The Babblin' FLOG

Golf + Log = FLOG

WhatsNew:

Gooder Golf partners up with PXG Golf

Gooder Golf has become a dealer for PXG Golf (Parsons Xtreme Golf) products. This is a very exciting opportunity to fit and build some of the finest ULTRA high-end golf clubs the world has ever seen.

Click to visit the PXG Golf website

 

AGCP announces LEVEL 10 certification for Bert Reich

 

AGCP Logo

The Association of Golf Clubfitting Professionals recently issued a press release to announce that Bert Reich (Gooder Golf) attained LEVEL 10 status in the field of golf clubfitting and clubmaking. Bert was the second AGCP member in Canada to reach this level.

Read more...

 

Association of Golf Clubfitting Professionals

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September 16, 1926

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September 16, 1926

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s.

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The Babblin' FLOG!!!

 

Web + Log = Blog..... man I hate that friggin' word! (blog.....schmog!)

Golf + Log = FLOG, now yer talkin'! FLOG it is. In case you didn't notice, FLOG spelled backwards is GOLF. I guess this FLOG mirrors the golf thoughts in my head, kinda like I'm thinking out loud - could be anything, and I'm babblin' about it. Check back every now and then, 'cuz this page will be updated every time I feel like floggin' about something. Oh would you look at that, I'm babblin' already. And away we go.......

 

The "Elusive" secret to golf Babble

 

Have you ever noticed on the internet, books, magazines, training aid info-mercials, the Golf Channel and the like - everyone is trying to sell the "secret" to golf. Apparently Hogan had a secret too - more on that later. Well, with regards to golf secrets I have come to the conclusion that there is not one magic secret to golf, it doesn't exist..... contrary to what some of these sellers who claim they have figured it out might tell you. Why do I say that???? Well, all of these contraptions, DVD's, books, and even pre-made magic golf clubs all are meant to fix a different thing - they all have a different theme. Now how can you make a magic pre-made golf club that will transform a golfer's game????? How on earth is that possible, when everybody on this planet needs a different golf club - we all swing the golf club differently, thus we all cannot play with these same so-called "standard" clubs. There are a whole bunch of people out there trying to get rich off the golfers who so desperately want to improve at the game of golf. Golfers are a different breed - many of them are seeking the magical missing piece of the puzzle that will transform their game from a 20-handicap to scratch...... in less than a month - that kinda stuff just don't happen. The info-mercials have many golfers chasing that dream - they said "this will fix my game" on the info-mercial, therefore it must be true. Boy, in many of the golf conversations I've had - someone always starts a sentence with "well, I read on the internet.........." Oh boy, I suppose lesson one is don't believe everything you read on the internet, 'cuz there's a lot of poop out there. Of the many magical secrets I've seen advertised, they all blame your poor golf game on one thing, but they have the secret to fix it. Problem is, we all need a different secret to transform our own games. One guy comes over the top, the next guy does a reverse pivot, the next guy stands up on the down-swing, etc etc etc..... each and every golfer has unique aspects of his/her game that they need to improve on to make them play better. How can one magical device or book correct all of these different flaws???? I think the biggest secret to golf is........... THERE IS NO SECRET! Find out what your particular weakness is (perhaps more than one), and learn how to fix it. It's not a sign of weakness to go see a swing coach (make sure it's a qualified & certified one) for lessons - these people are trained in this very field - they can point you in the right direction and offer drills to help you fix what ails your swing. Go see these fine people for swing issues, but remember this - the game of golf is NOT entirely about the golf swing. Guess what....... your equipment has something (actually a lot) to do with how well you play also. That's where people like me can help. There are two very important pieces to the puzzle for playing your best golf - (1) you have to be able to swing a golf club reasonably well, hopefully consistently and repeatable, and (2) the tools you are swinging have to be fit to the particular golfer. Some people NEED light (50 grams) shafts in their irons, and there are others who need 130+ gram shafts in their irons - both of these clubs will swing VERY differently, but each one will be correct for someone. If you are able to swing a golf club consistently, I can change how the club swings by tweaking various aspects of the club - length, flex, weight, etc - these can affect swing path, face angle at impact, and FEEL. If you swing a club that is too heavy or too light, too long or too short for you, it's gonna throw things off for your internal tempo, timing of events, and the way you swing & release the club. This may be somewhat of a biased statement, sorry if I hurt any feelings out there but..... go see a swing coach to help your swing, not for golf clubs - they are trained in the swing stuff (unless the coach has been certified & qualified in clubfitting by a reputable organization in clubfitting - and by that I don't mean the 30-minute crash course on the local TaylorMade fitting cart). Come see a professional clubfitter to get the right golf clubs for you, but don't see your clubfitter to get your swing fixed (unless he/she is certified & qualified by a reputable organization in that field also). For those of you who dine out - how many good steaks have you had from KFC???? Answer = None, 'cuz that is not their area of expertise, it's not their thing.

With regards to Hogan's secret - yes, Hogan did find something that worked..... FOR HIM - but as Mr. Hogan stated in his Life magazine interview when he revealed his secret (August 1955), "This is not something that would benefit all golfers, however, since the average golfer already slices or fades the ball". Keep in mind that Hogan was trying to correct a hook - the exact opposite of what 80% of the golfers out there are fighting - a slice. So Hogan's secret worked for HOGAN, but as he stated it would not do much for the average golfer.

Another observation I've witnessed many times is when "famous golfer X" talks in a TV or magazine interview about how his game was in the toilet for a while, he did "this" or "that" and it magically transformed his game. Average joe sees or reads this and thinks that he must do the same to transform his own game. This practice will more than likely end up in failure. What works for "X" doesn't necessarily work for "Y" - if that were the case we would all be swinging the exact same golf clubs, and they would be right for us. You have to fix what is ailiing YOUR game, not somebody else's.

So we've established that in order to improve and play to your potential, you need a decent swing, the right equipment, and we might as well put PURPOSEFUL practice in the same bucket. You can't expect to improve if you don't practice. Not just practice, but if you practice a lot make sure you practice your weaknesses the most. How many people do you see practicing wedges, chipping, or putting? These things should receive about 60-75% of your practice time, since 60-75% of your strokes are made up from these. Your scoring potential is directly related to the state of your short game. Many times I'll see people head to the range and hit a few wedges and irons, then proceed to bash the snot out of the driver for two full buckets - not very purposeful.

One last secret "proverb" from the archive vault - Your potential to score in the game of golf is greatly releated to how well you handle your mis-hits during a round. It means the space between your ears has a lot to do with how well you can potentially play the game also. I've seen some very good golfers fall into "on-tilt" mode and completely ruin a round of golf because they hit a bad shot early in the round - once the bad shot happens they slip into "poor me" mode, everything that occurs after that bad shot happens in spite with lack of care or respect to the game. These guys are usually only content on the course when they are playing well. I've also seen some good golfers keep their head "in-check" after hitting a bad shot, and still be able to salvage a very respectable (even stellar) round of golf. So you can see, being able to play to your potential is a puzzle picture in itself - made up of many important pieces. The more of these pieces you can get "right", the better it will be. That's all I have to say about that.

 

What's in my bag Babble

 

I've been asked this many times, and I've been asked many times how my game is. For the how's my game portion - I'm a LH golfer, my handicap hangs around the 8-10 range, my career low round is 74. As far as what's in my bag, I play what I sell, that means I have a "few" sets of irons/wedges, numerous drivers and FW woods, some hybrids, and a bunch of putters;

Iron set:

  • Swing Science LH S-800 (cast) 4-PW bent to achieve 4° split between each club
    • 4-iron set at 24° loft, and +4° progression on all other clubs through 60°
  • Swing Science "T" wedges (52-56-60°)
  • Shafted with KBS Tour "X" shafts at PCS flex 6.0
  • MOI matched
  • Built to my specs for lie angle, length, etc.
  • PROPER lofts (4-iron starts at 24°, and follow 4° increments through the 60° LW)

Iron set:

  • Alpha LH RX-1 4-PW (same lofts as above)
  • Maltby LE forged LH wedges (52-56-60°)
  • FST-115 steel shafts
  • MOI matched
  • Built to my specs for flex, lie angle, length, etc.
  • PROPER lofts (4-iron starts at 24°, and follow 4° increments through the 60° LW)

Iron set:

  • Wishon LH 979-SS 4-PW
  • Swing Science "T" wedges (52-56-60°)
  • KBS Tour shafts
  • MOI matched
  • Built to my specs for lie angle, length, etc.
  • PROPER lofts (4-iron starts at 24°, and follow 4° increments through the 60° LW)

Iron set (coming soon):

  • Wishon 771CSI (man these things are HOTTTTT!)
  • Maltby forged wedges (52-56-60°)
  • Aerotech SteelFiber I-125 shafts
  • MOI matched (of course)
  • Built to my specs for flex, lie angle, length
  • PROPER lofts (4-iron starts at 24°, and follow 4° increments through the 60° LW)

 

Drivers:

  • Oh boy, a few too many to mention all the details here
  • Various Wishon, Alpha, Swing Science
  • Shafted with Wishon, Accra, UST, Swing Science
  • My Wishon 919-THI 11° has been "old faithful" - been in the bag for 8, count 'em, 8 years now
    • Built to 44.25" long
  • I would get into more details here, but my wife might be reading this :O

FW Woods:

  • Way too many to mention
  • Wishon
  • Alpha
  • a "few" others
  • Shafted with Wishon, Accra, UST, and Swing Science

Putters:

  • Ummmm - several plus about two more

Grips:

  • All clubs gripped with Pure Grips

Golf Ball:

  • Titleist ProV-1 used for all rounds

Golf Bags:

  • Swing Science staff bag
  • Alpha Staff bag
  • Wishon staff bag
  • and a couple more

It may sound like a lot gear, but believe it or not, I use 'em all, and I love 'em all.

