Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Importance of a Flat Left Wrist Video

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


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

3Jack's GolfWRX Article

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


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week In Review - 10.28.12

Week in Review, we'll discuss:

1. Orlando and Myrtle Beach Golf

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

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

4. Miyahira vs. Manzella on Rate of Closure.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Perspective on Manzella vs. Miyahira on RoC

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Thursday, October 25, 2012

PGA Tour Players On The Best Driver On Tour

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

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

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

A few things I disagree with are:

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

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

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

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

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

Graeme McDowell
Heath Slocum
Jim Furyk

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

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


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mangum On Variations of Putter Designs

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

Geoff can be found at


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Miyahira on Ball Flight and Curvature

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


Monday, October 22, 2012

3Jack's Top Courses Played in 2012

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

1. Juliette Falls Country Club (Dunellon, FL –


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

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

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

2. RedTail Golf Club (Sorrento, FL –


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

6. Southern Dunes – Haines City, FL (


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

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

7. Grande Pines – Orlando, FL (


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

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

8. Harmony Golf Preserve – Harmony, FL (


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

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

9. Sugarloaf Mountain – Minneola, FL (


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

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

10. Celebration Golf Club – Celebration, FL (


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

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

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


Read more:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week In Review - 10.21.12

Week in review for 10.21.12


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Roger Chapman Golf Swing

Here's a couple of videos from Champions Tour player Roger Chapman, who I think may have the best swing on any Tour today.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Analyzing Miss Bias on Tour


One of the questions to ponder when it comes to game improvement is the impact of a ‘1-way Miss’ in your game. Considering this lately, I decided to look at this from a statistical analytics standpoint. When 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis comes out, each PGA Tour player analysis will denote the golfer’s miss tendency.

But the question still remains ‘how important is it?’

Thankfully, the’s Web site has the miss tendencies of each player on Tour broken down in the shots off the tee that miss the fairway and the percentage of whether or not they miss right or left of the fairway.

With that, I would like to start off with some general analysis, looking at these metrics:

• Adjusted Par-4 Scoring Average
• Adjusted Par-5 Scoring Average
• Birdie Percentage
• Bogey Avoidance Percentage

Since we are talking about miss tendency on par-4’s and par-5’s, I do not see a reason to look at par-3 scoring average. And while the standard par-4 and par-5 scoring average is a generally a good indicator of a player’s success on Tour, an even better indicator is to adjust those scoring averages based upon the strength of the fields they play in and other factors. While the PGA Tour has done a good job of adjusting scoring average for the strength of the field, I have a more accurate adjustment.

And in 2013, I hope to have an even more accurate way of adjusting each player’s scoring average to better depict their performance and to even more accurately project future earnings and provide individual game analysis.


The first thing I wanted to check was to see how well players with a miss bias (left or right) did in the metrics I bullet pointed above. One can use either the right miss tendency or left miss tendency metric measured by the Tour. Here’s a link to the left miss tendency:


Hopefully I don’t need to point out the obvious, but if Marc Leishman misses left of the fairway 35.1% of the time, then that means his tendency on misses is to miss to the right, 64.9% of the time. Thus, I want to see if the metrics above were affected if a golfer missed left or if they missed right and if Tour golfers were better off missing left or missing right.

Here’s the correlation coefficient data I came up with for 2012 (for the statistical minds):

Adjusted Par-4 Scoring Average: -0.0184331

Adjusted Par-5 Scoring Average: 0.08249

Birdie Percentage: 0.024434

Bogey Percentage: -0.036218

For those who do not understand correlation coefficients, I’ll try and give a brief explanation. The numbers are used to help mathematically determine if there is a correlation between two conditions. The closer the number is to +1.0, the stronger the direct correlation is. The closer the number is to -1.0, the stronger the indirect correlation is. And the closer to 0, that means there is no correlation.

For example, if I own a store that sells lemonade and I run the numbers to see the relationship between lemonade sold and outdoor temperature and get a number of +0.75, that means that there is a strong correlation between temperature and lemonade sold and the hotter the temperature, the more likely I will sell more lemonade. One can then use that number to help project how much lemonade will be sold if they can get the projected temperature.

OTOH, if I am looking for the relationship between weather and hot soup and find the number to be at -0.75, that’s telling me that there is a strong indirect correlation. Meaning, the hotter the temperature the less likely I will sell hot soup. But on the other hand, the lower the temperature, the more likely I will sell hot soup (and not sell lemonade).

And if I am looking for a relationship between coffee and temperature and get a number like 0.0013, that means there is no real rhyme or reason as to when coffee sells based on temperature.

Thus, when we look at those correlation coefficients, they are all near zero which means there is no correlation between golfers favoring missing right of the fairway or missing left of the fairway and with actual scoring.

However, we start to see a small, but noticeable change when look at the correlation coefficient of miss tendency and my personally made metric, Driving Effectiveness:


That being said, that number still practically means there is no correlation overall to where the golfer misses and their effectiveness off the tee.

Part of my conclusion is that there is so much more involved with par-4 and par-5 scoring averages along with birdie and bogey percentages (i.e. putting, iron play, etc) that miss tendency has little to do with it.


The rise in the correlation coefficient between miss tendency and driving effectiveness is peculiar and thus I wanted to check it out. My initial theory is that the closer the miss tendency is to 50/50 is actually NOT good. But, being on the extreme is not good either.

