Friday, August 31, 2012

3Jack's New Edel Belly Putter

Edel Golf, making the best putters on earth.






Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Player Worth Considering For The Ryder Cup

With the US Ryder Cup picks coming up this Monday, there has been one player I have been keeping an eye out for that I think could make a good Ryder Cup player. However, I have yet to see any experts consider him for the Ryder Cup or just discuss him in general.

This player has had a better season and has played better recently than many of the top considerations for picks and is also a young talent that may be worth the shot of trying to develop as a long standing Ryder Cup player.

First, let’s take a look at the player’s metrics for this season:

Adjusted Scoring Average Rank: t-32nd
Earnings: 32nd
Victories: 1

Cuts Made: 18/23 (78%)
Top-10 finishes: 4
Top-25 finishes: 10

Advanced Total Driving: 14th

Birdie Zone Play: 165th
Safe Zone Play: 101st
Danger Zone Play: 17th

Putts Gained: 40th
Short Game Play: 140th

Who is this player?

PGA Tour rookie, John Huh

Now, I’m not saying he should be a lock as a captain’s pick. However, he should be getting more consideration than he appears to be receiving.

Huh was born in NYC and grew up in Los Angeles. He’s currently ranked 25th on the US Ryder Cup Standings.

Obviously, some of his metrics are a bit disconcerting. Such as his poor Birdie Zone play and struggles with the Short Game. However, Medinah is a long course that I would be willing to bet will favor good driving and Danger Zone play as it is scheduled to play at a whopping 7,657 yards.

My research typically shows that once courses get over 7,300 yards on Tour Danger Zone becomes one of the top-2 factors towards the general success of players. The last 3 Major championships held at Medinah were won by Hale Irwin and then twice by Tiger Woods (1999 and 2006). Irwin was noted as one of the all-time great drivers of the ball and in 1999, Woods was a great driver of the ball. In ’06 in the Haney era, Woods was arguably the greatest Danger Zone player that ever lived while being a mediocre driver of the ball.

With all of that, I presume that success and Medinah will come down to driving, Danger Zone play and putting.

Rickie Fowler is getting plenty of talk this week about possibly making the Ryder Cup team as a captain’s pick.

But, let’s take a look at the metrics (Huh’s metrics are in parentheses to provide a comparison}:

Adjusted Scoring Average Rank: 46th (32nd)
Earnings: 17th (32nd)
Victories: 1 (1)

Cuts Made: 17/20 85% (18/23 78%)
Top-10 finishes: 5
Top-25 finishes: 7

Advanced Total Driving: 41st

Birdie Zone Play: 70th
Safe Zone Play: 66th
Danger Zone Play: 66th

Putts Gained: 141st

Short Game Play: 116th

To me, Fowler runs more hot and cold than Huh does as he’s had a higher percentage of top-10 finishes, but a lower percentage of top-25 finishes. Fowler has been striking it very well this season, but his putting has been poor and his Short Game play has been mediocre. Fowler also has a higher Adjusted Scoring Average than Huh. So does Phil Mickelson.

I personally would prefer to see Davis Love III take Stricker and Brandt Snedeker and then consider the last two picks with regards to who is putting and playing well going into Monday. But I think it would be a poor move to not give Huh some serious consideration.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown: Week 34

Nick Watney gets his first win of 2012 at the Barclays.

Here are my picks for Deutsche Bank Championship:

Tiger Woods 10/1
Rory McIlroy 12/1
Dustin Johnson 16/1
Jason Dufner 18/1
Bubba Watson 25/1
Bo Van Pelt 40/1
Keegan Bradley 40/1
Robert Garrigus 100/1
Kyle Stanley 125/1

Value Pick: Josh Teater 150/1

Here are the current rankings:


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

185. Matt Bettencourt
186. Nick O'Hern
187. Tom Pernice Jr.
188. Derek Lamely
189. Michael Bradley
190. Stephen Gangluff
191. Ryuji Imada
192. David Duval
193. Daniel Chopra
194. Joe Ogilvie

Most Improved: Louis Oosthuizen
Biggest Decline: Bubba Watson


1. Brandt Snedeker
2. Luke Donald
3. Aaron Baddeley
4. Brian Gay
5. Derek Lamely
6. Ben Curtis
7. Zach Johnson
8. Martin Flores
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Carl Pettersson

185. Kris Blanks
186. Alexandre Rocha
187. Roland Thatcher
188. D.J. Trahan
189. Charlie Beljan
190. Scott Brown
191. Kyle Stanley
192. Kyle Thompson
193. Boo Weekley
194. Scott Dunlap

Most Improved: Charl Schwartzel
Biggest Decline: Rory McIlroy


1. Jason Dufner
2. Jerry Kelly
3. Brian Gay
4. Stuart Appleby
5. K.J. Choi
6. Daniel Chopra
7. Bubba Watson
8. Tom Gillis
9. Fredrik Jacobson
10. Rocco Mediate

185. William McGirt
186. Blake Adams
187. Gary Woodland
188. Kyle Reifers
189. Charlie Beljan
190. Harris English
191. Sang-Moon Bae
192. Martin Laird
193. Cameron Beckman
194. Edward Loar

Most Improved: Adam Scott
Biggest Decline: Martin Laird


1. Steve Stricker
2. Garth Mulroy
3. Jason Bohn
4. Bo Van Pelt
5. Richard H. Lee
6. Padraig Harrington
7. Vaughn Taylor
8. Roland Thatcher
9. Daniel Chopra
10. Brendon de Jonge

185. Mark Wilson
186. David Duval
187. Adam Scott
188. Brandt Jobe
189. Aaron Baddeley
190. Jonas Blixt
191. Edward Loar
192. Billy Hurley III
193. Miguel Angel Carballo
194. Jamie Lovemark

Most Improved: Tiger Woods
Biggest Decline: Webb Simpson


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

185. Harrison Frazar
186. Troy Kelly
187. Daniel Summerhays
188. Henrik Stenson
189. Edward Loar
190. Brendan Steele
191. Mark Anderson
192. Matt Jones
193. Jamie Lovemark
194. Daniel Chopra

Most Improved: Rory McIlroy
Biggest Decline: Tiger Woods


1. Steve Stricker
2. Bo Van Pelt
3. Chad Campbell
4. Kyle Stanley
5. Tiger Woods
6. Bubba Watson
7. Graeme McDowell
8. Daniel Summerhays
9. Charlie Beljan
10. Kevin Stadler

185. Edward Loar
186. Brian Gay
187. Sung Kang
188. David Mathis
189. Rocco Mediate
190. John Rollins
191. Sang-Moon Bae
192. Joe Ogilvie
193. Derek Lamely
194. Nick O'Hern

Most Improved: Lee Westwood
Biggest Decline: Charl Schwartzel


Monday, August 27, 2012

3Jack's 2nd Annual Top Short Game Teacher List

This year I have increased the list from the top-20 to the top-25. As I see more and more instructors get involved with focusing on the short game and/or putting, I will continue to grow the list.

