Update on “Wedge Weekend” and “Playing Yardage Challenge”
Personal Invitation from Leith Anderson:
We’re just a day away from “Wedge Weekend”. After my email last week, 16 readers clicked through and registered for the three-hour intensive program designed to help take your short game to the next level. There is still time to join us this Friday or Saturday. I’m hoping to meet up with old friends in California.
We’ve opened a few more spots for Friday and Saturday. If you haven’t made golf plans, join us at The Bridges in San Ramon – an easy one-hour trip from anywhere in the Bay Area. It will be worth your time. Three hours of intensive instruction, training and wedge fitting. If you haven’t played The Bridges, it’s a challenging Johnny Miller design that’s been reworked over the last few years to be much friendlier. You can make a day of your trip.
Bulletin: We added two top Bay Area teachers to our “greenside” lineup. Chris Mullane – a “PGA, Teacher of the Year” from Southern California and Phil Marrone – PGA, 25-Year Stanford staff member and short game expert. Chris will be greenside on Friday and Phil on Saturday.
Playing Yardage Study:
Click here to sign up for Wedge Weekend: http://tinyurl.com/WedgeWeekend
Click here for more information on the Playing Yardage Study http://tinyurl.com/YardageStudy
Available times Friday and Saturday are listed in the Postscript to this article.
Overview of “Wedge Weekend”
First Hour: You have your own radar and Eric’s sharp eye to hone your wedge game. Your goal is to hit through each of your wedges – ten shots – to find your true carry distances. With Eric, you will evaluate your swing motion, efficiency, launch angle and spin rate. Most important, you will map your “groupings” a polite term for “dispersion”. You will know your precise distances, your shot shape and your misses. Takeaway is a printed chart of your wedge distances.
Second Hour: On the grass practice tee. Working with Leith Anderson you will test wedges for turf interaction and trajectory. A discovery in the last three years indicates that players do better with much higher bounce on their wedges. Trajectory and feel is controlled by the shaft. Wedge shafts are the most overlooked element in custom fitting. Our Edel fitting system combines seven discrete sole grinds with over 30 high performance shafts – all interchangeable. You will know the best combination of bounce and shaft to deliver solid contact, trajectory and feel that will surprise you. Your goal is tighter groupings.
Third Hour: Greenside. Led by top PGA Teaching Professionals Chris Mullane and Phil Marrone, those delicate pitches and lobs around the green are explored. You will compare the feel and performance of your present wedges to the best demo wedges from stage two. You will be surprised by the difference that sole grind and shaft choice makes to help you get action on the ball after it touches down on the green.
All of our clinics are designed to deliver plenty of information and hands-on experience.Groups are limited to three players so everyone
gets personal attention. Three hours of work delivers full benefit from your practice time. The fee is unchanged from last year $199.
Click here to choose your time Friday or Saturday. Three hour programs start between 9 and 1 P.M. http://tinyurl.com/WedgeWeekend
Leith Anderson and Eric Jones Collaboration
If you want the whole story before making your decision, here you go:
The “Eric and Leith Show” goes back to 2003. That was the year that Eric won his first World Long Drive Championship. I was in the early days of plying my trade – fitting custom golf clubs with cutting edge Technology at the Golf Lab in Palo Alto. We knew each other from our connection as players on the Stanford Golf Team.
After Eric won his World Championship I suggested that Golf Lab clients would be interested in learning his technique. Every golfer wants more distance. That started Eric’s career as a teacher and coach. For the next three years, Eric trekked from Orinda to Palo Alto every Thursday to teach long drive skills at the Golf Lab. He honed his teaching methods and captured them in his first book “Five Keys to Distance”. I wrote the preface.
Eric’s book was a breakthrough. It was one of the very first “electronic books” combining text with video. Since then, electronic books have been accepted. Electronic books are more effective than print-only versions. Embedded video is great for golf. Eric has sold over 70,000 copies. He has updated the “Five Keys” over the years so it’s just as fresh today as it was the day it came out. If you would like a copy, click here: http://targetcenteredgolf.com/5keys/5keysinfoma2.html
Eric is a gifted teacher but he knows that perfect swing technique is not the key to lower scores. His deepest interest has been developing new coaching and training methods that deliver rapid and permanent improvement. That’s why he spent several years at the Pleasanton Golf Center every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with his innovative “Golf Coach” program that combined scheduled practice time with skills training.
