shots

A 10 handicap may look like this:

1. Advanced Total Driving
2. Putts Gained
3. Danger Zone Play
4. Safe Zone Play
5. Short Game Play
6. Birdie Zone Play
7. Clubhead Speed
8. Fairway wood and Hybrid shots

A 5 handicap may look like this:

1a. Advanced Total Driving
1b. Danger Zone Play
2. Putts Gained
3. Safe Zone Play
4. Short Game Play
5. Birdie Zone Play
6. Clubhead Speed
7. Fairway wood and Hybrid shots

There's no real way to measure it yet. And I still believe that practicing on the driving range with the longest iron in the bag is beneficial to any golfer of any handicap. But, it's something to think about for now.

After reading Wishon's book 'The Search For The Perfect Driver', I can see why amateurs have struggles with the driver. Certainly, their swing is a culprit of the issues. But, not playing enough loft, trying to hit the faux 'hot spot', and being poorly fit for the shaft and length of the club put amateurs behind the 8-ball before they even hit the first tee.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

George Hunt Golf Academy Moving To Atlanta

For those wondering, my swing instructor George Hunt will be moving his golf academy to the Atlanta area. His academy will be at the Trophy Club at Apalachee in Dacula, GA. He will officially be available for lessons at the Trophy Club on February 27th.

Having worked with George since October of 2010, I have seen tremendous improvements in my ballstriking and my score. His knowledge and expertise with regards to swing mechanics and the game are impeccable and he has a perpetual thirst for knowledge. He is a consumate teaching professional and I look forward to continue to work on my game with him. I can assure golfers that their game would be in great hands under George's tutelage.

For more information, please check out his Web site at


Friday, February 10, 2012

Impact Method by Rick Woodson

Here's a video by golf instructor Rick Woodson on his 'Impact Method' Golf theory


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Manuel De Los Santos

Here's a video I saw a couple of weeks ago that I thought people would enjoy.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Tour Rundown - Week 5

Nice to see Kyle Stanley bounce back to win in Scottsdale. Here’s how my picks for the Waste Management finished:

Kyle Stanley: 1st (50/1)
Value Pick: Brendan Steele: t-5th (100/1)
Bo Van Pelt: t-8th (50/1)
John Rollins: t-8th (50/1)
Keegan Bradley: t-15th (28/1)
JB Holmes: t-45th (66/1)

Here are my picks for the AT&T at Pebble Beach:

Rickie Fowler: 25 to 1
Martin Laird: 33 to 1
Rory Sabbatini: 40 to 1
Cameron Tringale: 80 to 1
DJ Trahan: 80 to 1

VALUE PICK: Ryan Palmer: 100 to 1


1. John Senden
2. Matt Kuchar
3. Heath Slocum
4. Jason Dufner
5. Chad Campbell
6. John Rollins
7. Tom Gillis
8. Carl Pettersson
9. Roberto Castro
10. Jeff Maggert

155. Billy Hurley III
156. Alexandre Rocha
157. Tommy Biershenk
158. Joe Ogilvie
159. Nathan Green
160. Matt Bettencourt
161. Gavin Coles
162. Stewart Cink
163. Steve Wheatcroft
164. Derek Lamely


1. Scott McCarron
2. Martin Flores
3. Ben Crane
4. Briny Baird
5. Rory Sabbatini
6. Derek Lamely
7. Johnson Wagner
8. Greg Chalmers
9. Aaron Baddeley
10. D.J. Trahan

156. Ryan Moore
157. Heath Slocum
158. Robert Garrigus
159. Greg Owen
160. Justin Leonard
161. Chad Campbell
162. Scott Brown
163. Kyle Thompson
164. Vaughn Taylor
165. Stuart Appleby


1. Andres Romero
2. Steve Stricker
3. Mark D. Anderson
4. Brandt Jobe
5. Nick O'Hern
6. Russell Knox
7. John Senden
8. Nathan Green
9. Sean O'Hair
10. Kevin Kisner

156. Bo Van Pelt
157. Dustin Johnson
158. J.J. Henry
159. Ken Duke
160. Tommy Gainey
161. Vijay Singh
162. Kyle Thompson
163. Stewart Cink
164. Billy Hurley III
165. Heath Slocum


1. Trevor Immelman
2. Jason Dufner
3. Charlie Wi
4. Matt Kuchar
5. Mathew Goggin
6. Troy Kelly
7. Jeff Maggert
8. William McGirt
9. Brandt Snedeker
10. Anthony Kim