Mike Adams
Hobe Sound, FL or Gladstone, NJ

Justin Blazer
Orlando, FL

Shawn Clement

Richmond Hills, ON Canada

Brenndan Cooper
Ridgedale, MO

Bobby Dean
Austin, TX

John Dochety
Tullahoma, TN

Jamie Donaldson

United Kingdom

Jason Goldsmith
San Diego, CA

David Graham
Orlando, FL

John Graham
Webster, NY

Keith Handler
Lake Mary, FL

Errol Helling
Nashville, TN

Steve Kisner
Holly Springs, NC

Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD

Geoff Mangum

Greensboro, NC

James Marshall
Barcelona, Spain

Javier Nigard
Stockholm, Sweden

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC

James Ridyard

Bedford, United Kingdom

Jim Sieckmann
Omaha, NE

Tom Stickney
Edwards, CO

Mark Sweeney
Celebration, FL

VJ Trolio
West Point, MS

TJ Yeaton
St. Augustine, FL


Friday, August 24, 2012

3Jack Golf's 4th Annual Top-50 Swing Instructor List - Part II

Here are the teachers in part II:

Peter Hollington
Guildford Surrey, UK

Spencer Huggins
Buies Creek, NC

George Hunt
Dacula, GA

Lloyd Johnson
Harbor Springs, MI or Naples, FL

Geoff Jones
Texarkana, AR

James Leitz

Slidell, LA

Ted Long
Sankt Leon-Rot, Germany

Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA

James Marshall
Barcelona, Spain

Joseph Mayo

Las Vegas, NV

Greg McHatton
Valencia, CA

Mike McNary
Santa Ana, CA

Kelvin Miyahira

Oahu, HI

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA

Palm Springs, CA

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC

Andy Plummer
West Linn, OR

Brech Spradley

Austin, TX

VJ Trolio
West Point, MS

Grant Waite
Ocala, FL or Las Vegas, NV

Dave Wedzik
Erie, PA

Dan Whittaker
United Kingdom

Simon Williams
Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK

TJ Yeaton
St. Augustine, FL


Thursday, August 23, 2012

3Jack Golf's 4th Annual Top-50 Swing Instructor List - Part I

After much deliberation, here is the 3rd Annual 3Jack Top 50 Instructor list (Part I). I've listed them alphabetically. Part II will be tomorrow and then my 2nd annual Top Short Game/Putting Instructor List will be next week.

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

If you are an instructor in the list, feel free to take the badge below to put on your own Web site or whatever. I only ask that you add a link back to my blog at

Lastly, I wanted to thank all of the instructors and students who gave me videos and other information. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at

Denny Alberts
Tuscon, AZ

Matt Belsham
Hertfordshire, UK

Mike Bennett

Mario Bevilacqua

Colts Neck, NJ

Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL

Lynn Blake
Eatonton, GA

Billy Bondaruk
South Dennis, MA

Dan Carraher
Jacksonville, FL

Chris Como
Plano, TX

Martin Chuck

Phoenix, AZ

Ian Clark
Surrey, UK

Nick Clearwater
Chicago, IL or Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Pete Cowen
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dana Dahlquist

Long Beach, CA

John Dal Corobbo
Carmel, IN

John Dochety
Tullahoma, TN

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ

Jeff Evans

Macon, GA

Mark Evershed
Toronto, ON

Sean Foley
Winter Garden, FL

Ted Fort
Marietta, GA

John Furze
Sandringham, Australia

Frank Gasaway
Locust Grove, GA

Ron Gring
Mobile, AL

Keith Handler
Lake Mary, FL

Part II tomorrow


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

3Jack Golf Blog's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 33

Sergio Garcia returns to the winner’s circle at the Wyndham Championship

Here’s how my Wyndham picks finished:

Jason Dufner: 12/1 (t-7th)
Bud Cauley: 50/1 (t-3rd)
Brendon De Jonge 66/1 (t-14th)
John Mallinger: 66/1 (MC)
Brian Harman: 80/1 (MC)
Chez Reavie: 80/1 (t-58th)
Jonas Blixt: 100/1 (t-55th)
Charlie Beljan: 125/1 (MC)
Russell Knox: 125/1 (t-37th)
Roland Thatcher: 200/1 (MC)


1. Bubba Watson
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Boo Weekley
4. Jason Dufner
5. Hunter Mahan
6. John Rollins
7. Charlie Beljan
8. Graham DeLaet
9. Tiger Woods
10. Kyle Stanley

186. Matt Bettencourt
187. Nick O'Hern
188. Tom Pernice Jr.
189. Derek Lamely
190. Michael Bradley
191. Stephen Gangluff
192. Ryuji Imada
193. David Duval
194. Daniel Chopra
195. Joe Ogilvie


1. Aaron Baddeley
2. Brandt Snedeker
3. Zach Johnson
4. Ben Curtis
5. Luke Donald
6. Derek Lamely
7. Brian Gay
8. Martin Flores
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Bryce Molder

186. Alexandre Rocha
187. Roland Thatcher
188. Ricky Barnes
189. D.J. Trahan
190. Charlie Beljan
191. Scott Brown
192. Kyle Stanley
193. Boo Weekley
194. Kyle Thompson
195. Scott Dunlap


1. Jerry Kelly
2. K.J. Choi
3. Jason Dufner
4. Brian Gay
5. Ian Poulter
6. Bubba Watson
7. Stuart Appleby
8. Daniel Chopra
9. Robert Karlsson
10. Tom Gillis

186. Kyle Thompson
187. William McGirt
188. Gary Woodland
189. Kyle Reifers
190. Michael Thompson
191. Charlie Beljan
192. Sang-Moon Bae
193. Harris English
194. Cameron Beckman
195. Edward Loar


1. Steve Stricker
2. Padraig Harrington
3. Garth Mulroy
4. Webb Simpson
5. Jason Bohn
6. Richard H. Lee
7. Bo Van Pelt
8. Vaughn Taylor
9. Roland Thatcher
10. Daniel Chopra

186. Jhonattan Vegas
187. Jonas Blixt
188. David Duval
189. Brandt Jobe
190. Aaron Baddeley
191. Adam Scott
192. Edward Loar
193. Billy Hurley III
194. Miguel Angel Carballo
195. Jamie Lovemark

SAFE ZONE PLAY (125-175 yards)

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

186. Charles Howell III
187. Troy Kelly
188. Gary Woodland
189. Daniel Summerhays
190. Edward Loar
191. Brendan Steele
192. Mark Anderson
193. Matt Jones
194. Jamie Lovemark
195. Daniel Chopra

DANGER ZONE PLAY (175-225 yards)

1. Steve Stricker
2. Bo Van Pelt
3. Charl Schwartzel
4. Bubba Watson
5. Tiger Woods
6. Justin Rose
7. Louis Oosthuizen
8. Chad Campbell
9. Kyle Stanley
10. Matt Kuchar

186. J.J. Killeen
187. Edward Loar
188. Brian Gay
189. Sung Kang
190. David Mathis
191. Rocco Mediate
192. Sang-Moon Bae
193. Joe Ogilvie
194. Derek Lamely
195. Nick O'Hern


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Some Short Game Videos and Thoughts...

Here's a video featuring one of the best short game players of all time, Calvin Peete, and his tips for better short game play.

Also, pay close attention to this video by golf instructor Mario Bevilacqua, showing the different trajectory windows a player can utilize on chip and pitch shots.

Then of course, there's the video by Brian Manzella on the 'Rule of 12', which I use in almost every round.

Some have a hard time defining a 'chip' versus a 'pitch' shot. I prefer Peete's differentiation between the two with a chip shot requiring almost no wrist cocking or bending (sorta like Manzella shows in the Rule of 12 video) and the pitch shot requiring more wrist action so the golfer can get more leverage.

In general I tend to favor the Rule of 12 philosophy of trying to get the ball on the green immediately. The beauty of the Rule of 12 method is that the safe zone will be closer to the golfer and the golfer can now hit that spot more consistently. A lot of golfers will primarily chip with a SW. Hubert Green, one of the all-time great chippers, only used a SW. But, the difficulty is that if you have a 40 yard chip to the hole, you may have to your SW roughly 20 yards to a landing area. Compare that to more of the Rule of 12 method where you may be able to use a 9-iron and only have to carry the ball 5 yards to hit the 'safe area.' I think it's a lot easier to hit the spot on the green you want with a 9-iron from 5 yards away than it is with a SW from 20 yards away. Furthermore, the SW will generate more spin and often times it becomes difficult to get that correct amount of spin on the ball.

The other parts I find important are the trajectory. I think good short game play is in general about being able to understand what trajectory will work best for that shot and being anble to hit that trajectory. Again, this is where I think the Rule of 12 is useful because it can give the golfer a spot to target, now they just need to figure out what trajectory and what club to use.

