Thank you for your interest in the Playing Yardage Study. Our goal is to not only save you strokes on the golf course, but also to help golfers around the country shoot lower scores.
To participate there are three steps you must take before you leave this page (the Playing Yardage Study is described in more detail below).
One big advantage the Tour pros have over amateurs is knowing exactly how far they hit every club in their bag. Knowing their playing yardage allows pros to
* Select the right club
* Swing with more confidence
* Hit it closer to the pin more often
* Make more birdies
* Avoid hazards and the kinds of trouble that leads to higher scores
The Study is straightforward:
* You play three rounds of golf. We collect the data automatically using the GameGolf tracking system;
* You schedule a time to come in to The Bridges practice center after your first three rounds for a 90-minute Yardage Guide session on Flightscope radars;
* You play three more rounds of golf using the yardage guide. We collect the data.
Six rounds of golf plus one session at the range. That’s it!
We’d like you to complete your six rounds in 60 days from the Study kick-off (Thursday, April 10, 5:00 pm in the Bridges clubhouse restaurant).
We conducted a Study in 2013 with Flightscope radars to evaluate the effectiveness of radar as a teaching tool. One of the key findings of that Study was a better understanding and definition of what true playing yardage means, and how amateurs should use their playing yardages on the course.
What we learned was that every participant in that earlier study over-estimated their playing yardage by eight to 18 yards. From a practical standpoint that meant on the course they were consistently short of the pin on approach shots, leaving them with a longer putt, a chip, or a recovery from a hazard (why do you think architects put bunkers in front of most greens?).
When participants started selecting clubs based on their true playing yardage they started hitting more greens, they hit shots closer to the pin, and they stayed out of trouble more often. In short, they scored better.
The anecdotal evidence we collected suggests that the average amateur could save from three to eight shots per round just by knowing and hitting to their playing yardage.
That is significant.
Especially since it doesn’t involve making any swing changes or purchasing new equipment.
We felt a finding like this warranted a new study focused solely on the potential impact of knowing playing yardages. That’s why we need your help and participation. Your feedback, too. This Study could be a game-changer. Literally.
There were two major hurdles to overcome that prevented a study like this from being done in the past.
The first hurdle was providing accurate yardages for all the player’s clubs.
In the past the only way to get yardages for every club was to send a friend or caddy down the range and have them call back shot results. A less than accurate and potentially dangerous undertaking, to say the least.
Flightscope radars solve the yardage accuracy issue. Technology has advanced in recent years to the point where we can now track shots to the yard and determine not only total carry distance but also the lateral (side-to-side) deviation from a target as well. We can now show players where every ball lands. We can also show players what their shot grouping looks like. From that data we can now determine a golfer’s true playing yardage – accurate to the yard.
The PGA Tour Pros are fortunate to have ShotLink collecting data on every shot they hit. In fact ShotLink data has become so important that Tour Pros no longer work on improving their swing. They work on improving their stats. That’s a fundamental shift in the approach to improving scores – one that EricJonesGolf is championing at The Bridges with our Radar Training program. The Radar Training Program is the only program of its kind in the country. It allows amateur golfers access to technology formerly affordable only by Tour Pros, and it allows amateurs to train the same way the Pros train (you’ll have a chance to learn about Radar Training during the Playing Yardage Study).
The second hurdle was collecting actual playing data from golfers.
If you keep your stats or have ever tried to keep stats you know it can be a challenge. The more data the better – at least in being able to accurately analyze and learn from your round.
But there is a diminishing return. The more data you try to collect the longer it takes and the more it interferes with playing and actually enjoying your round. Then there is the issue of storing round stats and looking at trends over time. That takes too much organization and commitment. Plus there is the issue of accuracy.
Frankly there were just too many issues and potential pitfalls in expecting golfers to track and report on every shot. What was needed was a way to easily and accurately capture shot data, store it, and report it electronically.
GameGolf digital tracking systems solve the data collection hurdle. With the GameGolf gps unit on your belt and the club sensors installed in your grips, tracking data for every shot is easy, accurate, and non-interfering. In fact it’s even fun to use.
At the 2014 PGA show in Orlando this past January the hottest product at the show was the GameGolf digital tracking system. For good reason.
GameGolf is the first product that captures real time data and stats on your game while you play. The more you know about your game the easier it is to improve. You can review stats, see trends, highlight strengths and opportunities to address weaker areas. Their booth was packed the entire show.