 

Bending sticks Babble

 

You may or may not know, the golf shaft bends during the motions of the golf swing. The picture below is of Jamie Sadlowski - a long drive champion. The actual bending of the shaft is NOT quite as pronounced as the images show but it still happens to some degree (the images are somewhat of an anomaly due to the way digital cameras capture images). It does show a shaft being loaded and un-loaded. Whenever the wrist-hinge is released on the downswing, the shaft will bend forward slightly. Inertia of the clubhead also makes the shaft bend slightly downward as it approaches the ball. So as the clubhead nears impact, it actually bends forward and downward (picture from January 2009 Golf Digest). Understanding how a shaft bends, and how to match the bend profile of a shaft to YOU and what you are doing with it is very important.

Shaft Bend

While we're on the topic of Jamie Sadlowski, here's a neat video of Jamie doing his stuff. I especially like the comment that the "little" (shorter) driver is the straighter one.

 

Social Networking Babble

 

I DON'T LIKE FB

I was recently asked about my lack of presence in social networking venues (Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, etc.). There was a brief moment in time when I considered Facebook - however when I did a bit of research on Facebook and its founder (Mark Zuckerberg), I was kinda appalled by the comments Zuckerberg made of his patrons (you can see it here). Yes, ol' Zuck admitted making those comments in the early days..... but he was young and has grown up since - he claims. Well, of course he's gonna say he's "all growed-up now", ever since his little endeavor has made him a multi GA-zillionaire! In the back of my mind, a zebra don't change his stripes, and that little piece of whatever it was inside of him that made those comments is still there, it may be somewhat suppressed by the GA-zillions, but it's still there. A neat quote comes to mind.... “The quality of an organization can never exceed the quality of the minds that make it up.” My research on social networking came to a rather abrupt halt after that, so I didn't even get to look into other venues such as Twitter. Besides (at the present time anyway), I really don't care to be notified that one of my "friends" just bought his son/daughter a new bike - I really don't need to know that.

Just in case that link above isn't working for whatever reason, below is the meat & potatoes from FARCE-Book president/founder Mark Zuckerburg's view on privacy right after FARCE-Book was launched - this is from an Instant Messenger exchange with one of his friends. Good ol' Zuck was a young and immature 19 years old at the time. As you can tell, he was VERY concerned about his patrons' privacy, as I'm sure he still is today after all those ga-zillions he's made from it. For you Facebook users out there don't worry though, he's all growed up and "MA-CHURRD" now, so I'm completely convinced that he REALLY cares about your FaceBook privacy now........... my fat ass he does!!!!! A zebra don't change his stripes, a leopard don't change his spots. You'll NEVER see me Facebook-ing, ever, ever, ever!

 

*****************************************************************************

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don't know why.

Zuck: They "trust me"

Zuck: Dumb f*cks.


*****************************************************************************

 

Sorry Mark Zuckerberg - I don't "Like" you or Facebook, nor do I "Trust" you......... and I never will.

I'm not ruling some form of social networking out completely, it may happen in the future for GG, but if it does it definitely will NOT be on Facebook. Perhaps I may become a "tweeter" some day, who knows. For now, I'm very content hangin' out here in Gooder-Ville on the Babblin' FLOG. I'll concentrate my efforts on fitting and building the ultimate kick-ass set of clubs for each and every customer I work with. Why?... 'Cuz I really "like" (Facebook pun) doing this stuff, actually I love it - it's my passion. When a customer calls me to tell me he/she just shot the best round of golf in their life, I'm pretty sure they "like" it too. That's all I have to say about that.

 

Obsession with distance Babble

 

One very common desire among many golfers is that they want to hit the ball farther - unfortunately for some this desire has turned into an obsession. I'm not sure if you can pinpoint the root cause for this obsession, but I think a bit part of it is attributed to the TV and magazine adds. This obsession fueling is a result of marketing by the big golf companies who want you to buy new clubs from them, year after year...... 'cuz this year's model is even more special-er than last year's model (which is now garbage in their eyes). GOLF INDUSTRY FACT - Did you know that a new set of irons (let's say produced in 2012) is going to hit the ball 1 to 1.5 clubs farther than the same numbered club of 10-15 years ago? It's a miracle!!!!!..... or is it? Well geez - "I used to hit my old 7-iron about 150 yards, now I hit my 2013 model 8-iron 150+ yards, these newer clubs are longer!!!! - they must be better".

Well, let's try to put the puzzle together and figure out why/how these new clubs are "longer".

  • Is it some new snazzy bling-bling material they are making clubheads out of?
    • NO - iron clubheads are generally made from various grades of stainless steel, which have been around much longer than modern golf clubs. There is NOT some snazzy new steel recipe for iron clubheads that is gonna make the ball go a whole club+ farther
  • Is it because they are using graphite shafts in irons (making them lighter so you can swing faster)
    • Well, it is true that you should be able to swing less mass a bit faster, but remember if the weight of the club is either too light or too heavy for YOUR swing, you will not make good and consistent ball contact with it.
    • The steel-shafted clubs have also showed the same proportional increase in distance
    • So NO, this new found distance is NOT because of lighter shafts
  • Hmmmmm..... so, what is it then?

Well, I think I can explain it with a bit of science & physics. For explanation's sake, we're gonna simplify things a bit and assume for both clubs we have equal quality of ball contact (on-center), club length, club mass, angle of attack, and the swing speed. We know through physics that distance a ball travels with an iron is the result of (1) clubhead speed, and (2) the amount of loft on the clubface. Well, since the clubhead speed is the same for both the "old" and the "new" clubs, the only other thing that has to be different is the LOFT of the club face. I think we're on to something because if you measure the actual loft of your "old" 7-iron, it is 36°. Low and behold, the loft of the "new" 7-iron is somewhere between 30° and 33°. Guess what - I think we found it!!!! By the way, it's NOT a miracle either...... let-down huh? By the laws of physics, we just proved that these new "longer" clubs are longer because they are anywhere from a club to a club-and-a-half stronger in LOFT compared to the old model. In my world for most clubs, I consider a proper club-to-club loft change to be 4°. So if the "new" model is 4° stronger, guess what - you're gonna hit it about one club farther. BUT in the grand scheme of things, you really aren't hitting this new miracle 8-iron as far as your old 7-iron..... you're hitting a different 7-iron (this one has the number "8" on it) the same distance as your old 7-iron. I hope you're not too deflated after learning that. So this new "bling-bling" technology isn't so great after all - it's more snake oil than technology really. If you really wanna be a hero on the golf course, I could build you a lob-wedge that you can hit as far as your 5-iron (now wouldn't that make you look cool - wow, I'm impressed)...... but unfortunately, it will require me bending the loft of your lob-wedge to about the same amount of loft as your 5-iron, so no more gentle floaters from 30 yards with your snazzy lob-wedge, or was it 5-iron..... I dunno, see this stuff can get confusing!

When these buggers (the big OEM's) keep strengthening lofts to make their clubs "longer", they are really hurting the clubs that you use the most. You hit more wedges in a round than you do 5-irons. The loft differences between wedges has increased because the other clubs are so strong these days. I've seen as much as 5° to 7° loft difference between wedges. Shame on the greedy manufacturers! It's kinda hard to control distance with wedges when they are all 2 clubs apart in loft.

Here's a comparison between the new Callaway RAZR, the TaylorMade RocketBladez, and all (5) of my iron sets;

Loft Comparison

Now, on the sets listed above, notice the Callaway set has four [4] gaps that are a perfect 4° loft differential (6-7, 7-8, 8-9, and 9-PW), and the others have either 3° or 5° loft split. So yay!!! (sorta) that they are making equal loft changes from club to club (well, some clubs anyway), but the lofts are still too damn strong! This of course is assuming they truly measure what the posted spec is (which is rare by the way). The TaylorMade set has a whopping ONE [1] gap at 4° (6-7), that's it. All of the others on the TM set are either 3° or 5° apart - again, assuming the actual loft is equal to their advertised loft (rare). Now on all five of my personal sets (and many of the sets I build), notice the ACTUAL 4-iron loft starts at 24° and there is a pefect 4° loft separation between all clubs right through to the 60° lob wedge. Of the three columns above, which one do you think will produce the most consistent club-to-club distance differential? If you said the Callaway or the TaylorMade set.... you didn't win today's prize.

