How to Draw the Golf Ball

With today’s launch monitor technology, understanding the mechanics of what creates a particular ball flight such as a high draw or low fade isn’t an art anymore – it’s a science. No longer should you be puzzled about how your favorite PGA Tour pro hits that high, subtle draw, you can learn exactly how it’s done and how to do it yourself.

how to draw golf ball
Learn how to hit a draw

Rory Mcilroy has made the high draw bombing 3 wood famous this year after hitting a tee shot over 370 yards with his three wood at Wachovia in 2012. That’s a LONG three wood! How did he do it?

More importantly, how can YOU learn to hit a huge drawing 3 wood?

The first thing you have to understand is that if you want to hit the big push draw that Mcilroy hits, you have to a particular swing path and plane. This particular swing plane allows you to approach the golf ball from the inside and with a shallower angle of attack.

The shallow angle of attack is critical to launch the golf ball higher and get it carry further. Once you put these two pieces into place, you’re ready to start bombing your 3 wood!

Now, learn how to hit the high 3 wood draw in golf like Rory Mcilroy!

 

Chuck Quinton Praises FlightScope Support Team

In addition to relying on his FlightScope Prime for club fittings and as an instruction tool, Chuck Quinton knows he can rely on the FlightScope support team as well.

In addition to relying on his FlightScope Prime for club fittings and as an instruction tool, Chuck Quinton knows he can rely on the FlightScope support team as well:

“The FlightScope team has been unbelievably supportive through bugs, upgrades and just in helping learn all the new features of the software. Anytime I’ve had a problem I’ve been able to contact (a FlightScope Support Technician) and he’d come out to the course or even to my house after business hours just to make sure I was taken care of and happy with the product. You won’t find a better support team out there.”

This quote appeared in a press release that can be read in full here.

Learn more about FlightScope by visiting their website:  http://flightscope.com/.

-Josh Eaton, Business Manager

FlightScope Prime – Not Just for Driver Fittings Anymore

FlightScope has come a long way in the development of their launch monitor that we use here for our fittings at the Rotary Swing Golf Academy. Now, it has become an invaluable instruction tool that I am currently using to optimize my swing for ideal launch conditions here in Colorado where I spend the summer. No longer are you guessing when your path or plane is optimal or worse yet, working on something that’s not broken in your swing. For instance, as you’ll see, with my driver my path tends to be too far in to out. My tendency is to hit a push draw and miss with a big block and the occasional shot that looks like a dead pull – which would indicate an out to in path with the naked eye. However, using the new wireless FlightScope Prime today at the range, never once was my path out to in, even though I hit a few shots that would easily fool you into thinking that I did. These shots started just left of my line and drew further to the left. The reality is that this was all due to clubface angle at impact.

Let’s take a closer look at this data and see just how incredibly efficient working on your swing can be using the FlightScope Prime.

Chuck Quinton Driver and Swing Parameters
Chuck Quinton Driver and Swing Parameters
Starting in the top left corner, we can see that my clubface angle was 4.4 closed in relation to my swing path which was 3.9* in to out at impact. However, you can see that this created a ball that started out at 0.0*, or dead on my intended target line. The next box over to the right shows the Horizontal swing plane at the bottom of my swing arc of 5.3* in to out. In other words, at the moment my club is traveling level to the ground, I’m swinging in to out 5.3*. This is something that I’m working hard to correct to get closer to 0 degrees, but right now I average 6.6*.

In the bottom left box, we can see Dynamic Loft – or the effective loft you had at impact due to clubface loft, shaft flexing and where you strike the ball on the face. The dynamic loft of 11.9* is due to my using an 8.5* Nakashima Htec 460 head with the Matrix TP6HD XX flex shaft. My path is slightly positive at 2.1* which is quite ideal for me, however my launch angle on this particular shot was 9.2*, or LESS  than the dynamic loft. This is due to the ball compressing on the face (these shots were with Callaway range balls) as well as a matter I’ll discuss in the next section. I have seen that premium balls tend to launch even lower than this in relation to the Dynamic Loft due to the fact that they tend to compress more.

