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Opinion & Analysis

Living the Dream: Meet Scott E.G., owner of an independent Tour truck on the PGA Tour

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I often get asked, “who’s the coolest guy you’ve ever met during all your golf travels?” The answer is easy, especially for a complete equipment geek like me. Scott E. Garrison, the only owner-operator of a “Tour Van” on the PGA Tour. Here’s his story…

Scott E. Garrison (Scott E.G.) grew up in a military family, where his father was a Major and member of the military police. He became accustom to a nomadic lifestyle in his early years, which helped prepare him for PGA Tour life. At the age of 11, his mother bought him his first set of clubs. He would walk to “Las Vegas Muni” after school and practice. He spent so much time there that they gave him a job picking range balls. Fascinated by the complex nature of the game, Scott was sold; he quickly spent every second either trying to perfect his swing or begging his mother for the opportunity to play an upcoming tournament!

A friend suggested he get the clubs cut down and referred him to Bill Bayer. He watched his clubs get custom built and fell in love with the process.

“I was fascinated by the prospect of being able to re-grip my own clubs and I was mesmerized by how the sparks flew as he cut the shafts,” Scott said. “I began to tinker and learn from him. I still utilize the tips he gave me.”

After returning home from his time in the Army, Scott decided to follow his passion and bought a golf shop named Rocky’s in Las Vegas. He later changed the name of the shop to the Golf Doctor.

“It was the first shop in Vegas to have a state of the art swing analyzer and video,” Scott said.

Scott became known as “The Golf Doc” by local golf professionals, players, industry leaders and engineers. One significant relationship he began during this time was with Kim Braly, the shaft engineering genius behind what is now known as KBS shafts.

“I value my relationship with Kim both personally and professionally,” Scott said. “He was always on the cutting edge of technology and I learned a great deal from him.”

Eventually, Scott sold the shop and went on to do mobile golf repair. One of his trailers serviced 9 golf courses in Las Vegas, while the larger one was a permanent fixture at Angel Park Golf Club for over four years. He also did many Long Drive events for Harrison Sports.

By 2003, Scott, now a nationally recognized builder, was asked by Harrison Sports to go on the PGA Tour with his trailer. He secured a few more sponsors and the rest was history. He has been a staple on tour since, working with over 100 tour players and building relationships with companies such as KBS, Super Stroke Golf and SST Pure. Today, Scott is one of only two independent tour trucks and everyone now knows him as “Scott E.G.” His truck recently became one of the most technologically advanced ones out there with the addition of Cool Clubs equipment.

“Thanks to Kim Braly and Mark Timms (founder, owner of Cool Clubs), we now have the amazing technology that Cool Clubs has created right at our finger tips,” Scott said.

Last year, after spending time with Scott E.G., I highlighted the use of his SST Pure machine created to Pure shafts. This year, time with Scott E.G. did not disappoint either. He now has some amazing technology created by Cool Clubs that assists with EI Profiles.

What is an EI profile? The stiffness of a golf shaft varies along its length depending on a set of variables, which include materials, construction and quality. When speaking about EI, the goal is the test the shaft at different points (from butt to tip) to create an overall profile of the shaft. This is done by a simply process of applying force, measuring deflection and then using the variables to compute EI for the series of points.

According to Kim Braly, there are many EI machines on the market; however none of them are this thorough.

“This machine by Cool Clubs measures the entire shaft, torque, straightness, launch angle, spin and even frequency,” Braly says. “You can even measure frequency with the grip on or off.”

Scott says this process is invaluable because if a PGA Tour player wants to change shafts or try something a little different, the process allows Scott to compare shafts and fit the player properly.

By now, you’re probably pretty interested in what Scotty does as well! If you want to keep up with him and his travels, I would highly recommend following him on Instagram @scotteggolf. It’s one of my favorite follows and I am sure you will love it!

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Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Benjamin Gold

    Mar 31, 2018 at 8:41 am

    This is super cool to hear of an independent on tour! Love to meet this guy and talk shop. I used to work for a really good golf shop with a well knowledge builder and I learned so much from him and the game. My friend is now long gone from Indiana and we have no golf shops in Bloomington, IN that can do anything. It would so cool if a traveling van could/would roll through a town such as ours and help fellow golfers out.

  2. Robert Parsons

    Mar 30, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Best golfwrx story to date!

    Don’t know the guy, never heard of him, but I’m a fan now!

  3. Zac

    Mar 29, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    This guy is too cool! I used to work at colonial and every year during the tournament he’s give use cases on rockstar energy drinks, showed us how to pure shafts, etc. just because he got bored.

