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Ken Tannar, PGI Creator


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Apr PGI Contest

Now the golf season is here, the newsletter will switch to a monthly contest worth a $25 credit towards anything sold from my site. Download any of my PGI Golf Tips or Reports. Buy a copy of the CD, Hit Down Dammit!, a supply of CaddyPatch Impressions, Swing Machine Golf, or Swing Speed Detector or anything else.

After you make a purchase, just email me a message at probablegolf@yahoo.ca with the subject heading, "PGI Member." You need to be a newsletter subscriber to qualify.

There was no winner for Feb/Mar since no newsletter member made a purchase and sent me an email message as described above.

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!

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.

A Brief Message  Mar 28/05

  • Congratulations to Fred Funk for being the oldest ever to win the Players' Championship against the toughest field in golf.
  • My last newsletter discussed how specific knowledge of shot patterns can lead to better club selection and lower scores. Click here. This newsletter takes a further look at the dispersion of shots of various clubs.
  • The Players' Championship saw some really high scores on Sunday, mainly due to the wind. Players find it difficult to measure the wind speed and direction. Uncertainty makes it more difficult to commit to the shot.
  • At the par 3, 17th, the average score on Sunday was 3.8 while Thursday's was 2.9. Overall, the average 18 hole score on Sunday was 70.3 while on Sunday, it was 76.5, over 6 shots more, mainly attributal to the wind.
  • Learn how to compensate for the wind so as to have the edge over your playing partners. I've used my computer golf ball projectile model to calculate how much you must compensate. Click here to learn more.
  • Order for only $5.99.



Golf Game Management III: Shot Pattern Dispersion

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

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.

III. Shot Dispersion Can be Quite Large

    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.

   In the last newsletter, I explained how you can use your shot pattern to make much wiser club selection choices on the course. If you would like an analysis of your shot pattern, you can send me some of your round statistics, I'll analyze it and send you back a report. Just download an Excel Spreadsheet using the link, Download Excel Round, and e-mail me your results.

   After my last newsletter, a newsletter member, Alan Lephart, graciously volunteered a study of his own. His research study, "Measuring Variability of Golf Shots," was published in the May 2004 issue of the Wisconsin Journal of the Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (WAHPERD). I can send you a complimentary copy of his study. Just request one by emailing me.

   Dr. Lephart has a Ph.D. in Biomechanics and has been in university teaching in that field for over 30 years. He spent 28 years at the University of Melbourne in Australia in the Human Performance, Physical Education, Zoology and Psychology Departments. His last two years have been as a Lecturer in P.E. at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

  In his study, he analyzed the variability of golf shots for a 45 year old male golfer with a 12 handicap. The golfer hit irons 1 thru 9. Below is a sample of the resulting shot pattern of the 3 iron and 4 iron. The vertical axis represents the amount of lateral (left/right) variability in the shots. The horizontal axis represents the amount of variability and distance hit by the club.

The average distance for the 3 iron was 172 yards while the variability of distance ranged from about 151 yards to 193 yards. The variability in lateral (left/right) error was from about 19 yards left to 10 yards right.

From his research, Dr. Lephart concluded that:

† The distance interval between clubs was about 10 yards, the the amount of variability in length was about 20 yards and nearly the same for each club.
† The angular error for all clubs remained relatively constant at just over
+/- 3 degrees.
† Almost all clubs showed the tendency for balls that were left of the target to travel further and those to the right to fall shorter.
† The dispersion could be shown as an elliptic pattern.

Another interesting finding was the high degree of overlap in the distance that different clubs can be hit. For example, although the golfer my estimate that he could hit a 5 iron a distance of 158 yards, he would do well to remember that only about two thirds of his 5 iron shots will fall within a distance of 148 to 168 yards, while fully one third will fall outside this range. The 6 iron shot would fall in that same 148 to 168 yard range about half the time. The 4 iron shots would also fall into the 148 to yard range. For most shots, more t han one club could easily be selected which would get the job done.


This study confirms that understanding one's shot patterns is essential to choosing the best club for each shot. Sometimes, one can get away with hitting the "wrong club" (because it is hit unusually far or short of average). To achieve the lowest average score, however, one must "play the odds." In some ways, golf is like a crap shoot.

I can send you a complimentary copy of his study. Just request one by emailing me.

I encourage you to become more familiar with your own shot patterns with the various clubs. I find that most amateurs I play with really have an unrealistic idea of how far they even hit each club on average. I little time invested to correctly determine your ranges with each club can go a long ways to lowering your score, without physically improving anything.

     If you would like an analysis of your shot pattern, you can send me some of your round statistics, I'll analyze it and send you back a report. Just download an Excel Spreadsheet using the link, Download Excel Round, and e-mail me your results.

To see a specific example of what this service provides, take a look at this shot pattern example. The service only costs $12.99. Order it here.

In future newsletters on this topic, we'll take a look at Game Management further in areas such as club selection based on shot patterns, wind, elevation, altitude, and temperature. We'll also look at Game Management as it applies to your short game and putting. There a lots of ways to make the best of what you currently have! We can all make better choices on the course.

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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.

Discover the secret "missing link" in your golf game. Understand which golf balls REALLY make a difference in each stroke!

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

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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