SKLZ Foam Practice Balls

With the arrival of a new grandson my mind starting thinking way ahead to low impact training sessions in the back yard.  In searching about I discovered this product that turns out to be perfect for the task and way more.

These foam practice balls are “full featured” with:

  • Alignment stripes for consistent setup and alignment
  • Standard golf ball size
  • Soft foam is safe for use indoors or outdoors
  • Comes as a 12-pack

Besides all that, you can take a full wail at these suckers and they only go about 30 yard max.  Even though you are hitting a foam ball the ball flight is, unlike those airy wiffle balls you played with as a kid, surprisingly familiar as they replicate the spinning parabolic flight of a sand or pitching wedge to a T.  The stripes help with setup and alignment and make the spin imparted very evident for good feedack.  They even have a convenient cool mesh bag for storage, transport, and containment during your practice regimen.

Back to the original goal of creating a backyard Approach Practice Course (APC), it opens up great creative possibilities for the budding course architect or simply the entertaining Grandpa.  Seemingly extraneous lawn art or an inverted plastic step stool can be used to create the perfect green complex with all the tactical bells and whistles.

Double dogleg meanders between the weathered hazards…..a very Golden Age look on the opening hole


In this live loop you can see the realistic ball flight off the 3/4 swing of a 53 degree Ping SW with the drop and stop spin leaving me a little recovery from just behind Scooby Doo left.  Not being an official USGA event, the square grooves have been “grandfathered in” and are perfectly legal.

Safe for indoor and outdoor use, I imagine a plush rug and a pool table in the basement rec room would make for a nice alternative winter golf destination.

This is not a serious investment at $11.99 from a number of sources on the World Wide Web and, with Amazon Prime delivery, you could be setting up your own short game extravaganza in just a few days.  I highly recommend the investment for improving your short pitching game and nurturing the golf skills of your kids and grandkids.




Putting Sticks

Marius Golf LogoMany avid golfers are looking for teaching aides that can help them simplify and codify basic swing principles of the game.  When it comes to putting, ball position, alignment, and posture are the three elements that matter the most before you draw the putter back on any putt.  Renowned putting instructor Marius Filmalter has introduced this unique product that helps you refine all three of these for more reliable and consistent putting performance.

Marius is as good as it gets among the putting gurus out there.  The players he has worked with are a who’s who of touring professionals on the PGA, LPGA, Champions, and European Tours.  Marius brings the combination of scientific research and practical observation to touring pros, top amateurs, and folks like you and me to demystify the voodoo science of putting in simple and understandable terms.  This clever invention fits right into his practical approach to developing a repeatable putting result.

Putting Sticks 2Much like the alignment sticks I have used on the driving range to establish ball position in my stance and alignment of my feet, hips, and shoulders to the target, these right-angled hinged putting sticks gave me the same feedback.  Further, the center stick has guide holes from 7 1/2 to 10 1/2 inches from your feet to help establish the proper distance the ball should be away from your body for your given putting posture over the ball.

Marius provides clear instructions on how to use these sticks, get into a proper putting posture, and find your best ball position.  Once you have the posture and alignment, placing your ball in the optimum guide hole and putting to a real target, either in your office or on the practice green, you can establish a complete understanding of proper set up for making the smooth putting stroke that will deliver the ball to your target time and again.

Putting Sticks 1For me this magic distance was 9 ¾ inches from my feet and once I had that in my routine delivering the putter square to my intended line became a much more consistent occurrence.

Marius provides a leatherette sheath for storing the putting sticks conveniently in the side pocket of your golf bag so they are always there when you need them.  Once you establish the proper parameters for your putting arrangement this is a regular go-to device to avoid straying from best set-up positions.  These Putting Sticks have helped my putting stats and I think they can help yours as well.

You can find them for sale at the website.

May, 2016



Sun Mountain H2No Lite Stand Bag

sun mountain logoFor those of us who play in all kinds of conditions, either at home or when we travel to places where the weather can be foul, the H2No Lite is Sun Mountain’s latest iteration of their awesome waterproof stand bag. Like it’s predecessors it is super light, totally waterproof, and perfect for walking or cart travel. The Ultra-Lite is the updated smaller sister in this walking bag and is still available (previously reviewed by moegolf back in 2013).

h2no-lite--black NS KeepersThe H2No Lite uses the same technology as their rainwear with a light and durable fabric that is coated on both sides with 2000mm waterproof coating. The bag has the high quality YKK zippers with taped seams that keep the contents in the five pockets dry. It comes with a matching front zip rain hood made out of the same waterproof fabric.