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Opinion & Analysis

What makes Bryson DeChambeau so good? A deep dive into the numbers

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I can relate, in a way, to this mad scientist of golf. When I had the idea to create a better method of analyzing golf by comparing each shot to a computer model of “scratch” performance 29 years ago, I was considered quite strange. My idea is now what is known as strokes gained analysis and has become the accepted standard for golf analysis. If you are interested in my journey, read The History of Strokes Gained on my website, ShotByShot.com.

Given Bryson’s recent success, will we all soon be switching to 7-iron length irons and practicing Bryson’s one-plane swing? I doubt it, but it is clear that Bryson is here to stay, so I decided to see exactly how his recent winning performance compares to that of other winners on the PGA Tour. Accordingly, I ran my analysis of Bryson’s ShotLink data for his three wins (The Memorial, The Northern Trust and the most recent Dell Technologies Championship). I compared this analysis to a similar analysis of all of the PGA Tour winners in 2017. For added perspective, I ran the same analysis for the entire 2017 Tour and for all the players that missed cuts in 2017.

As Bryson’s data sample is only 12 rounds on three courses, one might question how the numbers might be skewed by the differences in relative course difficulty as well as the relative strength of the fields. I believe we can agree that Bryson has won on relatively difficult courses and against very strong fields. Accordingly, I will overlook these factors.

Tee Game: Driving

Bryson’s driver is normal length. It is his irons that are all 37.5 inches long, or about the length of a standard 7 iron – why do the TV commentators always say “6 iron”? Anyway, Bryson’s unique one-plane swing produces long, straight drives. He averaged over 300 yards, 15 yards longer than the field, and hit more fairways than the 2017 winners.  Further, Bryson (Blue arrows below) had 35% fewer driving errors than those made by the 2017 winners. So LONG and STRAIGHT! Perhaps we all should be working on our 1-plane swings?


Approach shots 

I put Bryson’s approach game as not quite as good as the 2017 winners. His strokes gained relative to the field’s is not as strong (perhaps this can be attributed to stronger fields?). Bryson did hit more greens-in-regulation (blue arrows below). BUT remember he hit more fairways and made fewer errors. Finally, Bryson’s proximity when he hits the greens* is closer to the 2017 Tour average than it is to the 2017 winners.


*I look at “Proximity” much differently than the PGA Tour. The Tour’s proximity to hole includes approach shots that miss the green within 30 yards of the green’s edge.  I believe a miss is a miss and should not be counted at all.  For more on why, read my 2/26/18 GolfWRX article:Is Tiger’s “No.1 Proximity to the Hole” a meaningless stat?

Short Game (shots from within 50 yards of the hole)

Again, Bryson’s wedges are 7-iron length, about two to three inches longer than a standard sand wedge. His short game data would indicate that the extra length does not present an issue from the sand. I chalk this up to the fact that for the most part greenside sand shots tend to be full swings. It is the shape of the swing that controls distance not the length.

Chipping and pitching, on the other hand, require a myriad of different swings and touch shots. The longer shafts seem to have a negative impact here which has been mentioned many times in the TV coverage. Below (Blue arrows) show that Bryson’s strokes gained around-the-green are about half the margin from the field’s as the 2017 winners. His chipping and pitching results are nowhere near the 2017 Winners. Perhaps Bryson should consider at least one normal length wedge for use around the greens? To support this, Bryson was ranked No. 118 in strokes gained around the green, with a negative .034 strokes gained thru the Well Fargo Championship (more than half way thru the season). He has improved since to No. 63 and a +.15 strokes gained in this category.


Putting

Bryson’s putter is 39 inches long, about three inches longer than standard, and he rests the grip against his left forearm. Personally, I believe his stance and stroke look very stiff and mechanical, which may account for what I discovered in his putting stats. Bottom line, he is outstanding from fairly close range (inside 20 feet), but very average from 30-plus feet. Bryson has almost TWICE as many three-putts as the 2017 winners from 30-plus feet (.5/round vs. .29/round for the 2017 winners). This makes sense to me as stiff and mechanical do not seem compatible with “feel” and optimal distance control.

That said, his success from close range might more than offset his apparent long-range weakness. Note below that Bryson’s one-putt success is noticeably better than the 2017 winners from every distance up to 20 feet. Incidentally, these ranges represent 68 percent of Bryson’s first putt opportunities. Very impressive! I may look more closely into Bryson’s short putting technique.


