ALL golfers have an EGO. It operates in different ways for many of us, but in essence, it’s something we all must overcome to get where we want to go successfully. Final destination? OUR BEST GOLF. So it works like this: we need to toss our ego to the side to let the best golf reveal itself so we can have an ego…I love golf.
This has been an exciting year for me; I have played 22 total rounds (not a lot) with an average score of 75.2. My Index is currently at 1.2, and what’s odd is I haven’t hit the ball well all year. It’s been more or less a dumpster fire since January.
During that flaming inferno, I did manage to shoot a 66 (Indian Ridge CC) and 67 (Streamsong Black), by far the two lowest rounds of the year that were balanced out by two 82s and two 81s. The other 15 or 16 rounds lived in the 73-77 range across the board.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I played some GREAT golf for as BAD as I swung the golf club.
It’s a testament to the prep I did this time last year when building my bag (and the clubs that swapped in and out) for the year. It was roughly October of last year that I got my Paradym TD Woods and began to dial them in. In that process, I had two goals: KILL THE BIG MISS and HIT THE DAMN FAIRWAY.
I did this by ensuring I had a driver and fairway woods that never dipped below 2000RPM/3000RPM of spin collectively and had start lines that lived consistently straight or just left of center. This combo more or less killed that no spin block that accounts for 99% of my Big Misses. I rarely miss it left, if ever. I have tended to do the other way to the extreme, and that was a function of insufficient spin and a face angle that only worked when I was swinging it perfectly. In my case, the days my timing was on and speed was up.
The point is my “raising the floor” chant worked. I was able to hit it like a ten and score like a scratch because 1) I did mitigate the BIG MISS by ensuring my driver had enough loft and spin, 2) I managed well on the golf course mentally, and 3) I built my bag with perfect gapping and ZERO holes.
How to get it done…
AN HONEST GAPPING EVALUATION: A FULL gapping session in most cases. In my case, I only focused on Irons in this session; my woods and wedges are pretty dialed, considering I have been in the same setup all year.
I do this typically twice a year (spring and fall) at TXG in Toronto using Foresight GC Quad. It doesn’t matter where you do it as long as it’s the same place every time, and that collected data becomes the foundation of what you reference. The reason for that is golf is a traveling game, and so is practice. In an indoor setting, I can recreate the conditions precisely, and the elements won’t alter the data unless I want them to.
Most launch monitors offer some user interface where you can go through the bag and collect all the relevant data. It’s actually a lot of fun.
With the launch of the Apex Pro series irons, I had eight new sticks I had to account for, so the work needed to be done to figure out where my gaps were and what target carry, spin, and ball speed targets I needed to hit.
Here are my ideal target numbers with each club based on my averages from the past three years:
For context, my driver swing speed hovers between 108 to 115 if I’m HUMMING. Ball speed 158 to 165MPH. So, I’m not fast, but I have my moments.
4-iron (21.5) 212 Carry, 3500-4000RPM, 140MPH
5-iron (25) 198 Carry, 4500-5000RPM, 135MPH
6-iron (29) 184 Carry, 5500-6000RPM, 130MPH
7-iron (33) 170 Carry, 6500-7000, 125MPH
8-iron (37) 156 Carry, 7500-8000RPM, 120MPH
9-iron (41) 142 Carry, 8500RPM, 115MPH
10-iron (45) 128 Carry, 9500-10000RPM, 110MPH
11-iron (49) 117 Carry, 10000RPM, 105MPH
Here is where I landed today with the new set…
Apex Pro (4-6) Apex CB (7-11) w/ Nippon ProModus3 120X
As you can see, my gapping is a bit all over the place, but at least I understand where this set sits today, and to be fair, I hit the ball well on this day. The test consisted of five shots, with each club tossing out the worst one of the five and averaging the other four. In regards to ball speed and spin, the new set did live within the spin parameters PERFECTLY, and ball speed was + or – 2MPH on each club, so what we do know is that all it will take is a loft tweak here and there and I will be living in the happy zone with every club. The only real trouble spots live in the short irons. One switch I KNOW will help instantly is changing the CB 7-iron to an Apex Pro. I was getting 122 MPH with the CB, and my hunch is putting the slightly faster PRO will buy me the extra 2-3MPH I need to get me to that 125/170 combo. I love this combo thing.
Next week is Step 2, ensuring your BALL jives with your bag.