H2no TopThe bag weighs merely 5.6 lbs and has a molded top handle for ergonomic handling on the course and a sewn in bottom grab cuff for getting it in and out of the automotive boot. The padded 9-inch diameter 4-way top can easily handle your 14 implements with all the head covers and the sections have with full length dividers to keep the grips from tangling as you move your clubs in and out during the round.

The patented E-Z Fit dual strap system adjusts for a comfy fit and has the center hub which I find is much more stable as you load the bag on and off your shoulders during a walk. The straps are fully padded for your comfort. The kick stand is the rugged Sun Mountain version we are used to that activates when you put the bag down.

This version has five pockets that include a velour-lined valuables compartment that will keep your wallet and money clip dry in all conditions. I particularly like the two zip compartments on the spine of the bag so you can separate your golf balls from all the other on-course necessities like tees, poker chip ball markers, divot tools, pencils, and your cigar clipper.

It comes in five flashy color combos with the large H2No name emblazoned on the side. If you want the bag without the advertising you have to order the “non-stock” version directly from Sun Mountain. This is what I did so I could embellish the side with my custom embroidery. The Lite version sells for around $280 on the net-the Ultra-Lite will set you back about $250.

Having used the Sun Mountain Waterproof Series bags as my mainstay since 2013 I highly recommend them whether you are playing in Scotland, Bandon Dunes, or at your favorite neighborhood haunts.  They are easy to handle, durable, and shed off all the elements the weather can throw at you.

(Click to see the available colors and specs for bag on the Sun Mountain website)

March, 2016


True Linkswear Game Changers

As Jerry Garcia once said to his devoted followers, “What a long strange trip it’s been”. Such is the trail that True Linkswear has followed from the early day’s of the comfy Clown Shoes through outdoorsy Chukkas to the overly zesty Millenals $99 collection and now back to something more refined for the True walking demographic.

For our review we focus on two next generation shoes in the 2015 True Linkswear line-the Game Changer Hybrid and Game Changer Pro.

True Game Changer Hybrid:

GC Hybrid BlackThe Game Changer Hybrid is a very clean presentation of the spikeless walking shoe we have come to know and love from True Linkswear. Not a whole lot of external adornment gives a distinguished look to a shoe with all the functionality we expect in our Trues.

Full Two-Year Waterproof Warranty on a shoe with True Barefoot Spikeless Performanace Tread, Zero-Drop sole and roomy toe chamber keeping you connected to the ground , sock-fit elastic cuff for snug fit, and integrated P-Motion for max comfort and flexibility. More than enough room inside to accommodate orthotics or other foot issue support aids.

GC Hybrid Burnt 1At a retail of $150, the color offerings of Black/Charcoal, White/Grey, Cool Grey/Charcoal, and White/Burnt Orange give you plenty of options to accessorize smartly your collection of Dockers.

True Game Changer Pro:

For a firm that from the beginning had sworn off soft spikes for nubbed bottoms the Pro is a pretty bold introduction from the True lab coat crew. Trying to address what some people consider a trade-off in traction with a spikeless shoe True have used very clever innovation to add a replaceable Champ Zarma soft spike to the same platform as the Hybrid described above.

The key is that they have recessed the back two spikes to maintain the integrity of the Zero-Drop signature feature of all their True Linkswear shoes. Whether walking on pavement or the turf you still get that comfortable heel to toe transition that walkers and runners have found so endearing.

GC Pro 1This shoe has all the goodies of it’s Hybrid cousin described above. The leather upper is distinctly more sporty so the color combinations of Black/White, White/Grey, Grey/Gold, and White/Red may not fit all tastes. But Ryan Moore has brandished these effectively against his wardrobe of grey-on-grey on the overseeded Bermuda during this year’s Florida swing.

In our testing on the wet and soggy spring turf left behind in the East now that the winter glacier’s have receded we found that the soft spikes do provide a distinct improvement in traction in these kinds of conditions. On heavy dew mornings or when there is harrowing low pressure system in the forecast the Pro’s are a go-to alternative to have at your disposal.

You are paying a little more for the integrated soft spike design but at $170 they still represent a solid value for a full featured walking shoe.

