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  1. We're in that special hell of rules controversies with the implementation of the new Rules of Golf. There have been some growing pains with the new rules, and that has allowed the golf media to tee off on its favorite target, the USGA. Which, to be fair, can make itself an easy target: https://www.golfdigest.com/story/despite-harsh-words-from-some-tour-pros-usga-pleased-with-roll-out-of-new-rules-of-golf. That aside, I wanted to talk about the "controversy" about the knee-height drop that the Rules now require. Rickie Fowler got a one stroke penalty for dropping from shoulder height this past weekend. Cue the complaining from him: https://golfweek.com/2019/02/22/rickie-fowler-hit-with-one-shot-penalty-for-illegal-drop-at-wgc-mexico-championship/ I can forgive him - he just had a brain fart, probably didn't gain an advantage in this situation, it cost him money. I'm always annoyed when I get a penalty, personally, and it's absolutely never my fault, okay? But cue the pearl clutching from the media: https://www.golf.com/news/2019/02/25/backstopping-pro-tours-under-policed/ I'm here to tell you that this is wrong, and knee-height drops actually make a ton of sense. One of the best things the new Rules do is simplify dropping. Now, all you have to do when dropping is land the ball in the relief area (without touching you or your equipment before hitting the ground) and ensure the ball comes to rest in the relief area. If you don't do this, you have to redrop. Pretty simple. Yes, you have to figure out what your relief area is, but that's pretty simple, too. (For a fuller explanation of this, see Rule 14 and the definitions in the Rules of Golf.) The old rules were much more complex. Specifically, if your ball rolled to one of 9 areas after you dropped it, you had to redrop. For example, if your ball rolled more than 2 club lengths away from where your ball hit the ground, you had to redrop. You had to know all of these 9 areas to know if you needed to redrop or not. So, the new way is simpler, right? Instead of learning 9 different triggers for a redrop, you only have to learn 1. Great! Why am I talking about when you have to redrop? This is why we're dropping from knee height. Generally, under the new Rules, your ball cannot go as far after hitting the ground as it used to without triggering a redrop. Dropping from knee height reduces the chance that a redrop will be necessary. It also means that a ball has less of a chance of embedding in sand when you drop it. It makes a ton of sense, really. Now, you might say, that's all fine, but why not allow dropping a ball from anywhere above knee height? I think you could easily game the rules to be able to place the ball when you really want to by simply dropping from shoulder height instead of knee height. Think about dropping on a side slope, for example. You're much more likely to have to redrop and place if you drop the ball from a higher point. Sure, this is rare, but why take the chance? We're all on the same page, right? Knee-height drops make a lot of sense. (If you want to know more about the changes to dropping, this is an excellent article that talks about this in a bit more detail: https://rulesgeeks.com/2018/12/30-days-of-2019-rules-changes-day-16-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball-in-playing-it-from-a-relief-area/) Now to the point of all of this: golf media, please take 5 minutes to understand the rule before issuing a HAWT TAKE about the rule. The USGA has a one page sheet that explains the rule: http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/new-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball.html. You don't come off very well when you fail to read that. I know it's fun and easy to just mindlessly bash the USGA, but they do get things right. This is one of them. (Oh and by the way, the Rules are actually really good, as a whole. Maybe I'll talk about that in another post later.)
  2. Hey all! So, I’m convinced that I’m in need of new (stiffer) shafts in my irons. This is based on a few data points: 1) I have a two way miss that I am having great difficulty correcting. Either a push straight right, or a hard overdraw/hook. I read that some who have too-flexible/light shafts can have this miss pattern. Seems to fit my situation. If I S L O W my swing down, I can straighten it a bit, but it feels unnatural, like I’m putting the brakes on my swing. I’d rather swing full. I feel like I’m walking on a razor with the ‘right’ speed, and I’m thinking it would help to have something else that I can’t overpower so easily, and so I can commit to each shot. Basically, 2 out of 10 shots go straightish. 4 go left, 4 go right. I do not have a problem with contact anymore. I get it ‘up’ plenty easily, and don’t hit it excessively fat or thin very often these days. (Just a little fat/thin, haha). About 8-10 times or more per round I hear myself say ‘yeah I hit it good, it just went way left/right!’ 2) I’m 6’2 with about an 88mph 6i swing speed. Carry it about 175 or so. Distance is not my problem. Even losing just a bit would be OK if I start hitting it a good deal straighter. 3) I’m playing stock Ping AWT R-flex shafts in my G15’s. These shafts weigh 99g. Pretty light compared to almost any Stiff flex shaft out there. The ball launches high, and I do like that. But if something stiffer would drop the flight a bit, but keep me straighter... I’m interested. When I bought the irons new, my swing was (more) crap, and I couldn’t generate too much clubhead speed. The salesman/fitter said I could go with Stiff graphite shafts, but since the R’s were steel, they would play ‘stiff enough’, anyway. Probably/possibly true back then (2012), definitley not the case now. So... I have tried the online fitting sites from True Temper and KBS, and though I can play with the answers to the questions a bit, I get vaguely consistent results. Normally I’m guided toward KBS Tour S, KBS Tour V (Stiff), KBS C-Taper Lite, or Project X 6.0/5.5’s. The problem is, I have no idea what each of these shafts would really do for me. My number one goal is to significantly straighten my ballflight and tighten my dispersion. Secondly, I would like to keep as much distance as possible. Trajectory is of less importance to me, but medium to high sounds good. Of course the best thing to do would be to go get fitted for shafts. I could answer all my questions in an hour or two. Unfortunately, where I live now, (Japan) there are not any places that I know of to go get fit. Plus the language barrier could be an issue. Does anyone have any specific recommendations or experiences on any of the shafts I mentioned, or any others that you know to be similar, or that may help me achieve my goals? Especially interested if your numbers are similar to mine. Most of the shafts I listed are about 110g in weight. Seems like 10g up won’t throw me off too much. Does that sound reasonable? If I can, I will figure out how to get fit here in Japan, but I am also browsing eBay for shaft sets and have come close to pulling the trigger a couple of times. I just want to avoid any extremely costly mistakes, if possible. Thank you for reading my novel, and I appreciate any feedback. I do have a ‘my swing’ thread if seeing me swing my 6i would be helpful.