I wanted to look at the miss percentage of the top-25 and bottom-25 players currently in my driving effectiveness metric.

Below are the miss tendencies of the top-25 players in my driving effectiveness metric. I have sorted the miss tendency in order to help more clearly illustrate the point.

Miss Bias
59.1% R
56.1% R
55.2% R
53.4% R
53.1% R
52.5% R
52.2% R
51.1% R
48.2% L
47.5% L
47.3% L
47.3% L
46.9% L
46.7% L
46.0% L
45.5% L
45.4% L
44.8% L
44.2% L
43.8% L
43.6% L
42.9% L
41.7% L
40.5% L
39.9% L

There are 3 things I notice here:

1. 17 of the top-25 players in driving effectiveness had a left miss bias.
2. Only 1 player had a miss bias of more than 10% (10.1%)
3. Only 4 players had a miss bias within 2.5%.

Here’s a look at the miss biases of the bottom-25 players in my Driving Effectiveness metric.

Miss Bias
65.9% R
60.9% R
60.7% R
57.2% R
57.2% R
54.8% R
53.0% R
52.6% R
52.2% R
51.4% R
51.2% R
51.1% R
47.9% L
47.8% L
46.9% L
46.7% L
46.7% L
45.7% L
45.3% L
45.3% L
45.3% L
41.2% L
40.3% L
39.1% L
36.7% L

Looking at these numbers we see:

1. 13 of the 25 had a left miss bias (versus 17 of the top-25)
2. 5 of the 25 players had a miss bias over 10%
3. 6 of the 25 players had a miss bias within 2.5%


Before I come to more confident conclusions, I want to see how miss tendency impacts accuracy. Since my Driving Effectiveness metric is based on distance, fairway percentage and distance to the edge of the fairway, distance may skew the real impact that a miss tendency bias will have. Thus, I created a formula to determine total accuracy using fairway percentage and distance to the edge of the fairway. However, I’ve weighted distance to the edge of the fairway to properly reflect its impact on scoring.

When I ran the correlation between Total Driving Accuracy and Miss Bias, the correlation came out to 0.00144079229411184. Again, that means there is no real rhyme or reason when we look at the Tour as a whole between miss bias and Total Driving Accuracy. And I got the same type of numbers when comparing it with Fairway Percentage as well.

So…let’s take a look at the top-25 and bottom-25 again.

Here’s the top-25 in Total Driving Accuracy Metric and their miss bias:

Ben Curtis 59.1% R
Tom Gillis 56.7% R
Graeme McDowell 53.4% R
Tim Clark 51.4% R
Ryan Moore 51.1% R
Jim Furyk 51% R
Jeff Maggert 50.6% R
Zach Johnson 50.5% R
Chez Reavie 50%
Matt Kuchar 49.7%L
Jerry Kelly 49.2%L
Colt Knost 48.6%L
Gary Christian 48%L
K.J. Choi 47.6%L
Richard H. Lee 47.5%L
Jason Dufner 47.3%L
David Toms 46.5%L
Brian Davis 46.4%L
John Huh 45.5%L
Chris DiMarco 44.3%L
Russell Knox 44%L
Hunter Mahan 43.6%L
John Mallinger 43.4%L
Heath Slocum 40.5%L
Mark Wilson 38.4%

What’s interesting here is that there are more players within that 52.5% bias either left or right. In the top-25 Driving Effectiveness players, there were only 4 within that range. Now there is 12 in the Total Driving Accuracy metric. But, we still see the same tendency in that most of the players miss bias is to the left.

Here’s the bottom-25 in Total Driving Accuracy and their miss bias:

Phil Mickelson 58.9% R
Gary Woodland 58.1% R
Michael Bradley 57.2% R
Troy Kelly 55.9% R
Martin Flores 55.4% R
Joe Ogilvie 54.8% R
John Daly 52.7% R
Jhonattan Vegas 52.3% R
Matt Bettencourt 51.2% R
Derek Lamely 51.1% R
Jason Day 49.1% L
J.B. Holmes 48.2% L
Danny Lee 47.9% L
Andres Romero 47.8% L
Jason Kokrak 47.5% L
Stewart Cink 46.7% L
Aaron Baddeley 46.7% L
Troy Matteson 46.7% L
James Driscoll 45.3% L
Jimmy Walker 44.9% L
Angel Cabrera 43.5% L
Mark Anderson 41.2% L
Daniel Chopra 40.3% L
Charles Howell III 38% L
Stephen Gangluff 36.7% L

Again, it’s not exactly crystal clear, but the trends start to point to the more inaccurate golfers off the tee tend to have a more extreme miss bias.


I think it’s safe to say that using Driving Accuracy and trying to find a trend will not provide us with very clear data to interpret. However, if we use driving distance, we start to see a clearer picture.

The data shows that the longer hitters are much closer to 50/50 miss tendency than the shorter hitters. I think that is due to the longer hitters being less sure of where a ball goes whereas the shorter hitters like a Mark Wilson have a much better idea of where their misses will end up; in part due to not being able to bomb one further than they expected.

I then decided to combine both Driving Effectiveness along with the golfer’s distance off the tee. I wanted to look at the long hitting drivers on Tour that were effective off tee and their miss percentage. Then I wanted to do the same with short hitting players on Tour who were effective off the tee.

