Interesting online tool

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Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Interesting online tool

So the fitting I did last week has had me thinking about all my specs and numbers.  A little surprised by some of my driver results and so I was reading up on how to "fix" some of them like spin.  I generally think I'm reasonably long off the tee but that's still a carry of 240-250yards and total distance between 250-270 most of the time.   then I watch Jason Day carry his driver to where Jordan Spieth's ball finished!  Impressive.  So how does he do it?   Made me start thinking about all my numbers.  Speed, ball speed, launch angle, SMASH factor, etc. 

At the fitting, my driver spin was about 3800 which is higher than you want.  So in reading on how to improve some of the numbers from my fitting, I ran across this tool from Trackman, it's a trajectory optimizer where you put in various numbers and it projects the swing results, carry distance, roll, etc. 

http://flightscope.com/products/trajectory-optimizer/   

Play around with it.  You need to know some things like your ball speed, launch velocity, etc, but if you do, then you can tweak numbers and see the result of how it impacts the swing.  So for me, if I reduce my driver spin from 3500 to 2400, I pick up a lot more roll and some carry.  I think it was about 12 yards.    If I increase the ball speed a little that helps a lot as well.   The other thing is I can tweak the launch angle and see where I reach the point of diminishing returns.  For me that was about 19-20 degrees.  After that I get a little more carry maybe and less roll.   So all this is to say, ALL THESE NUMBERS PLAY A ROLL in the results of your swing.  I have typically taken it for granted. Education is a great weapon so maybe learn your typical numbers and see how you can improve them.

Just makes me appreciate the fitting process more.  If I could be fitted with a driver shaft that was optimal, a head that launched high, that gave me a few more MPH on my swing speed and reduced spin, that could have a big difference in driver distance. 

So I saw the commercial by Cleveland on how people are fixated with hitting the long ball while 65% of the shots we play are within 125 yards of the green and how we could really save more strokes working on wedge game.  Well that's true, but if I optimize my driver, and pickup 10-25 more yards (mileage my vary HA!), I would probably be hitting more wedges into greens.  So to improve at this game, we need to develop skills for sure but we also can help ourselves by getting the best equipment for our swing.

 

 

scomac
scomac's picture
So I saw the commercial by

So I saw the commercial by Cleveland on how people are fixated with hitting the long ball while 65% of the shots we play are within 125 yards of the green and how we could really save more strokes working on wedge game.  Well that's true, but if I optimize my driver, and pickup 10-25 more yards (mileage my vary HA!), I would probably be hitting more wedges into greens. 

I disagree with your premiss Scott.  The 10-25 yards is nice, but only if my ball is in the fairway.  Sure the pro game has guys who spray the ball all over yet are successfuly with a bomb and gouge mentality, but that isn't going to work for the average recreational player.

I've got my personal tracking to back me up that if I have a good drive in the fairway on par 5's and long par 4's, then the chances are very good that I'm going to score a par or better.  If I have an errant drive, then I'm in trouble and almost assured of taking at least one extra stroke and usually more if I don't focus on getting out of trouble first before advancing the ball.  

For me control and accuracy are by far and away the most important features of a driver.  Additional yardage is just a bonus feature if I'm honest about what is best for my game.  I believe that handicap golfers are by and large being sold a bill of goods by the OEMs convincing us that newer is always better based on what professional players can do with the product.  No doubt, when you go to a fitting, the numbers will favour the newer product with longer and lower spin and optimized trajectory, but how does this play out when you take it to the course on a good swing day, an average swing day, a bad swing day?

At the course I work at I've seen far too many people struggle with the new tech that they were sold based on the numbers.  The clubs are too long, too light and too difficult to control.  In more than a few cases this has resulted in the player going back to his/her original club and then selling the new one at a loss which in most cases will be 50%!

Aimee
Aimee's picture
score

personal experience. If I stay out of greenside bunkers, I can score - it's the weak spot in my game. I hit my driver 175-180 from the forward tees, which is a little longer than many women, but I'm no Lexi Thompson in the distance category. I stay on the fairway. I give myself a shot at the green. I can often make par without a GIR because of wedge play. So it does hold true that improving your short game will lower your scores while you still hit "average" type distance with the driver. Heck, I saw what happened when I played a short 9 hole course (all par 3's and 4's) and made par or birdie on 7 of 9 holes. Driver/wedge was getting king of old.

For many people, the belief is that those "10 more yards" will enable them to hit a club they are more comfortable with for their next shot (theoretically, an iron to the green on a par 4, for example). I've seen from my husband's struggles with the driver that the biggest help to his game was actually just stopping his slice. Yes, he picked up some yards because the ball that used to go sideways now rolls forward...but he still shoots around 100 (he can't putt worth a damn). The difference is he doesn't feel like he's struggling as much because he is hitting that 2nd shot from the fairway (or at least closer to it). So I think some of the difference with the added driver distance is mental, that the player feels better about their position on the fairway, regardless of whether they capitalize on it. It's about feeling like the game is more enjoyable, rather than a constant struggle because you are having to hit longer clubs all the time.