Does it really matter what number is on the bottom of the club that you use from 150 yards? In my humble opinion, NO it does not matter. What matters is you have a club in your bag that you KNOW will travel 150 yards if you put a good and proper swing on it, the number on the bottom is meaningless. Something else to keep in mind is manufacturing tolerances (can be +/- 1 or 2°). If your Callaway 4i is one degree weak (23°), and your Callaway 5i is one degree stronger than posted (24°), you can possibly have two nearly identical clubs in your bag.......well almost identical, they are a whopping 1°apart. Maybe these new "longer" clubs aren't such a miracle after all. Guess what - All of my 7-irons are built to 36° of loft - now the big surprise, I hit them all the same distance..... go figure.

Did you know I (or anyone for that matter) can actually calculate your maximum potential carry distance with an iron if we know the clubhead speed and loft? You can do something similar for drivers also. Many golfers do not carry the ball as far as they "think" they do.

A lot of golfers out there want to hit 300-yard drives. The TV and magazine adds make you believe that we all can do it - that's right, the ground will shake, car alarms will go off. Well, here's some sad news - Only 1% (yes, count 'em one single percent, that's ONE, un, uno, eins) of all golfers will ever hit a drive that goes 300 or more yards. For an example (this example assumes perfect ball contact, ideal loft for you, and the perfect angle of attack, there is no wind, and there is no elevation changes) if your driver swing speed is 90 MPH, you have the potential to carry the ball approximately 225 yards, we can also assume up to an additional 10% for roll after the ball lands, so 225 + 23 = 248 yards. On a perfect 90 MPH swing, your ball might roll out to 248 yards (give or take a couple). So if you only have the potential to hit a 248 yard drive, don't get your hopes up to be bashing 300+ yard drives on a regular basis. It may possibly happen if you have a 40 MPH tail wind, hit from an elevated tee box, and the fairways are rock-hard. Aside from that, don't expect to hit the ball that far, it just won't happen! If your best drive is in the 240 yard range, don't expect that a driver change is miraculously going to give you an additional 30-50 yards, it ain't gonna happen. Maybe your goal should be to get a driver in your hands that will give you as close to your 248 yard potential distance each and every time you swing it, where the ball lands on the fairway a high percentage of the time. Last time I checked, 248 down the fairway is still more desirable than 290 into the trees. Don't think that the harder you swing, the farther it will go. We have proven many times that the harder you swing, the more stupid you swing - consistency and accuracy go out the window when you swing hard, and often the ball doesn't go as far. Golf isn't about how hard you swing, but rather how good you swing.

Golf isn't a game of who can hit the ball the farthest, it's about SCORING as low as you can. Do you remember who hit the longest drive at the 2003 Masters tournament? Me neither. However, if you follow the sport of golf there's a good chance you know who is wearing the green jacket from that tournament.

 

.... and more distance Babble (Grrrrrrrrrrr)

 

The 2013 PGA show recently came to a close. Unfortunately I was not able to attend, however many of my fellow AGCP brothers were present. The general consensus of this year's show seems to indicate three (well really one) main focal points....... (1) distance, (2) distance, and (3) distance. All of the companies were there boasting how their "new" and "improved" woods, irons, and hybrids are ALL longer than ever before. Apparently one manufacturer even boasted how much longer their clubs performed in various lies, including +13 yards from the fairway, +20 yards from the rough, and +10 yards over last year's model. This is another perfect examle of snake oil, smoke & mirros, and chicanery all rolled into one. PSSSST........ Here's the part they're not telling you - they made 'em longer by decreasing the lofts on the same numbered clubs..... that's right, their new 7-iron is the same as hitting their old 6-iron or even 5 1/2-iron, it will be anywhere from 3-6° stronger than the old model. So yes, the new club is "longer", but keep in mind you're not comparing apples to apples, you're comparing a 7-iron to a 6-iron or less. Like I mentioned in my previous babblin' segment - with some "creative" adjustments I could build you a lob-wedge that you can hit as far as your 7-iron - imagine how COOL that would be.... you would be a "man", my hero, and the chicks will dig it..... but when it all boils down pal, you'll really be hitting a 7-iron and not a true lob-wedge (which are usually right around 60° of loft).

It appears that nearly all of the 2013 marketing dollars being spent by the major golf club manufacturers are focusing on one thing - distance. They preach it, they claim it, they advertise it, and they try to brainwash you with it. Remember, their "distance" is tainted and polluted - GOLF IS NOT A GAME OF WHO CAN HIT A 7-IRON FARTHER, OR WHO CAN HIT THE BALL THE FARTHEST! Golf is a game of who can score the lowest (for professionals), and for us "hacks" it's about scoring as low as you can and playing to YOUR potential. That means a combination of patience, control, and some good clean space between your ears.

Geez, if these buggers keep building clubs that will go 10-20 yards longer than last year's model each and every year, in just ten short years from now (that's only a decade) that means that I will personally be hitting a 7-iron a whopping 365 yards.......... oh boy I can't wait!!!!!! Won't that be cool to drive the green on a 360 yard par-4 with a 7-iron? Not bad for an old fart in his 50's (I'm not in my 50's yet, but I will be when the 10 years elapse). That also means that in just ten short years from now, I will be poking a few drives every round that go between 500-520 yards........ YAHOO!!!!!!!!! Now won't that be cooooool to drive a 500-yard par-5? Just you wait, in ten years that will be the norm. On par-3's I'll be able to hit the green in regulation with my putter - now that'll be something!

If these buggers are so hung up on advertising distance, I'm surprised they haven't jumped on to the "distance of your putter" bandwagon....... "Our Brand-X putter is longer than the Brand-Y putter - it has this magic speed slot here, the bling floozy hosel, a 24-inch sweet-spot, and it's white". Geez, I better not talk too loud or that will be the next big claim eh? So in closing, all of this distance babbling can be summed up in just two short letters....... the letter "B" followed by the letter "S"!!!!! I'm sure you can figger out what it means.

So if you want to hit the ball "longer" you had better seek out the latest bling-bling models in the stores, and be prepared to keep buying a new set ever year after year ('cuz this year's model kicks last year's ass, and next year's model is gonna kick this year's ass). If you wanna shoot LOWER, call or email me, and give me 4-5 hours of your time for a proper fitting - I'm confident I can help you out in that department.

 

More Vanishing Loft (irons) Babble

 

I have measured numerous sets of customers existing clubs when they come into my shop. One common thing that is evident among all big store brands is the vanishing loft (getting stronger and stronger every year - as babbled on above). The new record for the strongest lofted 6-iron I've measured so far is now owned by TaylorMade. On a set I measured in February/2015, the 6-iron was a whopping actual 24.5° of loft....... that's a friggin' 4-iron man!!!!! The strongest PW I've encountered so far has measured out at 42° (that's like an 8 1/2 iron). Now keep in mind here that on all of my personal iron sets, the 4-iron is 24° of loft, and I use 4° loft differentials throughout the set right up to the 60° LW. That means on all of my personal sets, the PW is 48°. TaylorMade's PW is between my 8-iron and my 9-iron...... but they must be so proud that their PW is "longer" than my PW - it should be 'cuz it's a club and a half stronger! Their 6-iron will hit the ball almost as far as my 4-iron, but it should because it actually is pretty much a 4-iron. One advantage to my sets is an equal 4° of loft between EVERY SINGLE CLUB - which means equal distance gaps from club to club also. On the new big box sets, they have as much as 6° or 7° loft difference between clubs (which is actually creating a rather large distance "hole" to fill). You're not gonna score well when you have a 20-yard plus distance gap between clubs, especially on the shorter clubs and wedges........... what are they thinking????????

 

Power Slots / Power Grooves Babble

 

Ooohh.... these sound like they must be kinda special eh? Here's the latest take on these snazzy little slots from Mr. Wishon;

 

 

 

Adjustable drivers Babble

 

Oh, these new adjustable drivers are great - they let you change about 2 factors of about the TWELVE or so basic and important fitting parameters of the driver - all of which can make a performance difference. Unfortunately, they call this "custom fitting" a driver. Grrrrrrr! Don't get "WOWED" by the flashy bells, whistles, and bling - consider the entire fitting picture. It's pretty hard to assemble a puzzle if you only have two or three of the dozen pieces required. Does a tailor only measure your height and waist when he is making you a suit????? I don't think so, 'cuz there's soooo much more to it...... and that's all I have to say about that.

 

.... and more adjustable drivers Babble

 

These brilliant words of wisdom come from Mr. Tom Wishon himself (of the highly acclaimed Tom Wishon Golf Technology) - these comments stemmed from a discussion of adjustable drivers and such - REALLY interesting stuff - read on.....

Mr. Wishon on adjustable drivers.........

As to the adjustable drivers, once again that is a “been there done that” type of design. Again, offered ONLY for the sake of historical reference, I did the first adjustable hosel device back in 1995 when I was with Golfsmith. The AHT woods that I did for Golfsmith included a special aluminum sleeve that you could rotate to angle the shaft in a different position in the head to change the lie angle and the face angle. While mine required epoxying the angled sleeve into the hosel and today’s devices allow repeated rotation via a screw at the bottom of the device, they work on the same exact principle of changing the angle of the shaft into the head to alter lie and face angle.

