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GolfSpy MPR

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  1. This one only took a handful of tries: I tossed a ball to him and he picked it clean out of the air:
  2. The swing is his own. I've given him a tiny bit of instruction, but he's never had a formal lesson. It's about as natural as a swing can be. As for the twirl: he's watched enough Tiger highlights to have picked that up from there
  3. Definitely agree both 1) that the governing bodies need to cap equipment distance where it is and that 2) through conditioning and launch monitors, upcoming Tour pros are going to continue to add (significant) distance in the next few decades. I also agree that having a variety of styles in play makes watching golf better. Unfortunately, the impact of science on sport tends toward uniformity. When there's a breakthrough novelty (the Fosbury Flop), it's only novel until it's proven to be better, at which point every single competitor adopts it. (As a side observation: I think it is very likely that the move from the video-based coaching generation to the launch-monitor-based coaching generation will have the side effect of bringing back a lot of variety in swing styles. Video, by the very nature of the tool, focuses on the visual conformity to a pattern. Because LMs don't care how you swing it, so long as you're hitting your numbers, you have an increased likelihood of getting a Wolff or even a DeChambeau.) The Mark Broadie/Scott Fawcett/Lou Stagners of the world are showing (using hard data) that hitting the ball far is unquestionably the best way to score low. As a result, I think we'll see the same thing we've seen in other sports that have been strongly influenced by analytics. Guys trying to make a career shooting midrange jumpers or as traditional big men are having a hard go of it. I don't think we're even going to see a Rickey Henderson/Vince Coleman 100-base stealer ever again. Should those losses make us nostalgic? Yeah, I think so, especially if you grew up with a connection to a team or player that was of that model. And it's great when an "old-school" guy like that can make it work in the modern game. But even talking about appreciating the short hitters now on Tour is kinda silly. Zach Johnson averaged 287.5 off the tee last season. While he's 30 yards shorter than Cameron Champ, 287.5 is not short. Short is obviously relative on Tour, and there will always be guys 30+ yards shorter than the longest guys, and so that variety will always exist.
  4. Yeah, you're right on both accounts. It's really long, and I don't have a definite conclusion on the distance debate itself. My main point was to just remind everyone involved that we're trying to figure out the best rules for a game. That means there's no definitive right and wrong here. I think that reminder applies more to the rollback/bifurcation side of the debate, who sometimes frame their arguments hyperbolically: that the modern game is a travesty, etc. I don't want to discount the real logistics issues: length increases maintenance, etc. But what we're arguing about, chiefly, is our taste in the kind of golf we want to watch. Maybe we could frame it this way: laying aside personality and just focusing on style of play, would you rather watch A Zach Johnson or Jim Furyk plot their way around the course, laying up on par 5s to get birdies with stellar wedge play, or A Rory McIlory or Jon Rahm hit mammoth drives and laser approach shots, or A Bubba Watson or Phil Mickelson, hitting huge drives and hitting heroic recovery shots with imagination? To be sure, it is good for the Tour if there's room for all of these guys. Variety is part of what makes the game interesting. But it's likely that one kind of player will be predominate. Which archetype should the Tour seek to have as the most common player? Honestly, I'd rather watch the Bubba/Phil guys. In my judgment, they are the most entertaining and provide the most "Did you see that?!" moments per round. But it's impossible to make those guys the majority, not only because (I suspect) that style of play isn't something you can really teach, but because it just isn't the most prudent style of play for most guys if they want to have a sustainable Tour career. Watching a ZJ or Furyk play is absolutely fascinating, but (for me) I can't imagine that having a Tour filled with those guys would be more fun to watch than a Tour filled with Rory/Rahm clones. The ZJ/Furyk types are interesting for two reasons: they're more relatable than the others, and they provide a contrast. So on balance, it seems to me that the Tour would be making itself less interesting, on balance, if it made changes to favor a Tour filled with ZJ/Furyk types. That's as close as I get to an answer
  5. This is very long for a forum post; it’s really more a golf blog post, but I don’t have a golf blog. Also, I’m not writing any of this with the delusions that people will want to read it, but mostly to bring some order to my own thinking about the distance debate, because I see good arguments on both sides. Perhaps it will also help others. Let’s start with a question: which iconic par 3 is closer to your image of an ideal tournament golf hole? #12 at the Masters, or #16 at the Phoenix Open I suspect most of us are happy to say that there is a place for both holes (including their very different atmospheres) in the course of season. But my question is, which one is a better model for golf to pursue to best secure its own future? Augusta’s Twelfth and Scottsdale’s Sixteenth offer profoundly contrasting visions about what golf should be and what about it should be appealing. One is set up so that virtually no one is present around the hole in a setting so reverent it’s called Amen Corner. The other stacks