Tim Burke Sets New Remax Record

?????????????I have to say, I haven’t actually watched  much of the Remax Long Drive in years past.  Something about not really caring anymore by the time they aired it over two months after the fact.  Kind of hard to get pumped about a competition when you already know what happened.

Last night was different, and a treat.  I missed the first half-hour so I got to fast-forward through all the build-up and get right into the swinging by the time I sat down.

And I didn’t get up, except to make a cup of tea, for the next two hours.


These guys…

I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I was by the technical improvement on the long drive swing since I last watched it.  Sure I’ve seen video on Youtube of the winners, but out of the October 8, I’d say 5 or 6 had swings that look as good as you can expect, technically, from guys who don’t have the mechanical blueprint to the perfect swing.

All night long, I kept seeing moves in the swing that are part of the mechanically correct sequence.  Obviously lots of flaws, but how cool was it for me to watch this and see that the two Canadians, Tyler Kellet and Jamie Sadlowski in the event (and hey, a nation of less than 35 million providing 1/4 of the world’s 8 Finalists!) had the best swing, technically?

Probably the two smallest guys as well – which shows you, technique can take you a long way (even to two Championship wins for Sadlowski) against bigger and stronger guys.

A perfect swing technique last night, either Tyler Kellet or Jamie Sadlowski could have won.  They were that close.


Tim Burke put three balls out of the entire night in play, and they were all over 400 yards, the best being the winning blast of 427 yards to set a new Remax Finals record.

I was little surprised by how much lower the club speeds were for most of the competitors.  Not low as in bad, but most were in the 130-140 range, when the world record is now north of 155mph.  Shows you that the records for club and ball speed probably didn’t include a requirement to hit a grid with the swing.

This is the thing about technique.  You can have a perfect swing and still lose to someone bigger and more powerful who just generates more leverage and power with their imperfect technique than your perfect one.

Tim Burke could use some technical work, but he’s taller than 6’6″ and has levers much longer than Kellet or Sadlowski.  So, even with a flawed motion, he just overpowers them.  The fact that Kellet and Sadlowski were even in the October 8 at their size shows how far technique can take you.

So, a great night overall, and I’ll be doing analysis of Sadlowski, Kellet, Burke, Miller and a couple of others, to be sure.

There is a big pool of athletic guys out there who could do some scary things with a perfected swing motion.


14 thoughts on “Tim Burke Sets New Remax Record

  1. bigtoilet

    It was a great showdown with Miller and Burke. LDA did a good job. And yes, some very good swings! Time for DJ to do some speed training to go with his swing…

    1. D Watts Post author

      I was thinking that last night, BT – finish my work on perfecting my mechanical action with the MPS (Mike Austin) swing, and then build to events by adding speed to peak at different times.

      I used to run track, so I know all about building and peaking. If I have the adequate financing, I could start working on it now or very soon and have until next spring or early summer to hit the first peak (qualifying tournament). If I want to for an at-large attempt, I just go to Mesquite and compete in their qualifier down there, but I’d rather qualify first and then re-build for September.

      I’ll be 45 in two years, but next year’s Open is still a possibility…

  2. bigtoilet

    You can compete in the OPEN division. 138 swing swing speed, close to 200 ball speed and you are for real and not a pretender. I wonder how many people noticed how high the platform was above the landing grid? Had to add 20 to 30 yards on those drives. To be fair, there was very little roll out on the grid though (a little shaggy)

    1. D Watts Post author

      That grid was a dream for an Austin/MPS swinger – high, floating launches with low spin, carry forever, and then come down and stick.

      Not like the 270-yard carry and 50-yard roll-out that they get on the Tour… they shouldn’t even be publishing drive stats on the PGA unless they separate total drive distance from carry…

      1. daddyo2013

        I was wondering if the competitors were thrown off somewhat by the elevated tee box. Though I heard it stated that they practiced on it the night before it seems there’s a possibility of this happening.

        Even though everybody has occasionally tee’d off from elevated greens there could be a subliminal effect when a player has practiced multi-thousands of drives from relatively level ground and then faces such a different layout for the competition. Maybe no problem…elevated tees are fun…just a thought. But if not level ground will there be a longdrive regulation tee box height in the future? =]

        I would like to see the ball/flight track used live on every swing (that flight trace thing). I want to see what the ball is doing. That’s the point…is it fading? drawing? notice how it straightened out right there? notice how it flattened out and just kept going right there?(wow)…is it in? does it have a chance? But I’d also like to see that feature used regularly on all televised golf tournament tee shots too. But instead they show a ball with the sky in the background..over and over. What is that? It’s meaningless. Unless you like that sort of thing. I might be getting into golf sacrilege now.

        1. eogolf

          Agreed about the ball tracer technology. Why would they not use it on every swing? The close up of a golf ball with sky in the background is so boring and sometimes dizzying.

    2. Andreas

      I´d say 200mph ballspeed is required to make top 16 but to get through a round or 2, one needs 190+. Though that makes it VERY hard. 200 with perfect flight and tons in the grid can go a bit. Just remember to spin more than you think as perfect spin behaves like too low spin most of the times. And yes, you are correct about the tee height adding distance. They had a small downwind from what I heard so Burke´s 427 is 400 in Mesquite for sure but not much more.

      1. D Watts Post author

        I wouldn’t even try going to qualifying unless I could get 200mph ball speed at the minimum, for the Open. The next year, all these young guys are still in the Open and I move to the Seniors… heheh… then I’d live with 190+ to go senior. 🙂

        My best ball speed measurement was 195 on an average of 6 balls or so back in ’11 at the Golf Town equipment fitting simulator. I don’t buy it though because that would put me up with these guys on their not-so-good hits, and I’ve said already – I have better technique, they’ll still beat me.

        For now… 😉

        1. Andreas

          Getting to 190+ for the Seniors, that can win it all! It´s that close! The last 2 yrs has required about 195-198 on winning balls.

  3. eogolf

    What was up with the grid? Is it just me or did it look like it was setup with the competitors teeing off on the left side of the grid. A lefty with a power fade would have had a huge advantage as far as getting balls in play.

    1. D Watts Post author

      It’s a motorway – the track is curved. But everyone’s asking about the target grid – aim your ball and let it fly, the landing area has nothing to do with what’s around it.

      Distraction!! Keep your eyes on your target line and go after that ball!!! 🙂

  4. Andreas

    About their swingspeeds, You have 3 tiers from yesterday. Kellett is around 134-138mph. Hanger, Hogue, Miller, Hopper and Mansfield 138-145mph. Jamie and Burke at 145+. Joe has been faster but as his accuracy has improved, speed is taking a backseat, about 3-5mph.

    And I´ve been in LD long enough to see that most guys can´t sustain those speeds over time without working their butts off all the time. So talent first, work 2nd to get above 145. I think fastest I know is Ryan Winther at 151,5mph. Fastest recorded ever by Trackman or any of those testing golfers, like TPI etc. 145+ speed is maybe 7 that I have ever heard of doing, of those Jamie and Joe are the only ones accurate over time. Both have been faster though.

    This is why sub 140 can make it far but rarely win. As Art said, only a few guys control their own destiny, the rest of us just hopes they are not at perfect.

  5. Brandon

    Am I the only one that believes that with the domination by the larger guys that there will be a call for weight or height divisions like in professional fighting to balance out the fields? If not people like Sadlowski, Kellet and Zuback will disappear from long drive.

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