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Lower Your Scores. Hit Your Driver Farther! – #2 Optimize YOUR Loft

January 26th, 2015

In the first segment of this blog, we discussed hitting the ball on the sweet spot in order to optimize your “smash factor” or efficiency.  In general, this will be a spot that is slightly towards the toe and just above the center of the clubface.  Remember, to maximize distance, it is a combination of ball speed, launch angle and spin rate.  In this segment, we are going to talk about the optimum launch angle for your club speed.  Launch angle is determined by several factors: Club loft Angle of Attack Impact point on the clubface Forward lean of the shaft Today we are only going to talk about club loft for the driver.  Most drivers come in degrees of loft from 8.5 to 16.  Long Drive competitors have drivers that have only 4 to 7.5 degrees of loft.  This is because at higher ball speeds, there is considerably more lift created which allows the ball to climb rapidly after impact.  In general, the slower the swing or club speed, the higher the loft of the driver to optimize both carry and roll.  Let’s assume for now that you have a 100 mph club speed and your driver launch is... Read More

Graphite Shafts Can Now Replace Light Weight Steel in Your Irons

January 26th, 2015

While this trend has been going on for a while now, it has really accelerated in the last few months.  With steel shaft companies coming up with lightweight iron shaft designs like the True Temper XP95, KBS Tour 90 and Nippon N.S. Pro 950 GH, it was only a matter of time before graphite shaft companies would counter.  Graphite iron shafts have traditionally been in the 55-85 gram range, especially for stock shafts in club manufacturer’s irons.  That changed a couple of years ago with Project X graphite and Aerotech Steelfiber iron shafts in the 95 gram range.  Next came the OBAN i-series, the UST Mamiya Recoil and now the Loomis EFP shafts.  These shafts are all in the 90+ gram range.  We are now seeing another move to 110 to 130 gram graphite iron shafts as well.  These will be in direct competition with traditional steel shafts.  Three things you should know.  First, we can make any shaft, graphite or steel, perform true to flex with consistency that is as good or better than steel.  Second, graphite tends to be more expensive than steel so be prepared for that.  Finally, graphite reduces vibration of the shaft and will give... Read More

2015 Golf Digest Equipment Hot List in Golf Digestix

January 26th, 2015

After  44 players, retailers, scientists and editors tested 307 clubs, they came up with the 2015 Golf Digest Equipment Hot List.  Some of the results were surprising to us but all of the usual suspects gained some ground in the Hot List Gold categories of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, super game-improvement irons, game-improvement irons, players irons, wedges and putters.  In general, if you stick with Callaway, Cobra, Nike, Ping, Mizuno, TaylorMade and Titleist, you will have 79 of the 111 clubs rated Gold.  For some like Hopkins and Scratch, it was cool just that they made the list. The sneak peek was in the Golf Digestix online magazine last week.  The official list will start being unveiled in the March, 2105 issue.  Take a look! http://www.golfdigeststix.com/golfdigeststix/20150121?sub_id=LttGrCMXn9mp#pg1

ACCRA Golf Shafts and KB Steel Shafts Introduce New Golf Shafts

January 20th, 2015

ACCRA Golf Day was a huge success at the Orange Tree Golf Club in Orlando, FL today.  ACCRA introduced their new Fx line of shafts which is a significant improvement in terms of technology and quality over the DyMatch 2.0 line.  Incorporating some of the technology from their premium CS line of shafts, the Fx is a comprehensive suite of shafts that allow us clubfitters to match weight, flex, and torque very easily throughout a set of clubs, something we used to have to do using multiple shaft companies.  I tested the driver shafts on the range and they felt pretty awesome.  We have used the DyMatch shafts for years and this is a great new addition for ACCRA.  Kim Braly, founder of KB Steel shafts, has done extensive research on the PGA Tour regarding wedge shafts and he has come up with a dual-pronged approach for us clubfitters.  If you need higher launch and more spin, the KBS HiRev 2.0 wedge shaft is the one for you.  But if you are a stronger player that is tired of backing approach shots off the green, the new 610 Wedge gives you slightly lower launch and less spin for better control. ... Read More

Lower Your Scores. Hit Your Driver Farther! – #1 Find the Sweet Spot

January 12th, 2015

#1 – Find the Sweet Spot (See Intro to this Series here…) We all know that the sweet spot on your driver is right in the middle, right?  Wrong.  If you really want to optimize and increase distance you have to find the spot on your driver that gives you the highest ball speed for your swing speed, reduces spin and gives you the correct launch angle.  In this discussion, we will be working on getting the most out of your existing club head speed by optimizing smash factor.  First an explanation.  Smash factor is determined by dividing ball speed by club speed.  For a driver, the smash factor we are looking for is 1.50 or slightly higher (will explain later).  So, if your driver club head speed is 100 mph, your ball speed should be 150 mph to get you the most distance.  Every 1 mph in ball speed is roughly 2 yards in carry.  If your club head speed is 100 mph but your ball speed is only 142 mph (1.42 smash factor), you are giving up 8 x 2= 16 yards in carry distance so maybe 20 yards total distance.  Remember, our goal here is to get you 20... Read More

TaylorMade R15 and Aeroburner Launch Today!

