Get the Most from Your Practice Time

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:

As of this week, 32 readers have joined our Playing Yardage Challenge. The first players are finishing their “benchmarking” phase – turning to distance control. Our Playing Yardage Challenge is the quickest way to cut three to five strokes off your handicap – by using your head.

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.

The “Playing Yardage Challenge” Sponsored by and

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: eric@ericjonesgolf.com. 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

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Update from Indiana: Returning to California – Two New Projects from Leith and Eric

It’s a long way from Indiana to California in distance – but not in spirit. I’ve found a new home in Indiana. The move couldn’t have worked out better.

I spend most of my time at an indoor facility called Golf Solutions 360. is top-notch.. We have five indoor radar-equipped practice bays, a precision putting surface just like the Golf Lab in California, a simulator and locker rooms upstairs and a professional instruction and fitness staff. An indoor location is imperative in Indiana because five months a year the golf courses are unplayable. Dedicated golfers have no choice – indoors or nothing. It’s a great place to ply my trade – fitting and building custom clubs – just like California. I’m looking forward to picking up the “Golf Equipment Chronicles”. There’s a lot happening in the golf world. It’s going to be fun.

But my heart is still in California. My partnership with Eric Jones has grown much deeper over the last year. Together, we accomplished many things that would have never happened individually.

That is the most important reason for this newsletter. We’re launching two new innovative projects and I’m coming back to California on the weekend of May 9, 10, and 11 to help kick them off. I’m hoping that you will be able to join us on Friday, Saturday or Sunday at The Bridges in San Ramon.

Program for the Weekend of May 10 – Brief Overview

PROJECT #1: THE PLAYING YARDAGE STUDY. Our Radar Study from last summer morphed into a new Study. This time we’re taking a close look at how many strokes players trim from their index after just 90 minutes of work with Flightscope radar determining precise carry distances for every club in your bag. We think that we can cut three to five strokes from you score if you shoot 90. We have room for sixty players in that study. Thirty-two spots are already filled and the remainder are being held for Golf Equipment Chronicles readers. Players of all skill levels are invited. Click this link to register: http://tinyurl.com/YardageStudy

PROJECT #2: THE WEDGE WEEKEND. We are also presenting a new version of our clinics on the “Five Most Important Shots in Golf.” This time we’re focused on your wedges, and we think this could be a real home run. That’s because we’ve come up with a whole new format.

Our all new for 2014 wedge clinic combines instruction, radar analysis, precision yardage guide, head-to-head demos with key wedge companies, precise sole bounce testing for turf interaction, shaft fitting for trajectory and feel and even greenside technique for the “drop and stop” and “skip and grab” action. This “Wedge Weekend” clinic delivers personal, expert attention in small groups of three players.

Learn, compare, tune. To our knowledge nobody’s ever done a teaching, training, demo day like this. This could be the new model for demo days, so this is your chance to get in at the cutting edge.

We have just 21 spots available on Saturday and Sunday. First come, first served on choosing your starting time. Three starting times per hour starting at 9 A.M on Saturday. Register here: http://tinyurl.com/WedgeWeekend.

Please R.S.V.P. if you can make it. This will margin-bottom be a productive, action-packed weekend. I hope to meet up with plenty of former Golf Lab clients. You can call me directly to discuss. Cell: (650) 743-2816.

PROJECT #1 “Playing Yardage” Radar Study – the Details

The Playing Yardage Study is a follow-up to last year’s Radar Study.

Last summer, while we worked out the magic of radar for teaching “impact dynamics”, we discovered an unexpected result. All of the margin-bottom players in the study (10-18 index) hit hundreds of balls with radar looking over their shoulder. They became intimately aware of measured carry distances for every club in their bag. When they took their new knowledge to the golf course – their scores came down by 3 to 5 strokes – immediately. And their scores stayed down.

Very few golfers know exactly how far they carry every club in their bag. Most players over-estimate their carry distances by 10-18 yards. Tour players use radar to dial in their yardages to a single yard. They know for sure.

That’s why Tiger took two steps back a year ago at the Masters after his first wedge shot hit the pin. He knew that the next one would land six feet short, take one hop and stop for a tap-in.

The big question was whether “ego” would overpower reason. Conventional wisdom says that players are too fixated on distance to accept reality. The big surprise was that we found our study participants were perfectly willing to learn from their experience. Every player became quite comfortable with the concept of “playing yardage”. Playing yardage is not maximum possible distance.

If that is true, it could lead to a revolution in “training for golf”. What if simply spending a couple of hours training with radar to “gap your bag” cut three to five strokes off of your index?

We were fascinated by the possibility. But as you might expect, we wanted proof.

The Enablers: and

I introduced GameGolf to Chronicles readers in February. The company describes itself as a “digital tracking system for golf”. For details, here’s a link to my original blog post. http://calgolflab.com/blog/2014/01/29/top-picks-from-2014-pga-show-meet-up-this-weekend-at-the-bridges/ GameGolf was the Big Story at the PGA Show in January. The Company was the feature attraction on the Main Stage introduced by the President of the PGA. I can’t remember the PGA endorsing any product before. Their booth was packed. Luckily, Eric and I had a chance to meet up with their V.P. of Sales – Mike Hamann. That chance meeting was the connection that made the Playing Yardage Study possible.

GameGolf provides a way for players to track improvement without wasting hours writing notes on scorecards and filling out spreadsheets. GameGolf keeps track of every shot you hit by simply tapping the handle of your club on an electronic gizmo on your belt. A GPS in the Cloud charts your progress around the course. After you finish your round, you upload your shot data and GameGolf keeps a permanent record – presented on a map of the course. You pay one time for the system ($249) and Game maintains your records forever. How cool is that?

With statistical tracking made easy, we knew that we could design a new study that would prove that simply knowing your “playing yardage” is the easiest way to cut strokes from your game. We wanted to know “how many” and “how long?” We wanted proof.

Launching the Playing Yardage Study

GameGolf provided their system for up to sixty players. As before, Flightscope provided their state-of-the-art X2 radars. Radar is the ultimate luxury to determine precise carry distances. In the past it took several days and a brave partner to chart your carry distances. Today radar makes the chore simple and quick. Just hit the shots. You don’t even have to pick up the balls.

Here’s how the study works: You make an appointment to meet up with Eric at The Bridges in San Ramon. He’ll introduce you to the GameGolf system and help you set up your clubs and your computer. (We’re going to ask you to write down your current distances). That takes half an hour. (Chronicles readers who live on the Peninsula can make arrangements for a group meeting a little closer to home. You can telephone Eric personally (650) 274-3890 or contact him by email – ejones@ericjonesgolf.com – to make arrangements).

Without further ado you play three rounds with the GameGolf system. You can take a week or a month to get that job done. That establishes a benchmark.

You then return to The Bridges for a 90-minute session with Flightscope radar and Eric’s coaching to hit through every club in your bag. You will get a chart of your precise carry distances. You will know long, short and “playing yardage”. You will know your most likely miss. Eric will coach you on playing strategy.

You take your new-found knowledge to the course and play three more rounds. You upload your results.

A professional statistician will log into your GameGolf account and add your results to results from the other 59 players. We will publish the results for all to see. The study will be definitive.

After you finish playing your three rounds, make a personal appointment with Eric for a complete analysis of your game – that comes with the Study. He will help you interpret your results and focus on your strengths and weaknesses. Assuming that there’s room for improvement, he will recommend drills to promote “deliberate practice” – to help your focus on the most important skills – revealed by GameGolf.

The Study is a Bargain

“Gapping your bag” with radar is a standard service that we provide. The normal cost is $195 for the two hour session.

The Playing Yardage Study costs just $99. At the beginning of the Study we’ll ask for a credit card to cover the cost for The Bridges and study administration. We won’t charge the card for the GameGolf unit until the study is complete. If you keep the system, we’ll charge the card. If you give it back (highly unlikely) you’re done. The knowledge and coaching is free.

We have sixty spots available. Eric has already signed up 32 players. There is no guarantee that when the sixty places are full, any more will be available. I encourage you to take advantage of this very interesting, – and possibly game changing offer – before the time runs out. Register here: http://tinyurl.com/YardageStudy

“Wedge Weekend” – May 8, 9, and 10

Our second project is “Wedge Weekend”. This is the project I’m coming to California to help launch.

The Wedge Weekend is our best idea about how to follow up on our “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics that we delivered last summer. The underlying concept is to present an intensive three-hour program that gets results – more fun and lower scores – right ­­now.

A year ago, our “Scoring Clubs” clinics were a bit of a PITA. That was “Before Radar”. We knew that it was important to learn how far you hit your wedges. Back in the day we set out a target flag and surrounded it with cones.

Recording your distances required a partner to help you spot where each shot landed and write that down with paper and pencil. (We wore out plenty of erasers). Working with a partner there was barely time to get the job done in three hours. The results were good, but not precise.

This year, we’re kicking off the Wedge Weekend with Flightscope radar. The process is infinitely more efficient – and extensive. Every player gets his own Flightscope unit – with Eric Jones helping with a coach’s eye just in case your technique could use a little tweaking. That takes the first hour.

At the end of the first hour, you’ll know exactly how far you carry each of your wedges. You’ll get a professional evaluation of your trajectory and your technique. That, by itself, is worth the price.

The Second Stage – Hands-on, Professional Fitting

The Bridges has a great private grass tee area that faces the range. If you’re going to test wedges for “turf interaction”, “trajectory” and “feel” – a natural grass surface is imperative.

Here is a photo of the grass area:

The Bridges Driving Range Grass Area

The Third Stage – Greenside

Your third hour of the Wedge Weekend is “greenside”. The Bridges has a terrific practice green that is just perfect for testing those “touch shots” around the green. You will have the help and guidance of a PGA professional to check your technique and help you learn those tricky “lobs” and “skip and check” shots that you’ve always wanted to hit.

You will have a bag full of custom wedges from each of our participating companies. If you want to compare the new models against your “old favorite” bring it along.

The Wedge Weekend is a Bargain

Our goal with all of our clinics is to make the time you spend pay big dividends. I can’t think of a better way to improve your knowledge and your technique at the same time. The cost of the three-hour clinic is just $199. Registration is easy. Just log into Eric’s website at www.EricJonesGolf.com and click the Wedge Weekend button: http://tinyurl.com/WedgeWeekend

About The Bridges Golf Club

The Bridges Golf Club is one of the most complete facilities in the Bay Area. They have an extensive driving range with good targets and balls. The practice range features the only Taylor Made “MAT” (Motion Analysis Technology) in the Bay Area. It is staffed by an experienced fitter from “The Kingdom” – Nick Petralia.

The practice range is also home to a complete Titleist fitting center staffed by Steve Watanabe.

And as you know, The Bridges is the new home for Eric Jones. The Bridges has supported our ground-breaking work with radar for the last year. We thank them for their enthusiastic help.

For More Information:

We are working with Bob Pegram again this year for help with questions and reservations. Contact him by telephone at (408) 871-9983 or by email: BobPgolf@dslextreme.com. You can reach Eric Jones by telephone at (650) 274-3890 or by email: ejones@ericjonesgolf.com . You can always reach me by cell phone at (650) 743-2816 or email: Leithander@gmail.com.

I’m hoping to meet up with old friends at The Bridges in a three weeks.

Best Regards, Leith Anderson

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Top Picks from 2014 PGA Show – Meet-up this Weekend at The Bridges

Top Picks from 2014 PGA Show

Meet-up this Weekend at The Bridges

Two months is my longest quiet spell in years. (Moving is complicated). I owe you some good stories. No problem with the PGA Show to cover. Get comfortable.

PGA Show Background

Russ Ryden (Dallas, Texas) founded Devoted Golfer.TV as an online magazine to host our video project. Our concept is to take golf reporting to a much deeper level than mainstream media can afford. Complex subjects take time to explain. Our interviews reflect deep domain knowledge and experience. This was our third PGA Show in Orlando with video.

PGA Show management gave Devoted Golfer.TV a private video room in the press area where Russ set up a studio with three cameras, monitors, sound, lighting and staging. Our reward was a series of in-depth interviews with the top Biomechanics PhD’s in the country. That’s a scoop. We followed up with show floor reporting that captured Michael Breed and Eric Jones presenting in the Flightscope booth. That got us a “B-roll” on the Golf Channel. We made the cut.

Imagine our Video Team working side by side with the Golf Channel on the Show Floor.

Our PGA Show Video Team is knowledgeable, experienced and connected. Russ leads the pack technically. Players include: John Taylor (retired professor, biomechanics student), Biv Wadden (PGA Teaching Pro from Chicago), Mark Maness (PGA Teaching Pro from Dallas), Eric Jones (Long Drive Champion from San Francisco) Brian Kirk (Teaching Pro and Founder of Golf Solutions 360 in Indianapolis) and Woody Lashen (Proprietor of Pete’s Golf on Long Island). We each scout the show for the best products and stories. We then work together to get all the details. Even though this blog post is mainly first person a lot of the insights and tips came from the team. You can meet them all on Devoted Golfer.TV. www.devotedgolfer.tv.

Meet-up at The Bridges

I’m in California this week. I came out to work with Eric on our “Radar for Teaching, Training and Clubfitting” book. Our work with radar this summer propelled us to the cutting edge of “applied technology for golf”. We believe that we’re on the dawn of the “radar age”. These are exciting times.

If you haven’t tried our radar-based clinics, clear time this weekend. We’re offering our “Driver Optimization” clinic on Saturday and “Wedge Optimization” clinic on Sunday. 12:00 – 2:00 both days. $50 for two hours of radar-based coaching. This is the ultimate low-cost way to understand radar training while you learn to hit a high draw with your driver. I would love to meet up with some of my California friends this weekend. Call Eric at (650)274-3890 to reserve your place.

I brought a small bag of high performance driver shafts with me. If the “driver shaft fitting” riff in this issue catches your fancy, we can do that. You can also try the Edel high bounce wedges around the green. Call me on my cell phone to talk: (650)743-2816.

Sweepstakes Winner from the PGA Show

Game Golf is the sweepstakes winner for 2014. Game Golf was on the main stage for a featured “Major Announcement”. The CEO of the PGA did the honors. The PGA announced official sponsorship. It is very rare for the PGA to get behind a private company. Game Golf won “Most Innovative New Product” at the Show. The booth was busy on the last day when all the other booths were packing up. Their electronic gizmos are sold out and current orders are on allocation. You get the picture. This is a very popular new idea that combines a product with a service. Game Golf is “discovered”.

The company markets a “digital tracking system”. Think of it as “Shotlink for Amateurs”.

For all of us who have made New Year’s Resolutions to track our rounds and keep statistics – many times for me – Game Golf is your answer. The main benefit is automatic data recording. The gizmo is simple. Eighteen badges attach to the club through the hole in the grip. Snap in, no problem. A small transmitter goes on your belt. The transmitter links to a GPS and sends your data to a storehouse in the Cloud.

To use the system, you tap the butt of your club on the transmitter as part of your pre-shot routine. The GPS now knows where you were when you hit that shot and the club you used. (GPS systems are accurate to 2-3 feet.) Before your next shot, tap the transmitter with the new club and the GPS records the distance of your previous shot and stages the next. At round’s end you have every shot recorded for distance, location and the club you used. All you have to do is remember to “tap”.

Each shot is recorded on an digital map of the course. You can replay your round visually, shot by shot. You can print the map. You get a hole by hole, shot by shot record of every round you play. Game Golf has mapped 30,000 golf courses. They’ve got yours if you live in North America.

You edit any mistakes before “signing your card” and sending your round to the Game Golf Server in the Cloud. Your rounds are preserved forever and there is no annual fee for the service. (Game must have Google involved.) Game golf requires the use of a PC or Tablet to modify and upload the data. Once you upload a signed card, it’s a permanent record.

The software comes with every level of analysis. You get GIR (greens in regulation), Fairways hit, Up and Downs and everything else. You also get statistics on individual clubs that span rounds. You will know the distance of every 4 iron you ever hit. Actual knowledge and belief in REAL carry distances with every club is the best way to cut 3-5 strokes from your index. Choose the club that reaches your target and you’ll see your scores go down. In our radar study, participants overestimated their carry distances by 10-18 yards. Knowing and relying on your “playing distance” will to cut strokes. No work required, just good thinking.

The “Social” element lets you share your games with anyone you choose – playing partners, coaches or competitors. Coaches might find they can manage their competition ladders with Game Golf.

Eric and I are anxious to receive the orders placed at the Show. Game Golf provides the easiest way to keep track of progress and ultimately results. We’ll have the first detailed hands-on review. This could be the first Hot Product in golf for many years.

More details: The founder is Irish (Galway) – started the project five years ago – moved to Silicon Valley to get close to the talent and the funding. That’s the kind of development cycle that can be successful on Day One.

One obvious problem to address: No GPS system is accurate enough to record your putting statistics automatically. There will likely be a “manual upgrade” that will allow you to keep putting statistics. In this version, Game Golf is not helpful for putting except for the number of putts. The good news is that companies enjoying success can fund development projects.

Miniature Electronics Ready for Prime Time

Two years ago we found SwingByte in the “New Products” area. It was a small gizmo that clamped on the shaft of the club. It was chock full of accelerometers and gyroscopes. With detailed data, you can image your swing and measure some angles like swing plane. Speed is simple. Acceleration is possible. There was plenty of promise.

Alas, the new gizmos suffered from “early release syndrome”. The mechanism to attach the gizmo to the shaft came loose. Alignment was difficult and imprecise which called accuracy into question. The companies failed to recognize key data the device made available. (The programmers weren’t golfers). Changes in management ensued at SwingByte – a Rocky Road. But SwingByte was back for its third PGA Show in an active booth with a much improved product.

We also noted the Zepp device that attaches to a player’s glove. It does some things in an interesting fashion. Zepp started with baseball and tennis. But the golf version appears to be behind in development. You might want to try one in the models dedicated to those sports. We have a demo version and you can test it in a coaching session. Zepp is probably one more version out.

Our “Swing Analysis” pick of the show is the Sky Pro device that was created and marketed by Sky Golf – parent of the Sky Caddy. Sky Pro is ready for Prime Time. Sky Pro software has a physical alignment routine. This is crucial if you plan to pay attention to key angles such as swing path and face angle. Sky Pro is a training device. You can set Sky Pro for a specific swing path and then set a tolerance that will let you “dial in” the swing path that you want. The Sky Pro measures each swing and reports success with a pleasant “beep” and failure with raspberries. If you are a swing technician, the Sky Pro will be a welcome tool to help you understand and groove your swing. You can use it on the practice tee.

The best use of Sky Pro in my view is for putting – software scheduled for release in March. Sky Pro records the path and face angle of the stroke. Combined with the acceleration graph, you have a pretty good feature match with the $7000 Putt Lab. At $200 retail, the Sky Pro is a very economical way to measure and analyze your putting stroke. I bought a Sky Pro for myself at the Show if that tells you anything.

More details: Sky Golf licensed the Sky Pro hardware to Ping and supplied a development kit. Ping took advantage of the acceleration data that Sky Pro collects but does not use in their product. Ping is releasing their adaptation of the Sky Pro as a shaft fitting tool – rivaling the “Mizuno Stick” that is currently the only way to take “shaft load” into consideration for shaft fitting. It is a reasonable assumption that Ping surveyed all of the suppliers and chose the one they judged the best.

Much Improved Driver Shaft Fitting Method

There is no quest more interesting to most golfers than finding the “Magic Shaft” for their driver. We’ve all seen and felt the magic. It’s the driver you never miss. Alas, you can go a few generations between drivers without finding it again.

The problem is the Major Manufacturers’ fitting carts. They are brilliant for allowing a player to test every option that they offer. The problem is that they don’t offer many options. Most fitting carts limit driver shaft choices to nine shafts: Lightweight (40-50 grams), Mid (65 grams) and Heavy (75 grams). Three flexes: Senior, Regular and Stiff are common. That’s nine. There is little coverage for very good players (Extra Stiff) and for ultra-light weights and soft flexes for seniors and women. There is no way to test different shaft flex profiles. In our view, you can’t do a comprehensive job of shaft fitting across all player types with fewer than 28 driver shafts in your system. At Golf Solutions we have over 100 shaft models – many uncommon and exotic options – in our fitting system.

We study shaft flex profiles. Golfshaftreviews.info is another Russ Ryden creation that measures virtually every modern shaft in great detail. We rely on his analysis in our fitting process to determine the precise shaft characteristic so we have a reason for testing different shafts. When we find exceptional performance, we know why. We’re looking for a flex profile that delivers the best consistency. You only find that if you know what you’re looking for – the ultimate magic of the Flightscope acceleration graph reveals shaft performance at the deepest level. www.golfshaftreviews.info.

Getting the best shaft fitting out of a Manufacturer’s cart is a gamble. In most fitting methods you start by hitting a few drives with your current driver to establish a benchmark. Then, the fitter hands you a succession of drivers – different drivers with different head styles, different weights, different centers of gravity, different lofts, different balance and different shafts hoping that one will produce the “home run ball” before you run out of gas. Most players get lucky for a few swings and take a new driver home. In most retail fitting environments the entire process is completed in half an hour. Alas, when players take their new driver to the course they usually find that there is little difference in performance under game conditions.

A far better method is to stick with your current driver to find the best shaft. Since there has been very little improvement in driver head design in the last five years, it’s a good bet that your driver won’t be more than a step or two behind the “latest and greatest”. In a perfect world, you would have every test shaft available to hit with your current driver head. That makes performance comparison meaningful. If the shot goes higher or spins less it’s because of the shaft – not some nuance of loft, weight, shape, center of gravity or balance.

Flightscope radar is a “CT Scan” for driver shaft fitting. More than “ball launch monitor” radar tracks the head in motion and measures speed and acceleration. Radar reveals shaft load and consistency with easy to understand graphical images. Radar also checks performance. Our goal is to fine tune ball speed, launch angle and spin to create the longest and straightest driver. Radar is essential. It obsoletes all other current methods of shaft fitting.

The problem is that no shaft fitting system accommodates all current drivers. Over the past few years Major Manufacturers concentrated on developing proprietary adapters that connect their heads to only their shafts. That’s how they clawed back the aftermarket shaft business. If you want a custom shaft they want you to buy it from them – not an independent clubfitter. The proliferation of fitting carts has pretty much killed the independent clubfitter. The good news is that we’re not all dead.

Billy Bob Cracks the Code

Billy Bob Blankenship is a master machinist who loves and understands golf equipment. For years, he has produced clone after clone of proprietary shaft fitting adapters for any driver with replaceable shafts. He has one for every popular driver head style. Three years ago, we standardized our fitting system on the Taylor Made R9 and R11 models – our rationale was that there were more of those models in existence than all other driver designs combined. Even back then we recognized the benefits of fitting driver shafts with a player’s own head.

Our fitting system is heaven on earth of a player who wants to try every likely shaft option and measure performance with radar. Alas, our system suffers from the problem is that only players with R9 and R11 models can use their own driver heads in fitting. Everyone else is required to test with a head that is not familiar.

The New Billy Bob Gizmo

The “Gorilla in the Driver Room” is Taylor Made. Even more so this year. Taylor Made’s acquision of Adams gives them another well-regarded driver line. Recognizing that the more interchangeable shaft choices, the better for their customers, Taylor Made is using the same adapter with both lines.

Big advantage: Any Taylor Made shaft for the new models: R1 and SLDR are now interchangeable with this year’s Adams line. Very cool.

Here’s the game changer: Billy Bob made an adapter that he customized. Billy Bob’s adapter fits any R1, SLDR or new Adams model. The twist is that he has divided the adapter into two parts: the business end goes in the driver. The other end is a reverse-threaded screw that allows a common adapter to connect to the club. In effect there are two connectors: one that goes in the head and one that connects the head and adapter to the shaft.

That sounds complicated. It’s worth the trouble. Billy Bob then designed connectors for the new Titleist drivers. Now the same shaft that fits Taylor Made and Adams fits Titleist.

Now, you can swap shafts between manufacturers. That’s the Holy Grail we’ve all been searching for. In time you can expect Billy Bob to develop his own customized adapters for all popular driver head models. He also has a threaded sleeve that can provide the same functionality for nearly every driver head on the planet.

Now you can make sense out of driver shaft fitting. Work with your driver until you understand the length, weight and flex profile that you load correctly and that produces the longest and most consistent results with your current driver head. If your “ballistics” show faults, you know to blame your own head. You learn more about your driver swing by giving your current driver head a workout with a variety of shafts – comparing the performance of each shaft with radar.

From there, you can start to swap heads to test different weights, shapes, lofts, center of gravity and moment of inertia. That is the best way to find your next Magic Driver shaft.

Future Subjects:

I could have gone a lot longer but I want to get this out to my list with a chance to do a little business this weekend while we spread the gospel of radar and how it helps players get better faster and have more fun in the process. Take the first step to getting to know your swing this weekend at The Bridges.

Next issue look for coverage of high bounce in irons and wedges – validated by the Biomechanics presentations at the Show. Also, the Great SLDR Driver controversy.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson

And the DevotedGolfer.TV Video Team: Russ Ryden, Eric Jones, John Taylor, Biv Wadden, Brian Kirk and Mark Maness

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Adios! California – Hello Indiana

Radar Manifesto – Chapter One

By Leith Anderson

After writing the Golf Equipment Chronicles, the Radar Chronicles and my Golf Blog from California for more than ten years, it’s going to feel a little weird to cover golf with snow on the ground. But don’t worry. Golf is in my blood and Indiana is not the North Pole. The Chronicles will continue from Indianapolis.

For my next few articles – from California and Indiana – I’m going to talk about new capability that radar brings to teaching, clubfitting and the new, emerging discipline of Radar Training for Golf.

I believe that radar is The Next Big Thing for golf. The reason is that I’ve seen dozens of players of all skill levels transform their swings in a couple of hours with radar feedback and coaching. Radar helps you learn a new, efficient swing – if that’s what you need – by feel and self-adjustment. No poking, prodding or thinking necessary. Just natural, rapid change. 100% success rate. Radar is simply a new, much better teaching tool.

Radar is also the ultimate clubfitting tool. Radar compares golf club performance for accuracy and measures shaft load. Radar finds the shaft that works best with your swing. The most consistent shaft performance is revealed with a simple graph. Radar obsoletes other methods of clubfitting that focus on distance.

The best starting point is our “Driver Optimization with Radar” clinic for $50. The clinic shows what radar can do in just two hours. You gain a new understanding of your golf swing. The clinic is a great value. After enlightenment, we’re betting you’ll want to come back for more.

Every player improves in two hours. We measure improvement – by distance, accuracy and consistency. There is no doubt. Once you feel your new swing and see the results you will want to follow a personalized Radar Training program to ingrain the changes.

Radar Training offers a new way to create “deliberate practice” and track your improvement. Once you learn the swing you want – you work that out with your PGA Swing Coach – Radar Training helps you make your new, efficient swing permanent.

Over half of our “Driver Optimization with Radar” clinic clients were so impressed with their progress in just two hours that they committed to a personalized Radar Training program. That’s a strong endorsement. Radar training is economical. Two hours with a $10,000 Flightscope C2C radar and an expert coach is just $45 per hour.

If this sounds like a strong pitch – that’s exactly what I intended. If you are serious about getting better at golf you owe it to yourself to explore the potential of radar for teaching, clubfitting and the new discipline of radar training.

Indiana presents a new challenge. We’ll tailor the methods we’ve perfected on the range to an indoor environment this winter in Indianapolis. Radar makes indoor practice much more effective. I think that radar will bring a new, enthusiastic clientele to indoor ranges throughout the Snow Belt.

We offer scheduled Radar Training sessions weekly at The Bridges. We have openings this weekend. Call Bob Pegram for details, 408-871-9983 or email, bobpgolf@dslextreme.com.

Radar Training Program – Content

Our mission with radar training is to create NEW PROGRAMS to help players shoot lower scores faster than they ever imagined. Since last March, we presented a variety of teaching formats and subjects – starting with our “Distance with Your Driver” clinics at Pleasanton. Results that we accomplish today with radar make those early clinics look primitive. And that was just nine months ago. State-of-the-art for instruction is progressing rapidly.

We know the client profile that finds our radar analysis, training and clubfitting exactly what they’re looking for. You’re ready for ten to twenty hours of structured work that covers all aspects of your game. You can be the player you want to be.

You want a personal relationship with a proven swing coach. You’re also looking for a sophisticated clubfitting process that compares club performance in ways that only radar can detect. You want to hone your skills with a series of “deliberate”, two-hour radar training sessions. Covering those bases is best accomplished with a PGA Teaching Professional partnered with a “Top 100 Clubfitter”.

If that sounds like the PROGRAM you’re looking for, here’s an overview of the PROCESS that comes with the PLAN.

After the Driver Optimization Clinic, the best next step is to focus on distance control by benchmarking your current performance with every club in your bag. Your goal is to calibrate your “stock swing”. That’s the swing that delivers your average carry distance with no stress. An important PERFORMANCE MILESTONE is developing total confidence in your stock swing and absolute certainty about carry distance.

You will find that you dial back your playing distances. Your shot dispersion will tighten up immediately. On the course you will find your ball closer to the hole.

Our goal at the end of the radar calibration process is for players to “call their distance” while the ball is in the air. That’s a higher level of performance that can only be learned with radar feedback. Imagine your confidence when you have the feel that lets you call your distances. Radar training goes beyond swing work. Radar lets you develop your feel to hone your performance on the course.

Your next step is calibrating your precise carry distances with wedges – focusing on partial shots for finesse. The reason Tiger stepped back two paces at the Masters is that he didn’t want to hit the flagstick again. Now that level of precision training for distance control is available to normal golfers with radar training.

Calibrating your bag with radar takes four hours.

Advanced Swing Work

Optimizing your driver performance means that you’ll train your swing for a 3* inside-out path, face aim at 1.5* closed to path (but open to target) and an upward angle of attack of 4 to 5*. Those numbers deliver a nice high draw.

InsideOut Swingpath1faceOpentotargetDownwardAngleofAttackIrons are different. If you want a straight shot with your irons you will need a descending blow with an outside-in swing path that’s half of your angle of attack. For example, a 3* downward angle of attack with a six iron requires an outside-in swing path of 1.5* to produce a straight shot.

Knowing your “numbers” with every club in your bag lets you to learn to work the ball both ways. Radar helps you learn the swing that delivers the shot you imagine. No more random experimentation. You know exactly what you want. Practice that.

It’s no longer necessary to “dig it out of the dirt”. Who has time for that?

Clubfitting with Radar

Clubfitting is a PROCESS that is best accomplished together with a radar training program.

The first step before a serious clubfitting is “radar swing analysis”. You can do that with our “Driver Optimization with Radar” clinic or in a private radar swing analysis session. The things you learn and understand about your swing with radar analysis are important. If you can make fundamental changes to your swing for the better in a few hours – do that first. There is no point fitting golf clubs for a swing that can be improved easily.

You should make sure you have the best possible swing before getting fitted for new golf clubs. Traditional clubfitting methods required taking a player’s swing as it is and fashioning clubs that make up for swing defects.

That’s no longer the best way to go. With radar, learning the swing that delivers the shots you imagine is easy for most players. If you can change your swing for the better easily, do that first.

Find Your Team

The ultimate key to success in getting better at golf is to find a “team” of coaches who collaborate to speed your improvement by focusing on the most important skills for quickest results. Working with your PGA Swing Coach, your Radar Trainer and Clubfitter makes sure that your optimal swing is your natural swing. Your swing coach must collaborate with your clubfitter.

Perspective on Indiana

My move back to Indiana is a lucky coincidence of timing. There’s an Anderson family farm in Indianapolis. Mom is 92, still on the farm, sharp as a tack and welcomes a little company for the next few years. My family has always been centered in the Midwest. So I’m going back. I’m moving my workshop so I can continue to pursue my passion of building the most interesting golf clubs in the world.

In Indiana, I’ll be able to do a lot more with clubfitting and custom clubs. I look forward to getting back in touch with the pioneers of tuning and tweaking performance. Jeff Lindner and the Balance-Certified boys. John Johnson at Tour Lock. The specialists at Aerotech, UST, Matrix and Nippon Shafts. Bill Holowaty at Miura. Graham Webb and Peter Lord at Vega. There is plenty of excitement in the independent “aftermarket” for custom, decked out golf clubs.

If you’re ready for radar, you can get started this weekend at The Bridges.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson

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Radar Training Session Six – Radar Training Meets Playing Strategy

Greetings from The Bridges Golf Club,

Unexpected results are frequently the most interesting. That happened in session six of our Radar Training Research Project.

radar-chronicles-6Our goal at the beginning of the study was to find out if players can use radar without professional instruction to change their swings to change their ball flight. Can slicers become hookers? The key question is whether radar will be a “consumer device” that produces effective results “out of the box”. Or, is radar “too technical” for immediate comprehension?

For drivers, we know “impact dynamics” very well from Eric’s own radar training program for the World Long Drive Finals. Eric credits radar training for winning his last Championship.

For Eric, the key to maximum distance is a touch of draw spin. He gets that with a 1* inside-out swing path, face aim at ½* closed to path (but ½* open to target line) and an upward angle of attack of 5*. That puts the ball through his “window” with low spin at 15* launch angle. Those are Eric’s best numbers. Yours will be slightly different.

With slower swing speeds, amateurs can put a little more shape into their draw. That means a slightly more inside-out swing path – 3* to 4*. Split your swing path in two to find your face aim. If you’re 4* inside-out, a 2* closed face aim in relation to the clubhead path (and 2* open to the target) will produce perfect direction and draw spin. Combine your upward angle of attack with your driver loft to put the ball through your own “window”.

You will definitely need a professional swing coach to help you determine your own “best numbers”. They are a little bit different for every club in your bag. The good news is that ultra-precision is not required. A few degrees one way or the other will still produce very good shots.

Data With Knowledge

We coached each of our six study participants on the physics behind predictable ball flight. Players need to conceptualize “swing path”, “face aim” and “angle of attack”. At the beginning of the study, no player had a clear idea of how those three numbers work together to produce the shot they imagined. It didn’t take long; each player became very comfortable with his impact dynamics within an hour or so.

Every player was able to make remarkable changes in their swing dynamics. “Ace” was the big winner. He started with a 17* outside-in swing path and was able to cut it to just a couple of degrees. The result was a 20 yard increase in carry distance.

“Hook” found that his swing path was exaggerated inside-out. He was able to soften his draw and become more consistent by bringing his swing path closer to 3*.

Results were universally positive. While no player could be expected to unwrap Flightscope radar and put it to immediate use, it didn’t take long to turn the radar into an effective teaching tool.

I felt sorry for the participants. Academic study demands required focusing on a single variable – the radar feedback without further instruction. Participants suffered much more uncertainty than would have been necessary with a combination of instruction and radar training. We answered the question. Radar feedback alone is definitely enough information to help a player change his swing on his own. However, it’s much easier with professional instruction.

The “ease of use” question is definitely “not easy enough”. But the bottom line is that every player was able to make significant changes to their swing. There is no doubt; radar training with instant feedback is an effective teaching tool.

What About Training?

The big breakthrough in this session was we turned to “calibration” for wedges – looking to improve consistency measured by “dispersion”. With the driver, our focus was on “instruction” – making sure that every player had the most efficient swing he could manage. With wedges, the goal is much different. Rather than distance, we’re looking for accuracy. You TRAIN to improve accuracy.

Most players have a mental distance for every club in their bag. Very few players know exactly how far they carry each club. On average, players estimate their carry distance longer than actual.

Our training drill was to hit a series of 10 wedge shots and study the results. As you might guess, there were “longer”, “shorter” and “average”. For the drill, we took each player’s average yardage and asked him to hit another ten shots to that distance – not to the longest distance.

You can guess the result. Players knew that they could reach their average distance without stress. The result was that they made more consistent swings and the dispersion tightened up for every player.

And the third set tightened up even more. That’s a good example of “deliberate training”. You try to do better each set and measure and compare your performance to track improvement – “leveling up”. Radar makes training possible for golf.

The most unexpected result was that players became mentally comfortable with their “playing distance”. Rather than resist, they accepted. By the end of the session players were describing their wedge play as “I can hit it 110, but I play it for 100”.

If there is one single thing that you learn from the Radar Chronicles it is that you can learn your “playing distances” with every club in your bag in a couple of hours. That’s how long it takes to hit through your bag with radar watching over your shoulder. You get a complete map of your results – accurate to the inch. You will know for sure how far you carry every club in your bag with your comfortable, balanced, repeatable and CONSISTENT swing.

The Holy Grail is learning your CONSISTENT swing with every club – knowing the distance – and then TRAINING to repeat that swing comfortably on balance. Radar keeps you focused on repeating your best swing.

Bulletin: Leith is Moving to Indiana

I’ll have a lot more detail about moving in the next few days. I’ve been planning to move back to Indiana for a year. The work with Eric and radar was motivation for me to stick with the project. I’m so glad that we did. We are defining the leading edge for radar instruction, training and clubfitting. The Radar Chronicles will continue from Indiana and California. Think of Indianapolis as the Midwest headquarters for Eric Jones Golf.

I still have a little time to build a few sets of custom clubs – if you were planning on giving yourself a Christmas present. I’m moving December 1. Now would be a good time to treat yourself with some Miuras or Vegas. A set of Edel wedges would be a good choice – high bounce is better for most players.

If I were going to make one recommendation for a totally unique design that has been “the cat’s meow” for every player who has tried it, consider the Miura Hybrid. It is shaped like a small fairway metal but with a deep face. The contour of the face is “old school” bulge and roll. The face shaping helps to straighten out your shots. Match it up with a 70 or 80 gram Aerotech or Matrix shaft. Highly recommended.

If you would like to discuss golf clubs, schedule a last meet-up at the workshop or just call and say “goodbye for now” – my cell phone is 650-743-2816.

There’s still time to schedule your “Driver Optimization” clinic this weekend. Or, if you’d like to complete your “Distance Guide” (club gapping) with Leith we have availability this weekend. Call Bob for an appointment 408-871-9983.

Best regards,

Leith, Eric and Bob

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Radar Chronicles – Week 5

Greetings from The Bridges Golf Club,

This video reveals that each of our six Radar Study participants ran into heavy weather with their “190 Yard Club”. Keep in mind, the Radar Study was conceived as a test of whether radar feedback alone – simply knowing what your swing is doing – is enough information to help a player make a swing change for the better. We define “better” with a driver as a high draw for maximum distance.

Radar based golf swing training video week 5The question centers on whether ordinary players – 9-22 indexes – can conceptualize abstract concepts like “swing path”, “angle of attack”, and “face aim at impact” and then self-adjust their swings to improve center contact, distance and trajectory. It turns out every Study participant picked up quickly what they needed to do at the “moment of impact” to produce a high draw. Some players didn’t get all the way there – two stopping with a very moderate outside-in swing path that produced a playable “power fade”.

That’s the first takeaway: You don’t need to be perfect to hit a very acceptable shot. In fact, two or three degrees each way delivers very good results. So far, we have not worked with a single player who has failed to make measurable improvement.

The second takeaway is that I began to feel a little sorry for the Study participants. In addition to running the Study – the academic approach required a single variable – in this case “radar feedback”. The study participants received no outside coaching from Eric.

We are running a series of “Driver Optimization with Radar” clinics concurrently with the study. In the introductory clinics there is no such prohibition on coaching. That’s where the real magic happens. We have seen players change from lifelong slicers to hitting nice high draws in a couple of hours. Veteran teachers who have observed that transformation process have gone home totally amazed. When you do the work on your own it takes more experimentation and more time.

That is not to say that the Study participants are not coming out OK. To a man they have improved their consistency on the course – the final Study results will determine the scale of improvement. The most interesting outcome so far is that two Study participants have begun to price radar units. They are looking closely at features for the new “consumer” radar models that will be introduced in the spring.

The net result is that all of the Study participants believe that radar gave them a different perspective on their swing that made golf – and practice – much more interesting. Study participants mention that they know “why” a certain shot results from a certain swing. The “Science of Impact” is having a positive effect.

One of the key questions is answered. “Believers” will turn into “buyers”. We’re all anxiously awaiting the “feature and price” comparisons.

“Radar Driver Optimization with Radar” Clinics

For the last month we have been delivering two hour “get acquainted with radar” sessions. We focus on “Driver Optimization” because everyone wants to hit longer straighter drives more consistently.

The session starts with hitting a ten-ball set to determine a “baseline”. Most players show an outside-in swing path with a downward angle of attack. They leave the face of their driver open producing a short-distance fade or slice. That describes eight out of ten players we have worked with.

Our first goal is to get a player swinging “outside-in”. That usually takes no more than half an hour. Visual cues are the best coaching aid.

Once a player learns to swing “outside-in” the downward angle of attack frequently changes without further coaching. Eric relies on setup and alignment – staying far away from offering mind-boggling swing advice. Players find that if they start in the right position, they can make a “correct” swing.

The final hurdle is “release”. It is surprising the high percentage of players who have never felt a full release in their swing. That’s an eye-opener that results in increased swing speed.

We work with four players at a time in our “Driver Optimization” clinics. The entire process only takes two hours. The cost is a “best bargain in golf” – $50.

The Next Step, Radar Training

We offer the “$50 Introductory Special” as the first step to help interested players learn how radar can help them improve. Our goal is to “sell” a series of five or ten additional sessions. So far, half of our clinic attendees have decided to continue with radar training.

If you would like to participate in our introductory “Driver Optimization” clinic, we are sold out for this weekend, but we still have spots available next weekend. This opportunity will not last forever. We are shooting for twenty-five radar training clients. When we hit that number, there will be no more open time slots at The Bridges. We’re halfway home on our goal. Get in touch with Bob Pegram to reserve your place (408-871-9983).

Five two-hour radar training sessions: $545. Ten two-hour sessions: $895. If you come out this weekend and sign up for a series, we’ll even credit your $50 introductory fee.

One Final Offer

Radar is an effective training tool for more than your swing. Think about your distances. Very few players know how far they hit every club in their bag – and especially those crucial “partial shots”.

It takes two hours to hit through every cub in your bag and let radar record the distance and dispersion. You get a chart and a map.

Most players who have gone through our “Complete Distance Guide” service say that they’re saving two to three shots per round by just hitting the right club. That’s the easiest way to cut your handicap. Two hour “bag-gapping” exercise: $195. (You can do bag-gapping in your radar training program for just $45 per hour). Join us at The Bridges this weekend.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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Golf Lab Radar Clubfitting – New Home in Burlingame

Greetings from Burlingame Golf Center,

Flightscope Radar Swing Analysis and Golf Lab Custom Clubfitting are now available on the San Francisco Peninsula. This is surely great news for all loyal readers who are interested in the latest ideas in high performance golf clubs. The Golf Equipment Chronicles return in full force.

Starting next Monday, November 4th, all Golf Lab clubfitting services will be available at the Burlingame Golf Center on 101 just south of the S.F. Airport. I invite all Golf Lab clients to schedule personal fittings that bring Flightscope radar technology to an outdoor environment. On the equipment side, I continue to specialize in forged irons and wedges from Mizuno and Edel and the top Japanese boutique brands – Miura and Vega.

Shaft choices include all of our established favorites: Aerotech, Matrix, Accra, UST, Nippon, KB Tour and Mitsubishi Rayon. Next week I’ll have a special report on the “sleeper shaft” making small waves on Tour – the Nunchuk from nVentix.

Outdoor clubfitting with Flightscope radar and our mobile fitting systems is state-of-the-art for precision and efficiency. We can finish in a single session. In the past, detailed fittings required indoor Golf Lab analysis, outdoor confirmation and at least one more trip to finish up. Outdoor clubfitting with radar saves at least two trips. Way better.

Our Flightscope radar instruction and training programs continue with Eric Jones at The Bridges on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Best days for clubfitting at Burlingame are Monday and Tuesday. Clubfitting is not available at The Bridges.

I am available to answer all questions and schedule your personal fitting. Contact Leith Anderson (leithander@gmail.com) by email or cell phone 650-743-2816. I look forward to working with you at our new home on the Peninsula.

Please read on, get excited and get back in touch.

Wedge Fitting Options

The Burlingame Golf Center is a great location for fitting, tuning and tweaking your clubs. In addition to good long range targets, there is a fabulous short game area. Test the Edel wedge fitting system with specialized high performance wedge shafts. We match “bounce” to your unique wedge swing and find the shaft that delivers perfect trajectory and feel. Edel wedges are designed with much more bounce than conventional wedges. Definitely worth a try.

Flightscope knows where every shot lands. That’s the best way to pick the most accurate wedges and set your distances at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been through a dozen fittings; spending quality time in a custom wedge fitting will pay off with shorter putts and lower scores.

If you love your current wedges, that’s OK. We can fit new shafts and tweak the balance with new longer grips and counterweights. Let radar determine the winner. Highly recommended.

Driver Shaft and Head Fitting Options

Driver shaft and head fitting is precise with radar. My goal is not to put a new driver in your bag. Much more valuable, we will find the exact specifications of shaft weight, torque, flex profile, head loft and face angle to match your swing. You can use that information on a custom order from any maker. You might find that your current driver can’t be beat. That’s good to know.

We have the complete UST VTS driver shaft selection that offers low, medium and high torque options for every weight and flex. Shaft Fitting for torque is new and making headway on Tour. You see results in feel and accuracy.

Radar also lets us fit for shaft flex profile. For the first time we can match the appropriate butt, mid and tip flex to a player’s swing. We have almost 100 premium driver shafts in our fitting system. You can test all the Big Brands at Burlingame. Flightscope radar reveals shaft performance with a simple graph. Guesswork is eliminated. Consistency is more important than a couple of extra yards. Follow this link for a complete list of test shafts available:  http://calgolflab.com/blog/club-shaft-specifications-for-fitting/

Our driver fitting system is based on the Taylor Made R9 and R11 models. We can complete the driver shaft fitting with your own driver. That makes a very interesting comparison.

For more information on shaft fitting for load and flex, follow this link: http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/10/22/radar-for-shaft-fitting-a-technical-breakthrough/

Iron Shaft and Head Fitting Options

Iron fitting starts with determining the best head style to fit your swing, your eye and your ability. We utilize the Mizuno fitting system which offers a broad range of head styles. You will know if the Players’ Blade, Midsize Cavity or Game Improvement model delivers the best feel, look and performance for you.

After head choice, Iron shaft options are extensive. We supplement the Mizuno iron fitting system with all of the Tour-Proven Aerotech Steel Fiber models. Add the newest UST Recoils and the complete Matrix line of Radix, Kujoh and Program high performance iron shafts. Steel players can test everything from True Temper, KB Tour and Nippon. Don’t overlook the Nunchuk. All iron shafts are not created equal. You might be surprised when you compare actual performance. Radar shows dispersion – ultimately more important than distance.

If you’re looking for the best feeling and best performing irons, you can’t do better than a unique “Golf Lab Build”. Here’s a link to the details: http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/10/10/new-golf-lab-iron-build-heavier-heads-lighter-shafts-radar-shaft-fitting-explained/

Tuning and Tweaking Your Current Clubs

For true “golf geeks” the next few months will be a lot of fun. At Burlingame, we can perform our tuning and tweaking services. Once your clubs are “friendly” you can improve consistency by changing the balance and structural integrity of the shafts. Balance-Certified “Accurizers” can add a little distance and narrow dispersion a lot. Tour Lock counterweights under the grip and down the shaft can improve consistency. Radar measures and compares performance. Swing path and face angle at impact tighten up. Tuning and tweaking your current clubs works.

Help Me Write the Next Book on Advanced Clubfitting

I have one more exciting announcement. I’m committed to write a new book on advanced clubfitting with radar. The last significant book on clubfitting was published by Tom Wishon over eight years ago. To date, there has not been an update. Eight years in the “Age of Radar” is a lifetime. The experience that we gain at Burlingame will contribute to the knowledge we’ve acquired over the last eight years. I’m hoping that the legion of loyal Golf Lab clients will join me at Burlingame to provide the all-important case studies for the book.

For the last nine months I’ve focused attention on the teaching and training aspects of radar. One of the most important results of that effort in partnership with Eric Jones was to develop new methods to teach an efficient golf swing. That experience changed the way that I believe clubfitting should be delivered. It makes no sense for a player to buy golf clubs without understanding his swing first. All Golf Lab fittings include a complete Flightscope radar swing analysis.

Radar makes it simple for a player to learn the shots he always wanted to hit and cement that learning with radar training. Players who really want to improve will be lucky if they find a PGA Professional teacher who partners with an experienced clubfitter.

For more information on the Radar Training Program that we developed at The Bridges, follow this link: http://calgolflab.com/blog/2013/10/

I look forward to meeting up with Golf Lab equipment geeks at Burlingame.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson

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New Radar Training Program – Step 1: Swing Analysis & Driver Optimization

Change Your Game

Step One: “Radar Swing Analysis and Driver Optimization”

Change your game. Better golf starts with a two-hour introductory Flightscope radar coaching session at The Bridges delivered by Eric Jones and Leith Anderson. That’s the perfect combination of PGA teaching pro and Top 100 Clubfitter.

Each player hits ten shots. Flightscope radar records the results. You learn your swing path, face aim and angle of attack – your all-important “impact dynamics”.

Players who fade or slice the ball – the vast majority of all golfers – have an outside-in swing path, face angle (aim) open to path and a negative angle of attack. High spin. Poor contact. Short distance.

From long-drive experience, we know that maximum driver distance comes from an inside-out swing path, face angle closed to path (but open to target) and an upward angle of attack. Those impact dynamics yield the “high draw, low spin” home run ball. Solid contact. Long distance.

An hour of work is usually enough time to make a complete change in your impact dynamics. Without further coaching, most players can change their swing path, face aim and angle of attack with 50-100 shots with radar feedback after each swing. It’s just that simple.

Players who never imagined hitting a high draw surprise themselves with their transformation. Veteran teachers who have witnessed the process estimate that players improve “10 to 30 times faster” with radar feedback. There is no longer good reason to live with ugly ball flight. You can have the game you want.

But the job is not done in one hour. Every player knows that it’s going to take time and “reps” to fully ingrain swing changes. That’s where a radar training program comes into play. If all this sounds too good to be true, it is not. We have worked with over 100 players in the last six months with 100% success. We guarantee your improvement.

Every Club Requires a Different Swing

Impact dynamics get more complicated after the driver. The perfect drive comes from a 2-4* inside-out swing path, face aim that splits the difference between your swing path and your target and an upward angle of attack of 2-4*.

4 degrees inside out

An Inside-Out Swing Path

2 degrees open at impact

The Face is Open to the Target, but Closed to the Swing Path

Leith's Launch Angle

Representative Angles When Hitting Up On the Ball

Irons are different. The “science of impact” discovered by Theodore Jorgensen in “The Physics of Golf” and confirmed by radar measurement reveals that a straight shot with an iron comes from an slightly outside-in swing path, an open club face and a downward angle of attack. Pretty much the opposite of the driver.

Can an average player learn two swings?

Even more complication: Wedges are still different. They like a steeper angle of attack and bigger cut.

And how about fairway metals and hybrids?

You get the picture. You swing every club in your bag differently. There’s no such thing as a “single swing”. Old Masters had time to “dig it out of the dirt”. Not today.

Radar is Multi-Dimensional

Radar training goes beyond swing dynamics. Radar that measures swing path, face aim and angle of attack also tracks the flight of each shot. Before long, you know how far every club in your bag flies. Radar reveals consistency – uncovering the clubs that deliver the magic and the clubs that are “haunted”.

There’s no better way to cut three strokes from your game than spending two hours hitting through the bag to find “maximum, minimum and average” distance for every club.

Radar even looks “under the covers”. Unlike conventional launch monitors, radar sees the club in action. “Load and release” appear in easy to understand graphical form. Here is a link to our October 2012 blog post showing the graphs of shaft action:  http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/10/22/radar-for-shaft-fitting-a-technical-breakthrough/

Information You Can Trust

The most important feature of radar training is that it holds your interest. Every shot counts. You get feedback and results in real time. That’s much different from mindlessly banging balls down the range. You make a swing, get feedback, make an adjustment and see the results. That’s “deliberate practice” that gets results in rapid improvement.

With all of the applications of radar technology, it’s easy to see that you can spend a few hours working on your game with radar looking over your shoulder.

Step Two: The Radar Training Program

Your first introductory session is just $50 for two hours. We’re confident that you’ll be so satisfied with the results that you’ll want to design a program to continue your improvement and make your changes permanent.

We have scheduled “open hours” for radar training on Friday, Saturday and Sunday every week at The Bridges. You can choose a convenient time and progress at your own pace. Come every week if you’re on a mission or a couple of times a month to stay on track.

We offer a “10 pack” of ten sessions – twenty hours of radar coaching – for $895. If that sounds like too much commitment, you can try a “5 Pack” for $595.

Individual sessions are $125 for two hours.

Start this Saturday or Sunday

If this sounds good to you, give Bob Pegram a call or email and we’ll see you at The Bridges this weekend. You’ll be a new player by next Spring. Bob is at 408-871-9983 and bobpgolf@dslextreme.com.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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Radar for Golf: A Multi-Dimensional Tool

A Special Report from the Radar Study

By Leith Anderson

When Bill Gates predicted “a computer on every desk” thirty five years ago we all thought he was a little bit wacky.

“New Technology” never comes to market with a finished Users’ Manual. New Technology starts with a dream that becomes a promise. “Buy this gizmo and it will change your life” is the promise. Those of us who came of age in the personal computer era never imagined a “computer in your pocket”. Today we know that the computing power in your cell phone could send a rocket to the moon. That’s really wacky.

It takes dedicated users and many years to extend the reach of new technology to markets and uses that were never imagined by the original inventors.

Radar for golf is about to enter that zone of massive innovation. The key with all technology is relentless cost reduction. Eight years ago, Trackman brought reliable launch monitor technology to the practice tee. At $25,000, the Trackman was a tool for the rich and famous. Early models were accurate in reporting “launch ballistics”. For the first time, launch monitor technology was available outdoors on the range where adventurous clubfitters and Tour Players could verify the numbers they were getting with their own eyes. Radar became the PGA Tour launch monitor standard.

