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A Golf Geek’s Dream: Time in the Tour Van

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One week ago, I walked up my driveway with a bounce in my stride that I only get at the end of a great day. Watching the sunset from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro was special, but spending the day in a PGA Tour Van at the Valspar Championship was beyond words.

“Honey, I’m home,” I called out to my girlfriend as soon as I walked in the door. “I went to the Valspar and watched a bunch of tour players hitting bullets on the range,” I said. “But then I got to hang out in a tour van and watched Scott build a set with an SST Pure. It was the most amazing thing!”

“Sorry,” she said, looking at me like I was a bit crazy, “but I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

I tried to explain it in plain English.

“Today, a friend took me into a tour van and introduced me to Scott E. Garrison,” I said. “Scott owns and operates a tour van. His van is basically a tractor trailer truck that’s a pro shop on wheels and steroids. Imagine a science lab crossed with a tailor shop crossed with the best stocked pro shop you could imagine.”

Tour_Van_Ryan_6

Scott E. Garrison (right) and Bob Van Sweden, my hosts for the day.

“Let me see if I get this,” she said. “Your great mood is because you spent the day in a tractor trailer truck?”

“Not just any… Scott’s,” I said. “He travels to about 32 tour events per year, usually stays from Monday to Wednesday, repairing, fitting and building clubs for tour players. His van is full of the most unbelievable technology, a lot of which you can’t find anywhere other than a van like his. He has a couple of lie and loft machines, a gripping station, a saw, a belt sander and a machine to get shafts PUREd.”

“A PUREd?” she asked. She looked at me like I was crazy and speaking a foreign language.

Scott_E_G_Tour_Van

Scott E.G.’s Tour Van.

“Yes, a PUREd,” I said, barely holding back my excitement. “It’s this machine that analyzes golf shafts and identifies the most stable plane. It’s helped PGA Tour players earn $2 billion around the world.”

“PureD made $2 billion?” she asked. “Sounds like a vitamin or a workout tape.”

“No, it’s better,” I told her. “What you do is load a club shaft into the machine, then the machine spins the shaft around to locate the strongest point in the shaft. When the machine identifies the spot it even marks it! Then, when Scott builds a club, he puts that spot into the 12 o’clock position on the club, which optimizes performance.”

Scott_E_G_SST_Pure

Scott using his SST Pure machine.

Her interest piqued. “Why is that important?” she asked.

“Because even something as well built and precise as the shafts in golf clubs have individual characteristics that can be used to make how you use them more or less effective. In this case, it allows you to position the club so it can be its strongest, most consistent and most effective when you swing.”

“Wow, now I get it,” she said. “So that machine could be the difference between someone winning or losing on tour?”

“Exactly,” I said. “I also got to watch Scott put together a set for a big deal on the PGA Tour while the guy stood there. The process was pure artistry. First, Scott looked at the desired specs for the player. Then he weighed all the heads, all the grips, PUREd the shafts and then set upon building what was literally a perfect set.”

“A true artist at work,” she said.

“You got it,” I said. “As he moved effortlessly, he spoke of the precision required in his work, teaching me about the nuances of the process, as well as the challenges of working with tour players. Many of these guys can tell even one swing weight.”

“At one point he held up two brands of golf grips: an Iomic and a Golf Pride,” I said. “He pointed to the end of a club and said, ‘See here, Iomic has no butt, but Golf Pride has about a quarter-inch butt. When you build, you better account for the difference.'”

Tour_Van_Ryan_1

A Golf Pride grip (right) and an Iomic model.

I kept chattering.

“He was moving from machine to machine through the process, snipping a little hear, measuring a little there, then some mixing and a little light banging and VOILA!” I said. “The perfect set; all lengths, swing weights and frequencies spot on!”

I had her attention as she sat sipping her water.

“The process continued,” I said. “A hybrid for another household name player. Then a putter grip and then a loft and lie check.”

Scott told me that many PGA Tour players came into his Tour van every week to check their lies as he measured a golf club using his $6,000 digital loft and lie machine. “And then there are some who come less often,” he said. “Depends on the guy. Some are very particular, others are not.”

Scott_E_G_Tour_Van-Rear

I continued recounting the events of the day to her.

“Around 11 a.m., the Pro-Am was about to start,” I said. “The players and everyone other than Scott left the van. As he continued to work I asked, ‘Was that stressful?’ He laughed. Just how he looked at me, it was clear that he loves his work as much as any artist or craftsman who needed to be on his game all the time. He made it all look very easy.”

“And then what?” my girlfriend asked.

“I watched him work silently for a long time,” I said. “It really felt like he was the master sword fitter, arming the greatest Samurai in the land, and I was watching him build the swords that would make the difference between life and death.”

“Come on young Skywalker,” she said laughing. She kissed me and led me into the kitchen for for dinner; I could smell the spaghetti bolognese, my favorite.