This actually has its origins way back when wooden woods were made. A wooden head started life as a raw wood turning made with a large diameter neck. When the shaft hole was bored in the neck, you could make the wood with whatever lie and face angle you wanted by changing the angle that you drilled the bore into the neck. Same exact principle that explains how any of the adjustable hosel pieces work to change lie and face angle.

Now the one thing about these adjustable hosel drivers of today that drives me nuts are some of the companies’ claims that you can change the loft too. And one company, Nike, is now claiming that you can change the loft independent of the face angle via their adj hosel piece. And that is simply not true. You can change the lie independent of the face angle with these adj hosel devices. But you cannot change the face angle independent of the loft through a rotating device that changes the angle of the shaft into the head. When the adj hosel device is rotated to angle the shaft into the head to change the face angle, AUTOMATICALLY the loft changes with it. Make the head more closed, and you lower the loft. Make the head more open and you increase the loft.

But the point is, as long as the adj hosel device works in a manner that rotates the shaft into a different angle into the head, you cannot, CANNOT, change the loft separately from the face angle. What’s interesting about this is how the OEMs are split in their marketing statements about their adj hosel drivers. You can look all this up to verify it. Titleist says that lie can be changed, but Taylor Made and Ping say nothing about lie being able to be changed. Ping says changing loft will change the face angle at the same time (so they got this part right). And only recently has TM started to mention a change in face angle.

As to the little rotational piece on the sole of the TM Driver, yes indeed if that is made correctly, you can change the face angle. This sole piece is made so that it is thicker on one side and thinner on the other. That means as you rotate it, you make the head tilt to alter face angle by changing how much of that sole piece protrudes down from the sole. This too has a historical precendent. Way back in the 50’s and 60’s, the Kenneth Smith company taught that it you sanded more off the heel/face side of the sole, you made the head sit more closed. And if you sanded more off the heel/back side of the sole, you could make the head sit a little more open.

A logical question might be to say, “since the TM driver has both an adj hosel piece and a rotating sole piece, can you change the face angle with the sole piece and then change the loft with the adj hosel piece?” And the answer is no, because one cancels the other one out in its effect on face angle. Rotate the sole piece to make the head sit more closed and the loft decreases. Rotate the adj hosel piece to increase the loft and you automatically open the face, thus cancelling out what you originally did with the sole piece to close the face.

So those are the facts. And for those who think that the OEMs are ruling the roost with respect to custom fitting and taking the thunder away from the clubmakers with these adj hosel drivers, wow is that a belief or fear borne out of forgetting what professional Clubfitting can do.

1. All these adj hosel drivers can change lie and can change face angle A LITTLE BIT ONLY. How much you can change the lie or face angle depends on how much more you can angle the shaft into the head. The more you want to angle the shaft into the head to bring about more of a lie and face angle change, the larger you have to make the hosel diameter so the increased angle of the shaft can fit into the hosel. And most companies feel that there is a limit to how large the hosel diameter can be and believe that if you go too far, golfers won’t like the look of a bigger diameter hosel at the end of the shaft. So the most you can change lie and face angle with these adj hosel pieces is 1.5* to 2*. And when you are talking reducing the slice of a golfer, you as a clubfitter know that many times a 2* closed face only begins to slightly reduce a slice. Buying a driver head made with a 3, 4 closed face angle is much better then for the slicer who is not going to take lessons to improve his slice.

2. All these adj hosel drivers are still made with a standard length that is WAY TOO LONG for 80% of all the golfers who play the game. They’re still made with stock shafts that no one really knows how stiff the flex really is because there are no standards for flex and each company is free to determine how stiff they want to make each of their letter flexes. They’re still all made to the same standard D1 or D2 swingweight, with the same total weight because pretty much all the stock OEM shafts these days are made to be in the area of 65g. CLubmakers can fit and then build each and every one of the 12 key fitting specs to fit each golfer. These adj hosel drivers simply offer the ability to change 2 of the 12 key fitting specs and only within a narrow range.

3. Clubmakers can also fit and build each of the 12 key fitting specs for each and every one of the clubs in the bag. The OEMs are dabbling in fitting through these adj hosel devices ONLY IN THE DRIVER. Sure, a couple of OEMS have these adj hosel devices in their fwy woods now. But still, a Clubmaker can fit and custom build all 12 key fitting specs in all 14 clubs and they can do it with a much, much wider range of options in the fitting specs. No OEM can even come close to doing that.

4. The sheer fact that the OEMS are offering these adj hosel drivers is a statement that they believe fitting is becoming an important thing to offer to the masses of golfers. They are only now learning what clubmakers have known for more than 20 yrs. Yet in their trying to offer a form of fitting, they are only scratching the surface of what can be done through PROFESSIONAL FULL SPECS FITTING FOR ALL CLUBS IN THE BAG to help golfers improve.

So the bottom line for any clubmakers who think that golfers will see these adj hosel clubs as real fitting, they are all going to have to learn to educate the golfers about what REAL FITTING really is. “Do you want one club fit for 2 specs within a very narrow range that might not do anything for you, or do you want all 14 clubs each fit for every one of the 12 key fitting specs and done within a far wider range of fitting options? Which one do you think has a better chance of helping you to improve and play to the best of your ability?”

Thank you Mr. Wishon for your awesome insight - above is the "no sh!t", factual, low-down on adjustable drivers from one of the most brilliant minds in the entire golf industry.

And now, a very in-depth technical report on adjustable hosel drivers........

Tom Wishon has also created a very in-depth report on adjustable hosel drivers. Please click the link below to read the straight-shootin' (pardon the pun) facts on adjustable hosel drivers - you'll learn that what "they" tell you might not be what they're telling you. This report is jam-packed with real meat & potatoes substance.

Click here to read the technical report on adjustable hosel drivers

 

More OEM drivers Babble

 

Pay attention the next time you're watching golf on television, or see still pictures of the Pros' equipment. If you ever see a close-up view of a Pro golfer's driver take note of what shaft they have installed in their driver. You might be surprised - the majority of tour players are NOT using the shafts (or even brand of shaft) that particular model of driver comes with in the stores. Why do you think that is? Kinda strange, 'cuz you have seen that particular brand "SUPER BLING" (the #1 driver on Tour by the way) driver is available from the store with their own brand "SUPER BLING" shaft marked "L", "A", "R", "S", or "X" flex in the store. Why aren't the Pros using the OEM driver shafts? Do you think there is a reason for that? The drivers you buy in the stores are all 46.0" - 46.5" long, but the average driver length for PGA Tour golfers is 44.25" - 44.5" long ..... I wonder why?

 

More More OEM drivers Babble

 

What is a more more anyway??? I'll have to research that when I get a chance. Regardless, here is the more more on OEM drivers - this time looking at driver loft (92% of the time it ain't what you think it is). Guess what, I'm a 9.0° guy.... or wait, maybe I'm a 12.5° guy.... or perhaps a 10.5° guy - I dunno..... Special thanks go out to Mygolfspy for putting this article up on their site, (the article originally appeared here) read on about the Worst Kept Secret in Golf.....

 

// Worst Kept Secret In Golf!

What loft is your driver? 9.5°…maybe a 10.5?

What if I told you that what you thought was a 9.5° was actually a 12°? Paying attention now? Whatever loft is written on the sole of your driver is probably wrong. To be more exact, in our study we found that 92% of the time it’s wrong! Shocked? You shouldn’t be: the fact that most OEM drivers are stamped inaccurately is one of the worst kept secrets in golf. But why? We went straight to the biggest names in golf and asked, so check into the “MyGolfSpy Lab” to learn why your 9.5* is probably an 11*…and why that might not be a bad thing.

// The Problem with Buying a Driver

With most things that you buy, you have the ability to verify that you’re getting what you asked for. When you buy a dozen eggs, you can open the carton to verify that you’re not getting eleven eggs instead of twelve. This is not the case when buying a driver. When you buy a driver, you simply have to trust that the manufacturer has accurately labeled the club.

This uncertainty leads to one of the most common rumors in the golf industry: club manufacturers consistently stamp lofts that are lower than the actual loft. We put this rumor to the test by measuring over 100 drivers and comparing the actual loft to the stamped loft. The results will shock you.

*All measuring was done by master club builders on Mitchell loft and lie machines. Any adjustable heads were set to stamped loft/neutral before measuring.

 

// Results

  • Overall, companies missed their intended loft 92% of the time.
  • Mizuno was within the standard manufacturing tolerance of (+ or – 1°) 93% of the time.
  • Cobra was only within the standard manufacturing tolerance of (+ or – 1°) 40% of the time.
  • With the exception of Mizuno (0.7*) and Titleist (0.9*), every manufacturer that we tested missed the stamped loft by an average of 1* or more.
  • Only 8% of the drivers tested were accurately stamped for loft.
  • Over 16% of the drivers measured were off by 2° or more
    • This means you are twice as likely to buy a driver that’s 2° off as you are to buy one that is marked correctly!
  • Cobra had the largest % off by 2° or more with 40%.
  • Only 7 drivers out of 105 had less loft than advertised.

The question that remains is WHY?