It took five years for radar technology to gain acceptance as the tool of choice for clubfitting – finding the driver head and shaft combination that hits the “home run ball” based on “launch ballistics”. That was enough for early adopters to be satisfied with their investment.

And then cost reduction set in. Flightscope priced their first model at $15,000. That opened the market to a new generation of users – successful clubfitters and leading edge golf teachers. Innovation is driven by sales – each generation of users has to do its part to finance development for the next generation.

The next generation of launch monitor technology is in production today. In the spring of 2014, “personal radar” will hit the market at $2500. Today, working at The Bridges in San Ramon, we are “writing the manual” for personal radar. This report takes a peek at the future. Radar launch monitor technology will engender new applications that we only imagine today. We invite you to join us at The Bridges for the Radar Revolution.

The next generation of radar technology will obsolete current best practices for teaching, training and clubfitting.

The Big Breakthrough

The Big Breakthrough with radar launch monitor technology occurred when the inventors turned from the ball to focus on the player and the club in motion. Now, in addition to “launch ballistics” radar tracks the path of the golf club in three dimensions.

“Swing path”, “face angle” and “angle of attack” are the new frontier. For the first time, we can see the exact “impact dynamics” that produce the trajectory and shape of every shot. The Laws of Physics rule.

Precise measurement at the moment of impact lets a player understand his golf swing in a way never before possible. If you know exactly what you need to do to hit the shot you want – practice that.

Honing your golf swing with precision no longer takes thousands of hours of “digging it out of the dirt”.

Experienced teachers, led by Eric Jones, predict that radar will revolutionize the way golf instructors teach their students. Rather than changing the player’s swing motion with hope that the swing change will cause “perfect impact”, radar enables the player to make swing changes on his own. “Self-adjustment” with instant radar feedback is the quickest way to hone your swing.

Discovering that players can change their swing with feedback alone inspired our “Radar Study” to prove the theory. Supported by three $12,000 Flightscope X2C radars we developed a program to measure the improvement of six ordinary golfers in an eight week period of “radar training”. Radar provides instant feedback on “the moment of impact”. Knowing impact dynamics is enough information to allow a player to change his swing to produce the shots of his dreams.

That’s a Big Claim but we have seen players suffering as lifelong slicers start hitting a high draw in short time.

We are on a mission to introduce Radar-based golf instruction to the world. For a limited time, we offer an “Introduction to Radar Training” in a two-hour clinic at The Bridges Golf Course in San Ramon, California for just $50. Clinics are available this Friday and Sunday afternoons at the Bridges. Call Bob Pegram to reserve your spot (408-871-9983).

Our goal is creating group of “True Believers” who will take the next steps to join us in charting the future course for radar teaching, training and clubfitting.

The “Next Big Thing” in Radar Training

Once a player learns the feel of the swing that delivers the shot he imagines – training to repeat that swing becomes the next goal.

Radar training delivers precise distance control.

This summer, after warming up with radar, Eric Jones started “calling his distances”. Before long, he was able to call his distance to the exact yardage – give or take a yard or two – while the ball was in the air. Six iron: 192, 188, 190, 175 (oops!), 191. I was amazed that he was able to call his distances so precisely within a few minutes of practice.

I thought that his success must be reserved for professionals – until I tried the exercise myself. With an hour of practice – about fifty shots – I found that I could call my own shots. Six iron: 148, 151, 150, 135 (oops!!), 153. Learning the feel of my swing to call precise carry distance was a skill that I never imagined. I was so excited I could hardly wait to take my new knowledge to the course.

But I knew that I had a little work ahead – and I looked forward to hitting through my bag with Flightscope watching every shot. For the first time, I knew that I would know my true distances and would pull the right club for the distance.

It takes two hours to hit every club in your bag ten times to create a perfect “yardage guide”. You will know your longest, shortest and all-important average distance with every club. Put that knowledge together with a laser range finder and your birdie putts will be a lot shorter. You won’t wear out your sand wedge from those bunkers short of the green.

You can reserve a two hour radar session to create your own “yardage guide” this Friday, Saturday or Sunday at The Bridges for just $195.

A Dire Warning – and an Opportunity

We have worked with 100 players on the range at The Bridges. At the start of every session, we ask each player to write down his carry distances. Not one player out of 100 nailed his actual carry distances. On average, players overestimate their average carry distances by 10 yards.

Our Study participants are beginning to take their “distance guide” to the golf course. To a man, they report immediate improvements in their scores due to correct club choice.

The first hurdle is accepting reality. To make sure there is no doubt, we confirm all distances with a laser range finder. You will be surprised when you find your true measured carry distances. They will be shorter. You’ll get over the shock when your scores start coming down.

Make the call. Join us at The Bridges this Friday or Sunday for our “Introduction to Radar” clinic or your “Yardage Guide” session.

Future Radar-Based Training Programs

You don’t need to own a personal system to hone your game with radar. We offer a range of training programs for players who want to get better at golf as quickly as possible. Call Bob Pegram for details.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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The Radar Chronicles – Week 3

Greetings from The Bridges,

You can play better golf.

Even better, I will play better golf – starting this week – because of radar technology.

Background:

The Big Idea behind the Radar Chronicles is that you can change your swing to get the ball flight you want.

In the past, golf swings were like fingerprints. You can’t change a fingerprint. Golfers accepted their fate. Slicers were destined to be slicers. Conventional wisdom says that nothing will cure a swing affliction except a long-term makeover with a name-brand instructor. The “cure” is six months of “getting worse before you get better”. Who wants six months of effort with no guarantee of improvement?

I want to know that that a program works before I sign up. If not proof, give me evidence. No uncertain makeovers for me.

Radar as a Teaching Tool

Earlier this summer we made a breakthrough using radar as a teaching tool. One of Eric Jones’ coaching clients suffered from a life-long “outside-in” swing path – causing a dreaded slice. Several sessions with verbal advice were not successful.

Frustrated, we put the radar behind the player and gave him shot-by-shot feedback about his swing path. In half an hour, the player changed his swing path to “inside-out”. He self-adjusted. The slice went away and a nice high draw appeared. In ten years’ experience as a teacher, Eric never saw such a quick change.

For Eric, it was an “Ah-Ha Moment”.

That discovery inspired the Radar Chronicles Project – recruiting six average golfers to determine if radar feedback alone can produce quick and dramatic swing changes. If so, golf instruction will be revolutionized. No more months-long makeovers. Players will improve faster and have more fun. New players will be attracted to play. Golf will grow again.

Today, traditional golf instruction starts with changing the player’s swing according to the instructor’s beliefs with the hope that a swing change will produce the desired ball flight. A swing change is an act of faith.

With radar, the player learns the precise swing path, face aim and “angle of attack” that produce his desired ball flight. If you know what you want, practice that. No more banging balls at the range. With this new teaching method, radar helped most of our “early adopters” make radical changes with little coaching beyond instant feedback about swing dynamics at the moment of impact .

Why Not Practice Perfect?

Our best example of training with radar precision is Eric Jones’ training regimen leading to his second World Long Drive Championship. With radar, he learned that his most efficient swing produces the highest ball speed, lowest spin rate, optimal launch angle AND longest distance. His “numbers” are a 2* inside-out swing path, 1* closed face aim (relative to path) with a 5* upward angle of attack.

For three years he has trained with radar to ingrain those numbers. His method is simple: find the numbers that produce the shot you want and then practice to hit those numbers. Eric credits “deliberate practice” with winning his second Word Long Drive Championship in 2012.

Until now only available to professional athletes (hundreds of Tour Pros own radars), the advent of “personal radar” makes cutting edge training techniques available to average golfers with a desire to groove their “ideal” swing.

Technical Details

Training with radar carries a little technical overhead. You have to understand how swing path, face aim and angle of attack work together to produce your desired ball flight. That’s a small price to pay.

Determining your precise angles requires a little experimentation. Your numbers may vary. For example, if you’re swing speed is lower than Eric’s 130 MPH you might want a little more shape to your draw. A 4* inside-out path with a 2* face aim and 3* angle of attack could be your personal numbers. A radar-equipped instructor can help you find your own perfect numbers.

Don’t be afraid of technical precision. In practice you will find a “performance band” three or four degrees from your perfect numbers that still produces very good shots. Problems arise when a player’s swing path exceeds 5* right or left of the target.

Problems with Practice

I’m like a lot of Golf Lab clients. I love to practice golf – I just don’t practice regularly. I have good excuses. Family time. Business demands. Sadly, I know that one day out of thirty won’t make much difference. I can’t figure out how to make practice part of my life.

The main reason that I don’t practice is that I don’t have a proven program to follow. I go to the range, buy the big bucket, hit through my bag – sometimes – and hit the whole bucket with one club – sometimes. I have no good way to keep track of my progress. If I think I’m “hitting it good” I go home only semi-satisfied. The reason is that I don’t know “why?” I was hitting it good.

Leading golf instructors, biomechanics theorists and commentators agree on one common fact: “Shot shape” is determined by the face aim of the club head, the club path and the vertical “angle of attack”. The Laws of Physics rule.

The New “Science of Impact” says that if you know the exact numbers that produce the shot that you want, practice to hit those numbers. Without radar, it’s impossible to see swing path, face aim and angle of attack. That’s why players hired expensive swing coaches over the years. The best they could do was “a little more” or “a little less” while they watched ball flight. Butch Harmon and Hank Haney functioned as Tiger Woods’ “human radars”.

At the highest level, “it’s all about ball-flight”. That’s what Hank Haney says about coaching Tiger in his book – The Big Miss.

My Current Game

Neglected. Three times in the last year I thought I could “walk on” and compete in a tournament. I charmed J.W. Means to let me play with the guys who bet their own money on themselves in his Player$ Tour. The result was tournament rounds with embarrassing scores. My enthusiasm for tournament golf declined as my scores went up.

Last week I returned to the Hinsdale (IL) Country Club as part of a High School reunion. That’s where I learned the game, thanks to free Mondays for caddies. It was a nostalgic round almost sixty years since my first “loop”. I hit it well enough to be encouraged – except for that pesky “fade” off the tee. I started to think about taking the cure myself. I am re-motivated.

Last Weekend – Saturday

I started out testing a few irons. For weeks, I wanted to give a fair trial to the Nippon Modus 120 – an interesting “geometry” for a steel shaft. I also had a set of Kahler Classics shafted with the Swing Science graphite iron shaft that I wanted to compare.

The Modus 120 iron set is mounted on Blade muscle backs. For Miura aficionados, the Blade TF-1 iron was a Miura private label issue. The Kahler Classics were an all USA Forging – the last of a breed. I’m working on a new method to test and compare irons using radar so this was a good test.

It was also high time to check my distances. The easiest way to save strokes is to “gap your bag”. Very few players know exactly how far they carry every club in their bag – for both full and partial shots. Without radar, finding the precise carry distance for every club in your bag is so costly and time-consuming that for most players it is impossible. I planned to hit through my bag and confirm my numbers in a couple of hours.

My numbers were shocking. The radar “diagnosed” an outside-in swing path of 9*. Way too much. My (formerly) 150 yard 7 iron was flying 135. No wonder I felt weak.

I started the “treatment”. Self-adjustment only. Make a swing, check swing path. I couldn’t get all way to “zero – zero”. I got stuck at 5* outside-in.

I called for Eric’s help. He found me “setting up open”. He squared up the mat I was hitting from to make it easy to line up my feet. He adjusted my hip and shoulder alignment with a stick. He suggested that I adjust my right arm by turning my elbow slightly clockwise – freeing my right shoulder to flatten my swing plane. Adjusting posture, alignment and stance may be required to effect a swing change.

Within minutes, I moved to a 1* to 2* outside-in swing path. Most interesting, it was rewarding and effective to know my results shot by shot.

Technical Swing Theories Explored

One of the current debates in the world of golf instruction is “one or two swings?” Now that “D-Plane” is accepted science, we know that a “straight shot” with an iron is produced by an outside-in swing path.

That’s why my 2* outside-in swing path produced a straight shots. The advent of radar confirmed theories about ball flight first presented in Theodore Jorgensen’s Physics of Golf published a generation ago and revised in 1999.

That means a “perfect” iron swing (a “baby fade” for most professionals) is much different from the swing that produces the “home run” tee ball. The downside of the “Two Swings Theory” is that some instructors – including Eric – believe that golfers are sufficiently challenged to groove one swing.

Next Week’s Challenge

My Driver.

Check out the video covering week three of the Radar Study.

The Radar Chronicles - Week 3

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram.

P.S. If you sense my excitement, I recommend that you try radar training yourself. For a limited time we’re offering two-hour sessions at The Bridges that will give you a comprehensive introduction to radar for just $50. Call Bob Pegram to reserve your time this weekend – Sunday from 1-3 PM. We’ll see you at The Bridges.

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Bulletin – This Week at The Bridges

“Pulling All Stops”

We’ve got a new home at The Bridges and it’s working out great.  It’s impossible to describe how excited we are about radar.  Every day we discover new ways to apply radar technology to instruction, training and clubfitting.

We’re responding by extending our hours through the month of November.  We’ll be on-site at The Bridges on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Our goal is to make a visit well worth the time you invest.  This week, we’ve invited a visit from Eric Ramer’s Tour Golf Van.  If you need to check loft and lie, tweak your irons or driver or get new grips while you wait, you can do it this Saturday at The Bridges.

Flightscope is on its way to expanding the market for radar technology.  This week, the Taylor Made sales force visited their best accounts with an offer for the new Flightscope “XI” – radar – now known as “Personal Radar”.  The Taylor Made version carries a list price of $5000 – with an immediate $2000 discount.  The first 1000 units are on order – scheduled for delivery next February.

There’s no reason for you to wait.  We’re announcing new programs every week to make radar more accessible.  By the time next February comes around, we’re going to be the world experts in “applied radar technology”.  Better than that, if you want to cut five strokes off of your index by the time next season starts – check out our complete programs.  We’ll even give you a written guarantee of improvement.  The dark old days of work with no reward are over.

Expanded Services at The Bridges

To make radar super-accessible to everyone, we’re opening a new service on Sunday afternoons at The Bridges.  Our new “Radar Clinics” are designed to provide an in-depth look at how radar can help you get better at golf – faster.

Each radar clinic is 1.5 hours long.  We will have three Flightscope X2’s set up on the tee line – the latest model.  Each player will hit ten test shots with his driver.  We will give you the “ballistics”.  You will learn your current swing path, face aim and angle of attack.  The software will tell us how much distance you’re leaving on the tee.  When you know what you have to do, doing it is so much easier.

If you have already worked on your driver, you can spend the clinic working on calibrating distance with your wedges – full and partial shots.  The most important thing you can do for your golf game is to know exactly how far you carry your wedges – with both full and partial shots.

Come out this Sunday.  Our 1:00 to 2:30 session is sold out with six players.  We still have openings from 2:30 – 4:00.  This is a great bargain at just $35 for the session.

New Coaching Program

We’re “taking names” for the new coaching program at The Bridges that includes on-course sessions.  The times are Saturday and Sunday afternoons – from 3:00 until 5:00.  We need six players for each session.  We have four.  If you are planning to do something significant to improve this fall, the best value in instruction and training is the coaching program.  Just $195 per month for four two-hour sessions.

Call Bob Pegram for last-minute appointments this week 408-871-9983.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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Radar Chronicles – Week Two

Our new home at The Bridges is great. The best part of The Bridges is the targets. The target greens are from 50 yards to well over 200 yards. The new Flightscope X2C Radars are unbelievably accurate. The X2 has a built in camera with crosshairs. Alignment is simple. Place the X2 behind the ball aiming at the target. Line the crosshairs up with the ball. Spot on. JC was hitting wedges last week and banged the pin with a good one. The Flightscope showed “in the hole”.

Accuracy is really important when you’re measuring swing path, face aim and angle of attack.

On Saturdays, we’re fully occupied with The Study from 9 until 12. Starting at 1 we’re “open for business”. A great starting point is “Radar Swing Analysis and Driver Optimization”. There’s no better way to understand how radar can help you be the player you want to be. Within an hour, your “ballistics” will be measured and you’ll be on the way to understanding your swing at a level you never thought possible.

The promise of radar training is that you can get better at golf by changing the way you practice. You make the swing that produces your best swing path, face aim at impact and angle of attack. You make the changes on your own aided by instant feedback provided by radar. The closer you get to your best numbers, the closer you get to the shot you imagine.

Even better, practice is fun. No more aimless beating balls wondering why the ball goes where it does.

New Methods Are Going Mainstream

It’s great when the “Big Boys” are talking about the same things. The October Golf Magazine included two articles that are totally on point. Author Geoff Colvin (Talent is Overrated) contributes an article “A New Way to Practice”. The key is “deliberate practice”. There is no better way to experience deliberate practice than to receive instant feedback from every shot. Here’s a link to that article:

http://www.golf.com/instruction/deliberate-practice-key-improving-your-golf-game 

If you like listening better than reading, here’s an interview with Colvin conducted by Charlie Rose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQoM7_CKsZo 

The second Big Idea is about effective instruction. Authors Bob Christina, PhD, Eric Apfels, Top 100 Teacher and David DeNunzio conducted a study that compared “club thought” with “body thought”. That is the essential difference between the “old way” of golf instruction – giving feedback on the player’s swing hoping that swing changes will improve solid contact and the alternative, “external feedback”.

The authors found that “external feedback” was much more effective than “internal feedback”. This is exactly what radar is all about. Golf Magazine calls the article “groundbreaking research”.

http://www.golf.com/instruction/groundbreaking-research-best-way-fix-your-slice#ixzz2glb5W0YX 

That leads to our own study. Here’s this week’s video update from Eric Jones and Leith Anderson.

Radar Chronicles 2 graphic

New Coaching Program Announced

We have re-designed our coaching program. The Bridges presents a unique opportunity to take your game to the course.

The new program is two hours, once a week. Meet up on Friday or Saturday afternoons from 3-5 PM. Same time every week. We will work on “The Five Most Important Shots in Golf”. The key is that we now have access to the course late in the day.

If you’re interested, Bob Pegram is starting a list (408-871-9983 or bobpgolf@dslextreme.com). As soon as we have six players for either of the sessions, we’re good to go. For more information, here’s a copy of our current brochure describing all of the programs we have available at The Bridges.

Flyer Eric Jones Golf Catalog 3-fold

Radar Swing Analysis and Driver Optimization

For maximum distance with a driver you need an inside-out swing path. Your driver needs to aim “closed to path”. You need an upward angle of attack.

You might find that it isn’t that hard to make the swing that produces the results you want. When you have an efficient swing, it’s a simple matter to measure and adjust your driver to match your swing.

“Radar Swing Analysis and Driver Optimization” – is available every Friday and Saturday afternoon at The Bridges. One hour. $125.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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Flightscope Radar Swing Analysis Now Available on Fridays

Hello from The Bridges,

Here’s an update on this week’s program:

We’re sold out for the next two Saturday afternoons so we’re opening Friday afternoon for clients who want to get started with radar right now.

This Friday will be a lot of fun. We’ve got a celebrity fitting at 2:00. Readers know that we’ve been following the career of Emily Childs. “Emily’s New Driver” is a great soap opera. She’s been playing the old trusty Nakashima for eight years and knows she can do better but it’s so hard to leave an old friend behind. She’s working with a new Nakashima. We’re still not absolutely sure of the shaft.

The new portable shaft fitting system is up close to 100 profiled and tested shafts that lets us zero in on shaft weight, torque and flex profile. Emily will surely be testing shafts for a couple of hours so if you want to join her fan club, stop by. She is always keen to make new friends. You can also see how far we’ve come with shaft fitting.

You can book a session for yourself Friday afternoon. The best first step is our “Driver Swing Analysis and Optimization” course. If you want to hit your driver farther, straighter, and more consistently we know the numbers you should have for your driver. We can tell you the ideal swing path, face angle, and launch angle to consistently hit your best drives. With radar we can measure your current numbers, show you the difference between the ideal numbers, and with the immediate feedback, you can make adjustments for improved performance you can see.

If that’s not enough, we’ll measure and adjust your driver to match your best numbers.

Finally, we’ll give you a graph that shows the load and release of your current driver shaft. You will know if you shaft fits your swing.

All that. One hour. $125. Call Bob Pegram and pick a time Friday afternoon between 1 and 5. See you at The Bridges.

Bob is at 408-871-9983 and bobpgolf@dslextreme.com.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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Radar Chronicles – Week One – Benchmarking

This is the first of eight weekly written reports on the Radar Training Study designed by Eric Jones and Leith Anderson to determine whether radar training can help a player achieve consistency, desired shot shape and lower scores by focusing on the moment of impact.

The radar training study is conducted at The Bridges Golf Club Saturday mornings during September, October, and November from 10-12 A.M. Six “average golfers” were chosen for the study. Any interested golfers are welcome to join us to observe the formal instruction. Golfers interested in getting started with radar training on their own can meet up with us at The Bridges on Saturday afternoons by appointment. We are open for business.

The Case for Radar

The “Next Big Thing” is interesting in every sport. In golf, radar has been heralded as the Next Big Thing for fifteen years. Alas, early models disappointed. But the cutting edge companies (Flightscope and Trackman) stuck with the challenge – perfecting radar technology for use in teaching, training and clubfitting.

Today, hundreds of PGA Tour Professionals own radar that they paid up to $25,000 to own. Flightscope is selling 100 of their $10,000 units per month to the top golf teachers in the world. The reason is a sea change in our collective understanding of “the new laws of ball flight”. Radar is the Next Big Thing in golf.

Radar sees things we cannot see

It used to be that golf swings were as unique as snowflakes. They still are. What is not unique is your “numbers”. Precise angles at the moment of impact produce the shot you imagine. Those angles are determined by the laws of physics. There are no exceptions.

If I want a perfect draw with my driver, I swing on a 4* inside-out path with my club face 2* closed to path (2* open to target). A 2* upward angle of attack matches my 12* driver to hit my ideal launch angle at 14*. The result? High launch, low spin, baby draw and maximum distance.

You need to be familiar with “swing path”, “face angle” and “angle of attack”.

The excuse that you are a life-long slicer goes away. The breakthrough is allowing a golfer to feel the swing motion that produces the correct angles at the moment of impact. “I never would have tried that” is a normal reaction when a player changes his swing path from slice to high draw in less than an hour. Experienced teachers marvel at how fast players make fundamental changes to their swing without formal instruction. The radar training concept is aiding “natural adjustment”.

Saturday, September 14, nine walk-in clients participated in our “Free Radar Swing Analysis” program. Eight out of nine changed their swing from fade to high draw in an hour. The ninth decided to stick with his “Power Fade” – a reasonable choice for a low-index amateur who doesn’t need distance.

Our introductory service at The Bridges is our “Radar-Based Swing Analysis and Driver Optimization”. We measure your current swing in three dimensions with radar. We discuss your game and your goals. We suggest an optimal swing path, face angle and angle of attack at the moment of impact. Then we give you the driver specifications: loft, face angle, shaft weight and shaft flex profile that match your most efficient swing.

How do you know your “numbers?” You measure. That’s where radar shines. It takes just a few seconds to give you the angles of your current swing. Then your swing coach helps you work out your own angles to produce exactly the shot shape you want. This is where professional help is important.

Eric Jones has trained with radar for years. He credits radar-training for his World Championship last year. He has honed his Long Drive form to a whisker. He trains for 1* inside-out, 1/2* open and 5* upward angle of attack. He wants absolutely the least drawspin for maximum carry but he wants a little draw because the right side of the World Championship grid is 10 feet higher than the left for drainage. Every winner always hits the right side of the grid. Eric wants to make sure the ball knows it’s going downhill. That’s what you call precision.

Unlike launch monitors that track the ball in flight, radar looks at the player and the golf club in motion in addition to the ball. With radar, you know your precise angles: swing path, face angle at impact and angle of attack. You get instant feedback for every shot.

The concept behind radar training is simple. If you know exactly what you need to do to produce the shot you imagine – train yourself to hit that shot. That’s what the PGA Tour Pros are doing. They train themselves with radar precision to hit precisely the shot they imagine.

If “personal radar” is good for the Pros how long until the same capability is accessible to amateurs?

Some of the Flightscope Data Screens

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A Graphic of Each Shot

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Swing Path, Angle of Attack, Face Angle, Shaft Behavior

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Summary Screen with Most of the Data

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Driver Optimizer Screen Showing Which Swing Adjustments Will Increase Distance

Edel tent

Our Setup at The Bridges

Flightscope Radar Unit

 The Flightscope Unit that Measures Each Shot (it is connected to a computer)

The Radar Study

The “Big Idea” behind our study of radar training is that players can self-adjust their swings to produce the angles they want at the moment of impact. Rather than changing a player’s swing hoping for better contact, every swing is measured. Immediate feedback permits the player to adjust his swing on his own. It’s an amazing process to watch a player dial in his new swing – a few degrees at a time.

Radar is about to become much more affordable for the average golfer. Next January, Flightscope will introduce a new “Personal Flighscope”. The price will be about $2500 – roughly the price of a new set of custom golf clubs.

Even more ambitious, Ernest Sports, makers of the E12 ball tracker are promising a decked-out radar launch monitor to hit the market at less than $500. The era of “affordable personal radar” is coming soon.

It’s one thing for a PGA Tour Pro to buy a radar launch monitor for the price of a new BMW and something quite different for a normal amateur to buy as a “personal appliance” and incorporate it into his golf game.

That’s the goal of our Radar Study. Find six average – but highly motivated – golfers. Benchmark their shotmaking, consistency and scoring. Then, create a radar-based program that trains each player, within his ability, to make his natural swing contact the ball at the correct angles. Document the results.

Can Zebras really change their stripes?

Our goal is to determine how many shots a player can shave off his scores with a reasonable amount of deliberate training – a specific program of drills – over a relatively short time period. Does radar produce measurable improvement? Is it faster and better than traditional methods that focus on swing mechanics with the hope that good mechanics will produce the shots you want?

Each player in the study committed to two hours a week for eight weeks for formal radar-based training. In addition, each player committed to at least one more practice session per week and at least six rounds of golf during the eight week study period.

They also committed to two video interviews and keeping a journal. A big part of the study is the subjective interpretation of each player’s notes. Fifteen minutes of note-taking is required after each training session, practice session or round of golf.

Week One – Study Participants

Our new home for the study is The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon. For orientation, The Bridges is about 5 miles north of Pleasanton on 680. The range at The Bridges offers great targets.

The first hour of our first week of training was devoted to preparation. Eric explained that in keeping with academic rigor – each participant would be known only by his nickname. So we introduced each other as Ace, Hooker, JC. The principals of the study were explained. No swing work before benchmarking. After that, no outside lessons during the course of the study.

The second hour was devoted to collecting preliminary data with a driver. Each participant hit three sets of ten drives. All shots were recorded with Flightscope radar.

Another week of benchmarking performance is scheduled for next week. We’ll follow up with a report but the fireworks are reserved for September 28th. Stay tuned for that.

Week One – Open Hours

We’re not waiting until the study concludes to get started with radar training. In week one we “opened the doors” for two radar-based services: Swing analysis and “gapping your bag”.

If you are ready to get started with radar analysis and training, give Bob Pegram a call and schedule your preferred time – 408-871-9983.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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Eric Jones and Leith Anderson Discuss Using Flightscope Radar for Swing Analysis

We have discovered that the exact, immediate feedback from Flightscope radar enables golfers to make adjustments to their swings and immediately know how well they did. Flightscope shows a large number of swing and ball flight data, giving immediate and precise feedback. The measurements are to the degree or part of a degree. If the student discovers his adjustment isn’t enough, he can adjust further. If it is too much, which is uncommon, the student can back off. Either way, adjustments are made to quickly arrive at the proper swing path, face angle, angle of approach, or whatever swing characteristic is being worked on.

We discovered this when Eric had been working with a student who had an outside-in (pull-slice) swing path. It was a very ingrained habit. After several months the student still hadn’t made much progress towards a slight inside-out (draw) swing path, the path that maximizes both distance and consistency. We decided to have the student use Flightscope radar to get immediate feedback. After several adjustments based on the feedback, the student was swinging inside-out. Flightscope had condensed months of lessons into less than half an hour. In addition, he had adjusted his own swing based on the data. He needed no input other than the data.

While it worked in this case, we weren’t sure if we would have that level of success with all golfers. Wow, were we surprised! On Saturday, September 7th, we conducted a “dry-run” with a number of volunteers. Almost all had that same outside-in swing, causing a slice and the occasional pull shot. In EVERY case, the golfer was able to self-adjust and get to an inside-out swing path within a few minutes worth of swings. Usually they were surprised how much of an adjustment was necessary. Eric would then show them how to square up the face so the ball would draw to the target rather than starting slightly right and going farther right.

In this video Eric and Leith discuss the process. We expect this revolutionize golf lessons.

Eric Jones Leith Anderson Flightscope swing analysis

Eric and Leith discuss using Flightscope for swing analysis

Call Bob at 408-871-9983 to reserve an hour session on Flightscope at The Bridges in San Ramon.

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The Radar Training Project – “Getting Better, Faster”

Hi from San Ramon,

We struck a chord with the “Radar Training Project”.

The Big Idea is that radar will revolutionize the way we teach, train and fit golf clubs.

It’s all about Impact.

When you “know your numbers” you adjust faster and easier in a way that makes sense to you.

The result?

Longer, straighter drives. Crisper, more accurate irons. Confidence in your clubs. Confidence in your game.

Checking out Flightscope stats

Checking out the stats

Radar is the only way to get your numbers.

We’re booking Radar Training sessions now. We have slots on Saturday afternoons between 1:00 – 4:00, and Sunday from 12:00 – 4:00.

Two programs:

The 1-hour Radar Training session. Cost $175.00 (Wait! Because you are an “insider” the Radar Training sessions are only $125.00. But you have to book now. The cost will be going up)

The 2-hour Radar Bag Gapping session: Cost $225.00 (Your special insider price only $195.00. Limited slots available.)

Call or email Bob Pegram right now to reserve your time. 408-871-9983 or BobPGolf@dslextreme.com

New Home at The Bridges Golf Club – “Shakedown Saturday”

We moved north to San Ramon. The Bridges is a complete facility with a good range, plenty of short game practice areas and a challenging golf course. It will make a great home for our redesigned coaching program with more accessible hours and an innovative program for juniors who want to play competitively.

Edel tent

Last Saturday we conducted an experiment. We set up our Flightscope radar on the practice range and invited Bridges members to “get acquainted” with radar. A dozen players booked half-hour complimentary appointments to test their own swings with radar. Another dozen players “walked in”.

Flightscope Radar Unit

The Flightsope radar unit

In nine hours of intense activity we worked with twenty-four players.

The results were nothing short of amazing.

Every player started out with an outside-in swing path.

“Outside-in” is death with a driver. The result is less than solid contact measured by “smash factor” (the ratio of ball speed divided by clubhead speed). Nobody likes hitting a fade.

One of the Flightscope Information Screens

One of the Flightscope information screens

We took their initial baseline numbers with six shots. With Radar we are able to literally show them their club path and face angle at impact. It clearly explains the fade and lack of distance.

But then came the amazing part.

Every single player was able to change their path from outside-in to inside-out.

We thought radar feedback would work. But we had no idea it would work THAT well.

An inside-out path is the first requirement for hitting a High Draw – the shot we all covet off the tee.

Explaining club path

Then we showed them how to release the club at impact to get the club face slightly closed to their new inside-out path.

Explaining club path 2

That’s the formula for the High Draw.

The response we heard over and over was “Oh, that’s what it feels like!!”

Explaining clubface

Eric explaining face angle

Dr. Glen Albaugh joined us last Saturday. He is a California Golf Hall of Fame Member – distinguished coach and author of the ground-breaking book “Winning the Battle Within”. He watched as Eric helped a player change his swing path from outside-in to inside-out within fifteen minutes.

His comment? “That usually takes six months”.

You need to experience Radar Training for yourself to see how quickly it will put a smile on your face.

Study Participants Selected

We never imagined that over 50 players would apply to participate. Eight weeks. Forty hours of work. Wow!!

With only six places available, it was impossible to accommodate everyone. This bulletin explains how we selected study participants and describes new opportunities to explore the benefits of radar to improve your game. It is impossible to describe how excited we are to be on the cutting edge of golf training.

We thank everyone who responded to our invitation. Over the next few days, we will get in touch with everyone who applied by telephone to discuss your game and your goals.

Radar Study for “Average Golfers”

This is the first study designed to test the theory that radar training is an effective tool for the average golfer.

In the past, golf instruction focused on “The Swing”.

The theory behind teaching swing dynamics is the hope that a more stylish swing will surely yield better shots.

The problem with changing your swing is that it takes months to make a swing change that sticks.

We want immediate improvement. Today.

The breakthrough concept behind radar training focuses on the moment of impact. With radar, we know the exact swing path, face angle and angle of attack that will produce the shot you imagine. Radar provides instant feedback – reporting the exact angles of your last swing.

If you know your numbers, you can do it.

Radar training is about “instant feedback” and “self-adjustment”

Our client list includes lots of talented juniors and low-index amateurs. For the Radar Study, we excluded players with exceptional ability. For maximum impact, we want to prove that radar training works for average golfers.

Stay tuned. We’ll be providing regular updates as The Radar Study progresses.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

PS – Call Bob Pegram today to book your Radar Training session 408-871-9983

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Update from Eric Jones on “Radar for Teaching and Training” Study

Hi from Pleasanton,

Read the detailed description of the project from Eric. If you think you would like to participate, make yourself known to Bob Pegram. (bobpgolf@dslextreme.com) or 408-871-9983. Eric will make the final selections from a questionnaire and a personal interview with the finalists.

We are looking for serious players who want a program to follow and can schedule at least a day a week for “deliberate practice” as described in the Talent Code. Compressing the time commitment to 60 days is ideal for players who believe intense effort over a short period of time to the ideal way to “level up” with golf.

We are limited to six participants and we want to be sure that we have the broadest possible participation. If you happen not to be chosen in the first group, do not fret. There are sure to be other opportunities to participate.

There is no doubt, radar will revolutionize the way we teach, train and find the magic clubs.

From Eric: Here’s a quick recap of the study.

I’m proposing a 60-day study to investigate the effectiveness of using radar as a teaching tool. My own anecdotal experience indicates that it may increase student learning rates by 5x to as much as 30 times faster than traditional instruction without radar.

I suspect there are two reasons:

1. First is the precision of the feedback. Shots are no longer “good” or “bad.” If you are working on swing path they are no longer “outside-in”. They are “6 degrees outside-in.” The key to learning is awareness and the ability to differentiate between swings. My theory is that the precision of the feedback augments the student’s awareness and differentiation skills, enabling them to learn faster.

2. The second is self-adjustment. Rather than try to get into a position or make a motion prescribed by the teacher, radar allows the student to self-adjust based on the feedback on a shot-by-shot basis. This allows them to produce the results in a more organic way that is more natural for their unique swing and physiology. The Teacher’s role in this process becomes elevated. They shift from being a lecturer to being a guide because their knowledge allows them to suggest different paths and alternatives which the student can then test. This will facilitate a deeper partnership relationship and tighter bond with the student. Everybody benefits.

These are the two working theories we’ll be studying.

The study will be modeled on the study I completed for my Masters Degree in Sport Psychology. My Masters thesis was the evaluation of 14-week mental skills training program. This will be a similar qualitative study, so there will be some rigor behind the results, as well as a lot of hard data collected by the radars.

The study will have 6 participants who will be “average” golfers. We will meet once a week for two hours and train with radar. We will focus on three of the most important shots in golf: Driver, Scoring Shots (75 to 125 yards), and Long Approach Shots (150 to 200 yards). We’ll spend one session collecting baseline data so we have a pre-training starting reference point. Then we’ll spend three sessions on the Driver, two sessions on Long Approach, and two sessions on Scoring Shots. We will track results on swing improvement and on the ultimate measure – scores.

During my Master’s Thesis study I had five participants. They lowered their index by an average of 3 shots, and every one of them shot a career low scoring round. I have been using radar training myself for two years and am certain that it helped me win my 2nd World Long Drive Championship last October.

We hope to see similar gains by the students in this study.

We also hope to emerge from the study with a teaching protocol for radar-based instruction. The Protocol will be “method” independent. In other words it doesn’t matter if an instructor teaches “one plane” or “stack and tilt”, the process steps and sequence remain the same. This study could have a wide-reaching impact on the art of teaching golf and the quality of service we deliver as PGA Professionals.

I’ve spoken at length with Henri Johnson at Flightscope. They are very excited about having an independent resource study the potential for radar. They are providing us with the three units we will be using in the study and are 100% behind it.

There are, of course, many more details involved when conducting a study like this. I would be happy to provide more information if needed.

I can be reached at ejones@TargetCenteredGolf.com or by cell at 650-274-3890.

Thank you.
Eric Jones

PGA Professional
Masters in Sport Psychology
World Long Drive Champion

www.targetcenteredgolf.com
facebook: /EricJonesGolf
twitter: @LDChamp

A copy of the study invitation to participate is attached here and can be seen below.

Note (as of September 14, 2013): Study participants have been chosen and the study is underway.

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Invitation to Participate in a Golf Research Study

Hi from Pleasanton,

This is a flyer on our new research program. You can participate in the most cutting edge instruction in golf.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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Radar Everywhere

Hi from Pleasanton,

Summer’s over. It’s time to make plans to take your game to the next level this fall. The best weather of the year is September and October. We’ve got a great new program ready to go.

Radar Everywhere – Clubfitting

At the beginning of the summer I faced a clubfitting challenge. After using radar indoors for five years – moving outdoors was both an advantage and a hurdle.

The advantage is the environment. Every good player wants to confirm indoor testing results outdoors. There is no better way to know for sure that new clubs belong in your bag than to watch the ball fly and hear contact from a natural grass surface.

The hurdle was the fitting system. After years of working indoors I needed to create a whole new fitting system. It took several months to build and test a set of “universal fitting clubs and shafts”. I worked though the most difficult fitting scenarios with some of the best players in the Bay Area.

The result is magic. For the first time, I go beyond “launch ballistics” to find the best shaft – based on performance. The key is that Flightscope radar looks at the player as well as the ball. We see the exact position of the club at the moment of impact. Radar detects shaft “load” and consistency. Radar reveals what nobody can see with the naked eye. Radar is quick and precise and you get a definitive result in a single session.

Steve Jobs said it best: “New technology looks like magic”.

If you want to match your shafts with your swing – get in touch with Bob Pegram and book a time for “radar on the range” 408-871-9983 or bobpgolf@dslextreme.com.

Radar Everywhere – Teaching

It is no secret that radar is becoming an essential tool for golf teachers. Flightscope has been selling 100 of their $10,000 advanced X2 units per month for the last year. The best golf instructors are buying them. Leaders in golf instruction like Martin Hall and Michael Breed from the Golf Channel say “radar will change the way we teach golf”.

Eric picked up on the trend at the beginning of the summer and began to weave radar into every aspect of his coaching program and private instruction. He has delivered surprising results with radar.

In one case, a player who fought “over the top” for years was able to make a change to “inside out” within a few minutes – simply by knowing the angles of every swing. Eric was amazed.

For September and October – thanks to support from Flightscope – every participant in Eric’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday Coaching Program will have access to radar for precise analysis of his swing.

The most important thing you can do to get better at golf is to schedule “diligent practice”. You can book a “Month of Sundays” for just $165. There’s no better value in golf.

Radar Everywhere – Training

Eric is a pioneer in using radar for training. For the last four years, Eric has conducted his Long Drive training sessions with John Greenwood providing “radar support”.

The result is that Eric has mapped his swing with precision. He knows that his most efficient contact with least sidespin requires a swing path 1* inside out, club face ½* open and angle of attack 5* up.

Here’s the nugget: If you know the exact swing path, face angle and angle of attack that produces the most efficient result – practice that.

Why make random swings? Radar makes sure you practice THE SWING that produces best results.

What about results? Eric is focused on winning his third World Long Drive Championship. Three Championships get him into the Long Drive Hall of Fame.

This year he qualified in the regionals to compete in the “Senior Division” – against players ten years younger. Two weeks ago, he joined 60 regional winners in Mesquite, Nevada to compete for 16 places in the Finals. Not content with just qualifying, Eric placed second in the competition – by a couple of feet.

In less than a month, Eric will be back in Mesquite competing in the “Senior” and “Super Senior” Divisions. We’ll keep you posted on that.

Radar Everywhere – Consumer Appliance

The success of radar has not gone unnoticed. As a technology product, radar is susceptible to the monstrous cost savings from volume production.

Flightscope designed a “consumer appliance” – a $2500 Flightscope launch monitor that is portable and precise. Scheduled for release in January 2014, the new model will test the market for “personal radar”.

This might sound like a stretch, but with over 75 PGA Tour Players already using personal radar – for them the $25,000 version – the ultimate market is exciting but unknown.

If $2500 sounds like too much to put personal radar behind you, just wait a couple more years. If the pricing trajectory holds true, it won’t be that long before your personal launch monitor costs $500 or less.

Radar Everywhere – Research Project to Prove Results

There’s only one thing missing: Proof.

So far, all of the promising results have been “anecdotal”. No method and no proof. We plan to “write the manual” on radar.

With the technical support of Flightscope, we’re conducting a research project during September and October to quantify results.

Eric is no stranger to academic research. His Masters’ Thesis was a ground-breaking study of improving performance through coaching.

We want to answer the key questions: “How long does it take?” and “What level of improvement can I expect?”

If you would like to take part in a new study, this is your invitation. You need to be serious. We’re looking for 4-6 players who can dedicate at least one half day per week to a group session. We’re thinking Saturday afternoons from 1-3. That lets you play on Saturday morning and still get to Pleasanton.

A flyer is attached. If you would like to join the study to experience the magic of radar for yourself, give Bob Pegram a call 408-871-9983.

Radar Everywhere – This Weekend in Pleasanton

If you don’t have plans for this weekend, join us for our last Driver Clinic of the season. We have two openings for Saturday morning.

You will have a chance to improve your performance with your driver – results guaranteed – in three hours. Radar will check your launch ballistics and your shaft performance. You will know for sure that your driver fits your swing – or not.

As an incentive for a last-minute reservation, we will comp our afternoon “Putting Clinic” ($99 value) for any player who signs up for the Driver Clinic on short notice.

If you can’t make it on Saturday, no problem. We’ll be there Sunday from 10-12. Come out and get acquainted with the way radar can help you improve all aspects of your golf game.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones and Bob Pegram

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Remaining Summer Clinics

Hi from Pleasanton,

Summer Camp is almost over!! Eric, Bob and Leith would like to thank those who have participated in our “Five Most Important Shot in Golf” clinics – and the many for following up with 2-Man Intensives.

We filled most weekends from a small mailing list and simple emails. Very good results that prove the model works to produce rapid improvement. Thanks for helping us through our important “proof of concept”.

The Clinic Program ends August 31st. We have a Driver session this Saturday. Due to another client’s scheduling conflict, there is one spot remaining. If you feel time running out and want to see Eric perform in person get in touch with Bob for scheduling – 408-871-9983.

If you have not enrolled in our Putting, Greenside, or Scoring Clubs clinics – we still have some openings in August.

The Level One Putting Clinic focuses on developing a repeating stroke for that critical seven foot putt. Eric also teaches you a simple method to control distances on 40 foot lag putts. We also cover the basics of green reading so you are never surprised by the direction of the break. The putting clinic is held at The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon. It runs from 2-4:30 in the afternoon on Saturdays. $99.

The Greenside Clinic is Short Pitches, Chips, and Lob Shots, another shot saver. It is also at the Bridges on Saturday afternoons when we are not having the PuttingClinic.

The Scoring Clubs Clinic is 3/4 and full wedge shots – the 100 yard shot. Knowing your actual distance on both 3/4 and full shots can get you within possible one put range.

There are no clinics next week. Eric is traveling to Mesquite, NV to try to qualify for a “younger” age group. He’s already in the Finals for his real age group – but he’s thinking about taking down the younger guys.

**Here’s the prospective schedule for the remainder of August – right up to Labor Day**

http://calgolflab.com/blog/erics-clinic-schedule/

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Aug 3 AM – Driver 9AM – Noon Pleasanton

Aug 3 PM – Putting at The Bridges 2 – 4:30PM

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Aug 10 AM – NO Clinics – Eric at Long Drive Regionals in Mesquite, NV

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Aug 17 AM – Scoring clubs 9AM – Noon Pleasanton

Aug 17 PM – Greenside (chips, pitches, lob shots) at The Bridges 2 – 4:30PM

——-

Aug 24 AM – Driver 9AM-Noon Pleasanton

Aug 24 PM – Putting at The Bridges 2-4:30PM

——-

Aug 31 AM – Scoring clubs 9AM-Noon Pleasanton

Aug 31 PM- Greenside (chips, pitches, lob shots) at The Bridges 2-4:30PM

————————

Please give Bob a call and make a reservation 408-871-9983. We’d like to see you take advantage of a great opportunity for immediate improvement before the season is over.

Best Regards, Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, Bob Pegram

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Take Your Short Game to the Next Level – Scoring Clubs” Clinic, Greenside Clinic Saturday

Hi from Pleasanton,  

Why do you play golf?

Every golfer is unique. In the four months since we launched the “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics – we’ve met over sixty new clients at the Pleasanton Golf Center. One of the best things about Performance-Based Golf is that we have plenty of time to get to know your game and your goals.

Three hours on a Saturday morning is enough time to make a significant change in your game. Every week, we hear new reports from players who have “exceeded their expectations” – sometimes with incredible results. Here’s a report from Jerry Harmon.

Eric:

Earlier this year, I took your Saturday morning driving clinic. That prompted me to follow up with you in taking a series of 2 man semi private sessions with you focusing on improving my driving skills. A couple of weeks ago we worked on set-up. You noticed that while my set up was good, I was taking a long time to hit the ball after I was “set”. You had me do an exercise that had me focus on my target, and when I had it clearly locked in to say out loud “Got It”. Then, when I moved my eyes back to the ball, to have that be the trigger to start my takeaway. I then said ‘Right” as I took the club back and “There” as I made contact, focusing again on my target.

So, how did this translate to the real world? Glad you asked! The following week I went out to play and decided to use these new skills on the course. The result: I shot my lifetime best: 73!!! I am a 14 index so this was amazing! I should add that at 66 years old this feels like a great accomplishment.

I want to thank you for your coaching and give you all the credit for the results I am getting! See you on the range again soon.

Regards, Jerry Harmon

 

John Dolan “Exceeds Expectations”

John Dolan is a “Regular at the Range” – attending three Clinics and joining the coaching program when he’s not traveling the world selling software for one of the Giants.

He plays with a Company group. In the last tournament John won BOTH long drive prizes and BOTH closest to the pin prizes. That’s got to be a record.

Next best is the guy who caught three foul balls at the same Major League baseball game.

In his most recent event, after working with Eric on “Scoring Clubs” – he pulled a 9 iron instead of a pitching wedge for his first shot at TPC Stonebrae. Smooth “partial swing” instead of hitting for maximum distance – the ball landed three feet past the flag and drew back. None of his playing partners believed that you could balance a ball so close to the edge of the cup. Easy 2 – a quarter turn short of an ACE.

His playing partners? They all had 30 footers from the front of the green.

We started “gapping” John’s bag last weekend. He’s in love with his new Miura hybrids. After his first session with the Flightscope looking over his shoulder he said “you missed winning $100″. His 20 degree hybrid was flying 185. “I would have bet $100 in a heartbeat that it was going 205″. There’s a lesson in that revelation. No player that we have tested so far with radar has come within ten yards – on average – of their actual carry distances.

If you distrust the radar, bring your Bushnell laser to be sure.

The most important thing you can do to shoot lower scores with the least work is pull the club that allows a smooth swing that carries the correct distance.

If you want to KNOW how far every club in your bag carries – to an inch – with Flightscope radar – give Bob a call 408-871-9983. Gapping your bag used to be imprecise and time-consuming. Today, there’s no excuse for making “unforced errors”. “Gapping Your Bag” is a new Two Man Intensive – Two hours with a friend – $80 each player.

Emily Childs Wins First Professional Tournament

There’s always a “next level”. Golf Lab readers have been following Emily Childs – a long history of working her game up – level by level – since 8th grade. We followed her career in high school. We were there when she won the San Francisco City Championship. We celebrated when she got her full-ride scholarship to Cal. At UC Berkeley she won more tournaments than any other player in UC Berkley history.

This year, she qualified for the Women’s Open – a huge accomplishment.

Emily always thought that she could play at the “next level”. This summer she dedicated her game to Mini Tour events to see for sure. Two weeks ago she won her first professional tournament in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Birdies on 17 and 18 got her into a playoff with a course record 65. She won with a birdie on the fourth playoff hole. The $10,000 winners’ check will keep her going through the summer. She’ll be there for the LPGA Qualifying Tournament this Fall.

For several years, Emily has been a “Junior Team” member of Lake Merced. Emily holds the women’s course record at Lake Merced – a 65 that she shot playing with Gary Montesori. He told me it was the best ballstriking he’s seen from a woman. For all readers with juniors dreaming of winning the Open – be aware that the best private clubs in the Bay Area make their courses available for promising young players – free. If you have a junior player “coming up” you should make contact with the country clubs in your neighborhood and see what their requirements are to join their junior programs.

You’re going to also need a coach. Emily has worked with Rich Marek at Metropolitan for several years. Rich has a lot of experience working with juniors. If you’re looking for a coach with a track record in the East Bay – Rich is a good choice.

But nothing is more important than a parent coach. John Childs, a Mini Tour player himself caddied and coached hundreds of rounds with Emily. In the end, it’s a team effort that wins. Ask John – “Dad” can’t do it all by himself – either.

“You Go Girl” – We’re starting an informal Emily Childs fan club. If you would like to meet Emily later this summer – get in touch with Bob Pegram. We’re planning a brief clinic at The Bridges and a round of golf where Emily would play a few holes with every group. There are a lot of players with dreams – and a few who live the dream. If you know a junior player with dreams – let’s introduce them to Emily.

Schedule of “Five Most Important Shots” Clinics

Saturday, July 20 – Scoring Clubs – Plasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $199

Saturday, July 20 – Greenside (Chips, Pitches, Lob Shots) – The Bridges – 2:00 – 4:30 – $99

Saturday, August 3 – Driver – Pleasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $199

Saturday, August 3 – Putting – The Bridges – 2:00 – 4:30 – $99

Saturday, August 17 – Scoring Clubs – Plasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $199

Saturday, August 17 – Greenside (Chips, Pitches, Lob Shots) – The Bridges – 2:00 – 4:30 – $99

Saturday, August 24 – Driver – Pleasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $199

Saturday, August 24 – Putting – Pleasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $99

Saturday, August 31 – Scoring Clubs – Plasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $199

Saturday, August 31 – Greenside (Chips, Pitches, Lob Shots) – The Bridges – 2:00 – 4:30 – $99

 

“Scoring Clubs” Overview

We’ve got three openings this Saturday for our “Scoring Clubs” Clinic. The goal of the clinic is to “calibrate” your wedge swing – like John Dolan has – for precise distance control. You’ll work with a partner to learn your most comfortable position for a full wedge swing – and for a partial wedge swing. We conceptualize a clock-face metaphor – draw a line from your shoulder to your hands. Most players find their spot around 10:30.

Same goes for your partial swing. We only want two swings – unlike the Pelz method that gives you so many choices you have to carry a note card to remember your options. We want two swings with every club. You can remember two. 9:30 and 10:30 on a “clock face” of your swing – that’s enough.

Then we calibrate your distances. There’s no point trying to hit a wedge for a distance that’s too long for comfort – and consistency. Most players find that their “true distance” with wedges is ten yards short of what they thought. It doesn’t take that long to get over the disappointment. If you want a two foot tap-in, you have to know your distances.

“Greenside” – Chip, Pitch and Lob Overview

Our goal with “greenside” (25 yards and less) is distance control. The key to success is “activating the bounce” on your wedges.

We don’t teach a “new swing”. Your golf swing is a “collection of habits”. Any new swing requires you to change a habit. The most optimistic scientists say that takes 21 days. A new swing is a “swing of the future”.

We want to see performance improvement the very next time that you play.

The easiest thing to do is to change your stance, setup or posture. Those are habits that you can change very quickly.

For the last two years my nemesis has been greenside shots. There’s nothing worse than getting to the fringe of the green – blading a chip shot over the green and three-putting coming back. An easy par turns into a double bogey.

In my first round after my own greenside adventure, I shot 75. I got it “up and in” six times. Wow!

If you’re thinking about a very economical way to introduce yourself to Performance-Based Golf you can’t beat our Greenside Clinic. $99 and three hours on Saturday afternoon could change your game.

Let’s Meet Up on the Range

If you’re thinking about “getting better at golf” an want to make sure it happens, give Bob Pegram a call at 408-871-9983.

Best regards, Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, Bob Pegram, John Greenwood and John Ruark

Hi from Pleasanton,  

Why do you play golf?

Every golfer is unique. In the four months since we launched the “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics – we’ve met over sixty new clients at the Pleasanton Golf Center. One of the best things about Performance-Based Golf is that we have plenty of time to get to know your game and your goals.

Three hours on a Saturday morning is enough time to make a significant change in your game. Every week, we hear new reports from players who have “exceeded their expectations” – sometimes with incredible results. Here’s a report from Jerry Harmon.

 

Eric:

 

Earlier this year, I took your Saturday morning driving clinic. That prompted me to follow up with you in taking a series of 2 man semi private sessions with you focusing on improving my driving skills. A couple of weeks ago we worked on set-up. You noticed that while my set up was good, I was taking a long time to hit the ball after I was “set”. You had me do an exercise that had me focus on my target, and when I had it clearly locked in to say out loud “Got It”. Then, when I moved my eyes back to the ball, to have that be the trigger to start my takeaway. I then said ‘Right” as I took the club back and “There” as I made contact, focusing again on my target.

So, how did this translate to the real world? Glad you asked! The following week I went out to play and decided to use these new skills on the course. The result: I shot my lifetime best: 73!!! I am a 14 index so this was amazing! I should add that at 66 years old this feels like a great accomplishment.