people on top of each other in a stadium that is not noted for its reverence. One hole inspires day-by-day analysis of the strategy demanded by each hole location on the green; its Sunday pin is legendary. For the other, whatever strategic elements objectively exist in the hole are practically washed away by gallons of overpriced beer. While there are some who love both holes, there’s a lot of non-overlapping area in that Venn diagram. To (over-)simplify, advocates of the Twelfth contend that golf’s proper direction is to emphasize tradition, decorum, subtlety, and nuance. Those in this camp would have to concede that their vision of the game might appeal to fewer people, but would counter that those fewer people would likely have a deeper devotion to golf. Advocates of the Sixteenth’s version of golf suggest that it might not be the shrewdest idea for the game to market itself as a form of masochism. They contend that it could be, you know, fun. People might listen to music while playing. The ground on which golf is played doesn’t have to be so stinkin’ hallowed. It doesn’t seem that a comparison that two roughly 150-yard par 3s would have anything to do with the distance debate, but I content that it does. At its course, the distance debate isn’t merely about distance. The contention that there is a “proper” distance for people to hit their drives is very much of the spirit of Augusta. The contrary position, that it’s fun to watch Cam Champ obliterate golf balls, feels much more in tune with Phoenix. I’m going to pursue a couple of rabbit trails here, but my main point is this: the distance debate comes down to a matter of taste and preference. To be sure, the reality of increased distance is objectively there, and it creates real-world problems. And while I honestly don’t know what the answer is, the collective temperature of the discussion could drop a few degrees by remembering that we’re trying to figure out how to play a game for amusement. Remembering that golf is a game, though obvious, helps this discussion, because the rules and regulations of sports are of necessity arbitrary. Sports are unnecessary. That is their nature. They may play a practical function in society, equipping citizens with physical, social, and emotional skills that can prepare them for more necessary tasks. But sport is sport because it in itself is not a task that needs to be accomplished. If you run 26.2 miles to deliver a needed message in a battle, that is not sport. If you run 26.2 miles for its own sake, that’s sport. In battle, you have to run 26.2 miles because that’s where the guy is to whom the message must be delivered. In sport, you run 26.2 miles…for any possible number of reasons. Because it is the nature of sport to be unnecessary, the rules of sports have no moral or logical necessity to them. The rationale for the rules of sports are rooted in various concerns: Convenience: we can race to that tree. Why that distance? Because the tree standing there provides an easy finish line. Any number of rules in various sports have these kinds of origins and golf is no exception. Why 18 holes? Why a cup 4.25” in diameter? In many cases, the answer is that it was convenient for those who originated the game, and therefore become the accepted standard everywhere. Competition: every sport has to determine what it is testing and this is arbitrary. An open “who can cover this distance the fastest?” contest needs further parameters to make competition meaningful. Does it make sense to have people races when we have auto races, and the cars go way faster? It does, only because we make arbitrary distinctions. Track is wrestling right now with shoe technology, but why permit shoes at all? Our answer to this question is not going to be one with mathematical certainty. Golf is fundamentally a question of getting a ball in a hole in as few strokes as possible. Do we want to be more specific about the ways in which a person must go about doing that? Fun: because sport is unnecessary, and especially in a society like ours in which we have more freedom for leisure than nearly any that preceded us, we choose rules for a sport to make it more enjoyable. We start with the obvious extremes: basketball with rims at 50’ would make for a frustrating game. It might be interesting (for a time) to see if anyone could make a basket at that height, but the game of basketball would likely be literally pointless with that goal, making it more frustrating than fun to play. Challenge: perhaps in tension with fun, we place some rules in place to make our sport more difficult. And at the extremes, there are sports where the grueling challenge is the point: think various endurance sports, like hypermarathon running. Typically, the more a sports rules tilt toward challenge and away from fun, the smaller the number of people that will be drawn to the sport. Entertainment: I distinguish this from fun as I have in view here the perspective of the spectator rather than the participants. For sports without spectators, this doesn’t matter. But for sports that seek to generate revenue, this is an enormous consideration. I think we can safely presume that this is in large measure why baseball ignored its obvious steroid issue in the late 1990s. Continuity: and we can break this down into two (sometimes very different) aspects. There is continuity of the challenge and continuity of the results. A sport like track emphasizes the continuity of the challenge. It would strike most people as absurd if, as records fall at various distances, the governing bodies of track stretch the 100m sprint to 110m to keep the times consistent with the past. But golf, with its center of gravity in relation to par, seems to prefer continuity of results. If Rory McIlroy would play an unadjusted Augusta at a number