First, I looked at a combination of:

Top-30 in Driving Distance + Top-50 in Driving Effectiveness

There are currently 17 players in this category. Their miss percentages looked like this:

52.5% L
52.2% L
51.4% L
51.1% L
51.2% R
51.8% R
52.5% R
52.7% R
53.1% R
54.6% R
55.2% R
55.8% R
57.1% R
58.3% R
59.1% R
60.1% R
60.6% R

While these players were all very effective off the tee as they are all in the top-50 in Driving Effectiveness, the players that had a greater miss bias were lower ranked than the players with a miss bias closer to 50/50. And again, notice how the tendency is to miss right of the fairway.

Here’s a look at those players in the top-50 in Driving Effectiveness, but a shorter hitter on Tour. For the purposes of this post, I will use any player that is ranked 115th to 179th in driving distance on Tour.

53.4% L
51.4% L
51.1% L
51% L
50.6% L
50.5% L
50.3% R
50.8% R
52% R
52.5% R
56% R
59.5% R

Here we see a very tight aim bias, with most of the players being very close to 50/50.



So, what can we draw from this?

The more accurate and effective drivers on Tour tend to have more of a right miss bias.

Analysis: This may be due to the fact that since most of the players on Tour are right handed, that the swing mechanics and impact conditions that tend to cause a miss left like:

a) Closed Clubface
b) Toe-hit
c) Outside-to-in path

Are more conducive to a player who will hit poor driver shots than a player who misses the fairway to the right, which is most likely a pushed shot where the mechanics and face angle are only slightly off.

Generally speaking, the extreme miss bias golfers (8% or more) tend to be less effective off the tee.

Analysis: I think that this again shows that a 1-way miss is not exactly what it is cracked up to be because if a golfer has an extreme miss bias, chances are it is a bad shot miss that they cannot control.

There is not a lot of concrete analysis to draw upon this data.

Analysis: It appears that in order to be more effective off the tee, the miss bias needs to be closer to 50/50. But, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. I think one could say that the shorter hitting golfer on Tour needs to be close to 50/50 in their miss bias, but that does not explain the above average to average to below average distance golfers on Tour.

There is also some trend that the longest golfers need to be closer to 50/50 in their miss bias, but it the evidence is not strong enough to draw a confident conclusion to.

The flaw in trying to judge golfer’s games by their miss bias is that if a golfer misses left or right of the fairway, it may be right in line with where they wanted their misses to go. If there’s water hugging the left side of the fairway and a golfer misses the fairway right, that may be perfectly fine to miss the shot right of the fairway.

I think Driving Effectiveness is probably more reliant on the golfer getting the ball to curve 1-way, either left-to-right or right-to-left. I would generally think the consistency of getting the ball to curve 1-way, unless the golfer is purposely trying to work the ball differently, generally makes for a more effective driver of the ball.

Having a '1-way' curve of the golf ball has often been referred to as a 'shot cone' by some golf instructors.

I would generally recommend that golfers on Tour keep the miss bias to under 5%. However, I think we would need more data to tie in with aim bias to draw more concrete conclusions. Otherwise, I think the main thing we can tell is that missing 1 way too much of the time is likely detrimental to the golfer. But anything in between is too difficult to draw a meaningful conclusion.

I will address metrics like this in the e-book, 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis, which will be coming out in December.


Updated 3Jack Golf Blog Certified D-Plane Instructor List


This will grow. I will lock this thread so that I am the only poster to post on this particular thread. If you have a recommendation or question on the certification process, you can start a new thread in this folder, PM me or e-mail me at

What I will do in this thread is that every time I update the list, I will make a new post showing that as well as revising this post of the entire list as well.

The Web site 'badge' will be coming soon and will be posted here. I've listed the instructors by STATE. Teachers that instruct outside of the US will be listed by country. You can use the 'find' function as well by using Ctrl + F, then type in the instructor you are looking for.

The permanent list is on the forum.  The link to that is on the upper right hand side on the blog.

Recently, I've added:

Scott Chisholm (New Jersey)
Cathy Schmidt (Florida)
Matt Saternus (Illinois)
Jeffry Smith (Nevada)
Joe McNulty (Massachusetts)
Kris Kroetsch (North Dakota)


Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL



Denny Alberts
Tuscon, AZ

Steve Bishop
Scottsdale, AZ
contact info not available

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ

Jeff Ritter
Phoenix, AZ


Stephan Kostelecky
Little Rock, AR


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



Justin Blazer
Orlando, FL

Robert Campbell
Miami, FL

Dan Carraher
Jacksonville, FL

Tim Conaway
Sarasota, FL

Sara Dickson
Naples, FL

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL

David Graham
Orlando, FL
(407) 238-7677

Keith Handler
Palm Beach Gardens, FL!

Cathy Schmidt
Brandenton, 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

Matt Saternus,
Schaumburg, 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

Joe McNulty
Harwich, MA




Jared Sheffer
Madison, MS





Meindert Jan Boekel
Rijswijk, Netherlands


Joseph Mayo
Las Vegas, NV

Tom Sheely
Las Vegas, NV

Jeffry Smith
Las Vegas, NV

New Hampshire

New Jersey

Mario Bevilacqua
Colts Neck, NJ

Scott Chisholm
Plainfield, NJ

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

Jay Reid
Hickory, NC

Jason Sutton
Charlotte, NC

North Dakota

Kris Kroetsch
Fargo, ND


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

Tony Trace
Columbus, OH
(614) 507-8963



Martin Chuck
Bend, OR


Erik Barzeski
Erie, PA

Mike Bennett

John Dunigan
Newton Square, PA

James Hirshfield
Erie, PA

Andy Plummer

Bernard Sheridan
Limerick, PA

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




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 41

Rookie Jonas Blixt wins the Championship.

