The Driver –

In order to score well on the longer holes, you need a driver that consistently gets you to the fairway.
· Analysis of Your Current Driver(s): We brought two drivers to the session—a 13-degree Big Bertha and a 10.5 Cleveland HiBore. We liked the Big Bertha because it got our drives up in the air with more carry; however, the shaft worked against us and we were consistently right; the HiBore also needed shaft modification.
· Priority: Distance or Accuracy? At this point, the fitter asked us what we wanted out of our driver—distance or accuracy, or both. We wanted accuracy, being more than willing to sacrifice 20 yards for the psychological boost of being on the fairway with a better chance of reaching the green in regulation. So, we focused on hitting target areas.
· Analysis: We hit our regular drivers a few times and the fitter saw plus and minus factors. Positive: 1) solid angle of attack, 2) good swing path, 3) clubface square at impact, 4) Good carry, ie, more than 200 yards. Negative: In both drivers, the shaft was hurting accuracy by sending shots off-line.
· Testing Demos: He then gave us three demos. One, a Titleist, proved to be the best of five drivers, as we consistently drove it straight in a tight dispersion pattern; dispersion meaning our shots were in a tight cluster in our target area.
· Goals: We set two goals for our driving: 1) Increase spin rate by 300 rpms, and 2) achieve higher launches for more carry. In both cases, this meant inserting a new shaft or finding a club like the Titleist and going with that.
· Summary: There are many misconceptions on how to “hit the ball far,” with many people simply trying to “swing harder.” Cool Clubs fitters are able to better explain the key physics behind maximizing distance. They will use their knowledge to find the optimal combination of shaft and clubhead for your unique swing characteristics. In most cases, they will find the lightest shaft you can control (direction), as well as find your optimal launch and spin relationship. This relationship is different for everyone, however, with a higher launch you need a lower spin rate and vice versa.


Southern Arizona Amateurs Capture Gibson Cup

Congratulations to the Southern Arizona Amateurs for a Great Victory!

Tucson, Ariz. (December 21, 2009) — For the fourth consecutive year, the Southern Arizona Amateurs defeated the Southern Southwest PGA Professionals in the Gibson Cup. The Gibson Cup annually pits the best amateurs from Southern Arizona against the best SWSPGA Professionals.

The Gibson Cup took place December 19-20, at the Westin La Paloma Golf Resort. The AGA Amateurs defeated the Southern Chapter 27.5—26.5 to retain the trophy. This was the 15th Annual event this year.

The members of the AGA Open team include: Cyrus Whitney, Pat Geare, Matt Bergstrom, Radd Lukas, Morgan Brown, Tom Sweigart, Erik Nielsen and Greg Cesarek.

The members of the AGA Senior team include: Armen Dirtadian, Rich Morrison, Jim Pierce and Gregg Dennis.

Each year the top Southern Chapter Southwest Section PGA club professionals and Southern Arizona AGA amateurs compete in the Gibson Cup matches, which is a match play format to promote competition between the two associations to see who has the better team for that year.

The format for the first day was a Four Ball competition, with two players from each team paired together playing their best ball against the other team. The final round matches were single matches. The point system was (1) point for the low front nine, (1) point for the low back nine, and (1) point for the overall low eighteen hole total.

After the first round the PGA Professionals, scored (10) points to the Amateurs (8) to take a (2) point advantage into the final single round matches. A crucial swing in the first round matches was professional Glen Griffith sinking a 40-foot birdie putt on the eighteenth hole to tie the match at 1 ½ to 1 ½ against a daunting match with amateurs Eric Nielson and Pat Geare. Glen’s partner Rich Elias was happy to say the least when the putt dropped into the hole.

Elias said, “That was one of the hardest and best putts I have ever seen made on the eighteenth hole to tie a match.”

During the start of the final round matches, the professionals really struggled and lost their lead in the early matches. The amateurs collected 5 straight wins and 12 ½ points to the professionals 2 points. As the matches progressed the professionals started playing very well, dominating their matches, limiting the amateurs to only (2) points for their final four matches to the professionals (10) points. However, it was a little too late to make up the difference in the points from the earlier matches.

In came down to the final hole and to the second to last match when amateur Eric Nielson, who had a 40 foot birdie put made on him the day before returned the favor and birdied the last hole against professional Brandon Smith. Nielson was able to sneak out a ½ point to Smiths 2 ½ points, but it was good enough to push the amateurs over the top for 27 ½ to 26 ½ victory over the professionals.

The name "Gibson Cup" was in honor of long time local PGA club professional and UofA Golf coach John Gibson. This now completes four wins in a row for the amateurs. The overall record stands at nine wins for the Southern Chapter Southwest Section PGA Professionals and six wins for the Arizona Golf Associations Southern Arizona Amateurs.


Terravita Golf Club Offers One-Year Trail Membership to Residents and Non-Residents

Unique opportunity to join North Scottsdale private golf club on a one-year trial basis is a limited offer designed to attract new members

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Terravita Golf Club, an award-winning private, member-owned and operated 18-hole golf course located in North Scottsdale, now offers a one-year trial golf membership to Terravita residents and non-residents.

“We expanded our membership to include non-resident members nearly two years ago,” said Terravita Director of Golf Steve Mallory. “Now we want to encourage golfers who intend to join a private golf club in North Scottsdale to not only play the Terravita course, but experience the camaraderie of the Terravita membership before they buy a full membership.”