“It didn’t just seem like it,“ she said. “He probably was.”

“Yup,” I said. A perfect day, as I kissed her lightly on the cheek, a happy, contented man.

Scott has one of the most amazing Instagram pages (@scotteggolf). It is AWESOME and a must follow! He also offers “Tour Experiences,” where you can have him build you a set of clubs. To find out more, you can visit his website at ScottEGGolf.com.

Bob Van Sweden is a full-time club fitter in St. Petersburg, Florida. His website is http://www.golfrepaircenter.com/.

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Brendan Ryan is a golf researcher, writer, coach and entrepreneur. Golf has given him so much in his life -- a career, amazing travels, great experiences and an eclectic group of friends -- and he's excited to share his unique experience through his writing on GolfWRX. He hopes you enjoy!

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59 Comments

59 Comments

  1. Fyearoldgolfer

    Mar 16, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    People spouting off with out doing the basic research of checking google. SSTPuring
    Was developed by engineers interested in making a golf club better and matched
    to the end user. I didn’t use it 20 years ago because of the expense, but now every
    set of iron shafts I buy are pured. I now also get wood shafts pured to be aligned
    in the hosel setup I will use the most in my adjustables, and aligned in my glue in heads
    that still out perform whatever current club heads offered now. I see some noticeable
    Improvements every 3 – 5 years, and only buy that head if it outperforms all my current
    backups. 15 drivers that need to be culled down to 5. 36 fairway clubs, 7 hybrids,
    15 sets of irons, I’ve lost count of wedges 60 or 70, 8 – 10 putters, plus another
    4 for sentimental reasons. 8 driver shafts for adjustable heads, only 2 fairway shafts
    for adjustable heads, more coming out of some of the unneeded drivers. Played this game
    more than 47 years, I can feel a one swing weight difference club to club, my club fitter
    tested me all the time without telling me what he was doing, I thought I could only
    tell if it was 2 or more swing weights, but he taught me better. Go find your old set of irons
    and have them fitted. Sure your own is not a current pw/8 iron, but I would bet you the cost of the new shafts that you play them better, and now your upper end iron is a 4 or 3 iron
    that outperforms your new off the rack hybrid.

  2. Iliketomoveitmoveit

    Mar 16, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I thought the article was pretty cool but still left out a lot of details on what really goes on in these vans from stop to stop. I for one would love to hear more about the back-end operations that make these tour events so successful year after year – from the tour van guys, the caddies, the volunteers, photographers, clubhouse chefs, and more! I think it’s a very overlooked aspect of golf operations that people don’t either seem to care about or even know what impact they have on making an event a success. I say more of these kind of articles/insights – the golf fans want to know!!

  3. People's Champ

    Mar 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Great read and obvious the hackers don’t get it. You can’t win them all Brendan. Keep it up.

  4. Hooker T. Washington

    Mar 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I love how everyone’s objective on here is always to find ways to bash the articles and/or the writers. Brendan, I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and the conversation/story style it was written in was somewhat refreshing compared to your typical articles.
    To all of you who are speaking so negatively on shaft PUREing, it definitely does make a difference…maybe only a minute one in some circumstances, such as steel iron shafts, but noticeably in graphite shafts. Granted, you will only see or feel this difference if you are swinging very consistently day in and day out. I don’t know if they still offer them when you have the process done, but I had received a full page printout with graphs and explanations of the PUREing process when I had a bi-matrix driver shaft PUREd years ago…the shaft was stabilized by 94% compared to the usual logo-down install position…and yes I saw a significant increase in consistency!
    So to all the naysayers…go put some work in on your swing or seek out a PGA professional for help improving your game…then go try a driver with a PUREd shaft

    • Jim

      Mar 16, 2017 at 10:41 am

      We don’t build ANYTHING without PURing . No one second guesses us. It’s built into our pricing. Every one of our (hundreds) of demo shafts are PURED and PROFILED. We can replicate the exact feel and performance of the club you used for your fitting because of this.

      Puring is for real. It absolutely works. For those who doubt or simply don’t understand, here’s the best analogy:

      Remember that set of irons – or maybe your current set where you could just KILL (say) the 4iron, but the 5 or 7 never quite worked or felt as good – as buttery as thar ONE perfect feeling club….

      the perfect one had the shaft installed on the optimal plane – simply by chance – because of where the silk screened logo got rolled on….the other ‘evil’ iron – the one that felt ‘harsh’ or couldn’t draw the ball with – whatever – THAT shaft was put in with it’s SEAM on a detrimental axis…

      Keep spending $48 a dozen on overpriced BS balls and stick your head in the sand on puring….it’s YOUR loss

  5. carl spackler

    Mar 16, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Look at the seg golf website. The only reason he has a truck is for advertising purposes, so it makes sense that this article is just another advertisement. I’m just disappointed there are not more pictures of him making the shaka sign. Hang ten bro!

