Thursday, May 31, 2018

Why is launch angle important in maximizing distance?

     We all want to hit our drivers as far as possible. Obviously clubhead speed and center face contact are the two most important factors, but launch angle and spin rate also play an important role.

     Launch angle is the angle the ball flies as it leaves the club face. The optimum launch angle for each player depends on their club head speed. The faster the club head speed the lower the ball should launch. The slower the club head speed the higher the ball should launch. Let me give you an analogy to help explain why. You are watering a flower bed with your garden hose and the water pressure is at its highest. You are twenty feet from the bed so with a powerful stream of water you can hold the nozzle at a relatively low angle. If your turned the water pressure down by a third you would have to raise the angle of the nozzle in order to reach the flower bed. You are adjusting the angle of the nozzle according to the amount of water pressure you have. Think of club head speed the same way you think of water pressure.
    The average club head speed on the PGA Tour is 113 MPH with a launch angle of 10.9 degrees and spin rate of 2686 RPM. The average player I fit in my shop swings between 80 and 90 MPH.
Those players need to launch the ball between 13 and 15 degrees with a spin rate under 3,100 RPM.
By finding the right shaft and loft combination players can maximize their distance and improve their shot dispersion.
     When in the market for a new driver or fairway woods seek out a qualified professional that utilizes a launch monitor. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Why is the golf swing so difficult?


Through the website Quora I recently was asked to answer the question, "Why is the golf swing so difficult?" I thought about it for quite awhile and below is my response. 

     The golf swing itself is not a difficult motion, but rather the proficiency required to become a good player. Let me give you an example: Most anyone has the physical ability to attempt shooting a free throw in basketball or to roll a bowling ball down a lane. The same is true for tossing a horseshoe or pitching a dart. But how many people can make ten free throws in a row, make ten strikes in a row, throw ten ringers in a row or hit the bulls eye 9 out of 10 times with a dart?
     That’s where the proficiency comes into play. These individuals have spent years practicing to develop their skills. The golf swing is no different. It doesn’t require an extraordinary amount of athleticism to swing an object weighing less than a pound to propel a ball weighing less than two ounces. It does however require a tremendous amount of practice to develop the skills and proficiency to hit shots with any level of consistency.
     Most individuals possess the necessary physical attributes to play golf at a reasonable level. A player’s determination, work ethic and mental attitude will have a lot to do with how good a player they become.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

What is Golf Rx?

     Over the years many people come in the shop saying " I have driven by here a number of times and saw your sign. I finally decided to stop in to see what you do here." They are often surprised by seeing our equipment and the services we offer. For those of you who haven't visited our facility I thought I would take a minute and explain what Golf Rx is all about.

     I would best describe Golf Rx as a "golf studio" that offers golf instruction, custom club fitting and club repair. As an indoor facility weather is no longer a factor when teaching or club fitting. Our equipment is state of the art. We utilize a Full Swing Golf Simulator with the latest E-6 software along with an ION 2 Tracking Camera. We provide video lessons using V1 Digital Video software.
Today's technology is simply amazing and provides the professional and the students tremendous information for teaching and club fitting.

    We have fitting systems in house for Ping, Callaway, Taylor Made and Mizuno golf equipment. Players are able to hit a variety of head and shaft combinations enabling us to determine the best combination for distance and consistency. We also have a full service club repair department offering re-gripping, re-shafting, loft and lie adjustment and frequency matching for shafts.

    So whether you need some help with your swing, shopping for some new custom fit equipment or need a club repaired Golf Rx is here to help you. Next time you are in the neighborhood stop by or visit us online at www.golfrx.biz.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Steve's latest book now available

    My latest book, The Pocket Caddy  is now available for golf enthusiasts. This helpful publication is a quick reference guide designed for players to keep in their golf bag. The spiral bound booklet covers twenty of the most common shot problems.
    The cause and correction for each shot problem is explained in two or three paragraphs, and written in easy to understand terms. Each topic is accompanied by pen and ink drawings done by a professional artist. The illustrations provide excellent visual explanations of each shot problem.
      The Pocket Caddy is a great reference tool and the next best thing to having your instructor with you on the practice tee. 
 To learn more about The Pocket Caddy  and Steve's other books visit www.pocketcaddy.net. All books ordered will be personally signed by Steve.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Changing the length of a golf club

     Occasionally a customer will ask me to shorten or lengthen a club or a set of clubs. Usually the reason is the club or clubs feel either too long or too short for the person. What they often don't realize is changing the length also changes other characteristics of the club.

