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Lower Your Scores. Hit Your Driver Farther! #5 Strength, Stability and Conditioning

February 23rd, 2015

If you think that golf is still just a game and not a sport, you have not been watching the Golf Channel or reading any golf magazines lately.  Literally everywhere you look, golf publications have a section on fitness, flexibility, etc.  As a matter of fact, the PGA Tour has a fitness trailer that follows the tour to all of the tour stops.  I personally decided three years ago that my aging body needed a little help if I was going to play better and have more fun at golf.  So, I went to work with Dee Tidwell, one of the best golf fitness gurus in the Denver metro area.  We started slowly and worked mostly on flexibility/mobility, stability and finally strength.  Literally, I did not touch a weight for about nine months.  The results have been very dramatic.  I am hitting my drives farther than I did when I was 50 (now a tender 65!).  This is honestly because I have more mobility so that I can not only make a better move away from the ball, but powering through the ball.  And, I have the stability to not lose my balance which causes a ton of bad swing... Read More

Tour Players WITB Show it’s About What Works, not What’s New

February 23rd, 2015

A lot is being made in the last couple of weeks about the fact that PGA Tour winners are using some older style clubs in their bags.  In fact, Brandt Snedeker used a 2009 model TaylorMade Burner Superfast 8.5 degree driver to win at Pebble Beach and James Hahn used a 2008 model TaylorMade Burner 3 wood (photo courtesy of GolfWRX).  Snedeker had a new Fujikura Speeder 661 shaft in his driver but Hahn used a trusty Graphite Design Pershing 75X shaft in his 3 wood.  The moral of this story is if you have a favorite head that you like but the shaft is not working for you anymore, bring it in and we will make it like new again with the proper shaft.  And it does not have to be expensive, either.  We have four different price points that make re-shafting your clubs very cost effective.  Here is the rest of James Hahn’s bag (courtesy of GolfWRX): Driver: TaylorMade SLDR 460 (9.5 Degrees) Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder Tour Spec 6.2X 3 Wood:  TaylorMade Burner TP (14.5 Degrees) Shaft: Graphite Design Pershing 75X Hybrid: Titleist 910H (18 degrees) Shaft: UST Mamiya VTS ProForce 100TX (Hybrid) Irons: TaylorMade Tour Preferred (3-PW) Shafts: True... Read More

Lower Your Scores. Hit Your Driver Farther! – #4 Use The Right Shaft

February 21st, 2015

Over 17 years of fitting golfers, one of the most critical fitting criteria is getting the correct shaft for your swing.  If you do not have the proper length, weight, flex, tip and butt profile, swing weight and feel, you will be inconsistent with your driver results and mis-hit a lot of shots.  The biggest result of an improperly fit shaft is loss of distance, followed by lack of consistency.  By using both your static measurements and dynamic swing data, a good fitter should be able to immediately predict a good starting point for shaft length, weight, flex and launch characteristics (See our BGF Fitting System).  From there, you need to give feedback to the fitter in terms of feel (weight, stiffness, release). First, let’s talk about shaft weight.  Driver shafts are typically graphite and come stock from manufacturers in 40 to 70 gram weights.  A club fitter can fit you in any of those weights and even heavier if needed.  The old saying of “hit the lightest, longest shaft that you can control”  is pretty much true but longer and lighter may give one out of ten great shots.  With the other nine shots, you miss the sweet spot... Read More

Golf Digest 2015 Hot List – Meaningful to You?

February 19th, 2015

Golf Digest and their team spent countless hours testing over 300 clubs to come up with the 111 that made their 2015 Equipment Hot List.  The question I have for you is…was it worth it for you and does it influence your buying decisions?  Our last poll showed that most of you (53%) don’t really follow what the tour players are playing and do not use that information in their purchasing decisions.  Maybe the Equipment Hot List is different? We think the testing is the most thorough of any company in the industry.  The other unique thing is that the equipment is evaluated for Innovation – 30%, Performance – 45%, Look/Sound/Feel – 20% and Demand – 5%.  Literally any legitimate company in the golf industry can submit clubs for testing so don’t think this is a biased sample.  So, if you have not already taken a look at the 2015 Golf Digest Equipment Hot List, go here.  If you have, or even if you didn’t bother, answer our poll on this page.  Dan Sueltz

Are You Giving Up 23 Yards of Distance with Your Driver?

February 12th, 2015

The Golf Digest 2015 Hot List issue had a very interesting article regarding distance “left on the tee” with your driver.  I am currently doing a parallel blog series about how to get 20 more yards with your driver.  The biggest reason to get that extra distance?  You will hit more greens in regulation and drop your scores (see my original blog post).  The summary of the Golf Digest article on p. 77 of the March 2015 issue is that golfers are not optimizing hitting the ball on the sweet spot, getting the best launch angle, and minimizing backspin.  As I mentioned in the article, it is most critical for golfers in the 65 to 85 mph driver swing speed range to get the optimum launch, spin and smash factor.  Here is an example.  I helped a young lady get 12 more yards (she only hit her driver 100 yards) by a few simple tweaks: Higher lofted driver Longer lighter, softer shaft Use a taller tee Position the ball a little closer to avoid hitting on the toe, and Use the softest ball we could find. A good fitting can uncover a lot of issues that can help you get... Read More

Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage TiNi Goes Mainstream on PGA Tour

February 9th, 2015

Jason Day used the Kuro Kage TiNi to win in a playoff at Torrey Pines on Sunday.  Jason is one of 15 of the top 25 PGA Tour players that have Mitsubishi Rayon Shafts in their bags.  We tested the Kuro Kage TiNi a little over a year ago when it was in its prototype stage and were impressed with its stability and low spin (See our post here).  Mitsubishi Rayon has a wide variety of iron, hybrid and wood shafts to literally fit every style of golfer.  We know…we test them and have them all in our shaft research database!

Lower Your Scores. Hit Your Driver Farther! – #3 Get a Positive Attack Angle

February 9th, 2015

Attack angle is the angle at which your club is either descending into the ball (negative attack angle) or ascending into the ball (positive attack angle) at impact.  I have been harping on this for a couple of years but this is definitely a way that most of you can dramatically improve your distance!  There are several reasons for this.  First, by having a positive attack angle, you increase the launch angle of the club you are using which in turn promotes a higher ball flight for more carry.  Second, the positive attack angle reduces the spin rate coming off the club face which reduces drag and increases carry AND roll.  Conversely, a negative attack angle imparts more backspin on the ball and results in a lower launch angle.  This increases drag, reduces carry AND roll.  It is always good to have a ball flight monitor (TrackMan, FlightScope, Foresight with HMT) to measure your attack angle, but here are a couple of easy ways to tell if your attack angle is positive or negative.  Let’s say you have a 10.5 degree driver and your ball flight looks like a rifle shot (low and boring).  That is a pretty telltale sign... Read More

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