 

// Tolerance

The boring half of the answer is that it’s hard to make thousands of drivers with the exact same loft. As a result, club makers accept that there will be some variation from club to club. The industry-standard tolerance is 1° above or below the “target” loft.

Now, if you look at our fancy graphic above, you’ll see that the vast majority have more loft than advertised. Why? Because the stamped loft is not always the target loft.

What is target loft? Glad you asked. The target loft is the loft that the manufacturer wants the club head to have. For example, the target for a “9.5°” might be 11°, so, with a +/- 1° tolerance, you would see club heads ranging from 10° to 12°. That brings us back to the question of “Why?”…

// Loft Issues

Having fit hundreds of golfers, I know firsthand that the average (male) golfer does not want to play more loft on their driver. If I had a dollar for every time I heard one of these…

  • "I’m more of a 9.5° guy."
  • "10.5° seems to go too high."
  • "I tried a 10.5°, but I didn’t like it."

…I’d have a lot of dollars. Like, "sitting on a beach with a briefcase full of money" lot of dollars.

Why the issue with loft? Well a big part of it is rooted in the (inaccurate) perception that the guys on tour all play super low lofts. If the guys on tour play low lofts, you should, too, right? Because, you know, you’re super manly and stuff. WRONG!

First, the guys on tour play more loft than most people realize because they understand that you need loft to create the High Launch/Low Spin conditions that lead to longer drives. You won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t believe me on this, so I asked the guys who build the pros’ clubs. Tom Olsavsky, Senior Director of Product Creation for Metalwoods at TaylorMade, told us that “many tour players use 10.5°”.

Second, the guys on tour create WAY MORE club head speed than you. Because of this, their driver needs have as much in common with yours as your physique has in common with LeBron James’, which is to say NOTHING. So let’s knock it off with the 9.5° stuff, ok?

// The OEMs Know About Your Ego

I’m not the only one who has noticed that golfers don’t like buying more than 9.5° or 10.5° on their driver; the manufacturers know it, too. That’s why your “9.5°” driver is closer to an 11°. (Actually after our study we found the average loft to be 1.02° higher compared to the stamped loft. So your 9.5° is actually more like a 10.52° to be exact.)

"Our targets have been historically 0.5-1° weak in loft for drivers and fairways to account for the buying psychology of not buying enough loft. Usually we err on the side of more loft to help golfers, even though they won’t admit that they need more loft."Tom Olsavsky, Senior Director of Product Creation for Metalwoods at TaylorMade

Why do they do this? Because they know that the average golfer can’t hit a true 9.5° out of their shadow. Combine that with the knowledge that the average golfer isn’t going to buy anything stamped 10.5° or higher, and the companies end up in a situation where they can:

A) Stamp the loft accurately, have you hit it nowhere, and not sell the club

or

B) Mis-label the club, have you hit it better, and sell the club

If your job is selling clubs, which one would you pick?

// WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

You now know that the loft on the club can vary up or down 1° from the target due to manufacturing tolerances, and the target may not even be the loft stamped on the club. So what should you do with this knowledge? We have two suggestions:

1) Work with a good, reputable club fitter who can measure the actual loft of a driver and get you fit into the club that you need. A launch monitor fitting to assess your loft needs is a must.

2) Buy the club that you used in your fitting. If you were fit with a demo club or a club off of a fitting cart from a retailer, insist on testing the actual club you are going to purchase before you buy. You may have hit the fitting club well, but it may have an entirely different loft (2° or more) than the club on the rack. A good club fitter will have no problem with you wanting to verify the results.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you care how accurate the stamped loft is? Should the club makers label their drivers accurately? Would you buy a 12° driver? TELL THE MANUFACTURERS WHAT YOU THINK!

********************* A special THANK YOU goes out to mygolfspy for the above article. **********************

 

Just for the record - on my own personal #1 driver (Wishon 919THI - for the last EIGHT years now), the actual MEASURED loft is 11°, with a 1° closed face - and guess what else.... it has 11° stamped on the sole also..... go figure. The beauty of dealing with the suppliers I deal with is they will hand-pick driver heads to give us the exact true loft and face angle we are looking for.

 

Rocket-Ballz-ier, or Rocket-Ballz-ie-aint????

 

I saw the 2013 TV commercial with my own eyes while watching Sunday PGA golf. Jason Day and others were talking up how much more the Rocket-Ballz got "Rocket-Ballz-ier", 'cuz the 2013 model is apparently MILES LONGER than the 2012 model. So of course I hopped on the internet to the PGA Tour website ('cuz they track this sorta stuff) to see how much longer Jason's drives are for the 2013 season with his "IER" equipment. Jason neglected to mention on TV that his 2012 PGA average driving distance was 308.6 yards (as per PGA Tour website), and his "Rocket-Ballz-ier" 2013 average driving distance has dropped to 299.6 yards. What gives???? Does the term "Rocket-Ballz-ier" actually mean shorter?????? Where did the 9 yards go Jason? Yo, Jason Day-ier..... you lost 9 yards-ier......... 'er somethin' anyway.

 

Plain old drivers Babble

 

The only sure-fire, tried, tested, and true way of consistently hitting drives as long as you possibly can for the average golfer is to hit the ball on the sweet-spot more consistently. One way to help achieve this consistent "sweet-spot connection" is to actually shorten your driver......yup, it's true.

You must be thinkin' I have rocks in my head, 'cuz everybody knows that a longer club will hit the ball farther with the same swing speed (that's what they tell you in the TV ads). Yes, that is partially true, BUT only if you can consistently hit the ball right on the "nuts" swing after swing, and have a later release point. One of these "long" drivers will do absolutely NOTHING to increase distance if you're an early-releaser of the golf club (before 9:00 in the swing clock - 3:00 if you're a lefty). Unfortunately the longer the club gets, the more difficult the task of on-center ball contact becomes, especially for the average golfer. You may find that using a driver that is too long for you might result in you connecting the sweet spot only 30% (and a good chance even less) of the time. You'll hit more fairways, and probably increase your average drive distance by using a shorter driver. With many of today's 460cc head drivers, for every quarter inch you miss the sweet-spot it will cost you approximately 5-8% power transfer loss. Many people actually find that their average drive increases in length when they switch to a shorter driver - the reason is that they can "nut" it more often and consistently.

If you'd like to see what effect driver length has on distance for the average golfer, have a peek at the chart below;

Length-distance chart

The above chart above came from Tom Wishon's book "The Search for the Perfect Golf Club".

 

Short Driver Babble

 

Now here's a notable bit of news - January/2017 - Jimmy walker puts a 42" (yes I said fourty two inches) driver into play for the SBS Tournament of Champions. He had a kick-ass opening round 65, and ended up finishing T-9. His comments on the short driver “More fairways is what I’m looking for,” he explained. “And I just feel like I’ve got more control. I feel like the golf swing is better at that length for me, and that’s where I’ve always struggled, the longer the club got.” VEDDY EENTERESTING!

You can read the Golfwrx article by CLICKING HERE

 

...... And there's more short driver babble - February/2017, the Honda Classic. Ricky Fowler wins the tournament. His driver was a whopping 43.5" long (that's one full inch shorter than the driver he was using in previous years). Hmmm, I wonder if there's something to this shorter driver trend????

 

Gutsy golf performance Babble

 

How about Ian Poulter's performance at the 2012 Ryder Cup? "Poults" is not my favorite golfer of all time (Mr. Hogan holds that honour), but I have to admit the performance Poulter put on at the 2012 Ryder Cup in my humble opinion has got to be the finest display of golf performed on a weekend by a professional in my era - perhaps in the history of the Ryder Cup????? (I dunno, I didn't get to see all of them.... hahaha), or perhaps even (gulp) in the history of golf (sorry Tiger lovers). Poulter's performance (especially on Saturday's back nine - how about those eyes????) made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Even when they (Euro team) were down by what some TV announcers claimed an insurmountable deficit late Saturday, this guy truly lead his team to overcome the rather large obstacle in their way. His performance was exceptional throughout the weekend (undefeated), however it seemed to really escalate on the back nine Saturday night. It says a lot about his grit, determination, guts, perseverance, heart, and 'stones - VERY impressive to say the least! It was a real treat to watch - a definite stand-out performance, brilliant! He may not win every tournament week in and week out, but when the heat/pressure is REALLY turned up, this guy will rise to the occasion. I would put this guy on my team any day! Lee Westwood's comment on Poulter and future Ryder Cups - "We have actually revised the qualification for next time," Westwood smiled. "It's nine spots, two picks and Poults. The Poults clause."

