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GEARS: A game-changing technology for golf instruction and club fitting

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There seems to be a debate in golf instruction concerning old-school versus new-school teaching. I think the discussion is mostly academic and largely a product of the golf blogosphere, which is in reality an amalgam of disparate ideas, the sum of which can lead to more confusion than clarity. The point is that any good teacher of the game should be a student of all the new science while striving for the simplest ways to convey the data to their students.

Imagine taking a golf lesson that removes any doubt about what your golf swing is doing. Imagine having the confidence to know exactly what to work on. Even picture a scenario where you can virtually see yourself on every swing. It’s a reality with a new technology called GEARS golf.

GEARS, which stands for Golf Evaluation and Research System, was launched at the PGA show in 2014 after five years of development. It’s a full swing, club and body-tracking system used by PGA pros, club fitters, teachers and equipment manufacturers to measure tiny nuances in full 3D from address to follow through. Unlike Trackman and FlightScope, it’s not a Doppler radar system; it’s a motion-capture system built on the same technology used by biomechanists and filmmakers. With GEARS, eight 1.7-megapixel cameras run at 360 frames per second creating measurements as fine as 0.2 mm. There are no wires, and it works for any golfer and any golf club.

“GEARS is the most accurate golf swing tracking system on the planet,” says Michael Neff, Director of GEARS Sports. And I believe him.

A typical indoor setup of Gears.

A typical indoor setup of Gears. The system can be transported inside and out and from course to course.

In my many years of teaching our game, I have always found it necessary to ask three simple questions:

  • What is the ball doing?
  • What did the club do to influence the ball?
  • What did player do to influence the golf club?

GEARS is the only system I have ever found that answers all three questions with absolute certainty, thanks to its ability to analyze over 600 images per swing in less than a second. In the videos below, you can see just a few examples of what the system offers.

Club Head Speed and Club Face Contact

Attack Angle

Club Head Path

Some golfers, and even some golf instructors might consider this too much detail. Why would anyone need this much information? Well, you may or may not… but why not have access to all the accurate information you can and then simply take from it what you need?

You can use the info GEARS provides for a thorough club fitting, or find the things you need to work on in your swing. Remember the avatars you see in these videos are of YOU swinging the golf club. The data gathered is the true trace of the arms, body, wrists and all parts of the golf club throughout the entire swing.

Many of you who read my GolfWRX articles know me as a non-technical teacher, and to a large extent I do try to simplify my instruction and condense the information as much as possible. But non-technical is not to be confused with unscientific or irrational. Everything any good teacher does must be based on the latest research in the field and GEARS represents that horizon. Three-dimensional analyses are at the forefront of where teaching and fitting is right now, and to disregard it is a disservice to our students. What I particularly like is that GEARS can offer me measurements, not estimates, and that is the essence of the this cutting edge system.

There are currently 32 GEARS systems in the United States. Systems sell for about $32,000, and golfers can book time on a system for roughly $200-$250 for 1-2 hours. Email info@gearssports.com to learn more.

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Dennis Clark is a PGA Master Professional. Clark has taught the game of golf for more than 30 years to golfers all across the country, and is recognized as one of the leading teachers in the country by all the major golf publications. He is also is a seven-time PGA award winner who has earned the following distinctions: -- Teacher of the Year, Philadelphia Section PGA -- Teacher of the Year, Golfers Journal -- Top Teacher in Pennsylvania, Golf Magazine -- Top Teacher in Mid Atlantic Region, Golf Digest -- Earned PGA Advanced Specialty certification in Teaching/Coaching Golf -- Achieved Master Professional Status (held by less than 2 percent of PGA members) -- PGA Merchandiser of the Year, Tri State Section PGA -- Golf Professional of the Year, Tri State Section PGA -- Presidents Plaque Award for Promotion and Growth of the Game of Golf -- Junior Golf Leader, Tri State section PGA -- Served on Tri State PGA Board of Directors. Clark is also former Director of Golf and Instruction at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. He now directs his own school, The Dennis Clark Golf Academy at the JW Marriott Marco Island in Naples, Fla.. He can be reached at dennisclarkgolf@gmail.com

