Live Hangout with Don and Doc - State of Golf Worldwide

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:26 -- Don Trahan

Welcome to another edition of our Google Hangouts-On-Air with Don. This Hangout features Doc once again. Don and Doc cover several topics during recording to include Swing Surgeon Custom Clubs, Don's recovery status, and the state of golf worldwide - a followup to a recent blog.

We answer several live questions from viewers during the event. If you havea Google Plus profile you can watch the recording on plus that will include the interactive tools for the question and answers.

Sit back and enjoy!

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Eileen's picture

Submitted by Eileen on

First....I pray for your continued healing.
Second....I sent in a question quite a while ago about hitting the ball farther. I have been using the PPG system for about 3 years after shoulder surgery. I love it because I (mostly) hit the ball straight.
However, I am a 76 year old woman and not hitting the ball as far as before. The answer I got was NOT helpful because it basically said "we all slow down when we get older". OK I agree. BUT...that is not really an acceptable excuse. THERE MUST BE EXERCISES YOU CAN SUGGEST THAT WILL STRENGTHEN A PERSON AND HELP GET MORE SPEED!
As you recover, I'm sure you will be doing some exercises to strengthen yourself. I know you are not a physical therapist but I really believe there are things that will help. Please share.
Thanks, Eileen

Kevin McGarrahan's picture

Submitted by Kevin McGarrahan on


What will likely help you the most is doing exercises to strengthen your triceps (the back of your upper arms). This will help keep your lead arm straighter in the backswing (BUS) and trailing arm straighter in the FUS. You may be like I was (and am now after shoulder surgery) with my arms collapsing during the swing. If the arms collapse, it is almost impossible to generate any power and maintaining the timing of the swing.

I started my rehab with successive strengths of resistance bands from my physical therapist and am now working my way up through increasing dumbbells, from 2 lbs to whatever I eventually manage. I'm using 3lb at the moment. My goal is to get to using equal weights with both my biceps and triceps; never been there before. Came close 30 years ago in the Army, but not quite.

Good luck, Kevin

Leednc's picture

Submitted by Leednc on

Doc, how do I tell if someone can do a reliable job of checking/changing lofts? Certain brands of lie/loft machines? I have a few recommendations but wonder how to narrow them down.
As to the reason people are leaving or not starting golf, in my circle it's cost. None of my friends have bought a new set in years, we buy used. A $400 driver? $300 putter? I'd rather play 8-10 times than buy those clubs and not play for month or two.
The 2nd is time. Marshall's don't push people as much as they used too, don't aggravate the few paying customers they get. And then it takes you 5 hours to play behind a group with three holes open in front and no clue about the etiquette of allowing people to play through.
Climbing off my soap box now. :-)

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

One of the simple ways of telling whether someone is doing (or did) a reliable job on your lies and lofts is by testing the results with tape. Really when doing your lies they should put either impact tape or masking tape on the BOTTOM of your irons and have you hit each one odd a lie board individually to see if you are leaving a mark on the toe end, toward the heel, or near the middle. If the mark is in the center it is spot on, if it is toward the toe your clubs are too flat,if it is marked toward the heel they (or that club) is too upright. Normally after lies are done correctly we should only see about 1/2 a degree difference in the lie angles from one iron to the next, ie., the 5 iron might be 61 degrees (for you) and then the 6 iron would logically be correct if it is 61.5 degrees, 7 i 62d et..
Brand of machine? I have a Maltby while some may swear by Mitchell or another brand. Unless it's really beat up cheapy it should be fairly reliable. You can also buy tools that simply help you measure what the lofts and lies are on each club. Remember, what will be correct for YOU may NOT be right for someone else. None of us are really 'standard'. Some play better with slightly upright sticks while others with slightly flatter clubs. Surge has all of his slightly flatter because his arms are really long relative to his body and height. I play better with slightly upright irons. A reputable fitter says most recreational players would be better off with clubs that are more upright.
For what ever is correct for each of us ( that is when hit with tape the mark is spot on in the middle, for every single degree off it is we will either tend to push or pull our shots. According to Maltby's 'Complete book of fitting" page 197 an example is with a 48* (loft) pitching wedge that is 4 degrees too upright from 115 yards we would hit it 22 feet left of our target. For most that would mean a missed green left.
One fitter says that MOST recreational players have irons that are too flat and that is one of the reasons they keep hitting the ball to the right of their target and keep blaming their swing.
Loft is a much easier thing to both measure and correct. It is easier to bend a club to a desired loft than to correct a wrong lie angle. Both are normally fixed by the same machine and done at the same fitting. Most players want about 4* between each loft, ie. 52* wedge (and a 48* and a 56*) for example.
Having said all that I would love to know the percentage of Surgites reading this have EVER had their lofts and lies checked and corrected since they bought them back in 1980?!!! While many of you don't feel you can buy newer clubs, getting your lofts and lies corrected is both cheap and should be done at least once a year for most golfers.
Whether someone is reliable or not as a fitter? Ask their experience and background. Or, make sure it's a certified fitter. If they don't carefully check you with each iron and give you written (or computer print out) of the before and after adjustment, you may want a better fitting.

Jerry Gaughan's picture

Submitted by Jerry Gaughan on

I got all of my sticks checked when I got fitted for the driver and 4 wood last year by Greg Courtnay. He tweaked my 8 Iron which was off, plus he cut down both of my hybrids which were too long. Since he his certified on this site and is listed on Tom Wishon's site I figured he would have solid credentials. On his website he has all of his accreditations listed. He did an excellent job - the driver and 4 wood are fantastic, I have hit the hybrids better, and the oversize grips have really helped my hands.
On the golf side:
Saturday - Plumbrook: 43-45-88, with a 9 on a par five.
Sunday - Old Oaks 41-39-80 +9 (tied my record) doubled first hole with 3 putt, 10 pars 7 bogeys after. Very solid everything.
Hope you and the missus are doing and playing well
Jerry - Warren, MI

Jerry Gaughan's picture

Submitted by Jerry Gaughan on

Agree with you on both of your soapbox items:
1. Price of clubs - most would be better to get fit instead of getting name brands at th golf store.
2. Pace of play - was treated to a solid example of this on Sunday afternoon. Marshall let a fivesome play said it would hold up play more if he broke them up. The foursome behind them and ahead of us was bru-tal. The one man in the group would take four practice swings, look at the old guy who was teaching him for guidance, then block it way right EVERY TIME (LOL!!!).
The only way we can play a fast round is to play something harder that does not get traffic or play the first several groupps in the morning.
Good post Lee, best of luck,
Jerry - Warren, MI

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Nice playing pal. Yes I agree it is not that tough to find a decent fitter unless you live in the sticks, lol. Of course if you live in a small town area away from the big city I will most likely not feel too bad for that person as small towns are often very cool. A PPGS fitter is preferred of course. Great to hear you had your clubs done right and as a result along with doing ones best to swing PPGS style you are playing well.Cindy and I are actually down in Glendale (northern Phoenix Az.) visiting Cindy's son who had started medical school down here. We played a little 9 hole track today. The rough was nuts. The ball would simply disappear. I'd hit balls just off the fairway and search for 5 minutes to find it! Lost two that way today. Still had fun. 5 pars, two boges and yes two doubles (the lost ball holes).
Really.... keep it in the short grass!!!!