Amazing distance gains – without switching clubs

Things continue to go well on the range. Today I was simply shocked at how long (for me) I was hitting the ball, and at times I just to had to laugh, I couldn’t believe it.

Things continue to go well on the range.  Today I was simply shocked at how long (for me) I was hitting the ball, and at times I just to had to laugh, I couldn’t believe it.

I’ve got two 3 woods and I’ve been trying to decide which to keep in the bag.  I though today might be a fun day do that test.  I must say I’ve also been tempted by the distance claims from TaylorMade golf for the Rocketballz line.  The two 3 woods are an Adams 15 degree superfast from 2 years ago, and a nike VR pro from last year at 13 degrees.  The Adams has an X-Stiff shaft, while the Nike has Porject X 6.0.

Amazingly the both had similar launch angles, with the Nike actually launching slightly higher.  How was the distance?  Normally, the range I go to has a high fence that starts at about the 240 yard line.  My typical 3 wood would carry just short of that and hit the fence on one bounce, or maybe reach the start of the fence.  Today, I had a number of shots that struck the middle of the fence, normally a place reserved for my driver.  I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced 3 woods that solid.

I credit the work I’ve put in this winter on my fundamentals.  Namely I’ve been working with the Powerchute to improve my timing, sequencing, and fitness.  I can’t say enough about it.

Interestingly I’ve been considering getting fit for new clubs.  Not sure I need to do that for my 3 wood.  I did manage to find a winner, the Nike VR Pro 13 degree outperformed the Adams and I’m happy to say that it’s going to take its rightful place in my bag.  In addition, I was hitting all my irons incredibly solid.  It was a phenomenal practice session and I hope things continue well.

New Season Excitement – Off season work paying off

The warm winter provided something we don’t get to see often in the northeast, year round golf in decent conditions.

The warm winter provided something we don’t get to see often in the northeast, year round golf in decent conditions.  I’ve spoken with golfers who did not stop playing at all this winter.  Although I took a break from playing, I spent a lot of time working on fundamentals, golf fitness and putting.  All indications are that it’s going to be a great season and I’m looking to get into the low single digits, 5 or below.

My range sessions have shown me that the things I’ve worked on this “off-season”, are beginning to pay off.  Ball striking feels great, and I love the ball flight I’m getting.  I’m launching my irons super high without getting any ballooning.  And my drives feel incredible.  A lot of it has to do with the work that I put in using the Powerchute.  It’s not just a training aid, it’s a real golf fitness tool, and it’s become the main training aid I use.  It has really solidified my swing fundamentals and it’s been incredibly exciting.

What kinds of things you have done this off-season to get ready, and how are they paying off for you?

New DVD available with the Taly Mindset

There’s a new video that now comes with the Taly Mindset.  The opening credits, certainly set the stage.

The Taly Mindset is a device that challenges conventional thinking in golf.  It was invented by an engineer who loved the game of golf and wanted to play better. You can read my full review here. The device is now used by many touring pros and teaching pros across the country.  One of the most famous teachers who routinely uses the Mindset to teach is Lynn Blake.

The DVD is a big improvement over what used to come with the Mindset.  Although the pamphlet the came with it before gave some indication as to how it should be used, it really was not detailed enough and left questions unanswered.  It left it up to the golfer through trial and error to figure out what to actually do and how to do it.

The new DVD answers the questions that every golfer needs answered when using the Taly Mindset.   If you can understand the thought that went into the development of the Taly Mindset then you can learn to use it effectively.  And it will change the way you approach golf.

I found the DVD gave me new insights to really understand how to use the mindset.  There is a lot more to it than the pamphlet covers the DVD is an excellent complement to the device.

The new DVD comes with purchases of the Taly Mindset for $89.99 or can be ordered from the Taly Store for $49.99. If you have a a Taly Mindset, I highly recommend the video.  Taly Williams is offering a discount to Taly Mindset owners.  They can use the coupon code “MYDVD” when checking out at the Taly Store.

Tour Striker gets me back on track

If you’ve played golf with me in the past month you would have known that my ball striking has put me in a bit of a slump.  My distance control was off, and my shots were coming up short.

In a few minutes the Tour Striker brought my ball striking back.  An hour and half and two buckets of balls later, I’m feeling much better about my ball striking.  The difference is dramatic.

Sadly, before this session I was having trouble hitting my 8 iron 150 yards.  It was extremely frustrating.  This afternoon, my 8 iron was a much more respectable 165-170 average carry, with several carrying 175-180.  Now that’s what I’m talking about.

I knew I was on the right track when I started to hit what some low bullets with the Tour Striker.  These bullets went no higher than about 30 feet, but they carried about 200 yards.  The Tour Striker pro that I use is the equivalent of an 8 iron, so that’s some serious contact.  In an earlier conversation I had with Martin Chuck, the inventor of the Tour Striker, he assured me that when I’m hitting those low bullets, it means I’m very close to excellent contact, just millimeters away from perfection.  He’s right.

Shortly after the those low bullets, with a minor adjustment I began to hit them high, super high and solid, and they just carried forever.  It felt so good after this past month of less than perfect ball striking.

Mission Lower Driver Spin Off to a Rocky Start

The mission has begun…and it got off to a rocky start.  The day’s practice was off.  Ever felt like you’d never played golf before, it was sort of like that.  My irons were solid, my driver felt like a foreign implement in my hand.

It was frustrating, but I did get my initial launch monitor spin rates.  They ranged from 2400, to 4200, but most of them were right around 2800.  Like I said, it was a weird day of practice.

