Even with 40 mph gusts today I was able to begin putting AimPoint Express to the test. Good thing I did too, as it was the only thing that really worked in my game today and saved my round from being embarrassing.
I started by going to the practice green and getting my calibrations, really feeling the different levels of slope so I could refer to how those felt during the round.
Last year I knew I needed to work on my putting. I felt it was an area that was really holding me back. Good rounds putting would usually lead to good rounds, but putting, well it never helped.
I’ve always found the greens at my home course to be challenging to read. I was always either over-reading the break or under-reading the break. Once I had “my read”, I never really felt certain about it. It was more of a hit it and hope kind-of-thing.
I was amazed at what it was like to go through the process of reading the greens with AimPoint Express. The reads were quick, and after I few putts I gained more and more confidence. Amazingly every putt looked like it had a chance to go in. Every putt was on line. I sank a good number of longer putts in the from 8 to 15 feet, and these putts had some break to them.
I set a personal best today with 9 one-putts. Even better it also worked from the fringe and chipping. I read those as well and I almost holed a few of them, and if not I left myself some nice tap-ins. Looking back on the round and the incredibly windy conditions we played in today, it was tough out there. My drives were all over the place. My approach shots were completely rusty. But my putting was spot-on. It feels pretty good to step up to a putt, feeling confident about the line. Knowing that I have a really good sense of how it’s going to break. I will continue to use AimPoint Express and I’m interested in seeing how I can adjust as to faster or slower greens.
This game is crazy. Incredible shots are sometimes followed by the most awful shots imaginable. But it seems every round has a reason to come back. Maybe it’s a great finishing drive. Or maybe the worst front nine turns into the best back nine and you salvage a round. Or maybe you see one of your friends hit the shot of their life.
Things are finally warming up in the northeast. My course opened yesterday, and I’m playing on Saturday. I’ve been looking forward to this all winter, especially this winter. This was the most brutal winter in recent memory.
Anyway, I’ve decided I want to keep it simple this season so for now I have just 2 goals. I’m sure this will evolve throughout the season but it’s a place to start.
1) Learn AimPoint Express.
I especially like the express part. No more taking too long to read a putt. You get some you fell the slope, maybe in more than 1 spot, depending on the putt. Pick your number. Line it up and hit it. Seems much easier than looking at the hole from every angle, walking around, or relying on someone else’s read. It should be quick and accurate from what I’ve seen. Now to put it in play and see how it really goes.
2) Fix my driving.
I feel like I’ve said this every year for the past, well every year since I got back into golf. I feel like I’ve figured something out. And that I’ll actually be able to release the club.
So there are my goals. We’ll see on Saturday how things start to shape up. Being the first round of the season I can’t be expecting awesome results. Will take some time to get the rust out.
BTW and just show how much rust is out there take a look at these stats from a recent trip to Golfsmith.
Play well and good luck.
With 2014 coming to a close soon, I’ve started to think about what I need to do to prepare for next season.
Improving driving accuracy should help make a big impact in 2015. I’ve discovered that driving continues to hurt my scoring. When I’ve driven the ball well I’ve also scored well. When I have driven well scores got worse. I’ve got plenty of distances but accuracy really needs to improve.
Another are of weakness was between 100 and 75 yards. I just wasn’t hitting enough greens or hitting it close enough. Improving my wedge play should save me a fair number of strokes.
Finally my putting needs to improve. My goal is to really improve my make percentage from 15 feet and in. This will mean I’ll need a more consistent and pure stroke and to improve my green reading skills. I’ve heard great things about AimPoint Express and will add that to my repertoire between now and April (the official start of the golf season) here.
Check out my golf app Scoring Zoneon the App Store.
A few weeks ago I was thinking about fall golf but temperatures are dropping in the northeastern part of the country. Luckily I have a trip to Florida coming up soon and I’ll definitely get a few rounds in.
I’ll be playing with an old set of mine that I had shipped down there on new and unfamiliar courses. So the question becomes how do I make the most of my golf time down there without putting too much pressure on myself.
The plan will be to not worry too much about my score. I have a golf app I’ve been developing and this will be a perfect time to test, tinker, and improve some of the features I’ve dreamed up.
Just going to keep it light and fun and we’ll see how it goes.
