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Becoming More Regular?


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Becoming More Regular?

fiber.jpg

I know that the title makes this sound like I'm going to be talking about increasing the fiber in my diet. That's a good healthy plan, but it's not what I'm talking about. No, what I am talking about is the necessity of switching shaft flexes in order to play better/more consistent/not-going-to-throw-clubs golf.

 

Obviously this is not a new discussion for golfers. In fact, Westy just started another thread about it. Switching flexes is bound to happen, but how does one truly know when it's time?

 

My “Custom” Gear Isn't Getting It Done

I guess that's the source of this whole discussion for me. Gear that was once a pretty good match for my swing and my body just really seems out of sync these days. I've chronicled this a bit in my, admittedly neglected, 2015 fitness thread. It really seems like the days of stiff have passed me by.

 

So What Has Changed?

The body has definitely changed in the past year and a half. I'm still floating around 195, down from 225+ in August 2013. Body fat has likely crept up a bit from the 15% low after my gallbladder decided to get really stoned and vacate the premises last October.

 

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That removal surgery aside, I feel like I am the healthiest that I have been in decades. I'm definitely in better shape than my last club fitting, ignoring the one at PING last spring when I believe that the shaft-dismorphic disorder had already set in. Actually, I think that I can pinpoint that fitting as when I started to be aware that something was different, though at the time I didn't even consider that I probably shouldn't be playing stiff shafts any more.

 

So I lost a bunch of weight, lost an organ, gained a bunch of muscle, lost some of that muscle, and have kept my body fat sub 18%.

 

As I read that last sentence, maybe with the exception of the organ loss, it doesn't sound like a recipe for needing less flex. It almost sounds like I could go more. How would I even consider needing to go softer?

 

Distance Loss and Blocks Right

For as long as I can remember, my 7i has gone about 155 yards. That's the ballpark. Some days I had a bit more, some days less. I viewed this as being pretty average, yet appropriate for a 7i. Some of my friends were a club longer than me, some a club shorter. Again, kind of average.

 

I noticed some distance loss last year. I think that I even mentioned it in my ongoing  fitness/weight loss thread. What a strange thing that was. Getting stronger/fitter, and hitting shorter.

 

After the surgery last fall, my 7i was going about 141 according to an indoor launch monitor in January. That's total yardage. Carry was in the 130's. Outdoors, I hooked up an Epson M-Tracer sensor and saw numbers about the same. Talk about depressing. I assumed that my abdominal surgery was to blame and the distance would come back.

 

Well it's now almost six-months after surgery, and my 7i is still in the 140's. That's even with the now warmer weather. The power just isn't there.

 

The swing is actually pretty good right now too. I know that my time with the Tour Striker has paid off. I am definitely compressing the ball at impact. The hand flip creeps back in a bit, but not much and not often. According to the Epson sensor, I'm still a touch OTT, but not much at all. I'm probably the most on plane in my golfing career, and still getting the shortest distances.

 

Physics suggests that my distance issue may not be the swing. Force=Mass x Acceleration should be the equation for distance. I know that there are other variables, but how heavy and how fast are big components. Perfect angles do nothing without the force component behind them.

 

To tweak that equation a bit, what if my decreased mass is leading to decreased force. Is that possible? Could I be swinging slower, and with less force, because I lost 30 pounds? Yes, I had abdominal surgery too, but it was only a minor procedure, just a couple of small incisions.

 

I think that the weight loss has translated to distance loss. Maybe it's time to up the pizza intake.

Pizza.JPG

 

Indirect/Subjective Evidence For Regular

S300/R300

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I've been playing my Callaway RAZR X Tour irons again for the past few months. I got fit for these at the Callaway Ely Center back in 2012. They are shafted with Dynamic Gold S300's. My first fitting back at Callaway HQ the year before identified these heavier shafts at the best for helping me improve tempo. Overall, I like the feel of the S300, and they do help me to keep the ball flight out of the stratosphere.

 

To test my time-for-regular hypothesis, I picked up a RAZR X Tour 6i off eBay that had a R300 to compare to the current S300. Results were inconclusive. Both seemed to produce very similar results. According to the sensor, I actually swung the S300 a bit faster. The R300 version seemed easier to swing, but it also was coming up slightly shorter. Not what I needed, but I also think that I'm not comfortable drawing any conclusions based on one iron and the amount of data collected.

IMG_6151.jpg

 

Driver

At some point last year I became a driver ho. I've been buying too many putters for years, but somewhere in 2014, I added drivers to the compulsion list. Last year I acquired a 14° SLDR, i25, Bio Cell, Bio Cell Pro, and RAZR Fit Xtreme. Since the new year began, I've added a 10.5° white SLDR and a XCG7 to that list. Irrationally chasing distance through PayPal. Good times...