Lastly is the Vertical Swing Plane. This is the angle of the Swing Plane at impact. This is too upright for me and is creating the excessive in to out path. By bringing this down closer to 50* or less will allow me to bring my path closer to 0. Also in this box are the total spin numbers of 3266 rpms and the Ball Spin Axis of positive 4.6*. This high spin rate and low launch angle makes it very clear what happened here – I hit this ball low on the face. The Ball Spin Axis of 4.6 degrees means that this ball was spinning on axis tilted to the right that created the slight fade that I hit on this shot. Now, if you’ve been following along closely, you should be wondering how on earth did a ball that was hit with a 4.4* shut face on an into out path start on line and this FADE??? Conventional wisdom would say that this should be a pull draw and you’d be correct in assuming that. However, we’ve failed to consider one last ultra vital component that will now glue all the pieces of the puzzle together for this complex set of parameters – where was the ball struck on the face?

That answer is that this shot was struck on the heel – and low on the heel. You see, according to David Nel, one of the experts at FlightScope, missing the sweetspot on the driver by as little as 1/2″ inch can tilt the Spin Axis as much as 20* creating a shot that will go wildly off line even if the path and face angle are dead square!!! Sort of makes you wonder how we ever hit the ball straight?

Needless to say, this type of information is simply incredibly useful not just for fitting you in the best driver we can, but also for helping build your swing into an efficient ball striking machine! For more information on FlightScope Prime, visit www.FlightScope.com and for information about being fitted by me at the RSGA, visit here for FlightScope Launch Monitor fittings.

Titleist 909D3 – Did Titleist Finally Get It Right?

I had the “opportunity” to test out the new tour issue Titleist 909 D3 in August before the retail addition hit the streets. It was shafted up with a Diamana Whiteboard X flex 73 gram shaft. My first impression was that it looked quite sharp, classic Titleist muted colors which I love and a very nice shape. It also sounded ok, not too tinny and loud and not too muted, but certainly not my favorite club. How did it perform?

It felt like I was hitting a marshmallow with a twig. The ball felt dead leaving the face and spun like a wedge. It had been a while since I had hit anything other than a Matrix Shaft or Nakashima head, and this quickly reminded me why I switched! The clubhead felt like it would just never catch up and square up, it felt loose and inconsistent. After having just played and driven the ball fantastic while beating Adrian Wadey at his home course of Glenwild in Park City, Utah, I was shocked to see all three shots I hit with the Titleist fly wide right of the target with far too much spin. Did I mention the clubhead felt completely dead? The Nakashima heads produce unreal ball speeds as you guys have seen from our test data, and I felt like I was going back to persimmon with the Titleist 909D3. Once again, the OEM’s lose out on this deal and have missed the mark – wide right and by a mile.

Matrix Shafts Help McNeill Pick Up 16 Yards

Settling in on our tried and true Nakashima Htec head with the Matrix XCon5, Greg McNeill picked up 16 yards of CARRY on average over his higher spinning Wishon/Harrison combo. Greg plays at Lake Nona in Orlando and you don’t get much roll out there unless you bring the ball in on a shallower angle of descent. The nearly 3,200 rpm’s of spin from the Wishon combo would carry on average 238 yards, but would get no roll and had a bit more sidespin than the Matrix shaft. Using the Matrix XCon5 with the Nakashima HTec 9.5 head, we dropped his spin rate almost 800 rpm’s to 2,400 and also cut his side spin rate by more than half. This is the difference between a slice and a gentle fade. The XCon5 tip stiffness allows you to mishit it and still put very low sidespin on the ball. This coupled with the MASSIVE jump in ball speed of 5 mph leads to about a 20 yard increase in total distance when roll is added in. Lower spin, higher ball speed, more distance!

