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Probable Golf Instruction

Thanks for supporting Probable Golf Instruction. You'll find out more about what my site has to offer below. If you have any questions, please send an email to me. At the end of this series of newsletters on Distance & Technology, I'll provide a summary of "Tips for Buying a New Driver." Hold off on your purchase until then.

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Want more great golf tips? Please come to PGI Golf Tips to see the details. You can download them immediately. As we anxiously await the Masters, prepare for you own game by getting a season's supply of tees. Golf tees do make a difference in how far you hit the ball. Order your Stinger Tees here.

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

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

My latest study is finished. See some of the details of the reports HERE.

A Brief Message        Mar 9/04

  • Ken here from Probable Golf Instruction. In my last newsletter, I explained how clubhead loft and center of mass affects distance. Review the newsletter here.
  • In this issue, I'll explain how the mass of the shaft affects the distance a golf ball travels. What shaft stiffness should you be playing? Is there a significant difference between graphite and steel shafts?
  • As I've mentioned in earlier emails, I've teamed up with an excellent teaching pro that has produced an excellent instructional CD called "Hit Down Dammit!". It compliments the math/science focus of my site with great instruction on how to physically swing the golf club. As a subscriber to this newsletter, you can download a sample. Input your info below an you'll automatically receive a download link.
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  • If you find that when you play matches against lower handicaps, you just don't seem to win as much, there is a good reason. Find out more about fair handicaps here. Download a sample of my new calculator that determines the actual difficulty ranking of your golf holes. Using it is one way to even things out a bit.
Distance & Technology Part 3: Driver Shaft


Read Part 1 of this series here.
Read Part 2 of this series here.

Over the next few months, as we lead up to a new golf season for everyone, the topic of my newsletter will be how new Driver Technology provides greater distance to us all. If you have been thinking of purchasing a new driver this season, hold off until you get a better understanding of what's out there.

If there is any topic you would like explained and presented in my upcoming newsletters, just email me. I'll attempt to cover your topic in a future newsletter.

If you'd like one on one explanations about the topic, sign up for the PGI Member Select Club and I'll answer all your questions. Now on to this week's topic.

III. Clubhead Shaft

     As presented in previous newsletters, to achieve maximum distance, the golfer must provide the clubhead with as much energy (and thus speed) as possible. Because of the very short duration of impact (about 0.0005 seconds), the golfer has no influence on the transfer of energy between the club and the ball. It's as iff the clubhead were not attached to the shaft at that point. In fact, very little of the shaft's mass contributes to the transfer as well.

     Thus it essential to have as light of a shaft as possible. A heavy shaft merely adds mass to what the golfer is swinging, thus reducing clubhead speed and distance. Ideally, the shaft would have no mass at all. Unfortunately, the shaft must have sufficient mass to have enough strength so the club doesn't twist to much. The forces on the clubhead at impact are extremely large (and thus the forces on the golfer's hands are large as well; the cause of calluses). At and near impact, the clubhead's toe will tip downwards and clubface forwards. Both of these changes open the clubface slightly and increase its effective loft.

     Many think that the kicking forwards of the clubhead increases clubhead speed, thus one wants a shaft that is stiff enough to reduce twist and but not too stiff to reduce clubhead speed. In actual fact, it has been found through high speed camera measurements that the increase in clubhead speed is not significant. A more flexible shaft does not increase clubhead speed significantly, but it does increase the amount of twisting and therefore the amount of dispersion of golf shots.

     Long hitters should use the stiffest and lightest shafts possible. Short hitters on't benefit from more flexible shafts. For short hitters, the difference between stiff and flexible is just preference of feel. More flexible shafts will kick more at impact thus opening the clubface more and increasing effective loft. As was presented in my last newsletter, effective loft (influenced by club loft, center of mass, and shaft flex) determines maximum distance.

Learn your perfect swing while attached to the "Dream Swing."



     The lightest shafts on the market that are also strong enough are made of graphite. Steel shafts are stronger but have significantly more mass (120 g compared to 90 g). Even so, for a long hitter, a steel shaft driver would yield only about 5 - 6 yards less distance. A short hitter would find similar differences. But 5 - 6 yards difference for a short hitter is much more significant. Long hitters do get more distance with graphite shafts but do sacrifice some control.

     The difference in price for a steel shaft and a good graphite shaft is quite substantial. You're paying a lot of money for a few extra yards. It's the same with most things one purchases, you pay a lot of money for the more luxurious model.

Play with my Driver Distance Calculator. You can input such variables as loft and clubhead speed to determine the optimum loft.

     If you are serious about trying to optimize your distance through clubhead loft, go to a facility that has a club/ball monitor (one that measures clubhead speed, ball speed, trajectory, spin, etc). You can experiment with different clubhead lofts to find the one that produces optimum ball speed, trajectory and spin.

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

The next newsletter's topic will be the size of the driver clubhead and its moment of inertia. Is bigger definitely better? Does a bigger clubhead mean more air drag thus less distance?

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. Hit Down Dammit!

2. Improve our physical fitness and strength.
The Golf Trainer Power Performance Programô

3. Improve our mental games. Golf Mind Software

4. 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.

Get ready for this season's matches and club events. Find out what handicap mix in a foursome produces the lowest scores. How can one play a fair birdie game amongst different handicap groups?

There are 3 reports:

Report #1: Team Events

Report #2: Match Play & Stroke Allocation

Report #3: Birdie Ratios & Other Scores

Each report can be downloaded immediately for $7.99 or all three can be purchased for $19.99.

For Newsletter Members Only (that's you), all three reports can be purchased for a special discounted price of $14.99, but only by using the link below.

Take a closer look at some of the details of the reports HERE, and then come back here to order.


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

Ken Tannar


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