9 Holes with a Golf Expert

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The 2007 Titleist Pro V1 and V1x Golf Balls -- Putting Tips

The 2007 Titleist Pro V1 and V1x Golf Balls


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    There wasn't much to improve on, but Titleist did make some nice changes to their 2007 Pro V1 and V1x balls. More than 43-percent of the money spent in 2006 in on-course ball sales was spent on the Pro V1/Pro V1x, according to Golf Datatech.


    Titleist claims a little longer distance (2 - 4 yards) for some golfers. As usual however, they don't cite any testing results that were done, so, in my opinion don't expect any more distance. 2 - 4 yards is a very small percentage increase over the previous models even if they were experimentally validated.


    In my latest study on golf ball distances, 2005 Longest Golf Balls, I reported that of the game's top 30 balls, there are only a few that are actually siginficantly longer. The Titleist Pro V1 and V1x are not; they're basically just average. So, if you're look for longest distance, the Pro V won't give it to you.


    What Pro V will give you, however, is exceptional feel and spin. The new 2007 model are touted as Drop-And-Stop™ greenside control. Again, Titleist doesn't cite any backspin numbers to verify superiority here so I guess it's more of a marketing gimmick. My 2005 Longest Golf Balls study did find, however, that the Pro V does have above average backspin.


     The one Pro V improvement I do feel will make a difference with your game is their A.I.M. (Alignment Integrated Marking) sidestamp - integrated alignment guide for improved putting alignment. I've focused a number of my most recent newsletters on the importance of alignment. I've marked my golf balls with alignment lines for years now. You can line up the ball along your target line with every on the green and on the tee. It really helps you align properly.


.         The simplest, most effective analysis of your entrie golf game.Great Golf Game Analysis


     The cost? About $60 US per dozen. Titleist does claim that the cover is the most durable yet, but, most golfers don't wear out their balls, they lose them. If you can afford to play them, I'd recommend that you do. As I've reitierated many times, the most important part of your game for scoring is the short game (100 yards and in). It's important that you play a ball that you can feel and with which you can generate maximum backspin.


    I won't be buying any new Pro V1s soon. I still have a few dozen left from 2005. If you haven't any, I suggest you give them a try, even if their a few years old.


You can learn more from Titleist by clicking HERE.


    Here's a little experiment for you to try. For the next 5 to 10 rounds, as soon as you have a short game shot (100 yards or less, including putting), replace the ball you're playing with a Pro V1. That way, you're using a Pro V1 for all of your short game shots and you likely won't loose it. I bet you'll realize lower scores. Of course, the more rounds you play like this, the better. Of course, doing this is against the rules of golf so you can do it in a tournament. Your playing partners might not let you do it either.


Putting Tips


    Since we're on the topic, how about a few tips on putting in general? Of course, alignment is critically important. Using the Pro V1 A.I.M. idea can really help. A Laser Putting Alignment System. can also greatly assist teaching you whether you are actually aimed where you think you are.


    Once you are good at aligning your putter properly, then you need to be able to read the green to determine what line to roll the ball along. I advocate using the Plumb Bob method to assist. What also helps is to understand some basic principles about breaking putts:



1. Putts break most during the final half of their journey.


2. Uphill putts break less; downhill putts break more.


3. Fast greens yield more break; slow greens yield less break.


4. To maximize the number of putts that drop, the speed should be such that it the ball does miss the hole, it would end up about 17 inches past the hole (Dave Pelz's Putting Bible)


5. Hitting putts with greater speed reduces the amount of break (that's why putts break less on slower greens; the ball is moving faster). So, you should putt your short putts firmly to minimize break (17 inches past hole is best).


Take a look at The BreakMaster for
measuring green break.



    As I mentioned my my last newslette , I'm embarking on a significant change in my equipment this season. The physics and math tells me that I should improve my consistency and thus lower my score. I can hardly wait to get onto the golf course.


    I purchased my new set of equal length irons from a company called 1 Iron Golf. I've been in contact with the owner, and he's provided a deal for my website visitors. If you decide to purchase a set of irons, use this coupon code, 10504, and you'll receive free headcovers with your golf club purchase. I got them with mine, and they're really nice. It's an effective way to keep the iron heads from getting dinged up.


1 Iron Golf has a 30-day Money Back Playing Guarantee. That's right, you can play with your new clubs and return them if not satisfied that they've improved your game.


Write down your special code, 10504, and ......


Visit 1 Iron Golf right now.


For a limited time, they're offering free shipping within the continental USA and Canada.


 


Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance



Take a look at the Laser Putting Device that I use and consider getting one for yourself. You can use it to improve your putting alignment. You can even attach it to the face of your iron when practicing your alignment process. Order yours TODAY! Only $49.95






Quantity






If you'd like some help with your mental game, fellow Canadain, Lisa Brown is a mental toughness coach for National and Olympic athletes, and she has written some excellent ebooks. Click HERE to take a look.

Improving Your Game -- Know Your Weaknesses

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    Do you have some specific goals for improvement this season? Or, are you like many golfers. You want to improve but don't really know where to start. There's so much of your game that needs improvement. It seems like an overwhelming challenge.


    To negate the feeling of being overwhelmed, it's important to just focus on just one or two things at a time. Since your score is dependent on so many factors, it's important that you track statistics so that you get a clear measure of whether you're improving. If your goal is to improve the number of fairways hit, you might not see an improvement in your score immediately because other parts of your game are off. It's easy to get frustrated.


    Whatever you choose to work on, keep some specific statistics to monitor whether you are in fact making progress. As I've said before, if you want the most significant improvement to your score, work on your short game (100 yards and in).


Here are some ideas of how you can track your statistics:


1. Track your real putting statistics with a spreadsheet I've developed. You input not only how many putts you've had, but how long they are, thus giving you a much more realistic, useful statistic. One day you may have 26 putts, the next day you may have 32 putts. You may have actually putted better on the 32 putt day (the 26 putt day may have been the result of many short putts; you chipped really well that day).


You can compare your different length putt stats with stats from the pros as well as various handicap amateurs.


Putting Analysis Software -- Your Real Putting Handicap $9.99

2CheckOut.com Inc. (Ohio, USA) is an authorized retailer for

goods and services provided by Probable Golf Instruction. 