  6. Jeffrey Purtell

    Mar 16, 2017 at 3:45 am

    I have tried both Pured and non-Pured on the same equipment and found there is no difference. In fact, my handicap is now lower with an un-Pured set of clubs. If you get a kick out of paying lots of money to have an extra sticker on the shaft of your club, then knock yourself out.

  7. Stevegp

    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Golf is indeed highly mental. I’m curious about the benefits of Pureing shafts. There are some true believers and I respect that. However, many disagree to its worth and value. Like them, I would like to see some facts and proof of the benefits it provides. Sometimes it is difficult separating facts from marketing spin.

  8. The dude

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Fairytale story at best

  9. CCTxGolf

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    “Wow, now I get it,” she said.

    Very bizarre way to write this article. Sort of a weak advertisement not trying to be an advertisement actually.

  10. Bert

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve identified the spine on graphite shafts, but are you saying KBS steel shafts are so out of round they need to be Pured? Is this process the same as identifying the spine? Seems like these high quality steel shafts would be perfect no matter how aligned in the club head.

    • Bert

      Mar 15, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Or is it frequency matching?

    • Jim

      Mar 16, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Once you ‘find the spine’ – all steel shafts have one – even &500 graphite shafts have one….where do you put it? Prior to SST we would manually test each shaft for Freq, have to ‘spine’ it, then dry fit the head to FLO (Flat Line Oscillate) it, then Freq it again…

      A set of our clubs come with the factory shaft logos pointed all over the place…it looks like someone just glued them together and didn’t bother to ‘line em up’ for a “nice display”. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s way more work to build the best, most exacting products….
      In house SST system saves time and guarantees every one of your 280-400 per club irons we build you feels perfect…
      NO One buying top shelf shafts or custom clubs ever says “don’t” PURE it…

      “I tried both Pured and not Pured clubs” – yeah, right…

      • Bert

        Mar 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        Thanks Jim, I’d like to learn more about the process.

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 12:19 am

          I went to one of the very first intro seminars and workshops. John Kennedy @ Westchester CC hosted it and it was awesome. Go to their website. It’s all true. Every steel shaft has an internal weld. It produces a ‘spine’ Graphite shafts have several manufacturing process’ but most common is layers rolled on…each sheet has a start and a stop so sometimes they ‘gather’ more to one side than the other, thus producing a ‘ridge’ or stronger side…

          Logos are silk screened on or decals applied as the shafts roll down a work surface, so have only a roulette chance of being in concert with this strong side.

          IF this spine ends up at say 3 or 4 oclock, it would make the club harder to ‘turn over’ smoothly and produce a gentle draw…if it’s installed @ 4 or 5, draws easily become a larger sweeping hook. Put in at 4,5,6, the shaft feels ‘harsher’ and transmits more vibration. Some ot these may also produce more or less droop at high speed, thus making a single lie angle change number not as accurate with all irons (our high end fittings adjust each clubs lie angle individually as sometimes folks release longer flatter lying clubs different from more upright ones – the ‘human factor’)…

          anyway, it works. And the machine was time consuming and manual. There was a high probability of operator error as one had to rotate a large lathe chuck smoothly and stop accurately on cue. There was no way this could be adopted to mass production.

          the machine itself was 25k PLUS royalties! No “garage club builder” has one – or is gonna get one.

          we waited for 2 years until they made us a ‘better offer’ and did the spining by hand, then freq’d it on 4 planes by hand to make sure we had it right, then dry fit the head and ‘bounced it’ up and down slighty turning the face so that the club would eventually bob up and down on a single plane – “Flat Line Oscillating”….
          We got one of the first new fully automated machines (no more painstaking precision – or possible operator error, and we can do ten shafts in the time it took to do 3 before.

          We also purchased a dozen asst shafts from Golfsmith ($10 up charge when everyone was charging 30 or 35 for a raw shaft) and 7 of them were totally off from when we retested them, SO, it’s quite probable anyone – not the trolls – who legitimately had it done and was unhappy simply had shafts that were not properly done…

          What sold me – one of our regular ‘haunters’ had a Kmart Adams driver with the std Adams $10 graphite shaft and said he wanted to try it….I took his club and hit it a dozen times – all over the place. After we pured it, he and I BOTH hit it remarkably better. The hook became a draw and toe side hits on high speed video showed less than half of the torque that was opening the face which produced better gear-effect. It stopped several ‘toe-pushes’ from becoming further right toe-push-slices’…

          BOTTOM LINE. It’s 100% legit

      • Jeffrey Purtell

        Mar 17, 2017 at 3:01 am

        Jim, my friend, why would I lie. Im saying I pured my old set of irons (perfectly flo-ed them. Are there different ways to perfectly flat line?????) and now use a set of the same irons that have been reconditioned and the shafts have not been flo-ed/ pured. So yes I have tried both. Maybe if I was a robot I might have felt a difference. Cheers.

