Posts Tagged ‘Mike Shannon’
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….
There is so much information out there about golf clubs, yet I never seem to see much data relative to putters. I recently had the privilege of spending an afternoon with Mike Shannon, noted putting guru from Sea Island and here are a few of the many interesting things he shared:
60% of all the grass on putting greens today did not exist 30 years ago and as a result the mow height on greens is 50% lower than it was 20 years ago. Greens are much faster than they used to be.
Faster greens mean shorter grass and shorter grass means there is no longer the need for 4 degrees of loft (the traditional loft) on putters. Most PGA Tour golfers have an effective loft of somewhere between 1 and 3 degrees. This means that when they add the loft of the putter face to the amount of loft added during the stroke it comes out to somewhere between 1 and 3 degrees. Consequently very little flight time and early roll mean less bounce and skid – a good thing! Zach Johnson actually has -1 degree of loft on his putter face.
Speaking of early roll – grooved face putters get the ball rolling 18-24% sooner than smooth faced putters. Not only that, they deter the ball from sliding up or across the face on poorly struck putts too. Sign me up for some of that help.
Keep in mind that there are essentially two genres of putters – face balanced and toe weighted. If you currently use a face balanced putter and are considering making a switch to a toe weighted version (pictured at the top of the page) keep in mind that your new putter will provide you with an additional 6-8 degrees of club face rotation or “toe float” as Scotty Cameron calls it. Toe float is the amount of rotation in the face from the backswing to the follow through. The top putters on the tour have 6-8 degrees of rotation from 6″ back from the ball to 6″ beyond impact.
Most putters are heel powered – that is, the motion is generated from the heel, which is where the shaft enters the putter head. Unless of course the putter is center shafted. This is pertinent because as the energy/power in a stroke dissipates (decelleration), the toe will have a tendency to continue closing. If there is too much acceleration through impact the toe will have a tendency to remain open and leads to missed putts to the right (speaking as a right hander). If you tend to accelerate (too much!) or decellerate through impact you might want to try a center shafted putter.
The average weight of store bought putters is a swingweight of D3-D6. The average weight of putters on the tour is E0-E5. Heavy putters are better for faster greens and vice versa for slower greens. If you need to add weight to your putter be careful when adding lead tape – you don’t want to change the balance characteristics of the putterhead. The best idea might be to get a reputable club builder to take care of it for you. Fit your putter weight to the speed of the greens you customarily putt on!
Regarding alignment: offset putters will work better for golfers who tend to aim left and non-offset putters will work better for right aimers. This is due to the manner in which a golfer sees the line of a putt. It really does work!
Before you run out and pick out your next weapon on the greens please consider some of the above advice- it really does come straight from the experts mouth!
Related articles and sites:
Here are a few interesting tidbits from the recent PGA Golf Trade Show:
- Loudmouth Golf has definitely gone way too far! Their line is turning into a veritable assault on anybody’s unfortunate retinas. Blatantly obnoxious!
Just in case you were wondering they even have a handy dandy matching jacket that goes with these.
- As much as I don’t agree with Hank Haney ’s teaching philosophy I do like the latest putting aid he has created (I even like the name they chose!):
This system is available from Eyeline Golf (enter IMPACTBOOK for a discount). To putt better the putter face must be square at impact – very true! TrackMan experts have found that the clubface plays a much bigger role in where the ball goes than the path and this becomes even more of a factor at lower clubhead velocity like in putting. This teaching aid works and I like the ball liner that is included in the package.
- V1 Golf remains cutting edge as they continue to pull tricks out their technology laden sleeves. This year students will be able to not only view their lessons online (this is not new) but they will be able to upload those lessons to Facebook to share with their friends and even download the all new iPhone V1 Golf application at iTunes.
- Another excellent putting aid from Eyeline Golf (enter IMPACTBOOK for a discount) is the Putting Laser+. Use this training aid indoors to get a sense for how the face opens and closes in the stroke while the path should remain on a straight back and through.
- During my time spent walking the floor I saw quite a few golf celebrities including David Leadbetter, the aforementioned Hank Haney, Gary Gilchrist, Dottie Pepper, Duffy Waldorf, Anna Nordquist, Paula Creamer, Nancy Lopez, Mike Shannon, Rick Smith, Mitchell Spearman and Jim McLean. It was almost like being at the Grammy’s….
And lastly, if you are travelling to Orlando and plan on staying in the International Drive/Lake Buena Vista area I would highly recommend the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. Beautifully refurbished and a steal at the Priceline price of $85 a night! And if you love sushi don’t miss Tiger’s favorite sushi stopover in Amura.