2. If you want to track your full game, there's a great golf statistics analysis software called SHOT BY SHOT. I've made arrangements for a $34 discount off the annual subscription rate. And, you can try out the software first if you like.

What I like so much about this software is that it compares your game to a huge database of other golfers (over 35 000 rounds).


Click here to learn more and/or order: SHOT BY SHOT Full Game Analysis


 The simplest, most effective analysis of your entrie golf game.Great Golf Game Analysis


3. You have a 6-iron shot. The pin is tucked on the left portion of the green and is guarded by water in front. You aim 15 yards right of the pin thinking that if you miss hit your shot, you'll still end up near the green and not in the water. You push your shot slightly and end up with a 60 foot putt from one tier to the next. Was you decision a good one?


It depends on your putting ability. We're talking about playing your percentages. I call it playing with your own, unique "club print." All of us have a unique shot pattern with each club. You can easily track this. Keep track of where you hit each of your shots relative to where you're aimed. You'll quickly see that you have a tendency of ending up short and left, long and right, etc. You can then make your club selections with more confidence because you'll know the likelihood of where your shots will end up (such as in the water with your 6-iron for the example above).


I've developed an analysis of shot patterns that determines mathematically what your best aim should be. After only 10 rounds of keeping statitistics you can get a clear idea of where, on average, you should be aiming to reduce your overall score.


Learn more about your own shot pattern; determine your own unique "club print."


Click HERE for more.


4. I just did an analysis of PGA Tour players' GIR and scoring. I used two of the most recent 2007 tournaments and PGA TourCast. The results stress the importance of hitting fairways. I also relate the stats to some previous research done on amateur golfers.


Take a look here: GIR PGA Tour Statistics


You could improve your score by simply hitting a club off the tee that has a higher chance of hitting the fairway: like a fairway wood or hybrid. Try it out for at least 5 rounds to see if it makes a significant difference.


Here are some ways you can find your answers to your many golf questions on my site:


1. Go to my Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. There's a link to it on my pages from the left hand menu near the top of the page, just below the Search icon. It's called "FAQs." You then click on the graphic icon and you'll be taken to my database page. For your convenience, here it is:

FAQ


I've answered hundreds of questions over the past 6 years and have created a fairly large database. You can search it out. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, submit a question and I'll answer it.


2. On all of my web pages, there is a search feature in the top left section, right underneath my LOGO. Just place your search keywords in the search box, select "This Site" below it, and then press "Search." What will come up is a Google search of the pages on my site with relevance. You can also search the entire internet by selecting "Web" instead.

Go to my main page now: Home or just check the top left menu of this page.


3. Also, directly under the Google Search area, you'll find a pop down menu called "Your Topic." Select the topic of interest and press "Go."


I would suggest you bookmark my main page and/or your specific areas of interest so that you can find them easily in the future. On each page at the very top, there is a link you can click on:

"Click here to add this page to your favourites"


Hope you find all you're looking for.


You can learn more from NEW Titleist Pro-V1 by clicking HERE.


Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance



Take a look at the Laser Putting Device that I use and consider getting one for yourself. You can use it to improve your putting alignment. You can even attach it to the face of your iron when practicing your alignment process. Order yours TODAY! Only $49.95






Quantity






If you'd like some help with your mental game, fellow Canadain, Lisa Brown is a mental toughness coach for National and Olympic athletes, and she has written some excellent ebooks. Click HERE to take a look.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Revolutionary Golf Clubs -- Single Length Golf Shafts

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I've bought myself a new set of irons for this golf season. Not because I need a new set. It's an experiment. They're very different than the standard set of irons in that they all have the same length shaft. How will I hit my different irons different distances if they're all the same length? READ ON.


The last real revolution in golf clubs occurred a few years back with the invention of metal woods. Now we have those huge driver heads with very large moments of inertia. Our misses are straighter and longer. That revolution resulted from new technology which wasn't available before. My new irons are not revolutionary because of new technology. We've had the ability to make such clubs since the game was invented. They are a revolution in our understanding of what affects distance. Kind of like when we realized that the Earth was not the center of our solar system, but one of the planets that orbit the Sun.


You learned from the time you picked up your first club that short irons are designed to be shorter with more loft so that the ball will travel high and less distance. Long irons have less loft and longer shafts, thus they travel on a lower trajectory and hit the ball much farther. The common misconception we've all grown up with, however, is that the difference in length of the irons does not produce different distances. It's the loft which determines the distance.


Theorists will point to the radial arm length in a golf swing as being the prime determinant of swing speed; stating that the longer the radial arm, the greater the swing speed and resultant distance in a golf shot. A common misconception is that club length alone is used to define this radial arm length. Regardless of how many hinging points and resultant secondary arcs/planes are involved, the true center of a golf swing is a point somewhere between the golfer's shoulders (this center point moves laterally between the shoulders during the swing). Hence, you must include the golfer's arm length into the radial arm length equation for any meaningful analysis.


Therefore, assuming a 37 inch iron length and an arm length of 24 inches, the actual radial arm length in the golf swing is 61 inches. This means that a 1/2 inch increase in club length (the difference between the irons, say a 7 and 6 iron) results in a radial arm length increase of only 0.8%. A 2 inch increase in club length (the difference between a 7 and 3 iron) results in a radial arm length increase of 3.3%. If you could swing your 3-iron 3.3% faster than your 7-iron, then based on clubhead speed alone, you'd hit your 3-iron 3.3% farther. But a player that hits his 7-iron 145 yards hits his 3-iron about 185 yards, or 28% farther.


The major reason for the difference in distance of your irons is their loft, not their length. And besides, even though the longer irons are swung along a larger circle, giving more time to build up speed, they are more difficult to accelerate (because they are longer). An analogy would be picking up a short piece of lumber and rotating it. The end will move in a circle at a certain speed. Pick up a longer boards and rotate it. It's much more difficult to rotate, so, the end of the board might not be moving any faster than the short one.


As you can see, these fractional increases in radial arm length will not produce any measurable increase in swing speed or distance. In fact, the only thing that incremental increases in club length will produce is a progressive lack of control and poor ball striking.


For those demanding additional analysis on the affects of club length increases in relation to distance other factors need to be considered:


1) If the average golfer swings a #5 iron five times he will record five different swing speeds varying +/- 5mph.


