Sunday, January 25, 2015

Driver shaft upgrades, so easy today

Following on from the mid week club fitting it was obvious that there was a re-fit needed for the driver. At the very least there had to be a checking out of shaft suitability. Given that the current shaft was fitted 12 months ago and if my iron swing speed had increased 10-20 kph the driver shaft had to be looked at. Fact is, since returning from the lay off there was often a feeling after hitting a drive that there was more in the tank but the ball was dropping on the ground sooner than expected. As I am not a long hitter and used to so much variation in shot distance in the past this was put on the back burner of relevance and importance. This is where the technology available improves the golfing experience so much. Simply set up a time with the pro and the ease of changing shafts using my driver head and away we go. With a machine the size of a lunch box recording launch angle, swing speed, flight path, ball speed, and flight distance the change was easy to establish. Swapping between a variety of shafts and sure enough the addition of a stiffer and lighter shaft, combined with increase loft to 11.5 degrees upgraded my golfing capability. Then out for a six hole round late in the afternoon to get comfortable with the change and see what the results were. Three holes off the tee and two things were glaringly obvious. Firstly "feel", I have more control with where I hit the ball to target. The new shaft does not feel like a rigid broomstick it is just right. Secondly the big change for me, distance increased off the tee. I hit the ball and it feels complete, all the energy is fully transferred at impact to the ball. The result on three holes was 20 metres more with one drive 250 metres fading around a dogleg! In the past week the equipment upgrade has included club fitting for Driver, new set of irons and last but not least re-gripping the putter with a fat grip. All of this would have been totally pointless if I had not put in tree year of dedicated practise to establish a reliable swing. Thankyou for your time and attention. , Geoff

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Loft creep" the manufacturers other tool...

I was away last night and this thought crossed my mind while coming home this morning. First thing I did was check the lofts on the Cobra Fly z irons online. No matter how great the irons felt etc I just could not blissfully accept this much of an improvement. The #4 iron in the COBRAFly Z -19*, #5 23*, #6 26.75*, #7 30.5, #8 35.25, #9 40*, PW 45* The #4 iron Taylor Made RSi 1 -20*, #5 23*, #6 26.5*, #7 30.5, #8 34.5, #9 39*, PW 44* All is good as the Cobra still out performed the Taylormade with accuracy , 'feel' work-ability, club head speed and distance when doing the testing. In comparison to the PowerBilt Citation FZ - 1 Irons I have been playing with the #7 iron is 35* hence the 5-10m difference in distance. The ease and comfort in ball striking is still chalk and cheese in comparison with the Cobra's lighter club head and measured and fitted shaft. PowerBilt Citation FZ - Lofts 3 21, 4 24, 5 27, 6 31, 7 35, 8 39, 9 43, PW 47, SW 54. This shows you a chart indicating nominal loft angles for a modern set of irons. Realize that over the last forty years, manufacturers have changed these values considerably in order to make their models more attractive. By slightly reducing the loft angle of a club, the ball travels a bit farther. Distance sells. This is called "creep". The following are typical loft angles for a set of irons. However, there is considerable variability across manufacturers. 4-Iron 25 9-Iron 41 5-Iron 28 Pitching Wedge 45 6-Iron 31 Gap Wedge 50 7-Iron 34 Sand Wedge 55 8-Iron 37 Lob Wedge 60 Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Club Fitting today better equipment and better swing...

Several days between posts with a lot happening golf wise to keep me occupied. Increasing the playing time is the major change, getting a minimum of 6 holes in every day and nine is the target most days. Whilst still limited with course time available during the holiday season and work commitments, the benefits of the previous practise in the nets has helped significantly. The major change came today, after 5 years of play, was fitted for new irons. Choosing the Cobra Fly-Z gold, after a session including Taylor Made's new selections and Callaway irons. Starting with the irons in my bag of late the reliable PowerBilt FZ-1's as the bench mark, then on the range with each club's results registered and analysed with the Club Professionals electronic equipment. First surprise was the confirmation that I had picked up swing speed, 76-78 mph was my last reading in mid 2014. Now with an 82-84 mph swing speed, this is the definitive proof of how effective strengthening/fitness training can be. The nuances of club fitting today are much easier to settle with as a player. The ease of changing shafts, lies etc with the one club head are a major boost in my opinion. The Taylor Made irons felt great in the stance and did hit them well. Yet the Cobra iron was comfortable, yet felt much different in the stance. The effort to hit the ball was the significant difference and the 'feel' preference in my hands went to the Cobra Fly-Z. Then the defining factor, which took another thirty minutes of hitting balls to convince myself that it was true. I was getting an extra 5-10 metres (155-160 m) hitting balls with the Cobra 7 iron! Dear readers those of you who have followed my last five years of game details know that I am not a big hitter. Of late I had gained distance in the past three months, using a six iron for 150 metre shots. Now in the space of 12 months with improved technique, fitness and now fitted for clubs I have moved two clubs from a #5 to a #7 iron for the distance. The entry form and fee has been sent for the Southern Ports Golf Week 28th Feb to 6th March. After a 4th place in handicap in the A Grade after the three rounds last season, this year my capability has improved. Now for another crack at the title. Thankyou for your time and attention Geoff

