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      Visit FlagstickRule.com   03/13/2017

      Visit the site flagstickrule.com to read about and sign a petition for the USGA/R&A regarding the one terrible rule in the proposed "modernized" rules for 2019.
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About this blog

All the right words, in all the right places?

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Reddit rant

Commenting on a post of a before and after video, one redditor asked what was the difference. Apparently he/she saw none. This was the before and after top of backswing positions. And the guy got upvotes.  :doh: The place is ADD.

Analyzr Image Export.jpg


No one at the ranges I go to make use of video, and if they do, they're doing it wrong, I'm one of the rare few who brings a tripod. Looking at the Facebook page of a popular instructor today, and it's the dead of winter, there are tons of people jury rigging whatever they have to practice indoors - school gyms, basements, backyards - from all over the place, US, UK, Canada. They're all using video, some high frame rate, although their angles could be better. So maybe I'm just in an unrepresentative area but it seems from this little keyhole I'm looking through people are more and more comfortable using video. Watching all these people working at their game is inspiring.


Justin Thomas, Charles Howell, LeeMcCoy. How do they hit the ball so far? Yes, there's this video among others. You look at Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Gary Woodland you'll go, oh, okay, I see why they bomb it. Intellectually, I know the answer - talent, maximizing impact conditions like angle of attack, lots of hard work and good info, but if someone who's relatively shorter and weighs less than his counterparts, although probably taller than the average male but not by that much, can drive the ball 300 yards on average, why do golfers who are intently trying having problems carrying 250? I have no answers, to me, it just reenforces how talent is a major differentiator. Otherwise, I have nothing. Thoughts?


Golftec (disclaimer - don't know anyone working there) was something I never looked into, probably confirmation bias or the social media out there about the hard sell to buy lesson packages. After trying out its video setup, the benefits of having both face on and down the line views simultaneously was intriguing, and a screen where you can see yourself live although you still have to manipulate your head to see the screen, VR goggles not available yet but you can bet that will be a thing in the near future, could be useful for some I thought.

Winter was a time where practice wound down, don't know anyone with a large relatively warm space (Hey buddy, you have so much photography/music studio loft space you could easily fit in a net there and we could practice during winter! Whadday think? :-D) where I could plop a net, and paying for a simulator when I wasn't using the simulator, just videoing myself, plus groups using simulators tend to be noisy, just didn't work - too limiting and expensive. Places w/simulators can be cramped spaces too, so you may not get a face on or down the line camera view. Practicing during the winter outdoors was getting more and more to be a drudge - it's one thing to swing, futzing with a camera when it's cold is the dealbreaker, even with touchscreen gloves.

So finally the plunge into a 1/2 year practice plan was made. If you go 2-3 times a week, the cost per visit goes down considerably compared to simulators. What I didn't anticipate is that dual video cameras has been more beneficial than I imagined, the connect between what I'm doing and what really happens is much more immediate, even though I've been using video, "only" one camera - and I think I'm making better progress because of it and now that plunge is looking like a great deal. So if you're looking for a place to practice in the cold winter, take a gander into any company/facility with dual cameras and multiple locations. You might get in some considerable swing work done during the offseason. 

Better at shallowing from A4 and better at knowing the whys because cameras because instructor with a big assist from cameras:



The Cable Stayed Bridge

The cabled stayed bridge. When done right, it can really transform a skyline and especially look dramatic at night. Under certain conditions, it costs less to build and maintain than a suspension bridge, something to do with maximum road segment length. But it seems many of these projects are plagued with cost overruns. Rusted supports, salt water eating away. If they're supposed to save money, you wouldn't be able to tell based on news headlines. See eastern segment of the Bay Bridge.

If you travel around the world and return home only to see none, you wonder where are my taxes going? Why isn't the infrastructure being updated? Of course it makes no sense to tear down an old bridge and put up a new one just for the sake of it, but NYC, for example, has some pretty old, ugly looking bridges that must cost a pretty penny to maintain. The pigeon droppings alone costs a substantial amount to clean. The Williamsburg. The Manhattan. They just look... old.

The first cable stayed bridge in the US was built in Washington in the late 70s. Tampa has a stunning one. Boston's was finished 13 years ago. The one in Delaware is over 20 years old. Oakland has a new bridge to rival the GG. There are about 30 in the US. There are at least 60 in China alone and there are some stunning ones around the world. One of the bridges below is Calatrava's, but his projects tend to go over budget.




The NYC metro area is finally getting two. There are currently two in existence, but they're pedestrian bridges, at Rockefeller University and the Intrepid, that's it. You have the new Goethels and the Tappan Zee replacement, which 44 fast tracked because the TPZ was literally falling apart with holes and way over its 50 year shelf life and built to bear a lighter load than it does now. I guess that's not uncommon, we wait until the last minute or an accident to do something.

Who knows how much the final tally will be, but at least it's a sign we're updating our infrastructure. The new TPZ (The New NY Bridge? Hope it gets a more original name) has a pedestrian roadway, you'll finally be able to cross the Hudson on foot or bike from Nyack to Tarrytown. For 4 billion, there better be one.







The C&D


Cooper River Bridge


On a totally unrelated note since we're speaking about infrastructure:



I used to believe impact is king. Lots of pros, announcers and good players say this, but it's more nuanced than that. Impact is important. Your shaft should have some forward lean, your hands should be ahead of the ball, you should hit the ball first, divot should be in front of the ball. These are musts.

But it's not the whole picture. How you arrive at impact and where your path and face are headed just after it are just as important. You could be coming into the ball way "dumped under" and have a path that's like +8. That's hard to control and subject to blocks and hooks. I might have seen myself on video face on, with perfect impact conditions, with a driver, bowed wrist, forward leaning shaft, hands ahead of ball, a look I used to die for, but I've hit a low bullet that would just barely clear an NBA center.

This is just one of so many common cliches to "simplify" learning the game. It's all about impact, hit it to right field, keep your head down, hit down on the ball, etc... Have they really helped golfers learn the swing, or have golfers learned in spite of them? Imho, it's time to dispense with these one liners along with that mystical golf pro that charges $30/hour and will fix you in 5 minutes.

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