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

 

The 2018 Leprechan Open!

The 19th (And Final) Leprechan Open

Golf AND Fellowship At It’s Finest!!

Leprechan Open

Well no big golf improvement wisdom today – but lots of appreciation for 19 wonderful years with a great group of golfing friends.

Father Michael Woods was the Pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oak Ridge for 13 years.  He is simply a great person, and he LOVES golf!  19 years ago, Adria and David Herrmann started a small golf event in honor of Father Woods – The Leprechan Open.  It is hard to believe we did this wonderful event for 18 years, and after the 2017 event we thought that was the end.

BUT a small group of “Leprechans” decided One More Time – this time to honor David and Adria for all the joy they helped to create.  We surprised them yesterday – and then had a 9 hole golf event and dinner.  It was a terrific way to close out 19 Wonderful Years of Golf with friends.  Thanks Adria and David and all of you who have been part of this great event – golf leads to great things!

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(My good friend and mentor – master custom club fitter Keith Chatham – was to do a podcast interview that would have been published today.  But unfortunately the area he lives in – Kerrville, TX – had massive flooding last week and we had to delay the interview.  Hoping things are getting closer to normal for you again Keith!).

 

I Create EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

You SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

More Golf Club MOI Matching Magic!

Golf Club MOI Matching

Equals High-Performance Golf Clubs!

Golf Club MOI Matching

To create high-performance golf clubs, true custom club fitters have MOI club matching knowledge in their “bag of tricks.”  MOI matching – instead of swingweight matching – is a far superior way to create custom clubs from a custom fitting.  

Sometimes golfers come to me to have some or all of their clubs “retrofitted” to an MOI matched set – today I describe a recent success story.

A golfer recently did a wedge fitting with me, and he was aware of the benefits of MOI matching.  He plays with True Temper XP 95 R300 shafts in his irons, and wanted me to create wedges that would match the feel of his “best performing” 8 iron – MOI 2730.  I fit him to Edel 50, 54, and 58 degree wedges – all built to the MOI of his 8 iron and all the length of his present pitching wedge.  He loves these – and now his 8 iron through his wedges all feel the same to swing.

But he ALSO wanted me to retrofit his 3 hybrid club.  It had a 50 gram hybrid shaft in it (compared to his 95 gram XP 95 iron shaft), and not only was the hybrid way lighter than his irons, but had an MOI much lighter – 2700 – than his best performing clubs.  I rebuilt his 3 hybrid using the same XP 95 shaft in his other clubs, and to a best-possible MOI of 2740.  Now instead of hating this club he loves it – and has confidence with it on the golf course!

My personal playing experience – and that of all of my custom fitting clients – is that golfers playing at ALL Levels benefit from playing with MOI-matched clubs.  If you are now aware of details of MOI club matching, the podcast interview I did with Richard Kempton provides information and links to help you learn more.

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AND – since today is the 15th of the month – if you do not subscribe to my monthly Game Improvement Golf Newsletter – CLICK THIS LINK to read it!

 

I Create EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

You SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

 

Golf Wisdom From Richie Hunt’s 2017 Pro Golf Synopsis!

Some “Shoot Lower Scores” Golf Wisdom

From Richie Hunt’s 2017 Pro Golf Synopsis!

2017 Pro Golf Synopsis

 

Richie Hunt – a golf stats guy who writes a yearly “must buy” Pro Golf Synopsis ebook – recently visited David Orr at the Flatstick Academy – and they posted a terrific stats-filled video on the by-subscription Flatstick web site.  Alas, I do not think it is right to quote the things they talked about in the video.  But it IS ok for me to go back to the 2017 Pro Golf Synopsis and share some small words of wisdom that Richie noted in that document.  So here you go!

  • Let’s start at the top for the average golfer!  Richie believes that the “Golden Rule” for golfers deciding which club to use for a shot is to base the decision on the results for their average swing.  He believes that better players (less than 5 handicap) often base their club decision on their poor swings, and higher handicaps often make their decision on the “best swings they might make once a year.”
  • He notes that Tour players are more likely to 3 putt than to 2 putt for putts longer than 32 feet.  AND that the probability of making a 32 foot putt is only 6%.  So for most average golfers, attending to 2 putting from distances longer than 30 feet is priority #1.
  • A fascinating piece of information is that Tour players do not consistently get 20 to 40 yard pitch shots close to the hole (no matter what you see on TV!).  So job #1 for average golfers is to get their 20 – 40 yard pitches on the green, and if they do so they will reduce double and triple bogies.
  • Richie’s analysis shows that – for shots from 125 to 175 yards – average Tour players will hit shots from the fairway to within 28-1/2 feet of the hole, and from the rough to within 42-1/2 feet of the hole.  Similar shots from average Tour players from 175 to 225 yards of the hole will be within 36 feet of the hole from the fairway, and within 56 feet of the hole from the rough.  So for us mortal golfers – it REALLY pays to hit your approach shots from the fairway!
  • Finally – that old standby metric of “Putts Per Round” – well, it simply does not tell golfers much about how well they are putting. A much better metric to determine is “Strokes Gained Putting” for a round.  HOW to determine this – well, a little more complicated that I can get into in this post (but will in the future).

Hoping some of these insights help you!  I know Richie is hard at work on the 2018 edition of the Pro Golf Synopsis.  I promise to let you know when it is available – a great read for golfers who are serious about Shooting Lower Scores!

I Create EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

You SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY

Please Complete This Yips Survey!

Support Research On The Yips And

Please Complete This Yips Survey!

Please Complete This Yips Survey

Last week I was fortunate to do a podcast with Advanced PGA Professional Gordon Morrison from Northumbria, United Kingdom.  We discussed some of his knowledge related to the putting and chipping yips – and the interview is one you will enjoy next Monday.

Gordon is doing a PhD Thesis related to the yips – in particular the Chipping Yips. As part of his research, he has created an On Line Survey for golfers who have had the putting or chipping yips.  I learned during the podcast interview some of the valuable information he has collected so far from this survey.

SO! – I hope that any of you readers who have had the Yips will click the link below and do this survey.  AND if you know of anyone else – or want to share this blog post link with anyone else – who has had the Yips, please share this with them.  Gordon and I deeply thank you for contributing to improving our knowledge about the Yips, and how to help golfers recover from them.  Here is the link to his survey….

Link To The Gordon Morrison Yip Survey – THANKS!

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I wanted to add one more little goodie for those of you looking to improve your short games.  Many of you know I am a big fan of James Ridyard and his ShortGameSecrets short game instruction videos.  Well, James recently did a Me And My Golf Podcast that is great listen filled with information to help you Shoot Lower Scores…

Secrets To A Good Short Game 

I highly recommend this one!

 

I CREATE EXCEPTIONAL GOLF CLUBS

YOU SHOOT LOWER SCORES!

TONY