 

The i25 was fit to me at PING last spring, and at the time their monitor said I was getting 270 out of it. Now it's more like 200. All of those drivers are stiff shafted, and they are all going about 220. Almost all of them are straight pushes right when I miss.

 

Prior to weight loss and surgery, my driver speed was around 99-104. Launch monitors and club-mounted sensors put me currently in the low 90's. That's a 10 mph loss in a year.

 

Last Friday, I took out my new Exotics XCG7 Beta for the first time. I bought it because it came shafted with the 7M3 Black Tie that the Callaway fitting a few years ago said was a good fit. Had great control on the range on Thursday and was excited to play it. Punished the middle of the face with it.

 

exoticsface.JPG

 

First drive on the course, according to the GolfShot app, was 209 yards. Another drive toward the middle of the round: 209 yards. On 18, I thought that I hit the ball really well. Nice slight draw with some roll. Measured it off... 197 yards. Sub-200 yards off the tee.

 

Basically ready to quit golf right there. Carded 85. Thank you chipping and AimPoint.

 

I rallied the spirit and played again two days later at a different, more difficult course. This time, I took out the white SLDR. I actually bought the SLDR because I have a limited edition Masters Speeder for it from 2014. With the white head and white shaft it may be the prettiest driver ever. The 70g stiff shaft is nice to look at, but it is not a distance recipe for me though. Thus the SLDR was relegated back to the garage.

 

That SLDR actually came with a stock regular shaft when I bought it. I was beginning to think that regular might be the way to go. So on that subsequent round, I went stock regular shaft. For the first few holes, it seemed like the ball was going deeper, but with the high ball flight of the SLDR it was tough to tell. So, I measured the distance on the next hole.

 

245 yards

 

Some of you would be pissed to only go 245, but two days prior I was at 200. Switching to regular made a huge difference. It's especially promising since I had zero range time to dial in the driver with that shaft. Sure, there are lots of variables in the equation here. But I'm creeping back to 250 off the tee, and all I really changed was the shaft flex.

 

I've been thinking a lot about my recent misses. Many have been to the right. Not slicing, but straight blocks. I believe that this is a sign that the shaft is too stiff. I am also wondering if my issues with flipping and OTT have also had their roots in too stiff shafts. Are my hands flipping because the shaft is not?

 

It's like I've been walking funny, and complaining about it, and only just now realizing that my shoes are two sizes too large. I'm starting to think that the wrong gear fit won't just screw up your golf score, but maybe your swing as well. What if the gear fit has been so off for the last 18 months that no amount of practice or lessons could make a difference?

 

So Get Fit Again Already

That's the plan. Rather than ramble on unknowing in the forum threads, this coming Saturday, one of the local courses has the Nike fitting van coming in to do a demo day/club fitting session. I've booked a time for a full bag fitting and I am super curious to see what happens.

nikefit.png

 

What does my ball flight look like with regular woods and irons as compared to stiff? Can I actually gain distance by going softer? Can my GIR count please go up from 1-2 per round when I am hitting fairways 80% of the time?

 

I'll let you know next week.

 

In the mean time, feel free to speculate about what Nike gear I'll end up fitting into. Will it be regular? Which irons, woods, hybrids, and wedges? I've got some ideas about what I like visually in their 2015 line-up, but I am more interested in the performance side.

 

 

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That was one, he'll of a read!!! Wow! All great stuff, thanks for sharing. You sure do think a lot about golf!!!

Probably more than I should :)

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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Best wishes to you - I'll be curious to see how you do.  It's weird how distance loss can creep up on us.  Bad back, for me pneumonia, weight loss (perhaps meaning less strength).  I think this is why it's critical to find a teacher and stay in touch - you need one when you're swinging well just as much as when you're swinging poorly.

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Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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Best wishes to you - I'll be curious to see how you do.  It's weird how distance loss can creep up on us.  Bad back, for me pneumonia, weight loss (perhaps meaning less strength).  I think this is why it's critical to find a teacher and stay in touch - you need one when you're swinging well just as much as when you're swinging poorly.

Good point on the instructor. I've got a good one waiting in the wings, but I'm hoping to learn what my new "normal" swing is like first. I believe that my body has finally stabilized so hopefully the swing will follow suit. Maybe then the big holes can be plugged.

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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It may be just one little swing key that you are not hitting because you're compensating for the changes in your body.  It really doesn't take much.  

 

I lost considerable distance in the year before knee replacement because I was compensating for a bad left knee; didn't get to my lead side like I should.  It hurt.  Following surgery, it didn't hurt anymore but I had engrained a bad habit so much that I still didn't get to my lead side even though I thought I was!  The result was a weak hit and push to the right.  It's slowly coming around, but if I went back to my instructor, I am pretty sure that I could get it fixed a lot quicker.  My problem is my instructor teaches in Florida and OKC so it's a scheduling and travel issue for me.