 

I want to thank you for your coaching and give you all the credit for the results I am getting! See you on the range again soon.

Regards, Jerry Harmon

 

John Dolan “Exceeds Expectations”

 

John Dolan is a “Regular at the Range” – attending three Clinics and joining the coaching program when he’s not traveling the world selling software for one of the Giants.

He plays with a Company group. In the last tournament John won BOTH long drive prizes and BOTH closest to the pin prizes. That’s got to be a record.

Next best is the guy who caught three foul balls at the same Major League baseball game.

In his most recent event, after working with Eric on “Scoring Clubs” – he pulled a 9 iron instead of a pitching wedge for his first shot at TPC Stonebrae. Smooth “partial swing” instead of hitting for maximum distance – the ball landed three feet past the flag and drew back. None of his playing partners believed that you could balance a ball so close to the edge of the cup. Easy 2 – a quarter turn short of an ACE.

His playing partners? They all had 30 footers from the front of the green.

We started “gapping” John’s bag last weekend. He’s in love with his new Miura hybrids. After his first session with the Flightscope looking over his shoulder he said “you missed winning $100″. His 20 degree hybrid was flying 185. “I would have bet $100 in a heartbeat that it was going 205″. There’s a lesson in that revelation. No player that we have tested so far with radar has come within ten yards – on average – of their actual carry distances.

If you distrust the radar, bring your Bushnell laser to be sure.

The most important thing you can do to shoot lower scores with the least work is pull the club that allows a smooth swing that carries the correct distance.

If you want to KNOW how far every club in your bag carries – to an inch – with Flightscope radar – give Bob a call 408-871-9983. Gapping your bag used to be imprecise and time-consuming. Today, there’s no excuse for making “unforced errors”. “Gapping Your Bag” is a new Two Man Intensive – Two hours with a friend – $80 each player.

Emily Childs Wins First Professional Tournament

There’s always a “next level”. Golf Lab readers have been following Emily Childs – a long history of working her game up – level by level – since 8th grade. We followed her career in high school. We were there when she won the San Francisco City Championship. We celebrated when she got her full-ride scholarship to Cal. At UC Berkeley she won more tournaments than any other player in UC Berkley history.

This year, she qualified for the Women’s Open – a huge accomplishment.

Emily always thought that she could play at the “next level”. This summer she dedicated her game to Mini Tour events to see for sure. Two weeks ago she won her first professional tournament in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Birdies on 17 and 18 got her into a playoff with a course record 65. She won with a birdie on the fourth playoff hole. The $10,000 winners’ check will keep her going through the summer. She’ll be there for the LPGA Qualifying Tournament this Fall.

For several years, Emily has been a “Junior Team” member of Lake Merced. Emily holds the women’s course record at Lake Merced – a 65 that she shot playing with Gary Montesori. He told me it was the best ballstriking he’s seen from a woman. For all readers with juniors dreaming of winning the Open – be aware that the best private clubs in the Bay Area make their courses available for promising young players – free. If you have a junior player “coming up” you should make contact with the country clubs in your neighborhood and see what their requirements are to join their junior programs.

You’re going to also need a coach. Emily has worked with Rich Marek at Metropolitan for several years. Rich has a lot of experience working with juniors. If you’re looking for a coach with a track record in the East Bay – Rich is a good choice.

But nothing is more important than a parent coach. John Childs, a Mini Tour player himself caddied and coached hundreds of rounds with Emily. In the end, it’s a team effort that wins. Ask John – “Dad” can’t do it all by himself – either.

You Go Girl” – We’re starting an informal Emily Childs fan club. If you would like to meet Emily later this summer – get in touch with Bob Pegram. We’re planning a brief clinic at The Bridges and a round of golf where Emily would play a few holes with every group. There are a lot of players with dreams – and a few who live the dream. If you know a junior player with dreams – let’s introduce them to Emily.

Schedule of “Five Most Important Shots” Clinics

Saturday, July 20 – Scoring Clubs – Pleasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $199

Saturday, July 20 – Greenside (Chip, Pitch, Lob) – The Bridges – 2:00 – 4:30 – $99

Saturday, July 27 – Driver – Pleasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $199

Saturday, July 27 – Putting – THE Most Important Shot in Golf – The Bridges – 2:00 – 4:30

Saturday, August 3 – Driver – Pleasanton Golf Center – 9:00 – 12:00 – $199

Saturday, August 3 – Greenside (Chip, Pitch, Lob) – The Bridges – 2:00 – 4:30 – $99

“Scoring Clubs” Overview

We’ve got three openings this Saturday for our “Scoring Clubs” Clinic. The goal of the clinic is to “calibrate” your wedge swing – like John Dolan has – for precise distance control. You’ll work with a partner to learn your most comfortable position for a full wedge swing – and for a partial wedge swing. We conceptualize a clock-face metaphor – draw a line from your shoulder to your hands. Most players find their spot around 10:30.

Same goes for your partial swing. We only want two swings – unlike the Pelz method that gives you so many choices you have to carry a note card to remember your options. We want two swings with every club. You can remember two. 9:30 and 10:30 – that’s enough.

Then we calibrate your distances. There’s no point trying to hit a wedge for a distance that’s too long for comfort – and consistency. Most players find that their “true distance” with wedges is ten yards short of what they thought. It doesn’t take that long to get over the disappointment. If you want a two foot tap-in, you have to know your distances.

“Greenside” – Chip, Pitch and Lob Overview

Our goal with “greenside” (25 yards and less) is distance control. The key to success is “activating the bounce” on your wedges.

We don’t teach a “new swing”. Your golf swing is a “collection of habits”. Any new swing requires you to change a habit. The most optimistic scientists say that takes 21 days. A new swing is a “swing of the future”.

We want to see performance improvement the very next time that you play.

The easiest thing to do is to change your stance, setup or posture. Those are habits that you can change very quickly.

For the last two years my nemesis has been greenside shots. There’s nothing worse than getting to the fringe of the green – blading a chip shot over the green and three-putting coming back. An easy par turns into a double bogey.

In my first round after my own greenside adventure, I shot 75. I got it “up and in” six times. Wow!

If you’re thinking about a very economical way to introduce yourself to Performance-Based Golf you can’t beat our Greenside Clinic. $99 and three hours on Saturday afternoon could change your game.

Let’s Meet Up on the Range

If you’re thinking about “getting better at golf” an want to make sure it happens, give Bob Pegram a call.

Best regards, Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, Bob Pegram, John Greenwood and John Ruark.

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Next Generation Driver Fitting with “Radar on the Range”

Hi from Pleasanton,

Driver Clinic and Radar this Saturday the 13th.

Leith Anderson

We’re ready for the last half of the summer season. There’s plenty of time to shoot your lowest score this year. We have openings this Saturday, July 13th for our “Driver Clinic”. Check your schedule and call or email Bob Pegram for reservations: bobpgolf@dslextreme.com. By phone 408-871-9983. Or email Leith Anderson for questions leithander@gmail.com.

Performance-Based Golf is unique. We guarantee measurable improvement in a single session.

With your driver, measurable improvement means faster swing speed, longer carry distance and better accuracy.

Each one of our Driver Clinics starts with launch monitor analysis of your performance with your driver. We measure your current “launch ballistics” – “(ball) speed”, “(back) spin” and “launch (angle)”.

How much faster, farther, straighter in three hours? You need “before” to make “after” meaningful.

The key to distance and consistency is “smash factor”. Smash factor is ball speed divided by swing speed. An easy combination to remember is 100 MPH swing speed delivers 150 MPH of ball speed. A ratio of 1.5 to 1 is as good as you can do. Perfect energy transfer. The Laws of Physics determine the limit.

In the Performance-Based Golf world, the most important goal with a driver is maximizing smash factor. Our Mantra is “Center Contact”.

In the last few years most serious players have been through launch monitor testing to verify the performance of a new driver. In the past, that’s always been about “launch, speed and spin”. That’s good information, but not enough.

Flightscope Launch Monitor – “Next Generation Technology”

This weekend, we’re adding new technology. Our Flightscope launch monitor takes driver analysis to a higher level. Old technology launch monitors only look at the ball. Flightscope software goes deeper. Flightscope “sees” the player and the club in motion in addition to the ball.

For the first time, if launch ballistics are not optimal, we can answer the question “why?” No more trial and error.

If you’re looking for a perfect draw, swing your driver on a 2* inside-out path. Position your club face 1* closed to the path at impact. That combination produces the perfect draw for maximum distance. The Flightscope lets you know when you’ve “got it right”.

The Flightscope also reveals your “angle of attack”. “High launch, low spin” drives for maximum distance requires an upward angle of attack. If you’re wondering “how much?” – 3 degrees upward angle of attack is a good starting point.

The “Simple Fix”

It’s likely that you’ve never really thought about your angle of attack. Most amateur golfers strike their drive with a downward angle of attack – same as their irons. That’s a fatal swing flaw that produces too much backspin and costs distance.

A simple adjustment to ball position or your posture at setup might be all that’s required to change your angle of attack for “high launch angle with low spin”. Performance-Based Golf does not change your swing. We might move the ball slightly ahead in your stance to allow you to catch the ball on the upswing. When it comes to finding the simplest possible adjustment to get the results you want – Eric Jones is a brilliant teacher. Who better than a two-time World Long Drive Champion to tweak your driver technique?

Make Sure Your Driver Fits Your Swing

Another unique feature of our Driver Clinic is that we measure your driver with our precision gauge. When you know your swing path and angle of attack, it becomes possible to fit a driver to match your swing precisely. If your optimal launch angle is 13* and you have a 3* upward angle of attack, a 10* driver is perfect. If your swing path is 2* inside-out, a 1* closed driver face is perfect. That’s driver fitting at the “next level”.

We will adjust your adjustable driver to match your swing.

Which Driver is More Accurate?

The last few years, fitting drivers has been a “home run derby”. Step into a launch monitor and swing for the fences. That’s not the best way to shoot lower scores.

The Flightscope makes comparing accuracy possible. Radar tracks the landing point of a drive within an inch. The Flightscope remembers every shot. At the end of a session, software draws an ellipse around each driver’s shots and calculates dispersion. You know which driver (or which swing) is straighter – and by exactly how much.

Take Your Driver Game to the “Next Level” this Saturday

We’re joining forces with John Greenwood – resident clubfitter at Pleasanton – to combine the analysis from his Zelocity – still very good for “ballistics” – with the Flightscope to give all of our clients the very best range of technology and expertise.

All of our advanced launch monitor analysis is included with the Driver Clinic for no extra charge. Your $199 fee is all-inclusive. Join us this Saturday from 9-12 to take your game to the next level.

Radar on the Range – Special Offer for Players Who Join this Weekend

As you can see, we’re working on creating a range of radar-based clubfitting and training services that mirror trends on the PGA Tour. Radar is transforming clubfitting, teaching and training.

Think about Tiger Woods at the Masters. His ill-fated wedge shot was an example of total precision. He knew that if he just stepped back two yards his carry distance would be 1 yard past the hole. He delivered with unbelievable precision.

How did that happen? Tiger Woods, like hundreds of other professional golfers trains with a launch monitor looking over his shoulder every shot. He knows exactly how far every shot will carry. Professional golfers leave nothing to chance.

In PGA Tour jargon, that’s called “gapping your bag”. We like to think of it a “knowing your distances”.

In our “Scoring Clubs” clinics we spend most of the time in “Level I” calibrating a player’s wedge swing – full and partial – to discover precisely how far each wedge carries. No one ever gets it right. On average, the amateur players that we have worked with this summer OVERESTIMATE their wedge carry distances by ten yards. That’s thirty feet short of the pin and on the front of the green instead of a one foot tap-in.

In the past, “gapping your bag” took days and the help of a good friend to stand in the field and see where the ball came down. It’s just too difficult and too time-consuming. No one does it.

It’s arguable that knowing your precise distances is the most important thing you can do to improve your scores.

It takes a couple of hours to hit every club in your bag. With the Flightscope looking over your shoulder, that’s all it takes. You come away with a complete map of every shot with every club.

How cool is that?

We’re planning to introduce “Chart Your Distances with Every Club in Your Bag” as a “Two-Man Intensive”. The cost for that will be $160 per player.

If you would like to be one of the first – our normal “beta” presentation – we’re making an incentive offer for any player who registers for the Driver Clinic this Saturday. $99.

Join us this Saturday at Pleasanton

If you haven’t been to Pleasanton yet, you’re missing something. If you want the best environment, you just have to make the trek.

Best Regards, Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, Bob Pegram and John Greenwood

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Milestones, Scoring Clubs Clinic this Saturday, New Options: Weekday Driver Clinic on Friday, July 12th, Advanced, Radar-Based Swing Analysis & Clubfitting

Hi from Pleasanton,

We have met so many milestones in the past few weeks I am totally excited to write this newsletter. If you really, truly want to get better at golf and you’re willing to do the work you need to find us “on the range” at the Pleasanton Golf Center.

Our first goal was to establish our “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics. We have now created and presented four of the five with great results:

  1. Driver from the Tee.
  2. Seven foot putt.
  3. Scoring clubs – 50 to 125 yards.
  4. Greenside – chip, pitch and putt.

The fifth: Long approach: 175 – 200 yards – is in development. We will offer a “beta” presentation in the next couple of weeks.

Within the first three months, we have attracted 70 new clients to the Performance-Based Golf program. Several clients have experienced extraordinary breakthroughs with their golf game.

We can’t resist “tooting our horn” as my grandmother used to say. Here’s a recent testimonial from Wayne Dodge:

Hi Eric,

Just wanted to let you know that two weeks after completing one of your 3-hour driver clinics in May, I went to an away tournament with my golf club and amazed myself and my playing partners by hitting drives, in the fairway, that were 25-40 yards longer than usual.

In my group of regular playing partners was a player who usually hits the ball 10-15 yards longer than I do. If I keep up with him, I’m pretty happy. On this day, I was 15-25 yards past his ball!  This happened on every drive but one and I did not hit one poor drive the entire round.

I was amazed and so were my playing partners. They all wanted to know what I ate for breakfast. The extra distance was easily recognizable. And to this day, the extra distance I gained is still with me. I continue to practice the center contact drill and make adjustments as you demonstrated in the clinic, As my center contact improves, my drives in the fairway also  increases. This drill along with a couple of other tips you gave in the clinic have dramatically increased my distance.

What I really like about your lessons and clinics is the fact that there are take aways that I can practice to improve. Your explanation of the theory behind the concepts presented helps me understand how it works. I also like the focus on performance rather than mechanics. And if I have a question when practicing something you taught, I can e-mail you.

Anyway, bottom line, the driver clinic was well worth the time and money. Thanks much!  (BTW, I won the low net for the tournament.)

Wayne Dodge

Thanks Wayne.

The next presentation of our Driver Clinic is July 13. There isn’t another one scheduled until July 27th. Please email me with any questions: Leithander@gmail.com. If you only trust the telephone, my cell number is 650-743-2816. If you’re ready to sign up, get in touch with Bob Pegram by email Bobpgolf@dslextreme.com. Or by telephone 408-871-9983.

“Next Steps”

Our “Five Most Important Shots” clinics are a great starting point. After the Clinic creates a foundation, you might want to “Level Up”.

Lawrence Fu is a dear friend. He just finished his first year at UC Santa Barbara. He has the sweetest swing but enrolled in the Driver Clinic because he wasn’t getting the distance he needs. After the Clinic, he stayed for an extra hour with Eric.

Eric helped Lawrence with two simple changes. The first was to allow his right shoulder to rotate “open”. The second was to eliminate “kick out” from his right knee. Eric showed him how to make both changes.

Within an hour, Lawrence raised his swing speed from 100 MPH to 110 MPH and his carry distance from 220 yards to 250 yards. WOW!!

If you are looking for help with your driver, Eric Jones is probably the best teacher in the world.

“Scoring Clubs Clinic” this Saturday.

There’s no point waiting until July to start getting better at golf. This Saturday, we’re presenting our “Scoring Clubs” clinic at Pleasanton. We have three spots open. The best way to get the most out of a Clinic is to attend with a playing partner.

The goal of “Scoring Clubs” is learning to control distance. We start with a simple test. How many shots out of ten hit a simulated sixty foot green from 100 yards?

Our method is to “calibrate” your wedge swing. Using a clock face metaphor, we concentrate on finding a comfortable backswing length for a “full” and “partial” shot with your “100 Yard Club”. A likely outcome is that your full swing will be “10:30 and your partial swing will be “9:00″.

Working with a partner, you will calibrate your full and partial swing and chart the carry distance for every good shot. You will likely be amazed.

Almost every “Scoring Clubs” player discovered that their AVERAGE carry distance with each of their wedges is ten yards short of what they thought. That’s the difference between being pin high and lagging a 30-footer from the front of the green.

The afternoon “Greenside Clinic” is full – we are limited to four players at The Bridges practice green. The Bridges offers the best greenside targets in the East Bay but the space is tight.

To register for “Scoring Clubs” this Saturday call or email Bob Pegram 408-871-9983 or by email at bobpgolf@dslextreme.com.

New Option Possibility – Driver Clinic on Friday, July 12th.

Several clients have requested “weekday” clinics because of “domestic responsibilities”. If we receive sufficient interest, we will schedule a new presentation of our Driver Clinic on Friday, July 12th. We’re thinking about starting at 1:00 to give everyone a chance to check in at the office and avoid any morning traffic on the way to Pleasanton.

If you are a candidate for Friday afternoon, July 12th – reserve your spot with Bob Pegram by telephone 408-871-9983.

New Option Possibility – “Advanced, Radar-Based Swing Analysis and Clubfitting”.

After working for five weeks with Eric Jones – tuning our outdoor radar shaft fitting techniques – we are ready to offer the “next level” of swing analysis and clubfitting.

Last week I attended the Flightscope Radar Seminar at Taylor Made World Headquarters – known as “The Kingdom” – after Michael Murphy’s book: “Golf in the Kingdom”.

We are expecting a visit from a senior clubfitter – schooled at Taylor Made and recently serving as a Tour Rep for Flightscope.

We are planning a special event on Satruday afternoon, July 13. We will offer radar-based swing analysis and fittings for up to eight clients. If you received such a fitting at Taylor Made – you would pay $400. We will stick with our normal Clinic price of $199. That will be a great bargain for the first eight players to register.

Call Bob 408-871-9983 – you won’t be sorry.

“Two Man Intensives” to be Expanded.

Our economical model – Two Man Intensive Sessions – is ready for expansion. In the next few weeks we will begin offering the same Clubfitting services that we used to offer indoors at the Golf Lab.

We will start with our most popular services such as “Tweaking and Tuning your Adjustable Driver”. Driver and iron shaft fitting will follow.

You can back up your “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinic with an “Intensive” to get full value out of your trip to Pleasanton.

Get in touch with Bob if you have a favorite session you would like to schedule.

That’s all we have for this Monday in June.

Best regards, Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, Bob Pegram and John Ruark

 

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Bringing Radar to the Range, Greenside Clinic Results, Driver Clinic, Friday June 21st

Hi from Pleasanton,

We’re taking a breather from our Five Most Important Shots in Golf clinics this week.

Performance Based Golf goes beyond three-hour clinics.  Each clinic is designed to set you off on a “fast start” to taking your performance to the “next level”.  But golf can never be “Mastered” – only explored – level by level until a player reaches Peak Performance – the mystical “Zone”.  That can take a lifetime.

We are focused on offering “advanced services” – on the range.  We’re making a big step up this week – bringing “radar to the range”.

Meantime, working on “Level One” we presented a “beta” of our fourth clinic last Saturday – “Greenside:  chip, pitch and lob shots”.  Here’s what Tim Cleary had to say:

After attending Eric Jones’s Greenside shots workshop, I found several things were accomplished:

-a clear idea of how to produce consistent shotmaking around the green
-a clear path of how to practice to get consistently better at these shots
-a confidence that consistency at these shots is not beyond my capabilities

I’m confident that Eric’s contention that consistency in these shots can reduce my score by 2 to 10 shots per round is accurate.

I’m excited to see what I can accomplish.  Eric is a teacher who constantly reinforces the positive while encouraging abandoning the counter-productive.  He is a gifted teacher in my opinion.

Thanks for the opportunity, Tim Cleary

For all Golf Lab clients who think that Pleasanton is too far away, Tim travels from Santa Cruz – over two hours each way.

My Experience

With only two players in the beta session, I joined the “greenside” clinic as a participant.

Since “coming back to golf” I have been plagued by inconsistency close to the green.  I can’t count how many times I bladed a short pitch over the green and took three coming back.  You don’t have to turn many pars into double bogeys to spoil a round.

The first key to consistency is calibrating your swing.

Eric’s “greenside method” focuses on grooving a stroke that produces fifteen yards of ball flight and normal run out.  Success requires a balanced stance with weight back on your heels and “calibrating” your swing based on a clock face metaphor.   With 6:00 as your address position, the drill is to ingrain a swing from 7:30 to 4:30 – backswing to follow-through.  That’s a short stroke by most standards.

25 yards carry requires a slightly longer swing – 9:00 to 3:00.

The second key to consistency is eliminating excessive wrist break.

It never occurred to me that I would have to change my grip for short wedge shots.

Eventually, you might have to “recalibrate your brain”.  I learned my game many years ago when a sharp wrist break for short shots was thought of as correct form.  Alas, that is no longer true.  Think of the Tour Player who is known as THE BEST with wedges.  Steve Stricker is at the head of that list.  He has so little wrist break his swing looks awkward to “old school” players.

Alas, breaking old habits is difficult.  My short wedge swing was an inside takeaway with a closed club face.  The danger in that swing is “dig and chunk” or “bail out and blade”.

The opposite position is required with Eric’s method.  He wants your takeaway straight back with the toe of your wedge pointing skyward at your 7:30 position.  Eric didn’t make that up.  It’s the current PGA Official Mantra.

I couldn’t do it.  I wanted my hands in the shot.

The grip change was to place the club in my left hand with the grip up the “lifeline” in my hand.  That’s a putter grip for most players.

To say that it feels strange is a monstrous understatement.  It feels “wrong”.

I made the change and stuck with it in an hour of frustrating practice.

And then the breakthrough happened.  I realized that I couldn’t “dig”.  That took away all fear of accelerating through impact.  With a shortened stroke and no wrist break, I was able to hit short wedges “with courage”.  The big thing was that misses were eliminated.  No more chunks, no more blades.

Practice Success

On Sunday, after a morning on the range at Pleasanton, I trekked back to Stanford to practice.  With all the chest-thumping I’ve done over the last few months about getting better at golf, I failed the simple test.  No practice.  Last Sunday, I made a special trip.  Is that a sign that my commitment is gaining strength?  Here’s the key:  after the greenside clinic I knew what to practice and how to practice.  I was excited.

Stanford offers some of the best short game practice areas open to members of the “Stanford Community”.  Fortunately, playing on the team back in the sixties and a Lifetime Membership in the Alumni Association grants me access to several fabulous practice areas around the course.  The newest and best is the practice green in between the first green and the tennis courts at the Stanford Golf course.

I went there.  In two hours, hitting almost five hundred short wedge shots, I was amazed.  I started feeling like I had a short game again.  I’m now looking forward to making that green a regular weekly stop.  The greenside clinic was definitely a success for me.

Next Steps after Commitment

We’ve been working on the Performance Based Golf since early April.  The most successful players have found a way to schedule regular practice.  The “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics are a great way to get a fast start – you’re sure to improve your average scores by a few shots and gain confidence that the work will be worth the sacrifice.

Then comes the “work”.  One of the innovations of Eric’s Coaching Program is making advanced instruction affordable.  That’s where the “Two Man Intensives” come into play.

There’s more to each of the “Five Most Important Shots” than you can cover in three hours.  Each of our clinics is followed with two additional sessions – designed reach the “Next Level”.  A shared session with one other player – an hour and a half on intensive work – is only $80.

My highest recommendation goes to the Level II and Level III – “Driver Intensive”.  Eric has worked out the exact sequence of “next level skills”.  Level II is all about “posture, stance and alignment”.  Level III is about “leverage and power”.  There is surely no more qualified or dedicated instructor than Eric Jones when it comes to hitting the driver.

“Two Man Intensives” are normally scheduled to follow the clinics – from 12:30 to 2:00.  To schedule a time call Bob Pegram at 408-871-9983.

“Gapping Your Bag” – Beta Run this Saturday – Open House at Pleasanton

One of the key skills in “improving performance” is knowing the exact distance you carry each of your clubs.  Until now, that has been virtually impossible – requiring a “spotter” to watch each shot and chart the landing point.  Too much time, too much money.

In our “Scoring Clubs” clinic, we chart distances by eye.  That is a revelation for most players.  You will find that you don’t hit your wedges as far as you thought.  Several players have dropped several shots by picking the right wedge – using their calibrated swing – and finishing hole high.  Shorter putts make birdies and save pars.

We now have “radar on the range”.  For several years I have used radar indoors with great results – and only one problem.  No serious player trusts indoor radar results.  The ball only goes 15 feet.  “Seeing is believing”.

It’s all different outdoors – from a natural grass surface – hitting to familiar targets.  With radar, it is a simple matter to chart the carry distance for every club in your bag.

This is an enormous breakthrough.  In the past, knowing your precise distances was a serious two-man job.  It could take days to get your bag totally figured out.

This Saturday we’re offering the first run of our “Two Man Intensives” for bag gapping.   Two players.  Each player works with a dedicated Flightscope launch monitor and the steady eye of a “Top 100 Clubfitter”.  Call or email to reserve your time.  I only have four slots – two each from 9:00 until 10:30 and two from 11:00 until 12:30.  Cost is just $80 per person.

If you would like to see what’s going on before making a commitment, drop by the Pleasanton range this Saturday between 9 and 12.  We’re at the back in the private area.  Bring your bag to “test the grass”.  You’re welcome.

Book Your Clinics Now – New “Driver Clinic” Presentation June 21st

Our Driver Clinics are so successful that we’re coming close to booking the rest of the summer.  June 22 is sold out.  (We have openings for the Putting Clinic that afternoon from 2:00 until 4:30 at The Bridges.

To accommodate several players who asked for “weekday clinics” – we’re scheduling Friday June 21st for an additional Driver Clinic.  It will start at 9:00 and run until 12.  (You can then book an “Intensive” from 12:30 until 2:00).

Here’s a link to our current schedule:  * http://calgolflab.com/blog/2013/04/12/schedule-for-eric-jones-performance-based-golf-most-important-shots-clinics-on-saturdays/ *

Let’s meet up on the range at Pleasanton.

Best Regards, Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, John Greenwood,  Bob Pegram and John Ruark

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Your Results May Vary

Hi from Pleasanton,

There are important messages in the four emails we received last week.

Hello Bob,

Thanks for the invite. I played a golf tournament at Santa Teresa yesterday. I did not gain any improvement from taking the class on Saturday with Eric Jones. After spending $300, I was hoping for some improvement. With this in mind, I feel the cost is excessive and improvement negligible and for this reason, I do not wish to participate.

Thanks, Jay

Hi Leith, Eric, John and Bob,

Just wanted to let you know that I won the Discovery Bay Country Club OVERALL Handicap Championship!!!  We played 3 days over 2 weeks (Tuesday, Thursday, Tuesday)… I was in the 2nd flight. WOW. . .  I was 208 & next was 213…

Remember when we talked about the ‘go to’ club… My 9 iron saved the day. I finally had confidence in that club (and me).

You guys ROCK!!!

Thanks to ALL of you for a great (but grueling) Saturday at the clinics.

Looking for more club fittings… clinics…whatever…  Bring it on.

Take care,

Christina  ..  aka  TINA

Jay and Christina were paired together for the “Scoring Clubs Clinic” and the “Putting Clinic” on May 11.  As we said . . .  Your results may vary.

Leith,

Thanks for getting my driver done for me.  I got it from Eric yesterday and it was great to have my old shaft back.  I appreciate your efforts.

BTW – I had an event at Coyote Creek on Saturday and won Long Drive - 301 yards right down the middle on #13.  There may be something to this program.  Now I need to sign up for the rest!

Thanks, John

HI Leith

I participated in the putting clinic at Bridges on Saturday May 11. You and Eric were extremely helpful, providing many practical and useful tips. The walk around for green reading and finding the fall line was helpful. The drills for long lag putts was excellent and beneficial. The string line drill showed me my path and exposed my issue or over-releasing the putter left of the correct path. Eric noticed a flaw in my swing that I was not releasing with my right shoulder, which when I corrected the problem, allowed me to finish along the string line. This was HUGE. Also, he changed my grip pressure, making it stronger, which helped me with my distance control, which was predominantly short.

I just returned from a three day golf trip to Monterrey and my putting was much improved. Better than expected and noticeably better than before the clinic.

I certainly got my money’s worth!

Thanks,

Jay Tennenbaum

An Essay on the “Big Picture”

We’re working on a new, BIG IDEA.  True, a Performance Based Golf Clinic can help you shave a few strokes in a single day.   The key is presenting an INTENSE ANALYSIS AND TRAINING SESSION.  That’s what our “Five Most Important Shots in Golf Clinics” are all about:  a quick start and immediate improvement.  “Low-hanging fruit.”

But Performance Based Golf is not about real improvement in a single day.

The inspiration goes back over ten years.  That’s how long Eric has been developing his unique COACHING PROGAM.  His Master’s Thesis in Sports Psychology documented planned improvement by mastering a few shotmaking skills and then moving to mental game and course navigation.  Moving from “practice” to “performance” is a big step.

The key to effective coaching is breaking your golf game down into manageable parts.  Work on the most important skills to “Level Up” one key skill at a time.

In his Masters work, Eric coached a group of four players.  In the four month study, each player lowered his handicap by several strokes and shot his career best round.  The role of a coach is to help set priorities, chart improvement and provide encouragement.

The essential difference between a golf “teacher” and a “coach” is the element of competition.  A coach helps a player prepare for competition.

Reasonable Expectations

IF you’re looking for true, long-term improvement in your game you need to test your dedication.  Will you schedule regular practice and play?

Plan on three to four months of dedicated effort for true improvement.  If you take one “Five Most Important Shots Clinic” a month and squeeze in regular practice, players shooting 90 can expect to drop several shots in that time.  If you plan to get better this summer, there is still time to start.

In the Clinics, we focus on fundamental skills to improve performance immediately.

For Drivers It’s all about solid contact.  The “quarter drill” reveals “center contact”.

Don’t waste time working on any other skill until you hit seven out of ten drives inside s quarter-sized sweet spot on your driver.   You may not win the long drive contest but every extra fairway you hit takes half a stroke off your score.

For Wedges:  It’s all about consistent distance.  The drill is calibrating your wedge swing for “full” and “partial” shots with each wedge.  We measure accuracy and carry distance.  All players over-estimate the AVERAGE carry distance for their wedges.  Partial shots with a longer wedge are more accurate.  The average length of your first putt will decrease.  Land your wedges five feet closer to the hole.  That’s another half stroke per hole.

For Putting:  It’s all about aim, line and speed.  You learn to read the green so you never miss the direction a putt breaks.  The drill is grooving your stroke under a string line.  Make the putts that save your score and eliminate three putts.

After the Clinics – “Two Man Intensives” deepen understanding and sharpen skills.

“Two Man Intensives”

Our “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics are not meant to be stand-alone, one shot wonders.

For players who want more, the Two-Man Intensives develop a higher level of skill by working directly with Eric.  Each “Intensive” includes two 1.5 hour sessions with a partner.  That’s sufficient time for serious work.  The cost is $160 for two sessions.  “Two-Man Intensives” are ideal for partners who coach each other.

Level II and Level III Driver “Two Man Intensive” for Drivers – Overview

The first “Level II” session for Drivers focuses on posture and alignment.  Eric adjusts your stance for most powerful spine angle and makes sure that all of your body parts are in alignment.  He shows a comfortable and certain method to always find your most athletic position with perfect alignment.

The second “Level II” session focuses on swing speed and power by increasing swing length.

“Level III” for Drivers covers “targeting and visualization” in session one and “pre-performance routine” in session two.

The value of the additional sessions cannot be overestimated.  Imagine spending over three hours with a two-time World Long Drive Champion, PGA Class A, Masters in Sports Psychology and great teacher explaining everything he’s learned about driving a golf ball in the last ten years?

But What about Jay?

We’re not ducking this one.  Jay is an old friend from the Golf Lab.  He’s a retired professor who stays active in academic affairs and his more recent passion – golf.

Our policy is “complete satisfaction or you have to go again”.  Jay, please join us for the next Driver Clinic.  It may be that your short game and putting is already good.

You’re invited to our next Driver Clinic.  We’ll see if we can’t get a couple of strokes from a different source.

This Weekend and Next:  Clinic Spaces Open

“Drivers” is sold out for Saturday (6 spots).  We have one spot left for the Putting Clinic in the afternoon.  We’re keeping the price of the Putting Clinic Low – just $99 – to provide a great incentive to get started.  And prove it isn’t that difficult to play better golf.

Next Up:  Performance-Based Clubfitting with Eric Jones

Best Regards, Leith Anderson and Eric Jones

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The “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” Clinics

Hi from Pleasanton,

There’s plenty of “good stuff” to report this week. The “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics kick-started the season. The clinics are the core of our “Performance-Based Golf” program.

But the clinics were never intended to be “one and done”. Rather, they are a welcome entry point for golfers who want to examine an important part of their game – and develop a plan for real improvement.

Performance-Based Golf is not about reaching minimum skill levels with basic clubs. We’re looking at the other end of the scale.

Your ultimate goal is “Peak Performance” whether that’s to shoot your career best round or just to finish with the same ball.

The next step – “Leveling Up” after a clinic – is a “Two-Man Intensive”. That’s two 1.5 hour follow-up sessions with just two players to develop a higher level of skill. Levels II and III are well worked out for the Driver – Eric focused on “Balance, Alignment and Leverage” principles and drills from his “5 Keys to Distance” book. His goal is a 10 MPH increase in swing speed with correct shot shape. I saw that happen on Sunday for two amazed and delighted clients.

Level III introduces advanced concepts of “Target Awareness”.

We are putting the finishing touches on Level II and Level III for our “Scoring Clubs” and “Putting” clinics. You will receive invitations to help us polish the content of our “Next Level”. We are planning “Two-Man Intensives” for clubfitting and training as well. If you would like to be in the vanguard for the “Next Big Thing” in golf – get in touch. If there is a specific skill that you’d like us to address, please let us know.

Performance-Based Golf Clinics are the “laboratory” that Eric is using to create a complete course of instruction. He is writing the final scripts and will film the entire course within the next couple of weeks.

Current Clinic Offerings:

We have “sold out” our Driver Clinics for May 18 and June 1. We’re now scheduling all “Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics for the rest of the summer. Here is a link to June, July and August.

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2013/04/12/schedule-for-eric-jones-performance-based-golf-most-important-shots-clinics-on-saturdays/

Book with Bob Pegram at 408-871-9983.

Please plan ahead and book your “Five Most Important Shots” clinics now. Filling the schedule will allow us to focus our attention on “Leveling Up”.

There is plenty of room in the Putting Clinic scheduled for 2:00-4:30 on Saturday afternoon, June 1 at The Bridges.

We have no room to expand our Saturday schedule so there aren’t that many clinic spots available for the rest of the summer. Just six players per week. Please refer your friends and playing partners. It would be great to “sell out” the rest of the summer. We could then turn full attention to developing “new content” rather than booking clinics.

Insider’s Tip from the Byron Nelson

I just got off the phone with my friend Russ Ryden who is filming the Byron Nelson. He posted a video on YouTube yesterday from the Nike Tour van. How’s that for speed? The video was filmed yesterday and posted last night. Check out the DevotedGolfer.com YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/DevotedGolfer/.

The “scoop” is that Tiger pulled the Graphite Design shaft that he’s been using and went back to his Whiteboard from Mitsubishi. Another example of a player going back to a shaft that’s six years old.

Russ has been working on his website www.golfshaftreviews.info. Check it out if you want the inside story on golf shafts.

Insider’s Group Launched

We are starting our “Insider’s Group”. All Golf Lab “friends and family” are invited to make themselves known if you would like to receive a “more intimate” level of communication.

Our concept is to manage our “Insiders” list with Salesforce.com and convert our focused communication to group email. There is a lot of “business as usual” that doesn’t fit broadcast over the Internet.

As an example, I owe everyone an explanation of what happened at The Bridges a week ago. I’m going to post my “personal travails” on the blog and not send out the full bloody description in a newsletter. Contact Bob Pegram if you want to hear about The Bridges.

On the same note, I’m planning to take a lot of the detailed clubfitting story out of the newsletters. That subject has it’s loyal following – but just does not interest everybody. We’ll locate that in the blog back on the  http://calgolflab.com/blog website.

Our “core group” of insiders is the 50 clients who have participated in one or more Clinics in the last two months. You guys are already “Insiders”. Any other reader is invited.

Next Steps for THE PROJECT:

Beta Test for “Two Man Intensive for Clubfitting”.

Leith is looking for two volunteers for a “Two Man Intensive for Clubfitting”. I have in mind a better way to fit irons.

Since irons all need to be tested outdoors from a natural grass surface for ball flight and feel – why not do that first? Feel and ball flight can be dialed in for wedges and six irons from our “Magic Fitting Bags” from Mizuno and Edel.

It only takes a few swings to compare shaft performance for ball flight and feel.

If you would like to be one of the “volunteers” who works out the method for fitting irons on the range first – by feel and ball flight – and then honing in on the final performance metrics with radar – get in touch by email. Leithander@gmail.com.

Ultimately, outdoor fitting with radar support is going to be “state of the art”. If you have to go to the range anyway to verify performance – why not start there? Schedule to fit around “coaching hours” Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10 and 1.

Putting Clinic Passes “Beta Two”

We are ready for prime time with our “Putting Clinic”. We’ve been through two “beta test sessions” and we’re confident that we have a good framework in place.

We’re making our “half price” fee of $99 permanent. The next presentation of the Putting Clinic is Saturday, June 1 from 2:00 until 4:30 at The Bridges. The Driver clinic is booked for that morning but we still have openings for putting.

We plan to offer the Putting Clinic every other Saturday afternoon – following a morning Driver or Scoring Clubs clinic. That allows the player who wants a “full day” of golf to have his fill. It also provides an easy way for a “newbie” to get acquainted with our approach – mastering one key skill at a time.

Level II – Putting

We need a couple of “volunteers” who have been through the Putting Clinic to step up for a “Two-man (or woman) Intensive”.

Eric has a theory that Level II will take quite a lot of remedial work for most of the players we’ve seen come through the Putting Clinic. If you think that your putting stroke needs work – and hopefully if you’ve completed the Putting Clinic – we’d like to work with you to find out for sure.

Call Bob (408-871-9983) if you would like us to find a partner for a “Two Man Intensive” to focus on your putting stroke. “Beta volunteers” are accommodated with a $99 per session fee. You’ll have a chance to work with Eric, Leith and John Ruark as we study and perfect the process for the first couple of times out.

Final Opportunity – Beta for “Greenside”

The “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” actually includes three shots from “greenside”. The chip, the pitch, and the lob. Eric is planning to use the chipping green at The Bridges for the “Greenside” session.

It is a small space. Only four players can take part.

We want to run a “beta” for that session. It will involve Eric, Leith, John Ruark and four clients. You will get more attention for your greenside manner than you have ever imagined. It is sure to be a fabulous experience.

The session includes hanging around afterwards for a drink and conversation. $99 (beta price) for the afternoon. Call Bob to register. We will negotiate convenient times and could schedule weekdays for players who can control their time.

Another Invitation

Please, please – book the clinics that you haven’t taken. Then get in touch with Bob if you want information on “Two Man Intensives”, scheduling or the “Insiders’ Group”.

Leith is on email morning and evening: leithander@gmail.com. Eric is “out of the loop” for new ideas until he finishes his video filming (three more weeks).

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, Bob Pegram, John Ruark, John Greenwood.

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Exciting Things on the Range at Pleasanton

Hi from Pleasanton,

Exciting things happening “on the range” at Pleasanton – but the most important thing for today is to finish up scheduling our Performance-Based Golf Clinics for this week, next week and all of June.

We are nearing our goal of “selling out” all available Clinic spots 30 days ahead of time. The clinics are not an expandable program. We only have twenty-four spots each month. Four clinics, six participants for each clinic. If you’ve been “thinking about” joining one of our Clinics, now is the time to book your session. For the next month, we have only six spots still open – total.

We are offering the “Scoring Clubs Clinic” on Saturday. This core Performance-Based Golf clinic focuses on calibrating your wedge game. We have three spots open.

You learn your “full swing” and “partial swing” positions in a clock-face metaphor working with a partner. Then you hit each wedge ten times to a measured distance. You learn how far you hit each wedge in your bag for a full and partial swing. You will be surprised. You do not hit your wedges as far, on average, as you think. Adjust your wedge distances in your brain and combine that with a precise distance (by laser or GPS) and you’ll to take 2-3 strokes off of your scores if you’re currently shooting around 90.  $199 for the three hour clinic. That’s a big promise.

This Saturday we’re offering our “Putting Clinic – Version Two” in the afternoon. We’re focused on polishing our Putting Clinic. We presented a “beta” version a couple of weeks ago and it worked out well. We’re offering a “Beta Two” this Saturday. You’re invited.

  • You’ll learn how to read any green the simplest possible way.
  • You’ll learn to find the correct “aiming point” for any putt.
  • You’ll learn how to aim your putter to that point.
  • You’ll learn drills to make sure you roll the ball the right speed for perfect distance control.
  • We’ll test your consistency on 7 foot putts – the “round changers”.
  • We’ll give you a simple drill and simple tool to improve your consistency. (A string line).
  • We’ll give you another simple drill to improve your distance control.

All that together makes a full afternoon.

Please remember that even though we talk a good game for advanced players, you don’t need to be a low-index player to get the benefit of our Clinics. In fact, most of our clients are golfers who “play for fun”.

A perfect way to spend Saturday – “all golf all the time” – is to combine the Scoring Clubs clinic in the morning with the Putting Clinic in the afternoon. That’s if you have the stamina. We already have two for the afternoon so we’re scheduling the session. Both sessions are $299. Afternoon only: $99. Come for one or both.

The Saturday afternoon putting session will take place at The Bridges – Eric is on the teaching staff there as well. The Bridges has an “extreme” putting green that is the best in the area for conducting a putting clinic. The afternoon session starts at 2PM and will go until 5. After that, you can join us for a post clinic drink at The Bridges’ Bar.

Next Week: Driver Clinic May 18th

We have six spots booked for next week, May 18th. That’s sold out. We’d like to start a “waiting list” – just in case. Keep in mind; our Performance-Based clinics are not infinitely expandable. We have six spots each week – that’s it.

The next date after May 18th is June 1. We’re taking a week off in between. Eric is hosting a birthday party that Saturday.

If you are thinking about the next Driver clinic, please book for June 1. Reply to me by email and I’ll make sure that Bob Pegram gets the reservation. He is at 408-871-9983 or bobpgolf@dslextreme.com.

Click here for the remaining schedule for June and July … 

Here is an example of how these clinics can improve your game. These comments are from Kevin Powers:

Bob, so far I’ve taken Eric’s Scoring Shots and Drive clinics (and hope to take the others eventually). I’ll try and answer these questions for both clinics:

* What is one thing you learned from the clinic that will make the biggest difference in your game?

Driver Clinic: Center contact of the driver face on the ball has already made a big difference. I found I’ve been teeing the ball too high and consequently hitting the ball too high on the club face. Seems so simple…but it has made quite a difference.

Scoring Shots Clinic: Taking the time to measure the distance and accuracy of my wedges using Eric’s metrics sheet. There is less guessing involved when you know what you can really do with a club, whether a full swing or 3/4 swing. Again…so simple, but so effective.

* Would you recommend Eric’s Performance Based Golf clinics to your golfing friends? How would you describe them to your friends?

Driver Clinic: Yes, and I already have. I have described the performance based clinics as a way improve scores with simple metric-based methods. Working on the perfect swing is a whole different topic (and obviously important) but these methods give you a way of knowing your own game and using simple techniques to lower your score (which is what it’s all about, right?). The Driver Clinic impact for me is using simple adjustments (center contact) to achieve more consistency.

Scoring Shots Clinic: Same as above. The Scoring Shots Clinic for me was a way to better dial in my own wedge game, i.e., on the average, how far can I actually hit a pitching wedge; and it is more likely I will have better accuracy using a 3/4 swing on a 9 iron than a full swing on a pitching wedge.

* What was the most surprising thing you learned?   Read more …

Please Get in Touch

For questions: email Leith Anderson (leithander@gmail.com). We are focused on changing the way players learn to play golf at the “next level”.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson

Working with Eric on Alignment

Working on Alignment with Eric

  Following Eric's Example 3/4 Swing

Following Eric’s Example

  Testing Clubhead and Ball Speed with John Greenwood

Testing Clubhead Speed and Ball Speed with John Greenwood

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If you plan to get better at golf this summer, now is a good time to start

Hi from Pleasanton,

In prior episodes of my Player’s Notebook, I offered myself as the prime example of a player “coming back to golf”.

I was a “single digit” player. I felt like I would break 80 most of the time at the Palo Alto Muni. Not that bad for a 67 year-old guy.

Then I suffered an injury and lost time to business. Over a year went by with very little golf and it showed.

So I re-committed myself to getting back to my old form. Or at least seeing how close I could get. One more thing about myself … I believe that testing your game is best done under “tournament conditions.”

That’s why I hooked up with JW Means. JW runs the “Player$ Tour” a private club that puts on just two tournaments a month – at good courses with “tournament grade” setups. Joining the Player$ Tour requires putting down greens fees plus a couple of hundred dollars on yourself. Players who bet $300 to “test their game” under tournament conditions have a lot of self-esteem. I like playing with confident guys who play by the rules.

To win your money back – and someone else’s – all you have to do is shoot your handicap. When you win you get a minimum of $1,200 cash. That’s a good indication of “performance under pressure.” Most players can’t shoot their handicap under pressure. That means the tournaments are wide open.

I journeyed to Wente Vinyards for my first “test” in March and came away shell-shocked after posting a 92. Ouch!

It might have left me wondering.

But I look at that as a real motivator. I’m determined to make that the bottom. The only direction I can go is up. But I also know I have to put in the work, and that’s just what I’ve been doing.

The Bridges – Sunday May 5th, 2013

It’s time for the next Showdown. Player$ Tour Tournament at The Bridges. First tee time: 10:30 A.M.

To me, The Bridges Golf Course is diabolical. I’ve played it dozens of times with my dear-departed friend Jim McKenna and I’ve never finished a round with the same ball.

And though that record still stands, check in again after Sunday. I’ve got some new weapons, and a new approach.

After the “Warning at Wente” - I went on a self-improvement program. I joined up with Eric Jones and his Performance-Based Golf Coaching Program.

Performance-Based Golf is really my own story.

I was looking for a way to get better at golf that made sense. The most logical way to improve is to combine coaching with practice. Lessons do no good unless you follow up with “the work”. Working with Eric, I’ve participated in and helped develop three intensive clinics:

  • Driver,
  • “Scoring Clubs” and
  • Putting.

We go deep into each specific shot. That’s why we call them “intensives.” There’s a specific approach to determining performance measures for these shots. Improve your measures, improve your results. No guess-work, and minimal swing interference. Immediate improvement for everyone who improves their performance measures.

Unlike March, I’ve logged a few hours of practice. Here’s why I think I’ll beat my record score at The Bridges this Sunday – hopefully by a lot:

The 80/20 Rule

You heard the 80/20 rule: 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Apply that to golf and what you come away with are the 5 key shots to focus on:

1. Putting – the 6/7-footer

2. Driver off the Tee

3. Scoring Shots (wedges from 75-125 yards, or in my case from 60-110 yards)

4. Greenside Pitch (5 to 25 yards)

5. Long Approach Shots

The Performance “Measures”

Now take these shots one step further.

There’s only four outcomes you can improve with every shot:

1. Your Center Contact

2. Your Direction Accuracy

3. Your Distance Control

4. Your Shape Control

With each of the 5 key shots there’s one or two outcomes to focus on first.

Driver? It’s center contact and direction accuracy.

Putter? It’s direction accuracy and distance control.

That’s what Eric’s intensive clinics are all about. Taking the 5 most important shots in golf and showing you the key performance measures to improve – or as we say around the range – to “level up.” Level-up your performance, lower your scores.

The golfer serious about improving their game should be in every clinic. I am.

Prepare to Post a Score

My Driver

At Wente, I had little time to choose a driver so to “play safe” I took a “Thriver” – a 15* head with a square face angle. 43.5″ long. I spent no time choosing the shaft. Overall, it wasn’t bad although I managed to still hit one drive OB.

Since taking the Driver Clinic, I have “fine tuned” a Taylor Made R9 driver with a 44.5″ shaft that lets me make a controlled swing. I am getting the soft draw that I’ve been looking for.

I’ve still got time to work on this one. A Thriver will be an option.

Performance measures?

I was a “Level 2″ on Center Contact when I started. I’m working my way to Level 7, which is Eric’s threshold level. The results? More fairways hit, more solid shots, more distance.

“Intensive Driver Clinic” – hit your driver longer and straighter in one day. Saturday, May 4th, 2013. 9 AM – Noon.

We still have openings this Saturday, May 4th, for our Intensive Driver Clinic.

Join us this Saturday to work with your own driver. We combine analysis, instruction, inspiration and practice. Three hours on Saturday morning will save you strokes in your next round. Email me: Leithander@gmail.com  if you can come. Cost is $199 for the three hour program.

I have described the Clinics in detail before. Here is a link to one of those articles: http://calgolflab.com/blog/2013/03/20/repeat-of-a-sellout-eric-jones-longer-and-straighter-driver-clinic/

Since I’m on the subject, please have a look at the schedule of future clinics. Note that there is only one a week. Each clinic is limited to six participants. That’s just twenty-four lucky players a month. Here is a link to Clinic Schedule:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2013/04/12/schedule-for-eric-jones-performance-based-golf-most-important-shots-clinics-on-saturdays/

Until now, only Golf Lab customers and Golf Equipment Chronicles readers have been invited to participate. We are about to open up the invitation list to Eric’s students. When that happens, we will sell out for the summer. Please have a look at the schedule and reserve the sessions that you want to attend ASAP.

My Putting

We presented the “beta” version of our PUTTING INTENSIVE “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinic on Saturday, April 27th.

It came out great. We’re ready for Prime Time in a couple of weeks. A link to the schedule is above.

The clinic tested a golfer’s baseline on two putts:

  • a 7 foot putt, straight uphill and
  • a 40 foot putt

Performance measures? How many can you make from 7 feet, and how many can you stop inside a 3-foot circle on a 40-footer.

Results were shocking. On the 7-footers the average score was 2. On the 40-footers the average was 4. I started at “two” and “six”.

Here’s what I learned: The most important tool in improving your putting as quickly as possible is a string line.

After conducting a series of skills and drills aimed at distance and direction control, Eric came back to the seven foot putt. We ran another test. Just as bad.

That’s when Eric pulled out the string line and started a drill for everyone. Hit 100 seven foot puts straight up a string line – no break – from below the hole. Position your eyes over the line and the ball under the line. Watch your stroke. Pretty soon you understand the natural “shape” of your stroke. Then, you start getting much more consistent.

Kingsley Wood improved from two to eight on the seven footers.

I was so inspired I spent the afternoon on the practice putting green at Stanford. I don’t see any way I’m going to three-putt eight times at the Bridges.

My Wedges

Know your wedge distances – Level Two.

“Scoring Clubs” are your wedges. The focus of our Scoring Clubs Clinic is calibrating a “repeating swing” so you know exactly how far each wedge will carry. Your “full repeating swing” is determined by finding your most comfortable position at the top. That drill is accomplished with a clock-face metaphor working with a partner. Your full wedge swing is most likely 10:00 or 10:30. You practice repeating your full swing – each one observed and checked with your partner. After half an hour you will have “calibrated” your wedge swing. Hitting to measured targets you will know your exact AVERAGE carry distances.

You will probably find that your wedges carry a lot shorter than you thought – on average. In our tests over the last two months, “over-estimation” of carry distance clinic participants is twelve yards. Convert that to feet. You’re putting from 36 feet at the front of the green. Or, worse case playing from the front bunker.

Last Saturday, we introduced “The 100 Yard Approach” as a “Level Test” for our Scoring Clubs Clinic. The 100 yard approach is one of the skills on the Performance-Based Golf “Most Important”. Last Saturday half of our players needed a 9 iron to reach 100 yard carry. That was a shocking eye-opener. Some players improved from two inside a ten yard radius to eight hitting the same target – by just calibrating a swing, learning true distance and practicing for consistency.

Quoting Hogan again: “Show me the man who plays full shots with his wedges. I want to play him”.

Once you have calibrated your full swing, you move to “partial swing” or the 3/4 shot. The goal of the “Scoring Clubs Clinic” is knowing the exact carry distance of each wedge in your bag – for a “full” and “partial” shot.

The BIG WIN comes when you calibrate your partial swing with a wedge. Your partial swing with a stronger wedge will go as far as a full swing with a higher loft. Your partial swing shots will be lots more consistent. Dialing in your distance with a partial wedge puts a new shot in your bag.

I now know my distances. My 50 degree wedge is good from 90 yards on a calibrated “full swing”. Two months ago, I played that club as 105 yards. Big difference. I won’t be at the back of the greens this Sunday at The Bridges. I’ll be tuning those distances this Friday and Saturday at Pleasanton.

My Long Approach Shots

Know your fairway distances – Level One.

At Wente I was unprepared. I judged distances from fairway markers conservatively and found myself at the back of the green most of the time. Overclubbing. Too far away to get down in two, I obliged with three-putts. Poor putting, in my case, was caused by careless approach shots.

Long approach shots are one of the “Key-5.” We’re working on an intensive clinic for that right now. What I can tell you is that it will involve radar – the next big thing in performance teaching.

Our next project is “Eric Jones and the Magic Irons Bag”. We’ve already started with Eric and his irons. He’ll be the first “proof of concept.” Once we’re done with that, we’ll know exactly how to apply it to your bag.

