Hit It Longer – Make More Putts!

My Personal “Hit It Longer – Make More Putts!”

Shoot My Age Golf Improvement Plan!

Hit It Longer - Make More Putts!

Here in Tennessee the weather has been ABYSMAL!!  But why not look for opportunities in the midst of the ugliness…they are always there. 

I will be 70 years old in August, and believe that – if I do the right things daily and focus on daily improvement – shooting my age is possible.  I shot 74 three times last year, and in at least one of these rounds I lost a few strokes in the last few holes because I chose to feel pressure about creating a great scoring round. My handicap is 7 – the lowest I think it has been in about 10 years.  

A great recent article – from Richie Hunt – helped me get excited about creating a move forward plan to CREATING THE POTENTIAL to shooting my age.  The main point of Richie’s article is what he calls the “Power To Putting Principle”“Essentially the further the golfer hits the ball off the tee, the more likely the average birdie putt will be shorter in length.”  

So how do I see Richie’s “Power To Putting Principle” applying to me – and maybe to you out there who want to Play Great Golf as you are getting a little older….

  • At my level of play, shorter birdie putts would be great – but also just the ability to hit shorter clubs into greens can pay off to the potential for lower scores.
  • My present driver – Wishon 919 11.5 degrees loft, 44-1/4 inches long, Aldila Rogue Elite Blue 65 R shaft, MOI 2850 – is a terrific fit for me.  At my present 88 mph swing speed, my great shots carry about 210 yards and roll out to 230 yards (sometimes longer).  And my shot dispersion is good when I create good swings.
  • But I am also a realist.  As I keep aging, unless I do something, my swing speed will decrease and my driving distance will decrease.  I am not ready for that to happen yet!
  • I think I would rather aspire to INCREASING my swing speed  – to in the range of 95 mph – and so as Richie suggests increase my potential to score lower.

Some of my club fitting and putting improvement friends – my age – have used the SuperSpeed Golf System to increase their swing speeds by at least 10 mph.  Oh, and this is the system “Phil” used to recently increase his swing speed by 6 mph. So it’s TIME – I cannot wait for my system to arrive!!

Yes there is way more to scoring low than longer drives (like mental game, course management, great iron play, and a great short game including putting). But a well-fit driver that is easy to hit with minimal shot dispersion – and a commitment to a daily habit of working to increase my driver swing speed – it’s going to be a fun ride!  I will keep you all in the loop about my progress.

 

I Create EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

You SHOOT LOWER SCORES!!

TONY

 

Your “Adjustable” Golf Game!

Your “Adjustable” Golf Game…

Make Informed Choices!!

Your "Adjustable" Golf Game

Visiting the Lynx Golf booth at the 2019 PGA Equipment Show was one of the best show choices I made this year.  I learned about their very interesting new driver design – the Lynx Prowler VT.  They call their new technology “Switch Face.”  Their driver has only one head option, and has a front face plate that screws on. Using different face plates, golfers will be able to be custom fit with this driver for lofts that vary from 8 to 12 degrees, and face angles that vary from 2 degrees closed to square to 1 degree open.  The expectation is that the Lynx Prowler VT will be available sometime in May of this year. 

I hope that this design is successful!  Partly because it is interesting.  MOSTLY though – because with this driver design, you will able to sit the driver on the ground at address and the face will show at the actual loft and face angle you were fit for.

The majority of OEM driver designs now available to golfers have “adjustable” hosels.  This adjustability allows golfers to set the driver loft at different values – IF you hover the driver face in a square-to-target playing position. So the value of using face angle at address as a fitting parameter – with a specific driver loft – is lost.

I personally want my driver to sit on the ground at address at my fitted loft and face angle.  And my Wishon 919 THI driver (my favorite driver head fitting option) does this – 11.5 degree loft and 0.5 degree closed face angle at address.

So the point?  Well, you may in fact like the loft adjustability options available in OEM drivers – and if so great.  But if you do NOT prefer to hover your driver head at address to get it to play at a specific loft, or if you need a closed or open face at address with a specific loft to play your best – there are custom driver head options available to you.  In the end as in all things golf – You Get To Choose!!  

 

I Create EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

You SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

Attending The 2019 PGA Equipment Show!

Attending The 2019 PGA Equipment Show:

Every Day – Every Year – A Little Smarter!

2019 PGA Equipment Show

A number of years ago one of my mentors, Dana Upshaw (brilliant true custom club fitter – retired – and still sharing his knowledge!) shared something I always remember.  He was VERY proud that he attended the PGA Equipment Show every year.  For him, this was part of his yearly training to improve as a Golf Club Performance Expert.  His commitment to training always resonated with me.