As with last year’s True Lyt’s and the True Stealth’s before them, these two models move seamlessly from practice tee mats to the course to the bragging bar after the round, but as Jerry has warned the faithful just watch your speed.

March, 2015



Nona Blue

Nona BlueAs anyone knows who has gone on a group golf trip the only thing secondary to the course venues in the eating establishments for dinner. If you are vacationing in Orlando then you owe it to yourself to check out Nona Blue-Modern Tavern just a pitching wedge from the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club.

This place was opened in the Spring of 2013 by restauranteurs Joe Davi and Bill Bona who tactically attracted Graeme McDowell to invest in the venture and give it some PGA Tour allure. These guys had a focused concept to create a casual tavern with a robust menu of comfort food-a little piece of Killarney heaven in South Florida.

People kickin' back at the outdoor and indoor bars.

People kickin’ back at the outdoor and indoor bars.

The smell of hickory grilled offerings and golf memorabilia welcome you as you step through the door. The bar centric arrangement of the place with surrounding booths and tables relate a hamish feeling that this is a place for some Craic (Irish for revelry) and to hang with friends.

The Graeme McDowell influence hovers above the bar.

The Graeme McDowell influence hovers above the bar.

And greets you buy the door.

And greets you buy the door.

Lest not forget the Major!

Lest not forget the Major!

In spite of the GMac association the decor of the place is not over-golfed. Black and white photos adorn the walls of generational icons like George Burns, Steve McQueen, Rodney Dangerfield, and many others of blessed memory.

Wall Art

Quotes from old favorites.

Quotes from old favorites from our past.

Einstein said...tried golf...too complicated.

Einstein said…tried it once…too complicated.

Posters and maps of the British Isles and other Irish memorabilia give it the place the flavor of the old country.

PortrushNorthern IrelandWe sat down and they handed us the menu…..comfort food sensory overload.

Menu(Click to see a PDF of the Nona Blue Menu)

We started with an array of mouth watering Shareables-Blue Cheese Kettle Chips, Love Me Tenders, Fire Grilled Artichokes, and Fire Cracker Shrimp. Needless to say they did not last long and it just set us up for the next act.

How about this for starters.

How about this for starters….chips and blue cheese drizzle.

The Handwiches were particularly creative and tasty.

BLT Grilled Cheese got the thumbs up from Double-D...lobster salad/applewood bacon/havarati cheese/texas toast

BLT Grilled Cheese got the thumbs up from Double-D…lobster salad/applewood bacon/havarati cheese/texas toast with a side of cheesy creamed corn.

Country Club-ham/turkey/bacon/cheddar cheese/monterey jack on food..large portion.

Country Club-ham/turkey/bacon/cheddar cheese/monterey jack on multi-grain….health food..New York Deli portion.

Some went for the Nona Blue Plate Specials like Momma’s Double Stacked Meat Loaf and GMAC and Cheese or Off The Grill Entrees like Steak Frites or Pork Chops.

"Cider Brined" Double Cut Pork Chop.

“Cider Brined” Double Cut Pork Chop…you better be hungry.

Steak Frites for those with less exotic tastes.

Steak Frites for those with less exotic tastes.

We weren’t leaving without testing the Sweet Endings. More sharing of the White Chocolate Cheesecake, the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae, and, my personal favorite, the Banoffee Pie (Bananas/Toffee/Whipped Cream Shaved Chocolate Flakes).

In the true Irish Pub tradition they even threw in some live music with audience participation.

Just "Two Fat Guys" for the acoustic entertainment.

Just “Two Fat Guys” for the acoustic entertainment.

As you can see our folks were satisfied….

MontersFortunately none of us needed the Urgent Care facility upstairs….these guys thought of everything.

Nona Blue Urgent Care.
January, 2015

PGA Tour Superstore

hd-logo-pga-tour-superstore-002Working a tip from a friend while on a recent visit to Palm Desert in California I encountered a 50,000 square-foot everything-golf-on-the-planet emporium called the PGA Tour Superstore. This is the brainchild of Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons.

Store FrontWe are talking falling into the Dorothy rabbit hole for a narcotic golfer in that it has every brand of everything men’s and women’s-shoes to clothing to equipment to fitting centers and even instructional bays. Titleist, Nike, Footjoy, Cobra, Ping, Mizuno….you name the brand and product they have it. This is no hit or miss bargain superstore it is the current products from all these lines in full inventory of sizes and colors.  Cannot speak for the pricing across the board but there were plenty of “Specials” and sale signs throughout each department.
The Boys 2All the boys you know hang out here….