As a PGA Class A Professional, Eric knew that the “crazy aunt in the attic” – ignored by the PGA – is that scores failed to improve in the last 30 years. Swing instruction, alone, is insufficient.
He was searching for a “better way”.
The Golf Lab Odyssey
In the meantime, I was on a parallel course with golf equipment. In 2001, the “golf technology revolution” was in its early stages. “Launch Ballistics” were discovered – revealing that for every ball speed there was a perfect spin rate and launch angle for maximum distance. As a refugee from the high tech industry I was comfortable with “bleeding edge” technology.
The Golf Lab introduced technology-based clubfitting to the San Francisco Bay Area. We were first with “the latest and greatest”. Starting with the primitive, radar-based Distance Caddy in 2001, the Golf Lab became known for technical innovation. We tested the Swing Dynamics launch monitor – first with high speed photography. We adopted the laser-based Golf Achiever – state-of-the art for a couple of years. Then Mitch Voges introduced his Max Out “Launch Max” launch monitor and the “Shaft Max” for measuring shaft load. Max Out was best of its time so we partnered with Mitch for a few years. The last step is radar – Trackman versus Flightscope. Flightscope has been my tool of choice for the last five years. There is no doubt, radar (after lengthy, painful development) is revolutionizing teaching, training and clubfitting.
I tracked all of those technological developments in the “Golf Equipment Chronicles” published monthly in the California Golf Today magazine for ten years. If you would like an historical perspective, visit the Calgolflab.com/blog website. http://calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard/
My work was aimed at helping golfers “buy their game”. Along the way I learned an important lesson: You can’t buy your game. Good golf clubs are important but the only way to get better at golf is through a combination of technique, training and technology – in that order.
Just like Eric, I was searching for “a better way”.
The Summer of 2013 – “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” Clinics
Eric and I got back together last summer. We shared deep interests – Eric with teaching, coaching and training – and me with radar technology and clubfitting.
Our first project was “Optimizing Your Driver” – a clinic inspired by our long drive roots going back over ten years. We combined Eric’s proven technique and training with radar technology to optimize launch ballistics. The format was six players, three hours and an intensive focus on performance.
The clinics were a huge success, selling out every weekend from March through September. In time, we added new clinics for short game, long approach, greenside and putting.
Radar Technology and “Impact Dynamics”
About halfway through the summer we began using radar to do more than tune “launch ballistics”. We started looking closely at each player’s swing – focusing on “impact dynamics” – swing path, face aim and angle of attack – at the moment of impact. We found that several leading instructors – Tiger’s coach Sean Foley for example – had begun to use precise measurements for “impact dynamics” to train the top players on the PGA Tour. Sean Foley popularized the term “Science of Impact”.
That’s when we made a discovery that might have been uncovered by others – but was new to us. We found that ordinary golfers had no problem understanding concepts behind the Science of Impact including “impact dynamics”. The “moment of truth” is when the club contacts the ball. Players learn shotmaking a whole new way. Understanding the Science of Impact is a form of enlightenment.
From Eric’s training for Long Drive competition – adding a second World Championship in 2012 – we learned precise measurements for maximum distance. For Eric the “numbers” were 2* inside-out swing path, 1* face closed to path (1* open to target), and 5* upward angle of attack. Depending on swing speed, players might vary a couple of degrees from those numbers – but no more. Those numbers deliver the beautiful high draw for maximum distance.
Radar is an enormous help in training. If you know the shot shape you want, radar helps you hone your swing with precision. If you know your impact dynamics – practice that swing with radar providing immediate, swing-by-swing feedback. Self-adjust until you get it right – then make your swing a “habit” with efficient training through repetition. Eric credits training with radar for winning his second World Championship.
That discovery led to a radical new idea. We began to offer three-hour “Optimize Your Driver” clinics based on training players for precise impact dynamics – swing path, face aim and angle of attack – based on providing immediate radar feedback.
