Thursday, July 28, 2005

Visit to Callaway Golf Performance Center

A bit over a month ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to play in a golf tournament being sponsored by PDS Gaming in Las Vegas. Their VP is a chairman of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, so were offering raffle tickets and a putting contest where all proceeds would go to the charity. I bought $80 worth of raffle tickets and putts and at the end of the day was lucky enough to win a Callaway Big Bertha 454 driver along with a matching Big Bertha 3 and 5 woods.

All of my current clubs have have either stiff flex or firm flex shafts and the clubs I won were R flex, so I thought it'd be a good idea to get fitted and find out if the clubs I won would work best for me, and if not, get them reshafted or replaced so that they would.

Callaway's Golf Performance Center is right down the street from work, so I scheduled an appointment which was Tuesday. There is an impressive amount of technology in the room with an an array of cameras and computeres used to monitor swing speed, swing path, ball speed, launch angle, etc along with racks of clubs along the walls. Everything you need to know to find the perfect club. You hit balls into a net behind which an image of a fairway is projected so you can watch your ball flight after a swing.

After hitting about a dozen balls with a 9 irons into the net to warm up, I started with a driver identical to the one I won, a R-flex 11* Big Bertha 454. My swing speed ranged from 93-100mph getting higher as I hit more balls and I was getting around a 12.5* launch angle along with 2500rpm of backspin. That was right in the range that they like to see, they look for a launch angle between 12-14* and 2000-3000rpm backspin. I have a slight upward angle of attack to the ball and usually come inside out a few degrees but hang onto the club instead of releasing it which leads to the fade I play with which turns into a slice on bad swings.

Scott, the Callaway fitter helping me, explained that they normally put an R flex shaft into driver swing speeds of 85-95mph, firm flex from 95-105mph and stiff for 105mph+. That would put me at the upper end of a R flex, but since I've got a smooth swing he recommended to keep me in the R flex shaft which should also help release the clubhead and give me better clubhead feel.

He also gave me a few pointers in my swing where he saw I could improve, moving ball position up closer to my left heel, getting a straighter line from my left shoulder down to the ball at address and making sure I don't sway over my right leg during my backswing. It's like getting a swing lesson at the same time! He also suggested that using a softer shaft in my irons that matched the woods would be a good idea.

I haven't yet had the chance to take these clubs to the course or the driving range, so we'll see how they work in real life soon (hopefully tomorrow morning before work!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm going to be a father!

In case you haven't been watching my wife's blog Wendy's BELLY, I'm going to be a father! Wendy went in for her 13 week checkup yesterday and they ran some sonar over her belly to find the little monkey's heartbeat. It's a healthy 150bpm and should be the size of a jumbo shrimp.

Wendy's belly has been steadily growing the past 2 months and she's finally starting to show a decent amount. We looked at some cute maternity clothes last night and found some that she might like at Old Navy which doesn't cost a fortune. She's going to be a hot mama!