Lastly, I think it's important to pay attention to and understand the terrain. Slight downhill lies can great affect your trajectory because you have such a short distance and the clubhead is traveling a higher speed, so a downhill lie usually gives golfers (myself included) trouble in recognizing the ball will fly lower that expected and that can be the difference between chipping in or leaving yourself with a 10-15 foot putt.

Recently, Rickie Fowler was in GOLF Magazine discussing some tips for hitting more greens and one of them he said was to realize that elevated greens don't spin the ball much whereas greens that are below the golfer tend to sit and spin the ball more. I think the same concept applies with chipping and pitching. Thus, the golfer needs to factor that in when hitting a shot around the green, even when using the Rule of 12 principles.

More often than not, the green you miss will be a little elevated. That's because the elevated greens or parts of the green that are elevated are designed so that the ball will more easily roll off the green if the golfer just msises the green on the approach.

My personal rule of thumb is to start playing for more roll when the green is at my knee level or higher. Usually these shots require a SW or a LW and I wind up going to the LW more often because the ball will roll out too much with the SW. The Rule of 12 principles can still apply, but you may want to take 1-less club in this situation.


Monday, August 20, 2012

TrueAim Golf Review

Recently, Tom Wishon wrote a post on the GolfWRX Web site that stated when it comes to fitting the accuracy portion of a driver, the #1 attribute to consider was the face angle of the clubhead. What some people do not realize is that most drivers are designed with a closed clubface. And if you see a driver labeled as a ‘Tour’ design (i.e. Callaway Razr Tour), those drivers typically have a slightly open clubface angle.

The idea is that most golfers hit the ball with some sort of slice spin axis. Thus, if the OEM’s design the club to have a closed clubface at address, this will either help reduce the slice spin axis or at least get the ball starting left so it can slice back towards the target. In reality, they are more looking to get the golfer to hit a slightly pull-fade just by making the clubface closed at address. With the ‘Tour’ models, since most Tour players do not hit a slice and instead hit a draw, they typically like an open clubface angle at address so they can hit that ‘push-draw’ shot at the target.

The problem is that it’s often very difficult to get the face angle the way you want it. Fortunately for Wishon Golf users, they have a couple of options like the 739CCG driver model


The 739CCG model came out this year and is Wishon’s most customizable driver model. It has a hosel that is made from soft 304 stainless steel, so the golfer can have the face angle bent about 2°. Furthermore, Wishon has stated that they could *probably* bend the face angle up to 4°, but it would be a little risky.

Then there’s Wishon’s ‘handpicked option’ which is available in all of his woods like the 919THI model.


According to Tom, the tolerances for every company for every driver head model that comes from the foundry is 1°. Meaning, you could have a driver stamped at 9.5° loft, but it could be as low lofted as 8.5° or as high lofted as 10.5°. Same with the face angle and lie angle.

What Wishon Golf offers is a ‘hand picked’ option. Their drivers are typically stamped at 9°, 11° and 13° (there are some 10.5°) lofts. So with the handpicked option, Wishon Golf will find the loft, face angle and lie angle that fits within these parameters. For instance, the 919THI driver I have typically comes in at 9° stamped, with a 58° lie angle and a 0.5° closed face angle. Instead, I wanted a 10° loft, 58° lie angle and a 0.0° square face angle. Thus, I selected the hand picked option and they found a head in the series of heads they received from the foundry that actually fit those measurements.

The problem lies when you don’t have a Wishon driver and generally want to keep your current driver, but fear that the face angle is holding you back. That’s where TrueAim comes in.

TrueAim was designed by Tim Tucker and Jason Goldsmith, both of whom are also certified Edel Golf putter fitters. It is a possible way to effectively alter the golfer’s face angle by changing how they aim using decals on the driver head.


The decals are plastic with a strong adhesive. When the person is originally being fitted for the decal, they start off with the temporary decals which come on and off quite easily. USGA rules state that a golfer cannot use a temporary decal for play. However, the permanent decals are perfectly legal. But don’t worry, I have been told that one can still remove the permanent decal safely without scratching the driver head, it just takes some time to do it.

The fitting process can be done by just about anybody, even those without any clubfitting or clubmaking experience. First, the TrueAim decals come with a kit.


The kit comes with a ‘scorecard’ where the golfer tries each of the decals oriented in each position and then locates a target and sees how well each shot ‘performed’ with relation to the target. Personally, I think it would be best to get on a Trackman or FlightScope launch monitor and realize that there will be some judgment calls as to what decal works best for you.


I do agree with TrueAim’s notion that how you aim the clubface, even with a driver, can greatly affect your mechanics and club dimensions at impact. As I mentioned in my recent post about visiting the Faldo Institute and seeing them fit golfers for Edel putters, there were various cases of golfers who could not aim correctly and that great impacted their entire stroke mechanics. I could not help but feel that if I were an instructor, the first thing I would ever do with a golfer is to check their putter and how well they aim it because if they want to improve their stroke, they stand no chance of doing so until they can aim the putter somewhat accurately.

I believe that the driver is fairly similar in that regard. My dad is somewhat of a good example. He plays with a very closed clubface with his driver at address. He then hits fades. Which sounds fine, but his miss is usually a bad pull or a low pull-hook. I think he unconsciously over time learned that if he closes the driver face at address, he won’t hit that big slice. However, I think he could probably be better off with a driver that is about 1° more open than his current driver (currently 0.5° closed) and that way he *may* still close the face, but not as much as he currently closes the face and could eliminate some of those bad pulls and low pull-hooks.

When golfers get fit for Edel putters, the fitter will always try and see what alignment lines and sight dots work best for the golfers aim, if at all.


You would be surprised how adding one alignment line or sight dot can drastically affect a golfer’s aim. And often times, Edel fits putters where the golfer aims far better with no alignment lines or sight dots.

Thus, I can see the same applying to a face angle or using the TrueAim decals. It provides a different perspective at address and that can change some mechanics. Or even simpler, sometimes you’re just aimed a little off at address and your face angle and path numbers at impact are not bad, they just need to be steered a little towards a certain direction. I have found that to be very true in the times I have worked with Trackman and FlightScope.

In the end, I did not wind up with a True Aim decal because I use the Wishon 919THI driver and have the face angle I wanted. But again, if you are not fitted for face angle or you want to keep your driver, but just want help with being able to naturally adjust how you aim it, then I would certainly give the TrueAim decals a try.

The only complaint I have is that the decals are a bit brittle, so when trying the temporary ones, be careful when you pull them off. But for $20-$25, I think it’s well worth giving it a try as I can see it greatly improving somebody’s driving of the golf ball.

For more information, check them out at


Friday, August 17, 2012

3Jack Experiments With Shortening The Driver Shaft


One of the questions I get and I often see on message boards is about shortening the length of the driver. As most people know, the driver shaft lengths from OEM’s are usually in the range of 45-1/4” to 46-1/2” long. However, according to Tom Wishon’s booklet ’12 Myths That Could Wreck Your Game’, the average length of a driver on Tour for each of the last 5 years has only been 44-1/2” long.

The idea behind the longer driver shafts is that the longer the shaft will equate to more clubhead speed which will allow the golfer to hit it longer. The main problems I see is that the long shafts often influence the golfer’s address position and cause the golfer to make swing compensations to deal with the shaft being too long. The other problem is that even if the golfer can address the ball reasonably well, they can have difficulty timing a shaft that is long in length.

