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Ken Tannar, PGI Creator

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There's much more to learning this game than hitting it long and straight.

Tour quality putting will teach you how to read greens, read speed, develop and simple, consistent stroke, a sink more putts.

Tour Quality Golf

Tour quality putting will teach you how to read greens, read speed, develop a simple, consistent stroke, and sink more putts.



        Probable Golf Instruction

Monitor your swing improvements with Radar.

Swing Speed Radar -- Tap HERE
January 21 /08

Click on any of the following Newsletter topics or just scroll down the page:

Your Golfing Goals for 2008
The Best Ball for Your Game --Distance or Backspin
A Fun Game to Play -- Defender
Vacation Tournaments -- Are you going south?
Launch Monitor -- Optimize Your Shots
Playing Different Altitudes -- How Much Less Club?

The Best Ball for Your Game -- Distance or Backspin


    I was watching the Bob Hope Classic on the weekend and saw an TV Ad about taking the "Bridgestone Golf Challenge Ball Fitting." Four of the Bridgestone balls (including the new e5+ and e6+) were tested for distance and backspin in the 2007 Golf Ball Test talked about below.

    The February issue of GOLF Magazine highlights the testing of 54 different golf balls. They commissioned Golf Labs, an independent test facility in San Diego, CA, to run extensive robot tests using a driver, 8-iron and sand wedge. A state-of-the-art launch monitor, Trackman, was used to measure total distance, spin rate, ball speed and launch angle. Overall, I think the report is excellent except that the graphs are a little mis-leading. This newsletter will focus on

    The authors make the classic mistake of making differences in distances look significantly different by using inappropriate scales on the graphs. As an example, they plot bar graphs of the driver distances with 5 Titleist balls: (1) NXT Extreme, (2) NXT Tour, (3) ProV1x, (4) DT SOLO and (5) ProV1 using a graph similar to this graph:

Note that the vertical scale starts at 244 yards and goes up to 260 yards. A difference of even less than a yard is quite noticeable. The difference between Ball 1 and Ball 2 is only about 3 yards, yet it looks huge.

Now, look at the same data in the chart below, except that the vertical scale starts at 0 yards.

The difference in distances between the different balls does not appear that great. GOLF Magazine does mention that the difference in distance between the various balls tested is not that great, "The top 10 balls are separated by 3.7 yards, while the top 20 have a 5.4 yards difference."

There are a few mathematical and scientific reasons for discounting the differences between the balls all together, which would mean that there is no significant difference in distance. The reasons are:

1. There is measuring error in all of the measurements. To measure accurately to the nearest 0.1 yard on a distance of 250 yards requires an extremely accurate measuring tool .

2. Statistically speaking, a difference of 5 yards might not be at all significant because of the fact that the balls tested were only samples. If you were to measure 500 Pro V1 balls, you would find that they all travel different distances. The average distance would be pretty well in the middle of the shortest and longest ball tested. The longest ball might travel over 5 yards farther than the shortest ball. It might be in in comparing different brand balls, you happen to have some of the longest of Brand A and some of the shortest of Brand B. Thus, you would find a difference in their distances, where as on average, they're about the same.

3. Because of varying environmental conditions such as air temperature and wind, golf balls that would travel the same distance under the same environmental conditions would be recorded as travelling different distances.

4. The balls were hit off the "sweet spot" of the club face each time. The average golfer might hit 10 - 20% of shots off the "sweet spot." The difference in distances of each brand of golf ball might be larger or smaller when mis hit (not off the "sweet spot.")

5. Total distance hit with a Driver includes carry and roll. The amount of roll depends on the ground firmness and grass density. A difference of a few yards could easily be due to one ball getting a little extra roll, even though it my have carried the same distance.

Golfballs.com Click on the logo to the left for a great selection of balls with great prices.

So, one needs to analyze the distances using statistical tools to determine if any differences in distances are indeed significant, which would mean the Brand A on average flies farther than Brand B. In the past, I have analyzed such data of golf ball distances statistically, first in 1998, then 2003, then 2005 and now in 2007 (although we are now into 2008, the measurements were made in 2007).

My analysis of the GOLF Magazine Study does conclude 3 of the balls to be significantly longer than the others and 1 of the top line balls to be significantly shorter. You can find out what those balls are by purchasing the entire report. Buy Now for $14.99. In the report, you'll be provided with the following::

Learn which golf balls on the market today are the longest and the shortest. Over 50 of the game's most popular balls were tested in 2007.
Learn about the differences between such balls as Titleist Pro V1, Nike One, Callaway Tour i, Srixon Pro, Top-Flight XL 5000, Pinnacle Platinum, and Noodle + to name a few.
Learn if there's actually a golf ball that's long and also has high spin.
Learn about the different TYPES of golf ball construction.
Learn which type of golf ball is BEST for your game.
Learn how dimples are important to a golf ball. Is there a number of dimples that optimizes distance?
Learn about golf ball compression. Does it really matter?
Learn how temperature and humidity affect distance off the tee.
Learn about used golf balls. Should you play golf balls that you find? Is distance related to the age of the golf ball?
Learn a process to follow to determine the BEST ball for your game.
Learn about golfers' obsession with distance. Do golfers actually hit the ball further today? What changes have occurred in golf ball and club construction?


