Serve speed cage

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by raiden031, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    At Legg Mason, I tried out the serve speed cage. You get three serves and the radar gun is basically behind net-wall right in the middle part, facing out to the server. The three serves I took kept landing upwards and to the left of the target. I guess i was trying too hard and lost control. It registered in the mid-70s. I thought no way are my serves that slow. I also saw a asian girl who looked to be a teenager hit in the 80s and her serve didn't seem that powerful.

    Then I got back in line and tried again. First serve I took was way off to the left and again in the 70s. Then I hit one right near the radar target and it registered at 87. Then I did another one that registered at 90. Then later on I saw some middle-aged hack hit in the upper 90s with a serve that didn't look all that powerful.

    I don't get it really. I think maybe I wasn't hitting cleanly because I was trying to kill the ball, but still I was disappointed in my speed compared to what some of the faster serves looked like. I guess I'm a little skeptical about the accuracy given how much of an effect 2-3 feet of placement makes in the calculation.

    I consider my first (flat) serve a weapon, and it usually hits the fence on the first bounce. I always thought I could crack 100, from comparing what I've seen at pro events where the serves are clocked and I can sort of cross-reference wiith my own serve. I guess I was wrong. :(
     
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  2. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Hmm I don't know if that thing is accurate. But I got to hit with a guy that was on the satellite tour. his serve sounds like a sonic boom..or something. He said he only hits like 110.

    Did you play with anyone that can hit really hard serves? You can video your serve and use that technique as another check.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Tough to really tell your serve speed without actually been timed or have actually been seen playing 5.5 players who you can be compared to....
    Everyone thinks they serve really fast.
    Well, go and watch a 5.5 + tournament. Look for the fastest 5 servers there. I'll bet they only reach 120 at best.
    Go and watch PRO 7.0 tournaments. Get up there real close, maybe hit with them like I did, maybe get front row seats. Now we're talking 125+ speeds.
    Try hitting with some Div1 singles tall guys. They might be 130+, but not get it in very often.
    Unless you happen to be a great thrower in your past, meaning you can throw anything farther than anyone else you've ever seen, chances of your serve being much over 115 is NIL ZERO ZIP.....
    You know I claim to have had a fast serve. Well, in 7th grade, at about 4'2" tall and maybe 60 lbs., I could throw a softball 185 feet in PE class. I never took PE after that, as I was always in school sports thru college.
     
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  4. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Couple players with big serves, but they haven't been clocked. The only clocked serves I've seen are pros at live events, and some videos. I realized that it is impossible to really gauge speed from videos (as far as how it translates to witnessing it live), but I had likened my serve speed to some WTA pros who often hit the 100 range.
     
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  5. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Have you ever posted vids? I have seen your groundies, and they looked nice, but maybe you are doing something wrong with your serve.

    My pre-match warmup serves that I would say are around 70mph hit about 3-4' up on the back fence from what I remember you are a young guy of a decent size there should be no reason for a usually in that statement, your first and 2nds should be hitting the fence with authority.

    J
     
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  6. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I dunno, there are quite a few rec players I've played against whose serve doesn't hit the fence on the first bounce, let alone with hitting it with authority. The only time mine don't hit on the first bounce is if I don't hit it cleanly.

    I haven't posted vids really out of laziness aside from not having a tripod and having to ask another person to record it, but maybe sometime I will.
     
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  7. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    With my radar gun you have to be facing the direction the ball is coming from. One doesn't want to stand a few feet from the server and get hit by the ball, so you get some distance away. The serves seem very slow. Maybe the radar gun picks up the ball after the bounce? But, I never was very fast, mid 70's, but now I'm only at about 60. One guy, whose serve always hit the back fence with force, was only in the 70's. I was a little skeptical about the speeds, but from what you report, I'm even more skeptical. Maybe the person with the gun should stand behind a chain link fence? Then they could record the speeds and still be protected from being hit?

    On the other hand, I think alot of people just assume that their serves go 100 mph, and it might really only be 70 mph.
     
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  8. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    In the speed cage, you hit the ball into a net and there is a radar gun propped up behind the net which points at the server as you describe. I'm just surprised because I really don't think 100mph looks very fast live, especially when watching the pro men who serve 115-135 pretty consistently. I woulda thought 70mph would seem pretty slow even in rec. play.
     
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  9. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Then again, if I go to the batting cages, one cage is marked "70 mph", and those pitches look very fast. But a difference might be that a baseball doesn't slow down much from pitcher to catcher. Air resistance affects a tennis ball alot more. I'd like to know the speeds as it comes right off the racquet, otherwise I don't think I'm making "apple to apples" comparisions.
     
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  10. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Well yea, but they are also not really trying to improve, hit technically correct serves, or put forth effort in maximizing whatever natural ability they have.

    You on the other hand are trying to improve, and get the most out of what you have to work with.

    I am certainly not trying to get on you if that is what my post sounded like, I think you are for sure up there on my list of most respected posters.

    That is why I asked for the vid. It is possible that you just tightened up and your normal serve is faster.

    Some days I wake up in the morning and I have the arm of god attached to my right shoulder, other days I get so pissed and frustrated and confused with myself that I couldn't serve my way out of a wet paper sack.

