Flat vs Upright

Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Jollysammy » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:09 am

Interestingly I saw the same thing over the years in baseball at the youth level. When I played as a youth we used wooden bats and they were heavier and harder to swing with, you had to put a proper swing to get results. Fast forward to my son playing Little League and travel ball. I was coaching my son for the first 3-4 years of his baseball life. I bought him the latest and greatest equipment. I would train him and his teammates by hitting flyballs to the outfield with his aluminum and composite bats. It was the composites that were an eye-opener. I could swing them 1 handed and hit balls 200-220 feet into the outfield that were absolute bombs, something I could never do with a wooden bat. In the beginning I trained my son with heavier bats, but trained him to be a contact hitter. Other dads kept telling me that he shouldn't use longer heavier bats, that he should use lighter shorter bats that would allow him to get around quicker and hit the ball farther. That was conventional wisdom. My thoughts were that if he could develop technique and control with longer heavier bats that he would benefit as he matures and gets stronger. I remember him as a 5 year old practicing for tee ball. I used a cone to mark how far his ball was going as he teed ball after ball up and using his heavier bat realizing he had to adjust his swing and weight shift to max his result. A year later he has to face moving balls and then readjust, I get him a 5 lesson package for $225 and they get him batting correctly for pitched ball and then they ask, ready to buy the next 5 lessons? I said no, if he didn't learn after $225, then his baseball career is over. You've done enough, I can take over from here. I got him a simple lever action pitching machine and kept pitching balls to him, along the way I devised a game. If he made contact and hit any ball within the infield area he got a dime, if he hit it beyond the baselines it was 25 cents, if he reached the 150 ft homerun line for farm he got $25. But if he swung and missed, totally wiffed 2 balls in a row, the game was over and he couldn't make any more money that day. If he made contact at all, the counter was reset so even a foul tip reset it, he just didn't get any money for fouling it off. The only other difference was that the strike zone was anything reachable by his bat, not just between his chest and knees. The first time we played this game he made $70 and lasted 20 minutes. 2nd time $129 47 minutes. We get home, I write him a check, his mom, a banker, opened an account for him and deposited the checks in his name. 3rd time 1 hour 47 minutes $439. 4th time 2 hours 23 minutes $469, 5th time, the sun goes down after 3 hours and he earns $579. We stop playing this game after he's made close to $2300 in his account. Instead of paying a baseball batting coach who after the fundamentals is essentially just stroking the kids ego, I'm filling my son's college fund by taking the money from my left pocket and putting it into my right pocket but letting him handle it along the way as he endorses his checks. The net effect though is that he's become a devastating contact hitter. That 1st year he never struck out. In later years my son would always work it to a full count and then hit a perfect line drive past the defense. His finest at bats were situations that were unusual like the time he hit a full count pitch that was just above his ankles and outside down the first base line past the first baseman for an inside the park home run in an all star game, and 2 games later against another team that was shutting us out he hit a pitch that was forehead level out to the fence for the game deciding double. His finest moment came in a playoff game where the 1st place team was beating us with their team of older boys when he came up to bat at the start of the 4th inning and sent a hot line drive right over 2nd base and ran in a inside the park HR. He comes up to bat in the 6th and then the other coach calls time out. He moves the 2nd baseman on top of the 2nd base bag. Puts the shortstop right behind him in short center and has the center fielder play deep center. All the while my son is watching this and smiling. The 1st pitch comes in, he sends a hot line drive 10ft to the left of 2nd base and just like the 1st time there are boys on the ground who dived in futility to get the ball, he runs in another inside the park homerun as the ball got by all of them. Yes he did this with skill, but he also had technology helping him out. These light composite bats allowed him to hit guided missles. It got so that in later years I started to really get concerned about the sport with these bats. Even though they helped my son at first, I began to see how dangerous they could become. I remembered the last time I pitched to him with the lever machine when he was 9. I just got him a new big barrel composite bat for travel ball.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Jollysammy » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:34 am

After 3 pitches he sent a ball back so fast I couldn't get my glove up to catch it or even block it, it hit me on my left stomach and it was like I was shot. I doubled over in pain. The bruise was the size of a baseball and didn't go away for 3 weeks. I never pitched to him again, because I also realized that if he had hit me in the head I might've not seen another day. That's when I saw the dark side of technology. These new ultralight bats were dangerous, and as boys neared puberty and got bigger and stronger, it was only a matter of time before a boy could get seriously injured or even killed. The tools of the game were now exceeding what the originators of baseball or little league had comprehended. I remember one boy named Jordan whose birthday was in May so he made the cutoff for LL by being just barely 13, but he was a 6 foot "boy" and weighed about 170. My son was the youngest in majors at just barely 10 with a March birthday. He was about a foot and half shorter. Anyway in his first game of the majors for my son he's playing right field. Jordan sends a line drive to the fence which hits the fence in the gap, so fast that my son couldn't get over to it, but that's not the scary part. The scary part was this line drive was a laser shot that was only 5 ft off the ground, the whole way to the 200ft fence. I remember 1 mom on Jordan's team complaining to me in the stands 7 games later that the teams never pitch to Jordan, they simply walk him and that's not fair. I told her it had nothing to do with fairness. I told her that if Jordan got a hold of one and hit a line drive that with the damn composite bat he was using he could kill a boy out there and no responsible coach would let that happen on their watch. Just when I said that, a pitcher put one over the plate and Jordan hit a ball higher than I hit my seven wood about 75ft above the 30ft lights in center field. This would have been a HR in a 300ft ball park. 2 years later Little League began to outlaw the hottest bats, which primarily were the composites. They saw what I saw, a pitcher 34 feet away had virtually no chance against a modern composite bat if it hit him in the head especially against a man sized boy. That's also why not every college baseball player can make it to the big leagues. College still allows aluminum bats, the pros only use wood. If they used aluminum or god forbid composites, they could hit balls out of the stadiums, but also kill a pitcher.