Eric has been playing the same irons for eight years. Miura Baby Blades and Rifle (Satin) Project X 6.5. We’re going to try to knock those irons out of his bag. Eric is committed to hands-on club testing every Friday at 9 AM until we finish the job.

Last week we narrowed the playing field of “possible clubs” and found some new ideas to try. We used John Greenwood’s radar system to measure performance. Accuracy here is the watch word, and there’s nothing comparable to the set up we have at Pleasanton with hitting balls outdoors, off real grass, with a radar. We will have the most precise, and most efficient shaft fitting possible – including for irons – the most difficult of all shaft fitting challenges.

The big test will be to see how Eric does with the AeroTech 95 Gram Steel Fiber shaft. We’re building test clubs at standard, single hard step and double hard step tipping. You’ll be hearing more shortly …

Eric Plans to Develop an “Inner Circle”.

Here’ my totally positive recommendation for why this is a rare opportunity to have a great experience getting to know an ambitious, qualified and successful golf teacher and Internet entrepreneur. And you get the best golf coaching of your life.

Eric is on a mission. His “Performance-Based Golf” approach to getting better at golf is already getting attention from the “Powers that Be” (I won’t mention a senior marketing exec at Titleist). This is the kind of stuff that makes a PGA “Teacher of the Year”, and when that happens there won’t be any room on Eric’s dance card.

The Clinics are Eric’s “Laboratory”, so not only do you have a chance to get in before word gets out, you also get to be part of creating “something new.”

I’ll let you in on a little scoop: He is incorporating everything we learn into a new Online Training Program. That project is nearing completion. The players who participate now and donate their results “to science” will have a chance to join the “Inner Circle” as a lifetime member.

The INNER CIRCLE

Once Eric’s new online Performance-Based Golf is finished, he’s planning on opening a new program for an inner circle of players.

Want to know how good you can be? There is no better setup than to have your inner circle coach play a round of golf with you

Sunday afternoons at the Bridges.

I’m joining that group.

If you can spare at least a day a week, we’re looking for serious golfers who want to follow Eric’s program of theory and drills. If you would like to join Eric’s “Inner Circle” – make yourself known to me. You need to go through the clinics, and you need to be willing to post your results.

I hope to be good enough before too long to join the Player$ Tour and put down a bet on myself to shoot my handicap. How long will that take? If ever?

I’m the first “case study” – following Eric’s Performance-Based approach to training.

Thanks for reading the best description that we can give at the moment for the “Vision” behind the Clinics and how they tie into the future. If you can make it to Pleasanton a day a week, we’d love to have you join us at the “Next Level”.

“If you plan to get better at golf this summer, now would be a good time to start”. – Eric Jones.

Best Regards, Leith Anderson and the “Eric Jones Gang” – John Ruark and Bob Pegram.

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The Golf Lab – Scheduling a Club Fitting

Starting in January 2013, Leith’s club fittings and John Ruark’s Putting and FocusBand sessions are in conjunction with Eric Jones’ Performance Based Golf at the back of the Pleasanton Driving Range, at The Bridges Golf Club, or at Mariner’s Point (click ‘Contact Us‘ above for maps and directions). John can also meet you for putting at a convenient location. Our San Carlos location closed December 31, 2012.

Leith and John are doing their own scheduling. Leith’s cell phone is 650-743-8216 and his email is leithander@gmail.com. John’s cell phone is 415-497-7627 and his email is jwruark@yahoo.com.

Call or email Bob at 408-871-9983 or bobpgolf@dslextreme.com with any questions.

Leith will check your club specifications and determine which specs fit your swing. Leith and John provide outdoor Edel wedge fitting at either the practice area at Mariner’s Point in Foster City or the back of the driving range at Pleasanton (see directions below). Edel wedges are the most advanced wedges available. Both Leith and John provide Edel putter fitting.

John Ruark works with you to increase your putting effectiveness and also works with the Focus Band so you can learn to stay “in the zone.”

Maps and directions to all locations are shown if you click ‘Contact Us‘ above.

If Pleasanton is scheduled, location and directions are as follows: exit I-680 at Bernal in Pleasanton. Go east (away from the bay), turn left/north on Valley Ave., turn right/east at Gate 12 and go to the back of the range.

If Mariner’s Point is scheduled, directions are: drive to 3rd Avenue exit on I-101 (just north of the San Mateo bridge), go east toward the bay approximately a mile. Mariner’s Point Golf is on the left. Click ‘Contact Us’ in the header for a map.

If The Bridges is scheduled, go north on I-680 past I-580 to the Bollinger Canyon exit. Turn east (right) and drive several miles to Gale Ridge Road. Turn right on Gale Ridge Road and turn right again almost immediately into the Bridges parking lot.

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We’re on a Mission and we’ve got a Plan

Hi from Pleasanton,

We make sense out of getting better at golf.

If you give us three hours on a Saturday morning we promise immediate improvement – measured by lower scores on the course.

One Saturday morning is all it takes to get started.

Why Not Golf?

In all other sports, there is an accepted Performance-Based Training Method. Why not golf?

Our “5 Key Shots in Golf” intensive clinics are based on the “80/20 Rule”. Invest your time and effort into practicing the 20% of skills that deliver 80% of improvement.

Performance-Based Golf provides a method to measure and track your performance. We help you set priorities for effective practice.

Our secret: Pick the low-hanging fruit first.

Think about your game. Where do you lose the most strokes?

My Three Most Dangerous Shots:

Catastrophic drives cost stroke, distance and an expensive ball. My round is never successful unless I finish with the same ball.

Making a seven foot putt under pressure is ultimate satisfaction. Miss the seven-footer and you’re in the doghouse.

100 yard wedge shots make birdies and save pars. Luke Donald hits 100% of his 100 yard wedge shots inside 15 feet. Amateurs MISS THE GREEN half the time from 100 yards.

Those are my Three Most Important Shots. I count fourteen drives, several “makeable putts” and a few wedges from 100 yards (or so) as my maximum potential for disappointment.

And my easiest route to improvement.

The Performance-Based Golf Framework:

We Focus on Mastering the “5 Key Shots in Golf”:

  1. Driver off the Tee
  2. Seven foot putt
  3. 100 yard wedge
  4. Greenside chip
  5. Fairway approach

Drilling down, there are more than five Key Shots. We add a 40 foot lag putt. Greenside: we add a 25 yard pitch and a bunker shot. From the fairway you need to prepare for medium (150 yards) and long (180 yards) distances.

That’s just nine shots. If you master those nine shots, you will have covered 80% of what you need to reach your goal for improvement.

The Key to Performance-Based Golf Training is Measuring and Tracking Your “Level”.

In wedge play, Luke Donald is a “Level 12″ on a scale of 1-10.

A great benchmark is the 100 yard wedge shot. The 100 yard wedge is your chance to hit it close for a birdie on a short par 4. One hundred yards can be your layup distance on a par 5 or your target for a skillful “up and down” from trouble.

The 100 yard wedge is easy to test and measure. It is a shot that every player needs in his bag.

“Tour Level” is 10 out of 10 inside 15 feet. That’s a “Level 10″.

The “Real World”

Very few players test higher than Level Five before Performance-Based Golf Training.

Most of our “Wedge Calibration Clinic” clients start at ZERO or Level One. Take the test. How many 100 yard wedge shots stop inside a 10 yard radius from your target? Thirty feet each way. That’s more than twice as big as Luke Donald’s target.

If you want to break 90, you need to be Level Five. If you want to break 80 consistently, you need to reach Level Eight.

The key to managing your improvement is discovering your weakest skill and working to “Level Up”.

You don’t need us to keep track of your improvement. You can “Level Up” on your own.

The “Business Proposition”

You get it. We test and measure your current skill level with a simple test. For “Scoring Clubs” it’s the 100 yard wedge shot.

You need to know your current skill level with each of the important shot-making skills.

Black and white. Cut and dried. Numbers don’t lie and all that.

Compare your current skill level with the game you want to have. If you’re looking to break par, you need to bring each of your five ball-striking skills to “Level 8″ or better.

In the past, signing up for “golf lessons” has been an act of faith. “Best efforts”. No guarantee.

With Performance-Based Golf we can predict improvement. Focus on the Key Shot. Raise your level. Lower your scores. Period.

We recommend (and enforce) a training program that is guaranteed to get results – measured by the only thing that matters – lower scores.

Our Guarantee

Join our “Scoring Clubs” Clinic this Saturday. We guarantee you will “Level Up” at least one Level within three hours. That is two to three shots off your scores immediately if you’re an average player.

If you do not improve by at least one level in three hours, you are welcome to repeat the clinic free.

You must schedule at least one practice session per week or all bets are off.

Our Method: Calibrate Your Wedges

No secrets. Here’s what we do:

Our Scoring Clubs Clinic is based on calibrating your wedge distances. Working with a partner, you will learn a comfortable, clock -face understanding of your wedge swing. What position does your left arm reach on a full wedge shot? Most players will find a comfortable full wedge swing between 10 and 11 o’clock. The secret to distance control is repeating your swing the same way – every time.

We’re not talking about a 10:00 sometimes and 11:00 other times. We’re talking about 10:30 arm position every time. You can do that. You need a partner to help you.

After calibrating your full wedge swing, you do the same for your “partial” swing. You might call it a “¾ shot”. Your left arm position at your partial swing position might be 9:30. That’s 9:30 every time.

You hit plenty of shots with your full and partial wedge swings. You keep track of distances, training yourself to repeat your calibrated swings time after time. Your distances tighten up. That happens right away. Three hours is enough time to achieve surprising consistency.

Another “Big Thing” happens quickly. You learn that you overestimate your actual carry distance with every wedge in your bag by about ten yards. That’s why so many of your first putts are thirty feet short from the front of the green.

Final enlightenment occurs when you compare the dispersion of your partial swing with a gap wedge (52*) against a full swing with your sand wedge (56*).

The partial swing is always straighter and more consistent than a full swing. The “Scoring Clubs” clinic gives you the knowledge and confidence to put a new shot into play – a partial swing with a lower loft wedge for scoring consistency.

That’s all there is to it. Three hours on a Saturday morning will pay you back with shorter first putts and lower scores – next week.

The Scoring Clubs clinic is scheduled for this Saturday. The location is the back of the driving range at the Pleasanton Fair Grounds. Bernal at 680 is the exit. Go east to the second light. Turn left. Go to Gate 12. Pass the entrance to the driving range and go past the ticket booth where they sell parking passes to Fairgrounds events. Tell they you’re going to a golf lesson. Take a quick left after the ticket booth and duck into the back of the range.

That’s where the sun is at your back, the breeze in your face and the surface is all natural grass. It’s the best public range in the Bay Area. Saturday morning, it’s private for our Clinics.

Send a quick email to Leith Anderson (leithander@gmail.com) to reserve your place. Our clinics are limited to six participants. We have four spots open for this Saturday. Cost is $199 per player.

Let’s meet up in Pleasanton.

Best Regards, Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, John Ruark and Bob Pegram

PS: Value-Added events this week. On Saturday afternoon, we’re working out the final “beta test” of our Putting Clinic. That will take place at The Bridges on Saturday afternoon between 2 and 4:30. If you would like to join us for the “Scoring Clubs Clinic” in the morning, we invite you to take part in the “Putting Clinic” in the afternoon. As you might expect, we’re making an incentive “half price offer” for the Putting Clinic. The Putting Clinic comes with a few extras. We’ll be conducting a “post mortem” after in the bar at the Bridges. You’re welcome to join up for the whole day. Email Leithander@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

PPS: “The Magic Iron Bag”. On Friday at 9 AM we’re bringing Eric Jones, John Greenwood and the “Magic Iron Bag” together for testing at the Pleasanton Range. Eric will be doing the “ball-striking”. The back story is that nothing has been able to knock the Miura Baby Blades shafted with Satin Rifle 6.5′s out of Eric’s bag for EIGHT YEARS. We have a few shaft companies who think that’s an insult. Starting this Friday and running who knows how many more Fridays – Eric will be testing “Magic Irons” with launch monitor assist provided by John Greenwood. You’re invited to watch if you’re in the neighborhood this Friday morning at 9.

PPPS: Eric is working on his next book – “Performance-Based Golf”. The key idea behind that book is “work on the most important recurring skills that you can test and measure”. Participants in the current “Five Most Important Shots in Golf” clinics can become test subjects for the book. We are working on proving Eric’s Master’s Thesis. Four players each shot their career low round during their participation in Eric’s program. If you would like to participate in the creation of Eric’s new book, make yourself known to Leithander@gmail.com.

That’s all from Leith, Eric and the Golf Lab Gang.

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Schedule for Eric Jones’ Performance-Based Golf “Most Important Shots” Clinics on Saturdays

We have scheduled our “Four Key Shots” clinics for the next three months. Morning sessions will be presented at Pleasanton. Afternoon sessions will be at the Bridges (the best putting surface and the best short game area).

Eric is a two time Long Drive Champion. He has a Master’s degree in sports psychology and is a PGA pro. Details of the clinics are listed below. This is limited opportunity. Eric will use the results in his next book.

Here is the schedule. Details are in the article directly below and here: http://calgolflab.com/blog/2013/04/12/edel-wedge-fitting-and-free-coaching-program-intro/

————————————

Aug 3 AM – Driver 9AM-Noon Pleasanton

Aug 3 PM – Putting at The Bridges 2-4:30PM

Aug 10 AM – NO Clinics – Eric at Long Drive Regionals in Mesquite, NV

Aug 17 AM – Scoring clubs 9AM-Noon Pleasanton

Aug 17 PM – Greenside (chips, pitches, lob shots) at The Bridges 2-4:30PM

Aug 24 AM – Driver 9AM-Noon Pleasanton

Aug 24 PM – Putting at The Bridges 2-4:30PM

Aug 31 AM – Scoring clubs 9AM-Noon Pleasanton

Aug 31 PM- Greenside (chips, pitches, lob shots) at The Bridges 2-4:30PM

 

To reserve a time, contact Bob Pegram at 408-871-9983 or bobpgolf@dslextreme.com.

To contact Leith, his email is leithander@gmail.com or his cell phone: 650-743-2816.

For putting sessions, contact John Ruark at 415-497-7627 or jwruark@yahoo.com.

 

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Eric Jones’ “Four Key Shots” Clinics, This Week: Edel Wedge Fitting and Free Coaching Program Intro

Hi from Pleasanton,

There’s one question we all want to answer:

How do I get better at golf?

This article encourages you to “take the first step”. That’s not hard. You’ve taken the first step lots of times.

We’ve got great ideas for the “second step”- and beyond.

If you’re really committed to getting better at golf you know that you’re setting out on a journey.

A real trip. Not an airplane ride.

You need COMPANIONS WHO WILL BE WITH YOU WHEN THE RIVERS RISE. PARTNERS that RIDE FAST and SHOOT STRAIGHT.

That’s what we’re showing off this Saturday at Pleasanton.

We’re resisting common claims like “faster”, “more efficient”, “more professional”, “more experienced” and “cheaper”. Meaningless adjectives for golf.

Tomorrow morning, and every other Saturday morning – Eric Jones conducts his Performance-Based Coaching Program at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds. 680 at Bernal, go east to Valley, left to Gate 12, back of range. You’re there.

The underlying concept of Eric’s coaching program is that real improvement requires at least one day a week – for a couple of hours of intensive work with your coach. The first hurdle to joining Performance-Based Golf is commitment. Minimum commitment is one month, one day a week.

Way better is two or three times a week. Not forever. Three months is enough to guarantee improvement. You can finish before the summer is over.

Come over this Saturday for free – have a look around – hit some balls – and get to know Eric Jones. You can check out the best all grass PUBLIC range in the Bay Area. What it’s like to practice with the sun at your back and the breeze in your face. Solid contact. Perfect ball flight. Golf Nirvana.

The rest of THE TEAM will be there too. We’d love to talk to you about our mission. The goal of Performance Based Golf is to cut five strokes from your index within three months. Make a plan. Get results. That makes sense.

Performance-Based Golf tackles the four most important shots in golf:

  1. Driver off the tee – “Make Your Driver Your Best Friend”
  2. “Scoring Clubs” – wedges to 125 yards.
  3. The Seven Foot Putt – includes aiming, distance control and strategy
  4. “Greenside” – chipping, pitching, lob shots and bunker play

The foundation of Performance-Based Golf is four three-hour “Clinics”. Each clinic is three hours long. Each clinic focuses on conquering one of the most important shots in golf.

Performance-Based Golf doesn’t waste time changing your swing. Eric doesn’t care about your swing; he cares about your performance.

That means things you can see, measure and improve. Eric’s signature test for driving consistency is center contact. Train to hit at least seven out of ten drives inside the quarter-sized target in the middle of your driver. That takes care of center contact. Then you can “level up” and start working on distance, direction and shot shape.

You track improvement by more fairways hit and fewer catastrophic misses on the golf course. Scores come down quickly when you eliminate penalty strokes and catastrophic misses.

Background on “The Project”

I’ve described Eric Jones’ accomplishments many times before. Here’s what’s “behind the scenes”.

In case you missed the World Long Drive Championships last October – Eric won the World Super Senior Title. Two World Championships, ten years apart. That’s longevity.

Eric is finishing his book on “Course Strategy and Game Management”. His first book: “The Five Keys to Distance” has sold more than 30 thousand copies. He has packaged his book into series of lessons that he delivers the Internet.

Performance-Based Golf – based on mastering the “Four Key Shots in Golf” is the subject of Eric’s third book. He is already a candidate for “Teacher of the Year” in California thanks to his contributions on driving and the mental game. Eric’s vision is that Performance-Based Golf will change the way golf is taught – with much better results – in the future. He’s hoping that Performance-Based Golf will punch his ticket – a long-term career goal – to the Golf Teacher’s Hall of Fame.

You can be part of that.

We have scheduled our “Four Key Shots” clinics for the next three months. We are hoping to find ten clients who can commit to all four clinics – plus join the coaching program. You need to free up four Saturday mornings in the next three months – plus add at least one coaching session per week.

Your index will come down. Eric’s Masters Thesis documented an average of a five stroke improvement. Each of his Thesis subjects shot his career best score during the program. IF you’re willing to do the work – you will get results.

We are aiming to replicate the results of Eric’s Masters Thesis. Proof of concept for the new “Masters Class”.

We have scheduled our Saturday “Most Important Shots” clinics for the rest of the summer. Three sessions will be presented at Pleasanton. Two will be at the Bridges (the best putting surface). Here’s a link to the schedule:  Most Important Shots Clinic Schedule

Your total investment to participate in the program is $1500. That covers all four Clinics and the coaching program for three months.

Fair Warning on Limited Space

Next Saturday the 20th we are presenting our Driver Clinic. Three spots are already reserved. Three are available. The next Driver Clinic is not until May 4th. After that, it’s June 1. That’s too long to wait if you want to tame your driver this summer. The Driver Clinic is limited to six participants to assure plenty of personal attention from Eric.

First come, first served, based on the time stamp on an email to Leithander@gmail.com.

Check out the schedule and make all of your reservations for the summer. We are expecting to sell out all space available.

Edel Wedge Fittings this Saturday at Pleasanton – make your trip worthwhile.

If you want to get something extra done this Saturday, book an Edel Wedge Fitting.

For the last year, we have tested Edel wedges with our best customers. Emily Childs, now a pro, is at the top of the list. A list of NCAA players have Edel wedges in their bags. And dozens of Golf Lab clients. It’s a big responsibility to recommend a product that costs $50 more than “off-the-rack”.

If Edel wedges were the same as all other wedges, I’d say “don’t waste your time”. Edel wedges are different. The “bounce angle” is the most important key to better performance with wedges. All other wedge lines max out at 14* of bounce, that’s where Edel starts.

More bounce allows you to make a more aggressive swing – striking the ball first. Without fear of digging, you are free to make your natural swing. You get crisper contact. You see the result in ball flight. Your wedge shots hold their line better. An Edel wedge fitting lets you see true results for yourself. But only if you are outdoors, hitting off grass.

Edel offers the only shaft fitting system for wedges. You can test the entire range from lightweight graphite to the heaviest, stiffest steel. You understand feel and ball flight under the only conditions that matter: Outdoors from grass.

There’s a design theory and fitting system behind Edel wedges. The formula is “angle of attack” plus “forward shaft lean”. That is your position at impact. That defines the perfect bounce angle by scientific calculations. “The best bounce angle” for good players almost always exceeds 20*.

The key fitting proof is your divot. Edel’s mantra is “don’t disturb the roots”.

Is the Edel fitting theory correct? All Golf Lab “early adopters” still have Edel wedges in their bag. The conservatives who only bought one have come back to fill in their sets. If you haven’t tested high bounce in your wedges, you are not acting in your own best interest (regarding your golf improvement program).

Considering custom options that are free with Edel – that $50 doesn’t look so bad. We stamp your kid’s names on your wedges for no extra charge.

If you come over to Pleasanton on Saturday – your wedge fitting will take an hour. After that, you’re free to stay until your hands bleed. Eric will be there to meet you. Plan on doing some work.

The Edel wedge fitting is $99. If you buy a set of Edel wedges, we’ll waive the fee this Saturday only as an extra incentive. Your time with Eric is no extra charge.

Email me to reserve your time. One hour at 9, one at 10, two at 11 and two at 12. Get there early and make your practice time count. Leithander@gmail.com.

See you there.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, John Ruark and Bob Pegram.

Posted in Working with the Golf Lab | Leave a comment

The Best Deal in Golf Right Now

Hi from Palo Alto,

Report from the PGA SuperStore Sleuth in East Palo Alto.

Full disclosure: I joined the PGA Tour Golf Superstore as a clubfitter. I invite all of my prior clubfitting customers to meet up with me at the Superstore for a free fitting. I’m there on Friday and Saturday afternoons from 2 until 9 and all day Sunday.

The competitive advantage of the PGA Superstore is focused on “Services”. Equipment prices are “MAP” – “minimum advertised price” – there is no better deal available on current models. “MAP” is imposed by manufacturers who want to protect their distribution channels against discounting that smaller retailers can’t survive.

The Best Deal in Golf – Golf Lessons at the SuperStore

You probably wouldn’t be thinking about the PGA SuperStore as a great place to take lessons.

At normal pricing, lessons at the PGA SuperStore are a bargain. A six lesson series is $199. The first lesson is one hour for “evaluation”. After that, each lesson is 45 minutes.

This email is calls attention to a promotional price. Until the end of the month, a series of six lessons at the SuperStore is just $99. That special is good for the next two weeks – until the end of the month.

Who delivers the Lessons?

With golf lessons, it doesn’t matter if they’re cheap if the teacher isn’t up to par. The SuperStore has been open for a just couple of weeks. I’ve had a chance to get to know the instructors. There are all very good. They are all PGA or LPGA Class A professionals.

I’m real picky when it comes to golf instruction. For years, my advice to players looking for an instructor was to find a convenient range – Pin High, Stanford, Paly or Mariner’s Point – and take a place next to a teacher giving a lesson. Listen in. If you like the teacher’s style – invite him for a cup of coffee to get acquainted. You need to know what you’re getting into. Chemistry is a big part of golf instruction.

I’ve done that with each of the instructors at the SuperStore. The four instructors are very different in age and background. Here’s an overview:

Chris – the “old guy”. I first met Chris when he worked with Mitch Voges at Max Out Golf in Los Angeles. He’s a 35 year PGA member and was named “Teacher of the Year” in 2003. If you’re looking for a low key approach from a veteran – he’s your guy.

Andre – the “young guy’. Andre came to the SuperStore from Tahoe. He’s big and strong. If your chemistry includes pounding the ball and you want to hone your game for competition – I’d go with Andre.

Lionel – I’ve watched Lionel the most. I like his style. I brought him several fitting clients who were hitting the ball too high and leaking power. He made good fixes in a few minutes. If you’re not getting the ball flight you want – it’s not your clubs. With video and professional instruction – you might find that the “hard way” is really the “best way”.

Jessica – The lineup wouldn’t be complete without a female instructor. Jessica is a few years out of college where she played competitive golf. She has a very soft touch for beginners.

The Environment

The teaching bays at the SuperStore are private. Each one is equipped with an About Golf simulator and video.

The About Golf simulator is very accurate for spin. That is significant because the very same simulators are available in the SuperStore “practice bays”.

In addition to eight instruction and fitting bays – a unique feature of the SuperStore is six practice bays. There is no more economical way to practice.

$99 buys a “Player’s Plus” pass. That pass entitles to unlimited practice in one of the hitting bays for a whole year. You can make a reservation in advance. If all practice bays are occupied, sessions are limited to 30 minutes. If that’s not enough, you can get back in line.

If you’re planning to practice a lot – your breakeven is nine buckets.

Outdoor Demos

If you’re buying golf clubs – fittings usually narrow the field to a couple of “best choices”. From there, meticulous players want to take clubs outdoors – to a range or to their home course. Ball flight and sound seal the deal.

With a Player’s Plus Pass, you can take up to three clubs to “demo” for two days free. This is where the vast inventory of the SuperStore pays off. There are hundreds of demo clubs.

If you’re thinking about a new driver, we can make the choice accurate and efficient. New information on driver performance has been published in the last few days. Edwin Watts bought a simulator and tested all of the drivers in their inventory. A “rogue website” – My Golf Spy – just completed their own test focusing on performance – distance and accuracy. Both sources have named winners.

My next article is “All Drivers ARE NOT Created Equal”. I’ll sort out the “pros and cons”.

If you don’t want to wait, check out Edwin Watts and MyGolfSpy.com. For distance, the RBZ Stage 2 will be on your list. For accuracy, you’re going to want to try the Titleist 913.

Each model is ultra-adjustable. To avoid the frustration of random changes – we can set the specifications of loft and face angle in your free fitting. Your outdoor testing will be efficient and accurate.

“Growing the Game”

With all of the hoopla around making golf “more accessible” – the PGA SuperStore is doing something significant.

The SuperStore is not about country club members who already have access to all the help they need – and don’t mind paying “professional fees”.

The SuperStore is making professional instruction and practice available in a way that really counts. $198 covers six private lessons AND unlimited practice. That is the best deal in golf right now.

To make an appointment for a fitting or a lesson, call 650-600-5200. No appointment is necessary. You can just drop in.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson

PS – for any questions, email me: Leithander@gmail.com.

Posted in Fitting Methods and How to Buy | Leave a comment

PGA Tour Super Store opens in Palo Alto, “Scoring Clubs” Clinic this Saturday in Pleasanton**

Hi from Palo Alto,

If you’re planning to buy new golf equipment this year and you want to see every model from every name brand under the sun the new PGA Tour Super Store opens this week in Palo Alto.

Here’s a tip. This Wednesday, from 6-9 there is a “friends and family” event – part of the “soft opening” leading up to the Grand Opening on Friday. The incentive Wednesday evening is a 20% discount on most purchases. (Some companies prohibit discounting – Ping, Under Armour and a few more).

The best deal is a “Player’s Club Card”. It is normally priced at $199 but will be available for $99 on Wednesday night. If you plan to work on your game, the Club Card is a great investment. Here’s what you get:

Unlimited access to the “practice bays” at the Super Store for a whole year. The Super Store has six practice bays. Each bay is equipped with an About Golf launch monitor. The About Golf “3 Track” system is one of the most accurate in the business for ball speed, spin and trajectory. Practicing indoors, with launch monitor support is a great way to dial in your ball striking. Knowing your precise distances with every club in your bag – on average – is an important step in any serious program to take your game to the next level.

If you’re planning to hit a lot of practice balls, the Player’s Card is a big bargain. Compared to 10 cents per ball at the range – your breakeven is ten buckets. Plus, you can monitor your progress with the launch monitor. Indoor practice has not exactly caught on in California but until now, where would you go?

Free Fittings, Free Demos.  Club, ball and putter fittings at the PGA Super Store are free. The PGA Super Store has eight additional fitting bays – each with its own About Golf Simulator. One bay is dedicated to the Ping “In Flight” fitting system – also powered by About Golf.

When you find a couple of “winners” that you’d like to test outdoors – 48 hour demos are free.

Complete Set Demos. I’m a fan of the Taylor Made Rocketbladz irons. I wrote about a positive experience at the PGA Merchandise show back in January. Since then, a couple of Golf Lab clients bought the Rocketbladz and love them. The Super Store has a dozen sets of Rocketbladz for demo. Cost is $30 per day. If you’re thinking about Rocketbladz – there is no better way to be sure than taking them to your course. For details, see previous blog posts at http://calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard/.

Labor on re-gripping and repairs is free

Now you know the competitive advantage of the PGA Tour Super Store. They focus on “services”.

The focus on services carries over to lessons. The Super Store employs four PGA Teaching professionals. Single lessons are $49 for an hour. If you buy four lessons, you get six. Six forty-five minute lessons are $199.

Endless inventory. How about this? 200 LEFT-HANDED putters.

I lost count of the putters around the practice putting green. There are more than 300 Odyssey putters, 200 Ping putters and the best models from the other brands – including Scotty Camerons. The putter inventory is close to 1000 units. Total Super Store inventory is over 3 million dollars.

Putter fitting for length, loft and lie is free.

That should give you an idea of the best “Big Box” format in the golf industry. The PGA Tour Super Store is located on the east side of 101 at University Avenue in Palo Alto. If you know the neighborhood, it’s the former Best Buy location.

Scoring Clubs Performance Clinic this Saturday in Pleasanton

Our new focus at the Golf Lab is “Performance Coaching” – taking YOUR CLUBS and YOUR SWING to the golf course. For some players that means competition. For others it means “beating your buddies”. For every player it means “having fun”.

Collaborating with Eric Jones, we developed a curriculum and practice program aimed at reaching YOUR OWN “Next Level” of performance as quickly as possible by mastering the four most important shots in golf. The ultimate environment to reach your potential requires a natural grass surface, good targets and space to see ball flight. There is no better public location for serious game improvement than the natural grass range at the Pleasanton Golf Center.

The foundation is Eric’s “Golf Coach Program” – an original idea that he’s been polishing for the last eight years – now at Pleasanton and The Bridges Golf Course. Eric’s coaching program meets every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning from 10-12. All twelve sessions in a month costs $245. If you can only spare one day a week, the cost is $165.

Players who really want to get better at golf – and are willing to do the work – know that they have to include theory with practice. Even better is when practice happens under the watchful eye of an accomplished coach who knows your game. That’s what the Golf Coach Program is all about.

“Scoring Clubs” Clinic this Saturday at Pleasanton Golf Center

A great introduction to the Golf Coach Program is an intensive three hour clinic devoted to one of the four most important shots in golf:

The Seven Foot Putt

Driver off the Tee

“Scoring Clubs” – wedges from 75 to 125 yards

Greenside chips, pitches and bunker play

This week we’re presenting our Scoring Clubs clinic – with the unique added value of fitting wedges for bounce and trajectory. Plan to arrive before 9 AM. The Pleasanton Golf Center is at the intersection of 680 and Bernal Road in Pleasanton. It is an easy 45 minute drive from the Peninsula and San Jose.

Your primary goal for the day is to CALIBRATE your wedge game – the all-important shots that score birdies and save pars. Working with a partner, the first hour is devoted to measuring the carry distance of each wedge in your bag – for full and partial shots. Your ultimate goal is consistent distance control.

Most players discover that their AVERAGE CARRY DISTANCE is at least ten yards less than they think. Simply choosing the right wedge to cover the distance to the pin rewards players with lower scores immediately – because it’s easier to hole a shorter putt. Previous clinic attendees report an immediate drop of 2-3 shots in their scores. What could be easier than that?

The next level of “enlightenment” comes when you discover that you hit your partial shots closer to the hole than your full shots. Knowing your carry distances gives you confidence to pull your gap wedge instead of your sand wedge.

An important concept in the Golf Coach Program is “Leveling Up”. When you find that your average distance from the pin from 100 yards is forty feet you know what to practice and how to measure and track your progress. Improve your average to ten feet from 100 yards and you will be performing to PGA Tour standards. You have a lot better chance to match professional performance levels with your wedges than with your driver.

Advanced Wedge Fitting for Bounce and Trajectory

For the last year we have worked extensively with David Edel’s wedge fitting system. Edel wedges are unique in the world. They are designed with HIGH BOUNCE sole grinds.

Suspend disbelief when we say that a wedge with 20* of bounce – or more – could transform your wedge game. If you want more information on Edel wedges – visit our blog -

Edel Wedge Fittings – Why Edel is Unique

and High Loft Wedges – the Shot You Don’t Have – Yet

or the Edel website: www.edelgolf.com.

The “short story” is that high bounce wedges provide MORE MARGIN FOR ERROR while still producing good results. A high bounce wedge allows you to strike the ball first with an aggressive blow. The bounce on the wedge prevents “digging”. Striking the ball first produces more spin. You will see your wedge shots hold their line in the wind and stop faster on the green.

After you have calibrated your wedge swing and measured your average distance to the pin you can compare performance of your current wedges to Edel high bounce designs. Numbers don’t lie. Are you closer to the hole or not?

The Edel wedge fitting system is designed with INTERCHANGEABLE SHAFTS. Once you have determined the best bounce to match your “angle of attack” – you can fine tune trajectory and feel with the best of over 25 custom shafts. Only Edel allows the seamless testing of every wedge head with every shaft.

After a year’s worth of experience with Edel wedges – fitting some of the most demanding players in the Bay Area – we know that the concept works. Every Golf Lab client who put Edel wedges in their bag is still playing them. Some players who tested the concept with a single wedge have come back to fill in their sets.

The Edel fitting system is especially important for women. Lightweight shafts at shorter lengths are much easier to control.

Edel wedges are totally different from every other wedge on the market. You can test for yourself at the Scoring Clubs clinic this Saturday.

The cost of the Clinic is $199. Only six spots are available. Email Leith Anderson (leithander@gmail.com) or telephone 650-743-2816 to reserve your spot.

Future Clinics and Special Events

We’re planning one clinic per week through the summer. On Saturday, April 13 we will present the “Driver off the Tee” clinic – a specialty for Eric Jones – two-time World Long Drive Champion.

On Sunday afternoon, April 14th, we will present the first “7 Foot Putt” clinic. If you would like to be part of that trial run – the cost is just $100.

Finally, if you would like to join me for a round of golf – the pinky is healed and the season is on. There is no better way for me to understand your game – and to help you make a plan for improvement than a round of golf. Call 650-743-2816 to make an appointment.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, John Ruark and Bob Pegram

PS:

We have plenty of open time. If you want to do something privately, or at your Club, get in touch. Leith Anderson 650-743-2816. See you in Palo Alto and sunny Pleasanton. For other questions, call Bob at 408-871-9983.

A look at the Pleasanton facility:

Eric Teaching

Eric Teaching

Eric Teaching from side

Small Small Class Size for Personal Attention

Range side view Pleasanton Range View

Posted in Fitting Methods and How to Buy | Leave a comment

Repeat of a Sellout – Eric Jones “Longer and Straighter” Driver Clinic

Hi from Sunny Pleasanton,

Spending a weekend morning working on your game is a great way to bring your index down immediately. We’re holding another Driver Clinic this Saturday from 9-12 at Pleasanton. If you’re looking to cut your index by five strokes or more – the Driver Clinic is your best starting point. Four slots are open. Here’s what happens:

Eric Jones speaks a different language. His approach to getting better at golf is upside-down from conventional thinking. That’s why I like it.

I couldn’t care less if I had a one-plane swing, a two-plane swing or a JET PLANE swing.

Neither does Eric.

His goal is to help you shoot lower scores without going through a swing makeover.

That’s what we did last Saturday with six golfers from different backgrounds, different games and different goals.

Everyone always starts in the same place.

Find your level. With golf, it’s the easiest possible test. Draw a circle around a quarter with a sharpie on the sweet spot of your driver. Put a sharpie dot on ten range balls. Position the balls on the tee so the dot contacts the driver. Hit ten shots. Note how many impacts fall inside the quarter-sized circle.

With my favorite driver, I only hit one drive on center. Level One.

On Saturday, three out of six players reached 5 out of ten inside – or touching – the circle.

That’s not good enough. If you want to advance to work on distance, direction or shot shape, you’ve got to get seven out of ten on the line. Eric sets the level on acceptable performance to move up.

That’s Eric’s focus for getting better at golf. Master the most important skills first.

It’s for your own good. If you can’t hit the ball on center seven out of ten times, you are wasting your time and risking frustration by trying to hit for distance or shape your shots.

Master the CRUCIAL shots first.

Benchmark your own Driver.

John Greenwoood, the clubfitter and clubmaker who lives just up the road from the driving range is working with us. His Zelocity launch monitor reports ball speed, launch angle and spin rate. The starting point in driver fitting is knowing how you driver compares to “theoretically perfect”.

Last Saturday, three players launched the ball way to low – losing 20 yards. Correct launch angle is crucial to reaching your optimal distance. Correcting low launch might be as simple as an inch of ball position at setup. The launch monitor helps you understand your swing.

How many yards are you leaving on the tee? We find out. We also find out “why?”

Now, we know what to work on.

Measure Your Driver. Adjust if possible.

The problem with every mass-market driver fitting is finding the actual measurements of your current driver. If you don’t know where you started, how can you know where you end up?

We measure your driver with our precision gauge. We know for sure what your driver really is.

Most modern drivers are manufactured to a tolerance of 1*. Our real-world experience reveals much more variation. Most modern drivers are marked at least 2* low. We have found drivers marked 11.5* that measure 17*. Correct driver loft, matched to your “angle of attack” is how we fit for perfect launch angle.

Driver face angle is important. If you are missing drives to the right, a likely reason is that your driver face is open at impact. With an adjustable driver, correcting face angle is simple. Our advanced driver fitting techniques matches your swing path to the correct face angle.

Who else is even thinking of that?

Finally, we check the flex and bend profile of your driver shaft to make sure you’ve got the right face angle to match your swing path. That’s an important fitting detail that is overlooked by all of the mass-market programs.

On Saturday, we made a quick change to Linda’s R9 that added ten yards to her drive by launching the ball higher. Simple adjustment but it required launch monitor data and an accurate measurement of her driver.

Back to the Tee Line.

Eric homes in on posture, alignment, and balance. The unique experience that Eric brings to the clinic is from the long drive world.

Eric is “under size” by long drive standards. The only reason he won two World Championships is that he gets every possible ounce of energy out of his swing.

You may make adjustments to your setup and posture to allow more freedom of movement and improve your center contact.

Every player enjoyed an immediate improvement in center contact. Improved center contact means an immediate increase in distance.

Now Let’s Work on Maximum Distance.

The key to learning any physical skill is to practice the skill. That sounds simple, but with a driver in your hands it’s not simple.

Eric introduces a series of drills that you can do with your own driver that teach you to swing faster by SWINGING FASTER.

The key to distance with a driver is gaining full range of movement, engaging the “Big Muscles” of your CORE. Eric demonstrates three simple ways to help you make a faster swing.

Wrapup: Every Player Is Different

This was a very diverse group. Linda was a wisp of a woman but a very serious player. She increased swing speed five MPH in one day. An adjustment to her grip will allow her to generate a lot more power. On the men’s side John represented NCGA Tournament players. He is a high-tech corporate executive who phoned his reservation in from a snow-bound Chicago. He already hits it a long way but Eric’s range of movement drills will add twenty yards. Kingsley is in improvement mode, ready to step up his dedication. He’ll be joining me in the coaching program. Bill, raw talent, totally self-taught. Launch angle with his driver was the issue. We told him to move the ball an inch forward and swing up. Perfect trajectory, fifteen more yards. Jeff, an athlete – finding his swing. He hit some of the best drives I’ve seen. All different players from all different levels.

We didn’t confuse things by changing golf clubs.

After twelve years of clubfitting, I think that we have really discovered the right way to fit a driver.

First, benchmark your swing with your current driver. Find YOUR LEVEL of performance.

If you’re planning to buy a new driver this year – you will get a better fit if you go through our Driver Clinic first. Be sure that you fit your driver to your most efficient swing.

The Close.

The Driver Clinic costs $199. You get everything that I just described. We are combining all sorts of things that you used to chase all over to find. You could spend a lot of money and too much time checking all the boxes.

If you want a driver fitting, you should complete the Clinic first. It will make a difference.

Pleasanton isn’t on the moon. If you’re coming from the Peninsula, it’s 30 miles – 40 from Los Gatos. The best route is the Dumbarton, get on 880 South, go East on Auto Mall Parkway to meet up with 680 North. If you believe that McDonalds is the “Breakfast of Champions” – pull of at Mission for your Egg McMuffin. Five more miles and get off at Bernal. Go right two lights to Valley, turn left to Gate 12, turn right, go past the gate to the back of the range. See you there.

It takes 45 minutes if you stop at McDonalds. Leave an hour ahead of time and you’ll be calm on arrival.

For a reservation: call Leith Anderson at 650-743-2816. We have four spots open for this Saturday.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, John Ruark and Bob Pegram.

P.S. – Here’s a Peek at the Golf Lab Plan – So Far

We’ve found a spiritual home with Eric at Pleasanton. I think that Eric will be recognized as an innovator in golf instruction by the PGA. He’s done the work. Two World Long Drive Championships, PGA Class A, Masters in Sports Psychology, eight years on the practice tee with thousands of golfers.

We’re working on proving the concepts covered in his Master’s Thesis – that you can cut strokes quickly without a major swing makeover.

I’m testing the theory myself. I set my benchmark at Wente. I’ll follow up at The Bridges in May and Monarch Bay on June 5. That will allow me the three month timeframe covered in the Masters Thesis. It will be worth knowing. For a player coming back to golf, how much progress can you expect in three months from three supervised practice sessions a week?

How important is honing in on the “Four Most Important Shots in Golf?” That’s what our three-hour Clinics are all about. You can spend a morning and get into depth mastering a shot you’re going to need every hole. An underlying concept in all of our presentations will be efficiency. How can you cover several subjects and get in some needed practice in a single trip?

  1. The seven foot putt.
  2. Driver off the tee.
  3. Scoring clubs – wedges from 125 and in.
  4. Around the green – chips, pitches, lobs and bunker play.

The problem with current methods of teaching golf is that there is no “How?” and “Why?” built into a structured program.

I’m behind the Player$ Golf Tour as a perfect environment for testing your game. I think that a formal test under tournament conditions.

Clubfitting in the Future

Start by looking at the past. Way too complicated. Fitting inside. Bag full of clubs to the range. Return to the shop. Discuss things you might not remember. That model deserved to die.

Ultimately, you need to test any new club outdoors, from grass.

The Golf Lab will be fully mobile. Radar works better outdoors than indoors.

I am building the ultimate set of test clubs for outdoor fitting.

One session should do it all.

In the very near future, we will be offering complete driver fittings outdoors. That will be the ultimate in accuracy and convenience. You have to go outdoors to finish testing golf clubs. Now you can do the testing and the analysis at the same time.

Prior Big Ideas that I Haven’t Given Up On.

Complete set demos. Why gamble? If you go through a fitting and a pretty good idea shows up, why not test that idea?

I have complete sets of “fantasy clubs”. If you really want to know the difference between Aerotech 70, 80. 95 and 110 gram shafts, I have a demo set built with each.

For the last two years, taking a demo set to your own course has been the way to seal the deal with exotic graphite shafts and Japanese boutique foundry heads.

I am making time to get back to clubmaking. I’m in love with the new ultra-premium iron shafts. Look for in-depth coverage of Aerotech, Matrix, Accra, Hybrix, UST and Nunchuk. There are so many cool shafts.

Testing is heating up. I’ve spent one extensive session with John Driver – an elite amateur for many years in Northern California. We’re working through all of the “likely suspects”. The first choice for a few clubs was the Aerotech 95.

I’ve started a new blog thread which will be a continuation of the “Golf Equipment Chronicles” – described as the “Clubfitter’s Notebook”.

Clubfitting for Current Models

We have a relationship with Cool Clubs at Mariner’s Point that allows any Golf Lab client to come in, with me, to go through the Cool Clubs fitting process.

If you are thinking about a new driver, Cool Clubs has all of the current models that can be tested side by side.

If you want to compare Nike with Callaway and Taylor Made – it makes sense to book a Cool Clubs Driver Fitting. Call Leith Anderson to work out a convenient time. Cost is $125.

A logical sequence would be to complete the Driver Clinic and then book a Cool Clubs fitting if you’re thinking about a 2013 driver.

PPS:

That’s all.

We have plenty of open time. If you want to do something privately, or at your Club, get in touch. Leith Anderson 650-743-2816. See you in sunny Pleasanton.

Posted in Fitting Services | Leave a comment

Player’s Journal

Hi from Sunny Pleasanton,

This was the weekend that I came back to golf.

Six months off means a long way back. I wanted to find out how far I have to go.

The first step on the journey is to benchmark your game. The only true test is tournament golf.

The ultimate pressure in golf is writing your score on the wall in front of your friends. (That’s facing me right now.) Next highest pressure is betting more money than you want to lose.

If you choose to bet more money than you want to lose, the Player$ Golf Tour is better than the Pepsi Tour. The thing that you get with the Playerf$ Tour is PERSONALITY. JW Means is one of those charismatic guys who believes in his vision of FAIR BETTING for significant money.

The Player$ Golf Tour is a unique operation. It is JW Means’ “private club” where players bet enough on themselves to make the game serious. The prize pool guarantees $1250 to the flight winner. If you’re willing to “invest” $200 for prize money and another $100 for greens fees – you’re a Player.

Make no mistake. It’s a zero sum game. The losers pay the winners. A normal flight is twelve players – three foursomes. Beat the other three guys in your foursome and you’ll cash most of the time. Three places pay out of twelve. Simple deal.

On Sunday, March 10th forty players showed up at Wente Vineyards in Livermore. They all put up the entry fee – except for me, Scott and Will – the “lookie loos”.

The field was divided into four flights. The first flight is scratch players – mainly young guys with dreams of playing on Tour – and older guys WITH GAME who like that kind of competition. The second flight is for handicaps from 2-8. The third flight is for 9 to 15. Fourth is for fifteen and up.

Here’s the amazing result. On Sunday, with forty of the most self-confident players in Northern California – not a single one posted a NET SCORE that matched his handicap. Not one.

If you had the guts to bet on yourself and shoot your handicap, you would have taken home $1250 in cash – and a trophy.

What’s with that?

Fact number one: Players melt under tournament conditions.

Fact number two: Tournament Golf Courses demand respect.

Fact number three: The Player$ Golf Tour manages its own handicap system. JW Means’ grandfather invented a handicapping system that eliminates sandbagging. Your NCGA handicap is a starting point. If you’re going to bet more money than you want to lose, you don’t want competition that manages their own handicaps.

The Player$ Tour handicapping system looks at the sequence of holes. If you make two bogies on the first six holes, you are limited to two bogies the last six holes. The handicapping system used by the USGA makes no such adjustment. The theory is that the first six holes catch a player at his peak. The last six holes can be influenced by match standing. Players that lose hope or pad their scores are penalized accordingly.

Most players believe that their Player$ Tour handicap is their real handicap.

Getting Ready – Saturday March 9, 2012

I never planned on going out dead cold.

But I only had time for one “Crash Course” with Eric Jones at his “office” – the back side of the range at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds.

Eric is a unique golf teacher. He played and coached at Stanford. Ten years ago he won the World Senior Long Drive Championship. That set him on a path to teach golf as his life’s work. He earned his PGA Class A membership. He completed a Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology. As a splendid encore, he won the World Super Seniors Long Drive Title again in 2012.

Ten years between World Championships – competing at the highest level every year – has made Eric a legend in the Long Drive World. Time and again, television analysts have credited Eric with the “best swing” among all contestants. He is not as strong as the Olympic Athletes who compete these days in Long Drive. His success and longevity is testimony to his technique.

Eric’s signature contribution to golf instruction is his Coaching Program. That is what is Master’s Thesis was about. Getting better at golf is a journey that requires continuous improvement across a range of skills. Eric’s coaching program offers a player six hours of personally-coached practice a week – and all the balls you can hit at the best public all-grass range in the Bay Area.

In the academic test – focusing on mental skills and key shot techniques – all but one player shot his career best round within four months.

Eric’s coaching program runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9-12. For a monthly fee of $245 you can hit unlimited range balls under Eric’s expert eye twenty four hours a month. Players who can only have one day a week can reserve a “half month” – four coaching sessions – for $165. Eric is a dedicated teacher. He has spent every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning coaching golfers for the last EIGHT YEARS.

Eric’s coaching helps players perform under pressure with the swing they already have. Serious swing flaws need to be corrected, but very few players who schedule practice every week have swings that need a makeover. The key to efficient improvement is practicing the most important shots in the right sequence.

True improvement requires scheduling practice and instruction. How many hours to return to prior form? How many hours to reach your “stretch goal?” If you want to make something happen, you’ve got to do the work. Alas, I didn’t have time for “work”. I needed to post a score. Sound familiar?

My immediate problem was that Wente Vinyeards is both spectacular and dangerous. The golf course wends its way – up and down – through active vineyards. There are holes where out of bounds is ten yards off the green. The slope is 150 from the tips so that gives you an idea of level of difficulty. I was worried about writing my score on the wall.

My question: “how can I play better tomorrow?”

Find Your Level

Eric took my driver and pulled a Sharpie and a quarter out of his pocket. He drew a circle with the quarter on the sweet spot on my driver. Then he took his Sharpie and put a blue dot on the back of ten range balls. Instructions: “Hit the blue dot.”

“We’re finding your level”. With driving, the most important thing is CENTER CONTACT. If you can’t get to “Level 7″ – measured by how many imprints of the ball come inside the quarter-sized circle – you will wasting your time trying to hit for distance or to shape your shots.

Where have you heard that before? Never for me.

I hit one out of ten drives inside the line. It wasn’t dead center. I’m Level One.

That was a humbling, but enlightening experience.

Eric confessed that when he was down to his last ball – the one he needed to win the World Championship – he focused on the blue dot in his brain that matched the blue dot on the back of the ball. He hit that one dead center and the rest is “history”.

I made the immediate decision to play a “Thriver” at Wente. A Thriver is a 43.5″ driver with a high loft head that weighs over 205 grams. Players who hit their three metals as far as their drivers should take note.

My commitment to the Thriver came with an adjustment in my setup. “If you’re hitting it on the toe, move closer and line up on the heel”. It looked wrong to me but I started hitting the Thriver more on center. Simple fix.

Teeing Up at Wente

There is no doubt. The Thriver at Wente saved a bunch of strokes. The first two holes set the table. The opening drive is from a promontory into a valley. I’ve seen players pump five balls into the grapes from there. No place for a “Level 1″ to test his skill. I made the fairway and a one-putt par.

The second hole at Wente is “thread the needle”. You won’t find a smaller opening off the tee anywhere in the Bay Area. You need a rifle, not a driver. I threaded the needle and landed my wedge ten feet past the hole. Even par after two. I was in Golf Heaven.

A Lesson on Course Management

I felt like a Master of the Universe standing on the third tee. We measured distance. Uphill, into the wind. I chose a six iron for the 150 yard shot. It was a conscious choice of an “extra club”. I hit it solid and it went deep.

60 feet down hill. I came up short. Eight more feet downhill. Four feet uphill. Just like Seve when asked about a four-putt: “I miss, I miss, I miss, I make.”

OOPS!! Double bogey with a GIR. Wake-up call.

My lesson was to continue through the rest of the round. Above the hole is death. If you are lagging downhill from a distance of 60 feet – you’re a good bet for 3 putts.

A Lesson on Iron Play

All the buzz for the last several months has been about super-premium graphite shafts in irons. I have complete test sets of AeroTechs Steel Fiber, Matrix Kujoh, Radix and Program, UST Recoil Prototypes and the ACCRA pure graphites and the newest Hybrix graphite and Stainless Steel multi-material experiment from ACCRA. Don’t forget the Nunchuk. The options in premium graphite are fabulous examples of shaft design technology.

With all the newer options, I went back to “old school” steel.

I pulled a set of Shimada Tour shafts from Scott Cunningham’s tournament bag – “my Miuras aren’t performing” – on his way to Aerotech Steel Fiber 95′s. I took the Shimada pulls, set the flex a little softer and installed them in a set of UNITED Flat Back Forged Blade heads.

The Shimada shafts are about 115 grams which makes them a lot heavier than most of the graphite that has been so successful lately. I assumed that I would lose distance with heavy steel shafts.

I took that set out for a couple of “three balls in your pocket” rounds. They went farther than I expected. I felt a satisfying little “kick”. Shot shape was a baby draw – just what I had in mind.

So I stuck with the UNITED blades on Shimada shafts, Golf Pride Midsize Tour Velvet grips. Who would think that I would choose heavy steel shafts for my “gamers”.

All that is the good news. The bad news I that I had no idea how far they would go. I assumed that I would lose distance but the heavy steel seemed to go just as far as my favored lightweight graphites. I continually over-clubbed.

And there you have a key difference between heavy steel and graphite. Steel wants you to hit it hard. I obliged and went deep into every green.

Lighter weight shafts permit more finesse. The club isn’t whispering in your ear “hit me hard’. For me, graphite is still the choice when you need to take a little off the shot. I’m going back to graphite for at least the next couple of rounds.

Tournament Courses, Tournament Conditions = Always Below the Hole

Always above the hole. Eight three putts. And a four putt.

What’s with that?

Every week on TV the analysts emphasize “below the hole”. If you’re playing tournament conditions and you blast the ball into the fat part of the green, you’re going to be above the hole most of the time.

I was guessing about distance. When you need to hit the green below the hole you need to know exactly how far every iron flies – full and partial swings. Hit to the fat part of the green and risk three putting.

That gives you something to practice.

Here’s the Number

I shot 92. My score went up on the wall. If I were playing for money – I’m road kill.

Needless to say, shooting 92 was not exactly what I had in mind when I teed it up. After two holes I would have bet a million dollars that I’d break 90. Lucky I didn’t have that chance.

I set the benchmark. The good news there’s lots of room for improvement. My embarrassment was soothed by noting that my 92 would have been good competition for some of the scratch players. Wente is a hard course.

My three month stretch goal is to break 80 in competition (again). Thirteen strokes needed.

Player$ Golf Tour – Del Rio Country Club, March 24th 2013.

The next Player$ Tour event in the Bay Area is March 24th.