I have been attending the PGA Show every year since 2010.  It never gets old to get to attend, and there is always a tremendous “buzz” at the event.  But my motivations have been more about the learning and the connections than about the buzz.

  • I already have a list of about 75 booths and people I plan to visit – some (like Mizuno, Miura, Diamond Golf, Aerotech, Aldila, KBS, SAM PuttLab, and others) are to catch up with new developments and people.  Some (New Level Golf, Eagle Rebirth Golf, Tour Edge Golf) are to learn about new possibilities that can help me be a better Golf Club Performance Expert.
  • I expect I will discover a few other exhibitors of golf improvement technology that I will learn about, and that will get me excited.
  • Finally, I will try to sort out some of the “buzz” and some of the “fluff” from companies talking about new equipment technology developments.  

I can’t wait to attend the Show again – and to learn new things – and to meet and connect with great golf industry experts – and to get just a little smarter to help Golfers Play Their Best!!

 

I Create EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

You SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

Supercharge Your Golf Habits In 2019!

Learn From “Atomic Habits”

To Supercharge Your Golf Habits In 2019!

Golf Habits

“Put Your Shoes On.” Yes dear! My wife and I know we need to walk each day and get more exercise – and surely this will help my fitness and golf.  I now think a key to doing this is to create a daily ritual – to Put My Shoes On each morning.  Once we do that, out the door and walk and enjoy getting more fit.

I am about half way through reading what I know will be one of the most valuable Improvement Books Of 2019 – “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.  This book was published late in 2018, and if you are looking to create some new improvement areas in your golf and your life – you need to read it.  

“Atomic” definition – “an extremely small amount of a thing, and a source of immense energy and power.”  “Habit” definition – “a routine or practice performed regularly.”  Developing a ritual as a cue to create a new daily walking habit came from this book.  Here are a few small snippets to wet your appetite to read it…

  • The book is organized around what James calls 4 Laws for creating new habits and changes – “Make It Obvious, Make It Attractive, Make It Easy, Make It Satisfying.”  All of these make sense, but he dives deep into why these laws will help to create change.
  • One of the book subsections is titled “Forget About Goals, Focus On Systems Instead.”  This concept resonates with me.  Yes I want to help to delight more golfers in 2019, and to play better golf and perhaps to shoot my age this year (69 or 70 if you wonder).  But I believe that if I concentrate on doing small things to improve my business, my golf, and my life each day – I will have the best opportunity of having these results happen.
  • Finally, the first section of the book is titled “Why Tiny Changes Make A Big Difference.”  Do small things correctly each day – be patient – great results will happen!

One of my cues each day is a note I have in my daily calendar – “Do Something Great Today!”  Great doesn’t have to be big – it can be anything to keep improving and growing.

James has also created a new resource called the Clear Habit Journal.  Yep, I have ordered it and will have it this week.  I am looking forward to using it in my golf and life.

Do Something Great Today!

 

I Create EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

You SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

My Personal Golf Story

Sharing My Personal Golf Story

Maybe My Life Is “All About Golf”

My Personal Golf Story

My wife Diane often says “everything with you is all about golf.”  Well – this is not TOTALLY true – but at the same time yes she is pretty perceptive.  Here is the backstory.

At age 16 I started to caddy at the St. Clair Country Club in Pittsburgh, PA – my neighbor Nick Londino – the Locker Room Attendant there – actually asked me if I wanted to do this, and drove me there early each morning that the club was open in the summer.  I was fortunate through hard work to become one of the top caddies there.  Since we would arrive at St. Clair very early on Saturday’s (Nick had to be there) I could go out in the first group that teed off.  This group most weekends included Dick Swanson, Marshall Brown, and Duncan Brown.  Dick, Marshall, Duncan, and I had a great golf relationship – but also a true personal relationship.  

There are many more details I could share – but Nick, Dick, Marshall, and Duncan decided to help me obtain a Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Caddy Scholarship – 4 years full tuition to Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  To get to go to school at a place like CMU was the opportunity of a lifetime – and it molded everything about my future.  I am not sure I could have ever attended CMU without their help.  And the personal lessons I learned from each of them also influenced much of how I am today.

I call Dick Swanson each year around Christmas time just to say hi and again say thanks.  This year I found out that he passed away in March.  Somehow I knew this before I called – but it was still sad to learn.  But I also thought about the gratitude I have for all he and Nick, Marshall, and Duncan did for my life.