FlightScope data from McNeill's driver fitting with Chuck Quinton
FlightScope data from McNeill

Driver Fittings Take-off with Matrix Shafts

Since April of 2008, we have had an average increase in driver distance of nearly 20 yards per student, with a couple averaging an increase of over 40 yards off the tee! Since we started adding the Matrix Shaft line to our offering, we started seeing much lower spin rates and much tighter shot dispersion that has had our students not only hitting it further, but straighter as well. Take a look at the data from some of our launch monitor fitting sessions using our FlightScope Kudu launch monitor.

FlightScope
FlightScope

P.A.T. Number 1

For those PGA guys out there, you’ll know that P.A.T. stands for Player Ability Test, or Player Assessment Test. It’s part of the final step to passing the grade as a PGA professional and is basically a way for the PGA to measure one’s golfing ability through a round or two of golf. Today, I gave Pat his own P.A.T.

It’s been about a month since Pat and I starting working hard on his game and today was the day I wanted see just exactly where his game stood. It began with an 18 hole chipping match on the practice green. Pat chipped the ball very well, a 100% improvement over just a month ago on his short chips, but the longer ones we hit he performed poorly. It should be said that he hasn’t spent much time practicing them, but this is simply an assessment, not an excuse session. Pat lost the chipping match to me 2 & 1 which isn’t bad because I’ve not lost a chipping match before on Windermere’s putting green.

The next test was a putting test on the same green and Pat won 1 up with a clutch 5 footer on the last hole for the win. His putting has also improved a great deal, but he did block several putts so we will be looking into this one. The greens were terribly slow because of fertilizer and sand so that played into the test and he was able to over come these slow conditions pretty well.

Finally, we played 9 holes. I have a deal with Pat that he can play his first tournament after he beats me 4 times in a row. The last time we played he played well and did beat me, so he was going into today’s round needing another win to keep the momentum. Unfortunately, it was not to be as I made 4 birdies over the nine holes and barely missed two eagle putts. Pat didn’t play his best either, so the “streak” is over after one win. He hit some very solid shots but most were blocks to the right when he missed. He wasn’t approaching the ball from the inside enough, but was able to hit some fine shots today. His putting was pretty solid but the rest of his short game didn’t come together. He hit a poor bunker shot that cost him a couple strokes, so we went to the practice bunker after the round. We’ve got some work to do in that area but I’ve never worked with him on his bunker play and it will be a very easy and quick fix.

Overall, I score Pat’s round of 4 over par 40 a “C”. He’s been playing very well, but I could really see him struggle with the mental aspects of the game today. He was getting mechanical out there and that is something that we have only slightly addressed at this point. We’ve made a lot of changes to his golf swing that have not yet settled in, so I’m going to take a slight break from some of the heavy lifting and get him to trust the changes we’ve made without thinking about them until he begins to have more trust in his swing. Then we’ll be ready to move on. I expected Pat to shoot around 1-2 over today, but when the mind is in the wrong place, it becomes very difficult to play good golf.

For the first full month’s worth of work, I couldn’t be happier. While Pat’s score didn’t reflect his improvements today, it doesn’t bother me one bit. Everyone gets a little “mental” now and then when working on dramatic swing changes like we have done and his scores will soon follow his better swing. His scores have been averaging 1-2 over par over our 9 hole playing lessons before this P.A.T., so I feel that we are right on track and even well ahead of schedule.

The Iceman Retuneth

(With apologies to Eugene O’Neill)

There are messages that arrive from time to time that demand attention. Today came one of them:

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC

317 PM EDT THU OCT 12 2006

…FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 8 AM EDT FRIDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

FREEZE WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 8 AM EDT FRIDAY.

THE COLDEST AIR MASS OF THE SEASON SO FAR WILL SETTLE OVER THE MID ATLANTIC BEHIND A COLD FRONT.

TEMPERATURES OVERNIGHT WILL FALL INTO THE UPPER 20S OVER THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS AND PORTIONS

OF THE EASTERN PANHANDLE OF WEST VIRGINIA.

A FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE IMMINENT ORHIGHLY LIKELY.

THESE CONDITIONS WILL KILL CROPS AND OTHERSENSITIVE VEGETATION.