In conclusion, while Bryson DeChambeau is a maverick, he has found a unique method that works for him and has now made the entire golf world take notice. Will he change golf? Possibly. If he continues to have success, and I believe he will, I can see the aspiring, young players trying to adopt his methods just as many started to learn to putt while anchoring. As an aside, I firmly believe that the ultimate ban on anchoring had little to do with those of us that were struggling with the skill but everything to do with the fast-growing number of juniors that were having success using OUR crutch.

That is not to say that anything that Bryson is currently doing could be construed to be illegal. But he is clearly being watched. His side-saddle putting was thwarted by the USGA, and more recently, his use of a compass to help read his putts. Who knows what he will come up with next? I will be watching too!

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Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Accra Shafts — Finau’s proto, “What is the function of the shaft in a club head?”

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Accra Shafts’ Ken Thompson and Gawain Robertson chat with Johnny Wunder on the challenges of the shaft industry, what makes their shafts the best in the business, and Tony Finau’s custom set up.

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

3:45 — What makes Accra so special
5:30 — The origin of Accra
8:45 — The importance of TOUR Validation
15:10 — What is the function of the shaft in a club
17:30 — The TOUR ZRPG
23:40 — Mock Fitting for a specific player profile
31:00 — Accra Iron shafts
36:55 — Ryan Palmer
39:45 — Tony Finau
43:10 — Matt Kuchar
53:20 — S3 BluePrint Technology

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Opinion & Analysis

7 tips for senior golfers to play better and enjoy the game longer

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Have you ever played a golf course and remembered where you used to hit the ball on certain holes? Have you ever gotten to a 360-yard par-4 and recalled when you used to lick your chops because you knew a little flip wedge for your second was ahead? Ever made shooting your age your next big goal? If you have, welcome to golf’s back nine, the time when you keep seeking improvement knowing full well it will never be what it once was.

Aging is another vivid example of the paradoxical beast that lies at the heart of our game. If we’re totally honest, we admit we can’t do anything as well as we did 25-30 years ago. Yet a little voice never far from our golf ears keeps whispering, “If you just move the ball in your stance and adjust your grip, you will hit it solid again.” That’s when we need to be honest and ask, “What does solid mean at 65-70-75 years old?” It certainly isn’t solid like it was at 35 years old, but it may be more solid than the last shot, or yesterday. And as we’ll see, it just might be solid enough for the home stretch. So we keep playing and practicing in a search for golf’s version of a fountain of youth.

If you are, like this author, closer to the 18th green than the first tee, here are 7 golden nuggets for the golden years:

1. Forget how you used to play

Stay present and take what the game gives you now, here, today. If that’s 210 off the tee, get your fairway woods and hybrids out and do the best you can with your inevitably longer approach.

2. Work on your scoring game

If aging has robbed you of flexibility and strength, it does not have to affect your game from 100 yards in. Seniors need to chip and putt more than any other age group.

3. Yoga and Pilates

If you think we’re old, we are a babe in the woods compared to these ancient disciplines. The mind/body connection is vital for seniors. And… the results speak for themselves! Staying as flexible and as strong as you can for as long as you can is vital for senior golf. Oh, and walk and carry whenever possible!

4. Get properly fitted

Not only do we play senior golf dreaming of yesteryear, male seniors often let testosterone affect their game. I get sooo many seniors coming to see me who are ill-fitted for their equipment, or more accurately, using equipment that once fit their game85-90 mph clubhead speed does not likely require a stiff shaft, 9 degrees of loft or 75 grams of weight to achieve proper launch and landing conditions. Good senior golf demands brutal honesty with yourself.

5. Consider swing “adjustments,” not “new swings”

I don’t want to be a bearer of bad tidings here, but as a teacher of many years, I know this much: The swing you’ve had for oh so many years is not going to change. At least not very much. The does not mean it can’t be made more effective. I “tweak” seniors, not break them down.

6. Play forward tees

I’m a club professional, and I was a fairly decent player once. At 70 years young, I am proud to say that I play white tees measuring no more than 6300 yards. And in a few years, I’ll likely move up again. It’s just a fact of life and denying it is futile.

7. Check your fundamentals

Just because a certain grip, posture or ball position was effective once, as we age, all these may need adjustments from time to time. Swings get shorter, slower, narrow, etc. And as they do, we have to allow for these things and find new ways to complement the “senior swing.”

The alternative to all of the above is a garage sale. And as long I can swing a golf club, I will be doing so. If I want to enjoy the game, I’ll do so with lighter clubs, from shorter tees, chipping and putting my way into the hole. We’d all like to turn back the clock, but the last time that happened was, uh, never.

Enjoy the back nine. I know I am.

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