I had debated this myself, but I didn’t feel I could quite trust recommended lengths from other fitters not named Tom Wishon (or Richard Kempton And the book that I had read about driver shaft fitting from Wishon was his 2006 ‘The Search For the Perfect Driver.’ The book is a great book, IMO, but some of the information needed to be updated. I was not quite into his recommended length for a driver based on wrist-to-floor measurement because it came out very short in length (around 43-1/4” long). My guess is that from what I read in the book, it appeared to be based upon a golfer using a steel shaft instead of the longer graphite shaft. Steel shafts weigh much more than graphite and back then graphite shafts were difficult to figure out. But now with Shaft Bend Profile technology, there is really no reason to use steel shafts in a driver IMO.

The booklet is free and can be found here. I highly recommend reading this and it’s an easy read.

Go to table 2 on page 10 and you’ll find a recommended length for a driver and 5-iron based upon your wrist to floor measurement. I determined that I need a driver around 44-3/8” long. However, there were several factors I had to consider before doing this.



I have two Wishon 919THI drivers.

Driver #1

9° loft
58° lie angle
321 grams static weight
2,825 kg/cm^2 MOI
45” long
Aldila RIP Beta X-Stiff shaft (67 grams)

Driver #2

10° loft
58° lie angle
321 grams static weight
2,825 kg/cm^2 MOI
45-1/8” long
UST Mamiya ProForce VTS Silver 6x shaft (69 grams)

There are some minor spec differences like the loft and 1/8” difference in the length. The shafts are slightly different in weight. The Aldila RIP Beta has a stiffer butt section which makes the club *feel* stiffer and more ‘boardy.’ I felt that the loft was too low for me and the shaft was too boardy, so I got a higher lofted driver with the UST Mamiya shaft.

The idea was then to take Driver #1 with the Aldila shaft, trim it down to 44-3/8” long, match the MOI to the longer driver and analyze the effects.



There was a 1/8” difference in shaft length when I started out. The shafts had a 2 gram difference in weight. So when I started out with these drivers, their MOI with NO weight added to the head, was roughly the same at 2,790 kg/cm^2. I then added about 3 grams of lead tape to the hosel to each to get them to match to 2,825 kg/cm^2. I have determined that MOI is pretty much spot on for my optimal MOI.

I don’t have the bend profile information for the UST Mamiya shaft as that has not been added to Wishon’s database. My assumption is that the Aldila has a stiffer butt section and has a little more weight towards the tip section than the UST Mamiya shaft. Otherwise, from a weight perspective there’s not much of a difference between the two and my objectives where to figure out what differences would there be in clubhead speed and attack angle, if any.

When I trimmed the Aldila RIP Beta from the butt end to get the club at 44-3/8” long, that made the club ¾-inch shorter than the UST Mamiya shaft.

This also drastically reduced the MOI.

So the Aldila Shaft went from (w/no lead tape):

45-inches: 319 grams, 2790 kg/cm^2


44-3/8 inches: 317 grams, 2,680 kg/cm^2

Now remember, I want to get the MOI to 2,825 kg/cm^2. In order to get the club from 2,680 to 2,825, that meant I had to add 12 grams of lead tape around the hosel. And this is how it affected the total static weight.

Driver #1 (Aldila 44-3/8” long): 329 grams
Driver #2 (UST 45-1/8” long): 321 grams

Hence, the Aldila the shaft is shorter, but since I matched the MOI of the two clubs, the shorter club is 8 grams heavier in static weight.

Thus, if you want to trim your own driver shaft or get a new shaft and make it shorter…and IF you want to get the MOI the same as your longer shafted driver, you can do it. But you MUST take into account that the shorter driver WILL weigh more in the process of matching the MOI to the longer driver shaft.



Even though the shorter driver weighed 8-grams more than the longer driver, according to Wishon he sees on average, approximately 1 mph of clubhead speed difference between clubs that have a 25 gram difference. So my feeling was that the shorter club weighing 8-grams more would be rather negligible with relation to clubhead speed.

In the end, I found that the difference in clubhead speed was about 0.5 to 1.0 mph between the two drivers with the longer UST Mamiya shaft being faster in clubhead speed.

My theory is this. Wishon has stated that you really don’t see a difference in clubhead speed until there’s a shaft length difference of more than +1/2-inch. So with the difference in shaft length being 3/4-inch along with an 8-gram static weight difference, that is why the clubhead speed in the shorter driver was about 1 mph slower.

The only other theory is perhaps the distribution of the weight in the shaft may have made a difference as well.


I did not see any difference in attack angle with either driver. My original hypothesis was that perhaps drivers that are too long for a golfer would cause a steeper attack angle because they would feel like they have to un-cock the wrists earlier in the downswing or it would feel like they would hit the turf behind the ball.

Instead, I saw virtually no difference. I was keeping my attack angles in the -0.5 to -2.0° downward range. I will say that my shallowest attack angle, +0.8° was done with the shorter 44-3/8” Aldila driver. But I would hit shots altering between clubs and see no difference in attack angles.


It’s difficult to judge with range balls. Sometimes they would show a spin rate as high as 4,000 rpm’s. Other times the spin rate was at 1,700 rpms. I think in general my spin rates are in the 2,400 to 3,000 rpm range and I did not see any difference with either driver.



Since the clubhead speed was about 1 mph slower with the shorter Aldila shaft and the attack angle and spin rate was the same, I really needed to see a difference in accuracy and consistency with the shorter shaft to decide if it was worth trying a shorter shafted driver.

Here is where the shorter driver won hands down. Not only on well struck shots, but with mis-hits as well. Essentially, the longer driver shaft would have the ball fly much more offline on inaccurate shots. It was much mjore difficult to control the initial direction of the ball flight with the longer driver.

What I also found interesting is the launch angle was much better with the shorter driver and the shaft did not feel boardy or too stiff.

This is peculiar because like I mentioned earlier, the shorter driver was in a lower lofted 9° clubhead that I had replaced with a 10° loft. Now the launch angle was virtually the same or within 0.5° from each other.

What surprised me was that the shorter Aldila RIP Beta shaft no longer felt too stiff or boardy. I have the shaft bend profile and in general it’s a fairly common shaft bend profile for an X-Stiff shaft, but it is noticeably stiffer in the butt section which makes the shaft feel boardy.

Recently, somebody asked Tom Wishon of the effects tip trimming, often called ‘tipping’, have on the shaft’s bend profile. Here is what Tom wrote:

There are some very predictable things as well as a little bit of weirdness surrounding what happens to frequency machine readings when you increase the tip trim on a shaft.

In all of our work to look at this using the Auditor frequency analyzer and the same bend profile measurements that we use for all bend profile data work for our software program, most definitely all of the measurement zones from 41" down to 16" do increase in frequency when you tip trim more off a shaft.

Weirdly, we have seen that when you do the 11" beam measurement, when you tip an additional amount from the shaft, the 11" measurement either stays the same or will DECREASE. This to us is VERY STRANGE. It should go up just like all the other bend profile measurement points. But it doesn't and to be totally honest with you, I don't know why and neither do any of the other shaft design experts that I have asked about this too. Logic says if you cut more of the smallest diameter part of the shaft, and then you recreate the same beam length in the measurement, at the 11" beam you should be clamping the shaft on what is now a larger diameter part of the shaft. And that means the shaft section sticking out 11" from the clamp consists of a larger diameter part of the shaft and less of the weakest part of the shaft - so the freq should be going up.

In reality it has to get stiffer at the tip end when you tip trim more. You're cutting off more of the weakest part of the shaft leaving more of the stiffer part. So in reality supported by golfer hit testing, we can tell you that yes, additional tip trimming will stiffen the WHOLE shaft. why the freq analyzer shows this for the 41 to 16 beam length measurements but not for the 11 measurement, I
can't tell you why

When Wishon does their shaft bend profiles, they measure the frequency of the shaft in 6 different locations from the 41 inch mark (butt end) to the 11 inch point (tip end). For iron shafts, they measure 5 different locations starting at 36 inches to 11 inches because iron shafts are shorter in raw length than driver shafts.