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. ooffa

    Oct 11, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Garbage

  2. Dan Sueltz

    Oct 5, 2016 at 10:54 am

    I have used the GEARS system and it has some extremely good information for clubfitting as well as instruction. For clubfitting, it has the best information for tempo, transition, release and face contact (of course the other important stuff like club/ball speed, smash, launch, spin and attack angle). Trying to figure out the exact combination of shafts that will make our fitting sessions even more productive before we pull the trigger on this system. Reason is that it takes a while to calibrate the shaft/head combination so it could be cumbersome in a fitting if you do not have the right combinations to begin with. Love the system though…of course I am a techno geek that has seen the evolution of clubfitting and this is the next great thing. Great job GEARS!

  3. RJ

    Sep 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Hey Dennis,
    Good stuff as usual. I am all about the technology in the game also. How the info is dispersed to the student is the key, bird like portions work best I have found.
    Trackman has parameters that never see the light of day at our place and Gears is no different. Most of the time I do not even show the numbers, only discuss them so they can focus on the task at hand. Unfortunately there are a few that are very traditional when it come to the sport and like the “Keep it simple stupid approach”. Keep on writing and I will keep reading Pro.. Best wishes and good health!

  4. Shankmaster

    Sep 22, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    At what point is the golfer overwhelmed with information?
    How does he/she know what part of the swing needs to be “fixed” first?
    According to this system what is a “correct” swing?
    What would this system tell about Jim Furyk, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Chi-Chi Rodriguez swing?

  5. emerson boozer

    Sep 20, 2016 at 5:50 am

    Dennis, great, great. Article. Tech has improved my game more in the past 6mos than anything in the past 15years. Understanding the physics and biomechanics behind the golf swing is truly important to actually implementing on the course and ultimately developing confidence and consistent feel. Plus, now i know exactly why a shot goes astray and how to fix it.

    If you could also do one on hand path for drivers and irons that would be awesome.

    Finally, forget the trolls here, they are just intimidated about where to start to eliminate their own ignorance.

    • Mad-Mex

      Sep 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Wipe you nose again, you missed a spot,,,,,,,,
      So we are not to respond nor comment on these articles? And if we do all we should do is compliment and praise?
      Reality check,,,, $200-$250- that’s what many golfers spend on golf a month, they are also the ones who are keeping many golf courses from going under,,,,

  6. Mad-Mex

    Sep 15, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    So this GEAR thing tells me that my angle of attack is 3.75 degrees too steep, that I am coming out to in by 3 degrees and the face is open 1.5 degrees, but the ball is going straight or baby fade ( I have in fact a slight out to in swing and my miss IS a baby fade),,,,,,,,,

    Now what !?!?!

    • Dennis Clark

      Sep 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      3.75 too steep compared to what? 3 degrees out-in with 1.5 open hit in the middle of the face would be a baby fade? What is your question? if your ball flight belies path/face relationship, there’s a good chance your hitting the toe in this case. It’s known as horizontal gear effect.

      • Mad-Mex

        Sep 19, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        Maybe I should explain my post a little better,,,,,,,,,,,,, Let say I got all that information from the system, now what am I supposed to do with it?!?!? How do I correct it?!?!? How do I know its fixed?!?! How do I know when am off again ?!?! There is way too much info being fed to golfers, I have read posts here of people saying how they lowered their RPM’s by 200 simply by buying a new $300 shaft,,, too much emphasis on numbers and not on feel,,,

        But I could be wrong

    • Jim

      Sep 24, 2016 at 1:30 am

      The professional giving you your lesson on this will show the most important issue(s) AND explain why you should correct them – after all, that’s why you’re there – hopefully not just to do an MRI on your golfswing and then do nothing to fix the problem it found.- Just as if only using good video camera’s. They SHOULD while reviewing your video
      with you, be explaining both sides ; WHAT
      you DID to get to a bad – say ‘top position’ & how to
      change the move and get to a better spot, WHY the less than good position you ended up in now affects the next move you (can – or now must HAVE to) do The ability to make an easy repetitive swing – or not – is always a byproduct of what happened one or two moves before…

      I have wireless/markerless 3D Biometric
      motion analysis and use maybe 40% of all the areas it measures, and it’s awesome for actually quantifying things like shoulder & hip turn, weight distribution, weight shift spine tilt, etc…I can show you YOU – not a stick figure – and say if you’re shoulder’s only turning 69 or 72 degrees we can work on getting it to 85, then 90 (unless a physical limitation is present)….
      Not all brilliant people are good teachers (Foley?)
      A good teacher makes it flow and make sense as part of making his case why the student should change, needs to change OR absolutely HAS TO change – if they want to improve, stop hurting, or reach their potential.

