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Opinion & Analysis

Sadlowski once again breaks the Golf Channel’s simulator

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[youtube id=”XDYC4wGIEpE” width=”620″ height=”360″]

By now the majority of you have probably seen the video that went viral of world long drive champion Jamie Sadlowski bombing a drive through the Golf Channel’s simulator and the wooden wall behind it (if you haven’t, you can watch it here).

Apparently the Golf Channel didn’t learn its lesson the first time, because they brought Sadlowski back to do a feature on “The Golf Fix” with Michael Breed. While warming up prior to the show Sadlowski once again drilled a hole through both the simulator screen and the wall behind it.

The only difference this time is the club he used. The first time was with a driver, but on this occasion Sadlowski used a 7 iron — yes a 7 iron. Not only does this ball crash through the wall, but the screen his ball ripped hole through gave a distance reading of just below 300 yards.

Again, not a typo — he hit his 7 iron just under 300 yards. But hey, how’s his short game?

Click here to see what members are saying about it in the forums.

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Nick Boyd is an 18-year-old journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa, with hopes of one day becoming a sports reporter.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Taylor

    Aug 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Breed gets so pissed, that’s what makes it so funny. You can definitely tell that he is “dad” on that whole crew. Everyone looks directly to him when it happens. Jamie has the immediate, I’m in trouble, look on him.

    Breed needs to relax a little

  2. corey

    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    first off, i dont doubt that the video is real but my question is why did that happen. i understand with his LD driver but a screen shouldnt break from the ball speed of a 230yd shot (yes damn impressive that it was a 7iron). do yall think the screen is pulled too tight and the netting protecting it isnt sufficient? just curious

    • Matt

      Aug 22, 2013 at 12:40 am

      I’ll give you a simple answer, its just a guess but makes since to me. With him creating driver like speed with a 7 iron the ball would be spinning much faster than with a driver therefore the torque and friction placed on the screen from a ball traveling that fast with that much spin would cause the screen to kind off grab the ball and rip easier.

  3. Beast

    Aug 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Meh…… looks like a set-up to me. Looking at Gary “My Mouth is Too Loud” ‘s face, the whole thing looks fishy. Why would they not fix it and have it ready for Sadlowski’s return, knowing what happened before? With all the money they have at the Channel, why would they not upgrade their most-used simulator for TV? Duh.

  4. Wes G

    Aug 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Just because you guys don’t think he’s that long, doesn’t mean that he isn’t that long. I’ve competed in the remax long drive qualifiers with my standard driver, and never hit anything over 380, but if I hit a 7 iron 230 I would call it a mishit. People have called me long, but that guy is a freak, you just cannot fathom how long he is until you see it in person. It will literally make you feel like a lesser person.

  5. naflack

    Aug 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Breeds response is priceless…

  6. Dave

    Aug 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    According to the video, that 7 iron wasn’t “just under 300 yards”. It was probably about 230, but that’s still an incredibly long 7 iron.

  7. 4rheel

    Aug 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    “Ay, don’t be yelling at me …” Hahahahahaha

  8. Golfer X

    Aug 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    No biggee… Tiger’s ex caused a lot more damage with a 9…

  9. Kadin Mahmet

    Aug 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    7 iron just under 300 yards…yea, I put it in the bag. 😉

  10. NoShanks

    Aug 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Why is everyone acting so surprised?

  11. Nick

    Aug 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    The best part is Breed saying “What do you mean we’re going to get in trouble for this?” Hahahaha.

    Whose idea was it to use the EXACT set up he destroyed before. I get it was a seven Iron this time but c’mon, not smart. What is that saying, “fool me once…”

    • 8thehardway

      Aug 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Whoever said that to Breed was two steps up from an intern. The TGC should have asked him to try a pitching wedge, SW, even gap wedge for future segments and then get a new screen.

  12. golfer

    Aug 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    “what do you mean we’re going to get in trouble for that” – lol

  13. Big_5_Hole

    Aug 20, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Yeah but is he really that long? I mean sure, he hits it pretty good but I bet lots of guys on tour could hit it just as far of they wanted. Those LD contests are all at altitude so the numbers are inflated, he uses a 65″ driver, he hits pinnacles, drinks protein shakes, exercises and has a strong grip. I mean really.

    Just kidding of course, this kid just flattens it. Awesome to watch. If you ever get a chance to see it in person, make sure you do. You’ve never seen anyone hit it like him.

    • chris

      Aug 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      I was getting ready to tell you how wrong you were until I got to the second paragraph… lol I liked watchin him hit a putter almost 300. Then his little driver he hits well over 300 haha. Ceazy because he’s not that tall. Awseome to see live

    • Tit

      Aug 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      Yes, he is unbelievable. He IS that long.

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Opinion & Analysis

From the GolfWRX Vault: How far should you hit your golf clubs?