I’ve got the projected #125 at $666,713.

Here are those below that number:

120. James Driscoll $664,788
121. Boo Weekley $660,709
122. David Mathis $644,765
123. Trevor Immelman $617,296 1
24. Rod Pampling $612,893
125. Billy Mayfair $612,361
126. Kevin Chappell $610,948
127. Gary Christian $608,857
128. Alexandre Rocha $596,477
129. Gary Woodland $583,338 1
30. Chez Reavie $571,875 1
31. Retief Goosen $571,174
132. Tim Petrovic $558,862
133. Bill Lunde $551,884
134. Richard H. Lee $540,133
135. Tim Herron $537,239
136. Jerry Kelly $532,901
137. Bobby Gates $525,293
138. Justin Leonard $520,827
139. Vaughn Taylor $515,874
140. Heath Slocum $509,558

Out of these players, I believe only Immelman (123), Woodland (129) and Goosen (131) are fully exempt for 2013.

Here is how my picks at the performed: B

ud Cauley 18/1 (t-55th)
Jeff Overton 25/1 (8th)
Ben Curtis 40/1 (t-22nd)
Richard H. Lee 50/1 (t-43rd)
Kevin Streelman 50/1 (t-69th)
Gary Christian 100/1 (Missed Cut)
Roberto Castro 100/1 (Missed Cut) J
eff Maggert 125/1 (t-16th)
Jerry Kelly 125/1 (t-29th)

Value Pick: Roland Thatcher 225/1 (missed cut)

Here are my picks for the McGladrey's Classic:

Zach Johnson (12/1)
Jason Day (14/1)
Jim Furyk (14/1)
Jonas Blixt (18/1)
Jeff Overton (28/1)
Brendon De Jonge (33/1)
Ken Duke (80/1)
Russell Knox (80/1)
Cameron Tringale (80/1)

Value Pick: Matt Every (100/1)


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

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


1. Jonas Blixt
2. Brandt Snedeker
3. Luke Donald
4. Derek Lamely
5. Bryce Molder
6. Brian Gay
7. Ben Curtis
8. Aaron Baddeley
9. Phil Mickelson
10. Jason Day

180. Charley Hoffman
181. Heath Slocum
182. Scott Brown
183. Roland Thatcher
184. Kris Blanks
185. Charlie Beljan
186. D.J. Trahan
187. Kyle Stanley
188. Scott Dunlap

189. Boo Weekley


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

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


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

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


1. Graeme McDowell
2. Nick O'Hern
3. Scott Dunlap
4. Lee Westwood
5. Tim Clark
6. Gavin Coles
7. Boo Weekley
8. Webb Simpson
9. Bo Van Pelt
10. Tom Pernice Jr.

180. Troy Kelly
181. Martin Flores
182. Billy Mayfair
183. Mark Anderson
184. Brendan Steele
185. Harrison Frazar
186. Tom Gillis
187. Stewart Cink
188. Edward Loar
189. Daniel Chopra


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

180. Ted Potter, Jr.
181. Daniel Chopra
182. Brian Gay
183. Edward Loar
184. John Rollins
185. Sung Kang
186. Sang-Moon Bae
187. Derek Lamely
188. Joe Ogilvie
189. Nick O'Hern


Monday, October 15, 2012

3Jack Swing Update 10.12.12

Here's an updated swing. Since I've been working on and experimenting with some new things, some of the lower body action got a little out of whack. But, I'm still happy with the progress. If you would like to learn more, I recommend going to see my golf instructor, George Hunt (no relation), at or check out a golf school at


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week In Review - 10.14.12

Week in review for 10.14.12


Friday, October 12, 2012

Zero Lines With AimPoint Golf

The biggest eye opener for me since using AimPoint's green reading system is just how often putts will double break. But the good news is that I was also surprised that many times you can simply aim the putter at the cup as well to have the correct 'aim point' to make the putt.

Below is a video showing the 'zero line.' Zero line is not exactly the 'fall line.'

There zero line is anytime the golfer has a putt where the read calls for them to aim at the middle of the cup. More often than not, the putt will double break.

So the AIM is at the cup, but the ball's roll will break.

When I did my first AimPoint clinic under John Graham (, we had a putt on the zero line from about 25 feet away. The putter face had to be aimed at the cup, but the putt eventually would break about 3 feet to the right and then come back 3 feet left.

Understanding AimPoint will get you to see those double breaks, understand how they work and how to make them.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jackie Burke Swing Videos

Check out these fantastic videos of former Masters Champion, Jimmy Burke, swinging the club in his prime


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 40

Ryan Moore gets his 2nd career victory at the Shriners.

As I mentioned last week and in the ‘Week In Review’ video, we are essentially seeing the players fighting for the last ten spots on the top-125 Money List.

Based on trends over the last five years and the amount of purse money available left for the fall series, I project Mr. 125 to make about $672K for the year.