2) Each incremental increase in club length results in lessened average center-face contact, which results in decreased distance.


Consequently, any increases in club length have to be analyzed in relation to decreases in center-face contact for each incremental club length increase in order to produce effective data. As per above, a 2 inch increase in club length results in only a 3.3% increase in the radial arm length of a golf swing with a virtually immeasurable increase in swing speed. Even if there was a measurable increase in swing speed testing has shown that a 2" increase in club length dramatically reduces the percentage of center face hits, and impact just 1/4" off center-face can reduce distance by 10 to 15 yards. Add to this the fact that the average golfer is incapable of producing a constant swing speed with any golf club, and you can plainly see through the myth that club length is the primary determinant of distance.


So, I'm embarking on a significant change in my equipment. The physics and math tells me that I should improve my consistency and thus lower my score. I can hardly wait to get onto the golf course. Unfortunately, everything here is still covered in snow. Mr. Ground Hog says winter is almost over. Spring is just around the corner.


I purchased my new set of equal length irons from a company called 1 Iron Golf. I've been in contact with the owner, and he's provided a deal for my website visitors. If you decide to purchase a set of irons, use this coupon code, 10504, and you'll receive free headcovers with your golf club purchase. I got them with mine, and they're really nice. It's an effective way to keep the iron heads from getting dinged up.


1 Iron Golf has a 30-day Money Back Playing Guarantee. That's right, you can play with your new clubs and return them if not satisfied that they've improved your game.


Write down your special code, 10504, and ......


Visit 1 Iron Golf right now.


For a limited time, they're offering free shipping within the continental USA and Canada.



Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance



Take a look at the Laser Putting Device that I use and consider getting one for yourself. You can use it to improve your putting alignment. You can even attach it to the face of your iron when practicing your alignment process. Order yours TODAY! Only $49.95






Quantity






If you'd like some help with your mental game, fellow Canadain, Lisa Brown is a mental toughness coach for National and Olympic athletes, and she has written some excellent ebooks. Click HERE to take a look. If you have any other great ideas of why or how to use new golf technology to improve, please share them with me and I'll include them in the next newsletter. Submit your suggestions HERE .

I'd appreciate any comments you have. Email them to
me at probablegolf@yahoo.ca


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Swing Path and Solid Contact





Golf Alignment -- Swing Path and Solid Contact


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As fall sets it, some of you might be winding down your golf season. Here are some ideas for treating yourself before you hang up the clubs.




In the last newsletter, we addressed the importance of alignment with the putting. I outlined a procedure to use to improve your alignment. View the previous newsletter
here
.


For those in the north, golf season is all but over. For those of you that are still playing, there is less time to play due to significantly fewer daylight hours (more for those of you in the southern hemisphere). Calculate how many hours of daylight in your area by using my new sunrise/sunset calculator. Tap HERE for the calculator.


As I've reiterated in my newsletters, proper alignment is essential to play well. Research studies have shown that the vast majority of amateur golfers misalign which causes swing faults, poor ball striking and errant golf shots. Below, I'll outline how proper alignment can help produce maximum clubhead speed and solid contact. It's all a result of the optimum club head swing path, which a proper alignment can facilitate.


With the off season upon us, what a perfect opportunity to work on the alignment aspect of the game. You can do so without hitting a golf ball. You can do it in the comfort of your home or office. The proper alignment process can be learned through consistent practice. Taking a club and aligning yourself a couple of times a day will go a long ways towards your golf game improvement.


Whether there's a commercial break on TV or you need a change of pace from the task at hand, take 15 minutes or so each day to do the following:


1. Pick up a club and go through the alignment process. At the very least, gripping the club will keep your hands familiar with the club during the off season. The more times you practice your alignment, the more "automatic" the process will become. I'd use a 5-iron (medium length club) as well as a putter.


2. You can even attach a laser putting device to the face of your iron. Because of the loft of the iron, the laser will point higher but it will indicate the direction the club face is pointing. You can monitor your progress by keeping track of how close to your target you're aiming. Can you aim the club face within a few inches of your target (that can be the middle of a painting on a wall or a corner in the room)?


3. Either before or after practicing your alignment, do some stretches and some sit-ups. Increasing your flexibility and mid-section strength will enable you to increase your club head speed. For an excellent total golf fitness program, I'd recommend this DVD collection.


So, how does poor alignment lead to poor ball striking? Well, not aligning properly will force you to make compensations in your swing to get the ball flying towards the target. Most golfers align right of their targets, thus most golf balls miss right of their targets. You body will unconsciously adjust over time and you'll begin to swing the club outside-to-inside the target line. Such a club head path decreases maximum club head speed and solid contact.


In order to make solid contact with the ball with maximum club head speed, the optimum club head path is inside-to-along the target line-to-inside, which is depicted in the diagram to the right below. Most amateurs swing outside-to-inside like the first diagram on the left below. A minority of players swing from inside-to-outside like the last diagram below (not ideal but much better than the outside-to-inside path).


golf putting alignment aid








Swinging the club from the inside to along the target line to the inside gives the club the best chance of hitting the ball on the center of the club face with maximum speed. Misaligning from the beginning will encourage the golfer to modify his/her swing path to get the ball on target. Below are the results of some testing done by Golf Digest on hitting the "sweet spot" which demonstrates the consequences of not hitting the ball solidly; you fall short of your target.


During the test, a 6-iron was hit eight times on each of 13 different points on the clubface. The points included five vertical rows centered on the center line of the scored area of the clubface and three horizontal rows separated by one-quarter inch with the first row beginning one-half inch above the sole. A total of 104 shots were hit with each iron, and the totals were combined to produce a composite result.







Golf shot dispersion pattern for mis-hits.Mis-hit positions on the golf club face and the corresponding shot pattern.



WHAT THEY FOUND: The concentric ellipses on the iron face (above) represent a composite image of two-, four- and six-yard losses in carry distance from the typical iron's hot spot (point of maximum carry as well as the center of ellipses). Of the 13 points, the average for point No. 1 produced the maximum carry distance, and the remaining points' distances fell off by varying degrees. For example, point No. 2 produced a shot that landed about five feet to the right of the target and nine feet short of the target, and point No. 11 landed about 13 feet right and 36 feet short. Mis-hits to the left or right of point No. 1 produced better results than those up or down from No. 1. On average, the best points are 1, 2, 4 and 9 (average miss: about seven feet), and the worst were spots 3, 7, 11 and 13 (average miss: approximately 36 feet).


