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Drivers continue to be the most discussed, most macho piece of golf equipment amongst golfers and club designers.

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Chances are that if you are a truly devout golfer, a pilgrimage to golf’s mecca, a trip to Scotland, is first and foremost your primary goal...

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This area is designed to help everyone improve their golf game, pros and novices alike. Here our two Pro's, and game improvement techniques.

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Improve Your Putting Dramatically  Get Custom Fitted!
By: Dr. Barry Lotz

Tour Players, Instructors and avid golfers realize the importance of a computerized swing analysis, and now the entire golf world can benefit from a computerized putting stroke analysis and custom fitted putters.

Just as irons and woods should be custom fit to an individual’s stance and swing, so should your putter. And, while the importance of a putter that looks good at address cannot be overstated, a properly fit putter can have a dramatic effect on putting performance.

One should note however that there exist two schools of thought as it relates to custom putter fitting – Static Fitting and Motion Fitting. This article will not debate the merits of either but simply explain and inform the consumer of these two types of systems currently available to them.

There are three companies that offer custom fitting – PING, Putter Fitting Inc. (Bettinardi Golf ex VP Dave De John) and Titleist’s Scotty Cameron Division. While Titleist and Putter Fitting Inc. offer computer analysis, of which Titleist is totally unavailable to the general public, PING offers both a static fitting through their web site and through the use of their proprietary Fitting Gauge.

It should be noted that both of these types of putter-fitting systems have produced some of the highest percentages of Tour wins for their companies.

PING putters can be professionally fit at those PING retailers that have the PING Putter Fitting System. PING-trained fitters who understand all the variables involved in putter fitting, staff these retailers. They also have a variety of different putter models and designs that can help golfers with specific types of putting strokes.

This system utilizes the PING Putter Fitting Gauge and three different length-fitting putters (33″, 35″, and 37″) calibrated to the standard lie angle and loft specifications for the fitter to use as a benchmark during the fitting.

The fitter first determines the proper length by having you assume your normal address position with one of the 3 different length-fitting putters. Golfers with back problems may benefit from the more upright posture a longer putter allows, while golfers who prefer a crouched posture may benefit from a shorter putter. Most PING putters are available in lengths ranging from 30″ to 42″ in fractional increments.

Your preferred hand position and the length of the putter determine lie angle. Having the proper lie angle enhances your ability to square up the putter to the target line. During this step, it is important that you use the same putter, gripped at the same length, as was used to originally determine the final length of the putter. While you are in the putter address position, the fitter can read the proper shaft angle from the Putter Fitting Gauge. Most PING putters with hosels can be adjusted as much as 8° upright or 8° flat. Putters with curved shafts can also be adjusted, but to a lesser extent.

Loft plays an important role in helping to get the ball rolling, and tracking, along the intended line. PING putters have a standard loft of 3°, which is optimal for most putting surfaces. However, golfers who play on slower greens may benefit from putters with additional loft, while golfers who play on faster greens may benefit from less loft.

Additionally, your preferences for hand position and type of stroke influence the effective loft at impact. For example, a player with a pronounced forward press may need a putter with more loft since this hand position will reduce the effective loft at impact. The fitter uses the Gauge to measure effective loft at address, then observes the golfer’s stroke to determine the effective loft at impact. Since the ball comes off the putter face at a higher angle when struck firmly, and a lower angle when struck lightly, there is no ideal loft for every length putt. For most players, playing a putter with standard loft is the best compromise for putts of all lengths.

Grip style is also important since each has its own profile that not only fits differently in your hand, but also can actually encourage a certain type of putting stroke. Based on your preferences, the fitter can make a recommendation that will enhance your putting stroke.

Golfers who prefer a pendulum-type stroke may benefit from a deeper profile, which will reduce wrist action and encourage the golfer to swing more with his or her arms and shoulders. Two such grips are the Palm Lock and the new Finger Lock.

Golfers who prefer a “wristy” stroke usually prefer a smaller grip diameter to encourage the release during the stroke. These grips include the Textured Spiral and the new Karsten Smooth and Karsten Etched grips.

Although a putter is usually selected based on aesthetics, putters are also designed to help golfers who prefer certain types of putting strokes. Designs can be categorized based on the balance angle of the face when the club is suspended with the shaft oriented horizontally. This angle is most influenced by the way in which the hosel or shaft is attached to the head of the putter.

The designs are described as ranging from more face- balanced, where the face of the putter points up, to more heel-shafted, where the toe points down.

Players who prefer an inside-to-square stroke, or those who tend to “pull” putts, may benefit from a heel-shafted putter like the Zing2TM, Pal2TM or Anser4TM.

Players who prefer a pendulum-type stroke, or those who tend to “push” putts, may benefit from a face-balanced putter, like the Darby or the Ally3.

As mentioned earlier, the only other computerized putter fitting system currently available to the golfing public is Putter Fitting, Inc.’s new system. Dave De John, formerly a vice-president of Bettinardi Golf (one of the top three putter manufacturers) and inventor of this new system, is releasing his first computerized putting stroke analyzer in August. The Putter Fitting, Inc.’s system is available for use with all other putter manufacturers products.

The system was designed with both accuracy and simplicity in mind. Even though total fitting time is less than five minutes start to finish, it provides enough information to accurately identify the player’s loft, lie, squareness, hand and ball position and tendencies.

The system works by using a Digital Image Transferring camera, which captures the individual’s putting stroke and putter head position at the time of ball impact. The images are then sent via the Internet (email) to Putter Fitting, Inc.’s corporate office where trained technicians through the use of state of the art software run a complex analysis on the images. An email is then sent back to the retailer identifying the player’s specs along with specific putter recommendations based on the individual’s tendencies. This recommendation is determined after analyzing specific factors based on information supplied by Dr. Jim Suttie 2000 PGA Instructor of the Year.

