The Sweet Spot - Golf Podcast
Mailbag Episode: 4 Questions Answered

Mailbag Episode: 4 Questions Answered

April 6, 2021

This week Adam and Jon tackle four questions from listeners on the following topics:

  • How do you balance trying to fix your swing vs. accepting variance during a round?
  • What are valuables forms of practice on a home golf simulator?
  • Exploring how having a positive angle of attack is different than your iron game and its potential benefits (or drawbacks)
  • Multiple methods to gap your club distances.

Visit Jon's site here

Visit Adam's site here

Skill and Technique: Too Much of One, Not Enough of the Other

Skill and Technique: Too Much of One, Not Enough of the Other

March 30, 2021

The golf world endlessly talks about technique as a way to improve. In this episode, Adam and Jon explore why skill is just as important and perhaps even more important than technique if you want to become a better golfer. Find out how to diagnose, and work on your skill level.

 

Visit Adam's site here

Visit Jon's site here

Do You Have Enough Grit In Your Golf Game?

Do You Have Enough Grit In Your Golf Game?

March 23, 2021

Do you have enough grit in your golf game? This episode explores how grit and resiliency must be part of your "golf toolbox" to become a better player. Jon and Adam explore different definitions of the word and give actionable advice on how to deal with adversity in your rounds. If you want to sharpen your mental game, this episode is a must-listen!

Check out Adam's site here

Check out Jon's site here

Simplicity vs. Complexity in the Golf Swing

Simplicity vs. Complexity in the Golf Swing

March 15, 2021

Golfers have been lead to believe that the solutions to their swing problems are found through complexity. In this episode, Adam and Jon explain with simplicity is a better long-term solution.

Learn more about Adam Young's new 8-week courses here.

Check out Jon's website here

 

The Longer Driver Shaft Experiment - Understanding driver efficiency, clubhead speed, and clubfitting

The Longer Driver Shaft Experiment - Understanding driver efficiency, clubhead speed, and clubfitting

March 9, 2021

This episode is an exploration of how to add distance with your driver. Understanding how driver efficiency, clubhead speed, and clubfitting all play a role. Jon discusses his longer driver shaft experiment and what he learned.

Link to the full article about the longer driver shaft experiment

When looking to gain driver distance, there are two separate routes a golfer can take - becoming more efficient with driver and adding swing speed (maximum results by pursuing both).

Driver Efficiency

  • Driver efficiency is getting the right mix of ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, and spin rate. This chart from Ping can help give guidance on the right mix.
  • Generally, most golfers need less spin, higher launch, and better strike location on their drivers to add distance. You can add plenty of distance through this method without adding swing speed. But when you reach your highest level of efficiency, you do need to add swing speed to gain more distance.
  • Getting the right equipment can play a huge role in driver efficiency.

Jon was maxed out (mostly) on driver efficiency, so he's been trying to add swing speed through SuperSpeed Golf workouts, and experimenting with a 47" driver shaft.

Here are bigger concepts golfers should know about when pursuing a longer driver shaft:

  • Weight is the biggest issue. This pertains to both the driver’s head and the shaft. Adding shaft length adds more overall weight. To counteract that, weight needs to be removed in the shaft, and possibly the driver head too. If you don’t get this right, you might not gain any clubhead speed or possibly lose speed because the club is too heavy to swing.
  • You will need to adjust the loft of the driver properly. Most golfers need to reduce loft with a longer shaft.
  • A longer shaft can help certain golfers deliver the clubhead more efficiently, and for others, it could make their current problems worse. No rule of thumb fits all!
  • In aggregate, most players see about a 10-15 yard gain in distance. This could vary greatly based on the golfer, though.
  • According to some mathematical modeling, a player could gain as much at 2 mph in swing speed per added inch of shaft length. However, it is less in real-world testing: usually in the range of .8 mph – 1.6 mph per inch.
  • In my testing, I gained about 3 – 5 mph in clubhead speed, added 10-15 yards of distance with 3″ of added shaft length. And my accuracy did not suffer as much as I thought it would. 

Sasho MacKenzie video on physics behind added shaft length and clubhead speed

Products discussed in the episode:

PRGR Review

SkyTrak Review

SuperSpeed Golf Review

Visit Adam's site here

Vist Jon's site here

Getting the Right Feedback During Your Practice Sessions

Getting the Right Feedback During Your Practice Sessions

March 2, 2021

If you are practicing without feedback, it's like throwing darts blindfolded. The right feedback will help you practice more effectively and make the right changes.