The more you practice proper alignment, the better you'll become. Take the time this winter to practice the alignment process so it will be automatic by next season. Proper alignment promotes the optimum swing path and the greatest chance of solid contact with maximum speed. Remember, "practice makes perfect." Or, even more to the point about the importance of accurate alignment, are the five P's:


Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance



Take a look at the Laser Putting Device that I use and consider getting one for yourself. You can use it to improve your putting alignment. You can even attach it to the face of your iron when practicing your alignment process. Order yours TODAY! Only $49.95






Quantity






Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Golf Alignment -- Improved Putting

Golf Alignment -- Improved Putting


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As fall sets it, some of you might be winding down your golf season. Here are some ideas for treating yourself before you hang up the clubs.

Tap HERE for some great Fall Golf Holiday ideas.




In the last newsletter, we addressed the importance of alignment with the full swing. I outlined a procedure to use to improve your alignment. View the previous newsletter
here
.


How often do you two putt from 60 feet? If you're like most golfers, probably not very often. To do so, you need to get your first putt inside 6 feet to have a 50% chance. Even the Tour Pro only sinks about 60% of his 6 foot putts. TAP HERE to look at a graph of Putting Percentages.


Most golfers don't align the putter face accurately towards their target. CLICK HERE for the research. To get a 60 foot putt down in two strokes, the golfer must do the following:


1. Read the putt correctly so that the amount of break is predicted accurately. CLICK HERE to learn how to read putts.

2. Align the putter towards the desired target.

3. Stroke the putt along the intended target line.

4. Hit the putt with the correct speed to travel the desired distance.


It's actually quite a complex task. Many have said that putting is the simplest part of the game and the easiest to learn proficiency. I beg to differ. If this was the case, then there'd be many more very good putters. Becoming a good putter requires a tremendous amount of coordination.


Misalign by 5 degrees on a 60 foot putt creates an error of 5.3 feet at the hole; and, that's if you get the distance right. Since the golfer instinctively responds to feedback from the shot, consistently misaligning leads to modifying the stroke. Most right handed golfers misalign to the right. Consistently hitting the ball right of the target will lead to modifying the stroke to pull the ball to the left. If you look at most right handed golfers full swings and putting strokes, you'll find that they pull across the ball. The path of the club is to the left of where the face of the club is aimed. Thus, there are a lot of "cut" shots out there (fades and slices on long shots, and errant putts).


To improve your stroke, you need proper feedback. It's essential that you practice your putting with the aid of alignment aids, the simplest of which are golf clubs laying on the putting green along your intended target line.


golf putting alignment aid Keep eyes over putter at address





The procedure I use to align my putter face to my intended target is the same as with my full swing. I pick an intermediate target about 3 feet in front of the ball (discolouration in the grass), and aim at that. You can review the whole process in my previous newsletter. View the previous newsletter
here
.
The only addition would be keeping your eyes over your putter face and target line as in the photo above. This makes it easier to aim the putter down the target line.


You can practice your alignment all winter long in the comfort of your home. I highly recommend doing this. The more you practice proper alignment, the better you'll become. Remember, "practice makes perfect." Or, even more to the point about the importance of accurate alignment, are the five P's:


Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance


For your practice putting, I highly recommend you acquire a laser putting aid. It's really the only way you can determine if your putter face is actually square to your target. You can even play with it (not in competition, though). Over time, you'll find that you're getting more putts online.


I recently tested and evaluated a Laser Putting Alignment Device and found it extremely helpful. I've always been told by some players that I tend to "cut" my putts a bit, which means my putter face is open slightly at impact. After attaching the laser device to my putter and aiming the putter at a target, I discovered that I consistently aim the putter face slightly left of the target. To compensate, I open the face slightly during the stroke and cut the putt.



After only a few days of practicing my alignment with the laser device attached, I am now squaring the putter face to my target consistently. I can now practice making a proper stroke confident that I am aimed at my target. I am missing my putts a little right now, but am confident that I will "cure" my cut stroke.


Take a look at the Laser Putting Device that I use and consider getting one for yourself


Order yours TODAY! Only $49.95






Quantity






If you'd like some help with your mental game, fellow Canadain, Lisa Brown is a mental toughness coach for National and Olympic athletes, and she has written some excellent ebooks. Click HERE to take a look.


Golf Alignment -- Small Errors Magnified





Golf Alignment -- Small Errors Magnified


Send me any suggestions
you have for the next or future newsletters. Just submit
your ideas using this simple
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.


Click
here to order Dave's Pelz's Short Game Bible
, OR get it at your local bookstore. BUT, whatever you do, GET IT !! Your game will love you for it.


Tap HERE for some great Fall Golf Holiday ideas



How important is alignment in golf? If you said, vitally, you're right. Improper alignment among amateurs leads to the majority of missed shots. Improper alignment results in many of the swing faults and putting stroke faults that are out there.


For instance, an error in alignment of ONE degree on a 200 yard shot results in an error of 3.5 yards. An error in alignment of FIVE degrees results in an error of 17 yards (that's the width of some greens). That's a huge error!! Misalign by 5 degrees on a 20 foot putt creates an error of 21 inches at the hole. If you can't align properly, how can you ever hit your target??


The vast majority of right handed swingers align too far to the right. Likewise the vast majority of left handed swingers align too far to the left. Since the object is always to hit the ball towards the hole, these golfers have unconsciously modified their swings, to the best of their abilities, to get the ball on line even though they're grossly misaligned. They have created extra moves in their swings and putting strokes, making them more complex and ineffective.


Most right handed swingers slice the ball. Why? Partially because they use their arms and hands too much, ignoring their lower body and torso. But because they misalign to the right, they have produced an outside to inside swing path to pull the ball towards the left to compensate. The further they misalign right, the more they swing outside to inside. Such a swing is weak (it can't produce high club head speeds) and produces slices that are difficult to control and produce less distance.