     An example would be a customer wanting his driver shortened from 46 inches to 44 inches for more control. His current driver has a swing weight of D-1 and a shaft frequency of 260 CPM. Shortening the club by 2 inches will change the swing weight to a C1,  the shaft is stiffer and the overall weight of the club is now lighter. Lengthening the club will have the opposite effect. The swing weight will be an E-1, the shaft will be softer and the overall weight will be heavier. In both cases the club now feels totally different and would be virtually unplayable.

      Components of club heads and shafts are designed based on that club being built to a specific length. This is to assure maximum performance, consistency and feel for the player.

    Custom fit clubs are often built with shorter or longer lengths. However, in these cases the manufacturer will pick the proper gram weighted heads and either soft step or hard step the shafts to insure the proper weight, flex and feel of the clubs so they will perform correctly.

     If you are considering changing the length of your club or set make sure to talk to a professional before doing so.
   

Monday, March 12, 2018

2018 Golf Digest Hot List

    Recently Golf Digest published their Hot List for 2018. Four of the drivers featured include the Ping G400, Callaway Rogue, Taylor Made M3 and M4 and the Mizuno ST180. We now have our demos in all these models in a variety of shafts and lofts.
    We have also received the new iron models that were featured for 2018. These include the Ping G700, Callaway Rogue & Apex CF, Taylor Made M3, M4 & P790 and Mizuno Forged MP-18 and MP-MMC.
    To have your current driver or irons evaluated (we will frequency test the shaft at no charge) and compare its performance against these new models call the shop to schedule a fitting appointment. 


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What is torque in golf shafts?


     Torque is the property of golf shafts that resists twisting during a golf swing. The fact that the shaft attaches to the heel end of the golf club means all the club head weight is in front of the shaft. During the golf swing because of the weights location a twisting force is exerted on the shaft.

     Torque is measured in degrees. The lower the number is better the shaft resists twisting.The range on today's graphite shafts can be as high as 7 degrees and as low as 1 degree. A steel shaft's range, because of the material, is much narrower - a little more than 2 degrees to just under 4 degrees.

     The reason that torque is not a critical fitting factor today is because shaft makers design the torque of their shafts to coincide with the flex. Because a strong player with an aggressive tempo creates more twisting force on the shaft you rarely see S and X flex shafts with torque higher than 4 degrees. With R, A and L flex shafts are designed with higher degrees of torque because a slower swinger exerts less twisting force on the shaft.

    In summary for most players torque is not a factor to be concerned with in shaft fitting. For those who's swings warrant consideration of shaft torque it will apply only to graphite shafts and not steel.


     

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Clubhead Speed Versus Headweight

     A reader sent in a question about headweight and how it affects distance. This is a great question and one that has stirred debate in the golf industry for years. Most people would agree that a lighter club would be better, but if you look closer that answer would need to be qualified.

     A typical driver today is 45 1/2 inches long, has a headweight of 200 grams and a swing weight of D-1. If swung around 100 mph the ball leaves at about 145 mph and carries a little over 245 yards. If you could swing a heavier club at the same 100 mph the ball would not go proportionately faster and  farther. A 400 gram head (twice the normal weight) swung at 100 mph would send the ball at 160 mph. It has also been shown that lightening the head does not substantially increase distance. As the clubhead is lightened a player can swing only slightly faster. 

    As a result we can say there are a wide range of weights and will usually produce the same length for a particular player. As the clubhead gets lighter (less mass) the swing speed increases and as the clubhead gets heavier (more mass) the swing speed decreases. Both of these produce approximately the same distance.

     Engineers and club manufacturers test a multitude of weight combinations to produce a club that maximizes distance. An experienced clubfitter will then customize the specifications - shaft weight, shaft flex and swing weight - based on each player's swing characteristics.   

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Nashville Golf Show

      The 2nd Annual Nashville Golf Show is February 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2018 at the Music City Convention Center. The show hours are Friday, Noon - 6 PM, Saturday, 10 AM - 6 PM and Sunday, 10 AM - 3 PM.
      I will be there each day to help attendees with their golf swings as well as their golf equipment. 
My station ( located at the hitting net ) will include a launch monitor, video camera, shaft frequency meter and fitting clubs to assist players.
      If you would like to reserve a time with me during the show please send an email to stevejkirkpatrick@comcast.net or call Golf Rx at 615 288-4539. Feel free to bring your driver or 7 iron with you. 
     For more information visit www.nashvillegolfshow.com