      Remember, you came to us. If someone has this and can’t give you a full and easily understood (some numbers included too) analysis of your swing, what you’re doing well & not, what needs to change to meet your goals and how the two of you will go about it by the end of the first 15 minutes – including practice swings & some warm up shots, they’re too lost in their tech stuff and not focused enough on the human next to ’em

      I’ll bet your buddy Parson will buy one 🙂

  7. GEARS Golf

    Sep 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    We’ve added the map of GEARS system installation sites to http://gearssports.com/, for those who would like to see/try our product.

    Otherwise, click here to go straight to the map!
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/viewer?mid=1DX8enNc5vdzyLFQ099-BD_vOtrk

  8. ooffa

    Sep 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    That’s a whole lot of crap there using to tell me I slice the ball. Thanks but no thanks.

    • Dennis Clark

      Sep 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Always glad to help. You could always play a course with 18 doglegs to the right…

      • ooffa

        Sep 16, 2016 at 6:41 am

        Certainly not the nurturing comment I would expect from an award winning teacher.
        Excuse me could you help me hit the ball further.
        Just play a shorter course. Glad I could help.
        Thanks teach, same time next week?

        • Mr. Wedge

          Sep 16, 2016 at 12:51 pm

          It was a good response to your initial pointless, yet derogatory, comment. The system will show/tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong. It’s up to YOU, or with the help of a good instructor, to figure out how to fix those flaws.

          • Mad-Mex

            Sep 19, 2016 at 11:12 pm

            Am with ooffa,,,,,,,,,, besides, a good teacher will correct you swing for a fraction of this system!!!

    • Dennis Clark

      Sep 16, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Thank you for calling the article “a whole lot of crap”…If you want help with the slice, I’d be happy to help you, send me a video. But no need to demean the article. Thx

  9. Shooters Tour

    Sep 15, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    A major concern with this system are the sensors placed on the shaft and club-head. The sensors are not weightless, producing data that is not entirely accurate. This also increases swing weight to a considerable factor, having tried GEARS last year.

    • Dennis Clark

      Sep 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Swing weight changes 1 step and head markers weigh 1 gram each and shaft clip is 8 gram

      We have had no negative feedback from any of the tour players that have been on the system

      This only way to accurately find the center of a marker is if it’s a ball. This is how we find the center to within 00.2mm

      Small price to pay for most accurate tool to measure the body, they wrists, grip, shaft, head and face. Oh and all at the same time…

  10. Dennis Clark

    Sep 15, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I wrote this article to inform you that there is currently a technology called GEARS which offers the many things I described, just as there is, say, an iPhone 7 you can now buy and several new apps you put on that phone. Any and all of the latest technology is an option, a choice that we, the consumers, make or NOT make. In fact golf itself is an optional hobby. No one is suggesting you buy it, simply saying that it’s there. As for the myriad features, i suggest you take as much or as little as you like. If you’re looking for one particular area of your club or swing to correct, GEARS will identify that area. Forget the rest. Also, the technology is quite obviously not a home product to be set up in ones garage, just as a heart monitor is not meant for your bedroom. That’s why there are professional studios that provide this service on an hourly basis. Thx.

  11. Uncle Buck

    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:12 am

    For crying out loud, just hit the ball the best you can 3 times and hopefully have a look at par!!! All these gadgets and gizmos, fitting carts, 300 shaft options, 1300 grips to choose from, lasers, 36 brands of golf balls, etc.!! Just step up to da tee and hit it, find it, hit again, again, and pull the flat
    stick!! I’m up to here with all the nonsense already.