Putting AreaFirst thing you run into is a humongous putting area surrounded by every putter you have ever seen in someone else’s golf bag.

Club Fitting BaysThere are simulator based fitting bays with the latest flight tracking technology for all the major equipment manufacturers. Trained staff to help you find the right implements for your size, shape, and swing.

Instructional BaysTwo similarly sophisticated teaching bays manned (or womaned) by a licensed PGA Pro for private instruction….

Public Practice BaysAnd for those who want to practice or do swing analysis on their own there is a slew of public practice bays for rent. They have available the latest 3 Trak Launch Monitor technology to analyze launch angle, trajectory, and shot consistency.

Golf BagsNeed a walking bag, cart bag, travel bag……what brand you want….they got it.

Mens Wear 1Men’s cloths galore-jackets, wind shirts, shirts, pants, shorts, socks, hats, the whole megillah…

Ladys DKNY GolfThe good stuff for ladies…..

Ladys Jamie Sadock GolfFull coordinate displays you would see in your favorite department store or boutique.

Shoe alleyEvery brand of golf shoe-traditional, walking, spikeless,…for men and women…

True LinkswearAll sizes….I have not seen this many True Linkswear shoes in one place outside of the PGA Merchandise Show

Tin CupIf you have seen it on a golf infomercial they have it and you can touch and feel it (if you act now)

Martini TeesFull gondolas for every product-what color Martini Tees do you want?

Cart CoversNeed a cover for your pimped out street golf cart? ….Two passenger or Four?

Golf BarbQue SetsHow about a golf bar-b-que set for the golfer/griller in your life?

WelcomeNo lie….this is the biggest most well-stocked golf store you have ever walked into.

The PGA Tour Superstore is up to over 20 locations across the land including Myrtle Beach, Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Paramus, Westbury, Naples, Delray Beach, Orlando, East Palo Alto, Irvine, and Palm Desert among others. Pretty sure that Arthur has one on the drawing board coming to a neighborhood near you. Here is a store locator.

Of course they have a web presence at if you prefer to shop from the comfort of your couch.

January, 2015


True Linkswear Lyt Dry

Being a True believer for over three years it will not surprise anyone that one of their latest editions, the Lyt Dry, is a top choice of our muppet lab crew. The shoe incorporates all the features that made their previous models such a hit with us and they are really “lyt as a feather” to boot.

True Linkswear Lyt Dry stylish and comfy.

Lyt Dry is stylish and comfy.

With the adds and deducts from the True Linkswear line this one takes the position as their top-of-the-line offering at $149 a pair. Over the last two years the emphasis seems to be the $99 price point that is obviously attractive to the more youthful audience. But that price point sacrifices features like the elastic cuff under the tongue that insures a snug fit and the 2-Year Waterproof Guarantee that is important to early dew sweepers.

The Lyt Dry has it all and then a little more. The “natural motion technology” of previous Trues still provides a snug heel fit, stable base, and plenty of piggly wiggly room that “allows the toes to fan out to achieve balance and ensure comfort”. For guys with foot issues there is plenty of room for an orthotic to replace the insert and still allow the natural movement to walk and swing freely.

Lyt Eva Comfort Sole is stable and durable.

Lyt Eva Comfort Sole is stable and durable.

The new wrinkle for 2014 is the Lyt Eva Comfort Outsole which is made from a superlight material that is durable enough to withstand the rigor of walking every round.  When you open the box and pick up one of these you will not believe how light they are in your hand. Putting them to the turf in your first walking round you will be equally impressed by the stability and flexibility of a very thin outsole.

The premium leather upper on the Lyt Dry is stylish has the 360 Degree Waterproof with a 2-year guarantee. We have had an unseasonable wet spring here in the east and the toes have stayed dry in a couple of post-monsoon walks the last month.  All the Trues I have owned have had this waterproof feature and it has performed admirably as long as I have had them in service.

The colors available in this model are Black/Dark Grey, Grey/Lime, White/Salmon, and Black/Royal and can be purchased through the True Linkswear website.

Superlight Lyt Breathe with breathable mesh upper.

Superlight Lyt Breathe with breathable mesh upper.