Adam's Book - Practical Manual

Strike Quality: How you are striking the face of the club and how your golf club is interacting with the ground

  • Using Dr. Scholls to see where you are making contact on the face (you could also use a dry eraser pen and mark the ball)
  • A product like Divot Board can help diagnose ground contact (Jon & Adam's favorite solution)
  • Gear effect: with your hybrids, fairway woods, and driver - face contact will impact your ball flight due to gear effect. For a right-handed golfer, striking it on the heel will impart more "slice-spin," and the toe will impart more "hook spin."
  • Sometimes, a too high strike on the face will indicate a "fat shot," and a strike too low on the face will indicate a "thin strike."

Using ball flight as feedback:

  • Using irons (to remove gear effect influence), particularly a long iron, will give you the best feedback on what's going on at impact with your swing path and face direction.
  • The ball's initial direction will tell you which direction the face of the club was pointed at impact.
  • Adam likes to use the curvature of the ball and where it ends up as his primary feedback.
  • If it ends up too far left or right, typically, the fix will be closing or opening the clubface to counteract that miss.
  • The curve of the ball will mostly tell you what your club path is. If your ball flies with no curvature, that's a good indication of your path. For example, if you hit a shot straight to the right, then your path is most likely to the right. If your ball does curve to your target, your club path is the opposite of what direction is curved. For example, if the ball bends from right to left and hits your target, your club path was in-to-out.

Using loft as feedback

  • Getting launch angle from a launch monitor will tell you how you are delivering the loft of the clubhead (de-lofting or adding loft)
  • Also, peak height is an excellent piece of feedback on how much loft was "delivered."
  • Generally, players with less clubhead speed will need to launch the ball higher initially. 
  • Shaft lean has a lot of influence on loft. If the shaft is leaning ahead of the ball at impact, it will remove loft and hit shots lower. If your hands are too far behind the ball at impact, it will add too much loft. Nobody wants a shaft leaning backward at impact!
  • Working with wedges is a great way to experiment with delivering the loft of the club at impact. 
  • Tour Striker and DST are two training aids that can help with shaft lean.

Launch Monitors can provide great feedback; here is a list of reviews on products we recommend:

Video feedback

  • We only recommend using video if you know what you are looking for, preferably working with a swing instructor.
  • Don't go down the rabbit hole and trying to change things that are irrelevant to your swing.
  • Check out the parallax effect.

Keeping track of where your shots end up

  • When practicing, you can use a grid to track where your shots are ending up relative to your target. Are you missing short, long, left, right?
  • Golf stats app that Adam mentioned

Working with a qualified swing instructor is perhaps the best feedback you can get, they will tell you what's really going on in your golf swing!

Visit Adam's Website Here

Visit Jon's Website Here

What Is a Good Golf Shot? Managing Expectations on Tee Shots & Approach Shots

What Is a Good Golf Shot? Managing Expectations on Tee Shots & Approach Shots

February 24, 2021

Adam and Jon help define a "good shot" for your tee shot and approach shots. This episode is really about helping golfers manage their expectations and help them with their strategy and mental games.

Check out the pre-season offer on Shot Scope V3 GPS Watch and performance tracking system here.

Tee Shots

  • Fairways hit is not the most useful statistic when evaluating tee shot success.
  • The penalty for missing a fairway and hitting it into the light rough for recreational golfers is around .3 strokes. 
  • The bigger mistakes are what really cost golfers. Hitting it out of bounds, into a fairway bunker (1.4 shot penalty), or into the trees (1.1 shot penalty)
  • A more functional definition of a "successful tee shot" - you hit your drive close to your average distance, you have a clear path to the green, and reasonable lie in the fairway or rough.
  • Aiming away from the big trouble on a hole can save you strokes, not necessarily always trying to hit the center of the fairway.
  • You also have to consider that playing too conservative with your club choice, like taking an iron off the tee, is costing you strokes in terms of distance. 25-30 yards is worth about .3 strokes

Related articles:

Performance Level by Handicap

Driver vs. 3-Wood Off the Tee

Average Driving Distance By Handicap

Approach Play

  • This is the area of the game where golfers separate themselves from one another the most in terms of scoring.
  • Increasing your greens in regulation is perhaps the most important "traditional" stat for determining your scoring potential.
  • Aggressiveness does not pay off with approach shots; pin hunting is a mistake!
  • Being more honest with your distances and choosing the right club is an easy way to lower your scores. Most golfers miss greens on the short side because they don't take enough club.
  • Forget about where the pin is. Aim at the center of the green, or the "largest part."