 

Go see your instructor.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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It may be just one little swing key that you are not hitting because you're compensating for the changes in your body.  It really doesn't take much.  

 

I lost considerable distance in the year before knee replacement because I was compensating for a bad left knee; didn't get to my lead side like I should.  It hurt.  Following surgery, it didn't hurt anymore but I had engrained a bad habit so much that I still didn't get to my lead side even though I thought I was!  The result was a weak hit and push to the right.  It's slowly coming around, but if I went back to my instructor, I am pretty sure that I could get it fixed a lot quicker.  My problem is my instructor teaches in Florida and OKC so it's a scheduling and travel issue for me.

 

Go see your instructor.

I will. I know that my swing has issues, but the amazing difference with the driver has me curious. I'm not really ready to buy new gear yet, but I am ready to see what different configurations can have on my swing output.

 

It's totally possible that I'll suck with all of it, stiff or regular.

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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I'm looking forward to your results on Saturday.  It's not just a matter of stiff or regular.  We all know that there are variations in flex in both of those.  But also consider shaft weight.  Big impact on my tempo.

 

Many years ago with a 102 SS, I was playing stiff, but at some point since then, I went to Regular.  For me, it was a matter of what I could control.  Stiff always went straighter, but Regular went further and when I could control the Regular, I went with it.  Now, I am at the point of Regular vs Senior.  I just don't know if I can bring myself to play senior flex, but if I want to keep playing, I will have to eventually.  

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I'm looking forward to your results on Saturday.  It's not just a matter of stiff or regular.  We all know that there are variations in flex in both of those.  But also consider shaft weight.  Big impact on my tempo.

 

Many years ago with a 102 SS, I was playing stiff, but at some point since then, I went to Regular.  For me, it was a matter of what I could control.  Stiff always went straighter, but Regular went further and when I could control the Regular, I went with it.  Now, I am at the point of Regular vs Senior.  I just don't know if I can bring myself to play senior flex, but if I want to keep playing, I will have to eventually.  

This sounds so much like me right now. Dead straight with the stiff, but no gas.

Overall, very curious about the results.

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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Rather than a softer flex, have you thought about same flex lighter shaft, bring the swing speed back up a bit that way? The S300 is what, 125-130 grams, have you thought switching to say 95, or 105, or a really light graphite shaft recoil 66 or something? My swing speed with 7i with the XP 105 was around 79-80, with the recoil it was 85, that's kind of extreme because accuracy suffers at those speeds, the thought is that flex may not be the issue, it could be shaft weight that is the issue

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Lefties are always in their Right Mind

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Totally on the table. Historically, my tempo and ball striking has improved with the heavy shaft. By a lot actually. Could be that's no longer the case either.

Did play an old set of Burner 2.0 irons with the light stiff shafts last summer though and things got a little loose in terms of accuracy.

I'm totally open to whatever.

Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Opening of thread was exactly my first thought reading the title. Was gonna post a pic of Activia but yours are way better! Love the graph!

 

I've been wondering if I need to drop a flex in my woods and hybrids. My problem is that once warmed up I settle right around a 100mph SS but with a quick transition. I've been considering finding maybe a RIP Alpha and tipping it a little bit from regular to somewhere between an R and S.

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Bag One: :taylormade-small: '16 M2, Tour AD-GP 7S

:adams-small:  XTD Ti 15*, Tour AD-GT 8S

:taylormade-small:  RBZ Stage2 Tour Issue 18.5* hybrid, Matrix Ozik Altus 85S Wilson FG Tour F5 21* hybrid, stock

:mizuno-small:  MP-H5 4-PW, Project X 5.5

:mizuno-small:  MP-T5, 51/08, Project X 5.5

:mizuno-small:  MP-T5, 58/10, DG Spinner

:cameron-small:  2012 Newport2, 34"

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Opening of thread was exactly my first thought reading the title. Was gonna post a pic of Activia but yours are way better! Love the graph!

 

I've been wondering if I need to drop a flex in my woods and hybrids. My problem is that once warmed up I settle right around a 100mph SS but with a quick transition. I've been considering finding maybe a RIP Alpha and tipping it a little bit from regular to somewhere between an R and S.

It was interesting that the fitting had me drop to R300 in the DG Pros, but I stayed stiff in the blueboards. I'm glad I did the fit so I could stop guessing like many of us do. Now I just have to wait for the UPS guy. :)

Fitting link: http://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/13589-can-nike-vapor-fix-my-game-a-fitting-experiment/

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Volvo Intorqueo

 

All the cool kids follow me on twitter: @golfspy_dave

 

If you are not a cool kid, following me on twitter will make you cool...

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