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Ye unable to repeat Guan’s Masters success

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Thirteen-year-old Ye Wo-cheng signed for rounds of 78 and 76 at the Omega European Masters, beating just two players in the 153-player field.

Before the event, Miguel Angel Jimenez, a spry 48 years of age, indicated his displeasure with the decision to offer the 13-year old an exemption into this week’s event in Switzerland.

“It is nice to see that golf is interesting no matter what the age but for me, a 13-year-old competing against professionals is a little a bit too young,” said Jimenez. “People want to start things too early and a 13-year-old should be playing alongside other 13-year-olds and not players averaging 33 years of age.”

Earlier this year, Ye received an invitation to compete in the Volvo China Open, where he returned a pair of 79s for another missed cut, besting a trio of players along the way. In April, countryman Tianlang Guan survived a slow-play penalty at The Masters to become the youngest golfer to ever make the cut at Augusta. Guan, 14 at the time, also finished as the low amateur, causing some to suggest that a youth movement was nigh in the sport of professional golf.

Those of Jimenez’ age have watched as young teen and even pre-teen tennis players and gymnasts have graced the international stage, typically on the female side of competition. But Ye was clearly not up to the task of managing the Crans-sur-Sierre golf course. The youngster made a single birdie that was more than offset by five bogeys and four double bogies, missing the Omega European Masters cut by 12 strokes. At the Volvo China Open, he missed the cut by 14 shots.

Despite his concerns, Jimenez was in no way distracted by his youthful competitor. The Spaniard posted rounds of 65 and 68 to sit one stroke off the halfway lead. With luck, Ye paid attention to everything that the most interesting man in golf accomplished over the course of 36 holes of golf. It will certainly benefit him as he attempts to simultaneously conquer golf and adolescence.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ronald Montesano

    Sep 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Good point, Nick.

    Greg, I’ll keep an eye on Paratore.

  2. greg schofield

    Sep 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    forget this guy, how about Paratore the 16 year old Italian who shoots 72/70 and misses cut by a shot. tis lad is one to watch.

  3. Nick

    Sep 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Jiminez is the right. They’re going to damage these kid’s psychs if they keep asking them to make the cut at the Masters at 14 to get positive press. This kids is 13 and broke 80 at the European Masters. That’s incredibl. Yet every article he’ll read will remind him about how he fell short of Guan.

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: A discussion of swingweight (Part 1: History)

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Image via Golfworks

For the twenty-five plus years, I’ve been in the equipment business, one of the most commonly-asked-about subjects is that of swingweight. It mostly comes up when a golfer is requesting over-length clubs or is contemplating changing to graphite shafts. So, I’m going to direct a discussion of this topic. Please chime in to let me know your thoughts and input.

The concept of swingweight was developed by custom clubmaker Kenneth Smith about 60 years ago. He was trying to figure out how to “match” clubs, and settled on balance point as a way to do so. His swingweight scale had a “hook” to hold the grip end of the club, and a fulcrum 14 inches from the butt. He created an arbitrary scale of measure that consisted of letters A-F, each letter divided into ten segments, i.e. D1, D2, D3, etc. When he measured the clubs of the day, he found most of them to be in the D2 range, so that became recognized as the “standard” for men’s woods and irons.

The golf club industry quickly adopted this method of “matching” clubs…well, because they had no other way! Because the longer the shaft, the heavier the head feels, clubheads increase in weight as the shaft gets shorter, so that the swingweight will stay the same. The theory then, and now, is that if the swingweight is the same, the clubs will feel essentially the same in the golfer’s hands.

But let’s look at what has happened since Kenneth Smith invented the swingweight scale.

  • Shafts have gotten longer by at least an inch. In the 1940s, a “standard” driver was only 42-43” long – now most are 45” if not more.
  • Shafts have gotten much lighter. Those old steel shafts weighed 150 grams or more, compared to modern graphite driver shafts in the 55-75 gram range.
  • Golfers have gotten stronger while clubs have gotten much lighter overall, but swingweights have always adhered to that D2 “standard.”

You must understand two very important factors about swingweight.

First, a “point” of swingweight–such as D2 to D3–is NOT a unit of measure like an ounce or gram. It takes much less weight to shift a driver one point, for example, than it does a wedge, because the shaft length is such an influence on this measure. Generally, the weight of a single dollar bill is a swingweight point on a driver—not much, huh?

And secondly, the overall weight of the club is at least as important as swingweight. Jack Nicklaus was noted for playing a driver in his prime that was 13.25 oz in overall weight–very heavy even for that time (most are about 10.5 oz now!), while his swingweight was only C9, considered very light. S

Swingweight by itself is a rather worthless piece of information!

So, that should get this discussion going. I’ll give you a few days to toss out your questions and comments on this subject, and then I’ll begin to address my own theories on swingweight for YOUR clubs.

Sound off, readers!

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Podcasts

TG2: Review of the new ShotScope V3 GPS & shot tracking watch, Vessel VLX Stand Bag!

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I get the new ShotScope V3 GPS and shot tracking watch on my wrist for a few rounds and love the data. ShotScope V3 offers accurate GPS distances while seamlessly tracking your club data.

Vessel Bag’s new VLX stand bag is a high end, lightweight, luxury bag for golfers who love to walk. Walking with the VLX was actually more comfortable than my pushcart!

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: How to never miss another putt

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Learn how your own anatomy is designed to roll the golf ball in the direction you want to start the putt without any interference or assistance on your behalf.

All you need is a system of predictions that will help you confirm that your putting stroke is pointed in the right direction. This is how you become a witness to gravity sinking the putt for you. This will become clear after you listen to the podcast and give this a try at a golf course near you!

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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