    • Jeffrey Purtell

      Sep 15, 2016 at 3:21 am

      Amen Bro

    • Mr. Wedge

      Sep 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      You’re suggesting no one actually puts effort into improving their game, and just be happy with the way they hit it, whether that’s good or terrible. That makes a lot of sense…

  12. Philip

    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Better data is always better. Especially as it eventually filters down to things that a greater amount of people can afford and use. Put this on a grass driving range in which I can watch the real flight of my ball and I’m interested. Combine this with a swing coach that excels at getting one into their zone as their swing and technique is being evaluated and you have a winner (I had the experience of this last week – awesome session). My only issue with a lot of this technology is the presentation of the images and video from a 3rd person perspective. The last I checked I swing the golf club from within the swing, not outside looking in. It is from this point of view one needs to understand the swing, not from a camera person looking through a view finder. Granted, short of projecting a holographic video around myself, I have no simple answer to the issue myself.

  13. Rich B

    Sep 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    The technology available today is great in the right hands. I would also like to know where this is available. Hopefully, on the West Coast or close to it. Aloha

  14. Emo

    Sep 14, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Yeah? How much does the whole system cost? And don’t give me the PGA discount price, we know they get to lease this stuff at big discounted prices. What would it cost for a normal person to buy one for his or her home?

    • Dennis Clark

      Sep 14, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      last paragraph in the article details it I believe

    • Jim

      Sep 14, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Enough is enough…consider this the first gen Laser disc player of over the top crazy shit HUMANS can’t possibly need. Wait 6 years and it’ll be half the hassle and half the price.
      I LOVE TECH…Got Trackman and between that and my SwingGuru Pro most current editionn I can already produce too much ‘close enough for gov’t work’ OR SCRATCH GOLF data (within 2-3 degrees of measured spine tilt, shoulder tilt each arm and leg flexion, shoulder turn, hip turn head movement blah blah AND dead on
      accurate live time weight distribution & shift withnd with NO WIRES. I can live without all that because my 3 IDS
      cameras running 2@225fps (down the line & face on) and
      1 @ 450fps showing the clubhead CLEAR AS DAY from last 4 feet of downswing can see path, face rotation exactly where ball is struck and any deviation or head rotation from force of impact… The visualization of THE REAL CLUBHEAD AND PLAYER is 109 times better for the student to see amd understand than all the numbers we get from Trackman (which however is indispensable for driver and shaft fittings) but when conpared to the High Speed HD cameras bo where near as helpful for lessons – except for the rop 5% of my competitive players swinging >105.

      The “Normal” person who’d buy this “for their home” already has the best 40K “Full Swing” box simulator and 2 sets of PXG’s – staff bags too. One for home and one for the club….

      No one – maybe Woods or Pelz would buy this monstrosity –
      for their ‘home’ – but then again, they’d end up getting it comp’d.

      nothing beats good clear multiple high speed cameras & some foot-rot spray on the clubface

      • Jim

        Sep 14, 2016 at 10:35 pm

        I HATE IT when this site/my *NOTE EAT a draft I’m working on and says ‘server timed out’ and the friggin thing disappears – only to post AN HOUR LATER with the REWRITTEN post…

        My apologies to all. Hey GWRX – Feel free to delete this first one….

    • Jim

      Sep 14, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      ENOUGH already! I LOVE TECH…This will be great for fine tuning robot golfers for combat – once they evolve from just smashing each other up on ‘Battle Bots’…

      I can produce way too much biomechanical data now with my Swing Guru Pro 3D WIRELESS & MARKERLESS system. IT gives more info than a human player OR COACH needs. The latest gen produces spine tilt, shoulder tilt, stance to the cm. Real time dead on weight distribution & full motion shift – without pressure pads, shoulder & hip turn, head motionn arm n leg motion.. and more.blah blah numbers no one needs. I can show tilt n turn accurate within a couple degrees – “close enough for Government work” – OR SCRATCH GOLF. My Trackman, while INDESPENSABLE for driver & shaft fitting, spits out more numbers than all but my top 5% of competitive players need.

      Where as my 3 High Speed HD IDS camerasn 2 running @ 225 fps (face on & down the line) and the 3rd dedicated over the 4 feet od clubhead approaching, rotating into and striking the ball give CLEAR AS DAY images inch by inch SHOWING THE REAL PATH, FACE ANGLE & IMPACT with the ball.