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"Two sides to every Swing"

The following is an excerpt from the latest Golf Link edition article, "Two sides to every Swing" by Sam Letourneau I am no coach and since returning to golfing in 2009 have relied upon two coaching professionals for my education and lessons. Both of them taught the same principles of golfing and worked on various identified areas of my golf technique. As wel as reading assorted treatise's on golfing by playing and coaching professionals my golf brain has been informed and educated over time. This article is exactly what my informed opinion is of the way forward for a golfer through coaching is. For me with my physical restraints from the various broken bits, the same applies to other golfers injured or not. Every engine (body) which powers a golf club is different. Some are high performance turbo charged F1 or Indy class engines others are 1970's air cooled VW Kombi Van engines. They all work but have limits. Some have on-board computers and others don't and that is unrelated to this discussion. The essence of p[laying golf is getting the contact between the club and ball to a reliable and consistent standard. Once that is establish you have a solid base for your game. Thankyou for your time and attention "GOLF is a lot easier to get better at once you realise there are two distinctly different avenues to improvement. The trick is to find the one that suits your personality and learning approach best. Most people don’t improve at golf as fast or as much as they could. In teaching golf, I encounter an endless stream of students who are frustrated at their lack of progress, confused about what they should be working on, or how to go about it. These days I pick up pretty quickly on the best approach to take with a new student, and once I’ve sorted them into one of two categories, I can almost guarantee they will start to see real improvement. So, what are the two categories that golfers fall into, and, more importantly, how might you go about identifying the one that suits you best and maximise your chance of reaching your full potential in the fastest possible time frame? Before the grand reveal, please don’t let the simplicity of the following statements deceive you, as after ten years of giving over 50 golf lessons a week (yes that’s 2500 lessons a year, and double yes, that really is a total of over 25,000 lessons), I’m convinced that understanding this information, and basing your improvement plan around it, is the key thing to get right. What’s more, I’ve proven it over and over again to myself and my students. Now a second word of warning; I have to write one before the other, but in no way does that mean I have a preference, or should you, for one over the other. Remember I said that both methods of improvement have been used effectively by many good players. So here goes. In my opinion, to improve at golf you either have to: Totally disregard any perceived faults in your game and work only on making your technique as textbook and technically strong as you possibly can; that is, disregard your ball flight errors and contact issues and bring your swing—and techniques within every department of your game—as closely into line with accepted golf fundamentals as you can, work purely on making your technique better. If you’re not quite sure what these fundamentals might be, have a look at a lot of Tour players’ games and pick out the most common aspects. If you think this approach might be for you, later I’ll give you some well known player examples, and a psychological profile of who this approach generally suits so you can make an educated guess as to whether it suits you . Totally disregard accepted textbook technique and make improvements based only on the feedback your ball flight and contact gives you. Likewise, if you think this way might be the way for you, I’ll be giving you some famous players who’ve taken this approach, and indicate the sort of personality this approach tends to suit." Geoff

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Zen Golf... maybe

Even though the 'Eureka' moments are not a feature of my golfing progress, it is still a great experience when the game comes together. On Sunday with a very easy 30 point score registered in the Stableford competition, my game approach was zen like experience. Dear Readers I had 5 birdie putts in the round, missed every one and three putted each of them. Did not even bat an eyelid in irritation, simply continued on to the next hole. This is perhaps the most rigid I have ever been in a golfing sense to sticking to a plan. The lesson of last season has reached deep into my golf psyche. Following on from Friday's 'wak f@k' at Penola, my focus was on the grip and nothing else was going to distract me from making this correction get established. Why did I three putt was not even attempted to be corrected in the round. I was dedicated to the correct grip which resulted in more power and eradicated the soft flapping at the ball, which was a result of the previous incorrect grip. Not to forget was also part of the cause of the shoulder agony. On Monday it was out for a social nine holes, with the highlight of seeing my cousin smack a 280 metre drive a bonus to my own performance. Again focus on the grip and again a par, par, par, start to a round. With two birdie putts just missing the cup and stopping 5-10cm past it. Yes, the new grip adjustment was established, as was the feel for distance. By not making that fatal error of trying to adjust a correction mid round to improve a score, I am much better positioned for future success. Today it is out for another social 'wak f@k' round to further establish the changes and have fun with friends on a golf course. To sit and write this, feeling calm and looking forward to standing on the first tee without any prior preparation is fun and why I golf. It is this effortless sense of the game, which has been realised from the experience of season 2014. Thankyou for your time and attention Geoff

Monday, January 12, 2015

Grip and swing all work together...

