Golf Improvement – What REALLY Matters!

My 2018 Promise To Golfers!

Golf Improvement - What REALLY Matters

Happy New Year!  Right before Christmas, I found the pictured really neat wall calendar from the BestSelf Company.  It allows you to see all of your major daily commitments in one place – love it!  

Last week I decided to put my “2018 Commitment Mantra” at the top of the calendar – it is What REALLY Matters.  To me this phrase captures everything that I am about in helping golfers through true custom club fitting and putting coaching and improvement – to help you find ways to Shoot Lower Scores.  

In truth, this mantra for me is just carrying on with what I hope I have always done in Game Improvement Golf.  It never hurts, though, to do a little recommitting to what is important.

I continue to be fortunate to have LOTS of help in being able to achieve this Daily Task in my business – through custom fittings, putting improvement sessions, and my blogs, podcasts, and newsletters.  At the start of the year, I want to thank…

  • All of my Assn. of Golf Club Fitting Professional (AGCP) custom fitting friends who I learn from almost daily to improve my custom fitting and custom club building knowledge skills.
  • David Orr and my many new putting improvement expert friends who are part of the Flatstick Academy Certified Instructor Community – all dedicated to helping golfers putt their best.
  • And finally, all of the great people I get to interview as part of the Golf Improvement Podcast.  How fortunate I have been to get to share their knowledge with all of you.

And finally to all of you readers – I hope you find your own path to playing Your Best Golf in 2018.  Part of that is knowing the truth about golf club and putting performance – thanks for trusting me to help you learn information to help you on your path to Lower Scores.

Bringing YOU The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

TONY

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Self Discovery and 2018 Golf Success!

Why NOT Put Self- Discovery High

On Your 2018 Golf Improvement Task List?

Self Discovery

My personal golf year was a lot different – and maybe more satisfying – that past years.  I played (as of today) 40 rounds of golf.  I shot in the 70s 13 times, and my average round score was 82.  40 rounds is at least 10 rounds less than normal past years.  13 rounds in the 70s is more than any past year.  Why?

I propose two reasons – first, that since I am playing less golf because of my business, I decide to enjoy each round more than maybe in the past.  Second – even though I do not play a lot, I think about my game some each day and do something to improve my game – if only for 5 minutes – every day.  And I do my best to have some focus on Self Discovery with my indoor practice – what am I really doing, not what do I think I am doing.

So here are my areas of attention for my golf in 2018.  Note I said “areas of attention.”  I am not big into goal setting, I see more value in finding tasks to accomplish and let the results fall where they may.  Process, process, process.

  • My highest golf priority is to enjoy each round no matter the score – it is funny (?) how attending to this somehow often just makes good golf “happen.”
  • I will look for ways through Self Discovery to learn more about improving areas of my game – if only by just a little bit.  I will do more video recording of my practice and see what I can learn from these videos.
  • I will, as my friend Mike McFadden says – “Drink The Champagne” when I have a great scoring round, and also find At Least One Thing that I can learn from in the rounds where I do not score well.
  • Hey I am like everyone else!  I think it is time for me to see if I can find some new options to get a little more distance.  Learn to Swing Faster – see if some other custom club fitting options for me will give improved results (time for the XP 115 S flex shafts in my irons to go!).
  • And finally – I will more positive about what the possibilities are for my golf scoring.  For example, not rule out breaking 70 sometime in 2018.  The champagne will flow!

How About YOU? – What Tasks Can Help YOU Shoot Lower Scores in 2018 – Please Comment!

One Final Thing! My Amazon Kindle Book is a FREE DOWNLOAD THIS WEEK! – If you have already read it great – if you know a golfing friend why might benefit from reading it I hope you will let them know it is available At This Link!

Bringing YOU The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! – Tony

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Wedge Bounce Revisited!

Play With The Right Wedge Bounce

To Help You Play YOUR Best!