Maybe some of you reading this have some type of personal story related to golf and how it has been important to you.  If so – enjoy thinking about it during this wonderful season!

 

Merry Christmas And The BEST 2019!

TONY

 

 

 

Changing Golfers Lives!

Who Do I Want My Customers To Become?

CHANGING GOLFERS LIVES!

Change Golfers Lives

Did you hear about the big blizzard in North Carolina this weekend?  Well – I’m here in a Morganton, NC hotel room on Sunday, after attending the Flatstick Putting Conference this weekend.  Yes I would love to be home – but the conference was a fabulous learning event (more on that in the future!).

Driving to the conference, I listened to a short, thought-provoking audio book:

Who Do You Want Your Customers To Become?

Here is my two-part answer to this great question!

  • For golfers I have custom fit for clubs, or helped to improve their putting – they shoot lower scores, have more fun when they play, are more confident that they will play their best.  This Web Link Lists the golfers I have been fortunate to help in this way.  And I should be on this list too!
  • For golfers who access all of my podcasts, blogs, newsletters, and golf improvement resources – I hope you become more knowledgeable about golf clubs and golf improvement.  And in particular – you understand more about what is true and what is not true about golf clubs and how they can improve your golf games.  I learn – you learn – we all benefit!!

I love this game and helping to Change Golfers Lives – Thank You for being here!!

Any Questions? – CLICK HERE!

 

I CREATE EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

YOU SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

 

 

Thanks Bob Simms!

Thanks Bob Simms!

Our Annual Dunkin Doughnuts Get-Together

Thanks Bob Simms

Well Bob, bet you did not think you would be the topic of my blog this week.  But I had to delay recording my next podcast with Keith Chatham – PrecisionFit Golf in Kerrville, Texas for a week, because of some medical goodies – so that interview will be live next Monday.

But back to Bob Simms – coach of the St. John Fisher College Golf Team in Rochester, New York – and a great friend.  Every year he and I get to do Coffee And Learning when I travel to the Rochester area for Thanksgiving.  I always look forward to our yearly visit.  Here are a few of the things that came out of our get together this year….

  • Bob is a USGA rules official – and he shared this link on the Major 2019 UGGA Rules Updates.  Enjoy this great summary.
  • He asked me a GREAT question – “what about all of the technology we have available, is it helping us to improve or not?”  I believe yes but it matters who uses it and how they use it.  And this is a big reason I am doing my next podcast interview with Keith, to talk about some of the most important ways that Launch Monitor technology can be used in true custom club fitting.
  • Finally the major theme of this year’s coffee – and in fact, most of the ones we have had – is SUCCESS.  What’s it take to be successful – in golf, coaching, custom fitting and putting instruction, anything.  Bottom line – there are no “gimmies” to creating success – if it matters, you have to do the work, and often over a long period of time and often with a lot of sacrifice of other things in your life.

Thanks Bob – you make a huge difference in my life!

 

I CREATE EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

SO YOU SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

More Center Face Driver Contact!

Create More Center Face Driver Contact:

Some Thoughts To Help You Improve!

More Center Face Driver Contact

How well do you hit the center of the driver face compared to the pros?  Adam Young from Adam Young Golf found this neat data that Ping created that illustrates “us and them!”

Creating center face driver contact is more important to your golf game and your golf performance than you might realize.  Yes, center contact creates more ball speed and longer drives. But also – as this interesting TrackMan article from my recent newsletter illustrates – where you make contact on the driver face can influence your driver ball flight and the dispersion of your golf shots.

Is this an area where you are looking to improve your game?  Well, for most of us the answer is likely yes, and here are some simple LEARNING ideas you can apply to improve your driving performance.

  • Where do you make contact on your driver face?  Well, one learning option is the old standby – Dr. Scholl’s Foot Powder Spray.  Another even simpler option, though, is that often you can see the impact of the golf ball on the clubface after a shot.  Wipe the face clean before you hit the ball, then look. What do you learn?  Are all of your impact locations the same, or do they vary?
  • The next time you practice, hit 10 drives on the range and after each shot look at the impact location.  What does this information tell you?  Also – see if you can make vary the location of the strike on the face and understand how you change that impact location.  Can you learn what it takes for you to create different contact locations, and in particular center contact?
  • Finally, on the course when you play – after every drive you hit look at the face and the impact location.  Did you learn anything compared to the actual ball flight you created?

Some information is available for you to improve your driving from every shot you hit – why not use it!!