Confidence in golf is a fickle thing. Unless you practice a lot it comes and goes with the ebb and flow of my game. Good play creates it while bad play can quickly break it down.
For the past few seasons there has been one club in particular that has not been so good for my confidence. The 3 Wood.
It’s been a search for find a 3 wood I can feel confident playing especially on the days when the driver is not being kind. In contrast to the lack of confidence in the 3 wood I have one club I’m very confident with. My trusty 18 degree hybrid. It’s an older model from about 4 or 5 years ago but man nothing can kick it out of the bag.
It took a while but I finally found one I can feel confident in, one that just feels right. I had some conditions on the search. It had to be at least 20 yards longer than my trusty hybrid, inspire confidence at address and have the right launch and feel.
So naturally I called up my friend and PGA teaching professional Keith Handler at Sterling Farms Golf Course for a fitting session.
He grabbed a number of clubs and we headed down to the range. I decided I would be brand agnostic and go with the best performing, best feeling and most confident inspiring club.
After hitting balls with all of them and even trying some more exotic variants like the mini driver SLDR, a winner rose to the top. Luckily the session didn’t just end there.
Keith recommended I take it out in the golf course next time I play to get a real feel for it.
Next day I took him up on his advice. I took the club out on the course and almost every place I would hit my trusty hybrid I hit this new 3 wood.
Over the course of the round I came to feel really confident with this club. It performed even better than I expected.
Go get fitted. It really makes a huge difference and having a professional with you in the process makes all the difference. So club did I finally choose?
Callaway XHot 2 Pro 13.5 degree with the stock shift. For me this thing performs like nothing else.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seizo Mazer Brings New Golf App For iPhone Scoring Zone
Summary: Seizo Mazer, a well known golf blogger has introduced his new golf app – ‘Scoring Zone’ for iPhone. The critical differentiator for ‘Scoring Zone’ is its focus on proximity to the hole and accuracy for every shot in the scoring zone. Seizo has been helping people to play better golf through his blogs since the year 2009.
Aug 02, 2014: A new golf app, ‘Scoring Zone’ is ready for the golfers looking for ways to play better in the sport. The app has been launched by respected golf blogger, Seizo Mazer. He is already helping a number of golfers to play better golf via his golf blog ‘Journey to Scratch’ and the launch of the app is continuation of that mission.
When contacted, Seizo said, “I am extremely excited to announce the launch of my new app. This app provides insights into your game that traditional statistics miss. By focusing on the shots in the scoring zone, and the proximity to the hole in particular, a golfer will automatically start to approach those shots differently. This app will give you a new perspective on the scoring zone and key insights into your game. My blog has always had a focus on improvement and with the help of this app I am taking that mission one step forward.”
The new app tracks proximity to the hole and accuracy for approach shots to the green, short game shots around green and putting. It provides some stats that have been normally reserved for players at the highest levels.
‘Scoring Zone’ is compatible with iOS 7.1 or later for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, optimized for iPhone 5s.
Seizo’s focus on golf has helped players to become a better golfer. In his blogs, he has explored and written about every detail from the mental game to course tactics and strategy, to swing and training aids.
Get the app here.
This is not your typical review. Instead of having a brief period to use the product I have had months with the SkyPro from late in the 2013 season.
This review was meant to be published back then but a lot if things got in the way. I’ll talk about how I felt about the SkyPro originally and I want to share what’s changed since then.
I was initially very excited about using the SkyPro. I took it to the range the afternoon that I bought it. At the time I didn’t have an iPhone but I did have an iPad. Actually it was an iPad 2 with a somewhat bulky case.
One of the first things that you need to do whenever you start or switch clubs is to calibrate the device. This involves putting your phone or iPad on the club face, touching and holding the sides of the screen and then rotating it around you. Even with an iPad 2 and a bulky case the calibration worked flawlessly correctly identifying my club every time.
I then started to hit shots with it. It was very exciting to see the data coming back. There were all these new things to look at. Club shaft lean at address, etc. my swings typically had a couple if warnings and I started to address them I saw things happening. Ball flight started changing, distance, contact etc. It was pretty exciting.
But there was a downside. I didn’t really know how to change certain things or really understand waft they meant. I had no drills or resources to dig deeper. Overall though the device worked as advertised.