Related articles:

No Flag Golf

Why Iron Play is So Important for Scoring Potential

Simple Strategy for Lowering Scores

Check out Adam Young's website here

Check out Jon Sherman's website here

Why Clubface Control Is Such an Important Skill

Why Clubface Control Is Such an Important Skill

February 18, 2021

An in-depth discussion on why clubface control (face angle) is perhaps the most important skill for any golfer if they want to lower their handicap.

Show notes:

  • Face angle definition: where the clubface is pointed at impact. Many refer to it as open (right) or closed (left) for a right-handed golfer.
  • Face angle has the most influence on which direction the golf ball starts.
  • As loft decreases, face angle has more influence on the start line. 
  • The golf industry used to think that the club path had a more dominant influence on starting direction. But we now know face angle is the most important factor. Club path has a minimal influence.

Ball flight laws links:

Adam's article about ball flight laws

Video on ball flight laws

  • Having clubface awareness and making small adjustments "on the fly" is a critical skill. For example, Jon and Adam mentioned that they would make small adjustments in their swing based on where their golf ball is starting. If it's too far to the right, the face needs to be "closed" a bit, and vice versa.
  • Most golfers have a consistent club path; their face angle is more variable from day to day (and swing to swing).
  • Adam sees the club path twice as consistent as the face angle with the players he's worked with. 
  • Tiny changes in face angle can make a big difference; just 1/2 a degree can be separated from a great shot versus a poor one!
  • Removing big mistakes from your round and lowering your handicap avoids big mistakes (trees, penalty areas, bunkers). A lot of that has to do with face control.
  • Diagnosis is *very simple* - you can determine your face angle issues by noticing your shot distribution pattern. If the ball is starting too far left, your clubface is too closed. If it's too far right, you're too open (for right-handed golfers).
  • If you're hitting your driver 250 yards - 1 degree of face angle change will move the ball 12 yards offline. 
  • There are two ways to change your face angle. A technical way (adjusting elements in your swing such as grip technique, wrist angles, forearm orientation). Or more of a "feel-based" fix.
  • It would be best if you had a "toolbox" of solutions when issues arise. You can figure these out with the help of a swing instructor or often through your practice sessions by experimenting with what you can do to get your golf club pointing in different directions at impact. 
  • One of the best ways to fix face angles is to experiment with starting shots to the right, left, and down the target line during practice sessions. You can start with small swings and work your way up. Pay attention to what you're doing to change the face angle, and that's how you slowly build your "toolbox."
  • Challenge point theory - you have to pick something that's not too hard or too easy to accomplish based on your current skill level. Find that sweet spot (show plug!) when practicing face angle.
  • In a nutshell, your golf swing is calibrating your face angle and strike location daily.

Further resources from Adam Young: Next Level Golf, The Accuracy Plan

Further resources from Jon Sherman: Practical Golf Website, Exclusive Deals, Sign Up for Newsletter.

Top Swing Myths & How They Can Harm Your Game

Top Swing Myths & How They Can Harm Your Game

February 10, 2021

Jon and Adam tackle some of the top golf myths out there and how they can (potentially) damage your swing. It really is a conversation about how important intent is in the golf swing and the dangers of "cherry-picking" concepts from other golfer's swings.

Here's a recap of the myths we discuss. 

  • Hit down on it!
  • Keep your head still
  • Does your left arm really need to be straight at impact?
  • Why "swinging smooth" is not the best intention - link to the article here
  • Keeping your lead foot on the ground 
  • Why your grip technique does not necessarily determine your shot shape

Check out Adams site here: https://www.adamyounggolf.com/

Check out Jon's site here: https://practical-golf.com/

How To Make a Successful Swing Change

How To Make a Successful Swing Change

February 9, 2021

Making a successful change to your golf swing can bring your game to new levels. But it’s not without its risks or challenges. There are so many things to consider that myself and co-host Adam Young tackled this topic in our latest podcast episode.

Many golfers can be caught in a loop, wondering if the “grass is greener” with a different version of their swing. In our podcast and this accompanying article, we go through the following concepts:

  • Why relevancy is crucial when making a swing change
  • What the process should look like, and how much time it should take
  • Why you should consider taking lessons (and have continuity)
  • Having patience, establishing a framework, and functionality
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