Friday, 13 June 2014

The Truth About Aimpoint Express Read - Review

I've been fortunate to have an inside look at the teaching and use of aimpoint express read up close in the hands of various levels of skilled males and females and I provide my honest opinion here.

What is Aimpoint 

Aimpoint in basic terms was created or first brought to light by Mark Sweeney. The idea of Aimpoint is to include science into the putting aspect of golf by assisting greatly in the reading of greens and then following a read being made using science and research to assist in picking the line to match the read.

There are several varieties of Aimpoint;

Introduction to Aimpoint which teaches the fundamentals matching Aimpoints belief and the use of a chart to match the read.

Mid-Point which again takes the fundamentals a step further dealing with longer putts. 

Express Read; as used by Adam Scott and Stacey Lewis the world number one male and female is a quicker system that has no need for a chart system. It is designed to be a quick system for making a read and matching the line.

Express Read - Does it work, is it accurate?

In simple terms, Yes. I'm not associated to Aimpoint in anyway but I can say it works and I believe anyone can pick the system up quickly. I will not go into detail on the technique due to Aimpoint having to sell this product or service but the idea that greens are read using the feet over the eyes is incredibly accurate, especially on courses that are USGA greens where they have subtle breaks and optical illusions. Optical illusions don't trick the feet.

Once a read is made as a percentage slope usually between 0 and 4 then depending on the length the same amount of fingers are aligned with the hole to the high side. This varies by each person and a certain element of personal calibration is allowed in this system but people often say 'well I have smaller hands than XYZ so my read is less' but due to these people generally having shorter arms the read is similar and so the system works incredibly well.

Having watched this in use and seeing people experience this for the first time the level of reading is incredibly accurate with people generally in the first half hour predicting slope 70% accurately with this increasing at different levels. The hardest break I noticed for people to spot is 0 percent slope because we as golfers generally want to find some break.

Then picking a line using the finger technique which has minor adjustments due to various speed greens is a great way to putt. I wholeheartedly would say that people prior to Express would under read break by 30-60% or at least the perceived break by that much. It's often seen where people don't believe the line, are told to trust it and then proceed to hit a very accurate put on the trusted but I believed line.

I again agree that everyone I have seen use express read in practice and play have made more putts in the areas that matter between 0 - 12 foot or 0 to 4 meters. It's a great system and in all honesty a read and line up can take 4-10 seconds maximum. It's quick.

Are there negatives to Express Read?

It depends what you declare a negative. Here are some points that you may need to be aware of.

This system is different. Playing partners may be used to Geoff plumb bobbing, Terry doing a press-up to do a low to the ground read and Margret reading the putt from 3 sides but no body has seen someone stand facing the hole trying to feel slope in there feet, possibly with closed eyes. You will undoubtably have people question you as to what are you doing? Are you okay? Where did you learn this? But If I had anything at stake I would bet you will read greens more accurately.

It requires practice to improve. To recognise a 4 percent slope vs a 2 percent slope is quite easy but to recognise a 1 percent vs 2 percent requires training over time. The good news is that with the correct capture pace of roughly 30cm or 1 foot is that a 1 percent read will go in on a 2 percent slope as long as you are accurate to one with exception to the 0 percent slope read outside the hole.

The good thing is there is an app called Clinometer that can be downloaded for free to use your iphone or iPad as a digital spirit level for practice.


The importance of speed control.

Prior to any Aimpoint clinic I would recommend practicing putting to a level where the starting line is accurate to a respectable level but more importantly you have good pace control. Aimpoint depends heavily on the golfer controlling the pace of the putts to roll 30cms past the hole which meets the formulas to predict the break amount. Practice this element of putting and you will save time at a clinic trying to improve this.

Summary

This works, very very well. The results are instant and Adam Scott uses this system just to hit home. There are plenty of videos on YouTube to check so look there also but from me I love this system. You really must use an authorised instructor because I have heard from word of mouth several variations on this that they believe is correct but is a misunderstanding of the system. Buy cheap and buy twice or see the real deal for roughly £80-£100 for normally two hours of tuition.

From me,

Mike B

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Titleist 915 F Patent - 915 D2 D3 to use Taylor Made technology?

It is known that Taylor Made have a very active R&D department and it tends to appear that other major brands watch then follow. Not always but often. Well it may have happened again.

A leaked patent requested by Titleist shows a fairway wood display similar design qualities of that of a Adams or Taylor Made.

As you can see above there looks to be a 'speed slot' both on the crown and sole.

Also a patent is requested of which little can be guessed in the way the sole weight is fixed. This appears to be a Driver, possibly the D2 or D3.


Is this Titleist's version of the Big Bertha Alpha? Is the weight there to adjust the COG rather than the swing weight?

The patents are vague but one thing is for sure... The fairway wood seems a little different. Not as 'Titleist playing it classic and safe' but not as extreme as the 907 (thankfully).

Hope this is new to you,

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Mike B

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Titleist 915 D2 D3 D4


So, we are on the border line of the 8-9 months prior to the 915 being revealed following the timeline of previous years, so it's time I highlight my opinion on what I'd like to see from the Titleist line up.

The thing with Titleist is they stick very closely to a proven recipe outside of the rare Titleist 907 beast and that recipe works... Generally. 

Titleist have a reputation in the wood department of creating very solid clubs that perform very well but I must admit from what I've tried and seen in many better players bags at an amateur level is that guys are switching to Taylor Made's very good SLDR, Callaway's Optiforce/Razor Extreme (and I speculate Big Bertha Alphas) and even Ping with the Anser.

Therefore I question will Titleist excite enough people outside of the loyalists to stir demand or will they lose further market share to the above?

Here is what I'd like to see:

Keep the surefit

Titleist will earn a lot of respect if they can manage to keep for 6 years a hosel that will work from the 910 to 915. Loyalists will feel this is a 1up over Taylor Made boys and therefore capitalise on shafts from previous years.

Keep the traditional looks and dark paint

It works well in all conditions and the Red White Black combination suits the eye, it doesn't scream or shout like some gimmicky TM club but it has that feel of class about it.

Keep the high quality headcovers

It's important that if the product is in the bag 2+ years the Headcover can last that length. Some of the old 975 and 983 headcovers lasted a season whereas the 913 had a feel of quality that felt deserving of the owners money. Thank you Titleist, thank you.

Keep the crown clean

You have done a great job over the years of avoiding loud go faster stripes. Keep it that way.

Keep the solid reassuring sound paired with consistency across the face and a great line up of shafts

By all accounts a Titleist has a reassuring solid thud and it's been that way for a long time since the 975D. They may make the face thinner but they never make it tin like Cobra-esque and we thank you for that. The clubs have also had the ability to hit them slightly off centre and not have a ridiculous gear effect that caused a big hook (TM R1). Also the standard and up charge shafts provided rarely disappoint and that is something that puts other rival brands to shame.

Wishlist Titleist

D4?

The recipe for the D2 and D3 works although arguably they do fall closer together with the 912 than the 910. Why not go a little crazy and create an 'Anser' style low spin, small headed machine? It's embarrassing knowing you have a solid driving game except into the wind when you fall 30 yards back of where a low spin shot would be.

The D4 could be the one that gets guys to give up the SLDR's and the Alphas and try a Titleist that penetrates like the 975D with a X100 and 8.5 loft hitting a Proffesional 100 (those were the days).

Think about it Titleist, it will get us guys talking again.

Mike B

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