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Here you will find up to date golf news from around the world, insightful tips for your golf game and how to gain the most out of your Shot Scope.

Why you should support Jordan Speith at Royal Birkdale

“You may have heard Zach say in his press conference about Jordan: ‘He is a phenomenal golfer, but he is a much better person.’ Here is a story that not a lot of people outside eastern Iowa know, and it tells you a lot about both men.

Zach conducts a charity golf event every summer on the Monday before the John Deere tournament in the Quad Cities. He holds the event at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids, where he learned to play golf and where his parents are still members. Zach brings about a dozen golf professionals with him and invites a bunch of former athletes and coaches (e.g., Chuck Long, Dallas Clark, Kurt Warner) well-known to Iowans. Anyone can donate money to participate in a draft to pick the pro or celebrity with whom you then play. There also are silent and live auctions (Zach auctions a round of golf with him at Augusta; this goes for tens of thousands) on Sunday night during a banquet. At the end of the entire event, Zach writes a check to match all of the money generated by the auctions and the draft. Zach’s foundation distributes the money to public and private elementary and middle schools in the Cedar Rapids metro area. He also donated a lot of money to various charitable entities that were involved in relief and recovery efforts that are still occurring since the 2008 flood.

So when Zach says in his press conference that golf creates opportunities, he is not talking about opportunities for him to make money; he’s talking about opportunities to give money. He has been beyond generous and has never forgotten where he is from and where he received his start.

But the real story here is about Jordan Spieth. Zach invited Jordan to attend his 2014 event, and Jordan accepted. This was the year after Jordan beat Zach in a play-off to win the Deere, which was Jordan’s first win on the Tour. Jordan was a hot golfer (finished second in the Masters) and rising star in 2014, but he was not yet incandescent. Jordan attended Zach’s event, enjoyed himself, and told Zach that he wanted to return in 2015.

Turn the page to 2015: Jordan wins the Masters and wins the US Open. Jordan is one of the biggest stories in sports, and the conversation in the national media is whether Jordan should skip out of his commitment to play in the Deere (during the week immediately before The Open) so that he can leave early for Scotland and get acclimated. He has never seen the Old Course, let alone played it. Jordan announces that he is keeping his commitment to play in the Deere. Some people applaud him for that, and some question the wisdom of his decision.

What does not get mentioned in the national media is that Jordan also keeps his commitment to Zach. So, on Monday, July 6, two-consecutive-majors-winner Jordan Spieth is walking around Elmcrest Country Club in shorts and playing golf with four friends of mine who donated an obscene amount of money to get first position in the draft. Maybe it’s just me, but the notion that a 21-year-old young man from Texas who is trying to win the third of three majors in a row has kept his commitment to play in a charity golf tournament just 9 days before the next major starts on another continent, when that charity event benefits absolutely no one that he knows, is pretty remarkable.”

Paul Wenke
President
Sterling Development Group, LTD

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Sizing up the Green Jacket for 2017

The 2017 Masters kicks off today and since all golf fans enjoy making a prediction on who will win the first major of the season we have delved into some of the key statistics to try and pick out some potential winners. Looking at the previous years at Augusta National, there are a few statistics that stand out amongst others as being important to having a strong week. The first of these is Average Driving Distance, Augusta has always been a course that favours long hitters and this year will be no different, especially if the wet forecast is to be believed.  A second key stat is average proximity to the hole with approach shots, hitting greens is important at every tournament, however, with the extreme difficulty of getting the ball up and down at Augusta it makes hitting greens paramount. The third and final statistic that will be used to predict this year’s green jacket winner is Par 5 scoring average, the par 5’s at Augusta are all reachable in two and therefore it is imperative that you take advantage of the par 5’s over the week.

It may come as a surprise that a putting statistic is not included when trying to predict this year’s winner, however, putting is actually of less importance at Augusta than it is other weeks on tour. This was shown in 2014 with Bubba Watson not even ranking in the top 10 for putting on his route to victory.

In order to make our predictions, we tallied together the 2017 stat ranking for each player in average driving distance, average proximity to the hole and Par 5 scoring average.

And here are the top 5 predictions from our formula:

Player Driving Distance Proximity to the hole Par 5 Scoring Average Total
Rory Mcilroy 1 6 1 8
Dustin Johnson 2 3 6 11
Sergio Garcia 18 24 13 55
Hideki Matsuyama 23 36 2 61
Jon Rahm 21 20 27 68

Do you think we’ve picked a winner? Let us know who you’re backing for the green jacket in the comments below.