Wedge Bounce

Well your trusty blog poster is down for the count today with a nasty cold.  So today, I have pulled a “blast from the past” post from 2012 – that is still relevant today – ENJOY!

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The edge on the sole of your wedge that is closest to the grooves is the Leading Edge.  The sole edge that is furthest from the face is the Trailing Edge.  When a wedge has positive bounce, the Trailing Edge is lower than the Leading Edge when you address the golf ball.

What you can notice in a 2012 picture (still relevant today) of the wear pattern on a wedge.  There is significant wear all along the bottom of the sole of the wedge.  If the Wedge Bounce is being “activated” correctly – to allow the wedge to “bounce” through turf or through sand – most of the wear on the sole should be very close to the Trailing Edge of the club.

Now, the result shown in the picture can come from a wedge that is not suited for the way a particular golfer swings, due to the design of the wedge (probably not enough bounce on it), or a combination of both.  Regardless of why this wear happened, the likely result is that this player has to work too hard to hit good short game shots.

How can YOU tell if the wedges you have in your bag are working well for the way you hit your short game shots?  Well, there are two simple evaluations you can do.  First, you can look at the bottom of your wedges and see the wear pattern on them – are you “activating” the bounce?  Second, you can put a piece of tape on the bottom of your wedge, and hit some wedge shots off of a lie board – you can quickly see where you are making contact on the bottom of your wedges.

Take the time to learn about how your wedges are working for you – and if they are not – You Deserve Better if you want to Shoot Lower Scores!

Bringing You The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

Tony

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Experiences In Practicing “Golf Calm”

Pre-Round “Golf Calm”

May Help You To Go Low!

Experiences In Practicing "Golf Calm"

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to do a podcast interview with Dr. Sam Vines where we talked about the Quiet Eye Process – a routine that has been demonstrated to helping golfers get “in the zone” during their putting.  Well, I have a Focusband training device, and Focusband can measure when someone is in “Quiet Eye.”  I thought why not a little morning practice with Focusband to see if I can “feel” and “sense” when I am in Quiet Eye – to help me take that to my on-course putting.

So for the last week, I spent 10 to 20 minutes each morning wearing my Focusband with the task to find out what it would take to get into Quiet Eye 30 times.  I learned some neat things worth sharing!

Focusband quantifies being in a “Mushin” state – not being preoccupied with any thoughts and emotions.  It also quantifies when Quiet Eye has been achieved.

The first 3 or 4 times I used Focusband in these morning sessions, it took me well over 10 minutes to be in a calm state and to then achieve Quiet Eye episodes.  However, the picture below is from the Focusband readout from today, November 18.  Almost immediately I was able to get into a calm Mushin state, and achieve 30 Quiet Eyes – in about 7 minutes!

Experiences In Practicing "Golf Calm"

Why the improvement in being calm? – today, I decided to slow down some and relax before doing my Focusband session, and not get caught up into all of the things that I was planning to do later in the day.  It was like I had become a different person!

Can this matter for YOUR Golf?  Well, what if you decided to have a pre-round MENTAL warmup similar to your range warmup for your golf game?  Find some way to be more relaxed and at ease before you play.  I bet you see dividends from this pre-game mental warmup in your scores and in your enjoyment!

Bringing YOU The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

Tony

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STILL The Truth About Adjustable Hosel Drivers!

STILL The Facts About Adjustable Hosel Drivers

And Your Golf Game! Adjustable Hosel Drivers Loyal readers may remember my post of two weeks ago – where I talked about the dramatic influence a closed face angle driver had on a golfer’s driving performance.  This caused me to remember that I did some previous posts about Adjustable Hosel Drivers – and the things golfers need to know to help them play their best.

I was surprised to find that my first Adjustable Hosel Driver post was in 2013 – wow, 4 years ago!  And in 2014, I did a Tom Wishon podcast interview about this topic.  The two links provided below were from these two previous posts…

2013 Tom Wishon Adjustable Hosel Driver Report

Golf Improvement Podcast 011 with Tom Wishon

I will not summarize everything again from these two links – but a few highlights are worthy of noting, and remembering!