The tournament originally scheduled at the Bridges was moved to Del Rio – a trek from the Bay Area but a First Class private golf course. On the Player$ Tour, you get a “Tour”.

If you would like to test your game against devoted tournament players, think about joining me at the Bridges on May 5 or at Monarch Bay on June 2.

Here’s My Program

I can’t count the times that I’ve wondered “what will it take?” A few years ago Winn Wilson was working at the Pin High driving range and if you booked a lesson with him you went to the back of the range for a couple of hours of hitting shots from good grass with the sun at your back and the wind in your face. That was my previous best learning experience. Alas, Winn is now on the Celestial Golf Tour.

I’m joining Eric’s Coaching Program in Pleasanton. Good grass. Sun at your back and wind in your face. The perfect practice environment.

I’ll be in Pleasanton on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9-12. My next serious benchmark rounds are Bridges and Monarch Bay. If everything goes OK, I’ll have a handicap I can play to by Monarch Bay on June 2nd.

I invite any Golf Lab client who wants to improve his scores by ten strokes or more to join me.

If you’re thinking about joining the Player$ Tour, you can take advantage of our “lookie loo” deal with JW. Two tournaments. Pay greens fees only. After that, if you think you can play with the Big Boys, you can join the Tour. That’s my goal.

The easiest way to get started is through one of Eric’s Clinics that focus on the “Four most important shots in golf.”

  1. The Seven foot putt
  2. Driver off the tee
  3. Scoring Clubs: Wedges from 125 yards and in.
  4. Greenside: Chipping, pitching and bunker play.

Eric’s “Performance Golf” clinics are a great way to get started on an improvement program. Each one is three hours. There is plenty of time for theory and practice. If you would like a quick peek at the “Driver off the Tee” clinic, here’s a link: http://calgolflab.com/blog/2013/03/15/bulletin-from-the-golf-lab/

See you at Pleasanton?

If you’re working on your game and want to see results, we have a unique environment at Pleasanton. Over time, all advanced Golf Lab fitting services – based on state-of-the-art Flightscope radar will be available outdoors at Pleasanton. It is no longer necessary to go indoors for fitting and outdoors for proof.

If you are dedicated to improving your golf game, get in touch with me: Leithander@gmail.com, (650) 743-2816.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, John Ruark and Bob Pegram.

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Driver Off the Tee Clinic

Hello from the Golf Lab,

I’m working on an important article.  It’s taking a couple of extra days and time is running short.

IMMEDIATE ANNOUNCEMENT I need five “volunteers” for a noble purpose this Saturday.

I’m working with Eric Jones to develop a completely new program for improving your PERFORMANCE on the golf course.

The “Open Front Door” is a three-hour Clinic.    Each three hour session focuses on one of the four most important shots in golf:

1        Driver off the tee.

2        Scoring wedges – hitting the green from 125 yards and in.

3        Greenside – pitches, lobs, chipping and bunker play

4        The five to seven foot putt

Each session is designed to include analysis, professional instruction, practice and calibration to produce measurable improvement in performance.

The three hour session makes preparation and travel worth the effort.  Three hours of work – focusing on one the most important shots in golf – will bring your handicap down.

This Saturday from 9-12 is the first production of our “Driver from the Tee” Clinic.  We are going all-out to make the morning as productive as possible.

Here’s what’s going to happen:  (Eric’s analysis and instruction part)

After warm-up, you’ll draw a circle the size of a quarter on your driver’s sweet spot.  Then, you’ll draw a blue dot on ten range balls.  You’ll hit ten balls on the spot.  We will count how many blue dots fall inside the quarter line.

When I took the test, I was shocked to see that I only hit one drive inside the line.  Everything else was high and off the toe.  I could see them peeling into the trees on the right.

I was one for ten.  A humbling experience.

(BTW:  I used that knowledge the next day to put a 43″ driver in my bag for Wente Vineyards, with great results.  Eric moved me closer to the ball.  Alignment inside center.  Better contact.  DUH.)

You will know your level.  My level was ONE.

Eric’s conclusion:  I needed to work on my swing move with a more manageable driver until I could meet a minimum LEVEL SEVEN.

The reason Eric gives the level test is that he knows until you can put the club on the ball consistently – measured by the quarter test – it will be a waste of time and source of frustration to practice the THREE NEXT MOST IMPORTANT THINGS for CONSISTENT DRIVER PLAY.

Eric’s priorities are:

1)      Center Contact – must be level 7 or higher to proceed.

2)      Direction

3)      Distance

4)      Shape – Trajectory

It does no good to work on Levels 2,3 and 4 until you have reached a minimum skill level for solid contact.  Once you’ve taken the quarter test, Eric will help you make adjustments in setup, alignment and ball position which could be very simple.

The essence of Eric’s coaching program is “Work on the most important thing until you’ve achieved sufficient skill to “level up”.

This example provides significant insight into a very different method for coaching a golfer.

Work on your swing for an hour.  Take the test again.  Are you ready to “level up?”

Added Value Services:

The Golf Lab is contributing some additional services to the Driver Clinic that would normally come as a value-added extra.

We will bring our precision gauge from the Callaway Tour Van to give you a true measurement of face angle and loft of your driver.  That is the first step in fitting a driver.  Driver adjustment is not precise.  Tolerances are plus or minus one degree.  In fact we’ve measured drivers marked 11.5* at 17*.

We will set your adjustable driver to the best angles to fit your swing.

John Greenwood – Launch Monitor Analysis

John Greenwood has been plying his trade on the East Side of the Bay for 17 years.  He’s going to join the party this Saturday and he’s bringing his portable launch monitor.

He’ll test your current driver.  You’ll get ball speed, launch angle and spin rate.  If you fall short of optimal performance, you’ll know why.

John is a master of the Vector launch monitor.  He is a highly skilled driver fitter having worked with dozens of top contestants – including Eric Jones.

The Magic Driver Bags

Everyone loves hitting a demo.  No point wasting your time.  I’m bringing TWO MAGIC DRIVER BAGS.  After the quarter test, you’re going to want to try something a little shorter.  We’re bringing a bag full of drivers, each measured for true face angle and loft.  Don’t waste your time with a driver that can’t work with your swing.

We’ll also have a bag full of the fancy Japanese brands and the latest from Adams, Miura, Vega and United.

Business Details

The cost for the three hour session is $199.  First-come, first served to my cell phone:  (650) 743-2816.

I want to make sure we have six participants – a strict limit for this first session.

Since this is very short notice, I’m going to accept bids for last-minute placement.  If a $50 ticket is incentive enough to make the trek to Pleasanton, give me a call.

Best Regards, Leith Anderson, Eric Jones, John Ruark and Bob Pegram

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Why Do You Play Golf?

Hello from the Golf Lab,

During my five month layoff, I’ve had a lot of time to think about “Why I play golf?”

I can answer.

To come through in the clutch.

Under pressure.

That’s the best way to test a golf swing.  Bobby Jones said it sixty years ago:  “There is golf and there is tournament golf and they are not the same.”

I like playing in competition where every swing is an opportunity to perform under pressure.   In the bigger picture, finishing a round under tournament conditions and shooting my handicap is a worthy goal.

The Player$ Golf Tour

The Player$ Golf Tour is a private club that you pay $200 per year to join.  That means under USGA rules you can bet and win as much as you dare.  Just like all the private clubs that hold Calcuttas.

After that, the entry fee is $200 per tournament.  The winner is guaranteed $1250.  That’s a big difference from your average club tournament.  Is a $1250 prize enough to raise the pressure on your game?

Six months ago I met up with JW Means at Roddy Ranch.  I wanted to see if I was wasting my money by betting on myself.  JW let me have a “lookie loo” round.  Show up, pay the greens fees, test the competition and see if you want to join.

I shot 85.  I wasn’t overly embarrassed – I could see slipping under 80 with attention to focused practice and specific shot mastery.  If not winning, I could see “cashing”.  Then I had the broken pinky. . .

If you join the Player$ Tour, it signifies that you’re willing to bet $200 on yourself.  That’s a pretty hefty entry fee.  However, given tournament pressure, net scores over par frequently win.  Under tournament pressure, the other players might crumble.

Several Golf Lab clients play on the Player$ Tour and love it.  They win money because they can play to their index under pressure.  Rick Kehr, David Olmeda and Walt Joyce don’t mind that I mention their names.  It was their recommendation that got me to come out.

Who Plays the Player$ Tour?

The Player$ Tour is fundamentally a “developmental tour” for hot sticks.  JW Means has a soft spot in his heart for the young guys who are trying to make it.  He puts up the ultimate prize.

Any player who scores five birdies a round in at least five tournaments gets his way paid to PGA Tournament Qualifying School.

JW has delivered on that promise.

As usual, there are a bunch of us “old guys” who need handicap strokes to make competition meaningful.

And that’s the big difference.  JW has his own handicapping system.  It doesn’t allow sandbaggers.  You’ve got to be an “honest golfer” to play.

This Sunday Wente Vinyards – Two Weeks – The Bridges

I’m back.  I don’t have confidence that I can finish a serious golf course like Wente without a catastrophe.  There’s a big difference playing a “real” golf course where making a million is a possibility.  I’m scared, but I’m not too scared to show up.

I recruited two recent Golf Lab customers to play with me this week at Wente.  It’s the same “lookie loo” deal.  We play at the end of the field.  We pay greens fees.  We suffer the ultimate pressure of posting a score at the end.

Thanks to Scott Cunningham and Will Hudson for screwing up the courage to join me this Sunday.

Two weeks from now, the Player$ Tour visits the Bridges.  That’s a great test.  In thirty rounds, I have never finished with the same ball.  I’m looking forward to that.

Link to The Player$ Tour:   http://theplayersgolftour.com/

Link to Wente Vineyards: http://www.wentevineyards.com/golf/

Link to The Bridges: http://www.thebridgesgolf.com/layout9.asp?id=233&page=8391

The Challenge for 2013 – Performance Golf

You don’t have to love tournament golf to have fun – and meet a challenge.  This year will be dedicated to getting better at golf.  That’s my personal goal.

If you have similar intentions, start thinking about setting aside some time to get better by developing a program.

I’m hooking up with Eric Jones at Pleasanton.  It’s the best public range in the Bay Area.  If you want to have a look, hop in your car Saturday morning and cruise 680 to Bernal Road.  Exit east toward Pleasanton.  Second stop light, take a left.  Quick right and you’re in the front gate at the Pleasanton Fair Grounds.  The driving range is on your left.  Pass that by and circle around to the back of the range.  That’s where the sun is at your back and the wind in your face.  It’s the perfect practice environment.

Come on by.

I’m at 650-743-2816.

Regards,

Leith Anderson

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In Depth with Bobby Grace – Interview by Biv Wadden – Orlando PGA Show – 2013

Hello from the Golf Lab,

I am excited to show the results of our video project.  We wanted to bring the experience of attending the PGA Show to life.  This is the closest I’ve seen to the true-life experience.

Biv Wadden is the perfect guy talk to Bobby Grace.  He is a former financial analyst turned teaching pro.  His hobby is the golf swing.  He has taken hundreds of lessons from every famous teacher over the last thirty years.  If you want to stay up past midnight discussing every possible swing motion, Biv is your guy.  Biv knows the Bobby Grace line because he played Bobby Grace putters for fifteen years.  What better guy?

Bobby Grace has a unique theory of putter design.  If these videos are good –  you will want to try out the new Bobby Grace models.

Here’s my invitation to join the conversation:

Orlando PGA Show 2013 Introduction
Orlando PGA Show 2013 Introduction

If you’ve been out of the putter market recently, Bobby Grace is one of the BIG NAMES in putters.  He looks like a young man – and he once was – back in the day when his “Fat Lady” helped Nick Price make one very long putt at a crucial time to win THE OPEN.  Annika Sorenstam played with a Bobby Grace model in her bag.  For a brief period, Bobby Grace putters were #1 on both the men’s’ and women’s Tours.

You win the trivia prize if you name the senior tournament that Bobby Grace putters covered first through tenth place.

Why is Bobby Grace relevant today?

Alas, Bobby has been out of style for the last few years.  He’s trying to get over his “Celebrity Designer” phase and revert to “plain old Bobby”.

In recent years, the most popular putters have been milled in the style of Scotty Cameron – conservative in design – and aimed at collectors.  There is zero technology in milled putters.  All responsibility for performance belongs to the player.  Thank Tiger for that.

Bobby Grace designs putters to help a player get better results from a less-than-perfect stroke.  He was the earliest supporter of extreme head shapes to resist twisting at impact.  His “zero loft theory” is well-explained in the videos along with his belief in face balanced putters.  His “variable rebound” face technology is “the one the USGA should have outlawed”.  If you want to know why Bobby thinks his designs and technology are on the cutting edge you will see him tell his story just like you’re standing in his booth on the PGA Show floor.

Here’s the link to Bobby’s discussion of variable rebound face technology, his “zero loft” theory of putter face design and Bobby Grace putter success on Tour:

2013 PGA Bobby Grace Putters Intro
2013 PGA Bobby Grace Putters Intro

Face Balance, Toe Down or MOI (heel down)?

One of the interesting debates over putters is balance.  Face balanced?  Toe down?  Or, David Edel’s concept of heel down for maximum MOI.  Here’s Bobby Grace’s view:

2013 PGA Show Bobby Grace Putters Face Balance
2013 PGA Show Bobby Grace Putters Face Balance

In this video Bobby describes the design concepts behind his new “MOI Face Balanced” putter – tentatively named the “Ass Kicker” – and misconceptions about loft.  Biv initiates a debate, but backs down.

2013 PGA Show Bobby Grace Putters
2013 PGA Show Bobby Grace Putters

And then there’s the Veteran’s marketing brilliance.  Bobby de-coded all of the likely outcomes with putter length and concluded that the only method that allows a form of anchoring will be the “Arm Anchored” method – employed by Matt Kuchar on Tour – and specifically exempted by the USGA.

Bobby analyzed the Arm Anchored putting style and concluded that the only way to make it work is a custom designed putter – fit to length and lie – but with up to 15* of onset.  If you are thinking of going to the Arm Anchored method you are wasting your time by trying to add a little length to your putter to make it work.

I made a quick Internet check for indications of current interest in the Arm Anchored style.  Callaway is out with an “Arm Lock” model – note the competition in trademarked terms.  If you’re thinking about adopting the last remaining advantage in putting – be sure you see what Bobby has to say.

Here’s the link to the Bobby Grace “Arm Anchored” putter information:

2013 PGA Show Bobby Grace Putters Arm Anchor Putter
2013 PGA Show Bobby Grace Putters Arm Anchor Putter

There are still plenty of times that the WRITTEN WORD is the best medium – but I don’t think that I’ll ever write another product review.  I am so excited and anxious to hear what readers think.  My email is  leithander@gmail.com.  Please let me know.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, Bob Pegram and John Ruark

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Live from Orlando – The War of the Gizmos | Bulletin on Focus Band and Mike Weir

Hi from Orlando,

One of the important trends that emerged at the 2013 PGA Show is the proliferation of swing and performance analysis tools – the category is “training aids” – but the new gizmos are way more than simple gadgets.  In some cases, they are third and fourth generation inventions that cost less than $200 and fit in your pocket.

Others like 3-D motion analysis (several vendors) represent research systems that used to cost tens of thousands and are now fit the budget of golf teachers.  Radar is becoming a mandatory tool at three levels:  clubfitting, swing coaching and training.

The underlying concept is to really get better at golf you have to do something every day.  Most instructors are happy with a few minutes of practice a day.  That demands drills and exercises that you can do at home.  If you need a gizmo, it has to fit the budget.

Examples include the E21 launch monitor at $199 (show special) to the SwingByte (under $200 show special) that came out last year and now might be ready for prime time.  The Focus Band is not quite in that “consumer” price range at $3000 but it is an example of technology that you take home and work with every day.

The Focus Band and Mike Weir

For the last three years, we have worked with practically every golf gizmo from the bleeding edge of technology.  The most exotic of those is the Focus Band.  You wear the Focus Band.  It detects the source and frequency of your brainwaves.  Go to the  http://calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard/  for past articles that tell the Focus Band story in detail.

The key to adoption of any technology is answering the question “Does it work?”  That normally means “What Tour Pros are using the gizmo with success?”

That has been a challenge for the Focus Band.  To begin, the entire company is just two people so that sets tight boundaries.  Second, they’re all the way down in Australia making communication difficult.  Third, progress is slow – especially when you’re trying to help a PGA Tour professional get better.

How long should it take to show results?  If there are no answers, it’s hard to crank up enthusiasm to spend time and treasure working with unproven technology.

Rod Pampling

The first Focus Band True Believer was Rod Pampling.  His wife is a psychologist and she has collaborated with the Boultons to develop Rod’s program.

Rod Pampling 1

 Picture of Rod Pampling at Golf Lab

Rod had better results but his performance was mixed.  He missed his 2013 Tour Card by a few strokes.  He finished high in his last tournament in Australia – bogeying the last two holes to lose the tournament.  So far, the Pampling example is good but not convincing enough to cause a rush to Focus Band.

Mike Weir Results

Now we have a story for you to follow this weekend.  Mike Weir bought a Focus Band just eight weeks ago.  He worked closely with Henry Boulton – in from Australia – and Jason Goldsmith – a Southern California golf teacher and entrepreneur.

He shot 66 on Thursday and came back with a 75 on Friday.  That’s the first cut he’s made in a long while.

Here is link to a very good blog article from an accomplished writer about Mike Weir’s use of Focus Band.

http://globeandmail.golfcanada.ca/blogs/lorne-rubenstein/article30981.ece

And finally, here’s what Mike Weir himself had to say about how much the Focus Band has meant to him after his 66 on Thursday.

Links to Mike Weir interviews:

http://youtu.be/Z6SO0arq818

http://youtu.be/gGphK_iNy2s 

This is the first indication of quick improvement.  Mike Weir knew nothing of Focus Band eight weeks ago.  He is now crediting his Focus Band training for significant improvement.

John Ruark – Focus Band Practitioner

We are fortunate to have one of only two US experts in Focus Band in the Bay Area.  That’s John Ruark.

John Ruark and Rod Pampling John Ruark (right) with Rod Pampling

If you want to improve your putting, it’s going to take a program.  If you really want to improve, here’s an example of the kind of program that can get results.

Link to “under 30 putts” Article:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/10/18/30-putts-per-round-five-session-program-to-break-the-barrier/

Call Bob Pegram if you would like more details on “Under 30 Putts” 650-654-1770.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang – Bob Pegram and John Ruark – and associate Joel Whittom in Sacramento.

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Demo Day – Orange County National Golf Center – Metropolitan Hotel Room

Hi from Orlando,

Wednesday, January 23 and Thursday January 24, 2013

I needed an “incomplete” on this assignment.  So much already happened at ACCRA Day and Demo Day.  Wednesday got awfully long.  After hitting hundreds of balls at the Demo Day we headed over to the first meeting of the Professional Golf Teachers Group on Facebook.  We started at 7 and ended at 11.  But that’s what I came to Orlando to do.

I got all the answers I was looking for but it takes a while to tell the story.  Have respect for this article.  It cost me a day in a hotel room – away from the Show.  I want to cover the important subjects in depth.

Send an email to leithander@gmail.com if you have a specific question you’d like answered or product you’d like reviewed.  We’ve got until noon Saturday.

Demo Day 2013 – PGA Merchandise Show

This year was one of those charmed years when Demo Day was a huge success.  Rather than wind and rain, it was a little chilly in the morning.  The day turned sunny and the afternoon was the best ever.  The crowd stayed around until after five PM.  That is a sign of enthusiasm.  Most Demo Days are usually finished by three.

PGA Show registration is up.  In a couple of days, we’ll know if the enthusiasm and increased attendance shows up in the order books.

Faldo by Edel

The biggest story on the custom clubfitting side is Sir Nick Faldo joining Edel Golf as an equity owner.  The partners had a prime spot on the Demo Day range.  Their new Pixel logo emphasizes Faldo’s five Majors with a Signature “by Edel”.  David Edel is expanding to Global Markets and the Faldo name opens doors.  Joining with Faldo will be a breakout for Edel Golf.

The reason the association should work is that there is a close personal relationship developing between David Edel and Sir Nick Faldo.  This is way more than a financial deal.  Sir Nick is an active collaborator with David.  To really work, the partnership has to be about more than money.

The relationship started with an Edel putter fitting cart at the Faldo Institute introduced by Aimpoint founder Mark Sweeney.  Sir Nick took a putter fitting and was astounded by the problems with his stroke caused by faulty aim with his putters.  (He checked several from the bags in his garage.)  Then he ordered a custom Edel putter and it earned a place in his bag.

Wedges followed.  Sir Nick saw his wedge game improve after he switched to the Edel wedges – bounce angles from 18* to 22*.  When the wedges stayed in Faldo’s bag – a serious relationship was initiated by Faldo.

The first call:  “You got it right, twice?”

A lengthy courtship included a fishing trip to Colorado (David also designs fly fishing reels) and multiple visits to the Edel workshop.  The relationship between David and Nick is sustained with multiple daily text messages.  Nick is known for being meticulous about his equipment.  David Edel is the epitome of meticulous.

The key Faldo for Edel promise is “made for you”.  The markings on the Faldo irons include an issue indicator.  The trademark marking is “1 of 1″.  The notion is that every set is totally personalized, from all aspects of the grind and shape right down to the final weight and finish.  You own number one in a series of one.

(Faldo’s positive judgment on Edel’s “high bounce theory” for wedges must be noted.  All Golf Lab clients who switched to Edel high bounce wedges still have them in the bag.  If you haven’t booked your outdoor Edel wedge fitting and calibration session – call Bob Pegram.   As soon as the weather warms up a few more degrees we’ll be ready to go.)

Edel Irons Overview

Before the week is up you will surely see plenty of pictures of the new Edel iron line as well as the Faldo by Edel line.  For a quick look, click over to the Edel website:  www.edelgolf.com.   This is not a flash in the pan project.  The iron line has been in development for well over a year.  You will see pictures of many finishing options.  Finishing is “eye candy”.  What is really important is what you don’t see.

Here’s what’s unique about Edel custom irons:  Edel buys its raw “fattie” blanks from the foundry.  Each iron blank has 30 to 50 grams of excess material to be removed to produce the ultimate shape.  The blanks go to the machine shop where the cavities and faces are milled.  Then hand grinding sets the final weight and shapes the sole.  Like wedges, Edel irons come with high bounce soles.  Six and eight irons at the Demo Day were measured at 11* and 13*.  Edel is bringing the wedge story about bounce to the irons.

It takes two hours of shop time to finish a single Edel iron.  Machine shop precision is more accurate than foundry precision.

The key variable is head weight.  All “standards” for building golf clubs are based on iron shafts that weigh 125 grams or more.  The new “standard” for shaft weight is coming down to 95 grams for Tour Players.  For most amateurs, performance improvement continues with even lighter weights.  We have had success with iron shaft as light as 40 grams.

Maintaining club balance with lightweight shafts – think of that as “head feel” – requires a heavier iron head weight – at least eight grams more than “standard”.  It’s easy to do with lead tape (the PGA Tour solution).  We prefer tidy little tungsten weights that fit the tip of the shaft.

Alas, when you add weight to an iron head – even a small amount – it changes the center of gravity.  Weight near the heel moves the center of gravity toward the heel.  Over the years, the main performance problem with forged irons has been that the sweet spot is inside center.  That is a dangerous place for a sweet spot.

By milling and then custom grinding irons from heavy stock to a precise playing weight, Edel does not require manipulating head weight at build time.  The balance point stays in the center of the club face.  If your custom irons require a 265 gram five iron (ten grams “heavy”) – that’s what you get from Edel.  Edel is the only source of totally customized iron heads in the world.

How could you get excited about a “Limited Edition” of 500 copies when you can have “1/1″ on your irons?  1/1 is the ultimate sign of personalization.

Final Finishing

No other iron head has ever been treated like an Edel iron head.  Edel mills the cavity at the exact proportion to allow the final touch – hand grinding by David himself.

That’s where David applies his art.  The ultimate hand grind determines the final center of gravity, the final bounce angle, the final sole shape and the final head weight.  The current six iron is offered in two bounce options – 11* and 13*.  The end result is an iron head that not only matches a players’ swing for sole shape (bounce) but also hits the perfect weight for the final shaft choice.

This is artwork

Here’s my bottom line.  I own a large collection of forged irons.  None were made for me.  I’m putting in my order for my Edel set and I’m not looking back.  Cool as they ever were the old styles of forged iron heads were all made for Mr. Nobody.

If you are an aficionado or a collector – given the money you’ve already spent – put your order in right after mine.  From all of the irons that I have ever seen, I like the “to your eye” shape of the Edel forgings as well as any.  Check out our website  www.calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard/ in a few days.  I’ll make sure that we get all the pictures.  If you like a thin neck in your irons = you will love the Edel shapes.  With the excitement of the new line – David will be grinding irons well into the summer.

Give me a call and we’ll figure out the right thing to do.  If you are close to a clubfitter on the Edel “short list” we can make a referral.  If not, we’ll figure out the right shape, shaft choice and finish by email and over the phone.

The price is high by American standards.  Each Edel custom iron costs $350.  Multiply times eight you’re getting close to $3K for a set of irons.  Who would ever think that Edel would make Miura and Vega (at $200 per stick) look like a bargain?

Just for perspective.  The last time true custom grind irons were offered, it was by MacGregor back in the 50′s and 60′s.  MacGregor offered a similar program of custom fit and custom grind.  It cost $5000 way back then – those were bigger dollars.  You had to make two trips to Albany, Georgia.  If you compare to that, Edel is a bargain.

And then there’s the Asian obsession with the ultimate eye candy.  Brian Adair from SST is back from the new golf show in Beijing.  If you like gold plating, you can get your new top of the line Honma irons for a little over $300K.  The “normal” version is $24 K.  Everything is relative.

If you’re in the mood for surprises, by Brian’s report, the best American brand in China is MacGregor.  Go figure.

Faldo by Edel Putters

It’s high time for a new theory about putters.  Why not?

Face balanced or torque balanced?

David Edel’s new line of putters – an extension from his totally custom putter line that offers millions of options – the new line is about torque balanced, rather than face balanced.

This is a radical change.  You can explore the logic on your own.  Take one of your putters – choose the best if you’re not worried about the outcome.  Balance the putter shaft on your finger.  Note the angle of the putter head.  If the face is pointing up, you have a face balanced putter.  That’s what everyone used to think was the best balance.

David Edel thinks that face balancing is the wrong way to go.  Take your same face balanced putter, balance it on your finger, and the toe of the putter is to the side.  Take an Edel torque balanced putter and do the same.  The face stays square to the target as it does during your stroke.  The toe stays up.

That’s the secret.  Does your putter have a balance bias?

We have the “prototype” Faldo putters in the Edel putter fitting system.  John Ruark has been surprised by “how straight it goes” with the mallet shaped, torque balance putter.

After a few weeks in the Golf Lab fitting bag, John asked:  “What’s the matter with this putter?  I can’t miss.

David designed his new Faldo by Edel putters with the twisting action in mind.  That’s what torque is all about.

At a minimum, if you aren’t breaking that 30 putts barrier for expert putting, check out an Edel putter for a round on your own greens and know for yourself.

High Performance Graphite Shafts for Irons

UST is one of our key shaft suppliers.

Last year, the ATTAS series of driver shaft was our best performer in the “super premium” class of driver shaft.  No other shaft broke the $450 price point.

Their new “Recoil” graphite iron shaft is now ready for sale.  It comes in two versions.

For the Tour Player and aspiring single digit player, the “prototype” is in the line.  Weight choices are 125, 115 and 95 grams.  They are definitely in the Tour Weight neighborhood.

For the “rest of us” UST designed a variable weight shaft based on recoil principals that allows for flex customization in weight ranges from 60 to 90 grams.

The UST Recoil Design

The “secret sauce” around the new UST Recoil graphite iron shafts is new engineering based on new materials.

In the past, to gain stability in an iron shaft, a lot of material was layered up in the grip area.  That made the structure very thick under the hands.  That’s where the definition “boardy” comes from.  Very little feel under the hands.

New materials now allow UST to design an iron shaft with thin walls in the grip area and down the shaft.  With a thinner shaft, the graphite “ovals”.  “Ovaling” is a key term.  Ovaling describes the deformation of the shaft under load.

UST is going for the “spring back” effect.  You can do the experiment for yourself.  Hold a shaft tightly in a vice or clamped by your legs. Flex the shaft.  Notice the recoil effect.

On paper, there should is a 67% improvement in energy transfer.  So far, that efficiency has not been verified in lab tests, but there’s no denying the scientific principals behind the claim.  Graphite transfers energy better than steel.

Now you know why UST named their new shaft the “Recoil”.

Reaction from Aerotech and Inventix

I ran into Chris Hilleary of Aerotech at the show.  He was with his new employee – Jorgy Jorgensen.  Jorgy is a former mini-tour player so when you get him on the phone you know he’s a golf guy.  Both Chris and Jorgy said “That sounds crazy” when I described UST engineering ovaling into their shaft.  Is that a good sign?

From there, I visited Inventix – showing off their new Nunchuk for irons shaft.  Same result.  “Why?”

Professional Golf Teachers Meeting – West Metro Golf Course

This is a social media success story.  Check it out. With over 1000 registered members on the forum – 140 showed up for the meeting.  Chris Como – one of our bright young “new age” teachers was the moderator.

I have too little time to do this subject justice.  The bottom line is that teachers have discovered the value of radar.  Those who are successful enough to buy the new tools of the trade are euphoric in their praise of the insight that new radar technology offers.

All of the Old Guys who don’t make enough money on lessons to afford a Trackman or Flightscope are sitting in the Peanut Gallery – throwing peanuts about the dangers of technology in the golf world.  All that will end.  The new cadre of young guns – with their Masters’ degrees in biomechanics – will win in the end.

Rocketbladz – Taylor Made’s Next Blowout Success

I never hit balls at Demo Days – except this demo day.  I’m predicting that the Perfect Storm is building up behind the new Taylor Made Rocketbladz.  Rocketbladz is the first Taylor Made iron model that was designed with the “slot in the sole”.

I’m deferring more enthusiasm.  However, if you’re thinking about new irons this year – Rocketbladz will be a finalist.

I mentioned hitting balls at Demo Day with Rocketbladz.  Surprise of surprises.  All of the aftermarket shaft suppliers had all the Taylor Made Rocketbladz irons they needed in their PGA Show setups.

I worked the tee line with Biv Wadden, my PGA Teaching buddy from Chicago who can still shoot under par.  I wanted him to test with me.

Biv’s impression was that the Rocketbladz carried ten to fifteen yards farther when set up with a graphite shaft under 80 grams.

After several hours on the range, we remembered why we didn’t like testing clubs without precise knowledge of where the shots were landing.  That is my next mantra – be sure your practice pays off.

Wow!!  Our key lines are all alive and well.  Off to the show.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang – Bob Pegram and John Ruark – and Joel Whittom in Sacramento.

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Live from Orlando – ACCRA Day

Hi from Orlando,

Castle Pines Resort

If you are an Independent Clubfitter, there is one ticket that matters during PGA Show week:  ACCRA Day.  ACCRA owns the “A List of Custom Clubfitters”.  That universe is 500 accounts – worldwide.  Membership in a small club is highly valued.  My Golf Digest “Top 100 Clubfitter” gets me in.

ACCRA – a Company and a Brand.  Gawain Robertson and Dave Makarucha founded ACCRA eight years ago.  Since Day One they dedicated their company to supplying the custom clubfitter.  That was a welcome idea.  Before ACCRA the major shaft companies USED custom clubfitters to establish the performance of new designs at high prices in hopes that one of the Big Guys would take notice and buy a million units at a low price.

That’s where your $300 driver with a $400 shaft comes from.

I used to think that it was an advantage to buy direct from the shaft manufacturer.  Now, I think it’s a liability.  Once you have the engineering expertise and know your way around China, it makes sense to source your product from the very best factory to build exactly what you need – in quality and quantity.  In these days when potential supply far exceeds demand, buying on contract might be the best way to control costs and yield the best value.

Here’s the short list on key shaft suppliers to custom clubfitters who don’t own their own factory:  ACCRA, AeroTech, OBAN, House of Forged, SK Fiber and Nunchuk.  Each company has carved out a defensible niche in the market.

Companies that operate factories and are important to custom clubfitters are:  Mitsubishi, Matrix, Fujikura, UST and Aldila. The plot thickens with the buyout of Aldila by Mitsubishi.

It’s a tall order to create and run an independent shaft company.  In the beginning, ACCRA was very close to UST.  In fact, ACCRA was originally the UST Brand for their premium UST shafts.  Gawain and Dave reformulated the ACCRA line by tailoring it to the needs of clubfitters.  A single model, the original ACCRA Tour Series, came in five weights, each weight in five flexes.  No other line offered such flexibility.

Before ACCRA, there was a standard method for “fitting” fairway metal shafts.  Whatever a player chose for his driver – ten grams heavier – tipped an inch – was the accepted expert fitting method of the day.

On Tour, Gawain found that players rarely used the same driver shaft in their fairway metals.  Tour Pros like a little more flex in the tip and a little more spin on their fairways.  The result was Dymatch from ACCRA.  With Dymatch, shaft fitting is keyed off of the driver.  You fit the driver for weight and flex.  The “Dymatched” fairway shaft is ten grams heavier, but the flex profile is entirely different.  The responsive tip helps get the ball in the air and spin a little more.  If you’re having trouble hitting your fairway metals consistently, it could very easily be caused by the driver shaft in your 3 metal.

Just look at your driver and longest fairway metal.  If the shafts are the same color, schedule a trip to your clubfitter.

It’s just the opposite for hybrids.  Since hybrids are played like irons, the best flex profile for good players demands a stiff tip.  So, within the Dymatch family of shafts – there is actually very little that matches – and that’s a good thing.

Luke Donald has been the marquee supporter of ACCRA for years.  On Tour, ACCRA has accumulated a nice list of players.  ACCRA is not Taylor Made.  No one gets paid to play ACCRA.

The Gavin Robertson Rant

Now you know that ACCRA is dedicated to supporting the “TRUE CLUBFITTER”.

The proliferation of launch monitors and self-service fitting bays makes it easy and free to pick up a club and see how far you hit it.  Alas, at the self-service establishments the common denominator is “carry distance”.

The order goes in to the factory.  That’s where “custom” changes to “volume”.

You get whatever they already build.  If you hit “Stiff” then you’re going to get a set that matches the demo.  Even the best custom departments can’t be bothered with adjusting flexes – soft stepping and hard stepping to get the perfect ball flight and feel – and then building the clubs to the player’s specification.

You might just as well buy off the rack.  You do the custom fit, we choose L, A, R, S, or X.  Why bother with fitting if you don’t build to match?

Clubfitting has been dumbed down too far.

Gavin proposed a new definition for custom clubfitting:  “Build to the Fit – Can Your Clubfitter Match Your Spec?”  That could be a key, understandable differentiator.  The rant earned a round of applause.

If you’re an old marketing type and would like to see the ACCRA presentation as it was given on ACCRA Day, we’ll post a link to the ACCRA Day Presentation tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

ACCRA Partners:  KBS – KB Tour Shafts – “KB” is for Kim Braly

Kim Braly is always at ACCRA Day.  Same this year.  He’s the “Veteran of Veterans”.  Short story:  Kim has been out on Tour since the 70′s – in the early days with his father Dr. Joe Braly.  Father and son share credit for developing the concept of frequency matching.  They created Rifle shafts in the 70′s.  Kim followed with the Project X (now produced by True Temper), the KB Tour and the Tour Concept (produced by FST – the “Parent” of KB Tour Shafts).

Kim Braly is clearly the guru of steel iron shaft design in the world.

It takes a while to change a generation of golfers that grew up on True Temper.  The KB Tour shaft has been out for three years.  So far, there is an impressive list of converts and all-important Tour Wins.  If you would like to see the presentation delivered by KB Tour we’ll post a link to KB Tour Presentation tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

ACCRA Partners:  Hybrix is Back

Blast from the Past.  Hybrix is a shaft that was conceived by a scientific think tank.  The concept is that if you want an iron shaft that performs for good players – primarily requiring low torque and minimum dispersion in the shaft tip and minimum “ovaling” under the hands. You would reinforce those sections with the strongest available material.  That’s where Hybrix married titanium and graphite.

The company that invented the Hybrix concept licensed the design to ACCRA.  A former impossible selling price has been brought down.  A new selling price for Hybrix shafts will be around $125.  Considering that shafts last forever, good players might find that the ACCRA version of Hybrix is a good investment.

I hit the Hybrix matched up with the new Rocketballz irons as well as the Miura 501.  It felt like graphite.  I would expect that serious testing would show up tighter dispersion and the launch monitor would pick up a little less sidespin.  After a few hours – indoors and outdoors – we’ll have a very good idea if the Hybrix shaft matches expectations.

ACCRA Demo Day

If you read up on last night’s Live from Orlando, I’m all over the Taylor Made Rocketbladz story.

ACCRA had the new Rocketbladz shafted up with the Hybrix, and all the KB Tour shafts.  Both the standard Rocketbladz and the Tour model were available for testing.

Even though I rarely hit shots at demo days, I made an exception for the Rocketbladz.  It was a pretty surprising test.  The Rocketbladlz felt solid.  Matched up with the new Hybrix shaft the ball flight was low – one of the details we haven’t tracked down is the exact loft of the Rocketbladz irons.  At least, they’re one club strong.  One clubfitter has found Rocketbladz to measure two clubs strong.  If your 32* six iron is really a 25* four iron you really ought to know.

After one range test, I am a likely Rocketbladz buyer.  But there’s one thing nobody knows.  Is the ball speed off the face consistent?  Is that 90 MPH six iron swing speed producing a consistent 120 MPH ball speed, or is the ball speed inconsistent – perhaps ranging from 118 to 125.  That would be a bad sign.

I’m part way through the maze.  The Rocketbladz looks and feels like an iron that I could play – defining my game as single digit.  The next step is clearly the Taylor Made tee line on Demo Day.  Once again, we’re after confirmation.

Sitting with two old-timers, Woody Lashen (Woody’s on Long Island) and Jacques Intriere (Greenwich Golf in Greenwich, Connecticut) the consensus at the table is “we just don’t know”.  Jacques said if the claims hold true “the game is over” and everyone will buy Rocketbladz.  How do you know for sure?  We find a good player.  In a series of shots, it’s easy to see if the same swing speed is producing varying ball speeds.  That would be a bad sign.

Once again, to know for sure, we’re going to need launch monitor testing.  Feeling good and looking good isn’t enough.  We’ll surely arrange a launch monitor test before the week is up.

That Last Shaft Tip

ACCRA produces one super premium shaft.  It is the Tour Z – Platinum.  At ACCRA Day, they announced that in testing, the Platinum has produced ball speeds ten MPH higher than most players’ previous best.  Gawain and Dave suggest that it is because of the counterweighting in the shaft, plus a higher bend point – by about an inch.

If you can find a shaft that produces higher ball speed with your same swing speed, you’ve found the Holy Grail.

Best regards, Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang:  John Ruark and Bob Pegram.

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Live from Orlando – the Biggest Week in Golf

Hi from Orlando, 

Orlando at the end of January is the beginning of the golf year.  The annual PGA Show is the center of the golf world for seven days.

This year, the trip came with an unexpected surprise.  I awoke in Orlando to Inauguration Day in Washington.  With nothing on the agenda, I saw it all.

If you are ALIVE the next Inauguration Day, take the day off.  Watch it all.  It will help confirm your faith in America.

The First Visit – Edwin Watts Headquarters Store

I made my traditional first stop on the ritual trip after the President made it back to the White House.  Edwin Watts is one of the most important names in golf retail.  Surprisingly, Edwin Watts is a real person.  He built up his chain of retail golf stores throughout the southeast one store, one town at a time.  He’s one of those guys who have a great reputation with those who really count – his loyal employees.

Way back when – Orlando was just a speck of its present size – they went looking for a retail location that made sense in Orlando.  Alas, all the prime real estate was already bought but there was a plot a little north of where Sand Lake Road meets Turkey Creek Road available.   Edwin bought the land for his concept store.  It is set back off the road so you have to know where you’re going.  But the years have been kind -the real estate purchase is now near ground zero on Orlando’s famous Restaurant Row.

Three years ago, Edwin Watts was one of the first to embrace the “store within a store” concept.  Rather than mix up all the lines, they established mini-boutiques organized around brand names.  Since then, the idea has been adopted by all major golf retailers.  For me, a visit to Edwin Watts is a peek at the future.

This year, the impression of the store was astounding.  A new designer decreed that no display should be more than 5’5″ height.  The result is a wide open look that makes the store much more inviting.

As the manager said:  “Less inventory, more sales.  What’s the matter with that?”

The Taylor Made Fitting Center inside Edwin Watts

Another trend in golf retail is (unfortunately) that Major Brands no longer trust their retail partners to provide professional club fitting.  The Taylor Made Fitting Center at the Edwin Watts store is staffed by a full-time Taylor Made employee.  If you visit the Edwin Watts store in Orlando, you’ll meet Lee at the Taylor Made fitting center.  I thank him for his insights.  When you’re in the area, Edwin Watts is worth a visit.

There is a big TM story brewing – or not.  Taylor Made’s new Rocket Bladz – Tour Edition.  Is Rocked Bladz a new invention that changes the way we think about irons forever?

Or, is Rocket Bladz just another flash in the pan?

Here’s the scoop:

Rocket Bladz are an extension of the ultra-successful “slot” that was a proven winner in both TM and Adams fairways and hybrids.  How successful?  Most observers think that the reason Taylor Made bought Adams was the portfolio of patents around the “speed channel” popularized by Adams.  What no one expected was that the hybrid and fairway metal technology would extend to irons.

The even bigger surprise is the early and quick acceptance among TM Tour Players.

Sergio Garcia, after a dry spell, won playing Rocket Bladz.  Rocket Bladz are in Dustin Johnson’s bag.  After ticking off another winner and several more converts, the conclusion from the Fitting Center is that by the end of the year, most of the TM Tour Staff will be playing Rocket Bladz.  I can’t think of an iron model that was instantly accepted across a spectrum of Tour Players.  Changing irons is a big decision for most Tour Players.

Sergio’s evaluation:  “One club longer, straighter, more consistent distance control.”

If that is true, it is sure to create a rush to “new technology”.  If true, all irons manufactured in the last four hundred years are obsolete.  There is already an indication of pressure in the system.  The original release date for Rocket Bladz has been pushed back from February 1 to February 15.

Could all that be true?  I’m going to find out this week.

The Pro

If you pay your Taylor Made Clubfitter a visit, the demonstration will be to hold a finger at the center of your chosen iron and intone, “This is the sweetspot”.   He then lays two fingers on the center of the blade and says “this is the sweetspot with Rocket Bladz.”

The implication:  with sweetspots, bigger is better.

The Con

That all sounds good, but in the past irons that were designed with scientific principals all suffered performance defects.  Mostly, with distance control.  Scientifically designed irons tend to have a sweet spot that is “nuclear” – dead center goes a lot farther.  We’ve all witnessed “nuclear shots”.

Comparing “apples to apples” is also important.  Lofts on Rocket Bladz are at least 4* stronger than what you might be used to.  A club longer distance could easily be the 4* stronger loft.

What is the proof?

The Project

As you can see, one of my priorities for the week will be to find out what is going on with the “new technology” in irons.

BTW:  Taylor Made is not alone in promoting new iron designs.  United Golf -Graham Webb and Peter Lord – have released their own “new technology” iron – saying something for a company that built its reputation on forged irons.

Six more days to get to the bottom of that question.

The Dickie Pride Conundrum

Dickie lives in Orlando and is a regular at the Edwin Watts store to check his specifications.

He went through the test for Rocket Bladz.  He hit Rocket Bladz longer and straighter.  He didn’t put in an order – even for free clubs because he’s a TM Staffer.

His rationale:  “The Rocket Bladz might be longer and straighter, but I made $1.3 million dollars using his shorter TM forged irons.   I know what they’re going to do.”

So much for the compelling story.

The Week

Tomorrow is ACCRA day.  ACCRA is a company that was built around custom clubfitters.

Wednesday is the “Ultimate Demo Day”.

The PGA Show goes on from Thursday through Saturday.

Russ Ryden is in town with his small entourage of reporters and videographers.  Have a look at www.devotedgolfer.tv to get an idea of the project that’s been going on for two years.

The Vision

In just ten years we have come from a world where communication was SLOW.  In the old days, golf magazines sent reporters to Orlando.  Reporters reported, and by the end of deadlines you got to read your “news” about January in April.

Today, I’m providing a reporter’s eye view.  What I saw today, you’re reading tomorrow.  That’s the classic newspaper timeframe.

We used to think it was pretty good back in the print days when Golf Today published within 30 days.  That used to be fast.

Keep an eye on your email.  If things go well, we’ll try our first broadcasts from the PGA Show on Google Hangout.

That is a new record – if it happens.  Imagine conversation, back and forth, from your dream team of reporters – really live.

“Subscribe” and “Unsubscribe”

I’m planning a daily email – Live from Orlando.  If you don’t want that, let Bob Pegram know and he’ll take you off our distribution list.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang – Bob Pegram and John Ruark.

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Let’s Play Golf! Free On Course Clubfitting

Hi from San Carlos,

What a miserable winter!!

It’s time to go play golf.

I’m taking my own medicine.  I’m playing three rounds next week, minimum.  My pinky is healed (enough) and I need to benchmark my game after four months off.

Who wants to play?

There is one foolproof way to know that your clubs fit.  You can kill two birds with one stone by starting your clubfitting on the golf course.

We go play.

While we play, we watch ball flight.  If you’re getting the ball flight that matches your ambition as a golfer, your clubs fit.

The best way to start a clubfitting is on the golf course with your fitter.  Better yet if your fitter is also a coach who can make sure that your technique will get you to the level you plan to reach.

My mission is to help you play better golf.The Evaluation is Free

Of all of the innovations that I have introduced to Golf Lab Clients – nothing compares to the “morning at the Muni”.

I get to know a player’s game and his goals.

How many strokes are you trying to cut?  Where do you go first?  Are new clubs mandatory or can yours be modified to take you to the next level?

Does your swing give you the ball flight that you need to take you to the next level?

If swing work is required, I will recommend a swing coach to fit convenience, personality and style.

The point is to set a goal for improvement.  Name a realistic number and then develop a plan to get there.

How many strokes are going to come from distance, accuracy, short game, wedge play, putting, greenreading, playing strategy and mental game?  Our goal is to make a plan and go get the improvement with a balanced approach.A few months ago, I worked with a journalist for My Golf Spy - Golf Spy Tim.  He documented a three stroke improvement in his index from two days of fitting and club work.  Here’s a link:

http://www.mygolfspy.com/united-golf-lab-fitting/

Fittings at Cool Clubs

We are beginning to work out of Cool Clubs  at Mariner’s Point.  Our first combined fitting appointments were this week.  For most clients, I’m recommending that we start with a Cool Clubs fitting.  If you have questions, give Bob Pegram a call – 650-654-1770 – the old number.

Kevin Bresnahan and Billy Grant – Cool Clubs fitters at Mariner’s Point – are both lifelong golf professionals.  Combine an expert eye with proprietary fitting software and every name brand and you have the perfect starting point for a broad overview of every available option.  How else would you find a needle in a haystack?

It’s easy to be skeptical about club fitting software.  To check out the Cool Clubs software, I took the Cool Clubs fitting – hitting my clubs with the Trackman collecting data.  The software recommended the Aerotech Steel Fiber shaft in 80 gram weight.  That’s exactly the same shaft I’d recommend for myself after daily testing for ten years.  Spooky.

Cool Clubs does the research that puts together the best performing shafts with the best current name brand head designs.  Only Cool Clubs crosses brand boundaries – offering any shaft with any head.

Once we have a good view of the landscape of options, we can put together a plan.  Clubs first or technique first?  We’ll make sure you don’t waste your time and money on the wrong bet.

I’ll be telling the Cool Clubs story in depth over the next few weeks.   We’re going to be making the transition to video.

Also, keep in mind that the 2013 PGA Golf Show is only two weeks away.  Look for “Live from Orlando” – this year by video.

For More Information:

Call Bob Pegram for answers to any questions.  650-654-1770.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson, John Ruark and Bob Pegram

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This Week at the Golf Lab – Nakashima Drivers $500 off

OK Guys, it’s Christmas Season which means somebody, somewhere must be thinking about a present for someone they know.  Here are a few suggestions that will make a big difference in a couple of weeks when the New Year starts.  The weather is getting better.  We’ll be playing golf seriously in a month.

This will be your last chance to take advantage of some of the fabulous Golf Lab “one of a kinds”.  Going into next year – we’ll be doing away with all of the cool things that take too much personal attention.  Stop by any time this week or next.

We’re open in San Carlos until the end of the month.  After that, we’ll meet up at Mariner’s Point or your own golf course.

Number ONE DOORBUSTER SPECIAL – Doesn’t that sound like Target?

Enough hype.  If you are looking for a very interesting buy – for a very exotic club – the Nakashima driver is a great choice.

The True Nakashima Story

This is going to sound a little strange coming from a guy who doesn’t sell Nakashima products.  Nakashima could be the “best of the best” drivers ever made.  We bought a small Nakashima inventory and we’re moving them along for a low price.  This is strictly a chance opportunity.

The original Nakashima driver was created by a brilliant club designer, Scott Son.  He was one of the first to combine the “sculpted face” with the removable, adjustable hosel that can adjust lie angle, face angle and loft at the same time.  There is no doubt, Nakashima drivers were ahead of their time.

Going back ten years, Nakashima drivers have been top performers.  As an example, Emily Childs played her amateur career and right through Cal with the Same Nakashima 420 cc head (10* marked loft, 12* actual loft).  It’s still as good as anything out there.  Can you even imagine hitting the same driver in competition for that ten year period?

Nakashima was small and didn’t have much marketing muscle so the early versions of Nakashima drivers didn’t sell all that well.  At one point the financial partner behind the company said:  “The only way this business makes sense is if we double the prices.”

That did it.  It just didn’t make sense for “the Best” not to be the most expensive.  John Nakashima doubled his prices and the Nakashima driver instantly became the most popular driver among serious tournament players – especially seniors – in Northern California.  It was the Perfect Storm.

From that time forward, Nakashima has been the most popular high priced driver in the market.  If go to any NCGA Seniors event, you will see Nakashima drivers in about half the bags.  No other driver comes close for senior following.

$800 Nakashima Drivers are now $300 – while they last only.

What makes a driver worth $800?  There is only so much you can do with a driver head.

Balance and weight distribution are major factors.  Most of the guys who really know their driver heads agree that a cast body provides the best way to move weight around inside the head.  The club designer then fits the face to the head.  The face could very well be a different, more resilient material.  It could have “sculpted shape” behind the hitting area.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to driver head designs.

I think that Nakashima offers the most elegant of the adjustable hosel designs.

Here’s a picture of the inventory.  We have a nice selection of hosels.  We can adjust your Nakashima driver to precise specifications assured with our Tour Gauge.

Nakashima Drivers

Picture of Nakashima Drivers

Our special fitting offer for the week.

Come in for your driver shaft fitting.  We’ll find the perfect shaft for your new Nakashima driver with our Flightscope radar.  We have a killer offer to come in this week or next.  While they last:  Nakashima drivers $300 each – per head.  Combined with a Golf Lab Driver fitting – we’ll put the whole premium deal together with a premium Accra or UST Shaft that passes the radar fitting test.  The whole shebang – Nakashima driver, shaft fitting and shaft – $450.  Call Bob Pegram for an appointment.

If you ever wanted a Nakashima, this will save you $500.

OR, Measure and Adjust Your Taylor Made Driver

Here is another one of our “quick fix” services.  Bring your Taylor Made driver in to the Golf Lab.  We’ll test your swing with your driver.  Considering swing path, face angle at impact and angle of attack, we will adjust your Taylor Made driver to the best specifications.

We are sure of the adjustment because your driver will be measured on our precision Tour Gauge.

Most Taylor Made drivers are 2* to 4* different from the number on the bottom.  Incorrect face angle adjustment can cause inconsistent results.

Test, Measure and Adjust – just $75 – by chance or appointment.

Driver Gauge with Club

Here’s a picture of that Tour Gauge

The Thriver is on the Charts

If you have not bought your Golf Lab “Thriver” yet, you need to make plans now to come in and get one made to measure.

There are two theories behind the Thriver – each one designed to help players play better golf.  You are probably prejudiced – you think that a 43.5″ driver that has 14* of loft is for a beginner.

Tell that to John Dillon.  John is a low index player who likes to play for a little money.  To give you an idea of the level of “club junkie” that John is – we just finished liquidating his garage full of clubs.  John has the Thriver in his bag as his gamer.  Distance is not an issue – that John has decided that “14 Fairways” is his next reasonable goal.  His Taylor Mades are all gone.  He’s playing the LaJolla “Big Ti” Thriver.

Then there are the players who are true beginners.  The Thriver is great for them because it puts a normal player in the correct position to make a swing with perfect balance and alignment.  It so happens that 43.5″ is a very good length for a driver.  That’s probably why it was the standard for 100 years.

A 43.5″ driver with 14* of loft is a lot like a 3 metal in every dimension except for face size.  That’s even better.  The Thriver offers the specifications of a 3 wood with the forgiveness of a driver face.  The Thriver will make it much easier for any player who is working on developing a repeatable swing.

Here’s what the Thriver looks like:

Mr. Ti Crown   Mr. Ti Face

The Coolest Putter for the Collector

I’m saying “for the collector” because I truly believe that the only way to decide what putter goes in your bag needs to be fitted – first for aim – then for tempo and timing.  Fitting a putter is even more complex and sensitive than fitting a driver.

But, if you just like cool putters, here’s a good one for your collection.  You might even find that it has all the right features to take to the golf course.

There was a guy a while back who commissioned one of the better milling houses to make his own putter design.

That’s the Kokopelli.

