Golf Technology Biography for Dave
who is this guy anyway, that I should trust him to know anything
about golf technology?
I got my BSEE at City College of NY in 1962, back when it was
top-notch school. In the early '60s, an engineering graduate had to
have a complete engineering background. My degree may have been in
electrical engineering, but I had lots of courses and labs in
mechanical engineering, fluid mechanics, engineering materials,
structural design, etc. At the end of my senior year, I handily passed
the preliminary exam for Professional Engineer in New York State, which
was heavy in structural engineering. So my education was
just electronics, as would be true for today's graduates.
While in college, I had an invaluable summer job working as a
engineer for IBM. One of the invaluable things was not job-related. IBM
had a country club for the employees, an 18-hole, par-72, Robert Trent
Jones Sr design. Greens fees were $1.00 for the employees on the
weekend. I think it was 50¢ during the week, but when I went to
play after work the starter had already gone home so I just walked on
for free. Played maybe 60 holes a week that summer, and probably had a
half-dozen sub-80 rounds. The best was an honest 74 (even three-putting
the last green from 12 feet -- if I had made the first putt, the
round was even par). However, since that summer, I hadn't broken 80
until 2002 at age 61. I'm more an engineer than an athlete; any
athletic success I attain comes from constant practice -- and I never
had that much concentrated golf practice before -- or until I retired.
After retirement in 2002, I got my game almost back to where it
in 1961. I was no longer young and strong, but I like to think I'm
smarter than I was then. After 2006, I started to lose distance, and my
scores went up on courses where distance is a factor. Today, I am
advised by the "Tee
It Forward" initiative of the PGA and USGA to play a course
of 5000-5200 yards, based on my reduced driving distance. Doing that, I
shot my age at a par-72 course in 2019, a 77 at age 78.
Bell Labs hired me upon graduation and sent me off to MIT for
year for my MSEE. A few years later I got most of a PhD in Computer
Science at the University of Pennsylvania. I've been a researcher,
circuit developer, software developer, manager, international
negotiator, technology forecaster, and strategic planner for Bell Labs
and AT&T in my
career of nearly 40 years. (I retired at the beginning of 2002.)
Over the years, when I get involved in a sport, I tend to get
involved in the technical aspects as well. Examples:
- I was very active in sailboat racing (in the Albacore
15-foot planing sailboat) in the 1970s. In 1971, I built a centerboard
whose design I optimized by computer, which was probably one of the
earlier applications of Computer Aided Design (CAD) to sports. Having
derived the equations, I
had the computer draw the templates on hardboard using an HP flatbed
For the next three years, nobody won an Albacore national championship
first borrowing my templates and building a centerboard.
- I did a lot of cycling since 1972, but peaked in the
1980s. If you were a serious cyclist who did his own maintenance in the
late '80s and also used a PC, there's a good chance you downloaded and
used my "BikeGear" program
design your gearing ratios.
So when I got back into golf in 1986 (I had stopped for about
kids were growing up), I found that components were available and
to build my own clubs. I quickly discovered that, while books about
making were available, there was very little
design) around. I read what I could, and filled in
the gaps with
engineering abilities. (Because I had exercised the non-electronics
of my background from time to time -- e.g., sailing and cycling -- I
remembered how.) I shared a lot of the info on the rec.sport.golf
newsgroup. Eventually, I wrote a number of articles
(including the Club Design
so I wouldn't have to keep repeating myself on RSG.
ran the Princeton RSG archive, the notes were available there. After
the archive shut down, the Club Design Notes resided on Clubmaker
Online for several years, along with other articles that I
have written on
technical issues in golf. In 2004, I started the tutelman.com
web site and
brought the notes and articles here.
Since retiring from Bell Labs early in 2002, I have had more
devote to golf technology. Here are a few of the projects I have been
lucky enough to be involved with during that time:
I look forward to lots more
excitement as we all increase our understanding of what makes a golf
- Along with Dan Neubecker, I am the co-designer of the NeuFinder
an advanced shaft measurement and profiling instrument.
- Along with Frank Schmidberger, I am the co-developer of TrajectoWare
Drive, a golf ball trajectory computer application.
- I have done consulting and technical writing
Golf Institute in
Naples, Florida and The Villages. That included doing the screenwriting
- I have done occasional consulting for The
of Santa Ana, California.
- I have designed and built my own shaft flex instruments,
including a frequency meter,
an EI meter
and the NeuFinder
4. Using these instruments, I have profiled shafts
for Graman shafts, Mercury Golf, AccuFlex, and others.
- Along with Charlie Badami, I profiled a set of
new-technology shafts for a tour player's set of irons.
- I have been the beta tester for several computer
applications for clubmakers and club researchers.
- I have done analytical studies (and articles on the web
site) to answer questions from various people in the golf business. For
- Just because it's interesting, I have done lots of other
studies, including in-depth works on:
- I was the vice president of engineering for Pro-Head Golf,
a company that makes and sells training aids.
- I was an officer of Aim-Sense
Technologies, a company that was developing a sensor based swing
analyzer. It was fun and educations, but the technology passed us by
before we finished developing our product.
- Starting in 2010, I have gotten involved in the physics of
golf swing as well as the club. That has brought me into collaboration
with biomechanists like Sasho MacKenzie, as well as noted instructors
like Jim Mclean and Martin Hall. I have been in the middle of some of
the more interesting questions in golf biomechanics in the past
updated - Dec 4, 2019