The new trial membership program is offered to singles, couples or families and includes all the playing benefits of full golf members. The trial membership package offers:

Unlimited use of 18-hold course and practice facilities, including the expansive, two-way driving range, and chipping, sand and putting areas
A challenging venue with five sets of tees ranging from 7,075 yards to 5,286 yards
Highest quality bent grass greens and full course over-seeding
Professional staff , including four Class A PGA professionals – Director of Golf Steve Mallory, Director of Instruction Rick Lee, and Golf Professionals Bob Giebelhausen and Landon Christie.
Men’s and ladies’ weekly organized group play and seasonal tournaments, plus regular couples tournaments
Up to five preferred starting reservations annually for members with guests, scheduled within 120 days in advance
Participation in saving up to 25 percent on Terravita Pro Shop clothing and equipment
Access to three restaurants – the Terravita Dining Room, Grille and Snack Bar

The trial membership deposit is $5,000, which is applied to the full initiation fee for those joining within 12 months. A full membership is now offered at $40,000. Trial members are responsible for monthly dues, cart fees, club bag storage and locker service.

Trial members are required to submit a completed membership application with the $5,000 trial membership fee, and all applications are reviewed and approved by the Terravita Golf Board of Directors. There currently is a cap of 325 members.

“We have 319 members currently,” added Mallory. “But there are always golf members who need to leave the club for a variety of reasons, so we’re continually looking for golfers who will appreciate the Terravita lifestyle and are interested in joining the club.”

About Terravita Golf Club:
Terravita Golf Club is the private golf club of choice in North Scottsdale, located in the heart of picturesque desert foothills. There are nearly 1,400 households in the gated community, located just south of Carefree, Arizona. It offers world-class amenities in an elegant desert setting, with an award-winning, private 18-hole golf course designed by renowned architects PGA Hall of Famer Billy Casper and Greg Nash. Terravita Golf Club has been ranked first by Ranking Arizona – The Best of Arizona Business Magazine’s listing of the state’s top 10 private golf courses in 2009, 2007, 2006 and 2005. For more information, visit


Frankly Golf Q and A

Welcome to this week’s Golf Equipment Q&A!
The Putting Stroke

Click here  to submit your question to Frank!
Please note: by submitting your golf equipment question to Frank you will automatically become a Frankly Friend so you can stay up to date with his Golf Equipment Q & A.

Dear Frank:
As we finally rid the dreaded, " straight back and straight through " putting stroke, now we find a new group trying to overwork the putting stroke. Which regulates the path of the stroke? The shaft plane or an area of the body? You might guess that I think it’s a body position and the shaft follows. Your thoughts please.
Thank you,
I am afraid that after watching hundreds (actually thousands) of putting strokes and correcting most of them I have come to believe that many teachers have tried too hard to define the path of the stroke rather than allowing the body to do what is naturally dictated by its physiology.
During some of my work at the USGA on the kinematic analysis of a full swing I became convinced that trying to find the natural and most efficient motion, by studying subjects with various (and sometimes contradictory) tutored versions of this motion, that I was not looking in the right places.
I was overly impressed with the swings of four-year-old golfers who, given a club, were allowed to hit a ball without instruction. The weight shift and even the swing paths were impressive. It was this natural motion, which we should allow to develop and not try to change significantly.  
When I started working on the putting stroke — almost a decade ago — I decided to pursue the very basics of good set up, natural posture, with the correct putter length. With these fundamentals in place, I was able to focus on letting the body do what it wanted to do naturally with only minor tweaks and avoid trying to control an unnatural path. This is the basis of my teaching philosophy and one which builds consistency and confidence into a putting stroke.
The body wants – in most cases – to move symmetrically with a smooth unencumbered rhythm.  The difference between long and short putts (fast and slow greens) is the length of the backstroke. Otherwise the stroke and thought process is the same especially on those three and four footers where those little voices start talking to you over your putt. Don’t listen to them and have confidence in your stroke and know that you are going to make it. This will result in consistency in the stroke and reduce the sources of error.
Tom, if you are in the Orlando area, I urge you to take the opportunity to visit our Putting Studio and take a putting lesson. I know you will be very impressed with our holistic approach and will leave with confidence.
Best wishes

Golf Equipment Q&A Archives: View a regular selection of Frank’s favorite Q&A’s


Tom Olson is Back!

Due to a great success earlier in the year, we would like to once again offer a golf instructional program that we call the AGA Golf Swing Development Club. This extremely low-cost program is designed specifically for our amateur golfers, and focuses on incorporating the swing fundamentals most needed in your swing for improvement. The program follows up with continuous mentoring so long-lasting muscle memory can be achieved. By learning and developing your swing with this gradual step-by-step approach we feel it gives you the best possible chance to significantly improve your scoring and enhance your enjoyment of the game.

The program will be held once again at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale. The facilities at McCormick include a grassed practice tee, putting green, chipping and sand bunker area, and 80-yard practice hole. The instruction covers all phases of the game and is under the direction of Tom Olson, a Class "A" PGA teaching professional with over 25 years of experience. Tom’s many students include Annika Sorenstam from 1990-95 and several collegiate "All Americans." The costs and particulars of the program are as follows:

Five Lesson Program
$100 for five (5) 30- minute private lessons or come with a friend, spouse or pair-up with a neighbor and get an hour-long private lesson together! ($100 each).

All lessons include:
The cost of range balls

Three (3) Internet Swing Assistance Help Line requests

One hour Club-Fittings ($30 additional charge)

Informal Golf Outings at McCormick Ranch (Wednesday Afternoon Golf 9-hole Scrambles, Starting January 13th at 3:15pm)

Professional Physical Fitness and Stretching Seminars (cost TBA)

All those interested in participating may sign up by contacting the AGA office by email [email protected], or by phone (602) 944-3035. Once sign-ups have been determined our schedule will be formatted and participants may begin scheduling lessons at the times most convenient for them. Additional time will be set aside each week to accommodate reschedules, poor weather, etc., and ensure that scheduling is as convenient as possible for everyone. And after one session should you feel this program just won’t work for you, we will gladly refund all your money. Hope to see you on the tee!