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 11:37 am

          I’m telling you flat out….Your shafts were NOT done properly. Period.

          After we got our first machine it took me maybe 30 or 40 attempts to really ‘get it’. My partner and I would check each others shafts we had done…It was a significant investment in time to get it dead on. We bought 10 shafts from Golfsmith to check their work (we needed some for stock anyway, and it was only a $10 up charge)
          Only 3 came out dead on when we retested them….and a couple of em hadn’t even been prepped for PURING properly.

          The shaft had to be prepped…any mfr stickers removed (pain in the butt – they never just ‘peel off’) and the butt had to be cut PERFECTLY square and the shaft seated by hand in the chuck. The operatot had to roll the chuck smoothly and consitently ‘hand over hand’ and stop perfectly on cue, then roll the opposite direction.

          I’M CERTAIN yours were not done properly.

          Also, much to MY surprise and dismay, PURED shafts DON’T FLO! …yeah, I was bummed….”cause I know all the work we did manually to find and orient the strong side and then ‘tweek it a little’ from there to get the Flat Line bounce did absolutely produce better feeling and more accurate clubs…I loved the feel as did our customers, making us a Top 25 Custom Shop – before we finally came to a deal w/SST…

          • Jeffrey Purtell

            Mar 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm

            Your last paragraph is exactly what I did. Bare original shaft, spine only as a reference, strongest bend toward target, then fine tune flo with head on. I even rigged up a slip pulley so each Twang of the shaft would be consistent. If this is the wrong way, so be it. Perhaps my lower handicap and better play is more mental in the fact that the reconditioned set looks and feels like a 100% brand new set (which I also did the work myself) and I get satisfaction out of that, who knows? Cheers.

            • Jim

              Mar 19, 2017 at 12:11 am

              Sounds like you took the time and did it right! I think the issue we have here is terminology.
              You weren’t wrong, you were mislead.

              PURING is the SST proprietary term for what their machine does. It was hijacked years ago by folks – some out of ignorance, some out of malice, and some who never actually seriously checked out what it was.

              A lot of us builders who were all kind of seperately working on this in it’s infancy and spent their time sweat and money figuring out the process (you and I both used) felt ‘challenged’ when this new, very expensive machine came out – as if all the stuff we were doing to make the best clubs we could – when so many other builders/repair guys – and OEMS didn’t bother taking the extra time to do all those extra steps…..

              Problem was we were flying blind. We built (same type everything) clubs with the spine in at 9:00, 12:00 etc, but ultimately we were guessing, so we’d hit em over and over and have several of our ‘better stick’ regulars try them and we ended up with the spine up @ 12:00 as it seemed to provide the best ‘feel’ as folks reported, and seemed less likely to hook as opposed to the 9:00 position which ‘seemed’ to feel more harsh, and ‘turn over’ more than 12… again, all soley based on human feedback at the time…we used the Cheetah (pre trackman) on a full length outdoor range 10 years ago for this as it had become standard with our builds….We were well aware of SST, but it was still pretty expensive. Fortunately, they wanted IN to our shop, and after almost 18 months of back n forth and haggling, they made us a better offer…

              Prior to getting the unit it’s successes were getting good press, and we never told anyone we ‘pured’ our shafts, we did absolutely promote how we ‘tuned them’ and promoted the manual FLO process with a video we’d run in house, or take the customer into the shop and demonstrate the process first hand.

              Whatever you read, or were told about what/how to do what you did (love the slip release!) Simply never should have lead you (and A LOT OF OTHER FOLKS) to believe it was PURING a shaft…

              the machine – designed by total NASA engineer types – takes the guess work out, cuts the time and it absolutely works….

              If a new driver shaft is in your future, seek a well regarded cat in your area and have them do it for you. I promise you won’t be sorry

              Regards & happy motoring. J

              • Jeffrey Purtell

                Mar 19, 2017 at 1:44 am

                All good mate, sounds like I was doing similar stuff to what you were doing 20 years ago, lol. I failed to mention I also did this process on my old Fairway woods (910 Titleist with Aldila Rip A shafts) but never my Driver (913 D2 Aldila Rip A). I now have 913 fairways with untouched shafts and the same driver. Funnily enough, I have just this minute done a google search of SST Puring near me, Im in Wollongong south of Sydney NSW Australia, and only found 2 places in Queensland (1000+ Klm away) that does it.

              • Jeffrey Purtell

                Mar 19, 2017 at 2:46 am

                All good mate, sounds like I was doing similar stuff to what you were doing 20 years ago, LOL. Happy golfing, cheers.

                • Jeffrey Purtell

                  Mar 20, 2017 at 2:43 am

                  Arghh! Silly double post. I thought the first one didn’t post so I shortened it and they both posted. Doh!

