Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category
Every golfer you know has thought about the Masters and Augusta National this week – more than once! What a great week to be a golfer. The excitement and thrill of 2013′s first major is here and I cannot wait for Thursday.
Masters talk invariably circles around to who you like this week. Who is your man? If I had to pick three golfers, one a favorite, another as a contender and another as an underdog – I would go with Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and KJ Choi. I love the way Rory and KJ competed last week and I believe that with their history here this could be their week.
Here is the television guide for the week from geoffshackelford.com
Here is a list of all the Masters gear you cannot live without from Devil Ball Golf
Here is an article detailing Augusta National’s new hospitality venue Berckmans Place where apparently Condoleeza Rice, as a new member, was greeting patrons on Monday.
Here are the complete odds for every player in the field from golfodds.com. How about Rory vs. Tiger? Will Phil finish in the top 10? Will Tim Clark beat Freddie Couples?
If there was one player that I wish was competing this week it would be Seve Ballesteros. My favorite golfer growing up, I remember crying when he three putted the 10th green in a playoff with Mize and Norman and had to make the lonely haul up the hill to the clubhouse while the other two golfers continued on.
That’s really what the Masters is all about – the memories! Who can forget Bubba’s escape from the Magnolia’s, Phil’s jump on 18, Jack chasing the ball in on 17 – even the honorary starters on Thursday morning. What will remember from the 2013 edition? Whatever it is I know it’s going to be very, very good. Enjoy.
I have just returned from the 2013 PGA Show in Orlando and as per usual it has fired me up for the upcoming year. I’m not sure what happens, but I am always motivated and excited to get down to providing a better, more informed product for my students by the time I leave.
This year was my best show for education and networking purposes. I attended my second TrackMan University workshop where TrackMan founder Fredrik Tuxen shared some invaluable knowledge. Here I also met Jeff Ritter, Terry Rowles, Martin Chuck and Josh Zander – already great teachers looking to broaden their knowledge base with TrackMan data.
I also attended the very first (of many I believe!) Facebook Golf Teaching Professionals Live Forum on Wednesday night. Talk about a loaded room – there were 150 of the brightest and most cutting edge minds in the game in attendance. From fitting to fitness, from old school to cutting edge and from scientist to psychologist, they were all there. The evening made for great theater and was very well moderated by Nick Chertock, Chris Como and Michael Michaelides.
On Thursday the actual show got started and I spoke to and met some extremely smart people. They included, but were not limited to: Brian Manzella, Joseph Mayo, Kirk Oguri, Tim Cutshall, Tom Patri, Lorin Anderson and Mike Shannon. I have a tremendous amount of respect for all these folks and their expertise in their field is second to none.
On Thursday night I attended my first TweetUp. Ten years ago I would never have thought I would go to a strange place to meet up with strange people I had only met and conversed with online, but here I was hanging out with a large group of extremely talented instructors and I had a blast. If you do not currently use Twitter I would encourage you to get going and once you do hit me up for who to follow. I have learned so much from my affiliation with these teachers through Twitter this year! Thanks to Sara Dickson and Mike Fay for setting this up – I wish I could have stayed longer.
All in all I felt like a learned more than I ever have at the PGA Show and I am inspired to go out and do more research and do a better job for my students than ever before. I am really looking forward to a fantastic 2013 – stay tuned….
My good friends Tim and Simon Cooke from GolfPrep on Hilton Head Island recently brought their new Flightscope X2 out to Berkeley Hall. Our objective was to learn more about the numbers that TrackMan and Flightscope are putting out and we wanted to get a sense of how well one machine performed relative to the other.
I have pondered the best way in which to convey my findings and have finally committed to just simply jotting down my thoughts. My intent is certainly not to create controversy or confrontation – these are simply my own honest impressions from the day. Please also keep in mind that I am a TrackMan owner and supporter and no matter how I attempt to remove my bias I doubt whether I am able to remove all of it…
- Prior to the test I had been having trouble with my TM unit giving unusual spin numbers every 30-40 shots, something it had never done before. As a result I had contacted TM support and was informed that I more than likely had a bad USB cable. I was also informed that the classic indicator of a bad cable would be a “double” or “half” spin. Sure enough during the test TM gave out three spin numbers from the 60 shots we hit that were right around double what the FS reported. I have since replaced the cable and have yet to see a spin rate that seems odd.
- As you peruse the following thoughts keep in mind that good players , which all three of the test subjects were, are very good at controlling the direction the clubhead travels (angle of attack and club path) from shot to shot. The direction may not be ideal, but better players are consistent with clubhead direction. That means that dramatic changes in either of those categories, along with sizable changes from shot to shot in club speed, were going to draw my attention and raise a red flag.
- Since running the tests I have spoken to many “in the biz” people about radar interference. It was mentioned that the machines, when set up side by side as we had them, will occasionally give corrupted data due to the influence of the outside radar. I have not run enough tests to ascertain if this is or is not the case, but during the testing the FS seemed to give a few numbers that were incorrect and this could be due to the TM being directly alongside the unit. The TM did not do anything different to what it normally does as it seemed to be unaffected by the additional radar.