Imagine trying to learn to shoot a rifle with the sites grossly off. There would be a lot of trial and error but you'd eventually be able to hit your target by holding the rifle in an unorthodox way. It's the same with the golf swing. Improper alignment leads to unorthodox swings.


So, how does one align properly? That's the topic of this series of newsletters.


Alignment with the Full Swing


Anytime I go to the driving range, it amazes me how few golfers ensure they are aimed at their targets. With grass tees, very few have clubs placed on the grass to aid their alignment. On artificial mats, the same is true and they don't align the mat so that they are aimed at a specific target.




Here is my recommended process of aligning yourself at your target.


1. Stand about 10 feet behind your ball and visualize your target line from your ball to your target.


2. Pick an intermediate target to aim at 3 to 6 feet in front of your ball which is on the target line. It can be a leaf, discolouration in grass, broken tee, etc. Research has shown that using an intermediate target significantly increases alignment accuracy. CLICK HERE for the research.







Proper alignment leads to better golf shots.


Square your feet to your clubface


Use your clubs to help with alignment

Note in the photo to the left the white discolouration just off the target line about 3 feet in front of the ball.


3. Address the ball and aim the clubface at the intermediate target. To do this, imagine a big "T" attached to the clubface. The top of the "T" is on the clubface and the body of the "T" points towards your target. You want that to point directly at your intermediate target. If it is, then you're aimed along your target line (blue line in photo). This is called squaring your clubface to the target.


4. Keeping your club still, now take your stance so your feet form a straight line (red line in photo) that is parallel to your target line and is perpendicular (at right angles; 90 degrees) to the top of the "T".


When practicing, you'll find it helpful to place one club on the ground to replicate the red line and one to replicate the blue line.


Step 3 (squaring your clubface to your target) and then Step 4 (squaring your feet to your clubface), both involve error. You might be 5 degrees of in Step 3 and another 5 degrees off in Step 4. So, it's important to practice with the aid of golf clubs placed on the ground.


4. I use a double check process for my alignment. Through practice, I have learned where the target should appear when I swivel my head to see the target. It's important that you just rotate your head without bending your neck. I even go so far as placing a metal clip on the left side of my golf cap rim. When I swivel my head, the target appears directly underneath the metal clip.



This alignment process will still lead to some error but it's minimal. It's important that you practice the process to perfect it. It's some thing you can practice in your home or office. Remember, "practice makes perfect." Or, even more to the point about the importance of accurate alignment, are the five P's:


Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance


Like I shared with you in my last newsletter, you can also practice this process of alignment with the putter, at home on your carpet.


I recently tested and evaluated a Laser Putting Alignment Device and found it extremely helpful. I've always been told by some players that I tend to "cut" my putts a bit, which means my putter face is open slightly at impact. After attaching the laser device to my putter and aiming the putter at a target, I discovered that I consistently aim the putter face slightly left of the target. To compensate, I open the face slightly during the stroke and cut the putt.



After only a few days of practicing my alignment with the laser device attached, I am now squaring the putter face to my target consistently. I can now practice making a proper stroke confident that I am aimed at my target. I am missing my putts a little right now, but am confident that I will "cure" my cut stroke.


Take a look at the Laser Putting Device that I use and consider getting one for yourself


Order yours TODAY! Only $49.95






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If you'd like some help with your mental game, fellow Canadain, Lisa Brown is a mental toughness coach for National and Olympic athletes, and she has written some excellent ebooks. Click HERE to take a look.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Use the Rules of Golf to Lower Your Score -- Part 2: Practice on the Course

Use the Rules of Golf to Lower Your Score -- Part 2: Practice on the Course


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Practice on the Course



Have you ever practiced on the course while playing ? If not, why not? The rules do permit practice in between holes. You can't play any practice shots during the play of a hole, but you can upon it's completion. And let's face it, there's often time in between holes because of slow play; we're often waiting on the next tee.


How much do you practice your short game? Remember, it's the part of the game that with only a slight improvement can lower your score significantly. So, why not use some of the waiting time during the course of play to practice a bit.


So, firstly, let's clarify the rules of practice during a round.


1. A player must not make a practice stroke during play of a hole.

Between the play of two holes, a player must not make a practice stroke, except that he may practice putting or chipping on or near:

(a) the putting green of the hole last played,

(b) any practice putting green, or

(c) the teeing ground of the next hole to be played in the round, provided a practice stroke is not made from a hazard and does not unduly delay play


2. Some important points:

(a) A practice swing is not considered a practice stroke, so you can make practice swings at any time during the round, as long as you don't unduly delay play

(b) If the players behind you are not waiting for the green and the players in front of you are still not out of range of your next tee shot, take a few practice putts or chips. This is the time you can develop some better feel for the greens and gain confidence.

(c) You can't hit practice shots out of bunkers, but you can attempt some short shots out of rough around the green. When else do you get a chance to practice such shots.


Even if you're only able to do this every second hole, the practice will be invaluable. It's also a way to put your mental energy on the present and not get wrapped up with the past (a bad hole or some bad shots).


It's a way to challenge yourself to get to the next level. Practice handling the pressure by imagining yourself in clutch situations on that very green. It's not often you have the opportunity to experience situational practice; practicing on the very greens you're going to score on. Most of your practice putting is done on the putting green.


If you'd like some help with your mental game, fellow Canadain, Lisa Brown is a mental toughness coach for National and Olympic athletes, and she has written some excellent ebooks. Click HERE to take a look.

Lower Scores Using the Rules -- Provisional Ball

Use the Rules of Golf to Lower Your Score -- Part 1: The Provisional Ball


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The Provisional Ball



Have you ever hit a provisional ball? Unless you hit 100% of fairways and greens, the answer to this question should definitely be YES! But, in your casual play, you might not bother and just "drop" a ball onto the fairway if your original is lost. There are many reasons why you should play a provisional ball at every opportunity. And, there are times where it is best to hit a provisional with the expectation that it'll be the ball you play for the rest of the hole.


When you hit an errant shot (into the bush, high grass, or possibly OB), it's important to hit a provisional ball for a number of reasons, the first of which if your ball is lost or OB, you need to place a ball in play and MUST put that ball in play from the same position you hit the original ball. There are also a number of reasons to encourage good play as well. Those reasons are listed below.