Wishon’s point is that when a shaft is tip trimmed, the very bottom measurement of the tip section gets softer and the rest of the driver shaft gets stiffer. Why? They do not know at this point.

So my theory is when you trim more from the butt end, perhaps the opposite happens with the very end of the butt section getting softer. Either way, I believe that by making the Aldila shaft shorter in length, the initial launch improved tremendously, from directional launch to vertical launch.



Overall, the experiment has piqued my interest in going to a shorter shaft. I would trade a possible 1 mph or less clubhead speed for better launch conditions and more accuracy and consistency. However, I do not think using the same UST Mamiya Shaft Model is the answer.

While the lead tape on the hosel is a bit gaudy looking, I would also worry about the lead tape coming loose and having to deal with that in the course of a round. And according to Wishon, you start to see a difference in face angle measurements once you add 11 grams to the hosel. Here I would be adding more like 12-13 grams.

My solution is to find a similar shaft model, but at a heavier weight. The next best solution seems to be the UST Mamiya ProForce VTS Red 7x shaft. This shaft is practically the same bend profile according to UST as the Silver 6x model. But, it weighs 76 grams, which is about 9-10 grams heavier than the Aldila RIP Beta shaft. I have the Red 7x in my 3-wood. Thus, I hope to put the Red 7x in the 10° head, get a little higher launch angle, be better directionally and have more consistency and only have to add 3-4 grams of lead tape to the hosel.


So here is the rundown for going to a shorter driver shaft:

1. Affects the weight and MOI of the driver.

2. If you match MOI to a longer driver, the longer driver will have a lighter static weight

3. Hopefully the shorter shaft will produce better launch conditions to improve accuracy and consistency

4. The trick is to figure out if the increased accuracy and consistency will outweigh any possible lost in clubhead speed.

5. You may have to go to a heavier model shaft with the same bend profile in order to play with driver with a shorter length shaft.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Another Interesting Hogan Swing Video

This time from the back. Interesting to see how his lower body and pelvis moves thru impact.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Fall Of Gravity AimPoint Video

Here's a video with regards to AimPoint Golf's green reading and the 'fall of gravity' of a putt.

One little note --- Many of my readers who employ AimPoint tend to e-mail me and get the concept of AimPoint incorrect.

The charts on AimPoint tell you WHERE TO AIM. They do NOT tell you how much the putt will actually break.

So if the chart tells you to aim 4-inches right of the edge of the cup, we are aiming above the apex of the break of the putt.

Think of it this way....if we have a double breaking putt...we may read the putt to have us aim directly at the hole. But the putt may break a foot to the left and then come back a foot to the right and in the cup. It's not that the putt didn't break, it's that the read told us to AIM at the cup.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Day At The Faldo Institute With Edel Golf


On Saturday I went to the Faldo Golf Institute for another putting fitting with Edel Golf ( with the company’s head of operations, Bobby Dean. I wanted to practice at the FGI along with get fitted for a belly putter and learn more about Edel’s fitting process as well as what else is coming up for Edel in the future. I also wanted to get on Trackman again to see if some of my Trackman numbers improved along with trying a shorter length driver shaft and what impact that had when put on Trackman.


As far as Trackman goes, my attack angles all improved. In fact, my driver attack angles where usually in the -0.5 to -2.0 down range which is fine by me. It’s my belief that while Trackman can give you a good ballpark of where the ball is being struck on the face, you should check to see where the face contact is anyway. I didn’t find this to be an issue with the irons, but with the driver it’s so difficult to tell as I was hitting too steeply a week ago, but hitting the ball up higher on the clubface, where there is more loft. That is why I could hit -4 to -5* down with the driver and still get a high ball flight. You can use David Graham’s suggested trick of buying some $5 Dr. Scholl’s spray and lightly spray it on the face and see the face contact easily.

As far as the shorter driver goes, which I will blog about tomorrow, I have a spare Wishon 919THI driver that has an Aldila RIP Beta X-Stiff shaft and that was 45-inches long. My ‘gamer’ is a Wishon 919THI with a UST Mamiya shaft at 45-1/8” long. I wanted to see if there was a difference in attack angle and clubhead speed if I trimmed my spare driver to 44-3/8 inches. I made them both the same MOI (2,825 kg/cm^2). In the end, the difference was about 1 mph of clubhead speed slower with the shorter driver and the attack angle was the same. I will go into detail more tomorrow.


This was the Faldo Institute's first time doing Edel fitting, so they did this one for free and anybody was invited to come and try it out, with no obligation to buy. My putting instructor, David Graham along with felling FGI Instructor, Justin Blazer are now certified AimPoint instructors along with Edel Putter and Edel Wedge certified fitters. For those who live in Florida, you now have a place to go and for those who plan to take a visit to Orlando in the winter, they are your guys to help with your putting and wedge needs.

While the idea and fitting process for the putters is interesting in itself, I found it even more fascinating of how the putter influences a golfer’s putting stroke. Personally, I had a rightward aim bias and then would make the compensation of a cutting across stroke to counter my rightward aim bias. As Bobby put it, your brain is trying to find a way to get you to make putts. When I first got my Edel putter, I still had that cut across motion. But since I was now aimed correctly, I could now make progress on eliminating that cut across motion. Without being aimed correctly, I would always fight against my inaccurate aim at address.

This was particularly interesting with each person I saw get fitted. One of them was a promising junior who primarily used a long putter. And with his standard putter he would use the left-hand low grip. His problem was that he aimed left with the putter at address. He then used the left hand low technique which in reality greatly closed his shoulders at address. That closing of the shoulders would create an inside-to-out stroke. He was much like the opposite of myself, he would aim left and then use an inside-to-out stroke as his brain was trying to get him to make putts thru large compensatory movements. Eventually frustrated with his putting, he went to the long putter as a junior golfer.

Bobby recommended that he dump the long putter as it was a crutch for him. I tend to agree in the sense that I look at the long putter as a last resort for golfers. If you can’t putt with the long putter, then you need to make wholesale changes with your putting technique because from an equipment perspective, you have nothing else to go to. With a normal putter and a standard right hand low grip, at least if the golfer struggles with that they can go left hand low, piston style putting, belly putter and then long putter. If you are a junior golfer and are already trying the long putter with no success, it could creep into your mind at an early age that you can’t putt.

As far as my belly putter goes, my fitting didn’t take very long at all. What I found interesting was my first initial aim was with a ‘dummy’ putter head and the alignment was not too far off to begin with, probably 6-inches to the right. That was much better than when I initially was fitted back in 2011 for a standard putter where I almost aimed off the screen in the backdrop. So my thinking is that the way the belly putter is setup for me, that it helps with my aim to begin with. We found that the optimal length for me was at 43 inches long.

What was also interesting is that Bobby had told me that with so many possible combinations, it’s quite possible for 2 different fitters to fit the aim for a golfer with 2 different designs. Well, I must be predictable because we wound up fitting me for the same exact head and hosel as my current putter.


The only difference is that this belly putter will have 2 lines in the cavity and 1 line on the top-line. We then worked on the weight fitting with placing weight in various places along the head and the grip to get the hand speed where we want it. I have the tendency to speed up the hands thru impact. The junior golfer with the left-aim bias had the same problem and that would cause him to open the face, a problem I sometimes suffer with as well.

I ordered a putter and will also get to try their new DeVicenzo model (picture below) with the torque balanced feature coming out soon and I will review that as well.


I was told that Edel will be going international with both their wedges and putters and will be hitting the European market very soon which is great for the European readers who have inquired about that. I honestly feel that with Edel and AimPoint, you have an unbeatable combination on the greens.

I did watch some of the wedge fittings. Lately I have had some issues with my own 56° Edel wedge. Part of the problem is that with my steep attack angle, even 18° of bounce is not enough for me. However, Bobby showed that I had too much forward shaft lean at address and that alone helped me tremendously. With that and some of my driver struggles, that’s why I think it’s important to use a video camera with different clubs in your bag, there’s always that chance you may employ different mechanics with different clubs that may not be quite suitable for the equipment.