Happy Master week!

 

– Ally Millar, Commercial Assistant

 

What makes the 12th at Augusta so difficult?

The 12th hole at Augusta, known as The Golden Bell, is the shortest hole on the course,t measuring just 155-yards. However, what this hole lacks in length, it certainly makes up for in difficulty. The 12th has claimed its fair share of Masters hopefuls over the years and with a stroke average of 3.28 showing just how difficult the world’s elite have found this little par 3. Jack Nicklaus even claimed that the 12th is the hardest hole on tour.

So, what makes this par 3 so difficult? First of all, the hole is protected by water at the front of the green meaning anything short will tumble back down into the water. It has bunkers at the front and back which both leave difficult up and downs. However, the main difficulty of the short par 3 is the tricky swirling winds that it produces, with players finding it almost impossible to judge the direction and speed of the wind. Tiger Woods once stated that he picks how far he wants to hit the ball, selects the club and then hopes he doesn’t get a gust of wind. This shows just how difficult it is to select the right club. However, executing the tee shot is not the end of the difficulty, the green is also one of the hardest on the course to read due to the shade created by the overhanging trees.

It is fair to say that The Golden Bell has provided plenty of drama and unforgettable moments over the years and we look forward to seeing what will unfold at the little par 3 this year.

You still have time to enter the Shot Scope Masters competition over on our Facebook. Just tell us, in the comments on the pinned post, how many birdies you think will be on the 12th at this year’s Masters for your chance to win a Shot Scope!

– Ally Millar, Commercial Assistant

Stephen Gallacher Foundation

On Thursday the top names in Scottish golf descended on the beautiful Prestonfield House to raise funds for the Stephen Gallacher Foundation. Shot Scope were delighted to be there and supporting the great work of Stephen’s foundation.

Stephen Gallacher Foundation dinner 2017

The evening started off with a game of HIT or MISS, where we predicted the outcome of some tricky golf shots and some difficult rugby conversions, featuring Stuart Hogg himself, to win a magnum of champagne.

Stephen Gallacher Foundation dinner 2017

Stephen Gallacher Foundation dinner 2017

The rest of the evening was spent listening to the panel on stage talk about their careers, predictions for upcoming tournaments and a grilling of fellow Tour pros! The on-stage panel was made up of two winning Ryder Cup captains, Bernard Gallacher and Sam Torrance, alongside Stephen Gallacher and Paul Lawrie who all took part in a Q&A hosted by Dougie Donnelly.

Dougie Donnelly asked each golfer who the greatest player they every played with was

Bernard Gallacher: Jack Nicklaus. He “only played to win Majors, not make money.”

Stephen Gallacher: Tiger Woods. “I could see in ’95 he was something special, he has revolutionised the game.” Gallacher hopes to see Woods return but isn’t convinced that the former World Number 1 will be able to make a comeback. “It all rests on the Masters” said Gallacher on the night, which doesn’t bode well now that Tiger has withdrawn from the tournament.

Sam Torrance: Jack Nicklaus. Torrance once told Nicklaus that “in the 400 Majors I’ve won in my sleep, you were the runner-up every time.”

Paul Lawrie: Tiger Woods was “the most talented I’ve ever played against.” Rory McIlroy is the “most talented of this generation.” Lawrie’s high praise echoes his previous comments at the Scottish Golf Show when he predicted McIlroy to win the 2017 Masters.

Stephen Gallacher Foundation dinner 2017

With over 400 guests, a live and a silent auction and such high profile speakers the night was always bound to be a success. In the end the evening raised nearly £85,000 for the foundation which will go a long way to continuing their fantastic work with junior golfers.

Stephen Gallacher Foundation dinner 2017

Thank you to Stephen for holding such a fantastic event, to our guests for joining us on the evening and the hosts who made the night such an enjoyable one! We were delighted to support the work of the foundation and contributing to the future of junior golf in Scotland.