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All of you may not know that THE Golf Improvement Podcast this week was named one of Feedspot’s Top 25 Golf Podcasts!  Thanks to everyone I have done podcast interviews with, and to all of you listeners – I plan to continue to create great content to help you Play Your Best Golf!

 

I CREATE EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

YOU SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

 

The 13th AGCP Roundtable Event!

The 13th AGCP Roundtable Event:

Creating Great OUTCOMES For Golfers!

AGCP Roundtable In a recent social media post I read, a golfer was frustrated that he has not been able to improve his driving performance.  He said these interesting words – To me it seems like fitters just want to sell you a club.”

Well, this Tuesday I drive to attend the 13th Association of Golf Clubfitting Professionals – AGCP Roundtable learning event (in Columbus, GA) for true custom club fitters.  

We share information to help us to help golfers to Achieve Valuable OUTCOMES from true custom fitting – Best Accuracy, Distance, Feel, and Consistency – to allow them to Shoot Lower Scores.   

The Roundtable will include 3 days of presentations on different topics related to improving our custom fitting and custom club fitting abilities.  And also evening get togethers to share even more that is not discussed in the presentations.

Some of the Roundtable presentation topics will include evaluating putting performance, MOI club building procedures, custom fitting for weight and D plane, club counterweighting principles, club building shop tips, and more!

I plan to discuss the most important things I learned – for custom fitters and for golfers – in my next Podcast (live next Monday or Tuesday).  

In the meantime, if YOU get frustrated with a “fitter who just wants to sell you a club,” consider contacting an AGCP true custom club fitter in your area – Find An AGCP Certified Club Fitter.  Mr. frustrated social media post golfer – you might want to check out this link!

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(Oh, by the way – last week I posted about adding a counterweight to my reshafted driver – well, I added a 15 gram weight 3-1/2 inches down the shaft – improved driving results and I shot 75!).

 

I CREATE EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

YOU SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

Optimizing MY Driver Performance!

Optimizing MY Driver Performance:

Some “Unknown” New Information!

Optimizing MY Driver Performance

In the first of two Russ Ryden podcast interviews, Russ talked about driver performance increases he sometimes sees with what he calls “soft mid flex” and “super soft mid flex” driver shafts.  So I have added a few of these to my driver fitting shafts – so far the Aldila Rogue Elite Blue, and soon the Aldila Rogue Elite Orange shafts.  Since I have not done any recent testing of MYSELF on my Flightscope, I thought this was a good time.  

First, I presently play with the Wishon 919 THI driver head, driver length 44-1/4 inches (ug to “standard” lengths for me!), driver loft 11.5 degrees, Aldila 2KXV Green 75 R shaft, and a driver MOI of 2850.

My closest 919 THI fitting driver loft is 10.5 degrees, and driver length of 44-1/2 inches.  I tested with this setup, with the 2KXV Green 75 R and the Rogue Elite Blue 65 R (and one other new shaft), and with driver MOIs of 2840 and 2850.  Here are some of the results…

  • First, my driver swing speed is about 87 mph.  I thought it might be a bit higher – but it is what it is.  At that swing speed, the Flightscope Driver Optimizer suggests MY optimum results are about 220 yards carry, 233 yards total distance.
  • Tests with the Rogue Elite Blue were better in all ways than those with the 2KXV Green.  209 yard average carry (on average 10 to 15 yards more carry and 10 to 20 yards more total distance) than with the 2KXV – smash factor of 1.50 (optimum!) with the Elite Blue – at least 1 degree higher launch – and at least 6 feet higher apex of my drives.  
  • What was ALSO fascinating – that I did not realize – is that my Clubface Face To Path Difference is higher than I expected.  About 6 degrees in tests with the 2KXV shaft, and about 4.8 degrees with the Rogue Elite Blue.  So there is opportunity for increasing my driving distance and reducing dispersion – by reducing this Face To Path Difference to in the range of 2 to 3 degrees.  Encouraging!
  • My next two steps are: a) reshaft my 919 THI driver with the Rogue Elite Blue and build to my length and MOI specs, b) do testing with Tour Lock Pro Opti-Vibe Counterweights in the butt end of my driver – to see if I can find a combination to bring the Face To Path Difference closer.  More on my personal Opti-Vibe weight testing in a future blog post.

I am excited about adding the Aldila Rogue Elite shafts to my fitting system (and my driver).  However, optimizing driver performance is about the total golf club – including head, shaft, length, club MOI, and club loft (and sometimes more).

AND by the way – the Wishon 919 THI driver head (smash factors for me in range of 1.49 to 1.50) – is a great performing driver head!

I Create EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

You SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY