SaskGolfer Game Improvement Edition 2017

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SASKGOLFER Saskatchewan’s Golf Community

The 5 Round Challenge Become a BOSS of the MOSS College Golf: A Few Things to Consider Do You REALLY Know Your Yardages Course Management Utilizing Technology


Championship Golf



Corporate Outings

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Golf Digest



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JULY ‘17 Edition Features

Special Edition in Partnership with the PGA of Canada Saskatchewan Zone 1

Course Management - Utilizing Technology

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The 5 Round Challenge


Practice, Practice...We Talking About Practice, Not a Game!

5 -7

Become a BOSS of the MOSS: How To Select The Right Putter for YOU!

8 -9

Starting Juniors in Golf: The Right Start Lasts a Lifetime

10 -12

College Golf - A Few Things to Consider

13 -14

Do You REALLY Know Your Yardages

15 -18

New Driver? Wait, Don’t Buy Without Trying!


1621 Golf Performance Academy


SASKGOLFER SaskGolfer Services T. 1-306-850-9205 E. Mailing Address 169 St. Lawrence Cr. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7K 3X7 Ownership Scott Allan and Kyle Duffin

Saskatchewan’s Golf Directory and Golf Website,, is celebrating year 17 of servicing Saskatchewan’s local and visiting golfers. Former PGA of Canada Professional Scott Allan and current PGA of Canada Professional Kyle Duffin have teamed up to provide the Saskatchewan golfing community with the most complete Saskatchewan Golf Course Directory, Course Features, News, PGA of Saskatchewan Featured Instruction and Product Reviews. Golf Course Features can be booked with SaskGolfer Travel Writers George Bowditch (Saskatchewan Area) and Andrew Penner (Canada and International). General / Advertising / Feature enquiries please contact us at

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

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saskgolfer 1 Course Management - Utilizing Technology By Jason Schneider / Class A Professional / Wildwood GC

C ourse Management is a skill that differentiates amateur golfers and

professional golfers. Do not get me wrong, there are lots more, but this skill is an important one. Course Management is the ability to make a hole by hole plan to maximize your own personal strengths and hopefully avoid THE BIG NUMBERS that kill rounds. With the easy accessibility of range finders and multiple GPS systems, creating a plan has never been easier. Let’s take a look at this short par 4 as an example. Course ManagementFrom the back tees this hole measures 300 yards. We are able to see multiple bunkers that are in play along both sides of the fairway, with the fact the right hand side is tree lined and the left side is OB. Using the technology we have, we can find out yardages to the front of bunkers, over bunkers and the yardage to the widest part of the fairway. The group of bunkers on the right hand side start at 90 yards off the tee and take a 160 yard shot to carry them. The 2 bunkers on the left start at 135 yards off the tee and take a 153 yard shot to get over them. We also need to look at the bunker straight out through the fairway which measures 240 yards off the tee and takes a strike of 255 yards to carry it. Lastly, we need to take into consideration the mini hill in the fairway which takes a hit of 165 yards to carry it. Once all this information is collected, you can determine your course of action. The safe play here is to hit a tee shot between 200-210 yards. This will get you over the hill along with both the right and left bunkers, while keeping you short of the bunker through the fairway and into the fattest part of the fairway. From here you will have some kind of scoring wedge in and hopefully give yourself a great look at birdie. Remember, when creating your plan, know where the trouble is, along with yardages to and over it. Know where the widest part of the fairway is, and plan to hit an approach shot from a yardage you like.

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 2 The 5 Round Challenge... Improve Your Playing By Garrett McMillan / CFM / Royal Regina Golf Club

5 rounds of golf, that’s all it takes! No swing changes, no complicated programs, no meditation

before each shot, just simply play 5 rounds of golf. “But Garrett, I play 60 rounds of golf a year, and I’m not getting better. Why would 5 rounds make a difference?”. Here’s how! You’re going to play those 5 rounds like you normally would, and use the scorecard I’ll provide you with. You can still use a course score card if you like, but the score isn’t important, it’s the 5 categories of stats that we are going to keep. Yes you are going to keep stats, just like the big boys on the PGA tour! Listen to an interview with Dustin Johnson over the past year, and how he talks about his wedge and putting stats. What did he do to get himself to the position he’s in now? He analyzed his stats and created a plan. You are going to do the same! I see it all the time when people go to practice, the first thing the grab is their driver and at least ½ the bucket is driver swings. Now, there’s a time and place for that don’t get me wrong, but in 18 holes of golf, if you’ve shot 85, that means that you might have hit 14-15 drivers at most (if they all stayed in bounds). So that’s 18% of the shots you hit on the golf course, that you’re giving the most attention too during your practice. If you 2 putt every green and shot the same 85, that means you used 42% of your strokes on the putting green. Seems like an odd practice plan when you think of it that way doesn’t it?! So what stats are we going to keep? 5 simple stats that won’t be hard to keep during your round: Fairways hit (Except for par 3’s) / Greens hit in regulation / Green missed short or long (S/L) (If missed) / Putts taken / Score Take these stats for 5 rounds of golf, and you will notice a trend in your game. We can make educated guesses based on all of these stats that will help you to figure out what you need to practice. Did you miss a green in regulation and then still 2 or 3 putt? This could mean that you need to work on your chipping or putting abilities. Did you leave the majority of your approach shots short? Maybe you need to get yourself a distance gapping session to find out exactly how far you hit your clubs. Are you hitting fairways, and then missing greens? Seems like your iron accuracy needs some help. continued on next page...

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 3 The 5 Round Challenge... Improve Your Playing By Garrett McMillan / CFM / Royal Regina Golf Club

A ll of these things are obvious when you have a look at the stats, but the issue is that most

people don’t take the time to record the important information. So that’s the CHALLENGE! I challenge you to record your stats for 5 rounds of golf, and see where your golf game needs help. Re-think how you practice, and you will get the most out of it! Bottom line is, your golf game gets better, just by playing 5 rounds and reflecting on them using the information you need to make an informed decision. Are you up for it? I want to hear about it! Tweet it, Facebook it, Instagram it, and step up to the challenge! It doesn’t matter what you shoot, it’s the fact that you are thinking the right way about changing your golf game! If you are up for it and commit to keeping the stats, send them to me and I’ll help you analyze the data for FREE! I’ll help you focus on what you need to practice just because you completed the challenge! I can’t wait to see what you can do with your golf game! Have fun!

Download and Print the “5 Round Challenge” Scorecard...HERE

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 4 Practice, Practice...We Talking About Practice, Not A Game! By Jason Schneider / Class A Professional / Wildwood GC

T o quote Allen Iverson’s amazing press conference of 2002 … ‘We talking about Practice’[i].

Practice can be viewed in many different ways. Some people see it as a waste of time, others dream of it but can never find the time for it, and a select few put a lot of time into it and really get nothing in return. All are valid but changeable. So what exactly is practice? There are two basic types of practice; Massed (block) Practice and Distributed (random) Practice. Massed is simply the repetitive practice of the same skill[ii]. For example, a golfer on the range Hole Layout Imagehitting 7-iron after 7-iron at the same target grooving a swing until they see what they like, and then switching to their driver and repeating the exact same process. Distributed on the other hand, is practice of the same skill spread over time[iii]. An example of this is a golfer on the range who, although working on one particular skill, changes targets, distances, lies and clubs. They may still get similar reps when compared to the mass practice, but changing clubs and targets on every shot makes the golfer think more about what they are doing, thus making the practice session more similar to what they see/feel on the course. This causes the golfer to go through the entire learning cycle for each shot[iv]. Massed practice does have its time and place. Great examples are individuals new to the game and/or individuals working on specific swing changes in the off season. However, distributed practice is a lot more game like. Studies by Levit and Pirozzolo (golf specific), along with Smith, Glenberg and Berk, have shown that varying the task at hand (distributed practice) enhances retention of skills over time[v]. Now that you understand what practice is and what type of practice is best; one last piece of the puzzle needs to be put into place. You must have a PURPOSE. This means that while you are doing your distributed practice you must be focussed in on that one particular skill. This also means you are not required to hit 3 buckets of balls or spend two hours on the range. What is important is that you know what you are working on and spend the necessary time doing it. Hitting ball after ball on the range without any thought process is not the answer. Set up a station or two. Use the drills given to you by your PGA of Saskatchewan Instructor and/or Coach and reward yourself for completing the drill(s) with a golf ball. Stay committed, be focused and distribute your practice. Learning and Results will follow. For complete quote credits (I - V) on this article, please visit the website.

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 5 Become a Boss of the Moss: How to Select the Right Putter for YOU! By Chad Lavallee / Teaching Professional / GolfTown Saskatoon

B efore I begin, I’d like to state that this article is not telling you to do anything. The most

important thing for a putter to do is get the ball in the hole. If you feel like you’re already accomplishing this, then there is a good chance you’ve already found your putter. However, if you feel frustrated on the greens and find that you are missing short putts or three putting a lot, it might be time to look for a change of putter to help you with your putting woes. As a club fitter, putters are always some of the hardest clubs to fit. The reason being that it is an incredibly personal club and something that is as unique as a fingerprint. There is no one size fits all when it comes to putters and it can be difficult to come to a constant conclusion because of a person’s personal preferences. However there are some areas that putter design can help you in and I’m here today to go through the differences between the many different types of putters and what they mean to you! Stro ke Typ e This is one of the bigger differences between putters. You have four distinct different balance points for each putter, which tends to lend itself to a person’s stroke type. Let’s go through these and view the points on each. Face Balanced Putters: -The heel and toe form a straight line when balanced -Tend to be mallet style (but not always) -Best for a straight back straight through stroke type -Good option if needing alignment aids or pushing putts (missing right for right handers, missing left for left handers) Mid Toe Hang Putters -The toe hangs slightly lower than the heel of the putter -Tends to be blade style (but not always) -Best for a slight arc putting type -Good option if you’re missing putts both left and right. This is the most common type of putter you will see and is made by every major manufacture out there continued on next page...

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 6 Become a Boss of the Moss: How to Select the Right Putter for YOU! By Chad Lavallee / Teaching Professional / GolfTown Saskatoon

Toe Hang Putter -The toe of the putter hangs straight down when balanced -Always a heel shafted putter (Putter is shafted right in the heel of the putter) -Best for strong arc putters -Good option if pulling putts (missing left for right handers, missing right for left handers. The toe being weighted down will help keep the putter from closing too much through impact Toe Up Putter -The toe of the putter points straight up when balanced -Made exclusively by Odyssey golf -Best for those who are still missing left with a face balanced putter -The idea behind the toe up putter is to help the face torque back into a square position as the stroke is being finished. Through my experience I’ve found this to be very helpful with putters who use a lot of hands and wrists in their stroke

Now that you have an understanding of the different stroke types, how can you check yours at home and see what kind you currently have? Balance the shaft of the putter on one finger. It may take a couple tries to find the balance point, but once you do the putter will stay. Once there, take a look at the face and then match it to one of the 4 profiles that we covered and you now know what type of putter you are currently playing. It’s that easy!! continued on next page...

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 7 Become a Boss of the Moss: How to Select the Right Putter for YOU! By Chad Lavallee / Teaching Professional / GolfTown Saskatoon

Length & Lie Length: When selecting your putter, you want to be comfortable and in a position where the arms are close the sides. If you extend your arms a lot when you putt and find that this works well for you, going to a shorter 33 inch putter may be more advantageous to you. Easy ways to find out if the putter may be the incorrect length for you is if the ball is not directly under the eyes or just inside. Lie: Much like the irons, putter lie can make a difference in the direction your ball takes off the face. If the toe of the putter sticks up when putting the tendency will be to pull putts. This can be caused by the putter being too long. Shortening the putter will change its effective lie and in turn flatten out the putter head flush to the ground. If the heel is sticking up it will be the adverse effect in the putts may miss right. This can be caused by a putter being too short and adding length can help change the effective lie of the putter. Grip When it comes to personal preference, this might be the biggest one, so I’m going to keep this brief and just explain the purpose of the new large grips that have become extremely popular over the last few years. Standard Model -Tend to be easier to develop feel as they are thinner -Allows for more wrist movement through stroke -Tapered so the material gets thinner at the bottom -A classic design that has been around for decades Superstroke Model -Tend to be easier for distance control -Allows less movement through wrists -None tapered so bottom hand is less active -If you’re having trouble gauging distance because you use a lot of wrists in your stroke a SuperStroke is a great option That does it for your crash course on putter fitting. Now like I said before, this is extremely personal and chances are you’re going to find something that you like that perhaps won’t fit your buddies quite as well. There are also other small areas to check out, such as face type (insert vs. non) and alternative stroke method putters (arm lock, counterbalanced) But this will give you a good start when you’re going in to look for a new putter. With this knowledge I know you will find a putter that will be dropping putts, and taking money off your buddies, in no time. SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 8 Starting Juniors in Golf: The Right Start Lasts a Lifetime By Garrett McMillan / CFM / Royal Regina Golf Club

G olf is a game you can play for a lifetime. You can start when you’re old enough to hold a club,

and play until, well, the rest of your life. So if your son/daughter is going to get into the game, do it the right way and let them learn the game in a way that will help them enjoy golf for their entire life. So, am I saying “You MUST enrol your kids in golf lessons!”? NO. However, it is a good idea, as there are some important points for them to learn, and golf lessons or clinics can be a great time for them and their friends. Here’s what I find to be the most important points to focus on with your kids: Don’t focus too much on technique. Depending on the child’s age, technique doesn’t matter as much as some may think. At some point they can work on their technique, but for the first little while (especially when they are younger), let them find out how to use their eyes and body to hit the ball, no matter how they do it. SWING HARD! As we get older it becomes harder and harder to gain speed in our swing. It most certainly can be done, but it’s much harder to do. So, when the little swinger you’re introducing to golf gets going, get them swinging as hard as they can, while staying on balance! (Rule 1 – Swing hard! Rule 1.5 – Stay on balance!) Please, please, please get them clubs that are right for them. While it may seem simple to get some old clubs cut down and get grips put on them, you’re only hurting their game and possibly their enjoyment. Get an ultra-lite set of clubs (US Kids Golf is a great example) that they can swing. The reason we don’t want to cut down clubs is the weight, the length, and the stiffness of the club. When you cut a normal steel shaft way down, it is way too heavy and has no flex at all! Kids won’t hit these very far and will have a hard time swinging it with any speed (Remember what Rule 1 was?). If you have ever picked up one of these ultra-lite clubs, you’ll know that it’s super light and very flexible. This is what a kid needs! Think about it for your own game – which are you able to swing faster and manipulate easier; A tree trunk or a thin branch? continued on next page...

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 9 Starting Juniors in Golf: The Right Start Lasts a Lifetime By Garrett McMillan / CFM / Royal Regina Golf Club

Kids are smaller than adults. Don’t force them to play the front tees designed for adults. Start them at the 150-200 yard marker. Want to see a junior golfer happy? Let them drive some greens, or make 4-5 birdies in a round! Most of the time a younger golfer doesn’t care about the length of the hole. The object of the game is to get the lowest score, so what better way to help them! Last year we had some junior golfers at our course upset that they had to play the forward tees for Junior day. After a couple weeks playing these tees, one of the juniors stopped me in passing as I was going to play the 8th hole and they had finished their round. The junior asks “Hey, Garrett! Think you can beat me today?”, I laughed and said I would try my best to do so. The junior then tells me, “I made 7 birdies today! Beat that!” Think he was happy? Think I could stop laughing for 10 minutes? Think I started to try a little harder to make birdies? Teach them the etiquette of the game, but don’t get too bogged down with the rules. Especially for first time golfers and the very young, let them tee the ball up every single shot if they want to, or let them ground the club in the bunker. If they get too focused on the rules, they lose focus on the aspect of fun. After a couple of years of fun golf, or when they start to get really interested in the game, then yes, they can start to learn additional rules. What’s more important is that they know how to play as if they were playing with you and your weekend foursome. Don’t walk in people’s lines on the green. Don’t stand in their eye line while they are taking a shot. Be as quiet as you can while others are playing. The basics. These are 5 fairly easy points to focus on while introducing your junior to the game of golf. Golf is such a great game and it is a lot of fun to watch a junior golfer grow. If you start them on the right path in the beginning, they will enjoy the game for a lifetime. My dad got me started when I was about 4 years old, and I can’t thank him enough. I mean, I still make him buy the drinks after the round, but hey, that’s how it works! Right?

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 10 College Golf: A Few Things to Consider By Amanda Minchin / Head Professional / TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club


still remember getting the phone call from Eastern Illinois University in the early spring of 2000. They wanted me to come play golf for them, and, they wanted to pay for my education! It was a pretty exciting day for me and my parents, all our hard work was paying off and now I was going to get to play NCAA Division I golf! That was over 15 years ago and I will never forget the feeling I had when my letter of intent came in the mail. Fast forward 16 years (yikes, how did that happen) and I am working with and coaching some of Saskatchewan’s best junior golfers. I am watching young hopeful golfers work towards being recognized by NCAA golf programs and going on school visits. After going through the ranks of college golf, albeit a few years ago, there are a few things I would like to pass onto potential college golfers (and all athletes). 1. A “Full Ride” isn’t exactly “Fully Paid” If you are lucky enough to get a scholarship, full or partial, consider yourself extremely lucky! Tuition costs are going up every year in Canada and the United States and with the current currency exchange between the Canadian Dollar and the US Dollar, heading South of the border is becoming quite expensive. Any amount of scholarship money is a bonus and comes from putting the work in both athletics and academics. But, keep in mind that there will be other costs that will likely not be covered by a scholarship. One of these main costs will be travel. You will likely want to come home at some point (your parents will miss you). When I was attending Eastern Illinois University, I flew home for Christmas and drove home in the spring for the summer, then drove back in the fall. The cost for me to come home was more than a tank of gas! Even if you have a full scholarship, be prepared to budget money for traveling to and from school to home. continued on next page... SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 11 College Golf: A Few Things to Consider. By Amanda Minchin / Head Professional / TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club

2. Your Education is Important! How many times have you heard this in your life? I loved school (and golf). I was competitive in most things I did, school included. Getting high grades was just as important to me as low golf scores were. You will be reminded that you are a “student-athlete” over and over in your college career. Our golf team had certain academic goals we were required to meet every semester, basically as a team our coaches wanted us to have a certain combined grade point average, and we were in competition with the other school teams. Whether you love academics or not, you will be expected to work hard in the classroom as well as on the golf course. If you let your grades slide even a fraction, it could jeopardize your playing and practice time. Remember, they will care what your grades are so put the effort in! 3. Be Prepared to Practice This sounds like a no brainer! “ Of course I’m going to practice”, you say to yourself. Right? Well, Be. Prepared. To. Practice. Any NCAA athletic team is going to have set practice times and usually scheduled training regimens, like a weightlifting program. Golf is no different. Practice will likely be 5 days a week, with an optional extra day on your own (NCAA has rules about how many practice days a sport can have in a given week). There will also be off course training which might include a sports psychologist and you will more than likely be required to work with the strength and conditioning coach 3-4 times a week. This may seem pointless that I am stressing this, but, there are some kids who head off to play college golf with no idea of how many hours they are actually going to be spending “practicing”. Make sure you know what your coach expects in terms of practice before you agree to play. Ask what a typical practice schedule would look like and how an “in season” day vs an “out of season” day would compare. continued on next page...

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 12 College Golf: A Few Things to Consider. By Amanda Minchin / Head Professional / TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club

4. The First Semester (or year) is going to take some Adjustment Golf is a tough game to play on any given day, but it’s even harder when you’re adjusting to a new place, new living arrangement, new friends and a full course load of university classes. My first semester of college golf was both exciting and frankly, frustrating. My parents dropped me off in Charleston, Illinois at Eastern Illinois University where I knew no one, and for the first two weeks, I wasn’t even sure how I was going to get to practice since I hadn’t even met any of my teammates. My golf game was struggling, I had never played on Bermuda grass in Tennessee before! But, I eventually figured it all out. By the 2nd semester and spring golf season, I was much more comfortable and confident on the course. It could have been easy to just say “this is too hard” and give up … but, I really wanted to play college golf. Keep this all in mind, there will be an adjustment period … some might adjust sooner than others and that’s ok. Don’t get down on yourself and just keep working hard. And, no matter how excited you may be to leave home, you will get homesick! These are just a few tips that I picked up on my way. They apply to student athletes attending Canadian universities as well. Just remember, you can never ask too many questions!

Click HERE To View The NCAA Recruiting Fact Sheet (June, 2016 Edition) Stats Provided by

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 13 Do You Really Know Your Yardages? By Kevin Dietz / Class A Professional / Tor Hill GC

D uring my time coaching students and playing golf with many amateurs, whether it is in a Pro

AM, Mens Night, or just a casual round of golf, I have come to realize that avid golfers have a pretty good idea of how far they hit each club. However, nearly all of them have no idea of how far the ball carries with each club. This is some crucial information and can help you instantly save strokes in every round you play. Below is a student of mine’s Trackman report showing the distance that he hits each club in his bag. However, if you only know each clubs total yardage, and don’t know how far you carry each club, you only have half the information. Now you may be wondering “why do I need to know how far each club carries?”. Let’s have a look at a scenario that demonstrates why this can save you strokes every round. Many of you may be familiar with Tor Hill Golf Course in Regina. We are going to put “Bill”, not his real name, on hole number 7 East, a par 5 measuring 520 yards. Bill has hit a good drive and a good lay up shot into the fairway leaving himself 125 yards to a front pin. Bill knows that he hits his 8 iron around 125 yards (126.6 to be exact). He pulls his 8 iron out, makes a good swing, hits the ball perfectly solid, watches the ball fly towards the hole only to land in the front bunker that was a 120 yard carry to clear. Now Bill isn’t a great bunker player, he then leaves his first bunker shot in the bunker, hits it 35 feet past the hole on his next shot, then 3 putts and walks of the green with an eight, ruining what had been a great round. He then walks of the green and says to his playing partners, “ I only had 125 yards into that hole, I usually hit my eight iron 125. I must have miss hit it to end up in the bunker.” When in actuality he hit that shot perfect, It was the wrong club.

continued on next page...

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 14 Do You Really Know Your Yardages? By Kevin Dietz / Class A Professional / Tor Hill GC

Below we see how far Bill carries each of his clubs. What we notice is that Bill only carries his 8 iron 118 yards. That is why his ball ended up in the front bunker that was 120 yards to carry. If Bill would have hit his 7 iron which he carries 131 yards it would have left him about a 25 foot putt from beyond the hole for birdie. If Bill two putts he ends up walking off the hole with a par five instead of an eight, and his great round continues. Now that you understand why it is so crucially important to not only know how far you hit your clubs, but to also know how far you carry each club, hopefully you will not make this same mistake. What is “TrackMan Technology”?

Visit the TrackMan Golf Website

It’s basically microwaves reflecting from a moving golf club and golf ball. The change in frequency of these waves is what makes it possible for us to track what happens at the very moment of impact between club and ball. TrackMan has a long history of working with golf radar technology. The company was established in 2003 with the sole purpose of helping golf professionals understand more about this critical moment in time. The TrackMan golf radar not only helps map these key data parameters - ball speed, attack angle, club path, face angle, etc. - it also captures the golf swing with a built-in HD video camera or with the use of external cameras. Radar technology (also called a portable golf launch monitor or swing analyzer) is an integral part of the golf instruction today. Whether it is used for golf swing lessons, analysis, or club fitting, the golf radar and software are suited to be used by professional trainers, coaches, and players; as well as golf beginners. Our software offers games and other practice applications through the laptop or mobile version. The golf radar can be used outdoors as well as indoor in a golf simulator environment. You can play and practice on courses such as Pebble Beach and St Andrews. Finally, to help you better understand the data and information, we have developed a unique learning experience. TrackMan University is a free learning platform designed to help you get the most out of your investement through gamification tools and easy to use calculators.

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 15 New Driver? Wait, Don’t Buy Without Trying! By Chad Lavallee / Teaching Professional / GolfTown Saskatoon

D river’s are a golfers best friend. Seriously, everyone loves the driver because it goes the

furthest and, let’s be honest, is a fun club to hit. There is something hypnotic about catching one right on the screws and watching it sail down the fairway. If you’re in the market for a new driver however, make sure you are getting the one that is actually going to make a difference. Things you can do to help: If you’re heading out to purchase a new driver there are a few things you can do to help your fitter decide which way to go. There are tonnes of options in terms of shaft/head combinations and answering a few of these questions can help narrow down the search. Establish Your Price Range This is a pretty simple one but it helps the fitter out tremendously. Not everyone can afford the latest and greatest driver out there but fortunately there are options for more value conscious buyers. Keep in mind that the bigger your budget, usually (but not always) the easier it is to find the proper fit for you. Bring Your Current Model Along Some may be surprised to hear me say this one, but I want to see what you’re currently using. Not only that, but I want to see you hit it! There is no point in switching drivers if I can’t beat what you’re currently doing with your own, and that’s my goal. I want to make you hit this new one better and show you the value of stepping up your equipment. If we can’t beat it, then you save some’s a win/win. Be Reasonable With Your Expectations One of the biggest downers when fitting a person is when I manage to get a person 10 yards more in distance and decrease dispersion yet the person getting fitted is not satisfied. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Well I was hoping to gain around 30-40 yards.” or “I thought it would fix my slice completely.” I’ve always been fairly transparent when I fit and I can tell you it’s not impossible to gain 30-40 yards on your drive BUT it’s extremely rare. Most of the time if I gain that extra club (10 yards traditionally) in distance I’m thrilled because we’ve just decreased the amount of club you’re going to have into the hole and is going to provide you returns on your scores. Finally, adjustable clubs can aid in preventing or decreasing a slice but if you are coming across the ball from an out to in path, regardless of how I set the club, you will probably slice it still. If a fitter is fitting you and he cuts your slice in half, be thrilled about that, he just made your shot shape more manageable for yourself! continued on next page... SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 16 New Driver? Wait, Don’t Buy Without Trying! By Chad Lavallee / Teaching Professional / GolfTown Saskatoon

When Getting Fit When you’re getting fit, there are a few numbers that we pay attention to that allows us to really maximize the Driver’s potential for a person. These numbers can be attained in a number of different ways and it’s part of the fitter’s job to find the right pairing of shaft and head to attain these. Launch Angle Launch angle is the initial angle the ball takes off from the club head in relation to the ground or the horizontal plane. In laments terms, how high the ball initially takes off from the face of the club. Launch angle is important as it follows a pretty simple idea behind it. I want you to imagine a water hose and it is shooting water out at a consistent rate. You begin moving the end of the hose up and down using your wrist to change the angle it’s shooting out at. At some point that water is going to go the farthest. Too high it just goes straight up and down losing distance, too low it just goes into the ground losing distance again. This is the same idea with launch angle in golf. One thing I do want to make clear is that the optimal launch angle changes as well. The faster your swing speed the less launch you need in order to optimize your distance. Again think of the water hose. If you start off with fairly low pressure (speed) You will need to arc it more to maximize how far it will go but if you add pressure (speed) you will find that you need to lower the arc to maximize the distance the water gets. To give you an idea on Launch Angle averages, I have pulled the following data off the Trackman Blog which you can find here ( Tour Averages PGA TOUR Driver – 10.9 deg 6 iron – 14.1 deg LPGA Tour Driver – 13.2 degrees 6 iron – 17.1 degrees

TrackMan Combine Averages Male Amateur (Driver) Female Amateur (Driver) Scratch of Better – 11.2 degrees Scratch or Better – 12.7 degrees 5 HCP – 11.2 degrees 5 HCP – 12.0 degrees 10 HCP – 11.9 degrees 10 HCP – 12.4 degrees Average Golfer (14.5) – 12.6 degrees 15 HCP – 13.6 degrees Bogey Golfer – 12.1 degrees continued on next page...

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 17 New Driver? Wait, Don’t Buy Without Trying! By Chad Lavallee / Teaching Professional / GolfTown Saskatoon

Changing your launch angle can be done a number of different ways, but by far the easiest way is to decrease the loft on your Driver. No other component on the club will make as big an impact as the loft on the club. If you are finding that the your launch is too low or too high, try increasing or decreasing the loft to help you attain the ideal number you are looking for. Spin The second big stat we are looking at when fitting you is backspin. Excess backspin is a distance killer. Fortunately many OEM companies have recognized this and are now making drivers with low spinning heads that allow people to achieve the desired spin rates easier. My go to numbers for backspin is somewhere in the 2000-3000 RPM ideally. If you are finding that your backspin rate is too high, it may be time to try out a few different driver heads to see if it can help you decrease your spin. A few driver models to try: Callaway GBB Epic Sub-Zero A new offering from Callaway that has gained considerable hype and for good reason. The Sub-Zero model is a low spinning, high forgiveness driver made to help those who have excess spin issues. The Driver features new jailbreak technology which has two rods placed directly behind the face of the driver. This helps in decreasing deflection in the face and adding ball speed to your shots. Not only that but Callaway offers 4 premium no-charge shafts which can further help tune in your spin rate and launch angles. Taylormade M1 Driver The M1 driver from Taylormade features two sliding weights that help players adjust their drivers for both backspin and side spin. By changing the centre of gravity of the club head you can effectively change the gear effect of a golf club resulting in greater distance from lower spin. The M1 Driver comes in two models 460 cc for max forgiveness and 440 for more workability. The M1 is available in a wide variety of shafts to help fine tune the driver to your specifications. continued on next page...

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 18 New Driver? Wait, Don’t Buy Without Trying! By Chad Lavallee / Teaching Professional / GolfTown Saskatoon

Ping G LS Tec The LS in Ping G LS Tec stands for Low Spin. So you know right away that this driver is made specifically for the purpose of reducing spin. In this driver, Ping combines it’s critically acclaimed forgiveness with a model that provides a lower backspin rate to give some of the biggest distance possible. The LS Tec is adjustable in loft up to 1 degree up or down. The G LS Tec is available in two shafts. The TFC and a tour version of the TFC help to fine tune the driver even further for those looking to max out their distance. Additionally, shaft fitting can further lower the spin rate on a player looking to fully maximize their distance. In order to find the right shaft for you I recommend finding your local fitter and booking an appointment.

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017

saskgolfer 19 Featured Saskatchewan Golf Business

1621 Golf Performance Academy Saskatchewan’s Newest Golf Performance Centre NOW Open in Regina 1621 Golf Performance Academy is proud to bring the best in golf coaching to Regina by combining Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) and PGA of Canada accredited coaches and instructors. Our role is to provide you - the athlete, with the physical and mental tools to unlock your body’s optimum swing potential. PGA of Canada member and TPI Level 1 Brad Lovatt can provide you with the most accurate guidance and instruction to improve your golf game with the help of our Trackman technology used by the top PGA and LPGA golfers. Trackman is the most powerful and accurate Launch Monitor ever built, using two radar systems instead of one to obtain maximum data quality and accuracy. With this technology, Brad can analyze the entirety of your golf game and mentor you through the process of becoming a better player. By combining golf specific physical movement screens with strength and power assessments, TPI Level 3 and CSCS accredited Tanner White can pinpoint what physically limits not only your swing, but your overall performance on the course. From there, a training plan is created to target these limitations and improve your game. 1621 recognizes that junior golfers are vital to the longevity of this sport. We believe that it is important to not only enjoy the game but to train as athletes targeting all facets of athletic and human development. We welcome all junior golfers to take advantage of the golf experience, education and training that 1621 has to offer.

Visit Website For more information, please contact: Tanner White Owner Operator 1621 Life.Style.Goals 1621 Albert St, Regina Sk S4P 2S5 c.306.552.8960

SaskGolfer Digital Magazine | July 2017



JASON SCHNEIDER Class A Professional Wildwood GC, Saskatoon

AMANDA MINCHIN Head Professional TS&M Woodlawn GC, Estevan


CHAD LAVALLEE Teaching Professional GolfTown, Saskatoon

KEVIN DIETZ Class A Professional Tor Hill Golf Club, Regina




GARRETT McMILLAN CFM Royal Regina GC, Regina

Every issue of the SaskGolfer Digital Magazine Features PGA of Canada - Saskatchewan Zone Professionals. Click on the Professional’s logo under their name to visit their respective personal websites.


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