Shooting at high altitude

With the WGC – Mexico Championship being held at Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, there has been greater talk of the effect of altitude on the golf ball than ever before. The Chapultepec Golf Club sits 7,835 feet above sea level at its highest point, thereby making it the highest PGA Tour venue of all time.
Most golfers have an understanding that the ball flies further when playing at altitude and this is true. The ball will carry a greater distance at altitude due to the decrease in air density which therefore makes it easier for the ball to fly through the air. The exact impact on distance is hard to calculate however a rough calculation shows that the ball will fly an extra 9%, compared to sea level, at the Chapultepec Golf Club.
The increase in distance this week was evident in round one with there being 39 drives over 350 yards and a longest drive of 387 yards by Jhonattan Vegas. More startling perhaps though was the distance that irons were being hit, with Dustin Johnson hitting a 2-iron pin high with his tee shot on a 332-yard par 4.
Although many of you will be sitting thinking that an extra 9% distance to your shots would be great, it also comes with its difficulties. Along with the increased distance, the ball also flies at a lower trajectory making the ball harder to stop on the green. On top of this, the altitude also makes clubbing much more difficult as the extra distance you get can depend greatly on the type of shot you hit and the distance each shot goes can vary greatly. The difficulty of clubbing was highlighted by Thomas Pieters who, in practice, hit one 9-iron 190 metres and the next 9-iron 160 metres.
So before everyone starts looking for a new golf course at altitude, just remember, the extra distance also comes with its fair share of difficulties.

– Ally Millar, Commerical Assistant

Scottish Golf Awards 2017

Team Shot Scope at the Scottish Golf Awards 2017
Team Shot Scope on the red carpet at the Scottish Golf Awards 2017

Team Shot Scope were an official sponsor of the Scottish Golf Awards in Edinburgh on Friday the 24th of February for a fantastic evening celebrating the achievements of the Scottish golfing community.

Scottish Golf Awards 2017
Shot Scope CEO David Hunter presented the Women’s Order of Merit to Hannah McCook

Congratulations to Hannah McCook – the winner of the Women’s Order of Merit after a stunning 2016 performance with two top-10 finishes and a solid performance all season.

Scottish Golf Show 2017
Team Shot Scope got up close and personal with the Claret Jug

Was good to dream for a night that one of us was lifting the real Claret Jug in triumph…! Great to catch up with Scottish golfing legends who have brought so much success to the Home of Golf, from Paul Lawrie to Stephen Gallacher.

Huge thank you to Scottish Golf for a wonderful event, we’re looking forward to another fantastic golf season in 2017.

Shot Scope Golfing Goals For 2017

A new year, a new you. Forget about all those three putts, sliced drives and chunked wedges. It’s time to dust off your clubs, stock up on tees and get practicing. Here are some of the goals the Shot Scope team have made for next season.

David Hunter – CEO & Founder, Handicap 6

Golfing Goal – “Play more and to break 85″

Gavin Dear – Chief Commercial Officer, Handicap +2

Golfing Goal – “If my work schedule allows, return to play in the Scottish Amateur Championship at Prestwick”

Jamie Binning – Commercial Executive, Handicap 2

Golfing Goal – “To play more competitive golf and to have a make percentage of 70% or above for putts inside 6ft”

Rachael McQueen – Community Engagement Executive, Professional LETAS

Golfing Goal – “I need to decide whether to continue my golf career as a Professional or return to the amateur ranks”

Neil McGregor – Commercial Assistant, Handicap 4

Golfing Goal – “To get my handicap down to 3 and to try and win my Club Championships”

Ally Millar – Commercial Assistant, Handicap 23

Golfing Goal – “To play at least twice a week and bring my handicap down”

 

British Performance Tracking Brand Shot Scope to Exhibit at PGA Merchandise Show

Leading golf performance tracking brand Shot Scope has announced it is to exhibit at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida in January.

Since first coming to market in January 2016, Shot Scope has established itself as the first and only performance tracking system that collects data automatically, without disrupting play due to the need to tag or sync with a phone.

More than half a dozen employees from the Edinburgh-based company will be on the brand’s 400 sq ft booth to educate qualified golf industry professionals about the benefits of the Shot Scope system.

“We’re excited to continue riding the momentum that the brand has generated since coming to market almost a year ago, and we look forward to expanding our business on a global scale next year,” commented Shot Scope CEO David Hunter.

“With a significantly larger booth this year, the show will once again provide us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase the industry’s first ever automatic, wearable performance tracking system,” continued Hunter.

To book an appointment at the booth (#2063), please email media@shotscope.com. For more information on Shot Scope, visit www.shotscope.com.

Manufactured entirely in the UK, Shot Scope’s smart, wearable technology is more intuitive and comprehensive than any other current market offering, with the patented system enabling players to track their progress based on more than just their score.

With the overriding goal of improving the way in which both amateur and professional golfers collect and analyse statistics from their game, Shot Scope is the first fully automated performance tracking system for golf.