  3. I got my current set of irons about six years ago. I know I obsessively used the Mizuno swing optimizer to select a shaft. I ended up with FST 115, stiff flex, soft stepped, -1/2". I have had some great rounds and great shots with these irons. These are not Mizuno irons (they are Maltby K-30s). I was debating a new set of irons, and in part I was wondering if this was still the right fit for me. I know I deluded myself about a number of things back then, and I've found posts from that era when I say I hit an 8-iron 135 yards (for reference, that's a toss up of 6- or 7-iron for me at the moment). I bet I hit very few GIRs back then if that was my thinking (I didn't keep as detailed records as you'd think). There was a convenient Ping Demo / Fitting day near me at a Roger Dunn a few days ago that had a launch monitor, so I figured I'd go try. If I were to get a new set of irons, Ping's offerings are at the top of the list (I marginally prefer the look over Titleist APs, and also their partnership with TST would break the tie in their favor). My goal was to find out what, if anything, the difference would be between my current set and the Pings, plus if I decide to buy the Ping irons, now I have the specs to order. After trying many combinations (I even took practice swings before hitting the ball, trying to emulate a good range/course practice), we ended up with a suggestion for R-flex and a shaft that weighs 105g (they gave a specific one). On the store's launch monitor, I was hitting the G-400 7-iron 148-150 yards with the recommended shaft. Now, that 7-iron is one degree STRONGER than my 6-iron. Six years ago, I would have said "well, that's why I hit it so much farther," as I was quick to dismiss any set that had a PW with less than 47 degrees of loft (back before I understood there were non-marketing reasons to have these lofts). Except... I hit it more than a club further. If I need anything over 140 yards, I'm probably not hitting my 6-iron. GameGolf has my 6-iron at 136 yards. I can recall one shot where I hit my 6-iron more than 140 yards recently. I was trying to lay up short of a green that I couldn't see because of my tee shot position. I could see the greenside bunker left of the green, a little over 140 yards away and up hill. Well, I don't hit my 6-iron that far, so I'll hit that and use the bunker as a target. Guess where I ended up. Anyway, I thought I'd ask if anyone thinks I'm deluding myself (I don't think that's something I can figure out from within) about flex. If I am, and given that I'm taking lessons fairly regularly, am I possibly looking at running into a situation before too long where I should have stiff flex? Or maybe there's another factor with their clubs (they also suggest I play -1/4" not -1/2", but that's not the big difference in distance either). Can shaft flex really be that big a difference? My 31-degree iron at 136 yards, their (smaller sample size of shots hit) 30 degree at 148? Even if you think of "their 7" and "my 6" as the "same club," that's over a ten yard difference because of shaft flex (or other variables). And if it carries up the line at 10-yard increments, I'd replace 4-hybrid through PW in my set (I don't hit full shots with my GW, so I'd keep that). For what it's worth, I think my approach shots are a game strength at the moment. I lose 1.29 shots per round average on approach **compared to a 5-handicap**. I gain 1.32 per round compared to a 10-handicap (today's revision places me at a 14.0). Versus the 10 handicap, I lose .22 driving and... let's say more on the other two categories. My latest "My Swing" post includes two videos of me swinging at speed in case someone with a far better eye than I have wants to see how the shaft behaves in a swing (direct link to comment with videos (edit: or maybe just the last page of the My Swing thread?)): Thanks in advance for any insight offered! I'm up for learning more about flex, if I'm deluding myself, and for advice and suggestions about whether I should consider shaft flex changes. One other data point: two years ago or so, a Titleist rep fit me for my driver and I have stiff flex in that. I don't think I swung better then than I do now, and I don't think that shaft is mis-fit either.
  4. Hi everyone My drives are ballooning up, way up, I feel like I'm losing out on a lot of roll, and I feel like I'm it's a crapshoot between left and right, no consistency. ... A guy I played with today suggested I could benefit from an X stiff shaft .I'm wondering about flex/shaft configurations and looking for recommendations Just curious about most people's experience going to an extra stiff shaft ,has it helped make things more predictable ? Also, any other adjustments people have made to bring the ball down? Thanks
  5. Hi, i was fitted 6 months ago for a driver and some irons and the fitter was certain that i get a regular flex, as i was a beginner who wasn't getting massive head speeds, i have played a ton of golf lately (18 holes twice a week) and have improved my game immensely, i went in a few weeks ago to get a hybrid and after hitting a few at 80-95 mph head speed, the fitter then (different person) said he thinks that a stiff shaft would be more ideal. i told him i had a regular flex driver and irons but he was still set on the stiff hybrid shaft. im not sure what to do, i like the regular flex on my irons but i think my driver could need a stiffer flex. im not sure whether the stiff shaft hybrid will be good for me, it felt really good hitting some balls but i have always thought the hybrid should be the same flex as my irons? questions... should i go stiff or regular hybrid? should i replace my regular driver shaft with a stiff shaft?
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