The Mid-Atlantic is a more than a bit schizophrenic when it comes to weather.

The British military in World War II declared Washington, DC to be in the “Tropical District.” There are more than

a few pictures of British Naval Officers, touring the Capitol grounds in their impossibly white shorts,

impossibly creased white shirts, and the inexplicable Pith Helmet. Anyone venturing about town in August would

be hard-pressed to argue the Admiralty on their assessment.

Winter is less a season than it is a ragged, vagary six weeks. It moves from year to year. Much to the

chagrin of local meteorologists, it can start on Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or even Washington’s Birthday.

It isn’t a proper winter. People don’t build fishing huts on the ice. Some years there is no ice. Some years

one could drive on it. What precedes and follows winter is a leafless, cold and brown period of reduced

sunlight and very marginal golf. It arrived this evening at 6:38 p.m. on the back of black, scudding clouds

cinched down tightly with one hand on the rope, the other high overhead and riding a Northwest wind for all

it was worth. Notice was served. It was here for a visit. It would be back for real very soon.

Fall is the period here of highly mixed emotions. There is the delivery of truly the best golf the region can

offer. Cool days and colorful leaves on tracts that have grown out since aerification and over-seeding are the

highlight of the golfing year. After a summer of voracious mosquitoes and full-body sweats that started a week

ago, a day on the links in long pants and a sweater vest is a form of materialized dream. In the way that

is life, this yin is set against the yang of ennui. The leaves falling in but a few precious weeks will mark yet

another passage. Dreams and aspirations don’t always materialize. The trip into winter is a tough one on the

addicted golfer. There are dead dreams to bury.

“The lie of the pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.”

Eugene O’Neill-The Iceman Cometh

Golf is unique among sports for a variety of reasons:

§ It’s one of the few sports where one can improve beyond middle age.
§ It’s one of the very few sports where improvement effort does not routinely translate into

improved performance.

§ And, it’s probably the only sport that is completely counter-intuitive.

The winter, then, becomes a time to digest those truths and balance them against the dreams.

A very marketing-wise teaching golf professional stood on a television set last winter and declared

that Northern golfers have an innate advantage over Floridians: Northeners have winter. Ostensibly, his

fortunate Northern students would work on swing changes; flexibility, weight loss, and muscle tone while

his irresponsible Floridian pupils would simply play golf at every wisp of a turn and not improve. He didn’t

bat an eyelash, didn’t have a hair out of place, and was standing arm-to-arm next to Kelly Tilghman.

I had been shoveling snow all day from one of our freakish snow storms. How the TV survived the

evening is still a mystery.

Still, hope is the essence of the equation. In a few weeks, the departure and return from work will

be in darkness. I’ll be fighting for a spot on the machines at the gym, performing Professor Hayes’

“Body Rotation Experiment,” and watching Fred Couples win yet more money playing Silly Golf in some

irrigated desert. Golf outings will be an odd mix predominated by finding the right clothes to wear, all the

while keeping one eye on an irascible sky with the other on the hand-warmer supply. In the end,

“Winter Golf” is a bit of an oxymoron.

Pipe dreams or no, spring will return as well. Borne on the heels of a warm Southern breeze over

courageous Crocuses, it will come as softly as winter arrives loudly. Lost somehow in the excitement

of the new season will be the retrospective that is so inescapable in the fall. Tonight, with the windows

moving a bit in the casings against the first “Blue Norther,” one set of dreams dies only to be replaced

by new ones. Crocuses, put in the ground only this week, wait for their turn to judge the winter’s solitary efforts.

Woodrow Wilson, himself a golfer, understood this and has the last word. Welcome back, Iceman.

“We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a

spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these great dreams die,

but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the

sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.”

Swinging On Plane

I unfortunately had to take another few days off from practice this past week to go back to Virginia and meet with a surgeon to fix some health issues.  I came back and was very rusty, shooting a 4 over par 9 hole score for my school tournament last wednesday. 