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 3:32 pm

          FLO / SPINING IS NOT SSTPURING….Folks have been alluding that – mostly silly articles or threads – sometimes worse; the mildy competent club builder. The guy @ big box repait counter who discounts the SST machine – as he will never touch one, the small shop guy or hobbiest – some of which no doubt read some of our work from years ago when we first started “profiling” shafts and figured out one side WAS stronger than the other….We had to see the proof SST PURING was for real, and it is. I can’t defend it enough here.

          We balked at the price, and it was an expensive service….It is NOT related to all the manual work and time we spent to “tune” the shaft for the head (high MOI shaped drivers vs pear shaped heads)….that’s where it became – as good as we were – kinda ‘flying blind’ vs the machine….

          When clubs are spined – first step to manually FLOing them, what side goes where? We all debated that back n forth – a case can be made for all 4 compass points, and the process, when done right did produce more stable & consistent clubs, but the biggest thing with irons was feel…

          The SST machine simply does it better and absolutely provides both quantifiable & kinesthetic improvement….

          tbere’s no doubt in my mind, your clubs were not done properly….

          Peace

  11. andy

    Mar 15, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    i wish there was a standard for buttcaps would make life so much easier.

  12. Dave R

    Mar 15, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Great article would like more of these very interesting about shafts.

  13. Aaron

    Mar 15, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    How does Scott E. Garrison make money? Selling ads on his trailer? Invoicing players for his work? It makes sense when OEM staff players visit their respective brand’s trailer each week, but if Scott isn’t affiliated with any one brand, how is it worth his time?

  14. MrBluster

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Forgetting all the “my dog’s bigger than your dog” chatter- At the Tour vans at all levels, do the players pay for any work that is done or is it all free. Do they tip the operators? How about the equipment available on the ranges and putting greens?

  15. Sekim

    Mar 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Bob “the guy asking the questions” is actually a well versed club-fitter in St Pete. I’ve been going to his shop for years and it’s a bit funny the way the article worded things. Bob knows all of that already. The tour van access is cool nonetheless…

    • Ummmm

      Mar 15, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      That’s because this is a fluff piece designed to get you to spend money on SST puring and hopefully from him.

  16. charles lee

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    For OEM manufactures to have all irons pured and perfectly built for tour players would force OEM manufactures to increase to price of clubs. Besides most Joes would never feel the difference. Pros are looking, holding, and swinging the golf clubs almost a 3rd of third of their lifetime. It makes a difference to them.

  17. Blake

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    More tour van content please

  18. Artie Jenkins

    Mar 15, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Good article and from someone who plays PURE’d clubs I can say they are great. I’m not awesome but I can break par once a week. I think the bad comments are from people who haven’t been fit properly and are showing their ignorance. Poor suckers. Bring your wallet to Jupiter and we’ll play!

  19. Chris C

    Mar 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    The problem with this article is that it makes more than insinuations that Pure-ing makes a difference.

    Major OEMs have top engineers, testing facilities, and golf experts, that develop and test new materials and technologies in hopes that they can find something demonstrably better, that still confines to the rules set by the usga and R&A.

    Some technologies were milestones and have stuck around through time, i.e. Larger clubheads, titanium and then carbon and multi materials, face thickness innovation and every company is using a version of those technologies. Those milestones are few and far between.

    Now, Because of how close we are to the limits of technology within the rules, Companies spend many, many millions of dollars and grasp at straws when needed to find anything that they can legally claim is better so they can market that claim and sell more clubs, even if it barely makes a difference to ball flight. The fact that no major OEMs embrace this as a technology that they can even claim makes a difference, should tell anyone with any common sense that Pure-ing makes absolutely no difference to your ball flight.

    Will it hurt the golfer, no. And if it makes you more confident to spend money to “Pure” you’re shafts go ahead. But if you need to “Pure” your shafts to have more confidence, you might as well send me a check for whatever half the cost of “Pure-ing” is and I’ll just text you once a week telling you how awesome you are at golf. You’ll get more of your money’s worth…

    • Joey5Picks

      Mar 15, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Manufacturers add a 1/4″ to the shaft, lower the loft 2 degrees and claim their clubs are the longest. People don’t care about Puring, they care about distance.

      • Chris C

        Mar 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm

        You’re absolutely right people do care about that more in the market, and for what it’s worth strengthening the loft and increasing shaft length does change ball flight and that’s something they can quantify and sell, unlike pure-ing.

    • Jim

      Mar 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Sorry….you couldn’t be more wrong. 20 years of PURING and the robot tests to prove it works. Has shaft manufacturing improved in that 20 years? YES! Dramatically too!

      Every steel shaft still has a welded seam creating a ‘spine’ even woven ‘asymmetrical’ graphite shafts had a spine – it was on the mandrel they were woven around….