It's not how...it's how many

DON
If I stay out of greenside bunkers, I can score

I's like to make you an offer Aimee. I have a drill that I have used with some golfers I've meet over the years that works very well for improving their bunker game. It's a pretty simple drill that you can do "At Home". Practice my drill for a few days at home and then take it to the course and you might be surprised at how easy it is the get the ball out of the sand and up close to the hole most of the time. If you are interested in know the details of my sand play drill. let me know and I'd be happy to pass it along.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
So I don't disagree with a

So I don't disagree with a thing either of you have said.  My main point was that I think if we optimize what we have, get it fitted with the proper shaft/flex/etc, you could be hitting the ball farther and more consistently in or near the fairway than you are now,  which should lead to less balls in the hazards or trouble and probably shorter second shots.    Now yes, you're mileage may vary. 

Clearly, the short game is a huge part of scoring as is knowing your limitations and making good choices for what shots to hit.   I made more than a few ups and downs today and even chipped one in for birdie so I realize that short game improvements for the average player are the quickest way to cut strokes.  But almost no one talks on these commercials about getting clubs fitted for you  and the benefits there in.   It's all about just buy this club, it'll save you strokes.   I just think, having gone through this recently,  there's another opportunity to cut strokes and that's properly fitted gear. 

I guess it comes down to the golfer's mentality.  I don't go up to a tee and just blindly swing a club.  I know golfers that do, but I have a plan, factoring in prior play at this hole, what my liekly second shot is , what second shot i'd prefer to have, what hazards I need to stay a way from, do i have to be in the fariway or can I be a little less concered with that due to the nature of the hole and what it takes to score on it?  For me, being able to shave off 15 yards of the approach shot, hitting PW instead of 9i or 8i, offers me the chance to score better.  But yes, it is predictated on being able to execute the shots and the plan which is a challenge for the average golfer. 

So I'm not saying distance is key over accuracy.  If you have to choose one, accuracy will get you the most consistency.   I think in the long run, depending on your goals for golf, you need to develop both.  Plus short game skills.  And course management.  Ha, do that and now you're a pro!

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

Aimee
Aimee's picture
score

it's just so simple, isn't it? be longer with the drive, stay in the fairway, and more accurate with the short game. Golf is simple.

It's not how...it's how many

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Ha, that's right AImee.   I

Ha, that's right AImee.   I think I read an article last month by Horschel...and it started by him saying something to the effect of ... "golf isn't  hard...hit the ball  into the fairway; get the ball on the green and make some putts.  Easy!"    If only so :)

 

 

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
Golf is SIMPLE

Too bad SIMPLE doe NOT equate to EASY.

Then again, IF it was easy, it would get pretty boring.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

scomac
scomac's picture
Golf is SIMPLE
Golf is SIMPLE

Too bad SIMPLE doe NOT equate to EASY.

Then again, IF it was easy, it would get pretty boring.

To quote Jimmy Duggan:  "The hard is what makes it great!" 

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I don't mind being bored

I don't mind being bored every now and then ...smileysmileysmileysmiley

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
Aimee

Did you see my offer to send you details on my drill for getting out of the bunker everytime? Let me know if you are interested or not.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

cac
cac's picture
Don, I would be interested

Don, I would be interested and aprrieciative  in thisbunker drill if it is on offer. Cac.

cac handed Geordie.

DON
Bunker offer Still valid CAC.

I'd be more than happy to give you the details of my Bunker drill. It's pretty simple really and I have had very good success working with some local golfers using my drill.

CONSISTANCY  of your swing is KEY for getting out of the bunker on onto the green, some where close to the flag. Make more consistant swings and you get up and down more. To get more consistant, start out by Vacuuming the carpet in one room of your home. This will do two things. First it will Impress your wife or husband, and get you bonus points, when really all you're doing is working on your golf game. Next you need to use a Paper Punch to punch out some little DOTS to place on the newly vacuumed carpet. Set TWO dots down on the carpet in a line. One about 6 inches farther from your toes that the other when you set up to the closer DOT. Needless to say, make the DOTS from a color that will show up against the color of the carpet. Next, grab your SW or LW and set up to the closer of the two DOTS. Grip DOWN of the club about HALF way between your normal hand position on the grip and ALL the way to the bottom of the rubber. I'll explain WHY in a moment.

Your job is to make half to 3/4 swings with your wedge and just BRUSH the carpet with the sole of the wedge, and LIFT the little DOT off of the carpet. The REASON I had you Vacuum the carpet is tos that you can SEE exactly where the wedge makes contact with the carpet in relation to the DOT you hit. The second DOT is your Refence point, it's aligned with the DOT you hopefully just lifted off the carpet. Repeat this drill about TEN times and see IF you can liff the dot off of the carpet 8 or 9 times out of 10 and have the contact mark left on the carpet aligned to the second dot. If you get about HALF  of the mark on the carpet in front of the dot and HALF behind the dot , you have it about right for a good bunker shot. Work on this drill until you can get 9 or 10 good swings and lift the dots off the carpet just about every time. Do that and you are on the green just about every time.