This is what it looks like.  It is very cool.  Here again, we found a small inventory left over.  Come in to the Golf Lab over the next couple of weeks and we’ll build you your own Kokopelli putter.

That’s just a few ideas for the Christmas season.  If there’s anything that you’re looking for that we can help with – let us know.

Best Regards, Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang.

 

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Portions (or All) of the Golf Lab Indoor Putting Green Are For Sale

Greetings from The Golf Lab,

Because, as we mentioned before, we are closing the San Carlos facility and moving our game improvement services to Cool Clubs at Mariner’s Point, our 2,200 square foot putting green is for sale in parts or as a whole. Here is a picture of it:

Interior View Golf Lab

There are other pictures of it in our blog: http://calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard/

The “foundation” of the putting green is blocks of styrofoam built to give the green either 2 or 3 percent slope depending on the portion you take. The styrofoam blocks are fastened together for stability. They can be unfastened and re-assembled at your location.

The “Stimp” measurement (the speed of the green) is slightly under 10 (about 9.6). That is about average.

Have you ever wanted a backyard putting green to practice your putting and chipping? Now is your chance!

Call Bob at 650-654-1770 for more information, or stop by to take a look at it.

Regards, Leith Anderson, John Ruark, Bob Pegram and Joel Whittom

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Donate Your Brain to Science this Friday – Free Offer for the Fearless

Hi from San Carlos,

I finished my first article on the Focus Band just last week. That was a hard article to write. It just scratches the surface. I think that mental game coaching will be the “Next Big Thing” in training for elite level performance.

And then something like this comes along. Here’s a feature article from the New York Times. The article references “The Quiet Eye” – Joan Vickers seminal work that has been incorporated into the Focus Band.

When our subject starts getting that kind of coverage, it shows that there’s an undercurrent of interest that’s beginning to boil up.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/keeping-your-eye-on-the-ball/ 

Then John Ruark was talking to Graham Boulton last week. Graham reported working with a couple of the professional clubfitters at the Callaway Fitting Center in Melbourne, Australia. He said that after a short spell of Focus Band Training they were each able to increase their swing speed almost 10 MPH.

Now that gets our attention.

Can we offer and deliver 10 MPH higher swingspeed with just one hour of Focus Band Training? It sounds preposterous, but it’s worth a test. Besides, the golf courses are no fun this time of year.

We’re going to try that experiment this Friday. I’m going to work with John Ruark. We’ll test your swing with a six iron and driver to establish a benchmark. Then you’ll spend some time getting acquainted with your right brain – with the help of the Focus Band.

Until now, we have assumed that Focus Band training required a long-term commitment. Graham’s report suggests that might not be true.

Remember, your goal is to suppress conscious thought and trust your athletic performance to the instinctive control of your right brain. The Focus Band enables an athlete to train himself to enter the state of “Mushin” on demand.

The acid test is to see if you can learn to stay in Mushin through your complete “Performance Routine” – from visualization through execution. Does staying in Mushin through the shot improve swing speed?

If you’re interested in giving the Focus Band a try this Friday – we’re offering “Donate Your Swing to Science” sessions.

Call Bob Pegram at the Golf Lab (650-654-1770). Discuss your game and your goals with him. If it makes sense to give science a try – we’ll schedule a session.

We’re making this “free” – but we’re asking for donations for Bob Hoover’s junior program at Palo Alto Muni.

This is exciting stuff. All of the work putting together a comprehensive putting improvement program “Under 30 Putts” is beginning to pay off. If you’re ready for a breakthrough, call Bob.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang.

Here is a link to the Focus Band website with videos taken at The Golf Lab: http://www.focusband.com/#/how-it-works/4563704055

The Focus Band in place:

Focus Band in place

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My “Top 3″ Equipment Picks for 2012

Hi from San Carlos,

I ask an interesting question to you to ponder:  “If you were to pick one thing about your golf game to improve yet this year, what would it be?”  Here are my three best recommendations to make a change that works.

Pick one and give us a call.  Bob is waiting at the switchboard.  (650) 654-1770.

My personal high point this year was building my “best ever” set of irons – Vega VC-03 forged heads – Aerotech 70 gram Steel Fiber shafts in “S” flex – soft stepped once.  The complete story about my “Greatest Ever” iron sets starts with moving to ultra-lightweight graphite shafts.

I found success with players all the way down to 40 gram iron shafts from Matrix – previously unheard of light weight.  I thank my buddy Craig Allen for trying that idea – and buying the result.

We tested 50, 60, 70, 80 and 95 grams.   The favorite weight on the PGA Tour is 95 grams – pioneered by Kuchar and now championed by Snedeker.  Most amateurs will choose graphite shafts in the 60-80 gram range.  Standard steel shafts weigh around 130 grams.

There is no doubt.  Moving to lighter graphite iron shafts can produce dramatic performance improvement.  Players changing from 125 gram shafts to 65 or 70 grams are rewarded with longer distance and better accuracy.  With lighter weight, you take an easier swing and make better contact.

My next unlikely choice was “game improvement” heads.  No experienced club fitter would ever recommend oversize Vega VC-03 heads for a low-index tournament player.  Forget looks, they perform the best.

VC-03 face VC-03 gray

For comparison take a close look at this year’s Mizuno MP-59 played by the most consistent ball striker on the PGA Tour – Luke Donald.  MP-59′s are surprisingly large.  Do not be afraid of larger sizes in iron heads.  Be sure to test the MP-59 if you can’t find a Vega VC-03.  The conventional wisdom that says forged iron heads must be small is wrong.

Mizuno MP-59

Finally, we complete the tweak with “shaft reinforcement and balancing”.  Success with lightweight graphite requires more than simply swapping shafts.  Balance is important.  My irons are state-of-the-art when it comes to unconventional.  Nevertheless, it is the best setup I’ve ever played.

I played better golf with my unlikely set than any other I’ve ever owned.  My Vega VC-03′s go all the way from the 3 iron at 21 degrees to the Pitching wedge at 46 degrees.  No hybrids improve on the super-forgiving VC-03 heads.  Vega added a Gap Wedge to the VC-03 lineup – filling the hole at 50* and providing a nice progression to my preferred 54* and 58* combo to finish my iron set.

If this saga interests you, test 40 to 80 gram graphite shafts chosen to match your swing for weight, flex, torque and feel.  Your test clubs will be a tad longer than normal.  The iron heads will be a tad heavier than normal.  That will lead to solid contact and improved distance with the same swing.

Here’s a description of our “Advanced Calibration and Tuning for Irons”:

1)    Start with our “Iron Optimization Fitting”.  We compare the performance of your current irons against “bionic irons” from the Mizuno fitting cart.  We compare custom shafts from Aerotech, Matrix, UST and ACCRA together with Balance-Certified shaft inserts.  Any performance improvement is detected and pinpointed.

Our mantra is “light weight graphite shafts” but we go beyond swapping shafts and heads.  Adjusting balance by adding weight inside the shaft can improve consistency and feel while improving distance and accuracy.  Radar reveals subtle differences in shaft performance.

Utilizing radar to optimize shaft fitting is on the “bleeding edge” of shaft fitting – where art and intuition merge with science.

Balance-Certified Accurizer – Structure and Balance for Stability

The essence of lightweight iron shafts is that they’re THIN.  The new Balance-Certified Accurizers provide structural reinforcement at the point of maximum pressure – where the shaft might “oval” at transition or impact and become a bit unstable.  Earlier versions of Accurizers have proven themselves by delivering improved accuracy.

Accurizer for Irons

Bulletin:  Lightweight graphite iron shafts are not just for “oldsters”.

Tyler Garrett, a young tournament player chose 70 gram AeroTech Steel Fiber shafts for his gamers.  He added Accurizers after lengthy testing for consistency and feel.   He is our best evidence that expert players like the consistency and feel of Accurized iron shafts.  Tyler played the set all year and so far they’re going into next year.

Improvement in stability with Accurizers is not limited to lightweight graphite shafts.  Kaz Hoffman, another tournament-player who tests equipment reported that his KB CT shafts in X Flex felt “broken” without Accurizers installed.  We didn’t expect that – CT’s are very stout.  Kaz is in his second year with the same setup with no desire to change.  Kaz chose Vega MB-1 blades.

Test an iron from your current set.  Try first without the Accurizer and then with.  Let Flightscope radar judge the winner.  Improved iron play may be no more elusive than adding Accurizers to the irons you already own.

Aerotech i95 shaft

Radix shaft gray

Shaft Reinforcement and Counterweight Too?

In addition to improving stability, the Accurizer provides a measure of counterweighting.  The effect of increased weight under a player’s hands is frequently more consistent swing path and face angle at impact.  It is easy to measure “before and after” with Flightscope radar.

Accurizing and counterweighting are “tricks of the trade” that cover “tuning and tweaking” to improve a set of irons that’s already good.

Accurizers come with a money back guarantee.    That means that indoor testing will be proven with play on the course.  We stand by that.

The new model for irons weighs 19 grams.  This is what it looks like:

New Iron Accurizer gray

We helped Balance-Certified launch their new line of Accurizers last summer.  One thing we didn’t like was that the Accurizer was a little heavy for irons.  Jeff Lindner went back to the drawing board and brought out a new model that is under 20 grams.  We now have the new model in house.  Jeff sent them to us before Sergio.

2)    Get a Putter You Can Aim. Check your Stance and Alignment.

This is not a “chicken or egg” choice.

The first step in any putting improvement program is tomake sure that your putter allows you to aim inside the hole with your stance and alignment within normal means.  Fundamental putter fitting is a question of length, loft and lie.  Your putter must fit your stance and your stroke to optimize consistency and touch.  That should not be a surprise.

We have followed “Aim is Paramount” theory for years which lead to our close association with Edel – a putter company that bases its fitting method on aiming inside the hole.  In the Edel world, shape influences aim.

Aiming is a rare skill among golfers who have not been trained.  Most players require coaching to set up correctly, eyes over the ball, forearms aligned with the shaft with upper arms held firmly against the body.  That’s the form I learned in my putter fitting with Mark Timms at Cool Clubs, Mariner’s Point, San Mateo, CA.  If you want to putt like a tournament professional, you might as well copy the key things they all do alike.  That made sense to me.

With Mark’s preferred setup, my putter was too short.  I had been guided by the popular conventional wisdom of putter fitting that advocates “swinging arms loosely like an elephant’s trunk”.  That is not correct according to Timms – based on personally fitting more than 50 PGA Tour players.

Mark’s experience is that very good putters among PGA Tour players hold their upper arms closely against their body – thus stabilizing the stroke.  There are no loose-hanging arms in his model.  You can compare yourself side by side with your choice of Tour Players.  Mark chose Camilo Villegas for me – a compliment.

Another key common denominator among tournament players is that forearms and putter shaft are in alignment.  The ball is positioned under the player’s eyes.  You should be bent over between 40 and 50 degrees.  That is probably more bend at the waist than feels comfortable.

A final check point is an extremely stable lower body.

Mark’s theory is that correct setup and posture is paramount.  The face angle at the moment of impact is responsible for 85% of direction.  Mark’s focus is lengthening the distance the putter face stays square through impact.  He doesn’t care about the path of your putting stroke as long as it is consistently repeatable.  His comment:  “Tour Pros are not pretty.”

I adopted Mark’s suggestions and now have a putter, setup, stance and aim that will allow me to groove a consistent stroke.  Bring your putter to the Golf Lab and we’ll make sure that it’s the right length, lie and loft.

The following question is “What’s Next?”

That’s where our “Under 30 Putts” Program comes in.

There’s a progression of skills that is required to go from “good” to “great” in putting.  Those steps include calibrating your stroke and adjusting pace and tempo to promote “rolling the ball”.

Check out the link to the Golf Lab “Under 30 Putts” program archived on our website at http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/10/18/30-putts-per-round-five-session-program-to-break-the-barrier/.

Players who are planning the journey from “good” to “great putting” will appreciate the experience that allows us to facilitate your performance at the “next level” – whatever level that might be.  “Under 30 Putts” is presented by the Golf Lab Professor of Putting – John Ruark.

3)    Get a “Thriver” – Hit the Fairway. 

Here’s our “most spectacular golf club ever” – that came out of a fortuitous eBay purchase.  We found an orphaned trove of very good driver heads – if you value playing from the fairway and having a lot of fun.

Do not confuse the Thriver with a lollipop.  It is a full-fledged driver that was made to precise specifications a few years ago.

The maker of our Thriver head was LaJolla.  Back in the Day, LaJolla was among the best of the “component” providers.

The batch of LaJolla drivers that we found was built for players needing extra loft but with a square face to promote a healthy inside-out swing.  The lofts are 14* and 15*.  It is a very rare combination to find a high loft driver with a square face angle.  Most high loft drivers are designed to help players fight a slice – with closed face angles.

Mr. Ti Crown   

This is what they look like.

You can stop by or call any time this weekend – we’re here all day Friday and Saturday.  Karnak will be available all weekend to make inspired shaft selections from our extensive collection of very high quality pullouts.

Can you believe that your new Thriver will only cost $200 including a hand-picked premium shaft.  For $500 we’ll sell you five so you can give them as Christmas gifts.

Stop by the Golf Lab this weekend or next week.  We’re here all the time, plying our trade to help you shave a few strokes from your game.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang, Dian, Bob, John, Joel and Clint.

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Get into “The Zone” = Prepare Your Mind for Peak Performance

Hi from San Carlos,

Elite athletes train for years to perform “in The Zone”.  Peak Performers – golf tournament winners – credit “playing in The Zone” for their victories.

But what does that mean for ordinary golfers?

What is The Zone for golf?  Why is The Zone important?  How do you get there?

And, is the journey worth the reward?

Brain Science and Athletic Performance

This discussion will be interesting to help understand the roll that mental game training plays in speeding the progression from novice to elite athletic performance levels.

The basic principles are simple.  Brain science identifies the left lobe of the human brain as controlling conscious thought.  Left brain control is important while athletes train their bodies and perfect their form.

But performance in competition at the elite level is a different matter.

The essence of “performing in The Zone” is to disengage your left brain and release athletic performance to the instinctive control of your right brain.

The Focus Band is an electronic device that tracks the source and frequency of the athlete’s brainwaves during his performance.  Performance “in the Zone” is verified by the Focus Band.

Combining brain wave measurement and real time video pinpoints the moment in a routine that an athlete loses Focus.  “Leveling up” to constant right brain control is more precise and efficient with video playback.  The Focus Band provides the ultimate tool for learning and perfecting a Competition Performance Routine.

Who is Interested in Focus Band Training?

Reading brainwaves sounds like voodoo, but it’s not.  In the last year, four PGA Tournament Professionals visited the Golf Lab and took part in Focus Band training.

PGA Tournament Players know that physical skills are pretty equal at the elite level.  The difference between winning and losing is the mental game.

Rod Pampling credits the Focus Band in part for his improved performance.

Focus Band training has also proven effective in baseball and tennis.  Professional actors have employed the Focus Band to find their “character”.

This is not as exotic as you might think.  I have surprising personal experience to report.

Concentration, The Zone and Focus

I think that I shared a common understanding of The Zone with a lot of other golfers.

In my past, The Zone was a “bubble”.  The essence of staying in The Zone was avoiding penetration of the bubble.

Underlying concepts included isolation, withdrawal and silence.

You can’t play golf that way.

The outside world always gets in your way.

There’s a better way to understand Focus.

The Asian Concept of “Mushin” as it applies to Martial Arts

“Mushin” is the Japanese word that translates to “mind of no mind”.  (Pronunciation:  Moo-shin).  Mushin is the word a Japanese athlete uses to describe playing in the Zone or maintaining Focus.

Imagine the Samurai Warrior for interpretation.  Mushin encompasses “total awareness” of the entire battlefield.  You focus on your opponent but you maintain acute awareness of all the flashing swords.

Mushin is a convenient word to learn and use because it carries no baggage.  We insiders now understand each other.  Mushin.

Focus Band – the Gizmo

The Focus Band is a training device that you wear that reveals brain activity in full color – bright red for left and deep blue for right.  You learn to enter Mushin on demand with the Focus Band reporting success.

I’ve been writing about the Focus Band for two years.  Of all the cutting edge Gizmos that we’ve introduced to Golf Lab clients, the Focus Band is unique and persistent.  The best players keep coming back for more.

Until recently, I didn’t fully understand the Martial Arts concept of Focus or the Focus Band.  The early Focus Band required an experienced operator to interpret the data.  Analysis was tedious.  That’s over.  The latest release of Focus Band software is revolutionary.  It’s visual, personal and immediately understandable.

My recent experience was an awakening.  I discovered that living in Mushin is not a fragile condition.

If you think that the Focus Band is only for Tour Players – not at all.  I think that Focus Band training can have a dramatic effect on any player’s game.

My Personal Enlightenment

I now have a totally different understanding of Mushin thanks to the Focus Band.  Here’s how it happened:

I was working with John Ruark and the Focus Band one Saturday afternoon to gain experience.  “Working” means watching my reactions in real time communicating with a human-looking “Avatar” face that mimicked my reactions.

I learned to affect the various sensors with breathing, facial tension, conscious thought, speech and posture.  It is an amazing experience to see your motions and emotions translated electronically into nearly lifelike form.  That’s your Avatar.

It takes a while to learn to communicate through the Focus Band with your Avatar.  It’s kind of like teaching a baby to speak.  Pretty soon, you begin to learn how to control your entry to Mushin.

While I was teasing Mushin, I was using my best memories of Zen and Yoga techniques to mimic a trance-like, ultra-focused state.

Then, Bob called from across the room.  We needed to work out details of an order.  I left the Focus Band on and walked over to discuss the problem with Bob.  That conversation lasted ten minutes.

When I returned, John said “You were in a perfect state of Mushin during that entire time with Bob.”

What a shock!!  I’m looking for a trance-like state, concentrating, ultra-focused state.  Quite the contrary, I was in Mushin – fully focused and engaged while I was conducting business as usual.  It never occurred to me that Mushin was a state of mind that existed with normal human interaction.

  Rod Pampling 2

 PGA Pro Rod Pampling Practicing at The Golf Lab with the Focus Band

Practical Application for Normal Golfers

The Focus Band is introduced in our “Under 30 Putts” program.  That’s our five-session comprehensive program aimed helping good putters become great putters.  That’s our “Calibration and Tuning” program for putting.

It is important for a golfer to have a well worked out and rehearsed “Performance Routine” before embarking on Focus Band training.

In our “Under 30 Putts” program, the Focus band is normally introduced in the third session – after a player has developed a strong awareness of their stroke practiced for consistency.

Accomplished, low-index tournament players will find immediate benefit from Focus Band training.

Private sessions are available Friday and Saturday each week by appointment.  John Ruark presents the sessions.  Call Bob Pegram at the Golf Lab for an appointment.  (650) 654-1770.

Here is a link to the Focus Band website with videos taken at The Golf Lab: http://www.focusband.com/#/how-it-works/4563704055

The Focus Band in place:

Focus Band in place

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This Saturday 9-12 – Cool Stuff Sale – Free Prizes for Earlybirds

No early sales – The “Good Stuff” will all be here at 9 AM.

We’re getting ready to make a big announcement and we want to clear the decks.  There’s some great stuff that we’re going to put out at incentive prices.  We have also scoured our warehouse for some of the fabulous “odds and ends” that have been hanging around.  Some very unusual and interesting objects will be on sale.

There’s another incentive for coming out on Saturday.  We have a $50 discount coupon on any fitting service for everyone who arrives between 9 and 12.

First is FREE:

If you don’t like to spit on your clubface, here’s an invention that is one of those things that you never knew you were missing.

A spray container of FIZ.  Squirt it on your clubface and you’ll never spit again.  12 available.

FIZ

For the guys who really love their Miuras we have some free posters.  The picture of Mr. Miura is the same one that we have at our Miura Shrine at the Golf Lab.  10 available.

Miura Poster   Miura Putter poster 1

One free gift per customer.

From the Estate of the Late Jim Mayer:

A near-new Titleist bag and push cart combination.   This is a little too big to ship conveniently from an eBay sale so we’re going to give the eBay price to our own customers.  Here’s a great bargain at $125.

Mayer bag 1

Mayer bag 2

Also, one of the nicest Sun Mountain Cart bags you’ll ever see.  Never one better for $75.

Sun Mountain 1   Sun Mountain 2

We are ready and willing to help liquidate any equipment you might have standing around in your garage or basement – losing value every day.  Now is a good time to “cash in” your unused golf equipment.  Just drop it off.  We handle everything.  If you would like to donate the value of your used equipment to junior golf – Bob Hoover at the Palo Alto Muni deserves all the support he can get.

Give yourself an early Christmas present with “found money”.

Extra nice Nakashima Bag.  If you want a home for your Nakashima driver, here’s the ideal bag.  If you buy one of these from Nakashima, you can expect to pay an arm and a leg.  This is one of the very first they made – back when the quality was a little higher.  Don’t pay $300.  Buy this one – like new – for $125.

Nakashima bag 1   Nakashima bag 3

For the guys who want to practice their putting strokes:

This is one of the very best training aids available.  The Z-Factor – “Perfect Putting Machine”.  We have used this gizmo with our Science and Motion Putt Lab.  It gets perfect marks from the most demanding judge.  Use your own putter with the Z-Factor to groove your stroke.  List price is $249.  We’re selling them for $99 each.  2 available.

The most stylish way to view a golf tournament is with your own stylish sport seat.  This one is an antique.  You’re going to have to stand intense jealousy at the next golf tournament when the rest of the gallery is tired from standing and you’re rested up from sitting.  These are two “antiques” from Leith’s personal collection.  $75 for choice.

Seat Stick 1   Seat Stick 2

The world’s most expensive shag bag.

A couple of years ago one of the Fashion Designers from Seventh Avenue decided that he would produce a line of the most outrageously priced accessories in the world.  (He must have thought he was in Japan.)

This is the one that I bought for myself.

Original retail was $249.  Buy in Now for $125.

Shag Bag 1   Shag Bag 2

For more information, call Bob at 650-654-1770.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang.

Posted in New Golf Lab 2012, Unclassified | Leave a comment

Radar for Shaft Fitting – A Technical Breakthrough

The time has come for you to update your clubfitting.  In the last year, there have been two technical breakthroughs that have revolutionized shaft fitting for irons and drivers.

The first breakthrough is radar.  Choosing shafts with launch monitor numbers is obsolete.

Radar shows the movement of the shaft just prior to impact.  We get a picture of shaft performance – not a number.  You have to see it to believe it.

The second technical breakthrough is Fit2Score Shaft Profile EI graphs.  For the first time, we know the exact playing characteristics of every shaft we test.  For the in-depth story on Russ Ryden and Fit2Score – go to www.Fit2score.com and click on “Equipment.”

The “missing link” is the player.

But you can see where we’re aiming.  We know the flex profile of the shaft.  We know the results with your swing.

After we find the shaft flex profile that works for you – by radar – we know all other shafts that match that profile.  We also know the flex profiles that don’t work.  You can save a lot of time by not trying to figure that out on the driving range.

You have probably been fitted before – maybe a dozen times.  Take one more fitting.  You will be amazed.

The Key to Shaft Fitting is Radar

After thousands of launch monitor fittings I can say that traditional launch monitor “fitting by the numbers” is obsolete.  Numbers don’t tell the story.

The key to fitting with radar is that shaft performance is displayed visually.

Swing Speed Graph

We rely on two graphs.  The first is speed of the clubhead from waist level to impact:

FlightScope Speed Profile 1

This graph tells us a lot about the player’s swing.  A player with consistent swing speed will lay tracks down one on top of another.  If there is a “power leak” in a player’s swing – this graph reveals it.  Notice the little dip just before impact.  That’s a power leak.  There is some inconsistency in swing speed.

Radar is becoming increasingly important as a teaching tool.  You can see why.

Club Head Acceleration Graph

This graph reveals the magic.  Think of the radar “window” from belt level to impact.

The acceleration graph picks up the moment of release and tracks the movement of the clubhead into impact.

FlightScope Acceleration Graph

If there is a “perfect graph” this is an example.  The “hump” is the player’s maximum acceleration – the moment of release.  It is well inside the radar window.  Declining acceleration with no random movement just before impact is imperative for consistency.

But if you look closely, you’ll notice that only the last shot loaded the shaft.  The earlier swings indicate an early release – indicating that the shaft is too stiff in the butt.

Shaft fitting with radar is an emerging science.  Look for continuous updates on the Golf Lab Blog.   www.calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard.

Understanding Shaft Flex Profile

Each shaft has different characteristics.  The most important characteristic of a golf shaft is the “EI Curve” or in more formal terms the “shaft flex profile”.

The guru of shaft analysis is Russ Ryden.  He invented a machine and wrote software that produces the only professional, independently verified EI Curves.  He built 15 of the machines.  The Golf Lab is a licensee of the Fit2Score System.

This is what a Fit2Score EI Curve looks like:

ATTAS3 EI Profile

You read an EI Curve from right to left.  In this case the UST ATTAS 3 indicates a very stiff butt section with a relatively soft mid-section.  The tip firms up.  The Fit2Score system allows comparison of any common shaft in the North American market.

What We Learn from Your Radar Fitting

We know the flex profile of every shaft that we test.

We know how every shaft we test performs with your swing.

When we find the shaft that produces the radar tracing with the correct pattern and consistency, we will have found the shaft that performs the best with your swing.  We will then know the flex profile that matches your swing.

That’s the most certain and accurate way to fit shafts.

Radar Shaft Fitting:  1.5 hours.  $150.

Incentive Deal

You know we’ve been working on a “new model” at the Golf Lab.  We’re looking for the players who are looking for us.  We are focused on finding the guys who want to get better – and are looking for a program to help make it happen.

If you need a boost, here’s a $100 Coupon good for any Golf Lab service or product – after the radar fitting.  You can use the credit any way you choose.  If you decide to buy a $200 Thriver as a result of “14 Fairways” – that brand new driver will cost you $100.

$100 Certificate 2012-10-22

Link to PDF: $100 Certificate 2012-10-22

If you’re interested in our “Under 30 Putts” Program – the credit is good there too.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang.

Posted in Fitting Methods and How to Buy | Leave a comment

30 Putts per Round – Five Session Program to Break the Barrier – Henry Boulton Visit – Focus Band Australia

We have a rare opportunity to work with a world leader in “Performance Theory and Practice”.

Graham and Henry Boulton have been leading the development of their own Performance System in Australia for almost ten years.  (That’s the magic number for “overnight success”).  Graham and Henry invented the Focus Band.

Henry is in the United States.   He started his trip in Southern California working with Jason Goldsmith – the only other Focus Band practitioner in the country.  They made a trip to Orlando last week.  They’re working in LA and San Diego this week.  Henry will then visit the Golf Lab.

For players who are dedicated to playing better golf, the Focus Band is a great tool to help understand manage your mental game.

Add John Ruark to the program.  Outside of a few practitioners in Australia – and Jason in Southern California – there is no one more experienced with Focus Band training than John.  Take a close look at how well Rod Pampling is doing this year.  He started working with Henry, Graham, his psychologist wife and the Focus Band a year ago.  He credits the Focus Band for his recent success – competing on Tour well into his 40′s.

Focus Band training is an integral part of our “Under 30 Putts – Breaking the Barrier” program.  If you would like to book a session with the “Masters of the Focus Band” – get in touch with Bob Pegram at the Golf Lab to reserve some time.  A great way to get started is our five session – “Under 30 Putts” – program.

To take full advantage of a private session with Henry – enrolling in the “30 Putts” program would be a good start.  Details follow:

Meet John and Henry:

Rod Pampling and John Ruark

John Ruark at The Golf Lab with Rod Pampling

 

Rod Pampling and Henry Boulton

Henry Boulton at The Golf Lab with Rod Pampling

Rod Pampling 2

Rod Pampling 1

Rod with the Focus Band at the Golf Lab During U.S. Open Week

(he made the cut)

Link to the Focus Band Website: http://www.acadps.com/

 The Golf Lab “Under 30 Putts” program is designed for the player who wants to become a good putter.  Becoming a good putter requires investing time and attention to accomplish your goal.  A comprehensive program with professional coaching is the key to success.

Our “Under 30 Putts” program presents leading theories and methods of aiming, setup, stroke, distance control and green reading.  We integrate mental and physical performance in orderly sequence to build an expert putting routine.

The Golf Lab AimPoint- inspired precision indoor putting surface is the ideal environment to perfect green reading and targeting.  After the first session you can expect fewer putts per round.

The Golf Lab “Under 30 Putts” program reveals your putting stroke and allows you to monitor your progress.  Several Northern California PGA teaching professionals contributed their ideas to “Under 30 Putts” and include it as an extension of their own instruction.

First Session – Aim, Setup, Alignment and SAM PUTT LAB Analysis.

The starting point.  The foundation of a solid putting stroke is aiming inside the hole.  Without training, most players aim outside the hole and compensate for poor aim with subconscious stroke adjustments.  That’s death to good putting.

Player stance, alignment and grip are checked – consistent with fundamental principles like “eyes over the line”.  Benchmark stroke information is recorded with the Science and Motion (SAM) Putt Lab.  Putter is measured for length, Lie, loft and grip and modified if required.

At the end of each session, progress is evaluated and exercises are recommended for completion before the next session.

Second Session – Tempo, Pace and Distance Control

You will have a decision to make at the beginning of the second session.  Will you choose to perfect a calibrated, gravity-assisted stroke?  Or, are you going to follow the “straight through” style?  Your natural putting stroke is determined.  You learn to roll the ball.

Drills are introduced to calibrate a player’s stroke, test green speed, and train for targeting and distance control.

For the next week, recommend two visits to an outdoor practice green to putt to a string line.

Third Session – Aiming, Targeting and Green reading

The basis of all green reading systems is finding the “Zero Line”.  From there, the direction of the break is predictable.  You’ll never miss the direction of a break again.  Scientific green reading is a powerful tool.

The value of scientific green reading is multiplied with a repeatable putting stroke that rolls the ball on the right line at the correct pace.  There are three green reading systems competing for attention.  We present the basic concepts of each system.

For the next week, we recommend two visits to an outdoor practice green to find the “straight putt” from above and below each hole.

Fourth Session – Performance Routine and Focus Band

“Mental Training” with the Focus Band is introduced.

Player develops his own “performance routine” based on principles of visualization, alignment, targeting, focus, setup, alignment and execution introduced in prior sessions.

During the next week we recommend two visits to an outdoor practice range to get comfortable with the new performance routine.  The performance routine applies to the full swing as well as putting.

Fifth Session – Putting it All Together

The essence of a “performance routine” is the player is able to maintain focus on their goal – executing his swing motion “in the zone”.

The goal of the final session is to perform a complete putting routine from preparation to stroke wearing the Focus Band.

“Under 30 Putts – Breaking the Barrier” – Five Sessions – $625.

John Ruark is at the Golf Lab every Friday and Saturday.  Sessions can be scheduled weekly at player’s convenience.

It helps to come with a playing partner.  It works very well to work with two players at the same time.  That is especially true if they play together.  With two players we extend the sessions to an hour and a half.

5 Sessions – 2 players – $500 each.

Openings are available for this weekend. Call Bob at 650-654-1770 to set up a time.

Regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang.  John, Bob, Clint, Dian and Joel

Posted in Putting Club | Leave a comment

Mariner’s Point Edel Wedge Fittings – Why Edel is Unique – This Friday and Saturday – Free Fitting with Order Call for Time – Congratulations to David Olmeda

If there is only one thing you’re going to do to improve your short game in the next six months – take the Edel Wedge fitting at Mariner’s Point.

Imagine a wedge company audacious enough to say “Only we have the answer- and the answer is high bounce”.

Edel is right.  We have proof.

Our most demanding players – the kids who are playing for their scholarships – were the first players to put Edel wedges in their bags.

The key test is from tight lies around the green.  Even good players fall back to gap wedge lofts or lower and run those shots up.

But what if there’s a bunker in the way?

Every Edel wedge player said the high bounce, high loft wedge put a new shot in their bag.  That was very big for all of them.

The Source of the New Bounce Theory – Mike Adams – Top 100 Instructor

From years on the practice tee teaching short game, Mike Adams observed that most players gravitate toward a “center right” weight distribution for their wedge game.   A low-bounce, high loft wedge requires a very delicate touch to slide the club under the ball and avoid digging.

Adams discovered that the most consistent wedge swing requires a player to put weight on his left side, make sharp contact and finish low left.  Ball flight is lower with less dispersion and more spin.  Adams created a wedge fitting system that matches bounce angle and sole grind to a player’s wedge swing.

For years, Adams had access to the Titleist “Private Stock” – forged wedges in unique grinds available only to Tour players.  But then the groove rule changed and Titleist decided that there would be no more Private Stock.

Working with David Edel, the new partners created a line of wedges with eight sole grinds per loft in 58* and 60*.  Measured bounce angles run from 14* to 22*.

Your wedges are just as important as your driver.  Why not take the same care fitting your wedges?

Beautiful Custom Finishing

Here are some examples of custom finishing that came in recently.

Keith K. wedge 1

John Doyle wedges

More examples are here:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/07/26/edel-wedge-bling/

and here:

http://edelgolf.smugmug.com/Wedges/Edel-Golf/23924834_2PkQsj#!i=2056774758&k=5KvKnVK

Edel Wedge Fitting at Mariner’s Point – now available Saturday morning.

Our wedge fittings are comprehensive.

We start with “calibration”.  The key to distance control with wedges is knowing the precise average distance that you carry each wedge in your bag with a full swing and with a three quarters swing.

The first eye-opener is that your average distance will be way less than you think.

The second eye opener is that your dispersion will be much tighter with a lower-loft wedge at three quarters swing than the higher loft with a full swing.

Understanding your carry distances will help determine the exact lofts that produce correct distance gapping.

From there, we go to bounce.  You hit through the sequence of bounce angles.  You’ll know the best.  You’ll see the evidence in the divot.

The Golf Lab – San Carlos, CA – Regional Edel Golf Certified Fitters

The Golf Lab and the Golf Academy at Pebble Beach are the only two certified Edel fitters in Northern California.

Congratulations to David Olmeda

I’ve been talking about the Player$ Tour as the place where you go to prove you can play for your own money.  David Olmeda had a good weekend.  He got the crystal.

Congratulations David.

David holding trophy  David Olmeda's Trophy

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Player’s Journal – Out for the Season – Preparing for 2013 – This Saturday at the Golf Lab

I had an accident.  Just a slip and a bump and a broken finger.  I didn’t do anything about it for a week.  I thought it would get better.  Then I went to the doctor.  He thought it might get better.  Two weeks later, I’m going in for surgery on Thursday.

I don’t want you to think I’m a wimp.  Here’s a picture of the pinky.

Leith's broken finger

The bad news is I’m out for the season.  Doc says two months with no squeezing.  The good news is that I don’t squeeze a putter.  Look for increased attention to “putting science” – starting right now.

The Concept of Competition – Player’s Golf Tour

My apologies to JW Means and his Player’s Golf Tour for suspending my “Competition Test”.  He thinks I broke my finger on purpose.  The Tour will be at Chardonnay on Sunday.  If you’re in the mood and don’t have a tournament, give JW a call.  (775) 852-4653.

I’ll be back out there as soon as the pinky problem goes away.

John Ruark’s Success

It’s time to do a serious plug for a guy who’s been a friend for a long time and who has distinguished himself with his dedication to learning all he can about putting, short game and performance.  John Ruark.

Here’s what happened last Saturday.  John had two appointments.  Both were taking the “Analysis and Performance” test.  We test aim, stroke, tempo and pace.  We check the putter.  And we talk about putting.  What does it take to get better – really?

On Saturday, both clients signed up for our “Under 30 Putts” program.  After almost two years of working out every detail of what it takes to “get better at putting” – we found it takes a minimum of five hours to work through all of the details – plus a few more hours of practice on your own.

If you want to become a better putter than you are today – here’s a link to “Under 30 Putts”

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/10/10/1817/

The Old Time Golf Shop

Karnak is still in town.

Karnak is selling THRIVERS like hot cakes.  Alan Whiteside came by on Wednesday with his new Cleveland driver.  It is a beauty.  10.5* – actual loft was 15* by our measurements.  46″ long – D1 Swingweight – even at that length.  (That means a very light head).

Unhittable.

He took a Thriver to the range.  When he  came back the quote was:  “It feels like it was made to be in my hands.”

He walked out with his new $199 Thriver and we kept the Cleveland to cover the fitting.

The Radar Fitting Article

One of my best-ever articles was the one I just completed and sent out this week on “Radar Fitting”.  We have never done a better job matching driver shafts.  On the iron side, there are even more amazing breakthroughs coming – regarding optimal iron spin.

Get ready for the future with this article.

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/10/10/new-golf-lab-iron-build-heavier-heads-lighter-shafts-radar-shaft-fitting-explained/ 

Come on out this Saturday.  We’ll be at the Golf Lab all day.

Posted in Fitting Services | Leave a comment

New “Golf Lab Iron Build” – Heavier Heads, Lighter Shafts Radar Shaft Fitting Explained

This might be the most important article that I’ve ever written.  It describes new ideas about weight and balance in irons.  I also explain how we use radar as the ultimate tool to fit shafts.

With over a year in development and testing the “Golf Lab Build” for irons is a proven success.  We discovered a better way to build irons with lightweight graphite shafts.

The “Golf Lab Build” could be controversial.  As far as I know, no other clubfitter in the world recommends 65 to 80 gram graphite iron shafts for low index players with high swing speeds.  It goes against tradition.

It’s about time for a change.  60 years of the “same old thing” in irons is enough.

$2000 sets of irons require hands-on testing to appreciate feel and prove performance.  To be sure, we built ten complete sets of custom irons for on-course testing.  Miura and Vega forged heads – AeroTech, Matrix, UST and ACCRA shafts in weight ranges from 65 to 95 grams.   Best of Breed across the board.

In head-to-head testing over the last year, 30 out of 36 players chose the “Golf Lab Build”.  That is a severe test.  The minimum price for our Miura and Vega irons is $250 per club.  The “competition” is half that.  When players buy at double the price, you know there’s something special happening.

“Golf Lab Build” irons feel better and perform better than any iron you have ever hit.  (Probability:  85%)

AeroTech Steel Fiber Acceptance on PGA Tour

We are in a new era for iron shafts.  Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker have been playing 95 gram Aerotech Steel Fiber shafts on Tour with great success.

Two dozen PGA Tour players are testing AeroTech Shafts.  Every major shaft manufacturer is trying to get their graphite iron shafts in play on the PGA Tour.

There is no doubt.  If you are over 40 and still playing heavy steel shafts, you will achieve measurable, immediate improvement in distance and dispersion with lightweight graphite iron shafts.  That claim is easy to test indoors with radar and outdoors with your hands, eyes and ears.

Lightweight shafts are not for seniors only.  Tyler Garrett – a professional tournament player – has been using 70 gram Aerotech Steel Fiber shafts in his irons for the last six months.  He wouldn’t still be playing them if they didn’t perform better.

If you are wondering “which brand?” – the choice is easy.  All the buzz on the PGA Tour is about AeroTech Steel Fiber.  If you are buying your first lightweight shafts, AeroTech is the logical choice.  Why not take the Pros’ choice?

  Aerotech i95 shaft

In one of the most interesting examples of “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, AeroTech has not changed their Steel Fiber shafts in twelve years.  Not even the paint job.  Your clubs won’t go out of style in a year.  That’s nice.

The Simplified Physics

With Tour Players moving to 95 gram graphite shafts from 130 gram steel shafts, there is room for normal amateurs to go even lower.

Substitute a 65 gram graphite shaft for a 130 gram steel shaft.  That’s two ounces of club weight.  In the golf club world, that’s a ton.

Lighter weight shafts produce higher swing speeds.  That’s a natural result – but not our main goal.  We’re looking for more efficiency from the same swing.

We change the balance between the shaft and the head.  Our custom irons take 6-9 grams of extra head weight.  That adjustment increases head feel in contrast with the light shaft weight.

Extra head weight promotes a subtle change in a player’s swing.  More club head mass transfers more energy to the ball with the same swing.  Most players see an immediate five yard increase in distance with no increase in swing speed.

We don’t fit for distance.  We fit for accuracy and consistency.  Distance is a nice extra.

Any irons can be rebuilt with lightweight graphite shafts.  You can revive your favorite set from the past for a whole new set of memories.  Rebuilding a set of irons with AeroTech Steel Fiber shafts is $85 per club.

The Key to Shaft Fitting for Irons is Radar

After thousands of launch monitor fittings – I know that traditional launch monitor “fitting by the numbers” doesn’t work for irons.

Radar looks at the player and the club.  If you haven’t been fitted with radar – you owe it to your game to book a radar shaft fitting.  The key to fitting with radar is that shaft performance is displayed visually.

Swing Speed Graph

We rely on two graphs.  The first is speed of the clubhead from waist level to impact:

FlightScope Speed Profile 1

This graph tells us a lot about the player’s swing.  A player with consistent swing speed lays tracks down one on top of another.  If there is a “power leak” in a player’s swing – this graph reveals it.  Notice the little dip just before impact.  That’s a power leak.  There is some inconsistency in swing speed.

Radar is becoming increasingly important as a teaching tool.  You can see why.

Club Head Acceleration Graph

This graph reveals the magic.  It tracks clubhead acceleration in a “window” from belt level to impact.

  FlightScope Acceleration Graph

If there is a “perfect graph” this is a close example.  The “hump” is the player’s maximum acceleration – the moment of release.  It is well inside the radar window.  Declining acceleration with no random movement just before impact is the pattern that indicates consistency.

Shaft fitting with radar is an emerging science.  Look for continuous updates on the Golf Lab Blog.   www.calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard.

Understanding Shaft Flex Profile

Each shaft has different characteristics.  Shaft design is revealed in an “EI Graph”.

The guru of shaft analysis is Russ Ryden.  He invented a machine and wrote software that produces the only professional, independently verified EI Graphs.  He built 15 of the machines.  The Golf Lab is a licensee of the Fit2Score System.

This is what a Fit2Score EI Graph looks like:

ATTAS3 EI Profile

You read an EI Graph from right to left.  This is the UST ATTAS 3.  The graph indicates a very stiff butt with a relatively soft mid-section.  The tip firms up.  The Fit2Score system allows side by side comparison of any common shaft in the North American market.

What We Learn from Your Radar Fitting

We know the flex profile of every shaft that we test.

We know how every shaft we test performs with your swing.

When we find the shaft that produces the radar tracing with the correct pattern and consistency, we will have found the shaft that performs the best with your swing.

That’s the most certain and accurate way to fit shafts.

Radar Shaft Fitting:  1.5 hours.  $150.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang.

Posted in Golf Equipment Chronicles | Leave a comment

This Saturday at the Golf Lab – Free Testing and Analysis – Putter and Driver

It’s starting to get a little chilly outdoors.  There’s good reason to stop by the Golf Lab this Saturday for a technology update, a little practice and golf talk.  Bright lights and warm inside.

This week we added several Feature Attractions and a Bargain.  Read to the bottom for all details.

Please forward this email to your playing partners and friends.  We are running smoothly.  We’re ready to expand the Golf Lab Community.

Free Putter Aim Test – Science and Motion Putt Lab Analysis (SAM):  If you don’t aim inside the hole – any putt you make is a miss.  Take a step into science this Saturday.  We’ll test your aim with your putter.  Free.

Then, we’ll analyze your stroke with the SAM.  If you aim right, you will “compensate” by pulling left or closing your putter face.  If you aim left, you will push right or open your putter face.  It is amazing to see how measurable and predictable “compensations” are.

The key to getting better at putting is “knowing your stroke”.  You need a putter that you aim inside the hole and a stroke that finishes the job.  We can show you how to do that this Saturday.  Free.  Walk-ins welcome.  Call if you would like to reserve time.  Bob Pegram – 650-654-1770.  It will take half an hour.

Brainwave Analysis – Focus Band:  “Finding the Zone” requires controlling your conscious thoughts.  The concept is managing “right brain” and “left brain” activity.  The goal is to shut down left brain activity (conscious thought) and turn performance over to your right brain (subconscious).

The Focus Band is an electronic gizmo that you wear on your head.  It records the source and intensity of the electrical activity in your brain.  When your “avatar brain” goes from red on the left to blue on the right – you’re ready to play.

John Ruark has worked with multiple PGA Tour Players and College Golf Teams.  He is the only American “Certified” with Focus Band.  That’s a small club.  There are only four certified Focus Band practitioners in the world.

John will help you develop your own method to “get in the zone”.  That becomes part of your pre-shot routine – just like he does with the Pros.

We will demonstrate the Focus Band on Saturday at 10 AM – as the feature attraction at this week’s Putting Club.  The demonstration will be one half hour.  John also schedules private sessions.  If you are serious about improving your performance under pressure, the Focus Band the best mental training method.

Free Driver Testing We’ve been offering our Driver Test and Analysis for several weeks.  It is the starting point for improving your driving.  We measure your driver on our precision gauge.  We determine the true loft and face angle.  (It will be very different from what you think).

You hit your driver with the Flightscope radar looking over your shoulder.  The radar reports your “launch ballistics”.  More important, you get your swing path and face angle at impact.  That’s what you need to make sure your driver specifications match your swing.  Driver heads need to be matched just as accurately as driver shafts.

If you have an adjustable driver, we will make the adjustments to match your swing.

Then we take a close look at your shaft.  The radar reveals how your shaft is working with your swing.  If you are leaving distance on the table – we will tell you how much.

The Driver Test and Analysis takes half an hour.  You can drop in or you can schedule by calling Bob Pegram at 650-654-1770.

This Saturday – KARNAK the Clubmaker is Back in Town.

If you want to replace your driver shaft – KARNAK is your guy.  If you’re looking for a new fairway metal or hybrid.  If you’re thinking about new grips or making adjustments to your irons or putter.  KARNAK is your guy.

If you’re wondering if you’ve got the right mix of clubs or if there might be a new model that makes sense – KARNAK is your guy.

If you want to talk about golf clubs this Saturday, KARNAK is in town.

KARNAK takes appointments too.

And for Collectors – the “Ultimate Collection” is on Display – and for sale.

We’re getting ready to launch a new website - Vintage Blades - the only Custom Golf Shop on the Internet.  We’re going to attract attention by auctioning the “Private Reserve” Collection on eBay over the next few weeks.  These are the best sets from a 20 year collection.  On Preview at the Golf Lab this Saturday.

The Vintage Blades website will collect and preserve the history of the most famous iron models of all time.  Johnny Miller used modified MacGregor 985’s to win at Oakmont – shafted with graphite – in 1973.  Payne Stewart used Wilson Progressives to win his U.S. Open.  Every model has a history.

Vintage Blades will bring history to the present by offering custom, Playable Classics rebuilt to our “Golf Lab Build” specification.  There is a very good value story in “recycling classic forged iron heads”.  You get a great set of irons – equal to any modern forging – for the most economical cost.

Choose a set of classic iron heads that suit your eye and we’ll rebuild them – adding a little head weight and reshafting with high performance AeroTech Steel Fiber shafts.

When Mr. Miura visited the Golf Lab a couple of years ago he said “If you can’t afford Miuras, buy a set of Wilsons, Hogans or MacGregors from the old days.  They’re high quality.  I would be proud to play them.”

Thanks for reading to the bottom.  Here’s the special offer.  This Saturday only.

Choose a fabulous set of Playable Classic iron heads from our collection this Saturday.  We’ll build them to your specification.  The complete “Golf Lab Build” for the price of the shafts alone.  The classic forged heads are free – but only for this week and just to see who’s looking.

AeroTech Steel Fiber shafts – built to exact specifications – $90 each.  $720 for a fabulous set of irons with your choice of MacGregor 985, Hogan GCD Forged, Spaulding “Bird on Ball”, Wilson Progressive or Hoffman Balliwicks.

They are all Big Time, Tournament Winning Heads.  If you’ve been reading all the good things about Miuras and Vegas at $2000 for the set – if all you need is performance – this is your answer.

There are plenty of other choices.  We have most of the Japanese Domestic Market forgings – the Joe Blades – and most of the models made by Miura under contract.

To be sure about the exact shaft that fits your swing, book an iron shaft fitting.  We will find out.

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Private LONG BALL Clinic with Eric Jones – Ultimate Driver Fitting

October weather is fabulous. Join us this Sunday at the Pleasanton Golf Center at 9 AM. The sun at your back, breeze in your face and the Bay Area’s best natural grass.

For the next two weeks, we’re offering a twist on our Wedge Calibration and Fitting session. We’re turning to the LONG BALL.

Eric Jones won the Senior World Long Drive Championship in 2003. Since then, he has been a competitor at the “Worlds” every year. He’s a contender every year.

The Worlds are in three weeks so Eric is deep in preparation. A couple of weeks ago we imagined that Golf Lab clients would be interested in the same things that Eric is working on.

This Sunday at 9 AM Eric will discuss and demonstrate his long drive concepts – and reveal the latest update to his “Five Secrets”.

Eric captured all of his knowledge in one of the first “electronic books”. How better to illustrate a swing concept than to show a video of exactly what you mean? Eric was an innovator. Since then, electronic books for golf have become the standard. I wrote the forward to that First Edition.

Eric just finished an update to his “Five Secrets” book. Follow this link to get your brand new copy.

http://tinyurl.com/9kk7oct

The Full Sunday Program is Better with Preparation

Our Sunday Programs start at 9 AM. Eric works with the “Special Interest” group for the first hour. This is an intimate session. The group size limit is 6.

Then, the Coaching Program starts. That’s two hours of “supervised practice”. That gives us two hours to work on the concepts – and do some exploration and hands-on testing.

That would be a natural time to try out a few new drivers and driver shafts.

If there is one thing we have learned over the years it is hitting random drivers at a demo day is a waste of time.

If you want to get the very best out of this Sunday, book a Driver Fitting this week. Our Flightscope radar, combined with the Fit2Score shaft profile encyclopedia, has made shaft fitting for drivers a science. We will find the best shaft to match your swing.

Our precision measurement gauge will reveal the exact loft and face angle of your current driver. It is surely not what you think. The new dimension in driver fitting is matching HEAD SPECIFICATIONS to a player’s ideal swing. You will know the exact loft and face angle that will improve your consistency.

You will know how close your driver comes to your ideal specifications.

If other drivers test better, we’ll bring the best to the Pleasanton for OUTDOOR CONFIRMATION. That is the most efficient way to find your new driver.

If you’re going to take your technique seriously, then you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the right tools.

Before and After

If you take the Package Deal – you’ll have a very good idea of where you stand RIGHT NOW. That will include swing speed.

Join us on Sunday.

Return next week to the Golf Lab. We’ll measure your swing speed again. You’ll see the ultimate “Before and After” comparison in a single week. Combine technique, technology and tools for efficient, quick improvement.

You will see amazing results.

The Deal:

Long Drive Secrets Clinic and Coaching Program – $199.

Radar Driver Fitting and Tune-up – $150

Package Deal: Radar Driver fitting and Sunday morning session: $299.

No charge for the “After” test.

Call Bob Pegram 650-654-1770 to book a fitting and reserve your place for Sunday.

This will be good for the next two weeks. After that, Eric is off to the Worlds.

Free Measurement and Test Offer

If you would like to see what this is all about – we’ve got a free offer. Bring yourdriver to the Golf Lab. We will measure the loft and face angle. We will test it for flex. We will look up your driver shaft in our Fit2Score shaft profile encyclopedia so we know exactly what you’re playing.

Then you’ll hit a series of shots with your driver. The Flightscope looks over your shoulder.

The radar analysis will show you all of the normal “launch ballistics” and compare your performance against “theoretically perfect”.

Then we peel back the covers. You will see a “radar tracing” of exactly how your shaft behaves. Is it loading correctly? Is there any random acceleration at impact? Those questions are only answered with radar.

You will know exactly how much distance you’re leaving on the table and more important “WHY?” Is it the shaft, the driver head or your swing?

This test will take about 15 minutes. Back in Indiana we always used to say “open by chance or appointment”. Call ahead if you don’t want to wait around.

Call Bob Pegram for an appointment: 650-654-1770.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang

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Player’s Journal

A week ago, I promised a PLAYER’S JOURNAL to record my commitment to see if I have WHAT IT TAKES to put down $250 of my own money – on my own game – in a BIG MONEY tournament on the Player$ Golf Tour.

The Player$ Golf Tour is all about amateurs who don’t mind playing for more money than they want to lose.

Or, should I retire to the FUN DIVISION and start scoring by STABLEFORD – playing for PRO SHOP CREDIT.

I made a commitment to join Eric Jones’ Performance Coaching Program on Fridays and Sundays – an INTENSE COUPLE OF MONTHS – intended to get ready for the next test COMPETITION at Eagle Vines in October.  My goal is to drop six strokes in three months.

And I skipped my first Friday session.

I’m struggling with the concept of COMMITMENT.  It’s one thing to SAY and another to DO.

That’s the first big hurdle in golf.  SHOW UP FOR PRACTICE.

But Sunday was my BIG DAY – first meeting with my PERFORMANCE COACH – Eric Jones.  We planned to work after our Sunday “Wedge Calibration and Fitting Program”.

I brought the set of irons that I’ve been touting for the last year to get in some practice time.  I chose the Vega VC-03 – “Game Improvement” model.  Fancy Matrix Program 80 shafts – stiff flex.  The grass tees at the Pleasanton Golf Range are variable from one end of the tee line to the other.  I chose the closely-mown hard surface.  I started not liking the irons.  They began to look “clunky”.  They wanted a little more grass.  I was too lazy to move to the other end of the tee line.  Then, my hands started slipping on the new Golf Pride Tour Wrap grips – serious danger if you have slippery hands.  And the grips were a little too small.  I started thinking about the clubs I wanted to try next.  I was just banging my shots down range without any good idea of what I was trying to do.  That’s a bad state of mind for the practice tee.  I didn’t put myself in a good mood.

Did you ever have a practice session like that?

I noticed Eric watching me.  He didn’t say a thing.

That’s because he never says anything until he sets a performance benchmark.  Why make a random change in a player’s swing without knowing how the player performs right now?  Benchmarking current performance allows you to measure improvement.