absurdly under par, doesn’t that simply mean that he’s better at golf (getting the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes) than previous generations? The distance debate exists in the tension created by these various goals of a sport. My point is simply to encourage everyone to recognize that. I suspect that even if equipment advances were absolutely locked down right now, we’re still likely to see driving distance averages moving from 296 yards (where it is right now) to north of 320 yards in the next decades. If this were to happen, it means that the most elite golfers have gotten better at golf. And yes, they will be able to blow the doors off courses, shooting numbers that are absurdly under par, because they are better at golf than the golfers of the past. If the object of the game is to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes possible, hitting the ball as close as possible to the hole on every shot maximizes your ability to do that. If we don’t like what the combination of athletic ability, equipment, optimized launch, and perfect agronomy do to our enjoyment of watching the game (and the distance problem is exclusively a problem at the most elite level), there’s a case to be made for changing it. But the case is one based on taste, one aimed at creating a product that is enjoyable to watch so that it is profitable, and in that way sustainable.
  6. Last week, Rory McIlroy took over the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings, knocking Brooks Koepka down to #2. This week, we have the relatively rare circumstance that the number 1 slot is once again up for grabs, with three contestants all competing at the Genesis Invitational together. Depending on how everything shakes out, Rory, Brooks, or Jon Rahm could end up with the top ranking when the Genesis concludes. So who's your pick? Who will be holding the #1 ranking when the next edition of the OWGR comes out?
  7. Still a long way from golf up here, but my Frontline Elevado is starting the season as my first putter off the bench if my Indianapolis starts acting up. I built a second DIY Stroke Lab shaft and put on a P2 Classic grip, and I'm really liking the look, feel, and (indoor) performance so far:
  8. This belongs in the Happy Thread:
  9. The fact that you're asking the question shows that you're already in a good place. You're the not obnoxious 20-cap at the range, sidling up to random guys dropping swing tips from the latest issue of Golf Digest. You seem to be pretty aware of your limitations. That awareness is key. Ability to play does not equal ability to coach: my 7-year-old son is legitimately better at golf than I am, but he doesn't know why. He's a terrible coach ("Um, just do what I'm doing."). Although I'm a middling 12-13 handicap, I've done a ton of study on the swing. I have an idea of what's supposed to be happening, if it I myself am not great at doing it. The fact that you're currently a 20 handicap doesn't mean that you have nothing to offer a new player. That said, part of knowing your limitations is knowing when you've stopped being helpful. Giving a beginner some tips, especially if he's asking for them, is a good thing. If it looks like he's getting the golf itch, that's when it's going to be good to recommend that he go get advice from someone with more expertise.
  10. Whatever else one might say about his postseason performance, I don't think anyone can accuse him of cutting his season short in order to get a tee time.
  11. Eclectic is about the nicest possible word you could use. This is the setup your uncle who plays once a year in a company scramble has in the cobweb-covered bag in his garage. Except he doesn't have a personalized putter that likely has a negative MOI
  12. They literally just lowered the age requirement, with the result that Tiger will certainly be in next year: https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/28531260/golf-hall-fame-lowers-age-eligibility-requirements-induction
  13. We got the outtake. Still gotta get the successful shot:
  14. Also thought I'd throw in a little more detail on my Callaway Utility vs. PING G700 5 iron test, now that I'm back at my computer with the SkyTrak data. I've exported the 10 shots I hit with each, and I set up the spreadsheet to show both the averages for all ten and also the averages that exclude the most offline shot and the lowest ball speed shot with each. Here are the raw numbers: As I mentioned in the earlier post, you can see that the ball speed numbers are essentially identical, with or without the bad shots. The G700 has a small but consistent advantage in launch angle and spin rate (I'm obviously not a high spin player, and the G700 are not high spin irons). I have a left miss with both clubs, but we'll see the dispersion chart next to get a clearer picture of that. Carry distances are very close, with a slight edge to the G700. But the higher launch angle, higher spin, higher peak, and steeper descent of the G700s get them about a yard less rollout, which is a plus at this slot of the bag. And here are the dispersion patterns: The green is the Callaway and the red is the PING. Clearly, the Callaway offers a tighter circle; the PING has a broader left-right pattern. But I'm not ready to say that those misses are really on the club (sample size, etc.). Each club has a strong grouping of a majority of shots (9 for the Callaway with one left miss, 7 for the PING with 2 lefts and a right). If you just focus on those groupings (which I suspect might be more indicative of the club and might better reflect mid-season form), the G700 offers just as tight a pattern and one that is closer to the center line. I have to say that, as one that has never had the opportunity to go in for a fitting, this was an enjoyable exercise.