Everybody liked the wedges. As I have found, they are extremely well suited for Florida because you can play 3 straight holes in Florida and get 3 varying types of lies from plush, to thick grass, to hardpan. I also think the high bounce angles are invaluable for distance control because you don’t have to worry about digging too much turf which can cause the golfer to hit it short or nuke one way too long. Last week on the Trackman combine test I scored extremely well using my LW from 70-90 yards. In fact, I had 2 scores of 100 and 2 scores of 99 on the 90 yard shot which shows how well the Edel wedges control distance.

I was informed that the dot punch designs will be on all of their forged wedges and golfers can still get the scorelines on the cast models.


The irons will be on display at the Las Vegas PGA Merchandise show coming up as well. Here's a prototype of their irons.


I've seen pictures of the finished product and it's much more of a clean look. Some of the principles of the wedges are in the irons like the extra bounce angle. Again, distance control is so crucial with iron play and if they can get the bounce angle to help with distance control on their irons, that would separate them from the other manufacturers.

I did ask if the scorelines were moved out to the toe like the wedges.


They will not be moved out, but will have the punch dot design. I takes roughly 30 minutes to dot punch each club, thus 4 hours goes into dot punching an entire set alone.

I did introduce Bobby to MOI Matching. I think that's another process that can really separate Edel from the rest of the manufacturer's out there.

I wound up leaving the day learning so much about putter design and the stroke and how golfers tend to react to the stroke, which is something that this blog is really about. I would highly recommend checking out David Graham and Justin Blazer at the the Faldo Golf Institute as it's the best place to practice in Orlando and they have all of the resources and knowledge to help improve your game.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Why the Magic Is Gone Once You Buy A Club

I hear this a lot. In fact, I’ve experienced it myself.

Ever try that driver out that you hit 30 yards further, straight as an arrow and you feel like you can’t miss with it? Then you buy you own model and that ‘magic’ is no longer there?

Here are a few hints as to why that may be the case.



The tolerances on shafts these days are pretty good. And as I’ve said before, for the most part there is no such thing as a ‘good’ shaft or a ‘bad’ shaft, just a shaft with a bend profile, overall weight, and where the weight is located that fits the golfer’s swing.

You may get into trouble if you hit somebody’s driver well and it has a ‘stock’ shaft in it and then try to buy that driver with the stock shaft and the stock shaft not quite being the same. I think companies are better and better at their quality control with stock shafts. In fact, I’ve often heard that the stock shafts in Adams clubs are virtually the same as their after-market counterpart.

What I would avoid is if you hit a stock shaft well, there’s a good chance that you cannot just install its after-market counterpart in the head and get the same type of performance, even if the after-market model costs $300. In this situation, you may just be better off purchasing an entirely new driver yourself.


We have two major factors when it comes to why the same club may genuinely feel and perform differently.

- Loft
- Total Club MOI

The loft is so important because it helps dictate the launch angle. And if you find the right launch angle for your swing, you will greatly improve your ability to optimize your distance for your swing. And if the loft is too low or too high, you may start trying to unconsciously alter your swing to get that trajectory you want.

Here’s something that Tom Wishon posted on his forum (

"We have always offered a TWGT Hand Select Service on all of our clubheads. Within every clubhead made by every foundry on the planet, no matter who the company is, there is a +/-1 degree tolerance on loft, lie, and face angle - and a +/-2g or +/-3g tolerance on the weight depending on what model it is. (Inv cast heads are +/-2, while all forged chrome plated heads are +/-3)."

So, what does this mean?

It means that just because a driver head may be stamped at a certain degree of loft (let’s say 10.5°), that does not mean it’s that actual loft. The club companies allow for a margin of error of +/-1° for loft. So what may happen is you may hit a 10.5° driver great. Then you purchase one yourself and it may come out to 11.5°, even though it’s stamped at 10.5°.

This also means that weight tolerance is +/- 2 or 3 grams. 1 gram difference in head weight with a driver is worth about 10-12 kg/cm^2 when it comes to total club MOI. Remember, we want the MOI within +/5 kg/cm^2 from what we’ve been fitted for. We probably will not see or feel too much of a difference if we are off by 10 kg/cm^2. But, we will start to feel it at 20 kg/cm^2 and certainly at 35 kg/cm^2. It just becomes a very different feeling club.


Not only does the size of the grip matter, but the weight of the grip matters as well. It can throw off the MOI or can help throw off the static weight.

Let’s say the magic club has a head weight of 205 grams with a grip that weighs 50 grams. You then get the same club, but the head weight is 208 grams and the grip weighs 60 grams. That will greatly alter the static weight and MOI and it’s not the same club anymore.


Happens all of the time, even to the best of us. Sometimes something clicks and you hit one driver great. Then your confidence builds with that driver and you think you can hit it every time like Hogan in ’53.


If you do feel you have found that magic driver, I would make sure to get the following information down if you want to buy your own:

1. Loft
2. Face Angle
3. Lie Angle
4. Shaft and Shaft Flex
5. Length of the Club
6. Static Weight

The last 3 are the most important. Chances are you do not have the proper tools to measure the loft and face angle of the driver. Since it’s a driver, lie angle is not nearly that important. And if it’s off by 1° in the lie angle, that probably will not make a huge difference.

However, if you get the shaft model and shaft flex that’s fairly easy to replicate. If the shaft is an after-market shaft, you could get fooled if the golfer had the shaft tip trimmed an additional amount. I would ask that question, but the golfer may not know the answer. Typically, most after-market shafts are not tip trimmed.

The length of the club is extremely important. Different lengths will likely lead to different MOI and static weight properties and just the overall feel of how the club swings. And if you get a club that is longer than the ‘magic club’, it will throw off your waist bend and other alignments at address and can throw off your swing completely.

Lastly, I doubt many have a MOI machine handy. However, for $20 you can get a digital scale used for kitchens and measure the static weight of the entire club.


You want that static weight to match exactly. If you can do that and get the shaft and length of the club correct, you’ll come very close to matching that ‘magic club.’



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Updated Look At The US Ryder Cup Standings

Here is a look at the current Ryder Cup standings going into the PGA Championship.


Advanced Total Driving: 8th

Putts Gained: 39th
Short Game Play: 70th

Birdie Zone: 115th
Safe Zone: 15th
Danger Zone: 5th

Obviously, Tiger is going to be on the team unless a sudden injury forces him out. His ballstriking is far better than his critics give him credit for at this point in time. However, what I saw from him at the British Open was almost every shot was either a pronounced ‘played’ fade or a stinger which would draw a little. It tells me that he is afraid of missing left and while he can hit effective shots by going around the course and hitting pronounced fades and stingers, it’s not where he is at his absolute best. However, it’s still amazing what he can do while not being at his absolute best.

I think this Tiger works better for the US team in the Ryder Cup because he can hit safer shots. I do think we have been missing those spectacular shots from Tiger that seemed to be the ones that only he could hit. I also think that the competition just is not afraid of him anymore. We don’t see competitors in the hunt on Sunday, only to shoot 78 and not even make it close. I think his ability to hit those spectacular shots, his surreal Danger Zone play and putting, combined with his intimidation factor is why he won Majors with Haney. He doesn’t have them now, but I think he’s a much better all-around player now than when he was under Haney and I think that will help the US team come Medinah.


Advanced Total Driving: 6th

Putts Gained: 85th
Short Game Play: 4th

Birdie Zone: 41st
Safe Zone: 13th
Danger Zone: 32nd

He sorta worries me because he’s been the type of player that legitimately plays great on Tour, but come the Ryder Cup he struggles. Great ballstriker, but an average at best putter. Plus, when he’s had some big situations on Tour he has come up weak a few times. If he can putt decent and handle the Ryder Cup pressure, he’ll be a key member of the team. If not, he’ll be another Jim Furyk type.