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Editor’s note: Jaacob Bowden‘s 2013 piece on how far a club “ought” to carry based on clubhead speed—i.e. how far you should hit your golf clubs–remains one of our most widely read pieces (thanks, Google search). And while seven years have passed since its publication, the data remains the same, and thus the piece remains just as relevant today. 

We’re happy to crack open the GolfWRX Vault for this excellent bit of writing. 


One of the nice things about having all this new fancy technological equipment like Trackman, Flightscope, ShotLink, etc., at various PGA Tour events is that distance data can be gathered for each of the players.

In case you haven’t come across it already, here are the approximate Trackman carry distance averages for men at the professional level.

Average PGA Tour Carry Distances (yards)

Club Carry
Driver (Total) 289
Driver (Carry) 269
3-Wood 243
5-Wood 230
Hybrid 225
3-Iron 212
4-Iron 203
5-Iron 194
6-Iron 183
7-Iron 172
8-Iron 160
9-Iron 148
PW 136

Pretty cool info. Perhaps they hit it farther than you might have thought…or maybe they hit less than you may have been lead to believe based on what you’ve seen on TV, read on the internet, etc.

Since I deal a lot with swing speed training and helping people in general hit the ball farther, a relatively common question I get is, “How far should I hit my clubs for my swing speed?”

Well, since we also know that the average driver swing speed on Tour typically runs around 112 to 113 mph, using a bit of algebra and the above distances we can approximate a guide for how far you could expect to hit the ball (assuming fairly consistent and solid contact) given your personal driver swing speed.

Here are those carry distances.

Approximate Carry Distances by Driver Swing Speed (mph)

 Approximate Carry Distances by Driver Swing Speed (mph)

I took the ranges down to 60 and 70 mph because those are swing speeds I’ll encounter when working with some amateur women and seniors. I also went up to 140 mph because numerous long drivers I’ve trained can get their drivers up that high (RE/MAX World Long Drive champions like Joe Miller, Jamie Sadlowski and Ryan Winther can actually reach over 150 mph).

Aside from using the chart as a general reference point, here are a few other things that I think are worth pointing out:

First, these numbers are based off how the average Tour player strikes the ball. Although Tour players are overall good ball strikers with all their clubs, most of them are actually not as efficient (the Tour average is about 2.58 yards/mph of swing speed) as they can be when it comes to distance with their drivers because on average they hit drives that launch too low and with too much spin.

LGPA Tour players (2.65 yards/mph of swing speed) and Professional Long Drivers are actually more distance efficient with their drivers…but that’s a topic for another article. The good news for you is that greater carry and total-driving distances can be achieved at all the range of swing speeds shown above if you are a more efficient driver than the average male tour player at 2.58 yards/mph of swing speed.

With a 2-degree change in driver loft and some minor adjustments made to his swing path, angle of attack, etc, one of my amateur students went from being an already above-average efficient driver at 2.61 yards/mph to an extremely efficient one at 2.75 yards/mph. So with no change to his 102 mph swing speed, he increased his driving distance average from 266 to 280. Then after some swing speed training, he got up to 112 mph and can now hit drives around 307 yards with that same efficiency of 2.75 yards/mph. That’s 41 more yards!

Second, the club distances are based on the driver swing speeds that you would get from a system like FlightScope and Trackman. So if at all possible, get yourself checked on one of those. Otherwise, if you measure with something like a Speed Stik (which measure higher in my experience), you could get a false sense of how far you might expect to hit the ball.

As another example, Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radars (SSR) also read faster. It should be pointed out that SSRs are still a great personal training aid, and because of their accuracy and relative affordability and portability, they are actually the radar I recommend in my swing speed training programs.

However, the Doppler radar in an SSR measures the fastest moving part of the club head (typically the toe) versus a Trackman or FlightScope, which each have proprietary algorithms to calculate the speed at the center of the club face. For this reason, SSRs will read about 5 to 12 percent faster, depending on how you as an individual move the driver through impact. If you have an SSR, just hit 5 to 10 balls with it and a Trackman or FlightScope at the same time and you’ll find out your personal difference for sake of comparison.

Third, the above numbers can be useful for a good general reference, but like I mentioned in my article about understand distance variance, recognize that carry distances can vary a lot depending on conditions. Slopes, wind, temperature, altitude, etc., are all things that can affect how far the ball flies, so remember to factor that in.

Fourth, keep in mind potential loft differences between your clubs and the ones here. As a general rule of thumb, club manufacturers have made their club lofts (especially in the irons) continually stronger over the years as a way of marketing and selling consumers the new clubs.

Many top Tour players are being paid to play the latest clubs, which could mean they might also be playing irons with stronger lofts than the set you are playing. This isn’t always the case, however, but it’s another thing to be aware of.

Last, once you start approaching less than 80 mph with the driver, notice how the distances start bunching up between clubs.  At this point, you start getting to an area where you really don’t need a full set of 14 clubs. If this is you, perhaps you might also find that you hit a 3-wood or 5-wood further than a normal driver.