  • For almost all adjustable hosel driver designs (Tailor-made R1 being the exception) it is not possible to independently set the loft and face angle to values to help you optimize distance AND shot dispersion.
  • You can create different driver lofts with different adjustable hosel settings – IF you square the face at address – which means that you lose the potential value of face angle as a fitting variable when you do this.
  • Finally, many of the hosel settings for adjustable hosel drivers result – when you allow the club to sit on the ground at address – in face angles that are open and often very open to target at address.  If your typical shot pattern is a slice, push, or push-slice – this is opposite of what you need to help you hit straighter shots.  And the vast majority of golfers slice, push, or push-slice their drivers.

If you are truly looking to find ways to optimize your driving performance – and who isn’t! – please take the time to read and digest this report and podcast interview. And remember –  Longer AND Straighter is EVEN BETTER!  

Bringing YOU The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

Tony

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Driver Face Angle Magic Strikes Again!

The Right Driver Face Angle – Straighter Shots – More Distance!

Driver Face Angle Magic Well, this was not supposed to be today’s blog post topic – but it was simply too good a story to pass up!

Today I started a driver fitting with an 81 year old golfer who is looking for more distance with his drives.  78 mph swing speed, normal distance now is about 190 yards.  He used to be able to hit his drives 220 yards. Most of his drives were either pushes or push fades.  So face at impact pointed right of target, and big face to path differences at impact.

His ball speed with his present driver was about 112 mph, smash factor around 1.40.  So how to increase these and also get straighter shots?

Shorter driver length – different lofts – different shafts – no, no, no.  But I have a few test driver heads with closed face angles – so near the end of our time today I had him hit a driver with a 2 degree closed face angle, and the same length as his present driver.  And I also said be sure to let the face aim left of target as designed.  

113, 114, 115, 118 mph ball speeds and much straighter and longer drives!  Now almost every drive 170 yard carry and over 200 yards total distance.  And when he hit these shots HE WAS TIRED!!  

Driver Face Angle is one awesome custom driver fitting variable.  If you hit pushes or push fades, and want more distance – be sure your custom fitter has the ability to vary driver face angle in your fitting!

Bringing You The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

Tony

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Golf Clubs – Why Not Perfection!

Your Golf Club Specs – You Deserve What You Expect!

Golf Clubs

One of my successful golf clients retired from being a dentist.  I had to bend the lofts and lies of two of his new irons to get the the correct club specifications.  He said as a dentist getting crowns to exact specs was never an issue.  So why do iron heads not come at the exact quoted specs?

I asked Jeff Sheets from Jeff Sheets Golf this question.  He agreed that I could quote his reply…

“In dentistry there are very tight tolerances for a crown.  Everything manufactured has a tolerance.  Golf clubs could also be produced with very tight tolerances, but the cost escalates as the tolerance becomes tighter.  

Pro line equipment has a loft and lie tolerance of +/-1 degree.  Weight tolerances are +/-2 grams and club length tolerance is +/- 1/8″.  These are the standard manufacturing tolerances for the OEMs.  However I have one client whose tolerances are +/-0.5 degree for loft and lie and +/- 1 gram for head weight.  Club length tolerances is +/- 1/16″.  

However the cost to produce his clubs are much higher than they would be if he had accepted the pro line OEM tolerances.  It is possible to produce golf clubs with tolerances that are comparable to the dental crown tolerances but the economics for such tight tolerances do not justify them.  Hopefully that helps answer his inquiry.”  Best regards, Jeff

I often see imperfections in the expected specs of the irons I build for golfers.  But I can correct these – to make the clubs perform perfectly for golfers – when I know what they are.  This is what true custom club fitters do!

It’s your golf game – make sure that your clubs are set up to the specifications you expect and deserve – to help you to Play Your Best!