Part TWO of this drill is this. KEEP your EYE on the BALL at ALL TIMES. I want you to WATCH the clubhead go right through the little DOT on the carpet, and do NOT look UP untill at least 3 seconds AFTER your swing is done. Get used to LOOKING at the club contact the DOT every time, and you will SEE the club making solid contact with the Dot and you will NOT me Moving your head up or down during your swing. HOLD your head in ONE place and you will start to make a much more consistent swing and the bottom of your swing, "The mark on the Carpet" will be centered on the dot, which will translate to hitting the golf ball correctly when you go to the practice bunker and later to the course.

IF you will practice this DOT drill until you can lift the dot 9 or 10 times out of 10 you are ready to go to a practice bunker. In the bunker you will work on your swing "Length" to dail in your "Distance control" to get the ball not only out of the bunker but "Close" to the flag. Adjust the "length" of your backswing to find what works for you for different yardages to the green and the flag.

The REASON I told you to choke down HALF way on the grip of you wedge is because I want you to be able to make ONE swing for ALL bunker shots, Only thing I want to to vary will be the"length" of your swing. Fact is that bunkera are NOT FLAT, they are more like playing out of a salid bowl. The ball will be Above your feet one time and Below your feet the next. This is why I had you choke down HALF not and not ALL the way to where the grip meets the shaft. IF the ball is LEVEL with your feet, play the shot with a HALF choke down grip. IF the ball is say an inch Above your teet, then choke down an EXTRA inch. IF the ball is an inch Below your feet, then choke down an inck LESS. The reason I say this is that you have been hitting practice DOTS off your carpet with ONE setup position. Your knee bend and  spine angle was the SAME for all of those practice swing. By adjusting the amount you choke down on the grip, for playing shots above or below your feet, you can use the SAME setup posture with the same knee bend and the same spine angle that you have been practing with. ONE LESS varible in your bunker game this way will mean more consistant shots onto the green.

In closing, Practice LIFTING those DOTS off of the carpet with the CENTER of the brush mark on the carpet centered on the DOT. Keep your head in place for a few seconds and WATCH the clubhead go THROUGH the DOT or Ball. Choke down HALF way when you practice so you can adjust how much you choke down on the grip for diffenct conditions in the bunker and use the SAME setup posture for ALL shots from the bunker. Do NOT luok UP to see where the ball lands. Keep your head and EYES over the ball. You can look up later when you hear the ball hitting the flag stick when you play a good shot. Looking UP too soon will RUIN your bunker game as fast as anything you can do. Don't Do It. .

PRACTICE at Home and then PRACTICE in a bunker, and do it AGAIN and AGAIN. until you can get up and down most every time and you're ready to go out on the course and shoot lower scores due to a much improved bunker game. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I've used the drill myself and I 've used it for some local golfers and it WORKS. Follow the steps and Practice them until you get good at bunker shots. It does take TIME to Practice, but that's what you have to do to get better at this craxy game.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

cac
cac's picture
Thanks Don, will try that. I

Thanks Don, will try that. I hope you could copy and paste that rather than write the whole thing :-)  cac

cac handed Geordie.

DON
No such luck CAC

That wa the first time I put that down in print, so I had to type it all one stroke at a time. This is a drill I came up with so it's not posted anywhere or written down in a book or mag. Now that it's typed up I quss I could copy and paste it to Word document so I have it in case I want to give it to someone else. Be sure to let me know how it works for you when you get a chance to try ot out. I know it works as I've used it quite a few times so far.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

cac
cac's picture
Çheers  don, i will print out

Çheers  don, i will print out, highlight the bullet points and do some practice. Can this drill be done on a small driving mat ?

Will keep you informed. Cac

cac handed Geordie.

DON
Can this drill be done on a small driving mat ?

NOT reall well. A driving mat is pretty FIRM so you can NOT see where the club contacts the mat real well, compared to a carpet that has just been vacuumed and is nice and soft. The sand in the bunkers are reasonably soft like a carpet, so you can see where the Center of the swing is compated to the ball. This is what you want to do with hitting balls off of the carpet, get the Center of the mark on the carpet centered on the ball. The idea is to SLIDE the club UPDER the ball when playing a bunker shot. You can NOT slide a club under the ball when hitting off of a mat, it's TOO firm. My drill with the little dots on a vacuumed carpet will allow you to SLIDE the sole of your club on the top of the carpet and slide the club under the dot a lift it off the carpet, just like lifting a golf ball out of the bunker on a layer of sand, and onto the green.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.