Here’s a look at those under that amount

118. James Driscoll ($664,788)
119. Boo Weekley ($660,709)
120. Trevor Immelman ($617,296)
121. Kevin Chappell ($610,948)
122. Gary Christian ($608,857) 1
23. Billy Mayfair ($601,511)
124. David Mathis ($599,694)
125. Jeff Maggert ($598,944)
126. Rod Pampling ($595,893)
127. Retief Goosen ($571,174)
128. Bill Lunde ($527,759)
129. Bobby Gates ($525,293)
130. Richard H. Lee ($523,133)

Since nobody from under the top-125 moved into the top-125 last week (biggest move was Bill Lunde, going from 157th to 128th), my projections have players fighting for the last 8 spots now. And IIRC, Immelman and Goosen are going to be exempt in 2013 anyway.

I don’t know if Goosen will be playing in anymore events, but it appears that Immelman’s season is not finished. For the most part, Weekley and Driscoll should be in if they can make 1 more cut.

Here is how my picks for the Shriners finished up:

Ryan Moore: 14/1(1st)
Tim Clark: 28/1 (missed cut)
Kevin Na: 28/1 (t-22nd)
Vijay Singh: 28/1 (t-36th)
Chris Kirk: 40/1 (t-36th)
Brendon De Jonge: 50/1 (2nd)
Bryce Molder: 50/1 (missed cut)
Will Claxton: 100/1 (t-61st)
Ken Duke: 100/1 (t-36th)

Value Pick: Bob Estes 100/1 (t-22nd)

Here are my picks for the Championship

Bud Cauley 18/1 J
eff Overton 25/1
Ben Curtis 40/1
Richard H. Lee 50/1
Kevin Streelman 50/1
Gary Christian 100/1
Roberto Castro 100/1
Jeff Maggert 125/1
Jerry Kelly 125/1

Value Pick: Roland Thatcher 225/1

DRIVING EFFECTIVENESS (formerly Advanced Total Driving)

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

178. James Driscoll
179. Matt Bettencourt
180. Nick O'Hern
181. Stewart Cink
182. Tom Pernice Jr.
183. Derek Lamely
184. Stephen Gangluff
185. Michael Bradley
186. Ryuji Imada
187. Joe Ogilvie


1. Brandt Snedeker
2. Luke Donald
3. Jonas Blixt
4. Brian Gay
5. Derek Lamely
6. Aaron Baddeley
7. Phil Mickelson
8. Jason Day
9. Ben Curtis
10. Bo Van Pelt

178. Alexandre Rocha
179. Roland Thatcher
180. Greg Owen
181. Kris Blanks
182. Charlie Beljan
183. Scott Brown
184. D.J. Trahan
185. Kyle Stanley
186. Boo Weekley
187. Scott Dunlap


1. Jerry Kelly
2. Brian Gay
3. Ian Poulter
4. K.J. Choi
5. Jason Dufner
6. Stuart Appleby
7. Rocco Mediate
8. Fredrik Jacobson
9. John Mallinger
10. Justin Rose

178. Michael Thompson
179. Gary Woodland
180. Kyle Reifers
181. Bobby Gates
182. Charlie Beljan
183. Louis Oosthuizen
184. Harris English
185. Sang-Moon Bae
186. Cameron Beckman
187. Edward Loar


1. Steve Stricker
2. Jason Bohn
3. Bo Van Pelt
4. Garth Mulroy
5. Vaughn Taylor
6. Padraig Harrington
7. Sergio Garcia
8. Richard H. Lee
9. Nick O'Hern
10. Brendon de Jonge

178. Kris Blanks
179. J.B. Holmes
180. Jhonattan Vegas
181. Edward Loar
182. Aaron Baddeley
183. Miguel Angel Carballo
184. Brandt Jobe
185. Jonas Blixt
186. Adam Scott
187. Billy Hurley III


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

178. John Daly
179. J.J. Killeen
180. Troy Kelly
181. Gary Woodland
182. Harrison Frazar
183. Tom Gillis
184. Brendan Steele
185. Mark Anderson
186. Edward Loar
187. Stewart Cink


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

178. David Mathis
179. J.J. Killeen
180. Brian Gay
181. Edward Loar
182. Sung Kang
183. John Rollins
184. Derek Lamely
185. Sang-Moon Bae
186. Joe Ogilvie
187. Nick O'Hern


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Left Foot Move In Transition by Kelvin Miyahira

Here's a video from 3Jack Top-50 Golf Instructor, Kelvin Miyahira, discussing a left move made in transition


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

2012 Pro Golf Synopsis Sample Table of Contents

Here is the projected Table of Contents for the e-book, 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis, due out in December. The page numbers have not been set due to the book still being worked on. Any questions or inquiries can be e-mailed to


Statistical Truths

Flaws in Traditional Golf Metrics

Advanced Metric Based Golf Strategies

The Numbers Behind Parts of the Game and Scoring

2012 PGA Tour Player Overview and Analysis


• The Power of Being Average
• A Better Way to Yardage Gapping
• When Good Research Goes Bad
• Introducing the G.I.R.O. Score
• The Real Moving Day On Tour
• The Transition of Putting and Driving On Tour

2012 Tournament Picks, Odds and Results

2013 Players to Look Out For

2012 3Jack Golf Metrics Total Player Rankings


Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Look At Single Length Irons

Recently a golfer over at the Wishon Golf forum ( asked about single length irons. This is where each iron in the bag, regardless if it’s the 3-iron or 7-iron or Pitching Wedge, will be the same length.

In 1989, Tommy Armour Company came out with this concept in their EQL (equal length) model of irons.