- If a shot off turf has a decent size divot TM will only provide ball data and no club data, whereas FS reported both ball and club data for just about every shot hit off the ground. On the occasions that FS reported club data and TM did not the numbers did not look correct – meaning the attack angle and/or club path seemed to be too far from what the subject would normally generate. We hit numerous 50 yard pitch shots and TM did not offer any club data while FS reported for most of these shots. The problem was that the club path was said to be almost 15 degrees from in to out along with a spin rate of 14,000 rpm – just not happening! I actually preferred that TM did not provide club data as I would rather have no information than have to explain away improper information. That being said I would love a radar that provided correct club data on all shots.
- With both units unplugged and PC’s powered down the TM (2:05) was aligned and ready to roll in about half the time of the FS (4:16). I was told that with an iPad the FS can be aligned and operational in far less time.
- We noticed that both machines reported different Swing Plane numbers when they were moved (flipped positions) relative to the same golfer. I have tested this before and the changes in data are due to the hardware in the TM II. Each machine appeared to provide better data when the golfer is hitting shots aligned with the center of the unit – something that was not possible when running two machines.
- We tested the ability of each unit to report gear effect, by logging the point of contact on certain drives and then comparing each units Face to Path and Spin Axis numbers. The TM reported gear effect as I would have anticipated and most of the time FS reported along similar lines. However the first shot we examined, a big heel hit, was actually reported by FS as being a slight toe side hit. TM reported a Face to Path of -9.3 and a Spin Axis of -5.4 while FS reported a Face to Path of -2.2 and a Spin Axis of -11.0
- I was amazed at how closely aligned the Spin Rate numbers were for each machine. Unless there were dramatic differences the spin rates were almost always within 100 rpm’s.
- There seemed to be quite a few instances during the testing where the attack angles were not even in the same ball park. I had nothing to help me determine which machine was correct, other than the aforementioned fact that better players tend to be very consistent, and all too often it was FS reporting wide ranges of variation from the player.
Keep in mind that my intent is merely to report what I observed and not to offend anybody or any entity. I could tell that Tim and Simon were a little concerned with the results and they went home and performed additional tests. I am happy to report that the FS performed much better without the influence of additional radar and when shots are hit from the center of the unit. Tim’s follow up comment to me was:
I believe that side by side testing, although seeming to be a good idea, does not work. Clearly there was some radar interference at work as the inconsistent numbers were not reproduced in stand alone tests. Maybe the only way you can really compare the units is with extreme high speed cameras with the units working independently of one another.
I would have to agree with Tim’s sentiments and I have started to make plans to have each unit test the same golfer on the same day, but without the potential interference of outside radar.
You know I’ll report back on that one….
I’m sure the primary objective of the two governing bodies was to eliminate anchoring from the major tours and I emphatically agree. I think the best golfers should be capable of freely swinging the club with their hands and arms.
Bifurcation and Growing the Game
Bifurcation means the splitting of a main body into two parts – and that’s exactly what needs to be done with the rules of golf. There may be another sport, but I cannot think of one where the ‘amateur’ body governs the ‘professional’ body. From college football to baseball, there are different rules for the pros than the amateurs and that’s the way it should be. The governing bodies should be growing the game and this ruling is going to eliminate so many ailing golfers from competing at any level or even playing the game. In 2016 there are going to be thousands of golfers who will turn down an invitation to their Member-Guest event due to the fact that they are simply incapable of putting the ball. I’ve seen golfers who twitch anchored putters - never mind a putter that’s not attached – in 2016 they’re out of golf! Come up with a ruling for professional golf and USGA/R&A events and let the rest of us just enjoy the game.
If you thought you had seen some strange putters and putting styles, you ain’t seen nothing yet! As with anything, golfers who simply cannot putt will find ways to the job done in unique and quirky ways by the time 2016 rolls around. Ever seen anyone putt with both arms wrapped around the putter twice?
I like the idea of changing the ruling for the big guys, but don’t punish everybody in order to achieve your goal…
From my family to yours I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for your support and readership throughout the year. Starting today and running through Christmas day I will be offering the following packages on lessons at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, SC:
- Purchase six thirty minute lessons for $360 - that’s $60 each and the regular price is $75
- Purchase six one hour lessons for $630 - that’s $105 each and the regular price is $150
- A one hour TrackMan Driver fitting and evaluation is $100
- All lessons packages include a TrackMan assessment, high speed Casio camera analysis and a V1 video lesson emailed to your inbox
- These lesson packages are perfect for the crazed golfer in your family and are all available as Gift Certificates (valid for one year from original date of purchase)
- All Gift Certificates come inside a signed complimentary copy of my book It’s All About Impact
- If you cannot decide which package your golfer might enjoy I also have Gift Certificates for $100, $200 and $300
- To purchase or discuss a package please contact me at (843)247-4688 or email me at andrew(at)andrewricegolf.com
Junior Group Sessions
During the month of February I will be offering junior group sessions at Berkeley Hall. Each session set is comprised of 4 lessons and there will be 6 different times during the month to choose from. Lesson times will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 4pm and Saturdays at 10am. The cost for a set (4) of Junior Sessions is $100 per child. Each session is limited to 6 golfers and no golfers over the age of 10 please. (Inquire regarding older golfers)
Have you a blessed holiday season and I sincerely hope I can continue to help you progress in this great game!