 

Poulter's eyes

Check otu those eyes

 

 

More gutsy and cooooool golf performance Babble

 

  • How about Bubba Watson's performance at the 2012 Masters in Augusta? The shot he pulled off in the playoff (drive into the trees, hooks a miraculous 140 yard wedge onto the green), and wins one of the most prestigious tournaments in the game. In my humble opinion, that was "the shot" of the 2012 season. A close second also happened at that same tournament - Louis Oosthuizen's double eagle on #2 was pretty darn spectacular also.
  • How about Phil's performance at the 2013 Waste Management event at Scottsdale? The guy flirted pretty darn hard with a 59, what a nasty nasty lip-out..... and flirted with scoring and tournament records all weekend long. Pretty impressive performance for an "old" guy.
  • Jordan Spieth and his 2015 performance - WOW! Young, talented, outstanding - this guy is gonna be around for a LOOOONG time.
  • August/2016 - PGA Travelers Championship - Jim Furyk fires a friggin' 58 [12-under on a par-70 course]. How's that for some PGA scoring history - plus that round included a couple of putts that just missed........ oh boy, what could have been eh?
  • January/2017 - CareerBuilder Challenge (La Quinta Country Club). Round 3 Adam Hadwin (born in Moose Jaw, SK.) fired a 59 [on a par 72 course]. Hadwin sank 13 birdies in a bogey-free round. Adam is the first Canadian to break 60 in a PGA Tour event. Obviously there have been more sub-60 rounds shot on par-71 or par-70 courses, either way a sub-60 round is just plain IMPRESSIVE!
  • March/2017 - Valspar Championship (Florida). Adam Hadwin wins his first PGA tour event - not a bad way to follow up the 59 he shot a couple of months before this. Congrats Adam! This win also gets Adam a trip to the Masters in April - we're cheering for you!
  • April/2017 - The Masters. A big hat's off to Sergio Garcia who finally broke through to win his first major on his 74th major attempt. Sergio seemed to have a different air around him during Masters week. He appeared calmer, more collected, and just plain.....well...... mature-er-ish (nope, not a real word, but it sounds gooder to me) than we've seen in the past - it appears he underwent somewhat of a metamorphosis if you will. Call it whatever you like, but the changes noted in Sergio's attitude and overall demeanor were VERY positive........ majorly positive. Now that Sergio has eclipsed the majors barrier, If he carries this new attitude with him to subsequent majors (and regular Tour events for that matter), all I can say to the other Tour golfers is to look out, there is a VERY notable contender in Sergio Garcia. Congrats Sergio!

 

...... and even more More gutsy and cooooool golf performance Babble

How about the fine performance put on by Canadian LPGA golfer Brooke Henderson at the Women`s PGA Championship in June/2016. Brooke made a clutch birdie on the 17th hole on Sunday`s final round to tie, then made a VERY gutsy par on the 18th to remain tied. Brooke went on to beat Lydia Ko in the first playoff hole - Brooke`s approach on the playoff hole was stuffed nice and close to secure the birdie and her first LPGA major championship. Congratulations Brooke, your fine performance not only made this guy very happy for you, but your whole country. Go Brooke!

 

Brooke Henderson

Brooke Henderson

 

 

...... and more more More gutsy and cooooool golf performance Babble

 

Oh boy, the 2016 Open Championship. How about Phil's pretty stellar bogey free 6-under 65 on Sunday - truly a fine performance for a major final round. Even GOODER than that was Henrik Stenson's Saturday and Sunday performance at the Open. Wow, Stenson turned in a whopping -8 for a Sunday round (10 birdies on the day) to finish at -20 under par. A fine fine performance - CONGRATS Henrik - it was true pleasure viewing the final round, you put on a heck of a golfing display!

 

Just plain old "GREAT" performance Babble (non golf)

 

There's just something stirring (for me anyway) about watching a performance that is driven and motivated by pure heart, grit, and guts - whether it be by an individual or a team. We got to see a lot of that "heart" from our Canadian athletes performing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. I heard a really neat saying that went something like "Greatness is not what you have, it's what you give". If that saying holds any truth at all, it is my humble opinion that each and every Canadian athlete who competed at the Olympics in Rio displayed nothing but pure GREATNESS! It's not just about winning medals, yes that is a bonus, but many of these athletes recorded personal bests, or set Canadian records during their performances - all were done by putting pure heart and soul into their efforts - something very noteworthy.

There are just too many fine performances to mention, but a few stand-outs are;

  • Penny Oleksiak [swimming] (at 16 years old and her first Olympics taking in 4 medals) - brilliant performance Penny!
  • Andre DeGrasse [sprinter] young and fast as lightning - great performances Andre (and a few medals too) at your first Olympics - stay humble my friend.
  • Canadian women's rugby 7 team - man do those gals play with a lot of heart! What a bunch of tough gals. Captain Jen Kish and crew played with pure heart - it was a pleasure to watch you gals play, and earn your medal. Your country salutes you.
  • Canadian women's soccer team - Captain Christine Sinclair and crew - your heart is as big as Canada, you gals really earned your medal- thank y'all for your fine performance.
  • Derek Drouin [high jump] - wow, a clean card - never knocked the bar down once during the competition - fantastic performance Derek
  • Erica Wiebe [women's wrestling] - brilliant first time Olympic performance.
  • Damian Warner [decathalon] - fantastic performance.
  • Evan Dunfee [50 KM race walk] - Evan your country salutes you and the effort you put forth. You displayed nothing but pure class.
  • The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) - your high-def coverage of the games was second to none. I (and your nation) really enjoyed and are grateful for your full and un-biased coverage. A different network from another country had a lot of Olympic coverage, but I just couldn't watch their coverage as it was very arrogant, pompous, conceited, and presumptuous. Thank you for for your integrity and being humble. The "As Maple As" spots with Ron Maclean were fantastic, and the "The Olympians" spots were nothing short of brilliant - gave us a neat little glimpse of those things you just didn't know about our Canadian Olympic atheletes. VERY classy and well done. Thank you!

Eh

To all of our beloved Canadian Olympic athletes, you should be VERY proud of your performances, your country thanks you very much and is very proud of you. A great big ol' "EH-O" shout out to all of you.

In the words of our great prairie musical friends the Poverty Plainsmen .......... "so tell me why the first of July is the only day we celebrate..... just look around your home town, every day is Canada Day... everybody say EH!".

'Nuff said.

 

More ABSOLUTELY GREAT, gutsy, gritty [and inspiring too] performance (non golf)

 

The History Channel recently aired a show called "The Selection: Special Operations Experiment". For the series, they took 30 athletes, from various disciplines, and put them through the mental, physical, and emotional training of elite military special operations units. I know....... kinda sounds like another boring bla-bla-bla reality series right? Wrong, wrong, and wrong! My son and I caught the show right at the beginning of the series (by accident), both of us were immediately engulfed in this show, and followed intently every week until the series was completed. Right out of the gate, there was one participant who instantly became our favourite - Roster #11 (aka Christian Griffith). I can't really explain why, but I guess I could kinda relate to this fella (close-ish to my age, calm demeanor). As the show progressed, this guy impressed us more and more with each episode - the tasks/feats these folks did were nothing short of amazing - they would be hard enough for a younger athelete in perfect physical/mental shape to perform well in, let alone a 45 year-old. Of the 30 starting participants, only 4 finished, and Roster #11 (Christian - the "old guy") was one of the folks who completed this ultimate feat of physical and mental testing. I guess the things that really struck me about this fella were his levels of pure effort, true grit, guts, stones, patience, beyond human work ethic, and integrity - you know, all those minor little things you admire in mankind (and qualities this world needs to see a whole lot more of, let me tell ya).

 

Good ol' #11

Further Google searching lead me to his site - Live For a Living - man this guy is also totin' some history and life experience with him. A definite example of being resilient in the face of adversity - this guy nearly died from an amoebic infection in 2012 - they even did a "Monsters Inside Me" episode on him. After all the stuff this guy has experienced, he still remains standing, well grounded, and very human! If ever there was a living person on this planet of ours who I would like to shake hands with, and look in the eye to say THANK YOU, it would be this fine gentleman - good ol' Roster #11, a true inspiration........... correction, that's MISTER 11 to us humble folks! Live well sir!

 

Golf advertising Babble

 

Something else that gets my goat with golf advertising - EVERYONE has the #1 "something" in golf or on tour, and I find that annoying as hell. I have seen (TV or magazine ads) at least three different brands all claiming to be the #1 driver on tour. I've also seen 3 or 4 brands claim to be the #1 shaft on tour, 3 or 4 brands claim to be the #1 hybrid on tour, 4 or 5 iron brands claim to be the #1 irons on tour, 3 or 4 brands claim to have the #1 wedge on tour, and 3 or 4 brands claim to have the #1 putter on tour. We even have 4 or 5 brands all claiming to be the #1 golf ball on tour, three or 4 brands offer the #1 shoe in golf, the #1 shirt, the #1 sunglasses. HOLY SH!T BATMAN, that's an awful lot of #1 stuff in golf. The #1 shelf can't hold all of the utensils that claim to hold a spot there, there ain't room for 47 #1's in golf in just a handful of golf equipment categories. I find it strange that we haven't encountered (or maybe we have and I just never got the memo) the #1 umbrella in golf yet, the #1 hat, the #1 visor, the #1 score card mini-pencil, the #1 shoe lace (which can add 17.3 yards to your drives by the way)......... but I hear they will be coming soon. I wish they would come up with a better advertising strategy/slogan - they are all using the same one right now and it's kinda lame if you ask me - they kinda beat this "#1 in golf" thing into a pulp already...... ENOUGH ALREADY - PLEASE! Why don't they just come out and tell you the truth - the "what's what", the "this is how it really is" stuff....... I know why, it's 'cuz they won't sell as much stuff.

