Driver Fitting

By Bruce MartinJanuary 3, 2008, 5:00 pm

Editor's Note: Bruce Martin is a PGA Master Professional with the San Diego Golf Academy. SDGAs program offers a curriculum of golf instruction and golf business management at all four golf schools, and provides graduates with the education required to get the golf job they desire. You'll soon be teaching others how to improve their game! Click here to learn more about SDGA
Certainly the thrill of launching a 300 yard drive that splits the heart of the fairway is one of the most thrilling shots in the game. The tee shot can equal success or failure on any given hole. If there has been one club in the bag that has changed the most in recent years, it has been driver technology. Investing in a properly fit driver with the advances in modern technology will give any golfer an opportunity to maximize his/her true potentials. This article will help the golf channel viewers decide on what route to take in choosing their next driver investment or alter their current driver to a best fit solution.

Launch monitor data combined with studying the golfers ball flight is the best case scenario for driver fitting. Older launch monitors were laser based and difficult to calibrate and maintain, the data often conflicted with the laws of ball flight. Photography based launch monitors emerged ' A line was drawn on the ball and two pictures were taken within the first two feet of ball flight to determine the amount of' revolution, side spin, and launch angle. Ill never forget being blinded at impact by two of these devices with these flash photography systems. Modern launch monitor technology has incorporated the use of Doppler radar. A similar type of Doppler radar is found on our military missile tracking systems. Golf simulators have also incorporated this Doppler radar technology for club fitting.
The golfers club head speed, ball speed, angle of approach, path, face angle, and side spin are measured. This launch monitor data will reveal the proper launch angle, angle of decent, spin rate, carry distance, and amount of roll to maximize your overall distance and consistency.
Example: A player with 100 mph club head speed (driver) will have an optimal launch angle of 12-13.5 degrees with an angle of decent goal of 14 degrees to maximize his/her roll. The optimal spin rate will be around 3000 rpm. Having the proper ball and driver will both produce optimal numbers.

CLUBHEAD DESIGN ' Face Angle and M.W.T.
460 cc size heads have dominated the market ' and yes bigger is better with drivers. Manufacturer trends for these driver club heads is to design the clubfaces closed and offer the consumer a multitude of weighting configurations to optimize ball flight.
Example of driver face angle:
460 cc driver with 10.5 degrees loft and a 3 degree closed clubface = a squared or effective loft of 13.5 degrees. In other words, the consumer just purchased an oversized 3 wood and may be confused why he is hitting high hooks all the time. For the slicer, this is certainly a very helpful design, but for the golfer who naturally draws the ball, this may turn into a nasty hook. Several of the leading manufacturers still produce square clubfaces on there 460 cc driver models. Always ask what the face angle is and have it measured to determine the effective loft.
Moveable weight technology:
MWT has been around for well over 50 years, but has seen a recent return to the market with the Taylor Made R series drivers. Many other manufacturers have followed this trend adding a variety of weighting systems for the consumers to purchase or configure themselves.
MWT can be easily understood with the following fundamentals of club head weighting and center of gravity:
Increasing launch angle '
Heavier weighting lower and towards the rear of the club head.
Lowering launch angle '
Heavier wts. towards the club face and lighter wts. rearward.
Changing direction '
Remember the heaviest weight on either the heal or toe will rotate/ release the slowest through impact. Example: The heaviest weight towards the heal will promote the toe to close faster (lighter) producing draws/hooked shots.
Hopefully understanding the factors of launch monitor fitting, driver face angle design, and weighting technology will help you make an informed decision for your next driver investment.


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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.