After the other players left we sat down for a lengthy HEARY TO HEART.  Eric’s first question was ARE YOU READY TO DO THE WORK?

Where’s he been?  I said I was GOING TO DO THE WORK.  I even wrote that down.  I just haven’t quite got around to it yet.

Wednesday Morning at the MUNI.

One big part of the PROGRAM is to complete one round PER WEEK FOR SCORE.

Give Bob a call and join up tomorrow morning for 18 holes at the MUNI.  We’re playing it down and keeping score.  650-654-1770.

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Getting Better at Golf – COMMITMENT to PERFORM

When you start thinking about a Balanced Program to get better at golf the first question to answer is:

“What are my goals?”

If you are COMING BACK TO GOLF you need to decide whether to make a COMMITMENT to IMPROVE – or take a more relaxed path – playing for FUN.

I used to think of myself as a pretty good player.  Maybe not PGA Tour good, but good enough to play on the State Champion High School Golf Team in Illinois (1961) and later on the Stanford golf team (1966, 1967). Since then, my sports highlights have been an occasional trophy from the Palo Alto Muni Men’s Club.  My handicap was under five for fifty years.

I know what it’s like to PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE and to CHOKE under pressure.

There is a fork in the road for every player.  It’s been three years since my last competitive round.  I’m wondering how to set realistic new goals.  Will I take the road toward PERFORMANCE- or FUN?  Should I take the FUN FORK and change my scoring method to STABLEFORD?  Or is that giving in?

“Shooting your age” is the highest honor in golf for seniors. That honor requires keeping score.

I need more information to make an informed decision:  These are my key questions:

Can I get better?

If so, what does “getting better” mean, and how do I go about it?

How long will it take?

How much will it cost?

And most important, will I be successful?

I want facts before I make a plan.

The Proving Ground

“There is golf and there is tournament golf, and they are not the same” -Bobby Jones’ famous quote describes a fundamental belief about golf.  Performance in golf is tested and proven under tournament conditions.  Nothing else counts.

The PERFORMANCE FORK in the road is all about POSTING SCORES.  The FUN ROUTE doesn’t care about lower handicaps.

The CHALLENGE

I want to know my current playing level.  “Tournament Conditions” are the only true test.

I want a serious competition on a championship golf course – with enough friends watching the scoreboard to give me BUTTERFLIES.

The greatest pressure for most amateur golfers is posting their score on the wall for their friends to see.  Another good way to increase pressure is to BET MORE MONEY THAN YOU WANT TO LOSE.  You can do that on the Player$ Golf Tour (PGT).  On the Player$ Golf Tour you bet $350 on yourself.  I first learned about the PGT from Golf Lab customers who compete on the Tour “proving ground”.

The Player$ Golf Tour is about PERFORMANCE and MONEY.  That’s what the PGA Tour cares about.  The Player$ Golf Tour keeps an Official Money List.  That’s how the PGA Tour measures performance.

Walt Joyce – playing partner, friend, long-time Golf Lab customer with a bag full of Golf Lab clubs – won over $6000 last year on the Player$ Golf Tour.  I know Walt, he loves the venue. He knows how to play “in the money”. Walt says:  “Come on down.”  That is a first-class testimonial.

If you can shoot your handicap on a Player$ Golf Tour competition course you can make money on your tournament golf.  Walt, David Olmeda and Rick Kehr have all been successful on the Player$ Golf Tour.  All you have to do is shoot your handicap.

The Player$ Golf Tour offers the purest form of high level “amateur” competition in Northern California.  I’d like to be out there playing with the guys who bet on themselves.

The PGT Tournament Handicapping System

You will get to know JW Means – the 70-something TRUE BELIEVER who founded the Player$ Golf Tour ten years ago.  His goal in life is to provide THE TRUSTED COMPETITIVE PLATFORM for amateur golf – playing for money – in Northern California.

JW has his own handicapping system.  It is more trustworthy than NCGA handicaps.  Once you join the PGT -”outside rounds” are no longer considered. Players cannot manipulate handicaps between tournaments.

If you’re going to play for $350 of your own money – you want to know that some sandbagger isn’t going to get away with the Pot.  Every PGT player that I talked to trusts the handicapping system.  That’s crucial for a BIG MONEY game.  That’s why PGT players come back to play -and continue to bet on themselves.

JW likes the guy who has CONFIDENCE IN HIS GAME and wants ACTION.  That’s in keeping with JW’s personality.  You can bet SIX WAYS FROM SUNDAY at a PGT event.

JW knows that Golf Lab clients are potential players on his Tour.  The current drawback is travel distance.  The TERRITORY that JW defined over the last ten years stretches from the East Bay to Reno.  You’ve got to be ready to play golf in Brentwood, Sacramento, Livermore, Stockton and Reno – if you want to join the Player$ Golf Tour you see the sights.

I drove an hour and twenty minutes to Roddy Ranch.  On the first tee, I felt the butterflies I was hoping to find.

The Roddy Ranch Course Setup

If you haven’t been to Roddy Ranch – it’s as inspiring – in its own way – as Pebble Beach.  The course has sweeping views of the surrounding central California ranch land. If you haven’t seen that panorama recently – it’s worth the trip by itself.  This time of year, it’s all golden.

Roddy Ranch Is difficult.  Slopes are over 130 from all tee boxes.  Unfamiliar players have NO CHANCE.  There are lots of false green fronts that mean blind shots.  Players with little experience with extreme uphill approach shots find themselves three clubs short.  Greens are hard and fast.  Breaks are subtle.

Course setup is meticulous in leveling the playing field.  JW’s system puts correct skill on appropriate tees.  JW aims to make a player hit every club in his bag. I hit every club in my bag. I don’t remember the last time I did that.  Spooky.

Amateurs of normal ability play 6400 yards – plus or minus a little. That means you’re on a course you can handle.  Scratch players go back to 6900 yards.

The BUSINESS DEAL

The Player$ Golf Tour was not set up to let newbies see if they are ready for PRIME TIME.

There are always three divisions or more guaranteed on the Player$ Golf Tour.  The SCRATCH DIVISION attracts some of the best players from Northern California.  There is good reason for that.  JW offers a guarantee to any very good player.  Make 61 birdie points in 12 Player$ Tour events in 12 months and he pays the way to Q-School. He’s done that twice.  There’s a PGT Player on BIG BREAK this season.  Plus, the payout is $1500 to $2000 for the winner – highest stakes in Northern California for a one-day event.

The real motivation behind the Player$ Golf Tour is JW is looking for the best young players and giving them a LEG UP.  That’s another good reason to support the PGT.

If you’re wondering what’s behind $6000 in winnings for an amateur? The Player$ Golf Tour is organized as a “Private Club”.  The USGA doesn’t care if members at any exclusive private club play for $30,000 in prize money – or more – in a CALCUTTA because it’s a “game between friends”.  There is an intentional loophole in the USGA Rules to accommodate gambling at private clubs.

If you join the Tour you pay $200 for an annual Membership.  You’re in THE CLUB.  You’re now “playing with friends”.  Your tournament fee goes down to $250.  There are plenty of other incentives for MEMBERS – but the biggest incentive is LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.

Your winnings from your PRIVATE CLUB are no more important to the USGA than the winnings of any other player from any other private club in the USA.  The key distinction is MEMBERSHIP.  Player$ Golf Tour events are not open to the public.  First-time players need a SPONSOR – a recommendation from a current PGT player.

When you have WINNINGS you can deduct EXPENSES for tax purposes.  If you need advice about how to turn your interest in tournament golf to a business expense – Walt Joyce can help you out with bookkeeping when you join the Tour.

That’s an interesting new twist on budgeting for golf.  Expenses like lessons and golf equipment become deductible.

I PASSED MY FIRST TEST

My first goal was to FINISH THE ROUND.  Roddy Ranch is the kind of course where around can go south in a hurry.  I was worried about “making a million” at Roddy Ranch.

I shot 86 on Sunday.

14 over par.  My current NCGA index is 6.1.  That’s a six stroke problem.  The high number is correct.  It surely was on Sunday.

I want to take six strokes off my score.  It would be great to get more.

I’m not thinking of jumping to the FUN DIVISION and accepting a 12 handicap.

I have work to do.

I’m planning on GETTING IT DONE in three months.  My ultimate goal is to join the Player$ Golf Tour and play for money in 2013 with a legitimate handicap, against other players with legitimate handicaps.

I’m not planning a MAKEOVER.  I have a FOCUSED PROGRAM in mind.  I want to fix my score, not my swing. My competition experience demonstrated the importance of concentrating on the most important skills for practice.

I’ll change my swing if I have to, but only if it will improve my performance. The challenge is to identify the top priorities that will lead to better scores, and then to knock them off one by one. I’ll to be working with Eric Jones in his Targetcenteredgolf.com Golf Coach program.  He’s the only guy who teaches performance this way – and you can join me in Pleasanton to find out what it is all about.

My Three-Month Program to Drop Six Shots

You’ll find my PLAYER’S JOURNAL on the Golf Lab Website.  That will be THE STORY about me as a player with a commitment to improve by six shots in three months.

There will also be a CLUBFITTERS NOTEBOOK – constant analysis of equipment.

I’m both guys.  Two views.

It should be fun.  Both guys have access to the best information, advice and technology on the Internet.

It will be a good read with a lot of original material – I’m hoping to turn the experience into a book.

I will answer the BIG QUESTIONS:  How much does it cost – how long will it take – and is success certain?

The daily journal won’t go out on the Internet.  You’ll have to bookmarkwww.calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard/.

If my Project is interesting to you as a personal project – if you are thinking about bringing your index down by five strokes or more – you qualify as a “soul buddy”.

If you want to take a look at a Player$ Golf Tour event without laying down $350 on yourself – you have two chances.  I made a special deal with JW for me and three players – $100 to play but not eligible for prize money.  I can bring three players to EAGLE VINES in October and three more to SUNOL in November.  We’ll play together in a foursome and meet up with JW after he pays off the winners.

My moment of truth comes on January 1, 2013.  Will I have the game to join the PGT?  If you’re thinking about playing at YOUR NEXT LEVEL – get in touch.

I’m looking for a few players who want to take the same journey.  Not forever, just three months.  Six stroke objective.  Simple.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson

PS:  The MINIMUM COMMITMENT if you want to come along:

Join Eric Jones’ Performance Coaching Program at Pleasanton

One day per week – two hours

 

Join Golf Lab Putting Coaching Program at the Golf Lab

One day per week – one hour

 

Join Golf Lab High Performance Demo Program

Coordinates with Pleasanton Golf Coach Program – hours as required

 

Play one round of golf per week scored under tournament conditions.

 

Adopt Eric’s Score Tracker stat sheet to record scores – if you don’t already have another record keeping system – (you can see how he does it here:http://targetcenteredgolf.com/scorecard-stats-your-secret-weapon-for-improving-your-golf-game/

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The Hottest Irons on the Planet? Compare to Know.

Donate your Swing to Science?

I apologize for the headline.  I wrote it to get you to open the email and consider an new iron design that – as far as I know – is unique in the world.

As usual, I want to go into some depth to describe where this model comes from – why it is different – and why it has a chance to be very successful.

The Brand is UNITED.  UNITED is a creation of Graham Webb and Peter Lord.  I’ve introduced Graham and Peter to Golf Lab readers.  Peter is the designer.  He has ten years of experience as chief designer for a Spanish golf company in the last decade.  He knows his way around the best factories in Asia.

The UNITED line is multi-cultural.  Imagine this:  designed in the UK, produced in Japan, finished in China for worldwide release in KOREA.

The most dynamic market for golf in the world is KOREA.  Imagine that.

So while all attention is focused on KOREA – Graham and Peter are letting me handle the USA.  You could call this a “soft launch”.

Here’s what the heads look like:

SB3 Face

SB3 back

SB3 back 2

SB3 topline1

SB3 topline2

The STORY:

The UNITED SBC2 – is a CONSTRUCTION.

The next wave in iron heads – the best chance for rejuvenated interest in irons – is delivering longer distance.  That actually happened over the last couple of years.  Mizuno was the most successful in the “game improvement irons” category with their JP – 800 and 900 series.

All SUPER HOT irons share one characteristic:  They are hollow.  They are just tiny little hybrids – designed and engineered to give POP OFF THE FACE – and combined with strong lofts – a little more distance.

I never thought that was an advantage.

The downside of the HOT HEADS has always been the NUCLEAR REACTION that propels the ball when hit dead center.  Players came in with stories of 290 yard three irons – layups.

The UNITED SBC2 is not that kind of construction.

It is not hollow.  It is a FORGED BODY with a “Maraging steel” face.

“Maraging” is one of those MYSTERY WORDS.  Maraging steel faces were what made Adams and Orlimar hot back in the 90′s.  The goal is to put less spin on the ball.  The underlying concept is a clean, consistent hitting surface.

The plague for many players is “too much spin” – low index and high index alike.  Today, players look for “boring ball flight”.

Too much spin “rides the wind” going that way and “climbs and drops dead” going the other way.  After all these years of pursuing “more spin” – the new Holy Grail is “less spin”.

The reason is simple:  DISTANCE CONTROL.  You’ve got to know when your ball is going to come down.

One more technical detail . . .

The unique part of the SBC2 construction is that it is a POCKET CAVITY design.  That allows the steel face to “free float” in the forged body.  The design concept behind that idea is “maximum forgiveness for off-center hits”.

Never been done before.

Here’s another angle on the pocket cavity.

SB3 Floating Face Sole

SB3 Floating Face Topline

Testing Results

I’ve built and tested two sets of SBC2′s.  The first one was set up with OZIK 80 gram Program shafts that are stock with Adams irons.  I wanted to see how the OEM shaft compared to the aftermarket version.

We built the second set with Matrix Kujoh shafts.

In two rounds, I’d put the UNITED SBC2′s neck and neck for performance with my current favorite – the Vega VC-03.  The big difference is head size.  The SBC2 will be a welcome alternative for the players who just can’t stand the large head size on the VC-03.

I love the ball flight.  It is easy to see less spin – even with high spin shafts.  I had a very good ball-striking day with the OZIKs – less spin into the wind an obvious advantage that day.  I hit some beautiful little soft draws and then made a five iron go right to left.  I found I could work the ball.

I think that the SBC2 head could become the STANDARD for low spin – NON-NUCLEAR REACTION – iron heads.

The Challenge

I have the last six sets of SBC2 heads in the WESTERN WORLD.  The rest of the world is sold out.  (KOREA bought everything.)

I’m including the SBC2 in our HIGH PERFORMANCE DEMO program.

A natural follow-up – after a fitting – is to test a couple of sets on your own course for feel and ball flight.  No more “I wonder . . .”

I have them for testing – right now.  If you were thinking about new irons – the UNITED SBC2 is a NEW IRON.

You should at least give it a test.

New Mizuno Fitting System in House

All of the new Mizuno designs for 2013 arrived this week – heads for the Mizuno fitting system.  We rely on the Mizuno system for fitting iron shafts and heads.

In addition to all of the Mizuno custom shafts, we have all of our favorites set up for radar testing with the Flightscope launch monitor.

Complete Iron Fitting:  $150.

Give a call.  We have plenty of openings this week.  With the season drawing to a close – the season for playing with new golf clubs is starting.

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Bobby Dean Private Putter & Wedge Fittings – Edel Golf

Pleasanton Wedge Fitting and Short Game Clinic with Eric Jones

Morning at the Muni and the 14 Fairways Challenge at the Bridges

Our goal is to bring the highest level of golf knowledge, talent and experience to Golf Lab Clients.

Take your game to YOUR NEXT LEVEL as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Golf Lab is good for BOGEY GOLFERS and Serious Beginners. We’re “high handicap friendly”.

I cancelled my plans to attend the LAS VEGAS PGA Show to create an intricate schedule for Bobby Dean from Edel Golf – Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. Edel is at the Show so Bobby will have the latest news.

This will be a VERY PRODUCTIVE WEEK if you have time to invest in your golf game. There is plenty of hands-on testing and practice.

Our goal is to create extraordinary experiences for Golf Lab clients. TOTAL PUTTING ENLIGHTENMENT starts with Bobby Dean.

Bobby’s eyes see different things with a putter. If you are ever planning to have a putter fitting - IN THE REST OF YOUR LIFE - schedule it for this week. Bobby is that good.

Why is Bobby Dean that good?

Bobby has been the principal fitter – and General Manager – at Edel Golf for six years. During that time, he fitted an average of 350 putters per year. Over two thousand custom putter fittings. A quarter of Edel’s total business. There is no one in the world who knows more about fitting and building custom putters than Bobby Dean – and that includes Scotty Cameron.

Bobby goes way beyond the routine fitting parameters of aim, loft, lie and length. Bobby can see tempo and timing in a putting stroke. He can see the shaft flex. He knows how to influence the stroke with Tour Lock counterweights in the shaft.

Bobby hangs out with the Tour Players who live in Austin so he’s got lots of good stories. He is the best we know.

If you have been fitted for a custom Edel putter before – by any Edel fitter – it is a great insurance policy to let Bobby have a look at what’s going on with your stroke and putter RIGHT NOW.

Putting strokes don’t last forever but Edel putters do. It might be time for a little re-work – both your stroke and your putter.

If Edel Golf is new to you, click on this link http://www.edelgolf.com/

Edel is the STATE OF THE ART when it comes to fitting and then building a custom putter – including AIM, LOFT, LIE, WEIGHT, BALANCE, SHAFT TYPE, FLEX and BALANCE – to fit your stroke.

When Phil Michelson comes to town, he has six putters in his bag – each with a slightly different balance, loft and lie. He chooses the “right one” based on that week’s conditions. How many putters do you have in your bag?

You only need one Edel Putter.

Detailed Schedule – Week of August 20-27.

All sessions “Open” – Size Limited – Reservations Required

Thursday August 23 – 8-9 AM – Yogurt and Nut Breakfast and Get Acquainted Session. My favorite time to get to a meeting is before it starts. Get there early. That’s when “things happen”.

Thursday 9-10 AM – Bobby Dean SPEECH and CONVERSATION with Golf Lab Staff – and FRIENDS - in the Golf Lab Meeting Room. Comfortable, sit-down presentation environment.

One of our principal goals is STAFF TRAINING and DEEP PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE. Edel is a “new kind of company” – one that requires a high level of local technical support – Edel fitting systems for putters and wedges must be learned, refined and practiced.

Bobby Dean is focused on his goal to make sure that the few custom golf shops representing Edel are supremely qualified to SUPPORT THE BRAND in a region. The Golf Lab is proud to share that responsibility with Laird Small at Pebble Beach.

Our joint goal with Edel is to recruit and support a network of teaching professionals in the Bay Area who want access to the highest level of putter and wedge fitting in the world.

Golf Lab customers with a sincere interest in Edel Golf – own an Edel Putter or wedge – or thinking of ordering one of the 100 sets of Edel irons that will be available this year – are welcome to join Bobby and the Golf Lab Staff for the Morning Program.

Thursday 10-11 AM – Bobby Dean Fits Leith Anderson with an Edel Putter.In public forum – proceeds filmed by John Taylor.

There’s a great twist to add some fun to this session. Leith owns and plays an Edel putter that was fitted by David Balbi. Bobby does not know the specifications of that putter. Leith’s putter has been confiscated by John Ruark and is in a “safe place”.

The essence of any fitting system is that the results are “repeatable”.

We would never expect two putter fittings to be exactly the same. With 250 million variables, that would be a tall order. But how much difference should one expect? Inquiring minds want to know . . .

What will Bobby recommend for Leith? At the end of the fitting session, when all of the new specifications are written down and Leith is holding the test putter Bobby built for him from the Edel Fitting System – we’ll bring out the “original Edel fitted putter”. Will it match?

You might think that would be a scary result. What if that $900 Edel putter is not the best fit?

Would you rather NOT KNOW?

Book the MORNING SESSION and you’ll be there at the Moment of Truth.

The point is that even Edel Putter owners should spend a little time getting a “checkup” – especially when Bobby Dean is in the neighborhood.

If your putter needs adjustment – Edel is equipped to handle any modification and return your Edel putter better than new.

Eight spots – call Bob Pegram – 650-654-1770. It will be the most interesting next Thursday morning of your life.

Thursday 11-11:30 – Break – Time for “Private Conversations.”

“Button-hole time” is valuable. Bobby Dean is available for brief conversations.

Thursday 11:30 – 12:30 – Buffet Lunch

No need to leave the Golf Lab to eat.

Group lunch, group discussion.

The complete morning program – including lunch – $250 – limit eight players to assure high quality experience. Golf Lab Members = 2 session units.

Thursday Afternoon 12:30 – 6:00. Private Edel Putter Fittings – Bobby Dean working with John Ruark, Leith Anderson, Bob Pegram and John Taylor.

If you book your Edel Putter Fitting for Thursday afternoon – you’re going to have the biggest brain trust in the history of putter fitting working for you.

One of the most interesting dynamics in the putter world is watching the debate about LONG PUTTERS. John Ruark is one of the most accomplished of the “long putter fitters” – a completely different product from what Edel has been all about – until now.

Edel is introducing a LONG PUTTER.

If you are struggling with a conventional putting stroke – you might consider an alternative. We’ll be ready for that.

One Hour Fitting Session with Bobby Dean - and helpers – you get all the time you need with Bobby. On Thursday your Edel Putter Fitting is $150 - the cost of the fitting is waived if you buy an Edel Putter.

We would like to reward Bobby for his dedication to helping raise the level of awareness of Edel and success at the Golf Lab with a pocket full of orders to take back to Texas. Free Edel Putter Fitting with Bobby Dean. You can’t do better than that.

Bottom Line BEST DEAL:

If you want to spend a full day understanding the Edel Putting Story – seeing “all there is” with an Edel fitting – and then enjoying private time with Bobby Dean to design your own Edel putter – Thursday is the day. Book the “Morning Program” for $250. Reserve a private fitting time for the afternoon.

Total cost for the day and the Edel Putter: $250 for the Morning Program – $395 – $950 for your Edel Putter – depending on custom features.

You are not obligated to buy an Edel Putter. $400 covers the Morning Program and the Putter Fitting. (Things you learn about your stroke and putters in an Edel Putter fitting are transferrable to other putters. It is one of David Edel’sPET PEEVES that Tour Pros take his fitting specifications to their SPONSORS TO COPY.

You get everything we learn, nothing held back. If you want to buy a Scotty – we’ll help you buy the best Scotty to fit your stroke.

Friday Morning 9:00 – 12:00 – Edel Wedge Fitting – Mariner’s Point

If you want to fit wedges – you’ve got to go outdoors.

We’ve extolled the virtues of Mariner’s Point as a short game training facility for several months.

Fitting wedges is – like all club fitting – part art and part science. The science part is knowing what you’re playing. That’s a problem. There’s no good, universal way to measure and understand “bounce” and “sole grind” on a wedge.

Edel takes care of that. The Edel wedge line is modeled after an IDEA that Mike Adams invented as he became one of the most renowned short game coaches in the world. PROGRESSIVE BOUNCE.

Matching wedges to your swing – especially if you have an aggressive angle of attack – will improve your wedge game immediately.

We have a limited number of wedge fitting sessions between 9-12 on Friday morning. Call Bob Pegram for current openings. 650-654-1770.

We want to send Bobby home with a pocket full of orders. If you place your custom Edel wedge order with Bobby – the fitting is free. Custom Edel wedges are $200-$250.

Friday Afternoon 1-5 PM. Still Open

We’re keeping Friday afternoon schedule open depending on demand. Wedge fittings could be expanded at Mariner’s Point or we can return to the Golf Lab for continued putter fittings.

Friday Evening – TGIF reception with Bobby Dean – 5-7 PM. Do not miss your chance to meet one of the most brilliant personalities in the golf industry. Bring a bottle of wine or a sixpack of your favorite brew. This is for the guys and gals who can’t get off during the day. (Hi, Heather.)

Saturday Morning 9-1 PM – Pleasanton Golf Center – with Eric Jones’ Targetcenteredgolf.com. Open Clinic 10-12 – Wedge Fitting and Wedge Playing Clinic – with Bobby Dean and Eric Jones. $30.

This could be one of the best values in golf instruction. The Clinic is from 10-12 – an interactive conversation between Bobby Dean – showing and fitting Edel Wedges with Eric Jones – and then Eric discussing the wedge game for tournament players with Bobby. This will be a unique, unpredictable and totally interesting presentation.

We’re limiting this clinic to eight players (from the Golf Lab) so everyone can have a front row seat. This is a great introduction to Eric’s Coaching Program.

To make your morning even more productive, book an Edel Wedge fitting with Bobby at 9:00 or at 1:00. Get your outdoor wedge fitting and seminar and hit all the balls you can in the next hour for $150. First come, first served. Hard stop on this: only eight spots available.

Saturday Afternoon: Say “Good-Bye to Bobby” at the Golf Lab. We’re leaving a few hours open to accommodate last minute requirements. Saturday afternoon is one such time.

Bobby heads back to Texas on Saturday evening.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss setting up a special event – call Bob Pegram at 650-654-1770.

Other Events This Week:

On Wednesday morning we have one more spot for the “Morning at the Muni”. That makes Bob Pegram very sad. If only one guy shows up – I play. If two guys show up – both Bob and I play. We ride carts and swap partners after five holes so everyone gets acquainted. What are you doing on Wednesday morning? The very best deal in golf is a “morning at the Muni” with me. It’s free.

On Sunday, I’m going back to Pleasanton with Eric and a bag full of test clubs from UNITED.

Here’s a SNEAK PEAK buried at the end of a long email. In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to start telling the UNITED GOLF story in detail. You know how that goes: who are the guys, why do they deserve to be successful and all that. . .

I received a test set of the new UNITED model – the SBC2 last week – shafted them up with some Adams OZIK shafts and took them to Pleasanton last week.

I’m not sure what I was seeing but it felt like Peter Lord (United designer) described as “shooting bullets”.

The model is unique as far as I know. The body is forged. The face is “maraging steel” and the design is “pocket cavity”. I think that this design will be the Cat’s Meow for the players who really wanted to follow the herd with the VC-03′s but in the end just couldn’t stand the size and the offset.

This is an early warning. If you’re looking for a breakthrough product in irons – this is the most likely possibility that I’ve seen in a long time.

I’ll have them at Pleasanton on Sunday morning. If you’re serious about getting better at golf – Eric Jones’ Target Centered Golf Program at the Pleasanton Golf Center is a great start. Go to www.targetcenteredgolf.com.

On Sunday afternoon we’re heading over to the Bridges. This is the “free pass” weekend – the greens will have week old scars but you get a free replay with your round.

I’m going to be there with my 15* – 43.5″ driver. I promise to report how deep I get into the round before I lose a ball. Last time it was three balls gone on the second tee so you can see the exact location of the first hurdle.

I think that The Bridges is so diabolical as a golf course – I’m IMAGINING A TOURNAMENT – later on this fall. Can you finish The Bridges? We’ll get a good prize package together and see who shows up with ATTITUDE. How far can you get with one ball at The Bridges? That’s the FOURTEEN FAIRWAYS Challenge.

How’s that for a cool week? Get better at golf RIGHT NOW.

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Taylor Made Driver Loft Follow Up – La Jolla Drivers and Outdoor Fitting

Fresh Air, Taylor Made Drivers and Convenient Scheduling

 Planning Your “Performance Program” with the Golf Lab

I struck a chord with my last article on “The Driver that Could Change Your Game”.

You might not know that you’re playing a high loft driver – but you probably are.  Our average difference in measured loft – compared with the number stamped on the sole plate is 2.5* on Taylor Made Drivers.  If your driver says 9.5* on the bottom it is probably a 12*.

We found a Taylor Made Super Tri 11.5* driver last week that measured 17*.

That should make a difference in your thinking about your driver swing.  The problem is that even 12* is probably too low a loft for the average amateur.  I’m only saying that because Tiger Woods is playing 11.25* with his driver.

Don’t Forget Face Angle

The current “style” in drivers is to prefer an open face angle.  That’s what the PROS LIKE.

Open face angles on drivers are DEATH to players who “fight the rights”.  The real danger in the HIGH LOFT CONSPIRACY is not high loft.  It is open face angles.  We have seen Taylor Made drivers with 4* and 5* open face angles.  That’s Vijay Singh country.

If you’re “losing it right” even when you make a good swing – an excessively open face angle is probably the culprit.

How do you fit a driver if you don’t know the true loft and face angle of the driver you’re fitting?  Since there could be several degrees variance – either way – matching driver head measurements to player swing characteristics requires precision.

Do you know your driver loft and face angle?

Drop in to the Golf Lab at 1100 Industrial, Unit 10, San Carlos, CA during business hours 9-5 and Bob Pegram will give you a free driver measurement.  Might as well start with knowing the facts.  We’re one minute off 101 going south.  Exit at Brittan and left on Industrial.

Bottom Line Recommendation:

Most golfers would shoot lower scores immediately if they chose a 14* driver at 43.5″ length.

If that sounds like a preposterous claim to you – schedule a driver fitting at the Golf Lab.

If our recommended combination of driver head and shaft does not beat your current driver – measured by shot dispersion and improved launch ballistics – the fitting is free.

No risk in that.

From a Distance:  It is not necessary to do a COMPLETE FITTING for a 14* or 15* driver.  Think of your new club as a 3 wood with a very big head that you hit off a tee.  If you’re picking a shaft – I recommend stiffer and heavier rather than lighter and more flexible.

The goal is to put a club in your hands that you don’t try to hit for crazy distance.  You hit the short, high loft driver into the fairway.  Then you hit your next shot onto the green.  Then you make the putt.  Birdie.  No lost balls.  Any questions?

The La Jolla driver was “top shelf” back in the day.  Five years ago, LaJolla drivers were $500 – with a cheap OEM shaft.  Today, we can match up that 14* or 15* head with a premium shaft for $200.  We found a “lost shipment” on the Internet.  This is a top quality driver head with very rare measurements.  You get a bargain.

This is not a clubfitting decision that requires two hours of sophisticated radar work.  Three woods are much less shaft-sensitive than drivers.  The shaft for a fairway metal should be a little heavier and a little stiffer than your driver.  We can make that match over email, by phone or in person in a few minutes.

LaJolla 14* or 15* driver – your choice – paired up with a premium Fujikura, Matrix or Aerotech Shaft – $200 – plus shipping.

It’s the best deal in golf because it will change your thinking about what you’re supposed to do off the tee.

Break the belief that “longer is better”.  Hitting your drive into the fairway is better – every hole.

How about “Fourteen Fairways” as your new goal?

The Great Bridges Challenge

There is no doubt; The Bridges in San Ramon is one of the most diabolical golf courses in Northern California.  I can’t count how many players have reported “I’m never going back there”.  Some lost a dozen balls.

I feel that way myself.  I’ve never finished a round at the Bridges with the same ball.  I hate that.  For me, good golf means “no penalty strokes”.

I hit the shot that went “over the cliff” – I can’t blame the golf course for that.  You get some of the most scenic shots in the Bay Area at The Bridges – and some of the most challenging.

I’m dedicating My Sundays for Golf.  My program is two hours at the Pleasanton Golf Center from 10-12 – then heading out to The Bridges for the Ultimate Test.

I’m looking forward to reporting the day that I finish a complete 18 hole round with the same ball at The Bridges.

I’ll be playing a 14* driver at The Bridges until I accomplish that goal.  No BIG DRIVERS until I finish a round with the same ball.  Swear on a stack of Bibles.

But not this Sunday.  They’re punching the greens at The Bridges this Sunday afternoon so anyone who wants to join the Golf Lab Gang on Sunday can meet up at the Palo Alto Muni – twilight rates start at 2:00 and that’s when the wind blows.  You can work on your “wind game” Sunday.

If you want to join the Sunday Morning Session at Pleasanton and then play golf on Sunday afternoon – give Bob Pegram a call at the Golf Lab – 650-654-1770.  He’ll set you up.

Next Sunday – Back at The Bridges.  They’re a little sensitive at The Bridges about punched greens.  But when you’re focused on finishing the round with the same ball, you can give a little slack for the greens.  Next Sunday, you get a REPLAY CARD for a second round – no charge.  That’s a good enough deal to risk your self-esteem on a golf course.  Schedule next Sunday and you’ve got two weeks covered.

Schedule “Tweaking”

Pleasanton on Fridays – Mariner’s Point Sessions Now “By Appointment”

If you have control of your weekly schedule to make time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10-12 – the best deal for improving your performance on the course is to join up with Eric Jones at the Seaver Golf Academy at the Pleasanton Golf Center Driving Range north of Bernal Road on Valley Ave.

Golf runs in Eric’s blood.  He named his Golf Academy after his grandfather, Charlie Seaver – a former California Amateur Champion described as “Legendary” when he died in 2004.  Here’s the link to that announcement by the USGA.

http://www.usga.org/news/2004/October/Legendary-Amateur-Charlie-Seaver-Dies/

Charlie was Tom Seaver’s father – the Hall of Fame Pitcher for the Mets.

The setting is fabulous.  The Seaver Academy “owns” the back end of the rage at Pleasanton.  It is spacious – plenty of grass and plenty of targets.  Downrange is set up with cones at measured distances for calibrating your bag.  It is a serious environment to work on your game.  It is private.

Eric charges a monthly fee for his “Coaching Program”.  Up to twelve sessions is $265 per month.  Up to six sessions (half month) is $165.  His fee includes coaching, instruction and all the balls you can hit.

As time goes on, we’ll bring our sophisticated Golf Lab fitting services to the outdoor environment.  For example:

“Gapping your Bag” – a vitally important job for any serious player can take weeks by hand and by eye.  It’s a simple one hour job for the Flightscope launch monitor.

“Shaft Fitting” – is another service that can’t be completed well indoors.  The nuance of shaft fitting requires seeing ball flight and swinging from a natural surface.  We have the only shaft fitting system in the world that really works – from Edel Golf.  The key is “quick change” – you need to hit a couple of shots – swap shafts – hit a couple more – swap back.

“Fairway Metals” – how can you choose the best performing fairway metal or utility until you it off of grass?  That goes for hybrids, irons and wedges too.

Mariner’s Point by Appointment

The “Wedge Fitting and Short Game” sessions at Mariner’s Point are another great way to improve your game.  Since Mariner’s Point is a short, 12-minute drive from the Golf Lab – we’re opening Edel Wedge fitting sessions to “any convenient time”.

I will meet you any time at Mariner’s Point with the Edel Wedge fitting bag.

New “Friends and Family” Program Session Pricing

One of our goals at the Golf Lab is to make top teaching talent, facilities, technology and equipment efficiently available for an accessible price.

Our “rack rate” is $150 per hour.

Our “Friends and Family” program is $100 per “session” – with a 10 session commitment.  We’re not clock-watchers.  If a normal session is 1.5 hours – it is recorded as a single session.

We like to think that’s the best value in advanced golf analysis, instruction and training on the planet.

With the range of Specialized Analysis and Instruction available at the Golf Lab and now with the “outdoor option” – it is a simple matter to work out a “Program” of five or ten sessions with specific performance goals.

Eric Jones – the Seaver Golf Academy – and the Pleasanton Golf Center – provides the ultimate serious training environment.

The First Step

Start with a personal fitting session with Leith Anderson – Golf Digest Top 100 Clubfitter.  We’ll analyze your bag, tweak what needs tweaking and get well-acquainted.  We’ll fit iron shafts and driver heads.  That’s a good way to spend the first two hours.  Then we can work out a program of five or ten hours – including Mariner’s Point, Pleasanton and on the course.

If you’re working on a program to get better at golf – the Golf Lab is a great partner.

Call Bob Pegram at 650-654-1770 and he’ll set you up.

Posted in Golf Equipment Chronicles | 2 Comments

Eric Jones Supervised Practice – with “Live Ammo” – to Improve Consistency

Edel Wedge Fittings (and Innovative Full Bag Practice) now Available - Weekends in Pleasanton

I was inspired last Sunday.  I visited Eric Jones at the Pleasanton Golf Center Driving Range on Valley Ave. That’s where he holds his supervised practice sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10-12.

John Ruark and I were there to demonstrate the Focus Band to Eric’s “Lab Rats” as he so fondly calls his students.

Eric is an Old Friend, Stanford Golfer, Assistant Coach, Tournament Player, World Long Drive Champion (2003), Husband, Seaver Golf Academy Founder, PGA Member, Father, Masters in Sports Psychology, Author, Internet Entrepreneur, Competitor and Teacher.

Long-time Golf Equipment Chronicles readers know Eric from eight years ago – when he was developing his theories and testing his ideas teaching every Thursday at the Golf Lab.  Eric is on the “cutting edge” of golf instruction – worldwide.

If you’re working on a more consistent golf game, there is no better way to combine intellectual and physical workouts than Eric’s “supervised practice”.  Eric’s ultimate goal to help his students learn how to play the GAME OF GOLF as quickly as possible.

Seaver Golf Academy at Pleasanton Golf Center and The Bridges

Eric’s Coaching Program at the Pleasanton Golf Center Driving Range is the best value in golf if hitting practice balls is part of your practice routine and you’re not in a club where practice balls are “free”.

Supervised practice is held at the back end of the Pleasanton Golf Center range on Valley Ave. at 10:00 AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Eric is there, on the tee line – watching for the little things that make a difference.  This is not a makeover project.  It’s an insurance policy for players who know they’re pretty good but don’t want to fall into mistakes.  Get your work done by noon.

It is a private environment.  Back end of the range (Gate 12 on Valley Ave.).  Eric is there with a few of his clients.  People come and go.  There might be three, maybe thirteen.  There is no pressure.  You’re there to wrap some myelin on your nerves with repetitive motion.

Finding a place where you can hit a lot of balls to targets you can see from a natural grass surface is not that easy to find in the Bay Area.

I signed up for a one month program.  $256.   (Half month is available if you want a “taste”).  The 45 minute drive from San Carlos is a daunting hurdle but If I only trek to Pleasanton one day a week and hit 500 balls per session – 10 cents per ball =  $200 cost of balls – you get the idea.  I’ll meet you at the Pleasanton Golf Center starting next week.

I’m hoping Eric will be kind with his advice.

For the truly motivated:  12 sessions, 500 balls per session.  $600 in balls alone.  If you’re thinking about “deep practice” you get the idea.

The Setting

You’re facing west.  The sun is behind you in the morning.  You can see ball flight like an eagle sees a mouse.

The key to making time for training and practice is to make your practice as meaningful as possible.  An important aspect of practice is knowing how far you hit each club.  The Pleasanton Golf Center is flat with plenty of targets.

One of the services that we promised – just waiting for the right location – is “bag gapping” with the Flightscope.  Pleasanton is the perfect location to spend three productive hours one morning in the near future.  The first hour should be devoted to letting radar tell you how far you hit every club in your bag.

Spend your second hour in an Edel wedge fitting.  It is possible that your wedge is causing your short game problems.  Find out for sure.

Another hour can be spent Edel wedge against your own wedges down “wedge street”.   Do you know how far you hit every wedge in your bag?

Here’s a very interesting blog post by Eric on the importance of mapping every club in your bag for maximum, minimum and average distances.

http://targetcenteredgolf.com/newsletter-how-to-improve-your-golf-game-part-3-iron-distance-control/

Sunday is for Golf

If this all sounds interesting and you’d like to check it out THIS SUNDAY – I’ll be in Pleasanton from 10 until 12 Sunday morning.  I want to get my 500 wedge shots in but I’ll bring the Edel fitting system if anyone would like to schedule a fitting for Sunday morning.  Call Bob to schedule.  650-654-1770.

Last Sunday we picked up a couple of players – Mike Kelly and Heather Hughes and met up at the Palo Alto Muni.  Sunday afternoon is a great time for golf.  You can use your imagination – “Sunday afternoon at a Major” is always a great fantasy.  That’s the time of day drama happens.

Next Sunday we’ll head from Pleasanton up the road a couple of stops to The Bridges.  That will be an interesting test for anyone working on their game.  I have still never finished a round on that course with the same ball – a pet peeve – and now also a challenge.

If you want to join Heather, Mike and me – give Bob a call.

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High Loft Wedges – the Shot You Don’t Have – Yet

Over the last few months we’ve brought a lot of good ideas to the Golf Lab Community about how to get better at golf. So many choices. The most common question is “what should I do first?”

Getting better at golf requires dedicating time to preparation, practice and playing. Keeping preparation and practice to a minimum means that you have more time for play. That’s good.

If you want to do ONE THING that will be the biggest “bang for the buck” this is it:

Fit your Wedges. Two Hours.

We’ve spent a lot of time at the Mariner’s Point short game practice area with some very good teachers and players over the last few months.

Many thanks to Bobby Dean and John Ruark for their contributions.

The acid test is the players.  I have relied on Kaz Hoffman, Lawrence Fu and Emily Childs when I needed a tournament player’s opinion.  Thanks to them for the final check.

How do you fit wedges?

Here’s the scenario:  I’m standing with John Childs – Coach for two State Champions – his daughters Emily and Carly.

We’re watching Emily and Carly working with Bobby Dean – the top wedge fitter from Edel Golf.

John Childs – Mini Tour Player years back said: “I bought a hundred wedges out of every used club barrel for twenty years. I never understood anything about fitting wedges. It was all pure guesswork.  Never really found a good one.”

We watched Bobby Dean hand over a progression of Edel wedges. Each with slightly more bounce and a slightly different sole grind. The progression was designed to go from “less bounce” to “more bounce”.

Fitting a wedge is all about the grass, the roots and the dirt.

Bobby wants to see a player disturb the grass – pull the roots – but leave the dirt alone.

In about half an hour, Bobby found the grind that matched each girl’s natural swing. They are “Diggers” and “Drivers”.

That means that wedges that fit had over 20* of bounce. To put that in perspective – it’s more than twice the bounce of other high loft wedges. Edel wedges are different.

After the fitting John said: “That’s the most amazing thing I ever saw. I never knew that you could fit a wedge.”

Why Fit Wedges?

There is a Goal. The Goal is to get more spin on the ball.

There is one best way to get more spin on the ball. FORGET THE GIMMICKS AND BALONEY THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW THE PLAYER STRIKES THE BALL.

If you want more spin: YOU HAVE TO PUT MORE SPIN ON THE BALL WITH A STEEPER ANGLE OF ATTACK. You need to hit the ball first.

That is a lot easier to do with a high bounce wedge design.

Wedge Fitting Theory – Start Here:

Think about how you hit your high loft (58*-61*) lob wedge.

If you play your lob wedge like every good player I’ve seen, it’s a tricky move that requires a lot of skill.

Most high loft lob wedges are designed with very low bounce. Low bounce lob wedges require a long, flat bottom on your swing.

A long, flat bottom on your swing means you are sliding the club under the ball. That’s no way to increase spin. Why do you think they call it a LOB Wedge?

I did not find a single player who HIT THE BALL FIRST with the lob wedge. Rather, the club head was “disturbing the grass” from up to 3″ behind the ball.

There’s a better way.

The Shot You Don’t Have

Mariner’s Point has the best public access short game practice areas in the Bay Area. Only the exclusive private clubs are better.

There are some smooth green aprons at Mariner’s Point that extend forty yards down the fairway – closely mowed. A little like a Links course. Not quite Augusta – but with the attitude.

What shot do you play from forty yards, tight surface, when the pin is deep in the green? How about same setup – but with a “bare” lie?

When I handed Kaz, Lawrence and Emily their own 60*lob wedges for that shot from that surface – they handed them back. They begged for a 48* pitching wedge or a 52* gap wedge. Cowards.

That tells the story.

We didn’t even need to move to a position where the same shot needed to cary a bunker.  That would have been an impossible shot with the old wedges.

A Lob Wedge with low bounce is manageable from lies where there is a little daylight between the ball and the dirt. No daylight = no chance.

The Edel 21* Bounce Alternative

We focused on a 21* “Digger Grind” and a 22* Driver Grind. 21* is double the bounce of any other high loft wedge on the planet. Standard bounce on a lob wedge is 6*.

After a few months of experience with the new wedge line, Edel has found that a high percentage of fittings end up in Digger and Driver grinds.

The measured bounce angle is only part of the story. The Digger Grind includes a channel carved behind the leading edge that turns dirt upside down – that feature has been popular with classic “dual bounce” wedges.  Effective bounce of the Digger is 27*.

Your Lob Wedge shot is now different.

With a high bounce wedge, it is no longer necessary to slide the lob wedge flat across the grass for 3″ before you get to the ball. Look at the back of the ball – focus on a single dimple – hit down on the ball. Just like a normal wedge shot. YOU HIT THE BALL FIRST. Hitting the ball first increases spin – crucial for short wedge shots from tight lies.

Lawrence summed it up: “That’s a shot I don’t have with my lob wedge.”

Edel Wedge Fittings at Mariner’s Point

One of the unique features of the Golf Lab is that we make hands-on testing part of the fitting process.

Sometimes you need a little help to know just what to look for. That goes double for wedges.

A modern wedge swing is different from an iron swing or a driver swing.

A player’s weight must favor his left side. The modern wedge swing takeaway features a sharp wrist break. The strike is downward and the finish is low left.

We help you with setup and swing. Then we step through the fitting procedure – progressing from lower to higher bounce angles.

You will see results immediately.

The first thing you notice is that ball flight doesn’t look anything like you’re used to. The shot takes off with spin and holds its line. That’s not possible with a “scoopy” lob wedge swing.

Accuracy is better. We test “before and after” the fitting. No player has ever gotten worse.

The “Complete Edel Wedge Fitting”

We offer Edel wedge fittings every Friday morning at Mariner’s Point. Sessions are “one on one” John Ruark joins me on Friday mornings.

We have six spots for Friday wedge fittings. The very best option is to make the 9 or 10 AM appointments. The basic wedge fitting takes an hour. You are then welcome to stay and practice for another hour or so.

Private wedge fittings are available at any convenient time.  Please call Bob Pegram at the Golf Lab to schedule.  650-654-1770.  Evenings and weekends are open.

Another option is to simply check out a set of Edel wedges for a long weekend.  You can see for yourself in private.  Check with Bob for availabilty.

Collected Articles on Edel Golf

I’ve covered the Edel story for a year and a half. Mike Adams provided the inspiration and the model. Here’s are links to earlier articles about Edel.

Edel Wedge Pamphlet:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/the-new-golf-lab-for-2012-2/pamphlets/

Edel Wedge Bling – Fancy treatments that are available:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/07/26/edel-wedge-bling/

Help Us Find the Guy – or Gal – Edel Wedge and Putter Fitting:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/07/11/help-us-find-the-guy-or-gal-edel-wedge-and-putter-fitting

Golf Lab Open Week – Celebrities, Edel Wedge Fitting, History:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/06/12/golf-lab-open-week-celebrities-edel-wedge-fitting-history

Bobby Dean – Edel Golf Visit – Day One Results:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/06/08/bobby-dean-edel-golf-visit-day-one-results

Introducing Edel Golf – “Edel Week” at the Golf Lab:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/06/04/introducing-edel-golf-edel-week-at-the-golf-lab

Edel Wedge Photo:

  Edel Wedges

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Edel Wedge Bling

Edel wedges have 8 different amounts of bounce so you can get a wedge with exactly the right bounce to fit your technique. In addition to making your short game shots easier and more successful, Edel wedges are available with all sorts of fancy treatments limited only by your imagination. Some examples are shown below.

Our wedge fittings are usually on Friday mornings at Mariner’s Point. Call Bob at 650-654-1770 to sign up. Here is a link to to our wedge fitting and other pamphlets: http://calgolflab.com/blog/the-new-golf-lab-for-2012-2/pamphlets/

                        

More photos are here:  http://edelgolf.smugmug.com/Wedges/Edel-Golf/23924834_2PkQsj#!i=2056774758&k=5KvKnVK

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The Secret Revealed: Why Taylor Made Drivers Perform Better

Bonus:  Why You Will Want a High Launch Driver

Executive Overview:  Although this article starts with an historical discussion of Taylor Made Drivers – it is actually about fitting drivers by matching loft and face angle of the driver head with a player’s ideal swing path and angle of attack.

The driver head is more important than the shaft.

That should get your attention.  My opinion is contrary to Conventional Wisdom.  But a mistake choosing correct driver head loft and face angle cannot be corrected with an expensive shaft.  This article explains why.  Taylor Made proves my argument with their fitting strategy.

A Tour Van fitting determines a player’s most efficient swing and matches driver specifications to that.  How do you find the correct loft and face angle to match your ideal swing?

Why Taylor Made Drivers Work Better

Taylor Made created a miracle with their Driver marketing over the last six years.

When all other golf equipment manufacturers gave up hope for new driver innovation – blaming USGA restrictions – Taylor Made invented the future with AWT – “adjustable weight technology”.  Taylor made introduced the concept of weight adjustability with the R5 (2005) – offering two removable weight ports.  It was a huge breakthrough to allow players to adjust swingweight – and change club balance – on their own.  The TM R5 was a breakthrough design.

The R5 led to the R7 Quad (2007).  The R7 took cutting edge technology from 2 weight ports to 4 weight ports at 380 cc’s.  The 4 weight ports promised to affect shot shape.  Add toe weight, eliminate “lefts”. Add heel weight, eliminate “rights”.  Another breakthrough.

The R7 was popular on the PGA Tour.  V.J. Sing made headlines when he chose a 10.5* loft R7 “TP”.  TM R7′s were very good.

Then Taylor Made increased the head size to 425 cc’s with four weight ports.  That was the R7 425 – still a Classic.  The R7 425 was a step forward in forgiveness due to size.

Finally – the Coup de Gras - the SuperQuad.  The Holy Grail in 2008 – four weight ports and 460 cc size for ultimate forgiveness.  The Super Quad was “Maxed Out”.  In keeping with Taylor Made practice – the SuperQuad came out in multiple versions – covering the landscape of price points – another example of Taylor Made attention to detail and dedication to smothering the competition.

All that only took three years.  2006-2008 might be one of the most prolific periods in driver design history – given that USGA limits on everything that sent everybody but Taylor Made into depression.  Taylor Made owes its success to its Chinese partners who mastered building titanium balloons that stand up to 100+ MPH swing speeds.

Then came the Taylor Made R9 (2009).  Taylor Made released a flood of designs that year – Standard, Tour Prefered, SuperTri and SuperDeep – enough to intimidate (and bury) their competitors and make sure you’ll never know exactly what is “best”  or even “what is what?”.  By the end of 2009, Taylor Made dominated the driver business.

The R9 Series of Taylor Made drivers sealed fate on another subject – “Interchangeability”. In a strange quirk of fate – when other companies were trying to increase their profits by clawing back the exotic, high performance shaft business – Taylor Made went “open source” on the adapters that connect Taylor Made drivers to interchangeable shafts.

Today, a single adapter fits any Taylor Made Driver from the R9 through the R11 and the soon-to-be-announced – R13.  As a result, Taylor Made drivers are the best way to test shafts.  You can try any shaft in your Taylor Made driver for the price of a $25 adapter.  You can do the “testing” yourself on the range or you can get a good partner – Flightscope radar – to tell you how the shaft performs with your swing – with a well-chosen head.

The entire Golf Lab library of over 200 shafts is available for on-course testing in your Taylor Made driver – or in ours.  The old days of “buy it to try it” are OVER.

(BTW:  We are now extending the Taylor Made shaft fitting system to fairway metals and hybrids.  The Golf Lab does not have a Taylor Made account.  With TM, we sell “recycled”.)

The “Perfect Storm” – 2011 – 2012 – Taylor Made Domination Continues

And then the most unexpected thing happened.  Taylor Made invented “white”.

Nobody knows how or why Taylor Made decided that the color white would be the “Next Big Thing”.  But the R11 (2011) and the R11S (2012) have been the dominant drivers on Tour for the last two years.

Did I forget RocketBalls?  Another breakthrough – this one based on naming conventions.  We love three letter acronyms – RBZ.  RBZ come in white.

The “technical breakthrough” in the latest TM versions has more to do with the adapter than the driver head itself.  Taylor Made (and aftermarket) adapters are now supplied with a more extreme “knee bend” in the adapter.

The most recent adapters now allow a 1.5* adjustment each way.  That’s huge for drivers.

**The Great “Measurement” Experiment – Fitting Discussion Starts Here

Obsessed by wanting to understand “why?” we bought a precision measurement gauge a while back.  We measure every driver before launch monitor testing.

We fit drivers in the simplest way possible at the Golf Lab – we turn driver fitting into a geometry problem.  We measure and add up the angles to match player’s most efficient swing.  Driver loft and face angle matter.  There’s no point wasting time with driver heads that don’t match a player’s ideal swing.

To make solid contact – measured by “Smash Factor” – a player must deliver the club on the most direct path possible.  Thanks to modern technology – radar launch monitors – clubfitters can monitor a player’s swing – swing path and angle of attack precisely.

Combined high speed video and biomechanical analysis – a player’s most efficient positions can be measured and mapped.

If you want a nice soft draw – the “perfect” swing path is 4* inside-out.  Face angle needs to be closed to swing path – but open to the target line – so 2* is “perfect”.  Those are very small angles – difficult to conceive and impossible to see.

Then we turn attention to launch angle.  That’s where things changed the most.  The new golf balls don’t spin.  Normal golfers who want maximum distance – from “high launch, low spin drivers” – must launch the ball at 16* or higher.  That’s a lot higher than anything that looks “normal”.  Most players don’t know what optimal trajectory looks like.

Launch angle comes from a combination of driver loft and angle of attack.  If you need 16* of launch angle, you can get that with 10.5* driver – if your angle of attack is plus 5.5*.  Alas, only the strongest, most athletic Long Drive Competitors can swing “up” at that angle.  Most amateurs hit “down” on their drives – many not aware that a driver swing is different from an iron swing.

Simple Arithmetic

2-3* upward angle of attack is a reasonable swing goal for most amateur golfers.  If your maximum distance requires 17* launch angle or higher – you’re going to need a 15* driver.

Unfortunately, most golfers still choose their drivers to match their personalities.

It wasn’t that long ago that most manufacturers didn’t bother to offer a driver head that was marked higher than 10.5* loft.  No point.  No self-respecting golfer would buy one.

That’s the world that Taylor Made understands.