      These visuals of the real human I’m teaching, his/her belly or boobs getting in the way, their actual hands and glove and their real club – are FAR better than all the numbers all the other stuff combined yields.

      As far as the “NORMAL GUY” (?!) Who’d buy this monstrosity “for their home”? – They already own the 35K FULL SIZE BOX “Full Swing” Simulator and probably have two of those curverd XXXXHD 10K 60″ Samsung TV’s and bar in their simulator room…along with 3 full sets of PXG’s -one for home, one for the club & one to show off in their office. They could give a crap how much this costs.

      The first two people to order one will be Woods & Pelz – and they’ll probably get it comp’d.

      nothing beats good HS cameras & a little foot-rot spray on the clubhead

  15. talljohn777

    Sep 14, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    The cover photo of Nick Price is not a true GEARS session because he is not wearing a suit with optical markers (little white balls) on it nor does his club have any optical markers. The optical markers are placed all over your body at every strategic point and joint to capture all information perfectly. GEARS is an optical tracking system and without these markers the cameras and software cannot return the needed information. I have used this system and it is truly impressive. My instructor was able to clearly show me my issues and we were able to build a plan that made a great deal of sense to fix my problems. I will not bore you with how bad my positions were during my swing, but it clearly opened my eyes to what was going on in my swing and the compensations that I was needing to make due to being in those bad positions. After the three day golf academy the before and after on GEARS were dramatic. Very impressive

    • KK

      Sep 14, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Of course he’s not wearing the suit. They’re trying to pull in as many arrogant, anti-intellectual, delusional golfers as possible.

    • Dennis Clark

      Sep 14, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      John, I’ll ask Mike about the video; he works with Nick…Spot on observations; I’ve taught for 37 years and it identifies poor body and club positions better than any I’ve seen or used.

    • Dennis clark

      Sep 15, 2016 at 1:01 am

      Here’s the answer to the Nick Price observation from Mike Neff, GEARS director.

      “If you look closely there are markers on his club

      Gears has the ability to do body and club or just the club.

      Nick price was looking for answers as to why his driving was suffering. Gears answered those questions where no other tech could. It’s an amazing story. One of the best golf days of my life”.

  16. Ron

    Sep 14, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Dennis, do you have the system?

  17. Steven

    Sep 14, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    This is exciting technology. I admit, I probably over analyze numbers and technical info for my golf swing. However, I think in the right hands, this is perfect. If an instructor has this info, he/she can diagnose why something is happening and focus on the pieces to fix flaws. They know what info is important and what isn’t. The info in amateur students’ hands may cause them to go crazy and not be focused on the building blocks. I can’t wait to see the list of facilities. Hopefully one around me.

  18. Deadeye

    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I like data but only if it produces a teachable moment. If the info can be analyzed and generate corrective actions I am all for it.

  19. TGG-Chris

    Sep 14, 2016 at 10:58 am

    As a data geek, this has me pretty excited. The question to me is how much of this extra data is actionable. Data is great if it helps you make a decision but if it’s mostly noise it’s just more of a mess that can cloud our heads when setting up for a shot.

    • Dennis Clark

      Sep 14, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Chris, that’s exactly the point I’m making…actionable data is working data or that which is relevant to an individual. What GEARS provides is ALL the data, much of which you may well be executing within a functional range. Its a “take what you need” kinda thing…The beauty again is MEASURED not estimated. Thx for interest.

  20. Lucky

    Sep 14, 2016 at 10:20 am

    The best coaches I’ve had were able to make technical jargon very simple and coach the same way. I don’t need to know all the dirty details.

  21. Dennis Clark

    Sep 14, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Steve Ill have that info up shortly. hold on

  22. steve s

    Sep 14, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I’m all for technology that shows what’s really happening in your swing, not what some old time golf coach THINKS is happening. What this will do(eventually) is make golf instruction more consistent, force incompetant golf coach to learn or lose students, and simplify golf for all of us.

    • steve s

      Sep 14, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Oh yeah, it would be nice if there was a listing of the 32 places in the world you could go to analyze your swing. Not here or on the GEAR’s website. Pretty lame….

  23. Ma

    Sep 14, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Finally, a potential technology that could bring the cost of trackman down to moderately out of reach, instead of, maybe when I’m 75 I could afford it, when I no longer need it.

