I’ll be reviewing a custom built set of TaylorMade SpeedBlade irons soon. For them to be custom built to my specs, I had to spend some time in the local TaylorMade Performance Lab having my “granny over the top dual chicken wing” swing analyzed. For a couple of very fun and educational hours my pal (the TMPL tech) Stacey and I did some deep granny dual chicken wing swing analysis.
I want to walk around town with all of these sensors on my body…
The system TM has for swing analysis is amazing. You wear sensors all over your body as well as the golf club, and the computer does complete 3D golf swing analysis, even comparing your swing to pro players like Dustin Johnson. Needless to say, Dustin’s specs are slightly better than mine.
The system produces a recommended setup, then the tech builds test clubs with those settings on the spot. My settings were regular length, stiff shaft, and two degrees flat.
We took the clubs out to the heated driving bay outside. There’s still a lot of snow on the ground, but we still hit some range balls so we could see how the true setup worked. That’s how the “my nipples hurt” tweet happened yesterday, a little chafing from the cold. I hit the 7-iron very straight and accurately. It launched at an angle that looked like a 9-iron or pitching wedge. Never before have I hit a 7-iron that high. For comparison I hit the same club without the two degree flattening of the lie. Almost couldn’t hit the thing. Quite remarkable.
I even took some swings with a custom made SLDR driver, a 12 degree model. It flew.
I’m submitting my specs to TaylorMade today and they’ll be soon whipping up my full set of SpeedBlade irons (and hopefully some other clubs to match them…hint hint). Then I’ll hope the snow melts asap so I can put the irons to the real test, on the course. If the snow doesn’t melt, I may have to take a trip south.
The Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour stopped back one one of my favorite places this past weekend, Sand Hollow Resort in Hurricane, Utah. Sand Hollow Resort has three courses, a links course, par-3 course and their Championship Course. This facility is one of the best on the planet and the golf is out of this world due to the unique terrain.
While on the course for a couple of days I launched the HOG drone, a camera equipped mini helicopter I’ve built for shooting photos and videos of golf courses (and anything else I can fly over). Though it is winter and the course isn’t as green as it would be in the spring and summer, this video is still quite stunning. This is not bad for my first attempt at putting together video flyover highlights of a golf course.
How fun is this? I’m looking forward to my next trip down later in the season when the course is more green and I will have more time to work on the shots. This time around was quite educational and I will only get better.
If you’d like to hire me to shoot your golf course, event, or location with this setup feel free to contact me.
Bubba’s Hover was the video rage. Bubba Watson released a golf cart hovercraft!
Of course, April is Masters month. Not a month is busier for me or HOG. Lots of Masters related articles. Adam Scott won the Masters in dramatic fashion. Angel Cabrera hit what I consider the shot of the year with his approach on the final hole to about two feet. That shot resulted in a birdie to tie Adam Scott and force a playoff.
Tiger Woods won THE PLAYERS (always write “The Players” in ALL CAPS, it is what they do). Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods had a little tiff which the media went into a feeding frenzy over. Sergio eventually apologized for some not-so-nice comments.
The Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour was rolling this past few days in northern Arizona and southern Utah, with stops at Bryce Canyon National Park, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and Kanab, Utah.
Coral Cliffs Golf Course – Kanab, Utah
Home base this week was at a pal’s place in Kanab, Utah. Kanab is just on the Arizona/Utah border, about 1.5 hours north of the north rim of the Grand Canyon, This small town of about 5,000 is in a fantastic location with the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park all from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours away.
Kanab has a small and relatively unknown 9-hole golf course called Coral Cliffs. Of course, the name comes from the red rock cliffs which serve as a beautiful backdrop. The fine managment at Coral Cliffs allowed me to ride the course on a cart and bring my photo gear, including my aerial imagery rig (toy helicopter). Here’s one shot of the 5th, 6th and 7th holes from above. I’m still working on processing the rest of my images, but for now enjoy this one.
For more on Coral Cliffs, visit the Kahab page at Utah Golf Guru, a Hooked On Golf Blog sister site. Utah Golf Guru provides a list of every course in the state of Utah with photos, course details and even playing tips from yours truly!
It is July 2, 2013 and I’ve arrived in one of my favorite places in the world, St. Andrews, Scotland. Though my Greek genes are dominant, I’m actually half Scottish. Greek mixed with Scot. That means I love links golf and feta cheese, often at the same time.
After checking in at the hotel in St. Andrews the first place my pals and I went was to the Old Course to get on the waiting list. The good news was that I’d be playing the Old with my good friend and caddie John Boyne, and my best friend Al Nelson.
While waiting, John and I were watching players coming home on the 18th hole. Our vantage point was directly behind the green. There’s a small fence there where locals hang out and watch the “gophers” come in.
Behind the 18th Green – Old Course – St. Andrews, Scotland
A ball goes through the green, a “wee bit” hot and settles in some long grass behind the green and about five feet in front of us. The grass is long enough that it has gone to seed. In comes the group, obviously Americans, to survey their shots. The player who hit the long shot is loud and obnoxious. This guy epitomizes the opposite of what I wished we Americans portrayed in foreign countries.
When Mr. Obnoxious American gets to his ball he surveys the situation. He’s presented with 10 inch long grass behind and around his ball and a very tricky, fast shot with a ton of break in it. He reaches down, presumably to move a few loose impediments, but that’s not what he did. Instead, he started pulling the grass right out of the ground. It was no accident. He was improving his lie. John and I were, as they say in the UK, “gobsmacked.” We looked at each other in silent disbelief.
Mr. Obnoxious then walked his line, checking out the break. Upon returning to his ball, as if to confirm to John and me what we weren’t sure we just saw, he started pulling grass again! By now his lie isn’t too bad. He hits quite a good shot which ends up about 14 inches from the cup.
We thought we had seen it all at that point but to our horror, we had not. Mr. Obnoxious then went up to tap his putt in. He stood over it for a second, concentrating, then took a huge swing at the ball and knocked it off the green, nearly to The Links road and the Tom Morris golf shop. Laughing proudly at himself he looked at his group and sarcastically shouted “oops!”
John and I were astonished.
I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “you spend thousands of dollars to go on the golf trip of a lifetime to the Home of Golf. You’ve waited your whole life to get to this place. You are playing the 18th green of the most famous and historic golf course in the world, where every one of the greatest golfers in the history of the sport have played. You then cheat twice by pulling grass from your lie and then sarcastically and intentionally miss your 14 inch finishing putt, in front of the ghost of Old Tom Morris. You never bother to finish the final hole, or the round.”
I know Americans in St. Andrews are a double edge sword. The caddies love us and hate us at the same time. They hate us because of obnoxious jerks like this guy who make us all look bad. They love us because, well, we are the biggest tippers of all the tourists who go to St. Andrews.
I can’t imagine the agony this obnoxious American’s poor caddie had to endure, and the wee tip he probably received for his services. Surely the prior 17.5 holes must have been a nightmare. Who knows what other asinine things this guy did or said. Somehow I wish I could buy the caddie, hell, the rest of this guy’s group, a wee pint to kill the pain.
To my friends and caddies in Scotland: we’re not all like that.