De John’s philosophy: Why is it important to have a putter fit to an individual’s putting style? If the toe of the putter is not level and is either up or down, it can immediately misdirect the ball off line. If the individual’s putter is not square at impact, it can also immediately misdirect the ball off line. If the loft of the putter is wrong (most putters have 4 degrees loft), the ball can immediately go airborne or be driven into the ground, which will cause the ball to bounce. When the ball makes contact with the ground it can skip, hop or skid which can affect the speed of the ball. Improper loft can easily misdirect the ball off line when it comes back in contact with the ground. How important is the loft? Using baseball or softball as an example, if you were playing shortstop, what would be easier to judge, a ball hit to you in the air or a hard ground ball that bounces 2 or 3 times before it gets to you? The problem with the ground ball is every time the ball bounces it can easily change directions or speed, you never know what it’s going to do or where it’s going to go. The same principle applies to improper loft on a putter, if the ball leaves the ground it can very easily be misdirected when it makes contact with the ground.

The simplicity of the system is one of the most important factors that make it beneficial to both the retailer and the individual golfer. A specially designed putting surface manufactured exclusively for Putter Fitting, Inc. guarantees consistent ball reaction through every one of the retailers (which assures an accurate analysis from one retailer to another).

The system works by simply placing the camera on the ground at the predetermined locations and viewed on the computer monitor. The retailer clicks on the “fitting icon” (with the mouse) on the computer screen. Within seconds an image of a TV set appears displaying a live image from the camera when the individual is ready is to putt. The retailer simply clicks on the start button (with the mouse). The recording automatically stops and resets for the next putt. It’s that simple. The putting images are captured from three locations, taking 3 putts from each location (a total of 9 sample putts). The images are then emailed to Putter Fitting, Inc. for analysis. Total fitting time is the length of time it takes for an individual to take 9 putts.

Those retailers who carry these fitting systems offer either of these two systems at no cost to the consumer. For the PING retailers, the PING Putter Fitting Gauge is supplied free of charge while the Putting Fitting Inc.’s system cost the retailer $395. For those retailers who do have both systems, the consumer should be advised to try both and see the results from each system. Hopefully the blending of the two results will give the consumer an even more exact fit.

Putter Fitting, Inc.
6621 Linden Drive
Oak Forest, Illinois 60452
708-687-8300 / 708-687-1608
www.putterfitting.com

PING, Inc.
P.O. Box 82000
Phoenix, Arizona 85071-2000
1.800.4.PING.FIT
www.pinggolf.com


Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his current book, “How to Build Business Relationships Through Golf” is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list.

He can be reached at www.pgtaa.com or drlotz@cbsgolf.net

 

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Golf Equipment Reviews Sheets & Eats

PING

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Last year PING had the best-selling driver in the G30 model. This year, their new PING G has attracted a new set of devotees to the PING clan.
What the G driver offers is what every golfer desires – faster club head and ball speed. Using proprietary Turbulator Technology, VorTec and face/crown transition to combine for more efficient air flow, there is definitely a noticeable difference over the G30 version – all good.
The T9S Titanium face is thinner and hotter for maximum distance and deflection. The club’s adjustability with its 5-lobe hosel sleeve, allows ±1 degree of loft adjustment.
Another improvement is the DragonFly Technology –

$429.99 www.pinggolf.com

 

Make Winter time Productive For Your Golf Game

jeff students 2

If you live in an area where winter means cold temperatures, rain, sleet, snow and wind, your golf game may be tucked safely in the back of your mind.

While that’s understandable it is still a time to prepare for when the weather takes a turn for the better.

Here are some suggestions on how to make your winter productive for your game...

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This Month’s Featured Web Site Featured Golf School

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If you thought the Orient Express was high class, then you will love Rovos Rail. Recapture the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era as you step aboard our reconditioned wood-paneled coaches and enjoy fine cuisine in five-star luxury. Golf safaris are also available

www.rovos.com

Professional Golf Teachers Association

PGTAA graduates have access to positions as golf teaching professionals including head professionals at

both private and public country clubs, golf schools, driving ranges, golf learning centers, indoor facilities, high schools and college coaches. Custom club makers have added golf teaching as a new dimension to their businesses. Graduates can also expect to hold positions as managers of both public and private golf facilities within the US and internationally.

A magazine’s review of the PGTAA

 

Instruction Area Gof Tips and Tricks

Having problems with your swing? – Fix your slice! by Johnny Miller

I recently was examining swing sequences of some of the greatest players in history. Knowing that some of these players favored a draw as their standard shot while others preferred a fade, I sought to identify swing features within each group that would explain their respective ball-flight tendencies. Something profound emerged that I think will benefit all golfers, especially those cursed with a wicked slice.

What I found was this: Virtually every accomplished fader of the ball–from Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods–displayed a straight left arm at the top of the backswing. Conversely, those who preferred a draw–players like Arnold Palmer and Bobby Jones–maintained a slight bend at the elbow.

This discovery is great news for most slicers, as they tend to do by accident what intentional faders do on purpose. In this article I’ll explain why the dynamic works, and how a simple swing change will make a powerful draw your standard shot.

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This area of golfindustryonline.com is designed to help everyone improve their golf game, pros and novices alike. Here our two Pro’s, Geoff Greig and Mark Immelman, explore different aspects of the golf swing and game improvement techniques.

Although we are not able to directly answer questions relating to golf tips, you might try posting your question on our golf tips message board.

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it is our life…