Fool's Hook...

Below are the "Links" to our most recent Newsletters that are emailed to our loyal listeners. If you think you may have missed one of our emails, or you remember it being so good you want to read it again...this is where you will find it. Enjoy!

Sep 11, 2018​

Sep 19, 2018​

This past winter I spent some time with Tom Olson, the teaching professional at the RSPGL Teaching Academy discussing the incredible complex physics of a perfect golf shot. One of the hardest parts of analyzing a perfect golf shot is to create one for the launch monitor to read. Easier said than done. While trying to recreate the marriage of high launch and low spin off a driver, I accidently discovered another little valuable nugget you need to consider. On one particular driver swing I hit a ball with essentially a straight club path through the ball, it was in to out .3 degrees. Not 3 degrees. Point 3 degrees. The face angle was open .1 degrees, again, not 1 degree. One tenth of one degree open. At 117 mph, I would call that pretty damn square. The ball sailed 42 feet offline to the left. On the course, this ball was certainly in the left rough. What happened? The driver does not have a straight face, it’s curved top to bottom, and left to right, which is called bulge and roll. They are designed this way to help you. It’s actually designed to help correct bad passes at the ball.  Though I made almost the perfect swing, I hit the ball well out on the toe. Thanks to gear effect, shots hit off the toe receive right to left spin, hence my ball flew into the left rough. Now here is where I blow your mind. Without the experience of launch monitor, I had no idea a “toe shot” could curve the ball that much. Like you, if I had made that shot on the course, I might have gone to the next tee and tried to fix “ a hook”. But I didn’t make a hook swing, I made a perfect swing and didn’t even realize it. Now I’m going through gyrations trying to change a perfect swing, because I don’t understand what my club and ball are telling me. Is it possible you make great swings, but because you don’t understand gear effect on off center hits, you keep changing your swing to correct something that isn’t actually happening?  As a more accomplished player, I know that centeredness of strike is everything. It feels good, it creates the highest ball speed, it reduces gear effect. If you don’t hit the driver in the center of the face, I’m not sure you can honestly assess whether you made a good swing or a bad one. Find time to get on the launch monitor, it’s possible you have a great swing and you don’t even know it. 

Articles From The 

Wandering Mind of 

​Nick Stephens, PGA

Sep 26, 2018

Oct 2, 2018​

Two Different Swings...

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Water Mapping...

Royal St. Patrick's Golf Links

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In 25 years in golf, I have been asked the same question, “Nick, am I supposed to have the same swing for my woods and my irons?” For 25 years I basically answered it the same way…See golf is complicated enough, and this question was asked because they wanted me to portray golf as easy. If I say it’s the same swing, that gives the player hope. He or she thinks…if I can master one swing, then I might be able to experience the ball striking “promise land”. If I say it’s two swings, that can only mean they might grow more disenchanted with the game. A player that can even find mastery of one swing, does not what to find out he or she needs to master two swings. So being the good local club pro I told everyone it’s one swing. BUT, I might have been wrong. See 25 years ago, there was no launch monitors. Things we thought about golf ball physics have been verified, but many myths have been proven wrong. I personally think I should have two different swings, and here’s why. In order to maximize driver accuracy and distance, you must hit the driver with an in to out swing path with a clubhead that is in the upswing portion of the arc. In order to compress an iron that is directional accurate, you must swing outside to in, striking the ball in the descending portion of swing arc. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not the same swing. This past summer I was able to watch Colin Montgomrie go through a practice session. For years Johnny Miller rammed down our throats that Colin hits nothing but little fades. As he warned up through the irons, that was completely true, then he pulled out the driver and every shot was a draw. Monty swung over the top on his irons and from the inside with his driver. So my question is…does Monty have two different swings or one swing with two different paths?  Now that your head is spinning, let’s try and put a big bow on this. If you have one swing that works for both irons and driver, don’t mess with it. It’s better that you have one swing that works, than no swing at all. If you have two swings, and you have no idea which one might show up, at least you can be at peace because you’re supposed to have two swings, your just supposed to have more ownership of when they might happen. So that’s my new stock answer for the next 25 years! 

September 2018

Tales From The Tall Grass 

There are many areas of the country that are not as blessed with a natural resource we almost take for granted, water. Courses out west are constantly trying to figure out where to get, how to afford it and how not to waste it. Antique irrigation systems at turn of the century courses are not helping with the efficient disbursement of water. So I introduce to you “water mapping”. I know you are not shocked. Water mapping is the installation of sensors which measure current moisture content in the soil. Your natural inclination is that they can sense what is too dry, and you’re right, but they can also sense what is too wet. Using that data, sprinkler heads and computer programs can be designed that provide the correct throw and the correct intensity to troubled spots, but also avoid the areas where drainage, or very poor drainage; leads to saturation. If you are really crazy, your tear up all the bad drainage spots and correct them, and while you’re at it, why don’t you just kill all the grass, sand cap the entire course to encourage deeper penetration of the roots, and then replant with more drought tolerant grasses. Here is the deal…doing all this gives golfers more consistent, and I guess enjoyable playing conditions, but who is going to pay for this. That’s right, you are! See, this is the problem with golf. There are companies out there that think you actually care about this. There are companies who try to sell this to me under the premise that you will like it way better, and I can charge way more for it. Sleep well tonight my friends. While you are sitting on the patio with your spouse enjoying a warm summer evening, my staff and I will be on the Links with our garden hoses over watering, or under watering, but keeping it green and making it affordable. For tonight, we might skip the water!