      How can anyone ‘accept’ Frequency analysis / matching and not Puring?
      WE ROBOT TESTED factory issue irons with small increments of off-center / off plane strikes then took the club apart, pured it and retested it and the results are quantifiable better….PERIOD…It’s a fact the shitworks. PERIOD…. AND, it’s like $ 10 a club now….a fraction of what it was even 10 years ago.

      HONESTLY….IF YOU just got a set of APEX with 110gr Tour Recoil shafts and love ’em, you’re good! Why mess with them…..I HAVEN’T TAKEN MINE APART just to PURE them…..BUT if you’re reshafting clubs, or building custom from scratch, frankly, you’d be an idiot not to do it

      • Jim

        Mar 17, 2017 at 12:29 am

        ….IT IS ILLEGAL to Manufacture a shaft with a spine deliberately to improve performance. It is NOT Illegal to FIND the spine and install it in a certain way….those crazy rules again…

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm

          ….sorry…one more bit to that….It would be illegal to install a shaft that was spined into the club in a position that would affect – or assit in producing a certain ball flight. Say someone wanted to help promote a draw or a fade, the shaft could be installed in a position that would absolutely contribute to that…

          adjustable heads / movable weights aside, according to the rules, the shaft can’t be made or installed to help….who’d know? – kinda like wearing a wedge inside your shoe to invert your ankle and help prevent the foot from rolling – also illegal…as is ‘planing down the sole of a shoe to promote same….

          lotsa equipment rules no one ever hears about….STPURING is legal, as it’s simply finding the most solid stable plane in the shaft – which is neutral for influencing ball flight – other than to reduce dispersion from imperfections in the shaft.

          the consistent feel is just a bonus

          • Jeffrey Purtell

            Mar 18, 2017 at 6:25 am

            Hi Jimmy, me again. I found the the most solid (strongest) and stable (perfect flo) in my shafts but apparently I didn’t do it properly. LOL. I really need that extra sticker on the shaft, hey.

            • Jim

              Mar 19, 2017 at 12:48 am

              …Hey Man they’re like the weights for balancing tires absolutely KEY components….lol
              Funny, but for the first few years (flo or SST) the biggest beef people had was the shaft logos were all over the place…a couple folks reeeaally bummed out! “I need that for alignment” (?)… we never got into the trend that started a few years ago where dudes were “too cool” to have any logo visible – even asking for the grip to be installed upside down….If people want the stickers, we’ll give them to them. We don’t put em on anymore as part of the build…

              too funny! 🙂

              • Jeffrey Purtell

                Mar 20, 2017 at 2:50 am

                All good, I slipped that one in there as a bit of cheek. lol. When I did my 910 fairways with the aldila shafts the graphics were all over the place with the factory A1 setting. Now my 913’s are untouched straight up graphics.

  20. Chuck S.

    Mar 15, 2017 at 11:40 am

    This OPINION piece is nothing more than a dressed up ad for PURE Shaft Technology. If this tech is so great then why don’t all the other OEM trucks have them as well? Also, the style in which this is written is totally bogus. Who talks like that? Especially to their girlfriend…

  21. Daniel

    Mar 15, 2017 at 11:01 am

    The Pros all Pure their shafts because guys are willing to do it for them for free, then claim it was that process that helped them win however much money they won that week. The pros probably don’t even know the difference, and just say “sure” when one of these guys asks them if they want their shafts Pured. Then that same guy goes and tells all his retail clients “(Insert big name) has all of his shafts Pured, you are missing out if you don’t”

    The difference is the retail buyer pays $30 per club and gets no value.

  22. John O

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Been wondering why my scores are still around 100. Need my shafts pure’d.

  23. Miramar

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:48 am

    The bonsai tree in the background is much more real than the PUREd shafts…

  24. GolfnRide

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:41 am

    An awkward, uncomfortable read…

    • Pete S

      Mar 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

      There’s a 0% chance that conversation went that way.

  25. ken

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Wow..The curmudgeon is strong in you three people.
    Get this straight…You WISH you could be building clubs for the best players in the world.
    Hell you’d all be happy just to be the guy that removed the grips prior to regripping the shafts.

  26. Matt Abramson

    Mar 15, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Why did you have to write the article in story form? And then, to write the plot as you did, in such a weird fantastical form involving a women you claim to be you girlfriend? Confusing and awkward. When trying to scam people on a bogus technology, the use of logos (an appeal to logic/reason) is much more effective than the use of pathos. Trying to appeal to the emotions of the reader is very ineffective, ESPECIALLY when you write it the way you did – in fictional story form.

  27. Chris

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Lol. Pure-ing is still a thing? Making a living off of nonsense. Must be nice.

    • cc ryder

      Mar 15, 2017 at 10:46 am

      pure-ing is real and I feel as if it helped my game and tournament play.