140. Billy Mayfair
141. Gary Woodland
142. Jhonattan Vegas
143. Ryan Moore
144. Jason Kokrak
145. Charlie Beljan
146. Mark D. Anderson
147. Hunter Haas
148. Jamie Lovemark
149. D.J. Trahan


1. Alexandre Rocha
2. Troy Matteson
3. Nick O'Hern
4. Trevor Immelman
5. Bo Van Pelt
6. Rocco Mediate
7. Jeff Maggert
8. J.J. Henry
9. Justin Leonard
10. Matt Every

156. Charley Hoffman
157. Ryan Palmer
158. Jonathan Byrd
159. Richard H. Lee
160. Gary Woodland
161. Mark D. Anderson
162. Matt Bettencourt
163. Billy Hurley III
164. Vaughn Taylor
165. Briny Baird


1. J.J. Henry
2. Ryo Ishikawa
3. Dustin Johnson
4. Anthony Kim
6. Bubba Watson
7. Rickie Fowler
8. Spencer Levin
9. Michael Thompson
10. Kyle Stanley

153. Joe Ogilvie
154. Kyle Thompson
155. Steve Wheatcroft
156. Jeff Overton
157. Brian Davis
158. Chad Collins
159. Mark D. Anderson
160. Russell Knox
161. Brandt Jobe
162. Richard H. Lee


Monday, February 6, 2012

The Search For The Perfect Driver Review

I just got done reading Tom Wishon’s 2006 book ‘The Search For The Perfect Driver.’

For those who don’t know much about Wishon, he’s been a club designer for decades and was the head of club design for GolfSmith and designed clubs for pros like Payne Stewart. Many consider him to be one of the foremost experts on club design and club fitting. I currently use the following Wishon equipment:

Wishon 919THI driver
Wishon 929HS 3-wood
Wishon 775HS hybrid
Wishon 555C 3 & 4-irons
Wishon 555M 5-PW

The book is in a ‘FAQ’ format. I didn’t find too much of a problem with this because there are so many fallacies with regards to driver design and fitting that the point gets across better in this format.

One of the major fallacies that Wishon uncovered was the ‘hot spot’ of the driver as I went over in my previous post.

A strongpoint of the book is that not only does Wishon uncover the fallacies like the ‘hot spot’ of the driver being near the crown, but he explains why and how this became a myth. It’s always more difficult to believe somebody telling you that the earth is not flat when they don’t explain why that is not true and how that myth came about.

Wishon goes over a variety of other subjects in the book as well such as using graphite versus steel shafts in the driver, optimal length of the driver, shaft length affecting distance, shaft flex myths, bend profiles, shaft kick points, shaft torque, etc.

If there’s an issue I think some readers may have with the book is that Wishon does promote his own equipment from time to time. This may turn off some, but for me he is discussing different facets of the driver that important to fitting and how his equipment designs address those components of the driver. For example, his drivers have virtually no roll design. Meaning, the driver face is as flat vertically as a designer can get a driver face. This eliminates the extra loft added to the driver face towards the crown.

The other possible issue is that this book was published in 2006, before Wishon came out with the 919THI design. Thus, it’s referring to some old equipment designs and features from time to time.

I actually found this helpful with my own *play* because I was no longer trying to tee it up so high in order to his this faux ‘hot spot.’ Instead, if I wanted to hit the ball with a positive attack angle, I was now focused on hitting up but hitting the *center* of the clubface.

I currently play a driver with the following specs:

Wishon 919THI
45.25 inches long
9.0* loft
Aldila RIP Beta Shaft (X-Stiff), 3.2* torque, 66 grams

I now plan on trying this driver combination:

Wishon 919THI
45 inches long
10.0* loft
UST VTS 65 (X-Stiff), 4.0* torque, 68 grams

Perhaps the strongest point of the book came from the fact that over the week I had spoken to many different experts from many different OEM’s that echoed a lot of the statements that Wishon made with driver fitting. The difference was that Wishon wrote about this 6 years ago.

I’ll have to wait and see how the new driver specs fit me. But, Wishon’s knowledge on clubfitting has yet to let me down and he always seems to be ahead of the curve on everything. Still, I am a big believer on how fallacies can ruin a golf swing and thus, I believe that fallacies with regards to equipment can be just as dangerous. I would recommend this book to clubfitters and to those looking to stick with a great driver for their swing for more than 2 years.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

3Jack Golf PGA Tour Rundown - Week 4

Here is how my picks for the Farmer’s finished:

Kyle Stanley: 2nd
Robert Garrigus: CUT
Dustin Johnson: T-43rd
Bubba Watson: T-13th
Charles Howell III: T-43rd

Value Pick: Charley Hoffman: T-52ND

It’s the 3rd tournament in a row that I have picked a 2nd place finisher. This time it was particularly cruel as Stanley was at 80 to 1 odds and was up by 3 shots going into the final hole.