Baseball like golf is a game that was founded in a time based on distances and sizes that made sense for the physical abilities of the participants. Even in youth baseball all that was glorified was the big bombs, the home runs. I shook my head many times when I saw boys just concentrating on being a home run hitter. They had no defensive skills, no baserunning skills, no concept of how to really play baseball. They were just all about hitting the big one. Isn't that kind of what's happening now with golf on the pro level?
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Range Rat » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:06 am

Good story on Little League, JS.
Will keep this short due to the thread title, but I see the same stuff coaching, and watching, my grandson in baseball last season and this season. He told me the other day he likes baseball more than golf which is ok, it’s his choice. He has good eye hand coordination and I think it stems from golf being the first athletic physical motor event he was exposed to.

Anyhow the ruling bodies try to make the game safer for the kids by not having on-deck circles, pitchers can only throw so many pitches, mandatory sliding into home on certain occasions, all kinds of different things designed for safety.

But, as another grandpa and I were talking about the other game, the ruling bodies overlooked probably the biggest variable- allowing anything other than a wood bat at the Little League level. I suppose one of the reasons metal bats are preferred is that they don’t break and will last and last. Perhaps allowing metal bats stemmed from a splintered bat causing injury to a child somewhere, which is tragic, but stuff happens by accident.

The problem I have with metal bats is that if the ruling bodies are going to allow a bat which transfers energy better therefore producing more velocity on the batted ball AND keeps the Little League infield the same small dimensions is an accident waiting to happen for someone getting beaned but good in the infield. Some of the infield plays have so little time for a kid to react to due to the increased velocity on the ball- it looks like pinball out there.

Bring back wood bats, or keep metal bats and expand the infield, but if you do that then the kids arms need to me stronger for the larger dimensions, so now what- make the ball lighter to increase the throw length. A big circle of going nowhere.

Just bring back wood bats…if they crack do what we did…..screw them back into firmness, put on a little tape and PLAY BALL.

Leave the game alone, it was fine as it was. :)
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby LesMurray » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:00 am

You'd think with baseball and with golf, they could develop a modern material with the same rebound characteristics as wood. Determine an initial velocity that is acceptable with proper testing parameters and they you can make a bat or a club head out of anything as long as it meets this initial velocity. Same with golf balls.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Jollysammy » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:12 am

Yes, they could do that. But just like the golf equipment manufacturers, the bat companies all participated in the escalating arms race. It wasn't who could produce a wood bat substitute, it was who could produce the hottest bat that would go yard the easiest. So the parents and kids would get the illusion of power and somehow that would translate into little Johnny being the next Buster Posey. Just like the marketing for clubs that get the extra 10 yds without additional skill or effort. Bats kept getting hotter without regard to inherent safety, and that's what the public wanted to buy. Parents watching the pyrotechinics were convinced that ability on the small field meant big bucks at the end of the rainbow.

In the same way golf equipment got lighter and livlier, bats got lighter and more powerful. It took the skill out of baseball at the youth level. I still cringe when I remember us dads playing with the boys and one of the dads not remembering or getting it sending a pitched ball bombing into center field. The rest of us knew better and just bunted or pushed the ball into the infield.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Range Rat » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:44 am

Found this on a Worth- Little League approved bat:

WARNING: This high performance bat is capable of producing batted ball speeds that present a risk of serious injury or death to players, coaches and spectators.

Little League....we're talkin' 10 years old. :shock:
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Jollysammy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:11 am

lagpressure wrote:There are still a lot of courses out there that require accuracy more than distance. The tour sets a poor example of this in general.

Junior and college events still play a lot of narrow tracks. One has to be a better player to negotiate these layouts.
Winning on a 7400 yard bomb and gouge layout means you drive it long, wedge it good and putt the lights out. But on a properly set up course, golf becomes much more than that... a much deeper palate of skill sets and articulation. I think this is why the game has been losing players and interest overall. Rounds take too long. It's too expensive to maintain these courses... so greens fees go up and it's not affordable for most. The game doesn't feel good in the hands with the cheap metals and plastic golf balls, it doesn't sound good to the ears. It's all real obvious stuff to me.