Advanced Total Driving: 1st

Putts Gained: 159th
Short Game Play: 8th

Birdie Zone: 124th
Safe Zone: 85th
Danger Zone: 4th

He hasn’t played a lot of tournaments this year after winning the Masters. I do think that Medinah does allow him to play his game and that’s a nice advantage for the US team. But he’s another suspect putter and his driving is not always accurate and that can hamstring the team. As big of a boom or bust as the US team has in a player.


Advanced Total Driving: 16th

Putts Gained: 15th
Short Game Play: 52nd

Birdie Zone: 110th
Safe Zone: 96th
Danger Zone: 68th

Bradley has been playing consistently well for most of this year. His weakness tends to be his iron game, but he’s a fantastic driver of the ball and for the most part has putted well this year. If you can drive it and putt it well, it usually keeps you in the hunt on Tour. I think it works well in the Ryder. Particularly since he hits it fairly long and finds a lot of fairways, which would be great for a partner in alternate shot and helpful in best score format.


Advanced Total Driving: 138th

Putts Gained: 36th
Short Game Play: 38th

Birdie Zone: 6th
Safe Zone: 10th
Danger Zone: 12th

Last year, Simpson was one of those players who did almost everything well. This year his only real struggle has been with the driver. Still, he was able to win the US Open. He hits all of his irons from all distances very well and he’s a clutch putter.


Advanced Total Driving: 29th

Putts Gained: 2nd
Short Game Play: 40th

Birdie Zone: 96th
Safe Zone: 35th
Danger Zone: 96th

Johnson is more of the type that I would think would play well in the Ryder Cup and in his brief time on the team has done well. He’s not wild off the tee. He hits his irons well. And he’s a great putter and has a great short game. He’s probably in, but I think he should be a captain’s pick if he doesn’t quite qualify. This team needs better putting.


Advanced Total Driving: 27th

Putts Gained: 42nd
Short Game Play: 88th

Birdie Zone: 64th
Safe Zone: 29th
Danger Zone: 9th

He’s another player that should be a captain’s pick if he happens to just miss the top-8. He’s not long, but he hits everything well and can putt. I think guys like Zach and Kuchar are the types that can give the Euros more problems than anybody else. Although I think it would be wise to split them up instead of pairing them together.


Advanced Total Driving: 173rd

Putts Gained: 14th
Short Game Play: 35th

Birdie Zone: 31st
Safe Zone: 131st
Danger Zone: 66th

He’ll make the team because no captain wants to leave Mickelson off the team. Unfortunately, I think that’s where the Euros have the advantage as their captains are not afraid to not pick popular choices, like Colin Montgomerie not selecting Justin Rose, Paul Casey or Sergio Garcia last year. My problem with Phil is he’s a terrible Ryder Cup player at 10-17-6. He had success at the 2008 Ryder Cup, but it seemed that he was being carried by his partners. If he qualifies, there’s nothing DL III can do. But if he doesn’t qualify, it would be nice to see DL III make the tough choice.


Advanced Total Driving: 3rd

Putts Gained: 92nd
Short Game Play: 80th

Birdie Zone: 137th
Safe Zone: 14th
Danger Zone:86th

Mahan’s game is that he’s got decent distance off the tee and is a great driver of the ball. He’s a much better putter than given credit for, but his short game stinks. And what it boils down for him is how well he’s playing from the Danger Zone. He’s been relatively average from the Danger Zone for most of his career. If he’s playing well from the Danger Zone, he doesn’t have to worry about getting up and down. If he’s playing poorly from the Danger Zone, then he’s got some serious issues. If I were DL III I would focus intently on how well Hunter is playing from the Danger Zone up until he has to announce his picks as if he’s striking it well, he would be a valuable member to the team. If he makes the team anyway, then I would probably favor him in the low-score format. If I go to an alternate shot, I would try to get him to be the player who tees off on the long par-4’s. He’s ranked t-55th in par-3 scoring average which tells me he is pretty decent from the tee box on par-3’s.


Advanced Total Driving: 73rd

Putts Gained: 56th
Short Game Play: 98th

Birdie Zone: 1st
Safe Zone: 11th
Danger Zone: 1st

The problem with Stricker is he does not play in a lot of events and since he won the Tournament of Champions, he cut down his schedule quite a bit. So he should be in the top-8 if he had played more tournaments. I would still pair him up with Tiger and see if the Euros can beat them.


Advanced Total Driving: 34th

Putts Gained: 21st
Short Game Play: 34th

Birdie Zone: 38th
Safe Zone: 44th
Danger Zone: 14th

Furyk is a hard player to stay away from because he has the game you want for a Ryder Cup player, a very predictable ballstriker and good putter and chipper. But, he’s been horrific in the Ryder Cup with a career record of 8-15-4. It would be tough to lay off on him with his recent play, but that may be what needs to happen or they may have to find a better player to pair him up with.


Advanced Total Driving: 42nd

Putts Gained: 140th
Short Game Play: 67th

Birdie Zone: 81st
Safe Zone: 43rd
Danger Zone: 67th

The parts I like about Fowler is he’s a very good ballstriker, he’s young and when he’s on his ‘A Game’ he’s tough to beat. He kind of reminds me of Sergio, a great Ryder Cup player, in that sense. However, he’s currently in what appears to be a legit feud with Jason Dufner and I would not want a Sergio/Padraig in 2008 situation on my hands if I was DL III. Particularly since I would value Dufner’s style of play in the Ryder Cup far more than Fowler’s.

His play at Kiawah would tremendously influence my decision as I would want him when the iron is hot, otherwise I’ll pass.


Advanced Total Driving: 108th

Putts Gained: 5th
Short Game Play: 58th

Birdie Zone: 37th
Safe Zone: 52nd
Danger Zone: 121st

Very average driver of the ball who does everything extremely well from inside 175 yards. Great putter who can roll it with the best of them. I would lean towards having him, although is collapse at the British Open would bother me. While his Danger Zone play has been poor this season, it has taken a noticeable jump recently and that does not include the British Open as ShotLink doesn’t record data for the majors. I’d be very keen on to how well he plays at Kiawah.


Advanced Total Driving: 38th

Putts Gained: 66th
Short Game Play: 171st

Birdie Zone: 89th
Safe Zone: 40th
Danger Zone: 11th

Could get in with a good showing at Kiawah because he’s usually a great wind player because he can hit low, hard bullets. I would probably lean against him because he’s had such a difficult year with the injuries and has never really settled in and he’s too much of a problem on the greens.


Advanced Total Driving: 13th

Putts Gained: 9th
Short Game Play: 174th

Birdie Zone: 7th
Safe Zone: 17th
Danger Zone: 3rd

Statistics wise, he should be having a much greater season than he is. He just has these almost inexplicable bad rounds and they often start off early on and put him too far behind the 8-ball. If I were to choose him, I would be conscious that he may get off to a slow start and really come around. I would probably have him play in the 1st day and see how it goes from there.

With the standings right now, here are the top 8:

1 Tiger Woods
2 Jason Dufner
3 Bubba Watson
4 Keegan Bradley
5 Webb Simpson
6 Zach Johnson
7 Matt Kuchar
8 Phil Mickelson

Here would be ‘captain’s picks’ at the moment:

1. Steve Stricker

Too good of a player with too good of an all-around game to pass up. Probably would not be overpowered at Medinah and he and Tiger have a history of good play together.

2. Brandt Snedeker

Another great putter who would be a good pair with a good Danger Zone player, preferably somebody long off the tee. I could see him and Dufner being a dominating duo.

3. Bo Van Pelt

I think the numbers tell me that he’s too good (if not great) to pass up. I would make sure to pair him up with a player that hits a lot of greens and when they miss greens, they don’t miss by much. Short Game play and 3-putting seem to be his only weaknesses. Another player that I think would pair extremely well with Jason Dufner or even Stricker or a Ben Curtis.