Bringing YOU The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

TONY

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Standards For Golf Shaft Flex – Well…NO!!

Golf Shaft Flex – What Golfers Need To Know

Golf Shaft FlexThere was a recent MyGolfSpy Twitter post that asked this question – Should there be a standard when it comes to flex in golf shafts.”  75% voted yes, 24% voted no.

10 years ago when I started as a custom fitter, I would have said Yes.  But now – well, I am more in the No camp.

It is not that shaft flex – as listed on a golf shaft, and as a measure of the overall stiffness of a shaft – is unimportant.  But the truth is that there is WAY more about a golf shaft that is important to how it will perform for Your Golf Swing.  Like the overall bend profile of the shaft, and the total weight of the shaft, and the tip stiffness of the shaft.

So here are some simple thoughts to consider for golf shafts and your golf game…

  • Yes, use listed shaft flex as a initial guide for what give you the best performance results for your golf swing.  But be tested with a number of shaft options.  Two golf shafts listed as “S” can have wildly different bend profiles and tip stiffnesses – and so perform differently for golfers. I have helped golfers with slow swing speeds gain distance with S flex shafts with stiff tip sections.  
  • Absolutely do not assume that a lighter shaft will give you more ball speed and more distance.  In fact for some golfers the opposite may happen, a heavier shaft may produce better performance results.  One of my custom fitting friends, Keith Chatham, has talked about a number of female golfers who get better driver results with 75 gram shafts – not what you would think would happen.

If you DO want to know a lot more about details about how golf shafts perform, consider a $10 yearly subscription to Russ Ryden’s Golf Shaft Reviews web site. Lots of great information there!  

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I hope (!) some of you reading this are wondering Why No Podcast Today? Unfortunately there was a scheduling conflict with the interview I planned to do next week.  The next interview will be published on Monday October 16.

Until then though, enjoy this link to the 5 Most Downloaded Golf Improvement Podcasts!

Bringing YOU The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

TONY

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Some GOLDEN Golf Practice Words!

A Great Goal For YOUR Golf Practice!

Some GOLDEN Golf Practice Words!

Recently I have been reading a book Instagram Secrets, about how to best use the Instagram social media platform to increase your Instagram followers.  And there, on page 123, was an amazing statement for you to remember for YOUR Golf Practice:

“…you don’t practice things in life until you get them right,

you practice until you can’t get them wrong.”

For me a hit-on-the head thought to keep in mind if you want to improve an area of your golf game!  There is a huge difference between hitting lots of practice golf balls and seeing some good results, and knowing when you have a particular shot on the golf course that you can execute it.  Or at least do not fear that you are capable of executing it.  That you know, as Steven Yellin of The Fluid Motion Factor says – “the money is in the bank!”

I hope you structure your golf practice so that you adopt practice tasks to achieve this goal!

Bringing YOU The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

Tony

 

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My Weekend “Over The Edge” Challenge!

Yes, I DID Go “Over The Edge” This Past Saturday!!

Over The Edge What I did this weekend was personal, but so powerful for me that I hope you don’t mind me sharing it.  About a month ago, I learned about a challenge called “Over The Edge” – a benefit for a wonderful charity in Knoxville – The Restoration House.  See that small figure high in the air in the picture above? – that is me at the start of rappelling down a 12-story building in Knoxville, TN.  I am afraid of heights – I have never rappelled before.  Really? 

I cannot say I got down with the greatest of form (maybe next time?), but I did and it was an amazing rush.  So much so that I was totally worn out the rest of the day – wow, did adrenaline kick in!   But on the back end of this – today – I feel a sense of calm I am not sure I can ever remember having.  Not that I will have to tackle even more difficult things – but that somehow I was able to do this.

Back to more golf improvement related topics next week – though I wonder, is there something of value for your golf in Challenging Yourself To Do Things You Never Could Imagine Yourself Doing?

The Custom Club Fitting Experience

Of Your Life – And Lower Scores ALWAYS!

Tony

 

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