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Opinion & Analysis

Golfholics Course Review: Spyglass Hill Golf Course

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In this new course review series, Marko and Mike from Golfholics provide their takes on the golf courses they’ve played around the world. The first episode starts with the famed, yet often overlooked Spyglass Hill. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to check out more videos from Golfholics on their YouTube page!

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Redkacheek’s DFS Rundown: 2018 CJ Cup

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Wow, what a crazy start to this season! Not only has the cheat sheet and slack chat plays over at the Fantasy Golf Bag been on complete fire, but the new golf betting model has now hit on two outrights and one FRL in back-to-back weeks! We get a much better field this week so definitely plan to keep this heater going here at the CJ Cup this week. Brooks Koepka will be teeing it up for the first time since being named the 2018 POY, along with guys such as Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Paul Casey, Billy Horschel, and our new favorite Sungjae Im. As you can see, this will be a fairly exciting event for a setup as similar as last week’s tournament.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at this course and see if we can pinpoint some key stats to take us to another Big GPP win or at least a couple good choices for an outright win.

The CJ Cup will be played at the Club at Nine Bridges, a 7,196 yard par-72 golf course in South Korea. Although this may appear like a similar course to TPC Kuala Lumpur last week, this one will play quite significantly tougher. As you can see below, in 2017 there were more bogeys than birdies for the week which doesn’t happen much outside of majors. Justin Thomas won last year’s event after shooting 63 in the first round but failed to break 70 the following three days. JT finished at nine under, which tied Marc Leishman, who coincidentally won this last weekend (2019 Fall Swing narrative). So why so tough if it appears so short? Let’s take a look.

So first off, let’s get this out of the way first. These greens are brutal. No joke; these greens were the single most difficult greens to putt on all of last year. Everything from one-putt percentage to 3-putt avoidance, these ranked the No. 1 most difficult on Tour all year. But here’s the problem: We all know putting is the single most variable stat, so using SG:P will tend to lead to a very disappointing pool of players. For example, coming into last year the players ranked Top 10 in SG:P finished 11-33-47-40-28-64-36-26-71-36, respectively. There is a still a stat that helped fine-tune player pools last year that I will recommend this year: my first key stat to consider this week is 3-putt avoidance.

The next section here I will just briefly touch on the driving accuracy and GIR percentage for this course. It is very average for the PGA Tour…that is really all you need to know. Driving accuracy ranked 48th and GIR percentage ranked 38th in 2017. This course is not difficult tee-to-green, plain and simple. I will certainly add the usual SG:T2G this week along with GIR percentage, but this course will favor most guys this week.

So besides putting, why are these scores so poor considering the appearance of an easy course? Well besides putting on these greens, scrambling here is brutal. Scrambling also ranked No. 1 most difficult here last year but again, this is a stat that is extremely tough to see useful trends. I will, however, encourage you to use SG:ARG to help narrow down your player pool more efficiently.

Remember that this segment of the Fall Swing will not yield strokes-gained data, so we must only utilize the traditional stats the PGA Tour keeps. On top of all the micro-scoring stats mentioned above, let’s take a closer look at this course from a macro level. This will be fairly straightforward when building your model. The par 4s here are extremely difficult, so add SG:P4 Scoring to your research (par 3 scoring is also very difficult but sample sizes are usually too small to include each week). Par 5 scoring was difficult as well but there is a better stat we can use than the P4 scoring mentioned above. The final stat we will be using is simply bogey avoidance. This will do a fantastic job of incorporating T2G, scrambling and putting into our model/research.

Overall this course is really an amazing layout but will pose a difficult task for the players. Just like last week, I encourage you to ease into the season by playing light and also primarily playing GPPs.

With all that out of the way, let’s get into my core plays for this week…

Justin Thomas (DK $11,600)

Justin Thomas finally makes the core writeup. After a mediocre finish last week (5th place), he comes to Nine Bridges as the defending champion. Ironically, he beat out Marc Leishman, last week’s winner, in a playoff last year and I think he is going to be the guy to pay up for over $10k. JT won both CIMB Classic and The CJ Cup last year, and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t leave this leg of the Fall Swing (Asia) without a win. There’s a lot going for him outside of his recent form and course history (if that wasn’t enough), he ranks first in both SG:T2G and SG:APP, second in par 4 scoring, eighth in bogey avoidance and finally, surprisingly, 11th in 3-putt avoidance. If you are building only a few lineups this week, I think JT should be in around two-thirds of them.