  28. Ummmm

    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:35 am

    lol@pured

    The scam is still alive!

    • cc ryder

      Mar 15, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Scam? LOL… troll I say. Pured shafts work. Work for me and for many of the best in the world.

      • McPickens

        Mar 15, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        the technology and science is sound, the actual benefit or increase in performance is what is questionable and any gains are likely in your mind

      • Ummmm

        Mar 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        It took you two posts saying the same thing?

        There is literally 0 scientific proof it helps. It was invented by garage club makers as a means to help revenue and be yet another thing those evil oem and big box stores don’t do.

        It’s a scam pure and simple.

        If you think it helped, since golf is very mental, great. But it didn’t actually do anything for you. This isn’t 1965 and shaft quality and consistency is such that it’s not something that is the concern these snake oil people want you think it is.

        • Jim

          Mar 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm

          You know nothing of which you speak.

          spoken like a true troll

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Courses

Coming Up: A Big Golf Adventure

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My name is Jacob Sjöman, and I’m a 35-year-old golf photographer who also enjoys the game we all love. I will be sharing some experiences here on a big golf trip that we are doing. With me I’ve got my friend Johan. I will introduce him properly later, but he is quite a funny character. According to Johan, he is the best golf photo assistant in the world, and we will see about that since this is probably his biggest test yet doing this trip. Previously on our trips, Johan almost got us killed in Dubai with a lack of driving skills. He also missed a recent evening photo shoot in Bulgaria while having a few beers to many… and that’s not all.

Anyway, the last couple of days I’ve been packing my bags over and over. I came home from the Canary Islands this Sunday and I’ve been constantly checking and rechecking that we’ve got all the required equipment, batteries, and that the cameras are 100 percent functional and good to go for this golf trip. I’m still not sure, but in a couple of minutes I will be sitting in a taxi to the airport and there will be no turning back.

Where are we going then? We are going to visit some of the very best golf courses in New Zealand and Australia. There will be breathtaking golf on cliffsides, jaw-dropping scenic courses, and some hidden gems. And probably a big amount of lost balls with a lot of material produced in the end.

I couldn’t be more excited for a golf journey like this one. Flying around the globe to these special golf courses I’ve only dreamed about visiting before gives me a big kick and I feel almost feel like a Indiana Jones. The only thing we’ve got in common, though, is that we don’t like snakes. Australia seems to be one of the worst destinations to visit in that purpose, but all the upsides are massive in this.

First, we will take off from a cold Stockholm (it’s raining heavily outside at the moment) and then we will do our first stop at Doha in Quatar. Then after two more hours, we are finally heading off to Auckland on the north island of New Zealand, a mega-flight of 16 hours. I believe that could very well be one of the longest flights available for a ordinary airplane. I need to check that.

Flights for me usually mean work, editing photos from different golf courses I’ve visited, writing some texts, editing some films, and planning for the future. Last time, though, I finally managed to sleep a little, which is a welcome progress for a guy that was deadly scared of flying until 2008.

Now, I am perfectly fine with flying. A few rocky flights over the Atlantic Sea to Detroit helped me a lot, and my motto is now, “If those flights got me down on the ground safely, it takes a lot of failures to bring down a plane.”

Anyway, I hope you will join me on this golf trip. Stay tuned!

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Opinion & Analysis

Be Curious, Not Critical, of Tour Player Swings

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After a foul ball by a tour player, the talking heads on TV are often quick to analyze the “problem” with that swing. Fair enough, I suppose. Even the best players are human and our game has more failure than success. But I’d like to offer a different take on swings of the best players in the world.

First, let’s remember how good these guys and gals really are. If you met up with the lowest ranked player on any professional tour at a public course one day, I’ll bet that golfer would be the best golfer most of you have ever played with. You’d be telling your buddies in the 19th hole about him or her for a very long time. These players have reached a level of ball striking most people only dream about. That’s why I’m more curious than critical when it comes to a tour player’s swing. I’m not thinking about what he/she needs to do better; I’m thinking, “How do they do it so well?” In other words, I want to know how they put their successful move together. What part goes with the other parts? How did their pattern evolve? What are the compatible components of their swing?

Let’s use Jim Furyk as an example. Furyk has what we might call an “unconventional” move. It’s also a swing that has won nearly $70 million and shot 58 one day. But I’ll offer him as an example because his swing illustrates the point I’m making. From a double-overlapping grip, Furyk picks the golf club up to what might be the most vertical position one would ever see from a professional. Then in transition, he flattens the club and drops it well behind him. Now the club is so flat and inside, he has to open his body as quickly as he can to keep the club from getting “stuck.” Let’s call it an “up-and-under loop.”

Let’s take Matt Kuchar as a counter example. Kuchar’s signature hands-in, flat and very deep takeaway is pretty much the total opposite of Furyk. But he comes over that takeaway and gets the club back into a great position into impact. We’ll call that an “in-and-over” loop.