My wife is very strong and athletic, however, as a beginner who doesn’t play or practice very much, she hasn’t developed much swing speed. For that reason, we got her fitted for a 9-club set of Wishon 730CLs, a set that is designed specifically for men and women with less than 80 mph of club head speed.

The shafts are very light, the driver is 16 degrees and only 42 inches, the fairway woods are 20 and 26 degrees (versus the commonly used 15- and 19-degree fairway woods), and the remaining hybrids/irons are gapped out in 6-degree loft increments (compared to the normal 3- or 4-degree). Also, since many beginners, lesser skilled players and those with slower swing speeds can struggle with really high lofted wedges, the highest lofted wedge in the set is 54 degrees.

All of these things combine to provide a driver that can actually be hit in the air for distance, clubs that have substantial distance gapping, plus it’s just less clubs in general to lug around and choose from.

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Opinion & Analysis

Barney Adams: Why we play golf

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I played golf the other day with friends. COVID-19 restrictions, but we got out. They will attest that I stunk, but that isn’t news or the basis for this piece.

Normally that kind of golfing experience has me in borderline depression searching for a swing change that I know will allow me to play at my fantasy level. What was remarkably different was the pleasure. Being outside, sunshine, fresh air, joking with friends, enduring the glares from my partner. It was four hours that were singular in their positivity made more so by the daily media barrage of doom and being essentially quarantined for all other activities.

To start, one of the great things about golf is when you play, it requires total concentration—world events, personal issues are put on hold. You see, golf isn’t fun, it’s hard and that element is what brings us joy no matter how small our victories.

I’ve played the game for some 70 years and studied it for 40, working in the industry. One of my favorite exercises over the years has been to ask someone who played recently to describe their best shot of their previous round. Immediate answers flow accompanied by a smile or whimsical expression. Whether it’s a tee shot, a chip, putt, it’s a moment of slaying the dragon. And this is golf. Not an 18 or even 9-hole score—one shot, immediate recall and the reason to play again.

We find ourselves today bordering on panic—daily feeds from the media, warning us, frightening us. For those who play the game, it is a needed respite. There have been some articles, and I’m sure more coming, about what will happen in the distant morning. Massive unemployment, lost wages, and crashing investment portfolios, a small sample. Sadly, the media is going to have bad news to emphasize for months to come and there is no question that some of the collateral damage will be human lives and financial well-being.

It’s easy to sit and critique humans making decisions. But when asked the question about affecting lives now or in the future, it’s way more complex. Political expediency focuses on the now knowing there will be a pivot down the road.

What does all this have to do with golf? The game provides an instant middle ground. People can have four hours in the sun and fresh air and the difficulty involved forces them to temporarily shelve daily tribulations. Even with reduced course services as a precaution, just the chance to go to bed at night knowing the weather looks great and you can escape to the course for a few hours…it’s something that brightens one’s outlook.

So, I’m championing the playing of golf, while accepting various related restrictions. I’m championing a few hours where we can forget the drama, the panic, and get our butts kicked by a little white ball. And when done, we’ll make arrangements to play again.

Oh yes, now that the internet is overflowing with tips from golf teaching experts, I really need to play, because I have this new move that is guaranteed, guaranteed, to produce 12 more yards off the tee. You see, it all has to do with the position of the shaft vs. the left knee and…

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Opinion & Analysis

Everyone sucks at golf sometimes

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“Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with tools singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”

This quote dates back over 100 years, and has been credited to a number of people through history including Winston Churchill and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. Although the game and the tools have changed a lot in 100 years, this quote remains timeless because golf is inherently difficult, and is impossible to master, which is exactly what also makes it so endearing to those that play it.

No matter how hard we practice, or how much time we spend trying to improve there will inevitably be times when we will suck at golf. Just like with other aspects of the game the idea of “sucking” will vary based on your skillset, but a PGA Tour player can hit a hosel rocket shank just as well as a 25 handicap. As Tom Brady proved this past weekend, any golfer can have a bad day, but even during a poor round of golf there are glimmers of hope—like a holed-out wedge, even if it is followed by having your pants rip out on live TV.

I distinctly remember one time during a broadcast when Chris DiMarco hit a poor iron shot on a par 3 and the microphone caught hit exclaim “Come on Chris, you’re hitting it like a 4 handicap out here today” – the shot just barely caught the right side of the green and I imagine a lot of higher handicap golfers said to themselves ” I’d love to hit it like a 4 handicap!”. This is just one example of the expectations we put on ourselves even when most golfers will admit to playing their best when expectations are thrown out the window.

– Gary Larson

Dr. Bob Rotella says golf is not a game of perfect, and that’s totally ok. The game is about the constant pursuit of improvement, not perfection and with that in mind there are going to be days when no matter what we just suck.

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