January 9th, 2015

The PGA Tour starts its Hawaii swing and the new TaylorMade Drivers launch TODAY!  White is back and the new look is better than ever.  More of a pearl white and the finish looks like it will not dull like the original RocketBallz.  And performance?  Better than SLDR by at least 10%.  And if you do not need adjustability, the new Aeroburner performance will knock your socks off AND save you some $$.  Schedule your driver fitting today and check these bad boys out!

So Many Shafts…So Little Time. What Should We Review?

January 7th, 2015

We literally test over 2,500 shafts each year for our Shaft Performance Database which is an integral part of our MyGolfShafts apps and BGF (Better Golf…Faster) Fitting System.  The first part of the shaft testing basically holds the manufacturers accountable.  Do the shafts have the characteristics that the spec sheets say they should?  Are weights within tolerances?  Do the shaft flexes match what we would expect?  Are the profiles (launch, feel) as advertised?  But the second part of our testing and reviews is what is really fun.  How do these shafts perform?  We have several testers of various handicaps that help us out when we create comparison reviews.  The results are usually pretty revealing.  For example, we did a KBS Tour vs. KBS Tour V comparison and it has been one of our most viewed comparison tests.  Sometimes we get really surprised with launch and spin results.  We just never know until we test them. So here is where you come in.  What should we review next?  We can literally compare almost any shafts so give us an idea of what you would like to see next?  Send me an email at [email protected] with your suggestions and we will start... Read More

Is it Time to Look at New Shafts For Your Clubs?

January 5th, 2015

As you start dreaming about the 2015 golf season and visualizing those perfect tee shots, approach shots that snuggle next to the pin and draining 10 foot putts, your dreams may be interrupted by the thoughts of those shots that don’t always work out the way you want them to.  “Man, I thought I put a great swing on that ball!”, you say as the ball sails OB left.  While you can blame your swing, or the club, maybe it’s the shaft that isn’t quite right.  With 13 clubs (not including the putter) in your bag, the chances of all of those shafts being consistent in weight, flex, and profile are slim and none.  The lightest shaft in your bag should be your driver, and the heaviest ones should be in your wedges.  Too often I see shafts in fairway woods and hybrids that are too light for the set making for inconsistent shot patterns.  Same with shaft flex.  The stiffest club in your bag should be the driver with flexes getting progressively softer as the clubs get shorter.  This is rarely the case when I test clubs during a fitting.  Finally, the profile of the shaft (high or low... Read More

Did You Drop Your Handicap 70% in 2014?

December 18th, 2014

I know this sounds like a set-up but one of our customers dropped his handicap index from a 3.2 to 1.0 this year, a 70% decrease.  What was his secret?  The short game.  For low handicappers, dropping even one stroke is a big achievement.  Usually the low handicapper has a solid tee game and iron play so it comes down to chipping it close(r) and sinking more putts.  For an 18 handicapper to drop 70%, or 12.6 strokes would take a lot of work on all aspects of the golf game.  So what are your plans for next year to improve your handicap?  First, make your goals realistic.  Can you realistically drop your scoring average 2, 4 or 8 strokes?  Second, where are you losing strokes?  Off the tee?  Fairway to green?  Wedge approach shots?  Chipping?  Putting?  If you do not know where you are losing strokes to average, you may be working on the wrong things.  Some of your loss of strokes could be from improperly fit equipment so don’t count out the inconsistency in your game from that perspective.  Whatever your scoring goals are for 2015, remember that the more realistic you make them, the more fun it... Read More

New Drivers for 2015

December 15th, 2014

While I hope each company does not launch 8 different driver models in one year, it is always exciting when we see the latest models hit the shop.  We have the Callaway Big Bertha 815 and 815 Double Diamond, Tour Edge E8 Beta, TaylorMade R15 (Black and White finish), Ping G30 and Titleist 915 in and ready for fitting.  What will you see with these new drivers?  Low(er) spin, more adjustability, expanded sweet spots.  Again, its all about getting more distance which fits right in with our blog series!  Next up in 2015 will be the Callaway series that replaces the X2Hot.