Skipped the Friday Chicken Run in favour of leaving early to drive the 100 km to Penola and playing nine holes there instead of at the home track then leaving. Apart from the advantage of time it also made it possible to play a different course and pretty much all to myself apart from the 'Roos.
The cliche' Australian picture on a country golf course. Course ruling is that 'roo droppings are also a movable item in bunkers. Was a very slap happy nine holes on my part enjoying the relaxing walk and hit. Refreshing the golf brain from playing the same track each week. Took a while to get serious as I settled into hitting the ball correctly. First few drives were in the gums alongside the fairways, just sloppy grip and set up nothing more, hitting two balls the second drive was settling on the fairway. Chipping was poor and the putting terrible on the faster greens, even given the relaxed mental focus. Did par the last three holes easily though. The purpose was not to play well but to get away from the crowd and explore where my game was at. The Driver was beautiful off he tee by the end as were the iron shots. Finally sorted out the cause of the sloppy shots and in hindsight the cause of the residual shoulder pain. The point of contact between my body and the clubs was the problem. Even though it had already been noticed as the sloppy shot cause the shoulder issue had not been recognised. The restriction of the shoulder injury over the last season had been the root cause of my opening my grip. This eased the strain on the shoulder through the swing, at the cost of making the ball fade regularly and slice too often. Until Friday though when I played nine holes with the hands up on the grip again, which of course added the whipping power from the wrists as well, for the first time post round the shoulder did not hurt from being strained. The power in the swing was coming from the body motion and wrists through the ball. The shoulder was not being used to drive the ball, only to move the club back and forth on its swing plane. No freaking wonder after the past few rounds there has been a burning sensation in my shoulder blades, all caused by trying to rip the ball using the wrong muscles. Not angry at myself, quite pleased to have fixed and recognized the cause of two golfing problems. Still feels a little surprising that this is me who figured out the issue, although it was not patently obvious until after the fact only suspected. Thankyou for your time and attention , Geoff

Friday, January 09, 2015

Golf is practice, rest, more practice...

Rest day yesterday, common sense does influence my golfing a lot more these days. Knowledge is a good thing to have having to learn through experience in the first place invariably sucks. For me at least, as this generally involves pain in some form. Intend to amble out for a casual round of wak f@k in the 9 hole chicken run today. Will be interesting to release the impatience to have a hit around a course, combined with focusing on the obvious requirements to hit the ball well. In such a short time, the past couple of weeks, since starting pre-season golfing I am enjoying the game immensely. The facets which have to be practiced have been recognized. The first major improvement has been getting my grip back to where it should be. Such a simple action that is so important to playing well. All it needed was to put the hands back on top of the grip and correct the fault of having my right hand down in particular. This was causing an exaggerated slice/fade on too many strokes. As my game is based upon accuracy off the tee especially, this causes a cascading effect of poor shots. As it should be though golfing is fun and that is a vital ingredient to my success. Thankyou for your time and attention First round results Leaderboard with 38 Australians in the field Geoff

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Second competition round for 2015...

Tuesday and back home after a spur of the moment trip away yesterday.Left the golf clubs behind as well and left before going out an playing nine holes Monday afternoon. Have got the hunger back for golfing again and surprised myself a little as well. Sunday competition and an easy 33 points with three wipes. Poor putting cost me and a couple of crap chips and drives, same as the week before. My game is travelling well considering the extended layoff. A bit of a niggle in the shoulder still, which is not acceptable and will need a doctors visit. Almost did not play yesterday the carpark was full with mostly holiday golfers. Great for the club as the green fees are what makes us financial, social golfers all over the course make it hard to put the game face on though. Which usually does not bother me, Sunday though the serious golf game reared it's head and I got a bit stroppy on the last hole with a large group in front holding up play. Summer holidays is golfing mayhem here and is not the true competition season. Only problem was me, the game brain switched on and through my calm demeanor out the window.
Today I got home and dealt with the irritation by going out for nine holes of serious wak f@k. The problem was caused by my game unexpectedly hitting form. The Driver was hot and today settled into the groove better. It is all in the stance, grip and swing of course yet on Sunday it began to sync up. Today after nine it was wow factor time hitting straight long and with ease. Long irons are reasonable enough for this time of the year and only need tuning for game form. Chipping and 100 to 80m in shots are not any where settled where I want them or next season. Think it is dedicated practise time for the green shots, never been an issue before as I was never this close off the tee before to play GIR shots from here. Last season had the 6-8 irons dialed in for the GIR shots now it is 56 degree wedge shots, it is summer so the 9 and PW need to be improved for winter at the least. Putting and chipping are both rubbish at the minute. That is simply due to no practise for the putter. The chipping is a work in progress as I am trying to get back spin on these shots. What it all comes down to is I b\need the finesse and consistency with all shots and more variety t call on in game play. The single digit is beckoning and I am going to the dance. There is one other vital golf skill I am concentrating on also, fitness. I am certain that this will reduce 3-4 strokes of my handicap alone. Thankyou for your time and attention Geoff