Each of the irons, 3 thru Pitching Wedge, was built to 37 inches long. That is about the length of a modern 7-iron. Back in ’89, that was probably the length of a club somewhere between a 6 and 7-iron. The idea behind the irons was to get the golfer to make the ‘same swing’ with each club. It was considered too radical and had too many flaws involved with the concept for it to work. Here’s what Keith Chatham, from Precision Fit Golf in Texas had to say:
Assuming shaft weright and grip weight are the same:


All head weights need to be same weight or else swing weights/total weight/moi will be off......long irons will be very light swing weight and short irons will be very heavy swingweight.

All lie angles need to be the same for each head also or else accuracy will be sacrificed.

Distances will be off with current lofts also. Assuming all clubs are 7i length, then the 5i at 7i length might be shorter than your current 5i, and PW at 7i length might be longer than your current length PW. So lofts probably will need to be adjusted.

Bounces on sole will be the same for all clubs except maybe 3/4 degrees more for SW. So when adjusting/bending clubs for loft, you need to make sure you don't have a scoop sole on long irons or way too much bounce on your shorter irons.


Only benefit I see is you might hit the shorter long irons more on-center, however the problems above will still exist.

I generally agree with Keith’s points. I would think the benefit is that it would be more easier to MOI match the clubs if they were the same length. What would concern me is that in order to do this, the head weights would have to be the same. And companies do not make iron heads the same weight. Here’s a link to KZG Golf’s set of irons with their iron head weights.

You will see the same with other component companies like Wishon and GolfSmith. I do believe golfers and clubmakers should not only understand MOI matching, but also understand how much each of their components of the club weigh (grip, shaft, head).

And to top it off, if you can understand the shaft’s weight distribution…does it weigh more towards the butt end or towards the tip end?…the golfer and clubmaker can find a better fit.

With the single length concept, I would question if the grind, bounce and general design of the heads would ‘naturally’ cause for the higher lofted clubs, which also have more bounce, to be heavier. Edel Golf’s wedges feature extremely high bounce angle options with the CoG of the club moved away from the heel.

In order to design the wedge heads with more bounce and moving the CoG away from the heel, I was told that they had to make the heads heavier.

I have typically found that Sand Wedges at 54-56 degrees of loft typically weight around 302 grams. I measured my Edel 56° wedge at 307 grams. And yes, 5 grams of difference can make a LARGE difference in how the club feels when you are swinging it.

Anyway, my point is that I have some concern that the higher the loft of the iron which should require more bounce, that irons should inherently have a progressive weight to them and that the irons should inherently have different shaft lengths to ‘offset’ the difference in head weight. Then I would question other things, mainly yardage gapping and if a single length set of irons would need to alter their loft increments in order to get the proper yardage gapping.

A special thanks to Keith Chatham ( for help with this post.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October AimPoint Clinics at Faldo Golf Institute

October AimPoint clinics at the Faldo Golf Institute, Saturday October 6th and Saturday October 20th. Click the link below for more details



3Jack Golf's PGA Tour Rundown - Week 39

We are heading into the Fall Series as the Tour heads to Nevada for the Justin Timberlake tournament. I project that the players on Tour are essentially fighting for about the last ten spots on the top-125 on the Money List.

Here are my picks for the Timberlake:

Ryan Moore: 14/1
Tim Clark: 28/1
Kevin Na: 28/1
Vijay Singh: 28/1
Chris Kirk: 40/1
Brendon De Jonge: 50/1
Bryce Molder: 50/1
Will Claxton: 100/1
Ken Duke: 100/1

Value Pick: Bob Estes 100/1

Please note that I wanted to select Heath Slocum, Vaughn Taylor, Gary Christian and Russell Knox, but they do not currently have odds posted on the Sports Book.

Here are the rankings for the metrics.


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

176. Tommy Biershenk
177. Stewart Cink
178. Matt Bettencourt
179. Nick O'Hern
180. Tom Pernice Jr.
181. Derek Lamely
182. Michael Bradley
183. Stephen Gangluff
184. Ryuji Imada
185. Joe Ogilvie


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

176. Charley Hoffman
177. Kris Blanks
178. Alexandre Rocha
179. Roland Thatcher
180. D.J. Trahan
181. Charlie Beljan
182. Scott Brown
183. Kyle Stanley
184. Boo Weekley
185. Scott Dunlap

1. Jerry Kelly
2. Brian Gay
3. Ian Poulter
4. K.J. Choi
5. Jason Dufner
6. Stuart Appleby
7. Jonas Blixt
8. Fredrik Jacobson
9. Rocco Mediate
10. Kevin Kisner

176. Martin Laird
177. Gary Woodland
178. Kyle Reifers
179. Ryan Moore
180. Charlie Beljan
181. Louis Oosthuizen
182. Harris English
183. Sang-Moon Bae
184. Cameron Beckman
185. Edward Loar


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

176. Kevin Chappell
177. Kris Blanks
178. Jhonattan Vegas
179. Aaron Baddeley
180. Brandt Jobe
181. Edward Loar
182. Jonas Blixt
183. Billy Hurley III
184. Miguel Angel Carballo
\185. Adam Scott


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

176. Stewart Cink
177. J.J. Killeen
178. Gary Woodland
179. Daniel Summerhays
180. Harrison Frazar
181. Troy Kelly
182. Tom Gillis
183. Edward Loar
184. Brendan Steele
185. Mark Anderson


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

176. Edward Loar
177. Brian Gay
178. Sung Kang
179. David Mathis
180. Rocco Mediate
181. John Rollins
182. Sang-Moon Bae
183. Joe Ogilvie
184. Derek Lamely
185. Nick O'Hern


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Looking Back at the 2012 Ryder Cup


I gave some of my thoughts on the Ryder Cup in my ‘Week In Review’ vlog on Sunday which can still be found at

Going into the Ryder Cup, I looked back at successful and unsuccessful players in each format of the Ryder Cup and wanted to marry that with some statistical examination of what has historically worked well in the Ryder Cup versus what has not worked well.