Before I outline those reasons, a couple of recommendations to follow when you are hitting a provisional ball:


1. Use a different club than the one with which you hit the original ball. You've just hit a poor shot. It is in recent, vivid memory. It's important that you take some time to re-group. Choosing a different club gives you a better chance to form some more positive images of the next shot.


2. If you hit a driver for your original, hit a fairway wood, hybrid or iron for your provisional. You've hit a poor shot; the goal is to now get a ball in play so that you have a good lie for your next shot. You've had a negative experience which can affect your confidence. It's important to follow it up with a positve experience. You want to hit a club that will most likely give you a positive experience. It's not the time to try and hit that "career drive" to make up for the poor one. The chances of hitting your career shot under normal circumstances is low; to hit it after a poor shot is even more unilikely.


3. Take your time. Take some deep breathes to relax. Viusalize a positive swing and the flight path of a good shot.


So, now for the benefits of hitting a provisional ball.


1. Opportunity to Practice -- the rules prohibit you to practice on the course except in a few, specific instances. Hitting a provisional ball is an opportunity to hit another shot. It's another opportunity to discover what your swing is doing so that you can adjust your play accordingly. Hitting a good shot will help your regain your confidence. Hitting a poor shot will give you more reason to adjust your club selection (such as putting the driver away for the rest of the round).


2. Opportunity to Gain Control -- the game of golf allows you a very generous amount of time to keep control. You're not having to react to another player or players. Hitting a provisional allows you the opportunity of making a conscious decision to regain control after a bad shot. It's an opportunity to hit a good shot and have that image in your mind for your next shot. Remember, if you even hit a poor or mediocre shot, you can gain confidence by making conscious decisions the gain control.


3. Practice the Process of Hitting a Provisional -- one thing is certain; you will hit poor shots in the future and you will loose more golf balls. Hitting a provisional at every opportunity will allow you to practice and rehearse the entire process. Hitting a provisional ball should be something with which you're comfortable.It's a time to practice your mental imagery and self control in a stressful situation. That's why I recommend you doing so even when playing a casual round. The more you've practiced, the more comfortably you'll become and the more likely you'll have a positive experience.


4. Reacting to a Poor Shot -- golf is like life. It's not how good your great shots are, it's how well you react to your bad ones. If you react to a poor shot with control and confidence, you are more likely going to hit better shots in the future. You've hit a bad shot, it's done and over; you can't change it. You can only move forwards using a consistent, controlled process to hit a good shot with your provisional. Yes, par or maybe even bogie is unlikely. But, a double is better than a triple, a triple is better than a quadruple, a quadruple is better than an "other." Your goal still needs to be to take the fewest number of strokes. It was only one bad shot. You don't want that to lead to more bad shots. Sometimes our bad shots lead to penalties, sometimes they don't. The only thing for certain is you'll hit bad shots. How you react to them is what will make or break your game.


If you'd like some help with your mental game, fellow Canadain, Lisa Brown is a mental toughness coach for National and Olympic athletes, and she has written some excellent ebooks. Click HERE to take a look.


5. Unplayable Ball & Abandon Original -- can you abandon the original ball? YES. For instance, if you hit your original in a position that you know from experience would be very difficult to play from, you can abandon it by simply hitting another ball without declaring it a provisional. One must always declare verbally whether a ball is to be a provisional. If not, it becomes the ball in play. Or, if you delcare a provisional ball and determine once you reach the position where the original is likely to lie, you can proceed to play the provisional from beyond that point; it then is deemed the ball in play. You should instruct your playing partners not to bother looking for the original. If they do find it before you play the provisional, you must play the original


5. Save Time and Grief -- hitting a provisional will save time and speed up play. If there is ever a possibility that a ball will be lost, a provisional ball should be played. Otherwise, if the original ball is not found, the player must return to the point from which his/her last shot was played, and play a second ball. This takes a great deal of time (walking back and forth) and will slow play considerably. You would also likely feel rushed and anxious, and then not hit a good shot, creating an even more stressful situation.


If you'd like to read the specific rule about hitting a provisional ball, you can check it out at the USGA's website. Click on this link and read Rule 27-2. Also listed are some specific situations that have been rules upon.


If you have any other great ideas of why to play a provisional ball, please share them with me and I'll include them in the next newsletter. Submit your suggestions HERE .


Feel free to go back and re-read the my previous series on playing tips from beginning to end. I think I've included a lot of great tips. Here are the links for your convenience:


9 Holes with a Golf Expert --
Part 1: Pre-Round & Opening Hole


9 Holes with a Golf Expert --
Part 2: First 3 Holes


9 Holes with a Golf Expert --
Part 3: Statistical Significance of First 3 Holes


9 Holes with a Golf Expert --
Part 4:The Next 4 Holes


9 Holes with a Golf Expert --
Part 5:The 17th at the PLAYER'S Championship -- Shot Patterns


9 Holes with a Golf Expert -- Part 6: Last Three Holes


9 Holes with a Golf Expert -- Part 7: Wrap up the NINE

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Use the Rules of Golf to Lower Your Score -- Part 4: More Equipment Suggestions

Use the Rules of Golf to Lower Your Score -- Part 4: More Equipment Suggestions


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The Right Equipment Has Its Advantages




Have you ever looked at The Rules of Golf to see what restrictions there are on golf equipment. You can do so at www.usga.org/playing/rules/rules.html. The USGA does testing each year on golf balls and golf clubs to determine if they conform with the rules. On their site, they publish a list of conforming golf balls and conforming Driver heads.


Here are some more ideas of how you can use golf equipment to lower your score.


4. Laser Putting Alignment


Of the many facets of the game, it's been my observation that proper, consistent alignment is one that alludes many golfers, in the long game and short game. In fact, I yet to meet a golfer with handicap greater than 10 who is able to align properly.


Improper alignment is the cause of many swing faults and putting stroke faults. I'll be focusing in detail on alignment in my next few newsletters. For now, consider alignment in putting.


To hit a putt along the intended target line, the putter must be moving along the target line and be square to that line at impact. Because the collision between the putter face and ball is a low speed collision, if the face is open or closed at all, the initial direction of the ball is greatly affected.


Most golfers are unable to align a putter face correctly. Tap HERE for some research that has been done. They either align the face open or closed.