I couldn't find a better example of this than my son playing the Lake Course at Olympic Club this Saturday as his Half Moon Bay team went up against Olympic's team in a Bay Cities Match. In his 4some was one of the top 16/17 year olds in NorCal. Anyway, afterwards my son raved about the course, he just loved it. It demanded accuracy. His most rewarding hole was the long par 4 5th hole, 489 yards. I always wondered if I should've succumbed to the pro's who wanted to change his swing, but this hole confirmed that it was good I let him stay a hitter. He hit his drive 295 yds into the dogleg right to the left side, laser straight, the Olympic boys told him that was the perfect position. He had 178 to go to the pin. Took out his 5 iron and hit it, he later told me that he could feel that it was a little off the sweetspot by about a groove, nonetheless it flew straight and with a slight baby draw landed the green, one hop and a little roll, his partner thought it was going in the hole. It stopped 2 feet away from the hole to tap in for birdie. On the way to the green he sees the Olympic boys with a look of shock on their faces as they realize a 14 year old almost just eagled the hardest hole on the course.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby k2baloo » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:44 am

norcalvol wrote:Throughout my years of playing, I've never paid any attention to specs, particularly lie angle. Until, that is, joining this forum recently.
Before I sign up for the initial modules, I likely will purchase a set of old forged blades and have Lag ABS them (yes, 'ABS' is a verb which is a sign of success :) ) I already own persimmon woods, but may have them ABSed, too, as they may not have desired weight (I remember that my driver has a D2 swing weight when I purchased my woods in the 1970s).

But while sitting here at home on a rainy Sunday watching the 4th round at Pebble (Jimmy Walker is threatening to make this interesting down the stretch), I've looked at my irons that I've owned since 1983 (Ping Eye2) and looked at a few things online. And, I'm a bit confused and have some questions in order to learn (and I'd like to get them adjusted independent of an ABSed set of blades/persimmons)...

My irons have the 'orange' color code, which according to the Ping club charts indicate that they are 2.25* flat. Interestingly, when I apply my own body measurements --- 5'8" height and 34.5" wrist to floor --- the chart indicates that I should be 'blue' -- 0.75* upright (and all charts indicate that my body measurements indicate standard club length). But, if that were true, my current clubs should not have the lie that they do at address - toe up, thus too upright. I don't think my hands are abnormally low at address, but who knows -- I've never had a lesson or have ever been videotaped.

So obviously these observations lend to my confusion. So, beyond these seeming contradictions, here are some questions:

A flat lie angle is an angle that is lower than 'standard'. But, what is 'standard'? Is there a lie angle of say a 6 iron that is deemed to be 'standard'? Has 'standard' changed with changing club technology?

What lie angle is important here --- lie angle at address or at impact? Therefore, should lie angle be chosen based on address or at impact (and can/should they be different)? Thus, should lie angle be selected dynamically or statically? And, does the choice (static vs dynamic fitting) depend on the ability of the golfer?

Is shaft length a component I'm not including here and should be? Should lie be fitted after selection of shaft length, because length affects a dynamic lie angle (I have read that every half-inch of length added makes an iron club play 1* more upright, etc.).

I doubt these questions have straightforward answers, but I look forward to any/all responses.


Digging up a dead topic here. I just acquired a set of eye2's and was digging around for info.

I'm 6' 3”. I did a fitting at Taylormade Performance lab where they suggested I play +.5 inches and 3 degrees flat. So the online bits where they suggest specs based on measurements are very loose estimates. Almost useless, really. I also found those specs on my own just by playing and tinkering, which tells me you don't need any fancy fitting to find what's best for you.

As far as eye2 irons, I'm finding they play flatter than the color indicates. I can easily play them in Black or blue dot without issues. No idea why. All my other irons have to be flattened.

Lastly, I believe the ping color chart changed since the eye2s, so orange would be 2 flat, not 2.25.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby lagpressure » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:31 pm

I have never liked any kind of cavity back irons and I simply loose the feel and feedback needed to stimulate my best ballstriking. I did play them for a month in college as they were "coaches orders". At first, I did hit them better because of the wider sweetspot area, but over time I started to hit it worse as my swing just got sloppy. It felt like a crutch, and when I went back to my Hogan Apex blades, I could hardly hit them at all. I quickly realized the damage it was doing to the precision of my swing. I went back to the Hogan's and ended up finishing the year strong and then making the Quarterfinals of the US Am in August. I played the Hogan blades all the rest of my college career, then switched to the Maxfli Pro Special blade which was not far off the look and feel of the Apex blades.

I played 1 to 2 degrees flat as a pro.

The Pings had a lot of successful players using them. I know the Oklahoma State guys were using them by order of coach Mike Holder. Bob Tway, Scott Verplank did well with them. They might be a better club now with the modern plastic golf balls that don't spin as well as the balatas...but for me, the age of great ballstriking will always be with precision crafted blades and soft balata golf balls that a fine striker could work the ball with more articulation than what the game has to offer these days. I really miss the balatas.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby k2baloo » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:02 am

Took the eye 2s to the range. Didn't like them too much, but the SW is a great club. I could game that. The long irons we ironically hard to hit IMO.
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