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Readers Letters - March/April 2011

Sharper image


Your golf game is naturally greatly enhanced if you have good technique, a good attitude and good equipment. But also add to that list good eyesight – as explained in issue 97 by Joanne Seagrave. It’s useful from the fairways for focusing on landing spots and even more important on the greens when reading putts.

Regretfully glasses and golf don’t go together well. Corrective treatment is the appropriate option and something that anyone who has gone through the procedure would vouch for. Indeed personal recommendations are most persuasive, but laser surgery is not necessarily something that comes up in conversation. So unless you have an acquaintance who used to wear glasses but no longer does it’s hard to know who to ask. But put the question out there on your facebook / twitter or some such and you might be surprised who, or even how many, of your contacts come forward.

In her article Joanne does an excellent job of describing the difference she found post surgery. Because the proof of this particular pudding is in the seeing – which other than in the ‘20:20’ optician’s speak is difficult for one person to convey to another. (It’s a bit like when they advertise the latest High Definition TV. Well, I’m watching the advert on my non-HD telly set, so it seems no different to me!) To quantify my own experience I’d return to pages 14 and 15 of issue 97 and the stunning photograph of Rory McIlroy escaping a gorge of a greenside bunker at Whistling Straits. It looked fabulous to me pre-procedure, but now I can even pick out the dragon flies that getty photographer Andy Redington captured on camera!

M Williams Thornton Heath

Touch of Frost is formula for success

Just a brief note to congratulate you and your team on producing such a fine magazine. I currently subscribe to one of your competitors but with the renewal date fast approaching I shall be transferring my allegiance to Gi. But the main reason I write is to commend you on your choice of teaching professionals – and specifically to single out Dan Frost. Having enjoyed his feature on stretching in your Jan/Feb issue (No. 99) I discovered he was based locally to me (at Burhill Golf Club in Surrey) and called him up to book a swing analysis. So impressed was I by this initial swing assessment I booked a series of lessons, and in the space of the first two of those he has transformedmy swing fromthe dreaded ‘out-to-in’ to themuch more professional ‘inside-to-square-toinside’ path with just a couple of simple practice drills. I have never progressed so quickly in such a short time – I am very impressed and will recommend himto every golfer of any standard.

Rob McLellan, Surrey

Editor’s note: We have certainly enjoyed welcoming Dan into the fold at Gi.

Left out in the cold

I was very impressed with Dominic Pedler’s well-researched article on the Nintendo Wii My Personal Golf Trainer that appeared in the Nov/Dec issue of Golf International (‘Now Wii are serious’, page 104-106). In fact, I was so impressed with the write up that I went out and bought the ‘game’. Unfortunately, however, neither the article nor the information provided by the manufacturer mentioned the fact that this swing trainer is only suitable for right-handed players. As there does not appear to be anyway that this trainer can be made suitable for a left handed player, I am left with a pup. I have sent an e-mail to the designers Data Design Interactive explaining the problem but to date I have had no reply from them.

Considering the cost of the unit, I would have hoped that your Equipment Editor would have pointed out the limitations of the trainer, as I am sure it would be of much interest to left-handed as right-handed golfers. Finally, I would suggest that in publishing this letter you at least point out the limitations of the product to other readers.

A. Miller, via email

Stewart Green, Managing Director of Data Design Interactive, replies:- Firstly I want to apologise to Mr Miller: all our customers deserve a prompt response and this time we have let him down. I will personally be looking into this and searching through our past emails. As you say, the first version of MPGT did only support right-handed play. We literally didn't have space on the disk for all the left-handed content. We initially thought we could have done a simple flip of the screen images but, to get the most accurate instruction, we have needed to rewrite the majority of the program.

The guidance and instructional sections of the program go into very specific detail, matching the player’s position with David Leadbetter’s recommended positions such as instructing the player to rotate their right wrist clockwise, which would of course be the opposite for a lefty.

But we have now remade all of the animations, movements, instructions for speech samples, text screens, and motion capture data, specifically to match left-handed players. We also have reprogrammed the existing data to enable compression and, through this, we have reconfigured the product in a left-handed option, as well as including some 24 other specific improvements that our customers have requested.

This good news is that this version is now finished. There is still an extensive approval process to go through, so it will be a few months before it reaches the stores, but it is coming in 2011.

Editor’s note: The new version of My Personal Golf Trainer was on display at the recent PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, with highlights to be included in our special report on the latest high-tech golf products in the next issue of Gi.

Clarification please!

I greatly enjoyed the Q&A with Denis Pugh in your Jan/Feb issue (pages 22- 24 within Planet Golf), but I wonder if I could ask him to clarify his swing plane advice which I regard as a physical impossibility. His preference at the top of the swing, he states, is ‘for the underside of the left arm to just touch the tip of the rotating right shoulder, as the player completes his or her backswing.’ Unless the player is a contortionist, how can that possibly be achievable? Photographs of touring pros at the top of the swing do not appear to endorse this theory.

Euan Campbell, Dundee

Denis Pugh replies: It’s always a pleasure to clear up any misunderstanding and the problem here stems from the fact that we are dealing with a twodimensional image. The difficulties of describing the golf swing on paper with a combination of words/images have clearly surfaced here as my wording was perhaps not quite specific enough. As far as swing plane goes, what I’m looking for in the down-the-line view at the top of the backswing is that a line drawn to correspond with the underside of the left arm appears to just touch the tip of the right shoulder. I’ve illustrated this here with an image of Francesco Molinari. In reality, of course, the left arm does not physically touch the shoulder – this is merely a line of reference that I like to use when viewing the swing from this angle.

Luther's plane, simple lesson

I just wanted to drop you a line in praise of Luther Blacklock’s Addressing All Angles piece within Volume 99 of Golf International. Reading it was a bit of a eurekamoment forme. This was because I’d previously believed the general notion that it was the same swing just with a different club. But in clear and concise terms Luther revealed, “the length of the golf club is the greatest factor in shaping our swing plane…consequently the driver requires a long flat golf swing, whereas the wedge demands a shortermore upright swing”.

I first came to golf through playing a short par- 3 course, and, if I say so myself, I’m pretty accurate from 8-iron and down. Over the years I’ve also developed a dependable long game with my driver and hybrids. Yet my mid-iron play has never lived up to my handicap and, frankly, I’ve been quite mystified by this. Surely the irons should be the easiest of the three to be competent with? But knowing that each three require a different swing plane makes this discrepancy easier to understand.

I also now realise that the times I’ve had the best success withmymid-irons was when I’ve attempted tomanufacture shots by applyingmy other swings. For example on super firmground I’ve used a long, flat swing to scoop the ball off the turf. And during inclement conditions I’ve sometimes gripped down the shaft ofmy irons and played three quarter punch shots with an upright swing that is akin to that used withmy wedges. My choice now could be to adopt either of the above styles full-time for my mid-irons. But I actually think that armed with the knowledge they are set up for a slightly different swing I will be able to find the appropriate plane. Many thanks Luther. And many thanks Golf International – I’m looking forward to the next 100 issues!

M Williams, via e-mail

 

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine

 


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