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Ye unable to repeat Guan’s Masters success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ronald Montesano

    Sep 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Good point, Nick.

    Greg, I’ll keep an eye on Paratore.

  2. greg schofield

    Sep 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm

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

  3. Nick

    Sep 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

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

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On Spec

On Spec: Talking fitting with Marty Jertson – VP Fitting & Performance at Ping Golf

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This week, host Ryan Barath had the opportunity to speak with Marty Jerston, VP of Fitting and Performance at Ping about all things club fitting. Topics range from the increasing popularity of virtual fittings to what optimization really means for every golfer.

The conversation also covers the new Stack System—a training program developed by Dr. Sasho MacKenzie and Marty to help golfers train for speed and improve performance.

 

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie: The softest forged irons you’ve never heard of and the Cobra RadSpeed hybrid!

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Ever heard of New Level Golf? If you are looking for wildly soft players irons, then you should check them out. The PF-1 blades and the PF-2 cavity backs are as soft as anything on the market right now. Great irons for skilled players.

The Cobra RadSpeed hybrid is a solid mid/high launching hybrid with a solid Cobra feel and sound. Pretty neutral-bias ball flight with only a slight draw.

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Opinion & Analysis

The future of club fitting is going virtual

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Thanks to technology, you can buy everything from custom-made suits to orthotics online without ever walking into a store or working in person with an expert.

Now, with the help of video and launch monitors, along with a deeper understanding of dynamics than ever before, club fitting is quickly going virtual too, and it’s helping golfers find better equipment faster!

What really took so long?

The real advancements started in the coaching world around a decade ago. What used to require heavy cameras and tripods now simply requires a phone and you have a high-definition slow-motion video that can be sent around the world in a matter of seconds.

Beyond video, modern launch monitors and their ability to capture data have quickly turned a guessing game of “maybe this will work” into a precision step-by-step process of elimination to optimize. When you combine video and launch monitor elements with an understanding of club fitting principles and basic biomechanics, you have the ability to quickly evaluate a golfer’s equipment and make recommendations to help them play better golf.

The benefits of virtual fitting

  • Any golfer with a phone and access to a launch monitor can get high-level recommendations from a qualified fitter.
  • Time and cost-saving to and from a fitter. (This seems obvious, but one of the reasons I personally receive so many questions about club fitting is because those reaching out don’t have access to fitting facilities within a reasonable drive)
  • It’s an opportunity to get a better understanding our your equipment from an expert.

How virtual fittings really work

The key element of a virtual fitting is the deep understanding of the available products to the consumer. On an OEM level, line segmentation makes this fairly straightforward, but it becomes slightly more difficult for brand-agnostic fitters that have so many brands to work with, but it also shows their depth of knowledge and experience.

It’s from this depth of knowledge and through an interview that a fitter can help analyze strengths and weaknesses in a player’s game and use their current clubs as a starting point for building a new set—then the video and launch monitor data comes in.

But it can quickly go very high level…

One of the fastest emerging advancements in this whole process is personalized round tracking data from companies like Arccos, which gives golfers the ability to look at their data without personal bias. This allows the golfer along with any member of their “team” to get an honest assessment of where improvements can be found. The reason this is so helpful is that golfers of all skill levels often have a difficult time being critical about their own games or don’t even really understand where they are losing shots.

It’s like having a club-fitter or coach follow you around for 10 rounds of golf or more—what was once only something available to the super-elite is now sitting in your pocket. All of this comes together and boom, you have recommendations for your new clubs.

Current limitations

We can’t talk about all the benefits without pointing out some of the potential limitations of virtual club fittings, the biggest being the human element that is almost impossible to replicate by phone or through video chat.

The other key factor is how a player interprets feel, and when speaking with an experienced fitter recently while conducting a “trial fitting” the biggest discussion point was how to communicate with golfers about what they feel in their current clubs. Video and data can help draw some quick conclusions but what a player perceives is still important and this is where the conversation and interview process is vital.

Who is offering virtual club fittings?

There are a lot of companies offering virtual fittings or fitting consultations over the phone. One of the biggest programs is from Ping and their Tele-Fitting process, but other companies like TaylorMade and PXG also have this service available to golfers looking for new equipment.

Smaller direct-to-consumer brands like New level, Sub 70, and Haywood Golf have offered these services since their inception as a way to work with consumers who had limited experience with their products but wanted to opportunity to get the most out of their gear and their growth has proven this model to work.

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