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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. While it's always a great idea to spend some time with a qualified fitter, there are a couple things you can do on your own to see if your irons are properly fit for you. Recent feedback I've gotten from several fitting experts is that the technique of drawing a sharpie line on the back of a ball is better for dynamic lie fitting than using a lie board. The sharpie test is simple and allows you to hit balls off grass. The lie board with tape on the sole is obviously a popular method but the board is raised off the ground and the surface is different than grass. These differences can influence the club at impact and your swing. The lie board can encourage some players to sweep the ball while some players have a tendency to hit more down than normal, so it can be tough to get accurate and clean readings. Big reason why I like and wanted to share info on the sharpie test, I think it's best if you can accurately represent what will happen on the golf course. Here's how to go about performing the sharpie test. Draw a heavy vertical line on one side of the golf ball with sharpie and place it facing the club head. After impact, the line should be transferred onto the club face. If the line is perfectly vertical your lie angle is good to go (right pic). If the line is tilted out towards the toe of the club (left pic), your club is too upright and the lie angle needs to be flatter to get the line to vertical. Vice versa , if the sharpie line is tilted towards the heel your club, the lie angle is too flat and you would need to bend the club more upright. The test won't tell you exactly how much you need to adjust the clubs but it's a good start. For a static test, use a business card. Since it's static the test doesn't account for the fact that players are usually higher with the handle at impact, along with some shaft droop but it's something I recommend you do in combination with the sharpie test and getting your height/wrist-to-floor measurements. For this lie angle check, take your address position on a hard surface with the handle at a proper height; butt of the club pointing at or somewhere between the belly button and top of your zipper. Have someone slide a business card under the sole of the club. If the lie angle is correct, it should stop the where the one end of the card is at the center of the club (pic below). If the business card reaches the heel, the club might be too upright, too flat if the card doesn't slide to the middle of the face.
  3. I don't understand PING's color code system (note: as of July 10, they reverted back to an older style, eliminating some colors like "purple" and going from 3/4° adjustments back to full-° adjustments). For example, my daughter @NatalieB was fit for -1" and purple (1.5° flat) color code in her irons. This tells you what you need to know: length and lie. But then PING wrote to say that my fitter was using the old codes, and that purple was no more, and she would fit into black. They included these two images (bottom of post). Now, someone tell me what I don't understand: black just says standard lie angle, but if irons are ordered 1" short, is the lie angle standard, 1° flat, 2° flat… or what? Isn't the color code just a stand-in for the lie angle? It seems to me two pieces of information are needed: lie angle and length. Yes, they often or usually go together - 1" long and 2° upright, or 1/2" short and 1° flat or whatever - but they don't have to. You could like an upright, shorter club… So how does a color code solve anything when you still need to know two things: length and lie? Is the color-code just a stand-in for the lie angle? If so, shouldn't purple (-1.5°) be red or orange now, with the -1" adjustment? How did she go from -1" and 1.5° flat to -1" and standard lie angle?
  4. Hey Guys,Been using ping isi-k's for years and now have recently upgraded to ping ie 1's. On the isi's they were standard loft, lie and length in black code (7 of 36.75" length). They fitted well.The 2nd hand i e1's that i bought are standard loft and length (7 = 37") however the lie's are in colour purple, even with the lie being 1.5" flatter the toe of the clubs are pointing skywards too much and im hitting left of target more often.Using this ping chart im right in the middle of black which makes no sense for the i e1s (5ft 9" and 34.25" wrist to floor). I wouldn't of thought that the .25" would of made that much of a difference however the standard for those clubs being in blue may of.Unfortunately there are no ping fitters near me so i cant easily get down to one, however i can send them to ping and they will adjust foc bar shipping.Any help would be greatly appreciated as i really like these clubs but definitely need a bit of help or information regarding the lie.thanks
  5. When I bought my irons (used) from a pro shop they adjusted them 1* up for me. This was huge improvement over my first set of irons which I bought as "standard". However, I never gave any thought to the lie angle of my hybrids (I bought them online) until this weekend, when I was cleaning them. I noticed there is an "upright" setting on the tip, so I tried it out of curiosity. Not only was this much more comfortable at address, but the ball flight was very good - a slight draw like my irons. Previously I have played a slight push with those, and I think (I'm hopeful) that's now gone.. Anyway, does lie angle matter for drivers like it matters for irons & hybrids? A quick google search reveals a wide array of opinions. What is your practical experience? I apologize if this has already been discussed, I have searched the forums and did not see anything. Many thanks in advance.
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