I was pretty frustrated so I did some more work in the evening and figured some things out.  It came down to some basics, posture, take away, and clearing the hips.  Correcting these 3 made a huge difference and let me get through the shots more efficiently.

Looking forward to taking these corrections out for a spin tomorrow.

New Mission: Lower Driver Spin Rate

One of the weakest areas of my game has been my driver. I’ve always been very good with my irons. A steep swing allows me to create crisp iron shots with a descending blow. Unfortunately, this steep swing, really makes driving the ball difficult.

One of the weakest areas of my game has been my driver.  I’ve always been very good with my irons.  A steep swing allows me to create crisp iron shots with a descending blow.  Unfortunately, this steep swing, really makes driving the ball difficult.  I tend to generate a lot of back spin which hurts my accuracy and length.  As a result I’ve been fitted into driver combinations that are meant to really reduce spin.

My recent fittings have shown my spin to be in roughly between 2800 on good swings, and 3200 on my poor swings.  My mission is to get this down to a paltry 2200.  A Bridgestone Ball Fitting made some recommendations based on my numbers:  105-107 Swing speed, launch 11.8.  It recommended 2200 rpm as my ideal backspin to optimize carry and total distance.  This means I need to reduce my backspin roughly 1000 rpm give or take a few.

First things first, I need to confirm my current spin rate. I’ve started to make some changes but I think it’s important to get an accurate assessment of where I stand.  I’m sure this won’t be an easy mission, but I think it will be one well worth the effort.

PGA Tour: Tee-to-green key to Donald’s rise

Article

Interesting article with an in-depth look at Luke Donald’s stats.  With Luke Donald ranking low on the driving distance category you would have expected him to rank higher in accuracy, given that his low ranking in distance would put him at a disadvantage on approaches from the rough.

I’ve always considered myself a decent iron player, but I’ve made a concerted effort as well to improve my accuracy off the tee.  I’ve noticed an improvement in my scores from that.  Here’s what Luke had to say about his improvement in this area.

“At the beginning of the year the focus was to get my percentages up, getting it more in the fairway, hitting more greens,” Donald said. “I think the last few years — I’ve said this before — I think I got it to a point where I was trying to hit the ball too hard.

“My swing got to a place I didn’t really like, and it was affecting me quite heavily off the tee. … For as far as I hit a ball, I needed to hit more fairways than I did.”

Tour Striker – Day 12 – Confidence Building

Over the past 12 days working with the tour striker I’ve seen a significant improvement in my ball striking. For a while and before re-acquainting myself with the TS my distance control was inconsistent.
I’m now much more consistent with my distance control and my I’ve added about 15 yards with each iron.
I’ve found that not only is the TS a great practice tool, but it is also a fantastic way to check your ballstriking.
The Tour Striker helps with consistency
Twelve days ago I was very inconsistent with the TS. If you take a look at the last few posts you’ll see me talk about the inconsistencies. Yesterday on the range my strikes with the TS really surprised me. Not only did the ball fly high and far and straight but it just felt great.
I’ve been working on the on practicing with each hand separately and wow is that a challenging drill. It’s really good though. I’m very pleased with progress I’m making with the Tour Striker.

Tour Striker – Day 3 of 30 – a plan comes into focus

This morning I headed to the driving range early.  Got there around 6:50 am, got set up and hit balls into the foggy morning.

I was encouraged by my practice session on Monday evening.  This morning it was a slightly different story.  I hit a couple of toppers which right away told me that I had too little shaft lean.  When I corrected that I hit a number of low flat stingers.  The balls took off low, stayed lower than 30 yards high and carried about 175 yards into the fog.  They felt solid.

I decided to reach out to Martin Chuck, the inventor of the Tour Striker to tell him about this month long test with his product as well as to get some advice on how best to take advantage of the time.

Based on his suggestions I will be working on the following over the next 30 days.

Tour Striker Practice Game Plan

1. Learn how to let the club land with forward lean. Do this with both hands and with each hand individually.
2. Monitor where you are touching the ground with hands together and individually. Seek to get similar results with the club landing inside the left heel.
3. Hit some “9 to 3” shots trying to get the leading edge of the TS as close to the ground as possible. Keep the left arm on the upper chest, don’t chase the target line.
4. Get use to anticipating the “thud” of touching the ground, not smashing, just touching.
5. Take this “9 to 3” into fuller swings with a focus on balance and rhythm.

I plan to take about a week with each of these guidelines (give or take a few days).

Low Flat Bombs

The exciting thing about hearing from Martin was that to cure my low flat bombs I need just a touch more shaft lean.  So things are not that far off.  All in all it was an encouraging session.  I had a lot of very solid strikes and my distance control feels somewhat more consistent.

I’ll be working to add that little bit extra shaft lean and see what happens with these low flat bombs.

Bomb and Gouge, or Fairways and Greens

Interesting discussion between the announcers on Golf Channel today during the Wyndham Championship.  Faldo and Oosterhuis were saying how back in their days it was all about hitting the fairway because of the equipment.  Persimmon clubs and balata balls that required more shot making.  The other comment was that in those days they really did swing at 75-80% but that now players swing closer to 100% with the driver, just trying to get it down as far as they can.

It is amazing by how much Tour Pros are missing the fairway, but it doesn’t seem to cost them that many shots even with the new grooves.

The equipment may be more forgiving, but given the club head speeds these guys are generating, they require even more precision to hit them straight, or as Faldo said “the ball comes off sideways.”

How do you play?  Do you play bomb and gouge, or fairways and greens?