Some of the key conclusions I came up with is that putting was very important in the Ryder Cup. Typically when I do my weekly PGA Tour picks, I ignore the Putts Gained metric and any other metric with regards to putting. The reason being is that it’s often completely unpredictable to determine how well a golfer will put in a tournament. And what happens more often than not is the golfer starts hitting approach shots closer to the cup than usual and they get their confidence up and start seeing putts drop. Some courses favor players who do well from certain zones than other zones. Some courses tend to favor golfers who hit it far and are effective off the tee. Other courses may favor effective drivers of the ball who are more accurate off the tee than long off the tee. But as far as putting goes in regular PGA Tournaments, there is no rhyme or reason as to who will putt well.

I think that is different in the Ryder Cup. Particularly in the foursome (alternate shot) format because players are inevitably going to be left with some crucial and difficult putts and it’s best to go after those golfers who can truly roll the rock. Also with the foursome format, I think captains need to be careful and pair up golfers whose style of game fits each other. There is no sense in putting somebody like Mickelson, a wild driver of the ball, with somebody like Zach Johnson who is a poor ballstriker on shots from the rough. Or putting somebody like Bubba with Furyk because Bubba is not very skillful from the Danger Zone and on the long par-4’s, the short hitting Furyk may leave his tee shots in the Danger Zone.

As far as the fourball format goes, I looked more at scoring averages on par-3’s, par-4’s and par-5’s. In particular, par-4’s are important because you will play about 10 of them in a Ryder Cup tournament. Then we want to look at birdie and then bogey percentage. While Furyk’s scoring averages have been good on par-3’s, par-4’s and par-5’s, he’s a player that doesn’t make many birdies or many bogeys. That’s why he’s traditionally been poor in the fourball format, he can’t make birdies. But, you don’t want to give up holes with careless bogeys either.


As far as the picks go, I mentioned in a previous blog post that I generally liked them. Unfortunately, they did not produce points. But I do not blame a captain for not being to accurately predict how well a player will do in the Ryder Cup. I think if they look at the metrics, keep an open mind as to which players to consider and puts the picks in the right formats with the right teammates, that’s all one can reasonably expect.

I think Stricker, Snedeker and Dustin Johnson were relative no brainers. Each had played well this year and DJ, who had injury issues early on is too big of a talent and had been playing (and more importantly, putting) very well.

The Furyk pick came under criticism for his atrocious Ryder Cup record. But, Furyk had very well in 2012, particularly in the 2nd half of the season. I also ran thru the numbers and Furyk had the game that would work well in the foursome format, which had plagued the US team for years.


Personally, my metrics had 3 of the 4 picks (which was a theme for the Ryder Cup). The only pick I would have made was Bo Van Pelt over Furyk and mainly because Van Pelt’s metrics have been fantastic this year and I think he provided the team with more versatility to play either fourball or the foursome format.

That being said, the metrics I ran had Furyk as the 5th best player available. That was part of DLIII’s problem that he inherited, he didn’t have a long list of players to choose from. Rickie Fowler, who I am a fan of, has been downright awful down the stretch. Hunter Mahan has not been awful, but at best mediocre. Same with rookie John Huh who seemed to be a little out of place in the FedEx cup. Kyle Stanley hits it well, but can’t putt. The options for DLIII were limited and even Van Pelt was a streaky player.

In the end, Furyk played well in the Ryder Cup. He and Snedeker beat what was thought to be the best European team of McDowell and McIlroy. And they lost their first match against that duo on Friday when Snedeker played poorly and hit a terrible tee shot on 18 to lose on the final hole.


At the recommendation of a friend, I decided to run some simulations based on different teams and different metrics and in different formats. The simulations would spit out a projected score for 18 holes since running team vs. team simulations would be impossible as I don’t have data with regards to most of the European teams.

All that being said, I do NOT believe that a Ryder Cup captain should have a rigid set of picks. I think the captain has to set out the picks for Friday morning and from there pick teams based on who the hot players are. I would use my metrics to serve as a guideline, but there is a bit of intuition and feel that the captain has to use in the subsequent pairings.

For DLIII, I thought his main goal on Friday was to play EVERY player on the team because he had the depth for it. Then hopefully stay within 1 point after Friday and then on Saturday, determine who the hot players were from there.

My picks for the Friday AM foursomes were:

Webb Simpson & Jason Dufner
Tiger Woods & Steve Stricker
Bubba Watson & Phil Mickelson
Zach Johnson & Jim Furyk

Instead, DLIII went with:

Jason Dufner & Zach Johnson
Furyk & Snedeker
Tiger & Stricker
Bradley & Mickelson

Out of all of the simulations I had run, I didn’t love the Bradley and Mickelson pairing in the foursome format. The simulations showed they were not a bad team, but merely average. My problem was that I thought there were much stronger pairings out there. The other pairings were not *the* strongest, but fairly strong nonetheless.