Buy Now for $14.99

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The other stat that is analyzed in my report is the backspin rate of the balls when it by a Driver, 8-iron and Wedge. Backspin plays a huge roll in short game shots from 100 yards and in. In many cases, the balls that tend to go a little farther have less backspin with the wedge, thus, sacrificing stopping ability around the green.

But, because of new golf ball construction technology, there are balls that don't sacrifice distance and still get great backspin. Their durable and not necessarily expensive.

Find out what balls give the most spin!! Buy Now for $14.99

I'll have more on backspin in my next newsletter.

Launch Monitor -- Optimize Your Shots    

  If you are serious about trying to optimize your distance, 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 Drivers and shafts to find the one that produces optimum ball speed, trajectory and spin (the effects of which will be discussed in a future newsletter).

Or, you can even buy your own launch monitor. In my opinon, the best Launch Monitor out there is Accusport's Vector Pro. Learn more here. I've not got my own and will use it with my research. If you have any ideas of what kind of golf ball research you'd like to learn more about, let me know by email.

Vector Pro Logo

If you'd like a less expensive monitor, try the Swing Speed Radar. It will measure your clubhead speed and your ball speed, but doesn't measure launch angle or spin like the Accusport can.


Great Game for 3 or 4 -- Defender

    A game I love to play, especially when playing in a threesome, is called defender. Each player takes turns defending a hole. On the first tee, have the players stand in a circle facing one another. Throw a tee into the air. The tee will point towards the first defender. Throw the tee again to determine the next defender, and so on. Continue the same order of defending as you play the round (however many holes you decide to play).

When the Defender successfully defends his hole - that is, gets the lowest score - he earns 3 points and the other players lose 1 point. If any member of the group beats the Defender, the defender loses 3 points and each other player gains 1 point. If the Defender ties for low score on his hole, the defender gains 1 1/2 points while the others lose a half-point.

Defender can be played just for points and bragging rights, or a dollar value can be assigned to the points and money divvied up at the end of the round. You can play gross scores (if the players are close in handicap) or net scores using the handicap ratings of the holes.

Playing Different Altitudes -- How Much Less Distance?

    So let's say you're off to play in a different part of the country or world where the altitude and temperature are quite different from your normal course. You'll know how far each club will carry at under those new conditions. No more guessing when you visit a strange course. You'll be able to select your clubs with more confidence. And remember, less doubt gives you a much greater chance of hitting a good shot.

Below is a picture of what the spreadsheet looks like.

To order, use your credit card at PayPal:

for only $19.95, reduced from $29.95

Facts about golf ball flights at higher elevations.

1. Air is less dense at higher elevations.

2. Since air density is less, there is less air drag on a golf ball and less air lift.

3. Flight time for golf balls is less. Golf balls don't fly as high.



4. High lofted clubs (i.e. short irons) will have the greatest difference in range at higher elevations.

5. Tee shots (with a Driver) will fly lower and won't fly signficantly farther, but they will run farther.

6. One might get more distance from a 3-wood at high elevation than a Driver.



Trying to find answers on my website? Here's how.

1. Go to my Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. There's a link to it on my pages from the left hand menu near the top of the page, just below the Search icon. It's called "FAQs." You then click on the graphic icon and you'll be taken to my database page. For your convenience, here it is:

I've answered hundreds of questions over the past 6 years and have created a fairly large database. You can search it out. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, submit a question and I'll answer it.

2. On all of my web pages, there is a search feature in the top left section, right underneath my LOGO. Just place your search keywords in the search box, select "This Site" below it, and then press "Search." What will come up is a Google search of the pages on my site with relevance. You can also search the entire internet by selecting "Web" instead.
Go to my main page now: Home or just check the top left menu of this page.

3. Also, directly under the Google Search area, you'll find a pop down menu called "Your Topic." Select the topic of interest and press "Go."

I would suggest you bookmark my main page and/or your specific areas of interest so that you can find them easily in the future. On each page at the very top, there is a link you can click on:
"Click here to add this page to your favourites"

Hope you find all you're looking for.

You can learn more from NEW Titleist Pro-V1 by clicking HERE.

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

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

Ken Tannar

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