GameGolf is one of only a handful of products formally endorsed by the PGA. That’s a pretty rare honor. Obviously the PGA feels like GameGolf is something that will help golfers, and that it will do so without interfering with actually playing golf.
But the real benefit is that it captures all this data easily. All you do is tap and go.
Each club has a specific sensor screwed into the end of the grip. When you get to your ball you tap the sensor to the controller unit which you wear on your belt. The controller unit has a GPS locator built in. It also stores your shot data. At the end of your round you plug the controller into your computer and upload your round. You can review your round, edit shots, move locations around, add penalties, etc.
When we completed the Radar for Teaching Study in 2013 we knew the idea of hitting to your true playing yardage was important. We also knew radar was the only practical way to give playing yardage to the average golfer. But we didn’t know how to solve the data capture issue during a real round of golf. As soon as we saw GameGolf we knew we had an answer.
Please feel free to visit the GameGolf website to learn more (http://www.gamegolf.com). They have some interesting videos, and some pretty big names behind them.
RADAR is an acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging. We are all familiar with radar in its use for things like tracking airplanes, missiles, and of course police tracking speeding cars.
Radars send out hundreds of thousands of radio waves per second. The radio waves bounce off an object and are sent back to a receiver in the unit. Radar was developed in the 1940’s for military use, and in fact the radar we use on the range today is adapted from those military radars. Henri Johnson, founder of Flightscope, is credited with the adaptation and basically inventing the whole category of using radar for golf almost 15 years ago.
When radar was introduced it was largely used for clubfitting. But as the technology evolved the high-end radar systems like Flightscope and Trackman (which spun out of Flightscope) began to employ multiple radar receivers in an array. The array gave radar systems “depth perception”, so not only could radar determine the speed of an object, they could also tell where it was in space and which direction it was traveling.
The radar sensor array meant it was possible to track not just the golf ball, but the club head, club path, attack angle, club face, and launch angle. What we call impact dynamics.
We’ve always referred to Impact as “the Moment of Truth.”
Radar – at least the high-end systems – allows us to focus directly on improving impact. We don’t have to change the swing and hope it improves impact. With radar we change impact and allow the swing to find its natural path of least resistance. We now know the physics of impact that produce the most consistent shots. Radar takes the guesswork out of improving.
In 2010 a few instructors began using radar for teaching. But the system cost (from $12k to upwards of $25k each), prevented all but Touring pros and their coaches from using them.
At EricJonesGolf we believe radar is the future of instruction. That’s why we are fortunate to have three Flightscope radar systems for studies like The Playing Yardage Study. We believe radar and studies like this one will change your game – and golf – for the better. We are proud to be at the forefront of this change, and hope that you’ll feel the same about your participation in the Study and the impact you could have on golf.
The Playing Yardage Study is open to all golfers of all ages and abilities. The broader the cross-section the better. However, we anticipate that intermediate level and better golfers will see the biggest benefit. The Study isn’t for new or beginning golfers, as there will be no instructional component. Plus we ask that you finish all six rounds within a 60-day period, including a 90-minute playing yardage session at The Bridges practice center after your first three rounds.
There is a facility fee of $99.00 due when you register that covers the cost of administering the Study. There is also a deposit of $249.00 required for the GameGolf digital tracking system. At the end of the Study you will have the opportunity to purchase your GameGolf system, or return it for a full refund.
The first step is to enter your full name and email address in the data box above. Then click the Sign Up Now button in the upper right corner. Then mark your calendar for the kick-off meeting Thursday, April 10th (start of the Masters) at 5:00 pm. See the instructions at the top of the page.
At the kick-off meeting we’ll distribute your GameGolf units. We’ll set up your account at GameGolf and initialize the tracking unit. If you have a laptop please bring it. We’ll install the pc software that allows you to upload your rounds to the cloud. Then we’ll sync the units.
We’ll also show you how to install the sensors in the grips, so please bring your golf clubs. We’ll walk you through the software and show you how to make changes, edit, and then sign off on a round.
We’ll also cover the basics of the study. We’ll answer your questions, and let you know how to book a time for your playing yardage session.
If you have any other questions or concerns please contact Eric at ejones@EricJonesGolf.com or 650-274-3890.
We look forward to your participation and to contributing to the entire golf community.
2-time World Long Drive Champion
Masters in Sport Psychology
Leith Anderson (Indianapolis Study coordinator)
Golf Digest Top 100 Clubfitter