My lesson with Chuck on Thursday was nothing short of awesome.  We started to work on the plane of my swing.  We had worked on this for a while a few months back, but I could just never get it down.  Finally it clicked in our Thursday lesson.  I was letting my arms get disconnected on the backswing which was causing the club to drag inside and get way behind me.  It caused all sorts of problems.  Keeping my arms going more straight back during the takeaway made it so much easier to swing up on plane and immediately my ballstriking improved.  What was special about it though was that I could bring it out to the course.  On Thursday I shot 38 for our 9-hole practice with a double bogey. 

Today (Friday) was just a continuation of Thursday’s lesson.  Chuck brought a new training aid he bought (a little yellow plastic gadget to help you set your wrists) and we worked with that for a while.  It’s extremely awkward for me to set my wrists so early, so it was tough.  We only got to play a few holes because the course was so busy, but I struck the ball well and the confidence I had in the ball striking carried over to my chipping and putting.  It was such a great feeling and makes playing golf so exciting.  After today’s lesson I went out to a golf course called Erroll Estate Country Club, and had a very up and down round.  I had 3 pars, 2 bogeys, one double bogey, and 3 birdies for a total of 37.  I was proud of myself though because the double bogey came on the first hole and I recovered well.  It will take some time to get used to the swing plane and get comfortable without having to think about it, but I am very excited about the progress I have made.

The Shaft Plane Drill in Action

One of the golf instructional videos in the Members Vault is called the “Shaft Plane Drill”. This video teaches you a drill to help get your golf swing starting up on plane rather than just going inside and too shallow early on in the takeaway. This is something that Pat has always struggled with so today I set out to fix it and the results were terrific. Using the Shaft Plane Drill as laid in the video, Pat made immediate improvements in his takeaway and his ball striking become much more consistent right away. Below you can see the progress he made in his swing in just a few minutes.

golf swing takeaway

Notice how the club doesn’t get inside his hands as he takes the club back. This caused all sorts of trouble in his swing that he won’t have to fight anymore once he gets the club going back more on plane rather than hinging his right wrist back, pulling the club inside his hands. To learn the Shaft Plane Drill for yourself and improve your swing plane, visit the Member’s Vault.

Today’s Round

Played 18 holes today with Chiuck instead of having a range lesson.  I need to get a handicap for future tournaments, so we started on that today.  I hadn’t been able to practice in three days at all because I was house searching for a place to live in the next few years.  I have to move out of my school apartment at the end of December.  Finally found a place after hours of looking, but it took it’s toll on the practice time. 

 For some reason during our round I was real tense, my arms were shaking a bit everytime I addressed the ball.  The front nine was actually pretty good, started off with a birdie on a Par 5, but had some bad holes and eventually shot 38.  We stopped for some food at the turn and after that I stopped shaking so much.  Apparently the shaking helped though because the back nine was abysmal.  I missed every green, had some course management mistakes that cost me, and over all felt I just couldn’t do anything right.  I shot a 43 for a total of 81, which is definitely not a score I felt like I should of shot after the past week of improvements.  I felt like during the round I wasn’t getting a good turn behind the ball and my swing was getting long and slow.  Therefore I hit some pretty weak shots.  I hit some pretty poor chips as well on the back nine and couldn’t get up and down to save my life.  I stayed after the round for another 45 minutes working on the chipping.  Tomorrow will be better, I look forward to it.

Top of the Swing Improvements…

Progress, it’s what we’re all after in the golf swing. All my students want to make progress as quickly as possible and so do I. I don’t care for the “to get better you’re going to have to get a lot worse” mantra. If I do the proper fundamentals in the golf swing correctly, I should get better for the most part immediately. One of the things that crept into my golf swing recently was me getting across the line at the top. It wasn’t much, but I really didn’t like the look of it nor the misses it predisposed me to. So, I set out to fix it and I’m very pleased with the results.

top of golf swing

In the picture on the left, you can see how I let the club get slightly across the line. In the picture from today, you can see how I’m in a perfect position at the top with the club having a slightly “laid off” look because I haven’t taken it back all the way to parallel. I accomplished this by having more forearm rotation on the way back. Even though it would seem to many that rotating the club open, or “fanning” it on the way back would lead to an open clubface, you can see that my clubface is dead square at the top as it is perfectly inline with my left forearm.

