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Ken Tannar, PGI Creator

 

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August PGI Contest

Only 2 more weeks left for you to register for my newsletter contest.

To register for July/August's contest worth $50, all you need to do is visit this page and enter your name and email. Refer friends to my newsletter, and you'll be entered as many times as the number of friends you refer.

Just submit the name(s) of your friend(s) on the registration page.

Download any of my PGI Golf Tips or Reports. Buy a copy of the CD, Hit Down Dammit!, the new BreakMaster for measuring green break, Swing Machine Golf, or Swing Speed Detector or anything else, and you'll be entered once for every dollar value of your purchase.

You owe it to your game to make the best of your abilities; become " Master of Your Own Game". Stand out and improve, even without hitting any balls!!

Here's to a long lasting life of great golf!

A Brief Message  Aug 18/05

  • Congratulations to Phil Mickelson for winning the PGA Championship, his second major.
  • My last newsletter took a look at any differences in golf ball distances given that the balls are old, scuffed, dirty, etc. View the previous newsletter here.
  • In previous newsletters, I've talked about hitting uphill and downhill shots, and the effects on yardage. In this newsletter, I'm going to revisit this topic as it relates to pitches and the short game.
  • An excellent golf book that I've promoted on my site for over a year is "Swing Machine Golf." Click here to take a peak. It's a beautiful book to have.
    It's highlighted in George Peper's new book, "Search for the Secret of Golf." George is a long-time editor of Golf Digest. His book is highlighted in the Sept issue of Golf Digest. You can order George's book from Amazon here. I think I'll get 2 bits if you do.

    View the left hand side of this page for some other great golf gift ideas. Get some great golf books from amazon.com. View my recommended golf science books.


    Read your putts more accurately by measuring the slope of the green using "BreakMaster", a digital slope reader.

    Check out my latest calculator. It calculates your handicap index. You can use it whenever you like ensure you're using the right index. Click here.

 
Golf Game Management IX: Pitch Shots, Up, Down & All Around

Read other Parts from the Technology & Distance series, Short Game series and Off Season Golf series here, Archives.

Check out my new Golf Handicap Calculator

Send me any suggestions you have for the next or future newsletters. Just submit your ideas using this simple form. Now on to this week's topic.

IX. How do lie and elevation affect check and spin?

    The topic of this this series is Golf Game Management. Can you shoot lower scores without physical improvement? The answer is a resounding, YES! Not that I'm advocating not improving your ball striking and short game skill level.

     I was at the beach the other day with my kids and took along Dave Pelz's "Short Game Bible". I can't say more good thinkgs about this book and the great knowledge Dave has added to the game. I'd really recommend you get your own copy. You can order it from Amazon using the following link. Yes, I get something for the purchase; I think about 70 cents, so that's not the reason for the recommendation. Or, get it at your local book store or library.
Click here to order Dave's Book.

     In his book, Dave does an excellent job of describing the effects of different scenarios on the ball's ability to stop quickly. As in my two previous newsletters, I emphasized the importance of playing a high spin ball; one with a soft cover. In some scenarios, however, even a high spin ball won't enable you to get the ball close.

     Look at the diagrams below. They can be applied to pitch shots (30-80 yards) as well as to full length shots. In the first and second diagrams, you can see the effects of playing to a green higher and lower in elevation to you and your ball. When the ball lands on a higher green, the ball will land with a more shallow angle and therefore not stop as quickly. When playing to a green lower, the ball will land with a steeper angle and stop much more quickly. It's crucial that the golfer take this into account in order to judge getting the ball close to the hole.

     In the third diagram, the golfer is hitting from a downhill lie and and uphill lie. From a downhill lie, the ball will have a lower trajectory and thus not stop as quickly. To play a downhill lie, one plays the ball farther back in the stance which decreases the effective loft of the club, making the trajectory even lower. From an uphill like, the ball will have a higher trajectory than normal, land with a steeper angle of attack and thus stop more quickly than normal.

     Of course, if you're playing a high spin ball (click here for some examples), you'll be more able to stop the ball in situations like those described above. Play a hard ball, however, and you'll have a tough time stopping the ball in all circumstances. If you were faced with hitting from below in the 2nd diagram or hitting from a downhill lie in the 3rd diagram, it might not be realistic to get the ball close. That's part of your golf management. Expect to hit it past the pin and hopefully make the putt coming back, as opposed to trying to get it close and making a double or triple bogey.

     If your goal is in fact to shoot lower scores, focus on improving your short game because that's where over half your shots occur. To improve your short game, use a soft, high spin ball. They cost a little more, but they're well worth it.

Learn your perfect swing while attached to the "Dream Swing."
Learn when your swing goes off plane and correct it.

Click here for your Dream Swing.

   As I also recommend in my "Longest Golf Ball" study, a golfer should play a golf ball that feels good to him/her. One golf ball doesn't go significantly farther than any other (even though ball manufacturers would lead you to believe otherwise). The most important quality of a golf ball is its feel for the short game, which is where golfers use the most of their shots. If your budget permits you, you should use a ball like the Titleist Pro V1 because it is soft which means you can judge short shots (putting and chips) better and it provides more backspin, while at the same time provideing the same distance as a hard ball.

   In my opinion, playing a Titleist Pro V1 that you found (as long as it looks relatively new and has likely been recently lost) is better than a new hard golf ball, like a Top-Flite.

   The wind changes the distance the ball flies more when hitting into the wind than with the wind. How much more? I have calculated that with my computer projectile model and reveal the amount in my paper on Wind Speed Effects. You can purchase your copy for only $5.99. Click here.

Order your "Altitude Club Print" now and have greater confidence in your club selection when you travel to different courses. The cost is only $9.99, less than a sleeve of golf balls.

Get more info here.

Take a look below the suggestion box for some more ideas on how you can improve your game.

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If you are more interested in finding out which golf ball is best for you and your game, consider the following:

Longest Golf Ball Report -- a statistical analysis of different golf balls hit by an
                                    Iron Byron Robot machine.

 

A list of resources that have been used to produce this newsletter can be found on my web site here.

The focus of my site is to utilize science and math to lower your score. New technology is one way to achieve this, but to be honest, the technology is one small piece of the puzzle.

To actually improve significantly, we all need to:

1. Improve our swings using CD Interactive, Hit Down Dammit!

2. Learn how to swing simpler like the Iron Byron with the great coffee table book, Swing Machine Golf!

3. Improve our physical fitness and strength.
The Golf Trainer Power Performance Programô
and Ultimate Golf Fitness Ebook

4. Improve our mental games. Golf Mind Software

5. Improve our Probable Golf games. Learn how to make better choices on the course through knowing how shot patterns and reading the elements and course better.

Click on the links above to take a look at ways that I personally use myself and recommend you try as well.

Hope I provided some useful ways for to become better prepared for you best golf season ever.

Ken Tannar

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