There is an even lighter and more contemporary cousin called the Lyt Breathe that True Linkswear introduced at the same time to address the concern of those playing in extreme heat in the summer. This one weighs under 9 oz. and is their lightest shoe ever. The upper is made of a breathable mesh fabric with a sock-fit opening to cling to your foot. For me the fit was not the best but for those who are buying this type of styling in their running shoes it may makes sense. It is not waterproof but the rest of the functionality of the design is the same as the Lyt Dry. It is also a bit cheaper at $129.99.


These guys continue to innovate and expand both the functionality and look of the walking golf shoe genre. I wish more golf stores carried the full line of Trues but this is not happening in our area.  For now it was the always specious internet retail experience for fulfilling this latest True urge.

(Click to see previous True Linkswear reviews of the original walking shoes and the Chukka Boot)

May, 2014



Game Golf

GameGolf LogoAs an admitted golf stat geek I was really excited a couple of years ago when these guys introduced this new GPS/RF approach to collecting personal golf stats on the course. I have been keeping golf stats for about 10 years in a database of my own using a custom scorecard to record the basics-Fairways Hit, Greens In Regulation, Bunker Up and Downs, PItch/Chip Up and Downs, Total Putts, Putts on GIRs, and putting success at distance ranges. What I have always been missing is shot distancing and waywardness of my shots.

I was hoping this would be a vehicle to upgrade my stat output as well as reduce the data collection toil. The requested commitment to the Game Golf Indiegogo crowd sourcing campaign seemed a worthy price to pay to become an early user when this thing got out of research and onto the playing field.

We got our units in February and I have been using it religiously since, determined to give this a full chance as a worthy replacement for my own stat program. After almost three months I have come to the conclusion that in spite of the rhetoric of their ads and their pro partners, this thing falls woefully short when it comes to providing worthwhile stats about golf performance that could help me improve my game.

Their first challenge was to come up with a technological platform for collecting on course information that did not intrude with the flow of play. They provide a GPS/RF Transponder that you clip on your belt and 18 screw on tokens that use RF to identify each of your clubs. Each shot is “marked” as you go with a touch to the transponder of the token screwed into the top of your grip. It is kind of a Fred Astaire Baton Dance move and this records the GPS location where you hit the shot. The marking of the subsequent shot allows calculation of the distance of the previous shot. This is done until you hit the last putt on each hole.

It took me a few rounds to get the Fred Astaire routine down and I found that once I got it built into my routine it was not that intrusive on full shots even though I still forgot to mark some shots or doubled marked a few in every round. On the putting green the extra routine seemed intrusive to me. Compared to my paper data collection, which only takes about 15 seconds to record during the walk from green to the next tee, the added work was a significant increase in effort on my part. I just rationalized it as the necessary price to pay to get the data collected.

At the end of the round syncing the transponder with provided communication software all the of marked shots for the round are downloaded to your personal account on their Game Golf website. Using the GPS they determine which course you played and plot all the shots on a Google Maps rendition of the course. There is editing of the round required so you must go through the downloaded information to correct any shots you marked more than once, shots you may have missed, penalty shots that need to be added, or simply marks where their GPS got it wrong. The accuracy of the GPS readings of full shots was about 95% in distance and maybe 90% in position which is within the statistically acceptable limit for me. The same cannot be said for putting information.

I found it took a solid 15 minutes to review and edit a round once it is downloaded. Compared to keypunching my custom scorecard results to my own database which takes only 2 minutes or less this download/review/edit component has significantly more overhead involved.

Stat calculation in Game Golf is done by processing the GPS markings collected to give you distances on each shot, Fairways Hit, Greens In Regulation, number of putts, average putts per hole, and scrambles (defined as any time you have one putt to save par or birdie on a hole you did not hit in regulation). There is no statistical rendition of the waywardness of shots other than your intuitive calculation of fairways and greens not hit. Once a number of rounds are downloaded you get similar stats across rounds including some club distance averaging.

There is a social media aspect to this where you can share and compare stats with your buddies or the Game Golf pro partners, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, and Jim Furyk.

The greatest disappointment to me is that the accuracy of the GPS is not fine enough to get real measures on length and positions of putts. Without this all Game Golf can give you is the number of putts on each green, nothing meaningful as to your success rate in putts of various lengths. My database system tells me my putting success rates at bands of 1 to 4 feet, 5 to 10 feet, 11 to 20 feet, and 21 feet and beyond and this is some of the most valuable information I get round to round. As to taking the putting analysis a step further to Mark Broadie’s Strokes Gained Putting, Game Golf could never do this since it does not record your putting lengths or success to compare to peer averages at the same length.

