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Ken Tannar, PGI Creator


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Nov/Dec PGI Contest

To register for Nov/Dec'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!! 

Happy Holidays 

As this is my last newsletter of 2005, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones all the best for the holiday. May 2006 be a year of positive, personal improvement, both on and off this golf course.

A Brief Message  Dec 6/05

  • Congratulations to John B. Holmes for winning the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament at Orange County National, shooting in the 60s each of the 6 rounds.
  • My last newsletter analyzed how the effect of the lie affects the amount of backspin on a shot, thus the ball's ability to stop. View the previous newsletter here.
  • This newsletter's focus is on new driver technology and using a launch monitor to maximize your distance off the tee. 
  • 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.

    Personally Engraved Ball Markers!
  • If you haven't signed up for your 15 day free trial Putting Analysis, do so now. Click here.

    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.

Fulfill Your Need for Speed -- Speed + Spin + Launch Angle = Distance


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.

You Can Buy more Distance

     You may recall from past newsletters, that I am one that advocates improving one's game by investing in short game practice and golf swing lessons by a certified professional. The main reason is that I firmly believe that where's most golfers can make the biggest difference to their games. Buying new tech equipment will only provide modest improvements in individual aspects of the game.
     So, firstly I'd recommended Dave Pelz's book, "The Short Game Bible" before. Reading his book will help your game immensely, even if you implement only parts of his advice. Go to your local bookstore and get it OR click here, Click here to order Dave's Book, to order it from amazon; I'll make a few cents from your purchase.

     The rest of this newsletter will address whether you can "buy more" yards off the tee by purchasing a new driver. The short answer is "maybe."


Launch Monitors

A launch monitor is a high tech device that will measure the initial flight conditions of a golf ball after being struck by a golf club. The important measures which determine distance are ball speed, backspin and launch angle. The monitor will take this information and using some mathematical algorithms (like what I use in my Errant Golf Ball analysis), determine how far the ball will fly.

Many of the large golf retail stores now have launch monitors so you can have your initial ball conditions measured with your current driver and then the technician can make suggestions of what driver characteristics can be changed to result in more distance.

You can find a launch monitor close to you by checking out the Titleist website. Click here. The good launch monitors tend to be too expensive for the individual golfer ($3K - $5K).

For every ball speed, there is an optimum launch angle and backspin that produces maximum distance.

Launch Angle

The launch angle of your golf ball is determined by the club and your swing.

The club's loft and location of center of mass will affect the launch angle. The greater the loft and the lower the center of mass, the higher the launch angle. So, if you tend to hit it too low with your current driver, you could simply add some lead tape to the sole of the club to lower it's center of mass, resulting in a higher launch angle.  Unfortuately, adding mass will change the swing weight and thus feel of the club. You can look for a new driver that has a lower center of mass and/or greater loft.

Ideally, the club is swinging upwards when it hits the ball. Many golfers actually hit down on the ball with their driver and thus the club is descending at impact. This tends to increase spin applied to the ball (sidespin and backspin) which might not be desirable. Hitting down on the ball will also lead to a lower ball speed, resulting in less distance. It's important that the golfer tee the ball up high enough and forward in his/her stance (off the left heel or toe, for a right hander).

Launch Backspin

The initial backspin of the ball depends on the angle of attack of the club, the loft and center of mass location of the club and the golf ball itself. Of course, I recommend all players playing with a soft covered, high spin ball as that will be the greatest asset to the short game, the part of the game where most golfers can make the greatest improvement. 

If you tended to hit down on the ball (club descending at impact), you might produce drives with high backspin resulting in too high of a trajectory. Of course, you could use a lower spin ball, but then your short game would suffer. The better solution (given that you don't improve your swing) is to use a driver with a lower loft and/or high center of mass, thus resulting in a lower initial trajectory.

Launch Speed

The ball speed depends of course on the club's speed at impact (your swing speed) but also on face of the driver and it's "spring effect." The face of the driver will actually compress and then rebound as it interacts with the ball. Some drivers will spring more than others. Short hitters will realize the biggest gain in distance from the "spring effect."

An important thing to consider is the ball speed off of mishits. The higher your handicap, you greater your percentage of misses. New drivers that have a very large face will tend to be more forgiving, which means off center hits will not lose as much speed. You might find that one driver results in higher ball speeds on center hits, but lower ball speeds on off center hits, compared to another. You might chose the latter so that you're maximizing your distance on your mishits, which is what you hit more often. This might hurt your ego, but it'll be better for your game.

So, if you really feel you want a new driver, there are lots out there. Make sure you hit a number of balls (at least 10 each) with each driver so you can obtain a good average. Be willing to invest a fair amount of time. Otherwise,  you might just be buying another one of those drivers that performs initally, but in the long run, isn't any better than the club you had.

If you'd like more detail on choosing a new driver, purchase my special report. Buy Now for $10.99
or get it for free by purchasing a Swing Speed Radar.

I'd appreciate any comments you have. Email them to me at probablegolf@yahoo.ca


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.


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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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