Until recently, it has not been possible for the average golfer to accurately check alignment of the putter face. With the advancement of cheap laser technology, golfers can now easily check the alignment of the putter face.


I recently tested and evaluated a Laser Putting Alignment Device and found it extremely helpful. I've always been told by some players that I tend to "cut" my putts a bit, which means my putter face is open slightly at impact. After attaching the laser device to my putter and aiming the putter at a target, I discovered that I consistently aim the putter face slightly left of the target. To compensate, I open the face slightly during the stroke and cut the putt.



After only a few days of practicing my alignment with the laser device attached, I am now squaring the putter face to my target consistently. I can now practice making a proper stroke confident that I am aimed at my target. I am missing my putts a little right now, but am confident that I will "cure" my cut stroke.


Take a look at the Laser Putting Device that I use and consider getting one for yourself


Order yours TODAY! Only $49.95






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5. Brush Tees


In recent years, new tees have been appearing on the golf course. These "bristle type" tees use many nylon bristles to suppor the golf ball as opposed to the wood of a tee. When the golf ball is hit from the bristles, the bristles flex and thus there is less resistive force on the ball compared to when using wooden tees.


Click HERE to learn more about the physics of forces between the tee and the ball.


Independent machine tests showed that golfers consistently hit the ball 3 to 7 yards using a bristle type tee compared to a wood tee.


I've been trying the new Flexi bristle tee and find it to be very durable. I haven't broken one yet. That's mainly because the ball sits so high on the bristles above the plastic tee support, that the club rarely hits the plastic. I would often have to look for my wooden tees after a Drive. Sometimes they flew forwards, sometimes backwards. The Flexi tee remains in the ground. I just bend over and pick it up. No searching.


A ruling by The United States Golf Association on the use of Flexi-Tee for PGA Tournaments has been acknowledged; conforming to Rule 14-3a of the Rules of Golf.



  • Order yours TODAY! Only $5.95 per pair.





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6. GPS Distance Finders


You're probably seen them advertised; GPS systems that utilize the satellite technology to determine distances on a golf course.

I have yet to use any of these GPS systems for golf so I can comment on their usefulness. They do, however,
Conform to a USGA/R&A Ruling. They are not as accurate as Laser Rangefinders and their use is affected by the weather and location.

My advice? Use a RangeFinder to determine the exact distance (they're accurate +/- 1 yard), add another

5 yards

(because most times you come up a bit short), select the club for that distance, and FIRE!!

Click on THIS LINK for my suggestions for RangeFinders
to purchase.
In my next newsletter, I'll have much more to say about alignment and how to improve one's alignment.


If you'd like some help with your mental game, fellow Canadain, Lisa Brown is a mental toughness coach for National and Olympic athletes, and she has written some excellent ebooks. Click HERE to take a look.


If you have any other great ideas of why or how to use new golf technology to improve, please share them with me and I'll include them in the next newsletter. Submit your suggestions HERE .


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Send me some feedback or ask some questions before I put out the next newsletter. Use this simple
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Now, go get that book . Go to your local bookstore and get it OR click here, Click
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

9 Holes with a Golf Expert -- Part 4: Next Three Holes

Click
here to order Dave's Pelz's Short Game Bible
, OR get it at your local bookstore. BUT, whatever you do, GET IT !! Your game will love you for it.


Recap from Last Time


† My statistical analysis of 1700 amateur scores found that 90% of players that play over NET PAR on the first three holes also shot over NET PAR for the total score. 82% of those that scored on the first 3 holes with a pace of NET 75 or worse, shot a total score of over NET 75 (assuming a 72 par). The first 3 holes of a round have a strong influence over the play for the rest of the round. As I've said many times, play conservatively on the first 3 holes to avoid disasters that will throw your confidence into a spiral.



Holes 4, 5 and 6



Hole #4 is the #1 handicap stroke hole, a par 5 of about 500 yards. It has major trees lining both sides of the fairway in addition to a fairway bunker on the right off the tee. The fairway goes up and down a number of times. It's very likely that the only level lie you have is the one from the tee.


Off the tee I'll hit a driver. If I hit it well, the ball will get to the bottom of a large swell and be within reach of the green on my second. If I miss my drive, I'll end up with a downhill lie in which case I'll just lay up with a 5-iron. Shorter hitters will remain short of the downhill and have a fairly level lie for their second. Many make the mistake of hitting a wood off the fairway on the second and end up in the trees either left or right, followed by a large number. This is definitely a hole on which to be careful..


So, I hit my driver and miss it a little, so, I end up half way down the hill. If I were to really nail a fairway wood, I could get close to the green. However, because of the downhill lie, hitting a good shot is not that likely, thus I choose to hit a 5-iron which will put me to about the 120 yard mark. Because Salmon Arm is a very hilly golf course, the golfer experiences many uneven lies. It's important that one take enough club and swing while focused on being very balanced; no swinging hard here.


As is often the case for me on downhill lies, I hit the shot a little thin. Off a downhill lie, the ball flies lower and to the right than normal and thus runs further, so, even though I didn't make solid contact, I end up at the 120 yard mark. I always aim a little left of my target (5-10 yards) to compensate for the tendency for the shot to start out to the right.


I hit my full pitching wedge 110 yards and my full 9-iron about 130 yards, so there is a definite gap. Instead of having a club for 120 yards, I just choke down about an inch on my 9-iron. The lie this time is a little uphill, which one tends to pull. The flag is on the right hand side of the green which is guarded by the bunker. To go at the pin, I'd need to aim at the bunker. If the shot doesn't pull, I'd be in the bunker, so, I aim at the pin expecting to end up 15 - 25 feet left; and, that's what happens.


So, it's not a long par 5 thus one might expect a birdie. However, it has many difficulties (that's why it's handicap #1) and given I missed my drive and the pin is on one side of the green, it's not a hole on which to get aggressive. The putt I'm left is slightly downhill because the green slopes left to right. I'm happy to lag my 20 footer up close and take my par. I'm 2 over par after four holes and feel good that I've played smart so far giving me a sense of confidence.



Hole #5 is a pretty little par 3 of about 140 yards. The tee is about 5 yards above the green which means it plays about 135 yards. The green is tiered so that there are 3 difference regions, none of which are flat; It's about 40 yards wide, with one tier of the right and two on the left. One can get some wild putts on this hole. The green is also guarded by water on the front, left and bunkers back left and right left.