While I'm on the subject of golf advertising, one thing I really enjoy seeing is the Tour players using a product in which they DO NOT get paid to use. There are a few "rebels" on tour who actually use product that they want to just 'cuz it's good for them or their game - and they don't get paid to use it. Now that's the way it should be! Just ask K.J. what was in his bag at Sawgrass in 2011 (in case you don't know, it was Miura CB-501's shafted with KBS Tour parallel shafts, 'cuz he believed that particular combination was the best for him at that tournament on that particular course) - it worked out pretty darn swell for K.J., he ended up winning the "5th major" at Sawgrass. The same holds true for brands like Accra, KBS Tour, Aerotech, and others - exceptional quality product being utilized by Tour players 'cuz it's good and they wanna use it....... not 'cuz they're getting paid to wear the hat, smile pretty for the picture, and say "I like this Sh!t". I truly admire and respect the golfers out there who use the right stuff, for the right reasons. While we're still on advertising, my absolute favorite set of commercials is the old doll talking about Frank's Red-Hot Sauce........ "I put that sh!t on everything"..... now that makes me laugh!!!!!

There is a somewhat sad story that was shared by one of my AGCP brothers who did some work with an "up-and-comer" who was playing (and excelling) on various mini-tours. This kid was so good with his properly fit equipment that he could shoot low-mid 60's on a regular basis, he could make the "cut" at these tournaments pretty much at will, and win on a fairly regular basis. This kid had a VERY bright future in the game of golf. He played so well that he captured the attention of a few major OEM golf equipment companies. One of the companies sucked the kid into an equipment contract - he got two free sets of the OEM's clubs every year, he had to play these "free" clubs, and he had to wear the OEM's hat and shirts at all golf events. Now here's the sad part - when he switched from his properly fit clubs to his contract "ill-fit" OEM equipment, the kid went from average mid-60's per round, to low 70's per round. He starting missing several cuts and gave up his dream of playing professional golf - the professional game of golf has not heard this kid's name ever since. With that statement I'm not saying everyone who gets properly fit is going to be tour caliber - BUT it just goes to show you how properly fit equipment can help you play to YOUR potential. I am not tour caliber (and never will be), but I sure play a hell of a lot better with my properly fit stuff than I ever did with off-the-rack stuff - my properly fit equipment enables me to play to MY potential. Properly fit golf gear can help YOU play to YOUR potential also. Now.... sniff.... sniff.... That's all I'm gonna say about that.

 

Ambiguous Shaft Naming Babble (kinda funny but it's not)

 

By the way - AMBIGUOUS means a word can have several possible meanings or interpretations.

We'll call this section The Shaft Selection Guide For Golfing Idiots (since the whole "how to guide for "Dummies" thing has been used already several times). For God's sake, please realize that this bit of babble is for humorous intent only, just a funny take on golf shaft naming. I may be a professional clubfitter / clubmaker, but I like to laugh sometimes too. You can also somewhat relate this to the length of a piece of string.......By the way, how long is a piece of string???????? Short, medium, long, long-ish, extra long, really super-duper long????? I dunno.

 

Well, the golf industry commonly uses these ones - L, A, R, S, X........ by the way, those letters don't really mean a whole bunch. Being that there is NO STANDARD FOR SHAFT SPECIFICATIONS IN THE GOLF INDUSTRY, this is one possible Shaft Selection For Idiots guide to aid you with your golf shaft selection.......

"L" means LADIES - somewhat ambiguous designation. Apparently all women should use the same golf shaft regardless of age, stature, physical ability. Just for the record, this is by far the easiest and LEAST AMBIGUOUS term of the lot for picking the right golf shaft. A quick look is all it takes....... uhhhhhhh .......USUALLY ('cuz there are some you just can't quite tell if they're real ladies or not). Enquiry minds wanna know - so a quick trip over to Dictionary.com shows a possible 13 definitions for "LADY" (not including slang terms). Now depending on how you look at this one, it could also be for females who are refined, polite, and well-spoken (so female truckers are NOT allowed to use this shaft 'cuz they probably have to keep a swear jar near the driver's seat from all the potty-mouth trucker talk). Apparently more research is required on the "L" shaft designation. I will research this further and report back. In string length terms, consider this a "short" piece of string.

"A" means SENIOR - somewhat ambiguous designation. OK, if you're older than a certain UNDEFINED age (just whatever "they" consider as senior) you should use this one, height, age, stature, physical ability again do not matter here. You may have to contact "them" for a more clear definition of when someone is considered SENIOR. Senior can mean a bunch of things - All grade 12 students? All college/university students in their last year? Champions Tour golfers (50+)? Senior citizens in Canada are considered that at age 65???? I dunno. A quick trip to Dictionary.com reveals 14 possible definitions which all could apply here, but unfortunately they all mean something different. In string length terms, consider this as a "medium" length piece of string.

"R" means REGULAR - perhaps the most ambiguous designation. Well, this one is kinda tricky, as the Dictionary.com site lists 29 possible definitions for the word "REGULAR". One possible meaning of this could be........Uhhhhhh, use this one if you have recurring bowel movements at the same time of every day (generally these are the folks who eat high-fibre diets). I'm still trying to figure out what that has to do with the golf shaft you require. Awkward eh???? I'm gonna have to research this one a little more and report back. In string length terms, let's call this one a "long-ish" piece of string.

"S" means STIFF - another VERY ambiguous designation. This one is kinda tricky also, as ALL golf shafts are stiff to a certain degree, some are even stiffer than others. I suppose you should use this one if you are NOT "regular" (see above). Dictionary.com lists 28 possible definitions for stiff. Oh boy, more research is required on this category also. In string length terms, consider this "long-er" than the "short", "medium", and "long-ish" ones listed above.

"X" means EXTRA STIFF - again, another VERY ambiguous designation. Dictionary.com does not have an entry for "extra stiff", so just consider whatever you think "stiff" is, plus a bit more EXTRA, or in some cases even extra more stiff-er (you have to use the word extra with this one). MUCH more research is required on this one also. In terms of string length, think of this as "more extra really long-ish".

There you have it - clear as mud isn't it?????

To sum up - there is WAYYYYYY more to golf shaft flex than most folks think there is.

 

All "Regular" (R) shafts are the same.... right?

 

Well, actually NO, all "R" shafts are NOT the same. Here's a little experiment, five different brand "R" (for Regular - whatever that means) shafts were tested, they are all "R" so you would expect the results to be the same;

Shaft #1 - 318 cycles per minute (CPM)

Shaft #2 - 313 CPM

Shaft #3 - 318 CPM

Shaft #4 - 306 CPM

Shaft #5 - 295 CPM

NOTE: All of the above "R" shafts were tested at the same beam length, with the same tip weight installed - conditions were equal for each test. And no animals were harmed during these tests either.

Now, in the above iron shafts (that are supposed to be the "same") we see a difference of 23 CPM from the lowest to the highest value (that's HUGE by the way). In the retail store (off-the-rack sellers), all of these "R" shafts would be candidates for the same golfer because Mr. Golfer's swing requires a "Regular Flex" shaft, 'cuz he doesn't swing fast enough to handle a "Stiff" flex shaft. In the eyes of a good clubfitter, these shafts are completely different from each other - there would be more than a 20+ MPH difference in swing speed required from the lowest to the highest CPM shaft. To give you an idea of what a 20 MPH difference in swing speed can make, a 5-iron (with 27° of loft) swung at 70 MPH should carry approximately 157 yards. The same 5-iron (with 27° of loft) swung at 90 MPH should carry approximately 201 yards. Do you think that both of these swings should be using the same "R" flex shaft? Nobody on this planet will be able to give you a standard "accepted" definition of what exactly "R" or "S" flex means in the golf industry because there is no standard among golf companies or shaft manufacturers on shaft flex. Measuring frequency and shaft bend profiles is a proven, consistent, repeatable, measurable way of determining exact shaft flex..... something you don't get with off-the-rack clubs. When your shafts are frequency matched, you will know exactly what you have, and they will be matched perfectly to your swing.

Final notes: I did not do this experiment with any "S" (for stiff) shafts, although my hypothesis is that the results would be similar. Also, I excluded any "Uni-Flex" shafts from this experiment, 'cuz I wasn't sure if they should be tested with the "R", "S", "L", or "X" shafts, or ????? By the way, what the hell is a uni-flex shaft anyway? I wonder if any tour guys use the uni-flex shaft?

 

More "Regular" (R) shafts Babble

 

If you're still not convinced that all "R" shafts are NOT the same.....