It worked. In twenty sessions spaced over several months, we were successful over 90% of the time to help golfers change their impact dynamics – from outside-in, open face and downward angle of attack to the opposite in three hours. Slices were transformed to high draws. Veteran teachers who watched the process were amazed. “That usually takes three months” was the normal response.
Armed with that success we engaged Flightscope to sponsor a formal, academic-level study. We recruited six ordinary golfers – handicaps from 10 – 18. The question we wanted to answer was whether players could change their swings without formal instruction – with radar feedback alone.
That was another success. Each one of the six study participants made long-term, permanent changes to their golf swings without formal instruction. Swing by swing radar feedback was the key.
Our Invention of “Radar Training”
At the end of our Radar Study the participants didn’t want it to end. They each found that shot-by-shot feedback – focusing on impact dynamics and launch ballistics – made practice much more effective. That lead us to create a new professional service category for golf coaches – radar-based training.
Eric launched the service in December 2013. He currently has 25 players engaged in weekly radar-based training programs.
The Discovery of “Playing Yardage”
The Radar Study participants led us to another surprising discovery. Average golfers can cut three to five strokes from their scores by knowing the exact distance they carry every club in their bag – and pulling the right club for the distance.
Most golfers over-estimate their distances by ten to eighteen yards. The conventional wisdom says that will never change. We found just the opposite. With conclusive proof of their carry distances – provided by Flightscope radar – participants in the Radar Study ACCEPTED their true yardage.
Not only that, they all began to rely on the concept of the “stock swing” – defined as “repeatable” and “on balance”. Armed with that knowledge every player in the Radar Study found an immediate three to five shot improvement in their scores.
That was a totally unexpected result.
Now you know the answer to “the story” behind our current projects. The advent of GameGolf makes recording statistics easy. That makes it a simple project to benchmark a player’s current performance, conduct a detailed “Playing Yardage” complete bag calibration, and then compare results “before and after”.
If recording statistics is easy, coaching is also much easier. For the first time, coaches can track a player’s progress efficiently. We think that GameGolf will revolutionize coaching for golf
Our “Playing Yardage Study” is recruiting 90 players – 60 in California and 30 in Indiana – to prove that simply knowing carry distance will cut 3-5 strokes from an average player’s scores. That study is well-along in California with over 32 players enrolled in the program. If you would like to join that study, follow this link http://tinyurl.com/YardageStudy.
“Wedge Weekend” combines radar analysis, instruction and clubfitting
Wedge Weekend is the current evolution of our Clinics aimed at getting the most out of your practice time. Combining “technique, training and technology” is a proven method – developed over many months of “digging it out of the dirt” with the help of dozens of Bay Area golfers.
If you happen to be among the growing number of readers outside of the Bay Area, we are planning to introduce our “Eric Jones Golf” ideas and methods to other geographies – starting with Correct2Compete – “C2C Golf Academy” in Indianapolis.
If you are a PGA Professional and would like to learn more about Eric Jones Golf – contact Eric directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a meeting of the minds he will invite you to join his monthly Mastermind Group.
If you have any last minute questions – contact me by cell phone (650) 743-2816. Email is likely to be a little spotty over the next couple of days but for the record: Leithander@gmail.com. I arrived in California on Wednesday to make sure we’re ready to go this weekend. I hope you will be able to join us at The Bridges in San Ramon.
If you need help with registration, Bob Pegram is available by telephone and email as well. Bobpgolf@dslextreme.com or by phone: (408) 871-9983.
Best regards, Leith Anderson and Eric Jones
With support from Bob Pegram, Chris Mullane, Phil Marrone and John Ruark.
P.S. Available starting times for Wedge Weekend at The Bridges in San Ramon (as of Wednesday).
Please arrive 15 minutes early for preparation and warm-up. Bring your wedges.
Friday – 4 spots left
- 2 spots at 10:00,
- 2 spots at 11:00
Saturday: 7 spots
- 2 spots at 10:00
- 2 spots at 11:00
– 1 spot at 12:00
– 2 spots at 1:00
Best Regards, Leith Anderson