  15. Like @Wedgie said, I also have a double-thick mat (turf on top of those interlocking foam mats) to get myself level with the Flight Deck. I'd say the only issue I find with it so far is that because it's forgiving on the joints, it's also a bit forgiving on the fat shots. You have to pay attention to strike so that you don't think you're hitting the ball well when you're not.
  16. Continues to be cold here, but we haven't had a ton more snow, which gives some reason for hope that we'll be able to golf again sometime. It was barely 20° here today, so it was still really cold in the garage. But I had a few tasks I wanted to accomplish on the SkyTrak today. The first is that I got a new hitting mat: a Fiberbuilt Flight Deck. On getting it, I found that it's essentially an overgrown bathroom tub scrubber. The grass is made of stiff bristles. By reviews, it's supposed to give more accurate spin numbers and be easier on the old elbows. I'm hoping to build up a better platform for it, but my initial impressions are positive. The second is that I wanted to do a little club test. A couple years back, I purchased an older model Callaway Prototype Utility iron at 24°. That's the same loft as my G700 5-iron, so I wanted to pit them against each other and see if one or the other gave me better numbers as I put my bag together for the upcoming season. The results were interesting, and mostly conclusive. I hit ten shots with each club, alternating in sets of five. I set the green at 190 yards, though given the temps, I wasn't shocked that I didn't quite get there. The clubs ended up with identical ball speeds and carry distances. The G700 had a slightly higher launch angle, higher peak height, steeper descent angle, and slightly higher spin. All of this combined for a slightly shorter rollout. On these numbers, it would seem a slam dunk for the G700, and I'm almost fully decided that that's where I'm going. The only win for the Callaway was in dispersion: the shots from the utility iron had a consistent grouping on the left side of the green. The G700 missed a bit on either side (though certainly with a tendency on the left side as well). The final thing I wanted to do was a wedge matrix. I've done this before, but I've never fully committed to it the way I should have. After getting in on the Precision Pro test from last season, I think I'm in a really good position to commit to locking down series of shots for everything inside 100 yards. I've always adopted a bit less aggressive swing on these partial wedges; I think earlier in this thread, I have my results from another wedge matrix, and the numbers are much longer. Here, they are shorter, but the gapping is tighter. This is true even of the "full" swings: these are not normal full swings, with a complete weight shift and hinge; they are full short game swings, keeping my weight on the front foot throughout and using less wrist. That means I should have one more gear with each wedge, using a real full swing. I did this hitting five shots of each type; when I do it again, I'm going to have it discard outliers (including a couple shanks), which makes sense for this kind of exercise. There's a lot here I like; there's a solid sequence of 5-yard increments through the middle of this matrix. I have a gap at 60-65 yards which I'll have to figure out. I did today's matrix hitting the shots without looking at SkyTrak's results; I wanted to focus on hitting (for instance) a 1/2 swing SW, not hitting a particular yardage. As I work on this further, I want to start associating each swing with a yardage that I'm trying to hit.