The pin is cut short and right, one of the easier placements. If I were to aim at the pin and pull it, I could end up on the lower, left tier leaving me a very long, difficult putt. If I land the ball a little right of the right, it will kick left. A well struck 9-iron will put me on the front, or front-middle of the green. A choked down 8-iron would put me in the middle or middle-back, leaving me a downhill putt. I'd rather hit the 9, and if I mis-hit a bit and call short leaving a fairly simple chip. I aim 5 - 10 yards right of the pin and make good, solid contact. The ball ends up on the right hand fringe and is puttable.


I have left an 18 footer that is slightly downhill and bends left. I plumb the putt and determine the putt will break about 6 inches. Because it is slightly downhill, the putt will generally break a little more, so I allow for 7 inches. I put a good stoke on the ball, and make the putt. Finally, a birdie, and better yet, a DEUCE. Patience does pay off. You just don't want to try forcing things, especially if you're not hitting the ball well.


Hole #6 is a straight, 340 yard par 4. The fairway is about 10 yards above the tee and the green; you hit up and then hopefully down. The key is not to hit it too far. Ideally, I hit my trusty 2-wood to about the 100 - 110 yard mark leaving myself close to a full wedge. If I hit it further, I'll be left with a fairly severe downhill lie and about 70 yards; a really tough partial wedge. I could hit driver well and get it to the bottom of the hill and have a 30-40 yard wedge shot left, but that's not the percentage shot to play.


On this hole, the wind has come up. It's behind me a slightly across from left to right. I measure the wind speed to be about 2 metres per second, but because the tee is below the fairway and is shelterd by trees, the speed must be greater than that measured. A ball hit with the wind will run farther, so I decide to hit a 2-iron so I don't end up with that horrible downhill lie for my second. The 2-iron will also fly lower and not be as affected by the wind. I aim down the middle of the fairway expected the ball might drift a little to the right. There is OB (out of bounds) down the left hand side I don't want to flirt with.


I'm left with 120 yards for my second from the right hand side of the fairway. The pin is cut front-left and is guarded by a front bunker. Now that I'm on the raised fairway, I can definitely feel the strength of the wind and I measure wind speed to be 3 metres per second. With that wind speed and the fact that the green is 6 yards below the fairway, the shot will play about 100 yards. For me, that's a full wedge while choking an inch down on the grip. The ball will drift to the right with the wind. If the ball gets up high into the air, the wind will carry it farther. I'd rather be longer than short in the bunker. Plus, if I pull my wedge, I could miss the green into a bunker on the left. So, I decide to aim 5 yards right of the flag and accept I'll probably be a little long. I hit a solid wedge, pull it a touch and the wind drifts the ball to the right. The ball ends up 5 yards right of the pin and about 25 feet long.


The putt is lightly down hill and breaks slightly left to right due to the ridge that separates the left and right tiers of the green. The putt will be a little fast and thus lagging is the only thing on my mind except I don't want to be short and leave myself a downhill 2nd putt. I'd rather be 4 feet long than 3 feet short. If I'm long, I'll see how the putt breaks as it goes past the hole and uphill putts are easier to sink because they don't break as much. I hit a good putt with good speed and actually leave myself a tap in.


After 6 holes, I'm one over par and feeling confident in the way I am managing my game, even though I don't have my ball striking A game. There's many facets of confidence in golf. The major one, in my opinion, is feeling in control. I feel in control because I have been making careful, conscious decisions on how to play shots to avoid trouble.


In my next newsletter, we'll finish the nine holes and talk more about playing in the wind.


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9 Holes with a Golf Expert -- Part 3: First Three Holes Statistical Analysis

Click
here to order Dave's Pelz's Short Game Bible
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Recap from Last Time


† Stay in the present. In the course of a round, accept you'll make some bad shots and perhaps have some bad holes. What has happened can't be changed. How you react to it can affect your future shots.

†In the opening holes, play conservatively; don't take uneccessary risks. How you play the opening holes sets the tone for the rest of the round.



First 3 Holes



Well, I couldn't hold off. I had to do the statistical analysis of how the opening hole scores are related to the final total score. I analyzed about 1700 scores from my home course Men's Night. Handicaps ranged from +2 - 35. I compared the average total net score of the first 3 holes with the final total net score. This is what I found.


For the first 3 hole net total scores over par, 90% resulted in total NET scores over par. This would suggest shooting over net par on the opening holes almost always results in shooting over net par for the total round. Likewise, scoring at a net 75 pace or higher on the first three holes results in a total net score of net 75 or higher 82% of the time. Now part of this relationship might be due to the fact that those golfers not playing well on the first three holes do so because they just aren't playing well that day and continue to not play well.


Of the scores analyzed, 72% had over net par starts. This would indicate that the opeing holes at Salmon Arm Golf Club are difficult. The handicap ratings for the first three holes are 3, 9 and 7, respectively, thus confirming that they are difficult.


Of those golfers that shot lower than net par on the first three holes, 32% shot under net par total while 68% shot over net par total. Playing well at the beginning doesn't as likely lead to a good score as playing poorly leads to a poor score.


I think these statistics indicate that the opening holes do influence how one plays for the rest of the round. That's why I encourage you to play conservatively on the opening holes. Don't take uneccessary risks. Of course it would be nice if you could shrug off a poor start and not let it affect your game. Unfortunately, the "confidence bubble" for most of us is quite thin and delicate.


I'll see if I can get a hold of some PGA tournament scores and do a similar analysis with those. If so, that'll be the topic of my next newsletter. Otherwise, I'll continue with my "playing lessons" and the next few holes.



Hole #4 is the #1 handicap stroke hole. We'll find out why next time. Take a look at it in the mean time. Send me some feedback or ask some questions before I put out the next newsletter. Use this simple
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Now, go get that book . Go to your local bookstore and get it OR click here, Click
here to order Dave's Book
, to order it from amazon; your game will thank you for it.



If you'd like more detail on
choosing a new driver, purchase my special report.
Buy Now for
$8.99
or get it for free by purchasing a Swing Speed
Radar
.


I'd appreciate any comments you have. Email them to
me at probablegolf@yahoo.ca