Byeong-Hun An (DK $8,700)

Mr. Ben An makes the list again! Byeong-Hun An received a lot of praise from both Jacob and myself on the FGB Podcast last week and he did not disappoint with a 13th place finish, and really a strong chance to win going into the weekend. As part of a common theme you will see here, Ben An is the kind of consistent ball-striker to rely on each and every week. On the PGA Tour in the last 50 rounds, he ranks third along with a strong ranking in bogey avoidance (third) and GIR percentage (also third). He did play this event last year, finishing 11th at 4-under par, and if it weren’t for a final round 73 he had a realistic chance for the win! The price on Ben An is getting a little steep but I think we can still get some value out of it this week.

Kyle Stanley (DK $8,200)

Kyle Stanley should be considered a core play almost every week he is under $9K on DraftKings. One of the most elite ball strikers on Tour, ranking ninth in SG:T2G, 11th in SG:APP, sixth in GIR percentage and 14th in par 4 scoring, he sets up for another solid top 20. Last week Kyle finished 13th in Kuala Lumpur and now comes to Nine Bridges where he ended the tournament in 19th place last year. Kyle tends to be very “mediocre” so upside for a top 3 always seems to come sparingly during the season, but you still cannot ignore his skills at this price.

Charles Howell III (DK $7,700)

Charles Howell III is a lock for me this week. Coming off a strong showing last week (T5) but also an 11th-place finish at this event last year, he grades out as one of the strongest values this week at only $7,700. CH3 hadn’t played on the PGA Tour for over a month before appearing at Kuala Lumpur, causing him to fly well under the radar on his way to a solid top five finish. Always known as a superb ball-striker, Howell actually rates out 16th in bogey avoidance and 10th in 3-putt avoidance, both key stats for this golf course. Additionally, CH3 ranks inside the top 20 of both par 4 scoring and GIR percentage. In a no-cut event on a difficult ARG golf course, count on CH3 to gain enough placement points to pay off this solid price tag.

Ian Poulter (DK $7,600)

Ian Poulter may be extremely sneaky this week. We haven’t seen him since the Ryder Cup and most people that play DFS have severe recency bias. Poulter is a grinder, and considering the winning score should only be around 12-under par with lots of opportunities for bogeys, he should keep the wheels on all four days and have a chance on Sunday. One of the most surprising stats for me in my research on Poulter is that he ranks first in 3-putt avoidance, along with some impressive tee-to-green stats where he ranks inside the top 25 of all of my key stats mentioned above. Why is the 3-putt avoidance stat so important? As I noted in the course preview, these were the single most difficult greens to putt on last year with the worst 3-putt percentage. Outside of the key stats, it does seem like this course fits his eye as he finished 15th here last year. Ian Poulter will be another core play but I think he may come in quite under owned from where he probably should.

Joel Dahmen (DK $6,900)

Chalk Dahmen week is upon us and I am going to bite. Dahmen has been a DFS darling this year and last week was no different. Dahmen ended up finishing 26th which was largely due to a poor final round 71, which dropped him 11 spots. Even with that poor finish he was able to pay off his sub-$7K price tag, which is where we find him again this week. Dahmen ranks top 10 in this field in several key stats, including: SG:T2G, SG:APP, and bogey avoidance. If you need some salary savings but unsure about anyone under $7K, Dahmen should be your first look this week.

Also consider

Brooks Koepka
Jason Day
Marc Leishman
Paul Casey
Ryan Moore
Sungjae Im
Kevin Tway

Good luck this week everyone!

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Mondays Off: Bermuda vs. Bent grass, How to chip when into the grain

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How do you chip into the grain off of Bermuda grass without chunking the ball? Club pro Steve Westphal explains how to best handle the situation. Also, Westphal and Editor Andrew Tursky give advice on how to play in qualifiers or PAT (players assessment test) events, and they tell a few stories of their own.

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

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