Game Golf never actually marks the position of the cup on the green so there is no measurement of proximity of approach shots. Once again this is a basic statistic you need to understand which part of your approach game needs work. There is no statistical rendition of the bias of wayward direction of your misses so you can only infer from looking at where each shot ended up on their map as to what towardness swing issues you need to work on.

A number of other issues evolve from their use of a Google Maps rendition of the course you are playing. The Google Map of my home course is over three years old and the changes on our course of tee box and bunker positions is significant enough
that there are a number of times where my drive is emanating from a grove of trees that used to occupy the space of our current tee box or balls they say have landed on the edge of a green are actually in a reshaped green side bunker. They do not mark the perimeters of the bunkers on the Google Maps so Game Golf cannot tell you whether you played a bunker shot or provide any meaningful stats on bunker recovery performance.

The use of the pro Scrambling stat for recovery play around the green is hollow for most amateurs because we rarely save par or birdie on a green side shot. We do get up and down for bogies and doubles which are very meaningful to protecting our scorecard but these do not fit the profile of a scramble so there is no statistical feedback on this level of recovery shots.

Unfortunately our expectations for course data collection systems have been set very high by what we witness on the PGA Tour each week with their ShotLink data collection system. Since 2004 the level of detail of statistical output the PGA Tour gets is very impressive and useful. A key component of their system that augments the accuracy of the GPS on the greens is a stationary tripod mounted laser operated by a volunteer behind every green. From that they get accuracy of putting information and proximity of approach shots down to inches.

No one at Game Golf wants to admit this, and I have had extensive communications with their customer services reps, but the GPS inaccuracy around the greens is something they are not likely to be able to get over without the full cooperation of the National Security Administration.

For me this is a real deal breaker because it is the one thing that would allow me to collect more useable data than I currently collect with my paper driven system. The considerable effort (and $249 price tag) required to collect and process information with Game Golf to simply get FIRs, GIRs, and Putts Per Green is just not worth it to me.

For this stat geek,  I am sticking to my homegrown system, it takes much less effort and I get equal or better statistical output.

May, 2014



The most significant change in a decade in high level golf instruction and expert golf club fitting is at hand in the proliferation of sophisticated 3-D ball flight and club measuring equipment. Henri Johnson, a South African electronic engineer developed the Flightscope 3D doppler golf radar in 2001 followed by Trackman in 2003 and it fast became the expensive standard of this type of technology in the golf industry.  Having money and reason to use it, equipment manufacturers embraced it first as a way of doing statistical research for development of new products.

For ball, shaft, and club head testing this data proved invaluable.

For ball, shaft, and club head testing this data proved invaluable.

More recently the high end teaching professionals adopted this technology as a major game improvement tool in working with their touring pros.  They have become so popular that you see these $25,000 devices being pulled out as often as iPhones on practice ranges each week on the PGA Tour.  Sean Foley has been quoted as saying he doesn’t need video feedback anymore from his clients, an email with the latest Trackman numbers is sufficient for him to monitor and council the likes of Justin Rose from afar.

An impressive array of statistics on ball flight.

An impressive array of statistics on ball action and flight are now available.

Flightscope has introduced a less expensive version at about $13 K that uses 3-D Doppler Radar tracking technology to do much the same thing.  At about half the cost it brings this sophisticated capability into the wheelhouse of country clubs, club fitters, and independent teaching professionals.  They even have a personal model for about $2,500 which will make it’s way very shortly into the homes and offices of well heeled single-digit players.

The output of these systems is a blend of raw swing and ball flight data, graphic depictions of swing motions and ball flight, and live swing video.  This puts in the hands of qualified teachers support information that can take to a new level teaching instruction and, more importantly, student comprehension.

3-D depiction of your swing path confirms the teacher's diagnosis.

3-D depiction of your swing path confirms the teacher’s diagnosis.

I recently had the opportunity to experience a Flightscope session with Rob Stocke, the director of instruction at the Golf Club of Georgia, whose strong aptitude for integrating this technology into our lesson made me a believer.  In about 30 minutes I confess I was awed by the efficacy of the feedback this system provided in comprehending and applying the changes to my grizzled old swing that he was suggesting.