4. Ben Curtis

Another streaky player, mainly due to his inconsistent ballstriking. But typically has been a good putter and has solid Ryder Cup experience. Another guy that I would want to catch when he’s hot. I would also like to see how prepared he is for the Ryder Cup or if he just thought he didn’t have a chance to qualify and was not even thinking about it.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 31

Keegan Bradley wins the Bridgestone Invitational.
Since the Tour has never played at Kiawah Island, I really don’t feel comfortable making picks for the PGA Championship. However, here are 10 players that I would favor:

Matt Kuchar
Bubba Watson
Steve Stricker
Dustin Johnson
Tiger Woods
Jason Dufner
Louis Oosthuizen
Ben Curtis
Jim Furyk
Hunter Mahan


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

184. Matt Bettencourt
185. Nick O'Hern
186. Tom Pernice Jr.
187. Derek Lamely
188. Michael Bradley
189. Stephen Gangluff
190. Ryuji Imada
191. Joe Ogilvie
192. David Duval
193. Daniel Chopra

Biggest Improvement: Louis Oosthuizen
Biggest Decline: Robert Allenby


1. Aaron Baddeley
2. Zach Johnson
3. Ben Curtis
4. Luke Donald
5. Brandt Snedeker
6. Martin Flores
7. Bryce Molder
8. Brian Gay
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Derek Lamely

184. Kris Blanks
185. D.J. Trahan
186. Roland Thatcher
187. Alexandre Rocha
188. Charlie Beljan
189. Scott Brown
190. Kyle Stanley
191. Boo Weekley
192. Kyle Thompson
193. Scott Dunlap

Biggest Improvement: Steve Stricker
Biggest Decline: Adam Scott


1. Lee Janzen
2. K.J. Choi
3. Jerry Kelly
4. Jason Dufner
5. Daniel Chopra
6. Ian Poulter
7. Brian Gay
8. Bubba Watson
9. Jonas Blixt
10. Stuart Appleby

184. Billy Horschel
185. Kyle Reifers
186. Alexandre Rocha
187. Michael Thompson
188. Charlie Beljan
189. Harris English
190. Sang-Moon Bae
191. Kyle Thompson
192. Cameron Beckman
193. Edward Loar

Biggest Improvement: Graeme McDowell
Biggest Decline: Robert Allenby


1. Steve Stricker
2. Padraig Harrington
3. Jason Bohn
4. Garth Mulroy
5. Henrik Stenson
6. Webb Simpson
7. Bo Van Pelt
8. Richard H. Lee
9. Jeff Maggert
10. Vaughn Taylor

184. D.J. Trahan
185. Jonas Blixt
186. David Duval
187. Brandt Jobe
188. Aaron Baddeley
189. Adam Scott
190. Billy Hurley III
191. Miguel Angel Carballo
192. Edward Loar
193. Jamie Lovemark

Biggest Improvement: Rory McIlroy
Biggest Decline: Martin Laird


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

184. Billy Hurley III
185. Charles Howell III
186. Troy Kelly
187. Henrik Stenson
188. Mark Anderson
189. Edward Loar
190. Jamie Lovemark
191. Matt Jones
192. Daniel Chopra
193. Briny Baird

Biggest Improvement: Jim Furyk
Biggest Decline: Ian Poulter


1. Steve Stricker
2. Bo Van Pelt
3. Chad Campbell
4. Bubba Watson
5. Tiger Woods
6. Justin Rose
7. Louis Oosthuizen
8. Kyle Stanley
9. Matt Kuchar
10. Charlie Beljan

184. David Mathis
185. J.J. Killeen
186. Rocco Mediate
187. Henrik Stenson
188. Sung Kang
189. Tim Petrovic
190. Sang-Moon Bae
191. Joe Ogilvie
192. Derek Lamely
193. Nick O'Hern

Biggest Improvement: Rory McIlroy
Biggest Decline: Sergio Garcia


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Aftermath of the State Am Thoughts...

I wanted to thank everybody for the kind words and advice after the disappointing FSGA Am qualifier. However, I did want to give some of my thoughts on the subject because as usual, nothing is really black and white in the game of golf. It’s always filled with complexities and intricacies that take a good deal of effort to come close to fully understanding.

When I was a junior golfer, the sentiment from friends and family in times of ‘golf failure’ was very much the same. What’s difficult is that when a competitive golfer does not meet their expectations in the game many people are kind enough to lend a lot of sympathy. But what often happens is that it starts to be treated like there was a death in the family more than a situation where the outcome was disappointing. On the other hand, the LAST thing any competitive golfer who works very hard at improving their ability wants to hear is ‘hey, it’s only a game.’ While true, I think it’s important for others to understand the fact that the game may mean a lot to the individual and there’s nothing really wrong with that.

Personally, I had a lot of nerves going on as I teed it up at Metrowest. But after the first tee shot, which was horrendous, the nerves were not really a problem. That does not mean that I treated the tournament as unimportant or that I ‘gave up’ after taking a triple-bogey on my first hole. I think I was not as nervous because I was able to put the game and the qualifier in a perspective that I was comfortable with.

Recently, I had a father of a promising junior golfer ask me questions about his son possibly getting a golf scholarship. The father was frustrated for his son because his son had been close to winning some tournaments, but a mistake here or there took him out of contention and he was worried that it may cost his son a scholarship down the road. I wound up telling him how I believed that the people that the junior golfers who truly love the game of golf and for what it is will wind up being the better golfers in the end. And I felt that it’s important to separate those golfers who truly love the game versus those golfers who are more in love with being successful in the game and love what rewards that success can bring them.

That’s why I feel so many ‘the next big thing’ junior golfers have flamed out over the years. They were more in love with being successful in golf than golf in itself. Down the line they were BOUND to face up against talented golfers who could beat them and when that success was no longer there, they stopped doing whatever it took to make them a better golfer. The golfers who truly love the game continue to work to improve because they love getting better or even the possibility of getting better.

And that’s what the FSGA Amateur qualifier was for me. I wanted to do well in the FSGA qualifier. I wanted to shoot 65 and beat the field like a drum. But I never felt that I had to do well in the FSGA qualifier because all that is, along with my goal of one day making the match play of the US Amateur, is reaping the rewards of being successful in golf. And that is fine to want in life. But, it is not *why* I play the game of golf and why I love it so much.

I love to play the game of golf for various reasons. I love to see myself get better in every aspect of the game. I love to discover new things whether it be swing mechanics, green reading, equipment, etc. I love experiencing the outdoors. I love playing golf with my dad and enjoying the moments when he does well. Golf is like a video game that never gets old and never repeats itself. It’s those complexities and intricacies that can be so difficult to deal with that always keep the game some interesting and appealing to the mind. And that is just the tip of the iceberg for me.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how many golfers tend to be unable to define what the game means to them. I think those who have lofty expectations for themselves and take it hard when they fail don’t quite understand that just because you are passionate about something, it does not define completely define you as a person. And I think people in general tend to think that way and that’s why they tend to act like a golfer’s lack of success is either like a ‘death in the family’ or they will try to patronize the golfer with ‘it’s only a game.’

It reminds me of the movie ‘Rudy’ where his friend, Pete, tells him that ‘dreams are what make life tolerable.’ I think that is a better perspective of what accomplishing goals in a game that is not your profession is really about. It’s just one of those things that spark interest in your life and allow you to aspire to achieve things you have always wanted. To me, without dreams…regardless of how silly they may be…would lead to one boring and intolerable life.

In the end, a story is always better when there are some bumps in the road. As long as I surround myself with good people and keep an open mind about learning the game, I’ll do alright.

Here are a couple of videos about Moe Norman that I think those who have not seen them will enjoy.