Later on there was a glitch. I got an iPod Touch (5th generation). This thing had trouble even connecting to the sky pro at all. In the end I stopped using it with the iPod and just stuck to the iPad.
to now. I have an iPhone 5s and it works great with it. But until recently I still had the same issues regarding really knowing what the different things meant. I didn’t want to create bad habits but I did want to make the right kind of changes.
An update changes everything
It’s really amazing what an update can do. And the latest update to SkyPro app really makes things great. Along with some new practice modes and tools, the best thing is clear explanations of what each thing being tracked is, what different numbers mean and video explanations from Michael Breed.
The result is a true SkyPro. It’s feedback that really helps you improve and change your swing for the better. As we all know Michael us an exceptional teacher on the Golf Fix. But he makes each element of the swing that SkyPro measures, not only understandable, but allows to see how and why to change.
And this is what SkyPro really needed. This is what separates it from everything else. At the end of the day we want to get better. Understanding what to do and why in a clear way makes all the difference. Based on this latest update SkyPro has become my go to practice, training and learning aid. I have not yet tried the new putting feature, but that will come in a future review.
My recent experience with the SLDR, got me thinking about driver spin. Now obviously since the northeast is still wicked cold, I can’t really practice much yet, but I wanted to know from you, what are some of your best tips for reducing driver spin.
This is something I’ve been fighting with for the better part of my golf career. I’ve gone with the lowest spinning driver and shaft combinations that I can find, and yet it still plagues. I’ve got a golf coach voice in my head telling me to hit up on the ball (or at the very least level), and too not be “handsy”.
Do you have any good drills, swing thoughts, or visualizations that have helped you? Let me know. See you on the range.
All across the country today, TaylorMade and Golfsmith have teamed up to provide golfers an opportunity to compare their current drivers to the TaylorMade’s flagship driver the SLDR. Their claim is that the low and forward CG promotes a high launch and low spin and fast ball speed. Certainly those things sound like they would make for some long driving. But will it work for me?
I wanted to see for myself whether they’re new driver performed for me, so I header to the closest Golfsmith with my trusty gamer. My driver is a Ping G25 9.5 degrees with the Ping TFC 189 Tour X-Flex shaft. When I’m swinging well I can bomb this thing. For me a bomb is hitting out there 295 – 310, depending on course conditions. But, that’s not my typical drive. I would say my normal drives are from 250 to 270.
At Golfsmith I was led to the hitting bay where they took a look at my club, then brought out an SLDR at 12 degrees, stock shaft at X-Flex to match, assuring me that I should expect to see higher launches, lower spin, and longer carries.
I started warming up, and I wasn’t hitting anything too well. I went through a few rounds switching between both drivers before switching to an iron, just to get my tempo and rhythm more in sync. Finally I was ready to do the real comparison.
So did I hit it higher, with less spin and more ball speed? Not entirely.
Launch angle: Taylormade SLDR – 12.2, Ping G25 10.8.
TaylorMade wins the launch angle.
Spin: Taylormade SLDR – 3299, Ping G25 – 3044.
Ping wins the spin battle. Granted this is a high number regardless of which driver. I really need to work on my swing to lower this. Some additional morsels of information. Highest spin with SLDR was 4293 and lowest was 2384. Highest with Ping was 3613 and lowest was 2499. So even though one shot with the TM had lower spin than the lowest of the Ping it didn’t beat it by much, but that high spin shot was crazy high. Again, I really need to work on my swing to lower my spin in general.
Finally, Ball Speed
Taylormade SLDR – 138.3, Ping G25 142.2.
Again not my best ball striking session but the Ping clearly beat the SLDR in terms of ball speed Those 5 miles can make a big difference the total distance numbers bear that out.
The ping averaged 13 yards longer than the SLDR. The SLDR never came close. The higher launch, combined with more spin. never made up for the ball speed difference for me.
Ping wins this round. TaylorMade certainly is an innovative golf company. That said, no one product can fit everybody. This session was fairly short, and not as thorough as a real driver fitting, so with a little bit more attention and trying some different shaft combinations, results might have been very different. However it’s certainly possible this is a great driver for you. I would encourage you to get fitted with a PGA pro who will take the time to look at your swing characteristics and put together the combination that works best for you. In the end I got a new t-shirt, a new TaylorMade hat, and some experience with the latest technology from TaylorMade.