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




        Probable Golf Instruction

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March 15 /10

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

Alignment & Hitting Enough Club
Golf Improvement Survey Results #2
Wedge Loft & Gap Distance

Advantage High Handicapper or Low?

Going away on a golf holiday this winter with a group? Need a golf draw that pairs each player with each other player exactly once? or twice? or not at all? I have developed draws that meet those requirements. Take a look at them by CLICKING HERE, Golf Draws.

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Alignment & Hitting Enough Club

Two of the weakest skills amongst amateurs is aiming correctly at the target and hitting enough club to reach the target.


For instance, an error in alignment of ONE degree on a 200 yard shot results in an error of 3.5 yards. An error in alignment of FIVE degrees results in an error of 17 yards (that's the width of some greens). That's a huge error!! Misalign by 5 degrees on a 20 foot putt creates an error of 21 inches at the hole. If you can't align properly, how can you ever hit your target??

The vast majority of right handed swingers align too far to the right. Likewise the vast majority of left handed swingers align too far to the left. Since the object is always to hit the ball towards the hole, these golfers have unconsciously modified their swings, to the best of their abilities, to get the ball on line even though they're grossly misaligned. They have created extra moves in their swings and putting strokes, making them more complex and ineffective.

Imagine trying to learn to shoot a rifle with the sites grossly off. There would be a lot of trial and error but you'd eventually be able to hit your target by holding the rifle in an unorthodox way. It's the same with the golf swing. Improper alignment leads to unorthodox swings.

How does one align properly? A very systematic, repeatable process is essential.

Proper alignment leads to better golf shots. Click HERE for an accurate process to master your alignment.

Club Selection

Amateurs usually don't hit enough club to get to their targets, thus falling short of the green. If they end up with a chip shot, then they most likely lose at least full a shot because they won't get up and down often. If they end up in a bunker or water hazard, they may lose 2 or more shots.

I feel the major reason for coming up short is a misunderstanding of averages. Just like your handicap is an average of your best scores, you don't want to club yourself in the same way. Many golfers count on hitting one of their best shots when clubbing. Rarely does the "best" shot occur so the golfer comes up short.

My advice is to hit a club which will get you 5 to 10 yards (1/2 to a full club more) past the pin when you hit your "best" shot. That way, most of the time you'll hit it the right distance.

On most golf holes, trouble is short of the green. Rarely is there major trouble long of the green. So the odds are better for your score if you try to hit it a little long.

Improve your alignment and hit a little more club on your approach shots this season. You'll get yourself closer to the hole more often than not and shoot lower scores.

You can look at all of my products here: Order Golf Tips & Accessories

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Golf Improvement Survey Results: Part 2


If you'd like to review the results for Part 1, view my last Newsletter by clicking HERE.

To become an elite golfer, is it necessary that one begins playing the game before a certain age? Must one learn the required skills at an earlier age in order to become one of the best golfers?

I analyzed the results of two important questions from my survey:

1. What is your lowest ever handicap?

2. At what age did you start playing golf?

Here are the survey results linking handicap with starting age.

less than = 2
less than = 5
less than = 10
less than = 20
more than 20
Standard Dev

Of those surveyed, the best golfers (hcp less than or equal to 2) had an average starting age of about 21 years of age. The standard deviation (measure of variance) was 11.5 which means 68% started playing either within 11.5 years before or after 21 (9.5 years to 32.5 years old).

Similar results for handicaps less than and equal to 5 and 10. In fact, not statistically significant for any handicaps less than or equal to 10.

Golfers with best handicaps of over 10, however, had signficantly later starting ages. Even more so for handicaps greater than 20.

So, starting age does not seem to be related to becoming an elite golfer (hcp less than 2), but does have some bearing to becoming a good player (hcp less than 10). Of course, it all depends on your athleticism. A number of players surveyed indicated they had handicaps less than 2 and started in their 30s or 40s.


Please complete this Golf Newsletter Feedback form so that I can provide you with more great golf tips you're looking for in 2010.

Wedge Loft Angles & Gap Distance

How many wedges are in your bag? Most players have at least two, with some having three or four. I had a request a few weeks ago about my opinion on what the lofts of wedges should be to give good gap distances between them. So, I powered up the golf projectile model I use in my expert consulting business to come up with some numbers.

My projectile model factors in everything that's required including club speed, resulting ball speed, launch angle (related to but not equal to club loft), backspin and environmental factors such as temperature and air pressure.

Below is a table of results for different loft wedges. For each wedge, I assumed the club head speed to be the same. Even though some wedges might be a little longer in length than others, the increased length does not produce significantly more club head speed, thus the concept of equal length irons that I promote. Learn more about these revolutionary clubs HERE.

Wedge Loft
98 mph
88 mph
68 mph


The columns with speeds (mph) are carry distances in yards at three different swing speeds. The speed of 98 mph corresponds to the wedge club head speed. A golfer that swings a wedge at that speed would swing a Driver at approximately 116 mph, thus a long hitter. The slower swing speeds could correspond to shorter hitters or a long hitter swinging a wedge with less than a full swing.

A long hitter that wants a gap distance of about 10 yards between wedges would choose lofts of 48, 51, 54 and 60 corresponding to yardages of 120, 111, 101 and 90 yards respectively. A shorter hitter would choose lofts of 48, 52, 56 and 60 corresponding to yardages of 79, 69, 60 and 51 yards respectively.


Check out the optimum loft for your Driver based on you club speed. You can even download a version of the spreadsheet I use for my research. CLICK HERE.

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.



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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