In the end, Keegan and Mickelson proved me dead wrong. So did Tiger and Stricker, both of whom played awful on Friday morning. As Erik Barzeski ( has pointed out, Tiger does not play well in windy conditions and it was quite breezy on Friday.

Still, I would have been ecstatic after the foursome matches if I were DLIII. The US was tied with Europe 2-2, which included a THUMPING by Keegan and Phil over Sergio and Luke Donald, both of whom were dealt their first loss in Ryder Cup foursomes. Even Furyk & Snedeker made Rory and McDowell sweat it out and Furyk played very well on the back nine which would have given me confidence in the pairing for Saturday.


After the Friday morning foursomes, I recommended the following pairings in the afternoon:

Dustin and Kuchar
Bubba and Webb
Mickelson and Bradley
Dufner and Zach

DLIII’s pairings almost matched my recommendations, except he had Stricker and Tiger go out again in place of Dufner and Zach. In the end, Stricker and Tiger were the only team to lose in the Friday afternoon as they were snake-bit by Nicolas Colesaerts hot putter and Stricker was horrendous. The rest of the teams won in convincing fashion, particularly Webb and Bubba, which according to my simulations was only behind Bubba and Tiger in fourball play.


I thought DLIII did a very good job on Friday. He got every player on the team playing, so he could judge who to play on Saturday. He also had a 5-3 lead and one could just get the feeling that Mickelson and Bradley were unbeatable and Bubba and Webb were unbeatable in the fourball format.

I recommended the following AM foursome pairings:

Keegan and Phil
Dufner and Zach
Furyk and Snedeker
Webb and Kuchar

I figured that Furyk and Snedeker showed some fight on Friday. The rest of the players were a bit of slim pickings, but my simulations had Webb and Kuchar as the next strongest foursome pairing.

But once again, DLIII hit 3 of my recommended pairings, this time opting for Webb and Bubba instead of Webb and Kuchar. Bubba is a bit of a difficult foursome pairing because of his wildness off the tee. I would not label Webb and Bubba as an awful foursome pairing, but they were mediocre and actually well below what the simulations had for Webb and Kuchar. And they were the only team that lost, putting the US up 8-4.

In the afternoon fourball I recommended:

Keegan and Phil
Bubba and Webb
Zach and Tiger
DJ and Kuchar

And once again, there was one team DLIII went against and that was going to Tiger and Stricker once again.


I don’t think Tiger has the mentality for the foursome format. He’s built his entire career on making success for himself and from the sounds of it, he never played truly team sports growing up whereas guys like Keegan, Phil, DJ, Kuchar, etc grew up playing sports like baseball, basketball, tennis doubles, etc.

However, Tiger played well in fourball and it took a lot of guts for DLIII to bench Tiger in the morning foursomes simply because it’s Tiger and he’s never been benched in the Ryder Cup before. Stricker didn’t play well in the foursome or fourball format on Friday. Furthermore, Ryder Cup captains really need to junk the theory that President’s Cup play correlates to Ryder Cup play because it doesn’t. It’s about as relevant as Johnny Miller saying everything will break towards Lake Merced.

Anyway, DLIII went with:

Bubba and Webb
DJ and Kuchar
Stricker and Tiger
Zach and Dufner

The Zach and Dufner duo simulations had them as a ‘good’ fourball team. However, they lost along with Stricker and Tiger. And while people harped on Tiger and Stricker pairing up, I harped more on benching Phil and Keegan because they were so dominating that I think they could have had the match won just by showing up on the first tee. Furthermore, they only played 12 holes in the morning and should have had more than enough energy. I think that cost the team at least 1-point, maybe 2-points if they pair Tiger with Zach Johnson. And the US Team could have been up 12-4 going into Sunday.


That being said, anytime a captain gets the team leading 10-6 into Sunday, they have at least done a very good job (unless they make crazy picks that make no sense and they got lucky). I think the team left 2-3 points after Saturday, but there’s no guarantee that a different pairing here or there would have a positive effect or even the same effect.

But, one would think that the US team should be able to win 4.5 points in 12 singles matches. For that, I cannot blame DLIII for the loss and in general, thought he was a very good captain and I would give him a grade of B+.

As per usual, the golf media tends to spoil the fun for everybody. No, this is not the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history. The 1999 win at Brookline was. That US team was DREADFUL going into Sunday and Ben Crenshaw was acting like he had a chemical imbalance. I honestly don’t think Justin Leonard could have beaten me going into that Sunday.

Where the similarities between both comebacks is that the eventual winner seemed to be in great spirits going into Sunday. Just like Hal Sutton’s interview with Justin Leonard before Sunday, you could sense the same type of confidence coming from Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell.

The other golf media buzzkill is their incessant desire to paint US crowds as bad. Even the European golf fans that I talked to thought the US crowds were fine.


Because the European fans act the SAME way.

What the world of golf tends to never figure out is that golf works best when parts of the game and the traditions are rare and exclusive. That’s why the Masters works so well, they have certain things going on that no other course or tournament have. Golf is not about moderation, it’s about quality and rarity. That’s why Donald Trump’s insistence of having manmade waterfalls on his courses fall flat. It’s not that the waterfall is not beautiful, it’s just not rare and it comes off as tacky. Often times in golf, less is not only more…but much much more.

If we had Ryder Cup crowds at every tournament, I think it would take away from the game. But once every two years between fans and two sets of 12 golfers that have a GENUINE tension between each other, it makes for a special occasion. Even if the US team loses.