The end result, I’m in a much more stable and consistent position at the top and that’s progress…

Pat Shoots 1 Over…

While it didn’t break any course records, I am very proud of Pat’s very rapid progress since we hit the road running hard about two weeks ago. In this time, we’ve made significant changes to his golf swing and he’s worked hard at implementing them. During our regular 9 hole playing lesson yesterday, Pat shot 1 over with only one bogey. The bogey he made was dumb one and he was promptly corrected for it! He had to chip out of the woods on the first hole and chipped all the way across the fairway and put himself on a downhill, sidehill lie when he only needed to chip it about 15 yards to a nice flat spot that was closer to the hole. The rest of the day he got up and down very well to save par and hit several Tour caliber shots into greens. He hit several iron shots to within 10 feet and missed all the birdie putts.

I was particularly excited about his ball striking with his irons. It has come a long way in a very short period of time. His ball flight has really improved and his consistency is 100% better over just 2 weeks ago. You couldn’t expect or ask for anything more. Here’s a pic that demonstrates his recent progress. Normally, Pat would get his well out in front of the ball at impact and he would generally block it from here. He now stays behind the ball much better and gets into a very good impact position. He still has a tendency to get out in front, but when he doesn’t he hits it very well.

Mind Getting In The Way

I’ve been making a lot of progress lately that I have been very happy with.  Using my core in the golf swing has completely changed how I swing the golf club.  My contact has improved and my distance has gone up a few yards with the irons.  I have trouble bringing the same swing to my fairway woods and driver so I haven’t seen the same results with those.

After playing well with Chuck yesterday shooting 1 over par for 9 holes I was excited to get out today to play.  During our session on the range Chuck was having me stand a little farther away from the ball at address with the driver.  He was showing me what it looked like on tape and I caught a glimpse of my full swing.  I wanted to vomit to say the least.  My plane was so inside and flat and got across the line at the top.  When we went out to play today, I was so worried about my plane and swing path that I forgot how to actually play.  I was striking the ball solid when I wasn’t worried about how my swing looked, and the minute I began to worry about it is the same minute my game started to suck.  The defining moment of the round we played today was on the second hole where the last place you can go is right and I was so wrapped up in my swing plane that I sliced the ball 50 yards right into a pond.

After the lesson I asked Chuck to never show me a video of my swing again.  It just messes with my mind.  I will leave the swing analysis to him.  This round just helps me to see what I really need to work on in the next few years, my HEAD!

9 O’Clock Drill

Today I had Pat working on a drill I made up that I call the “9 O’clock Drill”. It is simple, as they all should be, but very productive for the things Pat needs immediate work on. In essence, it involves swinging the left arm to the 9 o’clock position in the backswing and then hitting the ball with full power. In order to hit the ball any distance, you must very aggressively and dynamically load the muscles in your hips and core on the way back because making such a short swing doesn’t give the time to build up a lot of momentum. This forces Pat to learn how to use his core and other big muscles to generate clubhead speed in a very explosive manner.

When doing this drill, it’s very common for the golfer to go past 9 o’clock and it takes focus and discipline to reign it in. But in the end, I’m not really concerned with that at all because the feeling of loading up and releasing the stored up energy is the point of the exercise, not the position of the arms. What generally happens is the golfer ends up swinging to about 10:30, which is perfect for a full swing and this is exactly what Pat did. To him, it feels incredibly short and compact, which is a good feeling to begin developing since his swing has always tended to be too long and lazy going back. His swing now has a much quicker pace to it overall and is much more dynamic. He hit some great shots yesterday, a 190 yard 5 iron to about 8 feet on a par three comes to mind. When doing this correctly, the ball should really hiss off the face and come out very penetrating. If you struggle with a loose, high ball flight, give this drill a try.