  17. The USGA and R&A have released their joint Distance Insights Report; are they overlooking a potentially simple solution to their looming distance issue? Also, Taylormade's new Truss putter, and repeat after us: Union Green is NOT Titleist. 0:51 - Our take on the results of the Distance Insights Report 34:46 - Taylormade is turning heads in their effort to prevent heads from turning with the Truss putter line 43:51 - When is a Titleist not a Titleist? Union Green is Acushnet's take on the DTC golf ball. 1:09:51 - Don't miss out on our Member Testing opportunities. Join the MGS forums and keep the equipment that you test. Listen to NPG: SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/mygolfspy/no-putts-given-31 iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-usga-distance-report-npg-31/id1356729135?i=1000464959327 Watch NPG: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv_2gYaAvdU
  18. Kirke's been working hard...on his club twirl:
  19. I've got one on my Odyssey EXO Indianapolis and I'm a big fan. Quantifying exactly how much a difference it makes is not easy, but I don't know that I've had a putter that has been a better fit for my stroke, including the grip. You'll also find a lot more discussion on the Gravity Grip in these threads: https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/31563-gravity-grip/ https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/35381-evnroll-gravity-grip/ https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/31080-gravity-grips-non-evnroll-branded-are-now-available-for-purchase/
  20. And we have our winners! But first: data! The odds of correctly picking eleven 50/50 guesses (like a coin toss) is about 1/2,000. With just under 300 entries, we wouldn't necessary expect a perfect entry—but we got one! To be sure, the odds aren't exactly 50/50 for each of these props. Oddly, the most lopsided vote was for the National Anthem length. Apparently, you guys have strong feelings that the Anthem goes long. It doesn't, and so 2/3 of the entries were out of the race for a perfect sheet before the game began. On the one prop that genuinely is a 50/50 shot—the coin toss—the guesses were weighted toward heads. The toss was tails. After the Anthem and the coin toss, roughly 250/300 of us had already gotten one prop wrong. That's a rough start! In forum administration news, I beat @GolfSpy STUDque and @GolfSpy Dave to take home the doesn't-actually-exist mod trophy. If you want to check how you finished, the complete results are in this spreadsheet. But now the real competition with the real prizes: We had a tie for second/third. @Jason Day and @Parsorbetter345 each nailed every prop except for the Anthem time. Unfortunately—ahem—neither completed the tie break by posting a final total score in the contest thread. So the mods huddled up (metaphorically) and called an audible (also metaphorical): whoever posted his picks first would take second place. Since Parsorbetter345 got his picks posted on Tuesday night and Jason Day did his last Wednesday, Parsonbetter345 nabs second place. Jason Day takes third. And now a major round of applause for the only perfect set of picks in our contest: @bogeyboy69! Adding to his impressive entry: his tie break score was 55, only 4 points off the actual number. As a reminder, Jason Day will be getting a sweet set of Fujikura/MyGolfSpy alignments sticks. Parsorbetter345 gets a set of the sticks and a PING glove. And bogeyboy69 gets the sticks, the glove, and a MyGolfSpy hat! Congrats to these forum members and thanks to all for playing!
  21. DEBATE: Is The Plain White Golf Ball Dying? We're back from the PGA Show to discuss the return of the Tommy Armour 845s and whether the white golf ball is experiencing a slow, steady demise. 1:17 - An update on Most Wanted Driver testing and life at HQ 6:30 - We reminisce about the classic 845 irons and their return in modern form 16:57 - Does the 2020 Taylormade PIX signal the beginning of a new trend in non-white golf balls? 40:15 - Are social media influencers losing influence? 47:53 - A new shaft from Fujikura: The Motore X Listen to NPG: SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/mygolfspy/no-putts-given-30 iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/is-the-plain-white-golf-ball-dying-npg-30/id1356729135?i=1000464272463 Watch NPG: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJn6CRyC0Tc
  22. Yep, this is correct. While I commented on the match up between the stroke shape and the toe hang, it's why I asked if he had a typical miss. While it's "unorthodox" to go strong arc with a face balanced putter, if the typical miss is to the right, adding weight on the toe is a bad move.
  23. Was thinking that this would be a fun thread topic, but I see that @Berg Ryman beat me to it by a couple of years, so let's do a Throwback Thursday Thread! Anyone have some good nicknames for your clubs? I'd assume that drivers and putters are most named clubs in the bags. For a while, Kirke and I decided that his driver would be named Balrog, which I think is a great driver name that might need to be revived. Still not sure if the name is from this guy: ...or this guy: I think either one works well as a driver.
  24. Can verify on the ball position: I put my cursor on the center of the ball for the first putt, and the subsequent balls were moving closer (without a repositioning of the feet). Was this (perhaps) an adjustment to the first putt missing right? Otherwise, it looks like a very functional stroke. Do you have a typical miss? The biggest question that I get from you video is regarding the matchup between your stroke (which seems to have a decent amount of arc) and the putter (which, from the looks of the shaft, is face-balanced).
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