Both are two of the best and most consistent golfers in the world. Is one right and the other wrong? Of course not. They do have one thing in common, however, and it’s that they both balanced their golf swing equation.

What would happen if Kuchar did what Furyk does coming down? Well, he wouldn’t be on TV on the weekend. If he did, he’d be hitting drop kicks several inches behind. That doesn’t win The Players Championship. The point is that the Furyk downswing is incompatible with the Kuchar backswing, and vice versa, but I’m guessing they both know that.

How can this help you? My own personal belief and the basis of my teaching is this: your backswing is an option, but your downswing is a requirement. I had one student today dropping the arms and club well inside and another coming over the top, and they both felt better impact at the end of the lesson. I showed them how to balance their equation.

My job is solving swing puzzles, a new one very hour, and I’m glad it is. It would be mind-numbing boredom if I asked every golfer to do the same thing. It’s the teaching professional’s job to solve your puzzle, and I assure you that with the right guidance you can make your golf swing parts match. Are there universal truths, things that every golfer MUST do?  Yes, they are the following:

  1. Square the club face
  2. Come into the ball at a good angle
  3. Swing in the intended direction
  4. Hit the ball in the center of the face (method be damned!)

But here’s the funny part: Let Kuchar or Furyk get off base and watch every swing critic in the world blame some part of the quirkiness of their move that has led to their greatness. When players at their level get off their game, it’s generally due to poor timing or that they lost the sync/rhythm that connected their individual parts. The same holds true for all of us. We have to find the matching parts and the timing to connect them. You might not need new parts.

After all, weren’t those same parts doing the job when you shot your career low round?

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Opinion & Analysis

The numbers behind “full scholarships” in NCAA men’s college golf

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If you are in the world of junior golf, you’ve probably heard about a young man you know who’s getting that coveted full ride to college, maybe even to a Power-5 school. With all the talk in junior golf about full scholarships, and a lot of rumors about how many are available, we decided to poll coaches and gather some real data about “full scholarships.”

So, what did we find out? In total, we got responses to a voluntary online survey from 61 men’s D1 coaches, 19 men’s D2 coaches and 3 NAIA coaches (83 total). On average, the coaches in the survey had 11.8 years of coaching experience. Of the coaches that responded, 58 of the 83 coaches reported having zero players on full ride. Another 15 coaches surveyed reported having one player on full ride. This means that 69 percent of the coaches surveyed reported zero players on full scholarship and 18 percent reported one player on full scholarship, while another four coaches reported that 20 percent of their team was on full ride and six coaches reported between 2-3 players on full ride.

We then asked coaches, “what percent of golfers in Division 1 do you think have full scholarships based on your best guess?” Here’s what the responses looked like: 25 coaches said 5 percent and 36 coaches said 10 percent. This means that 73 percent of respondents suggested that, in their opinion, in men’s Division 1, Division 2 and NAIA, there are less than 10 percent of players on full ride.

Next, we asked coaches, “what was a fair scholarship percentage to offer a player likely to play in your top 5?” The average of the 83 responses was 62.5 percent scholarship with 38 coaches (46 percent) suggesting they would give 30-50 percent and 43 coaches (52 percent) suggesting 50-75 percent. Only two coaches mentioned full scholarship.

The last question we asked coaches, was “what would you need to do to earn a full scholarship?”

  • Top-100 in NJGS/Top-250 in WAGR – 41 coaches (49 percent)
  • 250-700 in WAGR – 19 coaches (23 percent)
  • Most interesting, 17 coaches (20 percent) noted that they either did not give full rides or did not have the funding to give full rides.

The findings demonstrate that full rides among players at the men’s Division 1, Division 2 and NAIA levels are rare, likely making up less than 10 percent of total players. It also suggests that if you are a junior player looking for a full ride, you need to be exceptional; among the very best in your class.

Please note that the survey has limitations because it does not differentiate between athletic and academic money. The fact is several institutions have a distinct advantage of being able to “stack” academic and athletic aid to create the best financial packages. My intuition suggests that the coaches who responded suggesting they have several players on “full rides” are likely at places where they are easily able to package money. For example, a private institution like Mercer might give a student $12,000 for a certain GPA and SAT. This might amount to approximately 25 percent, but under the NCAA rules it does not count toward the coach’s 4.5 scholarships. Now for 75 percent athletic, the coach can give a player a full ride.

Maybe the most interesting finding of the data collection is the idea that many programs are not funded enough to offer full rides. The NCAA allows fully funded men’s Division 1 programs to have 4.5 scholarships, while Division 2 programs are allowed 3.6. My best guess suggests that a little more than 60 percent of men’s Division 1 programs have this full allotment of scholarship. In Division 2, my guess is that this number is a lot closer to 30 percent.

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