The Flightscope provides what seems like a couple of dozen stats on every swing and ball flight.  Carry distance, total distance, lateral dispersion, club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, spin rate, spin axis, launch angle, decent angle, height, hang time, roll out, etc…..etc….etc.  And in my session all of this in the comfort of an temperature control  bay hitting into a net.

Ball flight shape and dispersion from the target line is great feedback for the student.

Ball flight shape and dispersion from the target line with numbers to explain it.

It generated graphic depictions of dynamic loft, face angle at impact, 3-D swing path, ball flight, flight dispersion, and other cool stuff to support the numeric data.  It even let Rob integrate real time video to tie it all together.  Used in the proper way by a discerning teaching professional this was anything but overload to the student (me) it was tremendously elucidating.

Dynamic loft-the combination of your club head and angle of attack.

Widen the stance, more weight to the right. more Dynamic Loft at impact, greater ball carry.

In your typical lesson, even if you are a veteran of these affairs, the teacher diagnoses a problem, suggests some minor swing alterations to address it, and you proceed to hit a gross of shots trying to ingrain the changes into your old grey mare swing.  It usually goes like this.

Student:  Hits the shot

Teaching Guru:  How did that one feel?

Student:  That was better.

Teaching Guru:  Yeah, it looked much better….could you feel that difference in your swing path?

Student:  Sure

Student: Hits another shot

A half hour to an hour later the student may have gotten it, or maybe thinks they have internalized it, but is not real confident that it is actually a part of their new swing mojo.

The difference I found with this supporting technology was that after a number of swings we could look at the layered numbers, graphic images, and the video and see the effect of the change in real time.

The face angle at impact was open-with this image no refuting that.

The face angle at impact was open send the shot to the right-with this image no arguing the point.

If the swing adjustment was to fix an impact face angle causing a hook, the graphic image of the face angle at impact, the launch horizontal number, and the video depicting my wrists and shaft angle at impact made the improvement on each shot irrefutable.

Layered data of subsequent swings shows a pattern of improvement in key numbers.

Layered data of subsequent swings shows a pattern of improvement in key numbers.

This is science!  My confidence in the efficacy of the suggested fix became assertive in a matter of minutes.  By the end of the session I felt for sure I got it and I was taking it home with me.

This just scratches the surface on the capability of this technology.  The depictions of successive ball flight profiles, dispersions, and launch, decent trajectories, and swing path silhouettes  from shot to shot are almost déjà vu to the experienced range rat.  No launch monitor or computer video alone is giving you this kind of feedback.

Needless to say that for proper club fitting this type of information in the hands of a qualified club fitting professional should make the match of player, swing, and equipment a shitach made in heaven, or at least the upper atmosphere.

I dare say that within two years there is not a credible teaching professional or club fitter worth their salt who won’t be using this type of technology to help their clients.  It behooves you to seek out the early adopters and get the benefit of this stuff sooner rather than later.

You may not be able to afford Butch Harmon but you might well be able to afford a guy with the technological tools to make it a much more Butch-like experience.

March, 2014


True Linkswear Chukka

A pair of fall/winter golf shoes is probably not on the top of your wish list but if you play when the leaves hit the ground and there are frost delays through which to sip coffee and make small talk then these True Linkswear Chukka shoes deserve a look.


Made in the image of the top-of-their-line Stealth model the Chukka has a raised height in the heel well to provide a little extra protection from leaping dew drops.  It has the full features of the Stealth with a 2-year Waterproof leather upper, mid-foot stability cuff, leather liner and insole, memory foam heel, the low platform, and TRUE ninja rubber outsole.  Available in two fashion colors, dark brown and black, they showed the same close to the ground comfort and performance as the Stealths in my test walk-a-round

Being a TRUE believer for quite a while, the Chukka’s are the fifth pair in my locker joining a couple of Stealths, a Tour, and a Proto from the same blood line.  They look like a slightly shorter leather version of those nostalgic desert boots we used to sport in the early seventies.  Go nicely with the kaiki pants and the logo shirt from Scotland….but I think a bit geeky with shorts unless you have the Nordic hiking socks and some suspenders.

David Owen, who writes for Golf Digest, said recently in his golf blog My Usual Game that the only shoes he took on a non-golf trip to Europe this fall were True Linkswears and the Chukkas were his shoe of choice for the entire trip.

The Chukkas list for $210 but they are currently on sale at the True Linkswear website for $159.99 with free shipping.  If you are a function over form kind of guy these might be the winter golf shoes you did not know you were looking for.

October, 2013