I use some neat software (deveoped by Tom Wishon Golf Technology) which is kinda like a giant shaft profile database. Frequency measurements are taken at 7 different data points along the shaft - this paints a picture telling us the bend profile of any given shaft (how stiff/soft it is right from the butt of the shaft all the way to the tip). The picture below shows the bend profile for 5 different "Regular" shafts. Since they're all called the same thing (regular), they should all be the same..... right????? Let's just see how much variation there is among 5 of these "Regular" shafts. Have a peek;

 

In profiling terms, all 5 of these shafts are VERY different. Just as a ballpark (remember, just a ballpark), here is a generalization on which golfers could use which of these shafts;

Miyazaki C.Kua 39 R – for a golfer with a driver clubhead speed of 55 to 65mph

UST ProForce V2 HL-55 R – for a golfer with a driver clubhead speed of 65 to 75mph

Aldila RIP’d NV65 R – for a golfer with a driver clubhead speed of 75 to 85mph

Fujikura Blue 004 R – for a golfer with a driver clubhead speed of 85 to 95mph

Rappor Blue Velvet R – for a golfer with a driver clubhead speed of 95 to 105mph

Remember, this is just a ballpark - there is a whole bunch more to shaft fitting than just swing speed. These 5 "Regular" shafts are made to fit 5 COMPLETELY different golfers - swing speed range of 55-105 MPH - that's HUGE! So if you think (or know) that your swing requires a "Regular" shaft..... you had better think again.

Conclusion - all "Regular" shafts are NOT the same (we already knew that though, didn't we). Hmmmm, I don't see any uni-flex shafts in the bend profile database, I wonder where they would stack up? Well, actually I really don't - I was just kinda being facetious. By the way, the shaft examples above come from Wishon's bend profile software, and an article he wrote for GolfWRX.

 

Golf mag Babble

 

In the January 2009 edition of Golf Digest Magazine, Hank Haney (who formerly did some swing work with Tiger) wrote an article on juniors and their clubs. In the article, it is mentioned that "Clubfitting is crucial for junior golfers" - and references are made to club length, weight, and shaft stiffness. Guess what, the exact same thing applies to us regular hacks too - the above statement should have read "clubfitting is crucial to all golfers" (well, at least the ones who are serious about improving and playing their best) - having the right clubs, with the right flex, with the right weight will make a difference.

Speaking of golf magazines, the January 2009 edition of Golf Magazine, there was a nifty little article on Stuart Appleby titled "Here's What I Play". The article looked at the clubs Appleby carries in his golf bag. One VERY interesting thing to note in the write-up was his driver - it is 44 1/4 (yup, that's 44 and one quarter) inches long!!!! Appleby finished 2008 off with a 290.9 yard average off the tee.

Another fantastic article was in the February 2009 edition of Golf Magazine, more from the "Here's What I Play" department. This month the subject was Camilo Villegas. The article states that Camilo's driver is 44 inches long - Camilo was only able to average 293.3 yards off the tee in 2008 with that abnormally short????? driver. There was a fantastic quote in this article regarding shafts "There are so many shafts, flexes, weights, kick points, and torques that you need to get fitted for in order to get the right match."

In the October 2009 edition of Golf Magazine, Sean O'Hair is the focus of the "Here's What I Play" segment. Sean says "Too many amateurs just buy clubs off the rack. Be sure that the loft is where it needs to be, the length is what it needs to be, and the flex is what it needs to be." Do ya think there might be somethin' to that? Numerous pros reference custom fitting in interviews and magazines. Heck, even Nick Faldo mentions on many of the golf telecasts how important custom fitting is to golfers.

January 2013 Golf Digest - Scott Stallings uses a 43 3/4" long driver - and hits it pretty darn good too!

The average PGA professional's driver length is 44.25"-44.5" long - 'cuz that's as long as they can go and still retain their desired level of consistent control with that club. The average off-the-rack driver is between 45.5 - 46.5" long (or more) - why is that????? If a PGA pro can't consistently control a driver longer than 44.5" long, what in the world makes you think that "average Joe Hack" can? Sure, you MIGHT hit that long OEM driver a teeny bit longer occasionally (most definitely NOT all the time - that can be proven) - all that really means is you have to go a few yards deeper into the forest to retrieve that errant tee shot.

 

More golf mag Babble

This time some cheers (and poo-poo too)

 

I am (or was) a subscriber to two golf publications - Golf Digest magazine (former subscriber), and Golf magazine (current subscriber). Both offer some neat information, and some really interesting articles. In early 2011 Golf Digest came out with their "Top 100 Club Fitters" list, and their "top 600 Club Fitters" list.... YAY!!!!! I was elated to hear that some very qualified clubfitters were finally getting some long overdue recognition in a widely read international publication - many of my AGCP brothers made the list....YAY AGAIN!!!!! Much to my dismay, the only clubfitters that made the list were all within the American borders. It's a shame, as I know several very high-calibre clubfitters who reside in the awesome country of Canada, and many other superb fitters residing in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the rest of the world. So befuddled "cheers" go out to Golf Digest Magazine for kinda recognizing custom clubfitters (or a portion thereof), and in the same breath "poo-poo" on you Golf Digest Magazine for your tunnel-vision. The three emails I had sent to them on this topic remain un-answered (after two years now I kinda don't think I'm gonna hear back from 'em either). I did not re-new my Golf Digest subscription because of this. If by chance they ever broaden their horizons with regards to qualified clubfitters, I'll gladly buy a subscription again - but until then it's poo-poo on you Golf Digest Magazine! It seems I was important enough to them when it came time for me to dole out some cash for another subscription and didn't, so important that they even had a real person phone me about my re-newal (apparently my cash is very important to them). I kindly told them that when they expand the borders of their clubfitter's list, I'll gladly re-new.

Early in 2013, Golf Digest is supposed to be coming out with another one of their "Top 100 Club Fitters" lists - YAY!!! We'll see this time around if they will broaden their horizons, or if it's gonna be poo-poo time again.

 

Poo-Poo Part Two

(Or poo-poo too, poo-poo², poo-poo part deux, poo-poo twice, poo-poo II, or just plain ol' poo-poo once again)

 

Well, the 2013 Golf Digest top clubfitters list is out..... Guess what - once again they completely ignored the rest of the world. It makes you wonder if golf even exists outside of the U.S.A. borders at all ---- come to think of it, golf DOES exist elsewhere on the planet - the home of golf (St. Andrews in Scotland), a whole bunch of top-notch clubfitters in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and a little thing called the Ryder Cup (which resides on Team Europe's soil). C'mon Golf Digest, give us a break - golf exists in the rest of the world, and your top clubfitters list should reflect that.

 

Poo-Poo Part Three

 

Well, it's now 2015. If you've read above about poo-poo 1, and poo-poo 2, there is no need for me to explain part 3 is there.

 

Poo-Poo Part....uhhhh, infinity? (yeah, that's it)

 

Well, now 2016 - see previous poo-poos. Nuff said!

 

Poo-Poo Part....uhhhh, we'll just call it PERMANENT!

 

The saga continues. We're up to 2017 and this story is gettin' old. Same old thing as the previous poo-poos (did you really expect anything different????). I'm not gonna babble on this topic anymore 'cuz the record is stuck. Time to find another topic to poo-poo.

 

Wedge Babble

 

Ever wonder what wedge grooves look like REALLY up close?

New wedge grooves

Above is a 200X photo shows what new grooves look like. The photo was taken with a USB microscope. The sharper, upper edge of the groove is the area that puts the most “bite” on a golf ball allowing you to shoot right at the flag and have the ball hold the green.

Worn wedge grooves

Above, this 200X photo shows what worn grooves look like. This photo was taken with a USB microscope. It’s almost impossible to see the edge wear, gouging, nicking, and narrowing with the naked eye, but these are the wear characteristics that dramatically reduce wedge playability! Deterioration of the groove upper edge leads to a significant loss of backspin and therefore control! If your wedge grooves are too far worn - it's time to replace the wedges.

 

Work, work, work..........and more work Babble

 

Well, if ya wanna remind yourself what work is - build yourself a new shop in your "spare" time. Take whatever you think your completion time is, then double it, and add some more. This not only applies to the entire project, but the whole lot of the smaller jobs and tasks that are part of it too. What I initially thought was going to take 3 months or so ended up taking around 7 1/2 months start to finish, but the lion's share of the work is done. Some of that was out of my control - we experienced delays on the concrete pad due to inclement weather, and that bungs up the whole project. There are still a few of the really small jobs/tasks to complete, but they are not "now" jobs and I can plink away at them as time permits over the coming months to finish them off. Oh yeah, and you can kiss goodbye any "spare" time you think you might have for 3-4 months. I know, quit your whining already.......... somebody call the WHAAAAAAAAmbulance, hahahaha. That's all OK, 'cuz the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is in sight now, and it looks pretty darn good. Remember, hard work pays off! Your new shop, if you build it right can be a nifty li'l place to fit and build golf clubs. Heck, it can even house/hold/contain another cool project......... maybe something like a streetrod....... (yeah, that's it)...... gotta love those ol' dolls when they're all spiffed up eh.

 

Rest in peace (non golf)

 

A very heart-felt Rest-In-Peace wish for Troy Gentry of the Country duo "Montgomery Gentry", who passed away in September 2017 in a helicopter crash. A great contributor to some great and meaningful music, my ears will miss hearing new Montgomery Gentry tunes.

....... "am I proud of where I stand? Am I proud of who I am?......... Damn right I am" !!!!!

 

 

 

Ibi-deeeee.....Ibi-deeeee......Ibi-deeeee....... That's All