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Opinion & Analysis

Tweets of the week: Rare scores, Tiger’s ball, Bubba’s new irons, Rory’s repose

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Jim Furyk’s second-round 59 at the BMW Championship was certainly the most significant golf story of the week. That is, until Tiger Woods found himself playing a starring role in yet another rules-related drama. But really, Jim Furyk’s superlative second round, which vaulted him into the ranks of Geiberger and Duval was the centerpiece of the week that was.

On the LPGA Tour, Suzann Pettersen captured the Evian Championship for the second major victory of her career. Pettersen outlasted amateur phenom Lydia Ko, defeating the young New Zealander by two strokes. And On the Web.com Tour, Seung-Yul Noh of South Korea won the third of four Web.com Tour Finals series events convincingly to secure a PGA Tour card.

All this, plus a golfer’s 109 score on the European Challenge Tour and an appearance by Holly Sonders made this edition of Tweets of the Week.

First, a bit of levity (as long as your name isn’t Pawel Japol). Mr. Japol did not have his “A-game” all day long at the Kharkov Superior Cup, but a few holes were particularly atrocious for the 42-year-old Polish pro. The golfer carded a 13 at the par-5 13th hole and a 10 at the fifth.

Any time you hit double digits on a hole, you know you’re in for a big number at the end of the day. However, signing for a something in the three-figure range is a truly notable achievement on any professional golf tour. National Club Golfer tweeted the following as a point of comparison following Jim Furyk’s 59.

Pawel_Japel_109_

Speaking of Jim Furyk’s 59, here are the sentiments of the man who played the best golf across four rounds at Conway Farms where Jim Furyk fired golf’s magic number on Friday. Zach Johnson’s tweet gets at the heart of the rarest of golf rounds: Johnson fired 65 on Sunday, and opened with 64, so he was clearly more than capable at Conway Farms (he did win the tournament, after all).

However, even he—arguably the man who could most understand Furyk’s 59, having played so well at the very same course four days in a row—couldn’t get his head around it.

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On the subject of Johnson’s win, here’s golf legend Gary Player congratulating Johnson for his win at the third leg of the FedExCup Playoffs and Johnson, class act that he is, thanking the Black Knight.

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Here’s Golf World‘s tweet (and great photo) of Suzann Pettersen celebrating after her second career major win, and her first since 2007. Pettersen topped someone half her age: Lydia Ko who, as a 16-year-old amateur, has already emerged as one of the most formidable players competing in LPGA tour events.

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Bubba Watson is gaming the new S55 irons, as of the BMW Championship. The left hander finally switched from Ping’s S59 irons, which he’d been using for the past several years. Because the S59’s were no longer sold by Ping, and were retailed with non-conforming grooves, the company was replicating the casting of the heads with blank faces and milling legal grooves onto them for Watson every time he needed a new set.

Watson tweeted the following photo of his new gamers.

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Much has been written about Tiger Woods’ Nike One and whether it moved or merely oscillated during the second round of the BMW Championship. It was only a matter of time before someone tried to cut through the competing perspectives and offered “proof” of what happened. Golf World relayed the following from Geoff Shackelford’s site.

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Elsewhere, Holly Sonders had “first pitch” honors at a Tampa Bay Rays game.

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And Caroline Wozniaki continued her campaign of unflattering photos of boyfriend Rory McIlroy at rest.

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  1. Nick

    Sep 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Good to know Rors can still sleep somewhere other than the golf course on Sunday.

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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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