Technology On Test

Greetings from Suzanne Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Technology On Test
Just about every week in this newsletter we try to convey a few simple messages:1. You’ll score better if you have proper tuition
2. You’ll score better if your clubs are custom fitted
3. Club and golf ball technology is evolving at a rapid rate with one goal; to help you play better golf!

So how far has technology evolved over the years?

To help us shed some light on the matter 3-time Major Champion, Padraig Harrington, took up a challenge. After warming up, Padraig was set up with a launch monitor and hit some balls with his Driver, 6-Iron and 9-Iron respectively. He then repeated the exercise with a Driver, 6-Iron and 9-Iron from 1959. Any guesses on the result?

They weren’t what you might have expected:

• Modern Driver: 270 yards Vs 1959 Driver: 259 yards
• Modern 6-Iron: 170 yards Vs 1959 6-Iron: 148 yards
• Modern 9-Iron: 128 yards Vs 1959 9-Iron: 107 yards

You may have assumed that the modern Driver in particular would have offered more in terms of distance, but the results highlighted an undisputable fact – nicely summed up by Padraig himself: “In any era, the guys who were the best would have found a way to be the best at any time. The best adapt no question about it. I still think if Hogan were here today he’d be the longest, straightest hitter.”

What Padraig proved in this test is that when it comes to hitting the sweet spot time after time no one club or design will make much of a difference, BUT when you don’t hit the sweet spot, that’s where modern technology comes into play.

By distributing weight towards the peripheries the club’s ‘forgiveness’ is increased tremendously – and yet they still perform better than older models when you do hit one ‘out of the screws’.

So what does technology do for you? It offers the best of both worlds; albeit with a slight bias towards the forgiveness that club golfers really need. Don’t put that technology to waste, if you’re going to upgrade your clubs make sure you have them properly fitted.


In your bag you probably have a choice of 9 clubs covering about 100 yards in distance. Then you get down to the 100 yards that make up the scoring zone. Most of you play with just two clubs (excluding the Putter) for the last 100 yards.
You may have been fitted for many of the Clubs in your bag. But what about the clubs you use in the scoring zone? Were they fitted? Does the technology match your swing? Does the configuration make the most of your game?
Most golfers need to place more focus on the scoring zone. Those last 100 yards are where your score is made or is frittered away. Look beyond the noise about ‘grooves’ and let us make sure you have the right Wedges to make the most of your game, your swing, our course.

Last week I talked about the importance of aim and alignment on the Putting green, especially where the target is 4 ½ inches and a miss will mean at least one more stroke. The example I used was a straight 12 foot putt (not that we get many of them!)
Now add a slope into the equation and the problem of miss-alignment increases exponentially (from an already bad starting place). When I watch golfers lining up a Putt, prior to taking their stance I see them looking straight from the ball to the hole and trying to gauge their ‘break’ and then standing up and trying to find their ‘lines’.
In fact part of the process of lining up is to look squarely down the line you are going to start the ball down. Once again this will allow you to identify a marker, before the break, quite close to the golf ball that you are going to try and roll the ball over.You take a line from that point back to the ball and then you align your shoulders and elbows in parallel to that line.
Now your alignment is right, it is just down to speed. That’s tough enough, but at least your aim is on the button.
You don’t need to make alignment difficult. Find a way to visualize the parallel lines of the target line, the line through your shoulders, the one through your elbows, and the line the Putter face is going to strike the ball on. Remember in a thousand golfers tested, over 60% were aiming to miss just a 12 foot Putt. Technology can help, but so can good alignment disciplines and technique. Call me.

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