Here’s the rankings for those who finished in the top-5 at Torrey Pines.

Brandt Snedeker ……..71…….35…….111…….9……70…….97
Kyle Stanley …………….12…….126……30……..3……78…….19
John Rollins ……………..16……..74…….37……..4……67…….85
Bill Haas ………............50…….127…..156…..31…..89……70
Cameron Tringale …….43……..29……108…..30….107……61

Stanley almost won the tournament based off his driving and Danger Zone play which was fantastic. Snedeker’s driving actually got much worse at Torrey, but he hit his irons extremely well and finished 12th in Putts Gained for the event. What’s ironic is that the top-5 have done very well in the Birdie Zone this year, but Kyle Stanley’s ‘Waterloo’ came on the 18th hole, from the Birdie Zone.

Here are my picks for Scottsdale:

Keegan Bradley: 28/1
John Rollins: 50/1
Kyle Stanley: 50/1
Bo Van Pelt: 50/1
JB Holmes: 66/1

Value Pick: Brendan Steele: 100/1

Here are the rankings:


1. John Senden
2. Matt Kuchar
3. Jason Dufner
4. Ryan Palmer
5. Jamie Lovemark
6. Roberto Castro
7. Graham DeLaet
8. Joe Durant
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Heath Slocum

168. Mathew Goggin
169. Stephen Gangluff
170. Steve Wheatcroft
171. Joe Ogilvie
172. Patrick Sheehan
173. Andres Romero
174. Corey Pavin
175. Marc Leishman
176. Daniel Chopra
177. Derek Lamely


1. Marc Turnesa
2. Scott McCarron
3. Hunter Haas
4. Johnson Wagner
5. Jeff Maggert
6. Briny Baird
7. Martin Flores
8. Rory Sabbatini
9. Ben Crane
10. Nick O'Hern

172. Scott Dunlap
173. Chad Campbell
174. Kyle Thompson
175. Anthony Kim
176. Scott Brown
177. Vaughn Taylor
178. Stuart Appleby
179. Dustin Johnson
180. Roland Thatcher
181. Heath Slocum


1. Joe Durant
2. Tadd Fujikawa
3. Chris Riley
4. Brett Quigley
5. Nick O'Hern
6. Steve Stricker
7. Lee Janzen
8. Mark D. Anderson
9. Chris Couch
10. Martin Laird

171. Graham DeLaet
172. Vijay Singh
173. Gary Woodland
174. Jason Kokrak
175. Hunter Mahan
176. Kyle Thompson
177. Bill Lunde
178. Billy Hurley III
179. J.J. Henry
180. Tommy Gainey


1. Graham DeLaet
2. Ricky Barnes
3. Kyle Stanley
4. John Rollins
5. Trevor Immelman
6. Jeff Maggert
7. Paul Goydos
8. Troy Kelly
9. Brandt Snedeker
10. Phil Mickelson

112. Hunter Haas
113. Bubba Watson
114. Scott Stallings
115. Jhonattan Vegas
116. Tom Gillis
117. Ben Crane
118. Charlie Beljan
119. Mark D. Anderson
120. Jason Kokrak
121. Gavin Coles


1. Alexandre Rocha
2. Troy Matteson
3. Chad Collins
4. Justin Leonard
5. Robert Allenby
6. Trevor Immelman
7. Nick O'Hern
8. Jeff Maggert
9. Brian Gay
10. Ricky Barnes

139. Scott Stallings
140. Billy Mayfair
141. Matt Bettencourt
142. Richard H. Lee
143. Mark D. Anderson
144. Derek Lamely
145. Billy Hurley III
146. Ryan Palmer
147. Gary Woodland
148. Briny Baird


1. Carl Pettersson
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Ryo Ishikawa
4. Justin Rose
5. Kris Blanks
6. David Hearn
7. Webb Simpson
8. Jason Kokrak
9. Gary Woodland
10. Bubba Watson

144. Jeff Overton
145. Ryan Moore
146. Kyle Thompson
147. Steve Wheatcroft
148. Patrick Sheehan
149. Danny Lee
150. Jerry Kelly
151. Mark D. Anderson
152. Russell Knox
153. Richard H. Lee