Measuring Discrepancies

We picked up a trend measuring driver heads.  Taylor Made drivers all measure 2-3* higher loft than the number stamped on the sole plate.  11.5* on the sole plate can easily measure 15* on the gauge.  We have never measured a Taylor Made driver that was under marked loft.

The normal response from a player who gets their driver measured at the Golf Lab – our free service – is to deplore Taylor Made quality control.  “How could my 9.5* driver be 12*?”

Because Taylor Made planned it that way.  Taylor Made sells hundreds of millions of dollars in drivers every year.  In years past, it was no problem to deliver drivers within a degree of stated loft.  If Taylor Made wanted their drivers to be perfect for loft – they would be.

Taylor Made knows better.

The Taylor Made marketing department figured out golfer psychology long ago.  They know that no ordinary golfer will buy the driver that fits – left to his own methods.  Since most drivers are sold by self-service at Big Box stores – TM provides their own version of Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field”.

If you own a Taylor Made driver with 11.5* on the sole plate – it will measure 13-15*.  That will probably be just about perfect – assuming the face angle matches your swing path.

There you have it.  If Taylor Made left their future for golfers to know what he should have – rather than what he wants – they would be in the doldrums with all the other driver companies.

Taylor Made would never admit that they think that their customers are too dumb to make their own decisions – but how else would you interpret the facts?

Taylor Made drivers work better because they are not what you think.  What better explanation could there be?

Taylor Made’s Reward?  They are the most successful golf equipment company on earth – measured by sales.  The results are in.

Have no fear.  Buy a Taylor Made R9 11.5 Super Tri.  It might be a very good 15* driver with a 2* closed face angle – once you get all of the settings measured.

It might be “perfect”.

Buy Your 15* Driver – no settings required

If you know your driver goes too low and you want to test the extremes – we have a great -high quality – low price alternative. We’ll customize it five ways and deliver it for $200.  What could be better?

It just so happens that we found some 15* driver heads from a manufacturer’s liquidation.  (We found them because we were looking.  High loft drivers are scarce.)  The manufacturer is LaJolla.  Golf Lab customers will remember LaJolla as a high quality supplier from five years ago.  LaJolla went broke when they lost their confidence – like dozens of other small companies that found they couldn’t compete against the Global Conglomerates.

This is what the driver head looks like.  It measures 14-15* and the face angle is square to 1* closed.  We measure them all.  These are from the “old days” when the number on the bottom was close to reality.

  Mr. Ti Crown  Mr. Ti Face

We can hand pick a driver head with the exact specifications that match your “swing geometry”.

Custom Build Your 15* Driver

The open questions are shaft length, shaft weight, shaft flex, grip and balance.

If you hit your 3 wood almost as far as your driver, you’re on the right track.  Most 3 woods are 15* loft.  The “Thriver” is simply an easy-to-hit driver-size head with 3 wood specifications.

Your 15* driver is not a long drive club.  For most players, 43.5″ will be a good length.  That’s just a hair longer than your 3 wood.  The deep face on the LaJolla driver allows you to tee it up and make a mighty wallop without fear of pop-ups and whiffs.  We add a little weight to the head to compensate for the shorter length.

The goal of a high loft driver is to get every drive into the fairway.  No misses. For most high handicap players – “no misses” with a driver means a 6 stroke improvement in score.

Your 15* driver is not a long drive club that you try to swing as fast as possible.  Shaft weight means little.  The best choice is a middle-of-the-road graphite shaft – 65 or 75 grams.

Your 15* driver is a “training club”.  You use it to get the best possible results from your swing.  There are two logical choices for shaft flex.  As stiff as possible or as flexible as possible.  Players who hit from the top and fight an outside-in swing path should go stiff as possible.  Stiff shafts resist “early release”.

Players who are working on tempo and timing should take the most flexible shafts available.  That’s the best way to “feel the club”.

Your final choice is grip size.  For a “training club” it’s a good idea to go larger with grip size.  The reason is that it’s hard to squeeze a large grip.  Bad swings frequently come from squeezing hard at the top and then “holding on”.

Lay the grip in your hands.  Grip strong enough to keep the club from flying loose – no more.  Then, keep your hands “under the shaft” at the top of your swing.  That’s the best natural antidote for “over the top”.

Call Bob at 650-654-1770 to reserve a fitting time with Leith.

High Loft LaJolla Drivers – set up to your custom specs – $200.

Thanks to the Internet – Golf Lab emails go all around the world.  For all Golf Lab customers who are outside of drive-in distance – we’ll make a “guaranteed” offer.  Get in touch by email and we’ll design a very interesting LaJolla custom driver.

We’ll build it and send it out anywhere in the USA for $200.  Outside the US, just add actual shipping charges.

If you end up not liking it – sell it to one of your friends for $250.

Stay Tuned Next Week for “How Drivers Ruin Your Swing”.  Another Public Service Announcement from the Golf Lab.

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Karnak the Clubfitter at the Golf Lab this Saturday 1-5

In the world of clubfitting there are only a few true “Artistes”.  One of those unique, creative personalities is “Karnak the Clubfitter”.  Some older Golf Lab customers will know Karnak is related to Karnak the Fortune Teller who used to be on the Johnny Carson Show.

Luckily, Karnak the Clubfitter is still around.

Karnak has been checking out the scene on the West Coast for the last couple of weeks.  He’ll be at the Golf Lab this Saturday from 1-5.  This is the next event on our “Golf Lab Celebrity Tour”.

There’s a “BIG TIME BUZZ” on THE STREET.  It’s all about maximizing distance with a driver.  There’s a new mantra:  HIGH LAUNCH, LOW SPIN.  Karnak always wanted to know “How high is high?” and “How low is low?”

The problem is nobody knows what HIGH LAUNCH AND LOW SPIN looks like.

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you recognize it?

To find out, Karnak visited the KINGDOM at Taylor Made.  Not physically – but you know how spirits make their way into a room and just know what’s going on by creative imagination.  That’s how Karnak eavesdropped on the Taylor Made marketing department to understand their strategy.

Karnak wanted to know why Taylor made was CRUSHING THE COMPETITIONin drivers.

Was it the thousands of dollars in TEE MONEY that Taylor Made makes available to any PGA TOUR starter who will report his choice to the Darrell Survey?  That’s the cynical view.  Karnak is not cynical.  Karnak is looking for a reason.  A real reason.

What if Taylor Made Drivers just work better?  That would be good to know.

So Karnak studied Taylor Made drivers.  He just happens to have one of those PRECISION MEASURING GAUGES THAT CAME FROM THE CALLAWAY TOUR VAN.  Karnak measured a couple of dozen Taylor R9 and R11 drivers at the “Neutral” setting.  Most 9.5* drivers measured 11 to 12*.  Other lofts measured proportionally higher.  Karnak couldn’t find a single Taylor Made driver that measured “true to loft”.  (Karnak expected plus or minus 1* from the number stamped on the sole plate).  That never happened.   That low-grade research project lead to a reasonable conclusion.

Conclusion:  TAYLOR MADE DRIVERS WORK BETTER

Now, all you need to know is “why?”

Karnak will tell you why – and he will adjust your own Taylor Made (or any other adjustable driver) to fit your swing.  Just stop by the Golf Lab this Saturday afternoon – Karnak is keeping office hours between 1 and 5.

Private consultation with Karnak is available any time by appointment.  Bob Pegram can make the connection by mental telepathy or more conventional methods.  650-654-1770 – Karnak says put that number in your phone.

More Reasons to Come by the Golf Lab this Saturday

Saturday afternoons are “Walk-in Hours” and “community access”.  It’s nice to know that you can just stop by to chat.  We’ll take whatever question or small job in order of arrival.

Our meeting room and precision putting surface is available to golf community organizations and high school golf teams.  Check with Bob Pegram to schedule.

Here are some of the “quickies” that Karnak invites you to check this Saturday afternoon.

Check Grip Size.  Huge breakthrough combining Karnak’s intuition and the Flightscope radar launch monitor.  The radar touches your body more than 130,000 times a second.  It is programmed to discover POWER LEAKS.

Karnak sees you squeezing too tight.

He holds your hand, changes your grip and cuts the power leak.  Most grips are too small – “light like holding a bird” not “tight like holding a snake”.

Check Putter Aim.  Karnak knows one thing for sure about putting.  Good putters aim inside the hole.  Aiming inside the hole is not a sure thing.  Sadly, most golfers aim OUTSIDE THE HOLE and COMPENSATE with sub-conscious stroke adjustments.

Check Hybrid Shaft Weight and Flex.  Karnak is afraid that there is an epidemic in process.  Too many players are hooking their Hybrids into the trees.  That is because the shafts in most off the rack hybrids are noodles.  Karnak knows how to match hybrid shafts with iron shafts.

Come on out to the Golf Lab this Saturday afternoon.  Take care of your bag.

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Take the Guesswork out of Driver Fitting – Maximize Distance with a “Neutral” Driver

This Article Will Change Your Ideas about Driver Fitting

“The Next Big Thing” – fitting drivers for Swing Path and Angle of Attack (AOA) – is not good for driver sales.  I only sold one driver last week.  But a bunch of Golf Lab customers straightened out their tee ball without buying a new driver.  They found that their drivers were just fine (after adjustment).  A simple swing change made the difference.

Why not do that?

Yesterday’s Happy Surprise

I’ve been a Todd Koss fan for years.  Todd is a golf guy who has spent thousands of hours studying ball spin while developing his OptimalFlight and OptimalClub programs – designed to model ball flight.  Until now, I found OptimalFlight a little too complicated.  For some mystical reason I updated my OF and OC versions yesterday and caught Todd’s attention.  We compared notes.  Egad!!  We’re working on the same idea.  Here’s how he describes his vision:

Current development is on a revolutionary product that completely breaks down the launch data into a swing recipe (clubface and path angles), enabling golfer to define and shape any shot.

Wow!!  Now I know this is a BIG IDEA.

Bottom Line:  If Todd and I are right, you’ll buy your next driver based on accurate measurements of loft and face angle that match your most efficient swing.  You’re going to “fit by the numbers”.

Demo days where you hit random drivers with unknown specifications – experimenting with any swing that works – are a waste of time.  If you order a driver from a Demo Day you have zero chance of matching the driver – and the settings – that you tested.

However, Demo Days are good physical exercise and a worthwhile social experiment.  You also get to know what color the Big Guys are selling this year.  I’m keeping everything positive.

The Concept of the “Neutral Driver”

The Neutral Driver matches a player’s most efficient swing – path, face angle and angle of attack – with square contact at the player’s most efficient impact position.

For most of us, that simplifies to “fewest moving parts”.

The Neutral Driver concept takes the guesswork out of driver fitting.  From swing analysis we know the exact loft and face angle of the driver that produces optimal launch angle and desired shot shape with your swing.

Why not do that?

Fitting Example:  Soft Draw

A player who wants to play a perfect soft draw needs a swing path 4* inside-out.  The perfect face angle is 2* open at impact.  By the laws of nature, those angles produce the perfect draw.

4 degrees inside out

Swing Path is 4 Degrees Inside to Outside

2 degrees open at impact

 Face Angle is 2 Degrees Open at Impact

Angle of Attack (AOA) is just as important as swing path and face angle at impact.  AOA is how much a player swings up – or down – on the ball.

For maximum distance with a driver, most players need to start the ball at 17* or higher.  That’s a lot higher than you’re used to seeing.

Launch angle is a combination of driver loft and Angle of Attack.  Assuming a True Driver Loft of 10* – a player needs a positive Angle of Attack of 7* to get to 17*.  That’s a problem.

No amateur can swing efficiently with that angle of attack.  Worse.  Most amateurs swing down on the ball.  That’s where high spin starts.

Typical Downward Angle of Attack

Typical Incorrect Downward Angle of Attack with Driver

If you want maximum distance your Angle of Attack must be UP.  Your launch angle must be HIGH.  There’s no way around that.

When you schedule your driver fitting at the Golf Lab, we analyze your swing and tell you if you can produce the results you want with the swing you have.

If not, we’ll suggest a simple swing change.  If that is not enough we’ll find a high loft driver that will work.

Proof? No problem.  Before and after launch monitor data supplemented with on-course testing.

My Personal Choice

Here’s where I ended up.  I chose a 10.5 Taylor Made R9 TP with a “true loft” of 13*.  The face angle is 2* closed.  (Notice the 2.5* discrepancy).

I’m practicing a 4* inside-out swing path.  I can manage a 3* positive angle of attack.

Leith's Launch Angle

Leith’s Launch Angle

My swing matches the specifications on the driver.  4* inside out with a 2* closed face angle puts the driver in perfect position at impact.  My upward AOA of 3* matched with driver loft of 13* gives an optimal launch angle of 16*.

The shaft matters.  Shaft fitting is another artistic science.  I’m assuming we’ve chosen a shaft that delivers the club square at impact.  See other articles about shaft fitting.

If you’ve got a bunch of drivers in your garage, treat yourself to a “measuring party”.  Figure out why some worked and some didn’t.  It will be an eye opener and uncover a lot of past mysteries.  We can do that in a Driver fitting.

NOTICE:  the measured loft on my driver is 2.5* different from what it says on the bottom.  In a world where 1* matters the first thing you should do is get your driver head measured for loft and face angle.  Your last chance to do that for free is this weekend at the Golf Lab.  After that, driver measurement service on our Tour Gauge is $10 per club.  Drop-ins are welcome Friday afternoon and Saturday.

Once you know your swing you can choose a driver that matches your swing – assuming that you can measure the driver you choose.

 

This Weekend at the Golf Lab

“Total Driver Optimization” includes all of the fitting tricks described above.

Your driver gets fitted in every dimension.  We make it work if possible.

Ultimate Driver Fitting and Optimization – $150.  1.5 hours.

Next Week:

The best way to start a fitting is with a “Morning at the Muni” – I have an opening next Wednesday.

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Help Us Find the Guy – or Gal – Edel Wedge and Putter Fitting

If you’re following the Golf Lab Saga – one theme stands out.  Our professional staff is all “senior”.

We’re looking for “young blood” – and from our perspective that leaves quite a bit of room.

Here’s the reason:

We have established an important relationship with Edel Golf.  Edel Golf is unique in the world.

“Over the top attention to detail” – is the Edel mantra.  Edel is the world leader in custom putters – no other company even tries to compete.  The new wedge line has turned out to be revolutionary.

“Revolutionary” deserves explanation.  Edel provides eight sole grinds in a single loft.  That’s five more than the next best.  Edel sole grinds are progressive – STARTING AT 12* for their Sweeper and progressing to 27* EFFECTIVE BOUNCE in their Digger.

To put that into perspective, Edel wedges start where all other lines end – bounce wise.

If Edel theory about bounce is correct, most wedges are obsolete.  That would be “revolutionary”.

The Edel fitting system requires a player to employ a “modern wedge swing” that “activates the bounce”.  That’s not controversial.  On the range, a properly fitted wedge identifies itself with “no torn roots”.

The unique opportunity that Edel offers is THE ONLY FITTING SYSTEM FOR PUTTERS AND WEDGES.

As club fitters, we look at a bag of clubs in five categories:  Drivers, long range fairway clubs, irons, wedges and putters.  Edel clubs – putters and wedges – cover 60% of your shots.

No other company covers such a broad spectrum so well.

If Edel is a new name for you, spend some time perusing their website: www.edelgolf.com.

If the Edel Story strikes your fancy, we have openings at Mariner’s Point Friday morning for Edel wedges and Friday and Saturday afternoons with John Ruark for putter fittings. Call Bob for an appointment.  650-654-1770.

The New Edel Business Model

Edel is expanding.  The company is releasing a line of off the shelf putters later this year that will compete with Scotty Cameron. They have irons in development – based on their design theory for wedges – that irons should be fitted for bounce.

Edel is partnering with the Golf Lab to bring specialized professional fitting services to Bay Area clubs.  Edel hired an internal sales rep to work the phone and build relationships with Northern California clubs.  His compensation is based on scheduling fitting days.

The new strategy is recognition that the most expensive part of a custom fitting is the time it takes. Offering Edel custom fittings conveniently will be a welcome relief for players who don’t have time for travel.

The Golf Lab will perform Edel fittings in our Northern California Bay Area territory. We’re going to need some help.

The Ideal Candidates

There’s no getting around playing ability. Low single digit handicap is a requirement. Also, competitive playing experience. The main qualification is a deep interest getting better at golf. The ideal candidate will be thinking about making golf their life’s work. There are no age limitations.

This is not a full-time job – yet. Key times will be evenings and weekends. It is a perfect supplement interest and income for a serious golfer who wants to take their own game to the “next level” – by learning Golf Lab fitting methods.

Extensive experience is required.  The candidate will work alongside Leith Anderson and John Ruark – experiencing the depth of a Golf Lab fitting and receiving custom clubs, putter and wedges in the process.

If you know the person, or if you are the person, please get in touch with Bob Pegram to set up a personal interview. 650-654-1770.

Tim Cleary Case Study

Tim would be the first to tell you that he’s not a great golfer. He is dedicated to getting better.

Tim took an Edel putter fitting and a session – a putter fitting is free with a sale. Tim bought a new Edel putter that matched his correct putting stroke. John Ruark helped Tim understand his stroke. Teamwork. $375.

First Rule for Putting Improvement: Make sure you aim inside the hole and your form is correct. Never practice mistakes. That means your putter has to fit your stance and stroke for length, loft, lie, offset, head shape, top markings, shaft flex and grip type. Then, balance for tempo and feel.

How long would it take to figure all that out yourself?

If you’re driving in a race, would you choose a Model T or a Corvette?

Tim then came out for our Edel Wedge Fitting at Mariner’s Point. The fitting comes with a “model wedge swing”. Tim took that to heart as well. He bought one Edel 60* wedge for $200 that matched his new correct wedge swing. The wedge fitting was $75.

The net result? Ten strokes improvement in his game – from better wedge play and better putting. That was an immediate result – with just a few weeks of work.

Total cost? Add time and travel, quite a few buckets of practice balls and a few hours at the Mariner’s Point short game area. Figure an investment of $1000. Two custom clubs and a few hours of personal attention come with the deal.

If I could buy improvement for $100 per stroke, my only question would be “What’s the limit?”

The most efficient path to lower scores is to keep your driver out of the trees, short of the water and inside the white stakes. After that, get on the green from 50 yards in one try. Third most important: tap in second putt. That’s ten strokes for a 20 index.

Average Players Benefit More from Custom Fitting

If you keep track of improvement by counting strokes, you’re in luck if you’re a fifteen index or higher. That means that there is plenty of low hanging fruit – easy ways to cut strokes.

Scratch players work a whole season to shave one stroke.

Average players can improve by five strokes or more by simply eliminating clubs that don’t fit – together with developing an understanding of correct swing form. Miracles happen.

One of the unique features of the Golf Lab is that we break down a player’s talent, swing, practice time available and commitment to improve. We predict the number of strokes a player might improve, how long it will take, the probability of success and the cost. We help you develop a program and prioritize activities.

Who else does that?

Enjoying golf requires matching expectations with reality. No one ever gets better on two rounds of golf and two large buckets a month. When you plan to step up to the next level, the Golf Lab is your best partner in Northern California.

Special Offers this Week:

Totally open Wednesday morning for “Morning at the Muni. The very best way to start a fitting. No charge. Wheels up at 7:45. List closes at 5 PM tonight.

Friday “Edel Wedge Fitting at Mariner’s Point”. One hour sessions. Players can follow the fitting with an hour of practice – utilizing the Golf Lab fitting bag. $125. Two hours total time (with practice).

Friday and Saturday. “Combo Deal” with Leith Anderson and John Ruark. Driver Optimization and Fitting from Leith and “Introduction to the Science of Putting” by John Ruark. Two 1.5 hour sessions. $250 this weekend covers 3 hours for both sessions.

Saturday Sale: We’re starting up our Vintage Blades Internet Store. There are a few sets that won’t go along with us to the future. Rather than get nothing on eBay, we’re going for slightly more than nothing this weekend. So far, we’ve picked out six sets that will go on the block for $99 – the whole set. These are good sets – very good for a standby set for visitors.

We have a nice handful of Mizuno wedges – still in the shrinkwrap – that we’ll put out there like chum in the water for $75. They all have the new “Spinner” wedge shaft from True Temper. By Saturday, there will be more tempting bargains. Watch your email for details.

Re-Grip While You Wait. Also Saturday. Book an appointment. Bring your clubs. When you’re done, they will be too. Golf Pride Tour Wrap and Tour Velvet and Lamkin Crossline. Undersize, Regular, Midsize or Oversize. $9-$12.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang – JR, JT, DT, BP, JW and CS.

PS:  If you can add names to initials and recite them in person – you get a 10% discount on your next purchase or service.

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Fitting Your Adjustable Driver – Get it right the first time

Adjustable drivers dominate the golf world.

Random testing of adjustable drivers is a waste of time.

This article describes a new, more precise method for fitting adjustable drivers.

Fitting for Angle of Attack and Swing Path

Last week Bill* came in to the Golf Lab for a Driver Fitting.  He brought a driver that he borrowed from a friend.  He hit the driver well and could buy it for a song but wondered if there was anything better.

Bill is 61 years old with a good swing – grooved as a kid playing all summer for several summers.  Then he took forty years off to build a career and raise a family.

He is “coming back to golf”.

Fitting for Loft:  Determine Your Angle of Attack

There is no mystery in driver fitting.  A player makes his swing and propels the ball at a certain speed, launch angle and spin rate.

There is no chance in the laws of nature.  At 61 and swinging driver at 95 MPH Bill can reach maximum ball speed of 142 MPH if he makes solid contact.  That gets him 235 yards at optimal 17* launch angle.  Very respectable.

Bill’s borrowed driver said 9.5* on the sole plate.  If the optimal launch angle is 17* and the driver loft is 9.5* there’s a gap of 7.5*.   A 9.5* driver does not get to 17* without help.

For Bill to help his 9.5* driver get to 17* he needs to hit up on the ball at a 7.5* angle.  In golf lingo, that’s a “positive angle of attack”.

The only players who come close to a 7* upward angle of attack are Professional Long Drive competitors.

Alas, most amateurs hit down on the ball with their driver.  Bill started the day with a level angle of attack.  He “just never thought about how to put the driver on the ball.

First step in a driver fitting is to measure the player’s own driver head for true loft and face angle.  I want a precise measurement.  One degree matters.

Bill’s 9.5* driver is actually 12*.  The face angle is 1* closed.  That’s probably your first surprise.  How could measured loft be so different from the number stamped on the sole plate?

Second step in the driver fitting:  Bill hits his driver with the Flightscope radar launch monitor looking on.  We need to know launch angle and angle of attack.  Not too bad.  He clobbered his drives 225 but with little control.

The 12* driver delivered a 14* launch angle.  Bill practiced a 2* positive angle of attack – a good players frequently make quick swing changes to achieve desired results.  But Bill was still 3* low on launch angle.  Could we get another 10 yards with a little more driver loft or continued adjustment of attack angle?

Alas, Bill was finished at 2* upward angle of attack.  It is unrealistic for an amateur to expect a positive angle of attack of more than 4*.  Bill helped all he could.

Why not a 15* driver?

Until now, most driver fitting has focused on shafts.  Finding the right shaft is important but adjustable drivers makes matching the driver head to a player’s swing just as important.

A week never goes by a player doesn’t say “I hit my 3 wood as far as my driver.  What’s with that?”

Now you know why.  The player who is above average with a 95 MPH swing speed needs a 17* launch angle for maximum distance.  He makes a free swing with his 3 wood from a tee with 15* of loft.  He catches the ball slightly ahead of center so his launch angle is 2* upward.  Perfect 17* launch angle.  The 3 wood matches driver distance.  And it looks better in the process.

Very few manufacturers make 15* drivers.  High loft drivers are very effective for seniors, women and juniors.  You can test one at the Golf Lab.

Fitting for Face Angle:  Determine Your Swing Path

The starting point is desired ball flight.

Several years ago the Stanford Women’s golf team had excellent players who were “strong for their size”.

They needed all the distance they could get.  They wanted soft draws with maximum run out.

They all developed nearly perfect 4* inside-out swing paths.

That’s a good starting point for a player who wants similar results.

Matching Driver Face Angle with Swing Path

The perfect driver face angle for the Stanford women was 2* closed.  Their goal was distance and they didn’t need fades.

By the “Nine Laws of Ball Flight” a draw occurs when the swing path is inside out and the face angle is closed to swing path but open to the target line.  A 4* inside-out swing path and 2* closed face angle produces a perfect draw.

The 2* closed face angle put the face angle in the correct position at impact without manipulating the club.  That’s the ultimate goal behind matching face angle to swing path.

If the Stanford women were stronger and needed fades to curl around doglegs, a square face angle would be more versatile.

Players who prefer a baby fade need an outside-in (“cut”) swing.  A 1* or 2* outside-in swing path is a good model.  That same 2* closed face angle risks a pull with an outside-in swing path.  It’s hard to hit a soft fade with a closed face driver.

Players who want to play a fade might find an open face angle driver to be just the ticket that allows them to straighten out their swing path – promoting less sidespin for straighter shots – and still get the fade from the open face angle.

And you always thought that open face drivers were for hookers.

Now you know why true loft and face angle are important fitting details.

How Do We Know True Loft and Face Angle?

We measure.

Here’s a picture of our precision loft and face angle measurement gauge.  It was once trusted on the Callaway Tour Van to give their staff players accurate readings.

Driver Gauge with Club

There is a video on www.Devotedgolfer.TV that shows the current loft and lie gauge in the Callaway Tour Van.  It is a precision digital instrument that cost a small fortune.  It shows how much Callaway cares about precision measurement.

In the Callaway Tour Van – and every other Tour Van – they measure the loft and face angle of every driver head.  No Tour Pro would waste his time hitting a driver that did not match his specifications.

The first step in driver fitting is to measure the loft and face angle of the driver you’re testing.  There are very few precision measurement gauges in Northern California.  If you stop by the Golf Lab we’ll measure your current driver no charge.  Be prepared for a surprise.

The Problem with Adjustable Drivers

I favor Taylor Made for custom fitting.  The universal adapter for all TM models is the reason.  Any shaft with a Taylor Made adapter fits any Taylor Made driver.  My personal favorite is the R9 – (2009).  I like the black color and the full adjustability.  Drivers that are three years old are just as “hot” as recent models.

TaylorMade R9

Players who own Taylor Made drivers have access to over 200 shafts for testing from the Golf Lab.

Don’t trust the loft number on the bottom of your R9.  The average Taylor Made R9 driver that we tested over the last several months is at least 2* off in measured loft.

9.5* drivers average 11*.  10.5* drivers average 13* and 11.5* drivers average 15*.

We found no drivers that measured less than stated loft.  Random testing of other brands suggests that all drivers measure higher than stated loft.

Depending on the model of driver you’re playing – there is a near certainty that the loft is at least 1* more than you think and could be 3* or 4* more degrees than marked.

That’s a risky reality if you’re trying to understand your swing.

Where Have We Seen This Before?

When Eli Callaway made his first deal to buy graphite shafts from Aldila – he demanded a change.

Aldila changed all “regular” shafts to “stiff”.  Eli was an astute marketer.  He knew players wouldn’t buy the best flex for psychological reasons so he changed the specifications.

Callaway’s signature method was copied by every other manufacturer.

The logical conclusion is that the Big Manufacturers know that players can’t be trusted to buy a driver that really fits.

Is that what Taylor Made is doing?  Were the final instructions on the mega-million piece driver order to “be sure to miss it high?”

Are All Drivers Mis-Labeled?

Most driver manufacturers are not bothered by 1* differences between stated loft and measured loft.  To be fair – 1* variance represents precision manufacturing.  Even 2* or 3* is not that far off considering that human hands touch each head as they are forged and welded.  A modern titanium driver head is a manufacturing miracle that took fifteen years to master.  But 2* or 3* variance can have a huge impact on how effectively you transfer energy to the ball.

The simple fix is to determine the optimal loft and face angle to match your swing and find a driver head that matches those specifications.  That’s our main goal in a driver fitting.

The only way to do that is to first measure your driver with a precision gauge.

The Biggest Danger:  Wide Open Face Angles

One finding in our limited sampling of Taylor Made drivers is that several measured extremely open.  4* and 5* open were surprisingly common face angles at some positions.  A driver with a 5* open face angle is going to be unhittable for all but the most highly skilled players.

If you would like to prove that to yourself, we can set up a wide open test driver during your fitting so you can know how hard it is to keep it on the planet.

Don’t waste time trying to figure out the specifications on your driver.  It’s simple to do.  Get it measured.

Next Steps:

I repeat our offer.  Come get your driver measured.  Then let the Flightscope radar have a look at your swing.  Combining form and equipment is the best way to reach your own level of Peak Performance.  Complete driver fitting (includes shaft fitting):  $150.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang

PS:  What happened with Bill*.  Bill is a composite of players and personalities that frequent the Golf Lab.  The real Bill who the story was based on ended up testing the 15* driver option.  The original Cobra 12* driver (with 9.5* stamped on the bottom) kept its place in the bag.

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Donate Your Brain to Science – Focus Band Clinics for Golf Lab Members Next Week Only

I was tempted to take a week off.  But I can’t get along without my “golf fix.”  Exciting news this week.

Henry Boulton and Focus Band Marathon

The Focus Band has “come of age”.  We bought into Henry Boulton’s vision over two years ago.  John Ruark pioneered Focus Band for the Golf Lab in Northern California – introducing dozens of players to performance training – acquiring a handful of “True Believers” in the process.

I joined Henry and John in Monterrey last Sunday.  We planned a few quiet hours to get acquainted with the next version of Focus Band software.

I arrived at 3 PM.  I was amazed at the progress Henry made with the software.  At 6 PM I booked a room at the Pine Needles Inn.  I talked with Henry and John until the wee hours and returned the next morning.  It’s been years since I stayed up half the night talking about anything.  It was that exciting.  The new version of Focus Band software is “understandable” for ordinary golfers.

I’ve known very good technologists.  Henry demonstrated surprising breadth of knowledge from swing theory to software development.  He is both the technique theorist and the programmer – a unique combination of skills and knowledge.  He has all the necessary experience and qualifications to invent a breakthrough product.  I predict he will be recognized as a star.  The Focus Band could be the most important new idea in golf.

The biggest breakthrough is that the Focus Band is now accessible to ordinary golfers.  Cutting edge thinking about “performance training” – developed by Eric Jones and Glen Albaugh – is that beginning players will progress much faster if they learn the concepts of Performance Training.

The Golf Lab “Donate your Brain to Science” Program introduces the concepts behind Performance Training.  All participants test the Focus Band with their own pre-performance routine.

New Version Overview

Forget the interlaced graphs from prior versions.  If you’ve worked with Focus Band, you know what I mean.  If not, you haven’t missed anything.

The new version of Focus Band software integrates video with your own friendly face.

You stand in front of the camera, you blink, your friendly face blinks.  (The technical term for your friendly face is your “Avatar”).

You clench your teeth, your friendly face shades pink indicating tension.

You talk and your Avatar’s left brain lobe turns red.  That shows you’re thinking – not what you want when you play a shot.

A brief training routine builds a player’s ability to focus on the target and prepare to “get in the zone”.  Focus on a single dimple on the ball  and your right brain lobe turns deep blue.  You’re in the “zone” and ready to trust your stroke.

Your Avatar looks alive.  With software, it’s comforting when the feedback is believable.  The new Focus Band software has no obvious flaws.

The breakthrough is the complete integration of video with the visual feedback.  A player can record and replay his entire pre-performance routine with real time feedback from the Avatar presented side by side on the screen.  The precise moment of an interruption in the players routine can be identified.

Your goal is to eliminate conscious thought from your pre-performance routine.  The Focus Band helps you to do that.

Introduction to Focus Band – Clinic and Workshop – Next Week Only

John Ruark is one of the most accomplished Focus Band practitioners – second only to Henry Boulton himself – on the face of the earth.

Our next major goal is to continue to work with Henry and his father – Graham – to expand the vision of their “Athlete Performance System” to the US.

The program starts with a 2.5 hour clinic that introduces the concepts behind performance training to a maximum of 3 players.  (It is very effective for three playing partners to book the same session.)

Proven concepts in visualization and focus are presented.

Every player tests his pre-performance routine with the Focus Band.

In Australia, the cost of the Clinic is $295 per player.  For the next two weeks, Golf Lab clients can book the “Focus Band Clinic” for just $100 per player.

Focus Band Clinics:

Friday, July 6 – 3-6 PM.

Saturday, July 7 – 9:30 – 12:30 PM.

Saturday, July 7 – 1-2:30 PM.

Saturday, July 7 – 3-6 PM.

Private Focus Band Workshops

My personal experience was enlightening.  I did a good job of getting into the zone in my pre-performance routine for putting.  Nice blue brain lobe right up until my eyes came back to the ball and I prepared to make my stroke.  Bright red!!

Egad!!

After a brief coaching period to introduce a specific procedure for focusing on the target but maintaining awareness of surroundings I was able to master the technique in less than an hour of practice.

My point is that this might not be difficult for you.  John Ruark has agreed to stay over tonight just in case some Golf Lab clients might want to book a last minute session on Saturday.  Just $100 for a private hour.  Two players can split the time.

How’s that for a little excitement for your weekend?

Regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang – JR, Bob P, Clint, JT, Dian, Joel

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The Focus Band Story

Athletes in all sports describe a phenomenon that accompanies exceptional performance. “I was in the Zone.”

How do you “get in the Zone?” How do you know if you are in The Zone?

The Mind Training story comes together with the Focus Band this week at the Golf Lab.

The New Science of Mind Training

The most important question to ask with any creation is “Who are the inventors?” and “What gives them the courage, experience and money to be successful?”

I first asked that question about Focus Band over two years ago and was rewarded with a dinner invitation at the Orlando PGA Show from Graham Boulton and his son, Henry.

Graham is an entrepreneur who automated most of the checkout stands in Australian supermarkets. He went public, got rich and retired to help young golf professionals reach their dreams.  That makes sense.

The Focus Band was invented to help a certain player. He was the fast horse who couldn’t win a race.  Most of the interest in Focus Band today is coming from professional golfers who know that winning tournaments today requires shooting very low scores.

Take a moment to read Henry’s resume:

http://calgolflab.com/blog/2012/06/21/henry-boulton-resume/

As you see from his resume, Henry is an experienced practitioner. He understands motion analysis. He is the distributor for the K-Vest in Australia.

Henry was at the Golf Lab last week working with Rod Pampling. Rod is one of the earliest Focus Band adopters and is happy to credit the Focus Band with a measure of his improvement this season. Rod made the cut in the US Open.

For a flavor of last weekend, here is a gallery of pictures of Henry Boulton, Rod Pampling and John Ruark.

  

Mapping Your Brain

The new science of “mind training for golf” is based on locating and measuring brain activity.  Locating and measuring brain activity reveals when a player is in the Zone.  That’s what the Focus Band does.

“Left brain activity” reveals conscious thoughts.  Conscious thoughts are dangerous for your golf swing.  Brains are slow.  The Focus Band allows a player to train himself to suppress conscious thought – Zen and Yoga experience can help.

“Right brain in-activity” is characterized by few brainwaves. The result is the player reaches a calm state – the state of mind known as “Mushin”.

This is not a new concept.  Greg Norman discussed Mushin forty years ago at the Masters? Here is a link to the story:

http://www.goldengolf.com/public/right/article_2.asp

In Norman’s day, the athlete was on his own to find Mushin.  Today, the Focus Band is a training device that allows a player to train himself to reach Mushin quickly and learn to “trust his swing”.

How Does the Focus Band Work?

The Focus Band is a lightweight electronic gizmo that a player wears while practicing. Any interruptions in the player’s pre-shot routine that cause a spike in left brain activity are identified and eliminated.

The Focus Band is adept in picking up small inconsistencies in a player’s pre-shot routine that cause loss of focus.

Here are a couple of shots of Rod Pampling practicing with his Focus Band at the Golf Lab.

      

Any Serious Golfer must pay attention to Mind Training.

This week at the Golf Lab, Henry Boulton collaborates with John Ruark to offer cutting edge mind training for putting and short game. Any Golf Lab customer who books a fitting can also test Henry’s new invention – Golf 3D.

“Golf 3 D” is a new invention that creates an image of a player’s swing from a couple of sensors.  Henry invented the concept as an alternative to today’s motion sensor device – the K Vest.  It is in the late development stage.

Golf Lab clients can book a two hour session with Henry and John.  The fee is – $250. Rod Pampling pays more.

I am hoping that Golf Lab clients will recognize the value in that offer.

Next Steps:  Free Introductory Session

If you’re interested but need more information – you can join us at the Golf Lab this afternoon or Saturday morning for an introductory session on Focus Band.

We’re conducting Staff Training on Focus Band this afternoon.  Any Golf Lab client who is interested but needs more information is welcome to join us in the Golf Lab meeting room for a session that will last two hours – from 4 until 6.

We’ll present another “Introduction to Focus Band” session on Saturday morning at 9.

All you have to do is call the Golf Lab. (650) 654-1770. Ask Bob Pegram to set you up. You’re done.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang: JR, John Taylor, Bob Pegram, Dian and Joel.

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Henry Boulton Resume

FocusBand, Kinetic Swing & Titleist Performance Institute Golf Fitness Instructor

Profile

Henry has been working with 3D Technology for the last 6 years specializing with K-VEST 3D Wireless Systems. He combined his electronics engineering background with his passion for the game of golf to help people accelerate and improve their golf performance.

Mind Training Experience

2009 – Current Co-Developed FocusBand Mind Training System

2010 – Current Co-Developed FocusBand Mind Training instructor Level 1 Course

2010 – Worked with Australian under 19 Baseball team (r/up Word champs)

2010 – Current Working with 2 US PGA Tour Players & MLB Pitcher

3D Technology Experience

1994 – 2002 Electronics Engineer (Data Communications)

2002 – Current Manufactured Swing Governor Training Aid

2008 – Current Co-Developed 3D Trainer Technique, Physical, Mind & Clubfit System

2007 – Current Director of Kinetic Swing Certification (Asia-Pacific)

2007 – Kinetic Swing Certified (USA)

2006 – Current K-VEST Distributor (Asia Pacific – AUS, NZ, Japan, Korea, India China)

2006 – Director – Swinglab Golf Performance Centre

2007 – Current Certified over 30 PGA Teaching Professionals (Aus,NZ, Japan, Korea)

2007 – Current Worked with over 25 Tour Players (USPGA, USLPGA Australia, Japan, Korea)

2007 – Current Worked with over 950 Students using 3D Technology

2008 – Current Established Swinglab Emerald Lakes (July)

Golf Fitness Experience

2007 – Titleist Performance Golf Fitness Instructor Level 1 Certified

2008 – Australian-Korean Junior Golf Development Program

2008 – Developed 3D Physical Screening Technique

Sporting Achievements

1989 – Currently still holds a 3 Handicap

1994 – 1999 Queensland European Handball Team

2001 – 2003 Brisbane Golf Club Division 1 Pennant Player

SwingLab

M: 0401 146 135

E: henry@swinglab.com.au

w: www.swinglab.com.au

Posted in New Golf Lab 2012 | Leave a comment

Adams Golf Demo Week at the Golf Lab

 Adams Rep Jason Kanis Brings His Full Demo Bag to the Golf Lab

Every Adams Club Available for Performance Testing

New “PURCHASE INCENTIVES”

(You know what that means.)

The one Big Golf Company (BGC) that we built a relationship with was Adams Golf.  There are a lot of reasons to like Adams.

Adams combines originality with state of the art design and manufacturing.  The result is that Adams dominated fairway metals and hybrids on Tour and at the cash register for the last several years.  Adams makes good golf clubs.

One unexpected discovery from Adams R&D was the “crush zone” behind the face of fairway metals and hybrids.  Crush Zone Technology is a fancy term for building a clubhead that folds like an accordion.

Here is what it looks like:

The reason the crush zone delivers the Holy Grail of extra distance has little to do with the club itself – there is no “trampoline effect” that launches the ball.  Rather, the collapsing face allows the ball to compress an instant longer.  The ball bouncing back is what gives the distance.  Silly putty.

In the mad dash to patent everything under the sun, Adams managed to win patents for CRUSH ZONE TECHNOLOGY on both the top and bottom of the club.  (Nike and Taylor Made have “bottom only” crush zones.)

That single patent is credited with motivating Taylor Made to buy Adams Golf a few months ago for $70 million – a price deemed a bargain by most industry insiders – but welcome relief for Adams investors.  There is one inescapable conclusion:  Somebody thinks that if one is good, two must be better.

Adams “Crush Zone” fairways and hybrids

I’ve written about Adams fairways and utilities over the last two years – calling attention to exceptional performance.  I mentioned Emily Childs at Stanford’s seventh – hitting the green from the corner two tournament days in a row – over 250 yards out.  And John Dolan putting his 270 yard lay-up into the creek at Eagle Ridge.  For good players looking for extra distance, last year’s model Adams F11 with the titanium face, was The Cat’s Meow.

We’ve been waiting for this year’s models.  Waiting.  And waiting.

Adams new line has been sold out worldwide since the beginning of the season.  We received our first allocation two weeks ago – and not trusting the Internet buzz – called a couple of our best customers and likely prospects for a little “early opinion”.  Every tester kept the club we gave him.  That’s the ultimate sign of surprising performance.

We conducted launch monitor testing with every player.  Our most efficient method to rank head-to-head performance is to compare “smash factors”.  Smash factor measures and energy transferred from the club to the ball. Divide ball speed by clubhead speed.  The classic example of perfection is a 150 MPH ball speed from 100 MPH clubhead speed yields a smash factor of 1.5.

1.5 is the “theoretical maximum” smash factor – obtained only with drivers.  Utilities and hybrids normally deliver smash factors in the 1.35 to 1.39 range.  The Adams new A12 Super Hybrid – showed numbers ranging up to 1.45.  That was a surprising measurable performance difference.

There is no doubt.  If you are going to buy a new fairway metal or hybrid this year based on “performance” – as compared by smash factor – you will buy an Adams.

There’s still the question of best fit.  What is the correct shaft length, shaft weight, flex and balance to best match your swing?

We’ll find that out this Friday and Saturday at the Golf Lab.

Adams Golf Fitting Day at the Golf Lab

Jason Kanis – direct from Adams Golf – and his Adams fitting bag are at the Golf Lab on Friday and Saturday.  We’re booking fitting appointments.  We’ll be working with Jason in half hour time slots.

Adams Fairway and Hybrid Hours:  Friday – noon to five.  Saturday 10-3

At noon on Friday, Jason will make a formal presentation to the Golf Lab staff about the current Adams product line and future vision.  He’s just as interested in what the Taylor Made acquisition means as anyone else.  Any Golf Lab customers who would like to sit in on that presentation are welcome.  Please call Bob Pegram just in case this offer is more popular than we anticipate (650-654-1770).  (We expect 3-4 clients.)

Our goal is to stay focused on fairways and hybrids.  This program is tailored for players who want a quick answer.

You will hit your 3 metal and your hybrid to set a benchmark.  We will provide Adams test clubs to compare performance.  You’ll have standard launch monitor data plus our unique “radar view” of the club just prior to impact.  It’s a foolproof fitting method.

To accommodate as many players as possible, and make the testing as quick as possible, we’re planning to get the “fast track” test done in half an hour.  If you would rather take it a little slower and have a look at Adams irons and drivers – just tell Bob that you want a full hour (650-654-1770).  First call, first booked.

There is no charge for the fairway and hybrid fitting.  We’re assuming that incentives will motivate a purchase.  For players who would rather take the fitting procedure without the obligation of a purchase – no problem.  Standard fitting fees can be applied.

Adams “Special Deals” and Incentives this Week

Any Golf Lab client who comes in Friday or Saturday will receive a complimentary Tom Watson “Lessons of a Lifetime” CD.

There will be Adams hats for players who are proud to wear Adams.

Any fitting client will be entered into a raffle for a new Adams Super SS hybrid with the Mitsubishi Fubuki shaft.

Current promotions with Adams are all in effect:

If you happen to test well with the Adams Super SS hybrid and decide to buy one ($299) the second one is half price.

   

Another way to get your Super SS hybrid for free is to buy a set of CB 3 irons.

   

If you want a fairway metal for free, all you have to do is buy a new Adams driver.

      

Are you keeping track of this? Watch which walnut shell the pea goes under.

You won’t even miss a “deal”.

Heads up on the “rest of the week”.

If you’re thinking about a visit to the Golf Lab this weekend – and Adams is almost incentive enough – book your time right now and then watch your email tomorrow.

Henry Boulton – co-inventor of the Focus Band came to the US from Australia to work with Rod Pampling.  Henry returns to the Golf Lab on Thursday and will stay through Saturday.  If you want to work with cutting edge Tour technology with the inventor, read tomorrow’s email and book your times.

Best regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang.  JR, Bob, JT, Dian, Clint, Joel.

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Golf Lab Open Week – Celebrities, Edel Wedge Fitting, History

San Francisco is the Center of the Golf World this Week

We’re all likely to see a lot of television this week. You don’t have to be a couch potato. Watch the Open at the Golf Lab while you practice green reading, targeting and distance control on our precision putting surface. John Ruark and John Taylor can be engaged at short notice. Both are available on Friday and Saturday. Scheduling multiple sessions in a single day is efficient use of time. Bob Pegram is available for questions and scheduling at 650-654-1770.

We fulfilled our mission to provide extraordinary experiences for Golf Lab customers very well in the last few weeks. Our goal is to make getting better at golf fun and efficient as possible with the most expert, experienced staff supported with the latest electronics. Our thanks to Bobby Dean from Edel for the time he spent with Golf Lab customers and staff last week. People make the experience.

The Open is a magnet for everyone in the golf industry. There are quite a few key people coming to town this week. Here is a preview of what might happen.

Henry Boulton from Focus Band (Australia) drove up from L.A. with Jason Goldsmith from TruAim yesterday. They bunked last night with John Ruark in Marin.

There are two Focus Band users on Tour – Rod Pampling and Greg Chalmers. Australians. No coincidence. The Focus Band was invented in Australia and Rod Pampling has credited some of his recent improvement to an improved mental game – achieved with Focus Band training.

We will offer Focus Band training with Founder Henry Boulton and John Ruark next week. Once again, the top talent in the world will be present to deliver his message directly to Golf Lab clients. If you’ve been thinking about working on your mental game and would like to know more, let Bob schedule a conversation with John Ruark to answer any questions.

Link to the Focus Band website: http://www.focusband.com/

Link to a previous New Golf Lab blog on the Focus Band:http://calgolflab.com/blog/putting-club/focus-band-and-john-ruark/

True-Aim followers marvel at how a decal on the crown of their driver gives them more fairways hit. Jason Goldsmith is working closely with Sean Foley so he’s hoping for a chance to introduce Tru-Aim to a few more likely suspects at the Open. You can imagine how cool it would be if a certain player won the Open with a decal on his driver.

What the decals look like:

Link to TrueAim website: http://www.mytrueaim.com/

On the shaft side, we’ve been promised a visit from Ron Chalmers – currently the ACCRA Senior Consultant to the World. Ron has seen it all. He was President of Royal Precision when Rifle was on top and later so he knows all about ups and downs. I’m thinking a lunch or dinner for a group of customers who have a deeper than natural interest in shaft technology and the shaft business might be interesting. Get in touch with Bob Pegram if that sounds interesting.

Link to the ACCRA website: http://www.accragolf.com/

If you would like to schedule a private fitting for Tru-Aim by Jason Goldsmith, I’m sure that can be arranged. Please call Bob Pegram for any scheduling questions and to book time. He’s in town through Friday.

There’s a “Morning at the Muni” Wednesday this week – Scott Mosher is back from too much business in the spring. 7:30 meet, 7:45 wheels up. One spot open. Call Bob.

Friday morning is Edel Wedge fitting at Mariner’s Point. One on one. By appointment. $125. The fee includes staying for a second hour to practice with the fitting clubs. Very productive use of time.

Some sample Edel wedges:

We’ll keep the schedule updated on this blog post.

That’s the outline schedule for the week. Go here for updates:http://calgolflab.com/blog/dashboard/

Wedge Fitting and Edel Wedges . . .

Last week was inspirational. Bobby Dean came to town for four days. The visit started at 8 AM Wednesday with a six hour briefing on Edel history and future – very corporate.

We ended on Saturday night at 10 sharing Chinese dinner with clients. Very non-corporate.

In between, Bobby delivered non-stop fittings and answered questions from every direction. He promised a return visit for August so keep your appointment book open.

Our goal is fitting expertise for all Golf Lab staff members. Any fitting is an art form. Edel wedge fitting is a completely new method – a higher art form. We got 48 hours of hands-on attention from the best guy available. We’re ready to go.

There are two key principles behind the Edel Wedge system:

First, Edel believes that all golfers are imprinted with a unique swing DNA that results in their “natural” swing with a wedge. The correct fit for a wedge can be seen, heard and felt. Low bounce wedges dig for most players – the visual is “torn roots”. The goal to reduce resistance encountered from the ground. The clue is a “squeaky” divot – shaved grass – a little shiny – no plowed up turf. Large, deep divots are a sure sign that the bounce on your wedge doesn’t compliment your swing.

Second, Edel believes that players can be accurately fitted for wedges to match their natural swing DNA. The fitting tool is a set of eight fitting clubs precisely measured for progressive bounce angles. The fitting procedure is to test from low to high bounce. With each strike, the divot tells the story. A high percentage of Edel custom wedge fittings end up with one of the three most extreme bounce angles: Trapper, Driver and Digger. Effective bounce angles range up to 27*. If the Edel findings are true, most wedges are obsolete.

Until now, there is no system for fitting wedges that I know of.

The “Over the Top” Edel Fitting System

Edel offers up to eight different bounce angles and sole grinds for each loft. Eight completely different head designs. The differences are not just a touch of the wheel. The measured bounce progression is from 12 to 22*. That “doubles the bounce” from any commercial wedge available today.

The “Digger” model – with the extreme “ice cream scoop” double bounce groove delivers “effective bounce” of 27*. That should make you wonder “What’s with that?”

Add 17 shaft options from the factory – another dozen of our favorite lightweight shafts combined with fittings that don’t require tool on the range. For the first time, you can swap shafts back and forth – just twist off – and watch the difference in ball flight.

Shaft fitting is the most amazing part of the Edel system. Some shafts hold their line, some knuckle, some spin too much, some not enough. Some mornings, with more wind, shaft action is more pronounced. There is no other system that allows you to compare shaft performance for your swing once you’ve determined the best bounce angle and sole grind.

Photo of a portion of the Edel wedge fitting system:

As an added benefit – the shaft fitting can easily be extended to your other scoring clubs. The Edel fitting system includes a 52* gap wedge head that can be tested with full swing – insight that could influence short iron shaft choice.

After a week of hands-on experience, I’m a True Believer. There is simply no doubt that Edel wedges have a logical and effective fitting sequence. I think that the design is more versatile – and utilitarian. Changing the groove pattern enhances perception and alignment. It will be interesting to see what happens to wedge design from the big companies next year, based on Edel’s findings and results.

The Edel fitting system makes a lot more sense if you know where those grinds came from so let’s tell that story.

The Edel Wedge Story

It started with Mike Adams. Mike is a “Top 100 Teacher” with more of his apprentices recognized as “Top 100 Teachers” than any other guru. He works out of Boca Raton, Florida where he set records selling wedges and teaching his “wedge swing”.

For years, Mike was closely connected with Titleist where he had access to their “Tour Only” wedge heads. That was a little known secret. The Tour Players had a private line of forged heads. Within that line were several unique grinds. That source of wedge heads lead to the development of a fitting system based on matching a player’s angle of attack and shaft lean at impact to bounce. Mike’s fitting method broke new ground. Business was good.

Everything changed with the new USGA groove rules. Rather than develop a new set of conforming custom wedge heads for their Tour Players – Titleist made the choice to sell the remaining inventory to Mike. Now Titleist Tour players play the same wedges as consumers. That was good for golfers but bad for Mike. The inventory didn’t last long.

Mike needed a steady supply of wedges that matched the fitting method he developed. That’s called motivation and that’s why the Edel wedge line makes sense. It was “designed” by an experienced professional teacher and clubfitter with a deep specialization in wedges who knew exactly what he wanted. Combine Mike’s vision with David Edel’s practical knowledge of the ins and outs of golf club design and manufacture. It was a perfect marriage.

The fitting sequence starts with positioning the golfer so his “center” points ahead of his ball position. Weight left, abrupt wrist break and low left finish. The “wedge fitting swing” is a short, 50 to 60 yard shot.

The player starts with the “Sweeper” with 12* of bounce. The Sweeper “digs” for almost everyone. Testing proceeds club by club until just the right combination of bounce and sole grind produces the “magic” divot. You know it by feel, sound and sight. For most players, it is an “Aha moment”.

The Edel line has only been out for a few months and the sell through numbers are starting to be significant. A high percentage of players end up with one of the three maximum bounce grinds: The Trapper, the Driver and the Digger. The fact that most of the players fitted for Edel wedges end up choosing a bounce angle that is not available for sale anywhere in the world – except for Edel – should give you pause to ponder.

There are two options for fitting Edel wedges. The best by far is to join me for a private Edel wedge fitting at Mariner’s Point on Friday mornings. $125 covers an hour of private fitting. You are also free to stay for an extra hour of practice and testing at the beautiful Mariner’s Point short game area. Your wedge game will be better.

You can skip the outdoor fitting. We can find your correct bounce angle indoors. We then supply a set of test wedges matched to your swing for three days of testing on the course. $125. Full credit with purchase.

Refer a Friend – Custom Putting Analysis – Free – Saturday Only

John Ruark has a couple of hours open this Saturday. Here’s a great offer: “Refer a Friend” for a Complete Putting Analysis – putter adjustment – and pre-shot routine development.

This is our ultimate “puppy dog sell”. If your friend spends one hour with John Ruark – we’re betting that he or she will sign up for a series of five or ten sessions.

If not, he’ll at least go home saying nice things.

No obligation. You’re doing John a favor. He’s bored when he’s not working.

Best Regards,

Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang, JR, JT, BP, DT, CS, JW.

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