    J
     
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  11. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Serves slow down approx 10% from racquet face to net.

    And they slow down A TON after the bounce.

    So 100 at the net is approx 110 off the racquet face.

    J
     
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  12. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    A friend who tried this at the LA Open (UCLA).. said even his faster serves seem to register less unless hit right low at the camera spot.. he did register 110.. and he does his them real hard!

    When I went there to see Sampras/Safin, I was out of time to stand in the long queue to get in to measure mine :(

    On a separate note, does anyone know where this sort of Serve speed cage is available locally (in my case Central LA)
     
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  13. SlAyR

    SlAyR New User

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    Roger,

    I'm currently trying to get my serves down..and I'm wondering...what are some things that you concentrate on to try to get the ball to hit the back fence on one bounce after you hit the ball on the serve?


    Thanks,
    SlAyR
     
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  14. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Well, firstly either working with a good pro, or via video on your own, make sure you have a technically sound motion.

    After that the most important things are not trying too hard, making your arm as loose as possible, and just trusting yourself to let it go. The serves should be hit with belief and agression.

    My various serves if you haven't seen them.

    http://vimeo.com/4678697

    J
     
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  15. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    Most people seriously over estimate their service speed. I rarely break 110, but when I do people have trouble even getting their racquet on the ball even if the ball is close to them. I doubt even at the 4.5 level that anyone I've ever played against has broken 100mph in a match.

    As far as hitting the back fence, my fastest serves hit the back fence still rising at a good clip maybe 5 feet high. If the fence were another 20' farther back I suspect they would hit about 8 feet high.

    One problem you may be having is that when you swing hard you are not hitting the ball clean. Some of my best serves have felt softer than what I would have expected. Hitting the ball clean in the sweet spot is *way* more important than hitting hit hard.
     
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  16. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    This is true, but I've found some of my fastest serves are slightly above the sweet spot. It gives a little deader feel off of the racket, but the racket is moving slightly faster higher in the string bed.
     
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  17. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

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    !!! Your fastest serve kicks over 8ft high more than 20' back from the baseline!!!
     
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  18. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    No he said 20' back from the current location of the fence.
     
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  19. deluxe

    deluxe Semi-Pro

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    Hence the more than...
     
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  20. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    It doesn't slow down as much. It's a much truer speed even moreso than a tennis ball in the air because their is no fuzz to increase resistence and the ball is heavier.
     
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  21. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I find if you try to hit it hard, you muscle the ball and the serves go slower.
     
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  22. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    After about 2900 posts that mainly I disagreed with Lee, this time I completely agree with his post!
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Some funny posts here.....
    "if the back fence was back another 20' ... " If IvoKarlovic hit his hardest, flattest first serve in, and the back fence was 40' total behind the baseline, the ball would bounce TWICE!!!
    "ball going up as it hits the back fence".... :):):) Sure, your serve goes faster than Roddicks.
    What would I know? I hit with DickStockton at the TransAm. His serve is maybe around 130. As the courts were being set up, he hit a few first serves to me. And I hit a few lefty flats at him (his 1st round match was against VictorAmaya). When we let them go by, with the backdrop maybe 50' behind the baseline, all serves bounced twice.
    I assume you guys have some sense of history. The reason Stockton hit with me is that Amaya is a 6'6" LEFTY S.American, and hit a first serve for real.
     
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  24. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Well I am not the one who posted it orig.

    But I'll take the bet.

    Lets say a $20 TW e-mail gift certificate if I post a video of me doing both?

    J
     
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  25. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    ^^I got $20 that say's you will never post your serve motion.
     
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  26. adams_1

    adams_1 Semi-Pro

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    Ultra, was that directed at J? Because he has done so already, check his sig.
     
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  27. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Are you saying that if the fence was 40' behind the baseline, you could hit it on the first bounce and have the means to prove it?
     
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  28. arunstennis

    arunstennis Rookie

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    ha i know a d3 player who hits 130+ its a pretty thing to watch
     
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  29. a-naik.1

    a-naik.1 Professional

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    pfft, I was a D3 player hitting in the upper 120s...
     
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  30. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    you guys put too much on speed. I've played guys who hit 115+ and it felt light as a feather and I've played guys who hit 5mph less but seemed 10mph faster.
     
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  31. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Rookie

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    If I read it correctly he is saying not only can he hit the back fence that is 40 ft behind the baseline on the first bounce the ball will still be rising at that point. I'll take that $20 bet.
     
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  32. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    i hit 110 at the us open cage
     
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  33. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    Anyone who's tried those service cages knows that they aren't very reliable. I have tried them at many tournaments, for fun, and my experience is that on some serves the mistake is obvious... I have seen guys hit a reasonable first serve and get something like "20mph", which can't be right. The key is to hit the serve right at the radar...

    But the main problem is that you find yourself serving in a environment that is very different from a tennis court, which throws the timing off and makes it hard to focus properly. Besides, you're not warmed up at all, and you're not using your own racquet...

    So yeah I think it is safe to assume anyone's serve is faster than what the radar says in the cage.
     
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  34. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Off topic thing but a fast serve isnt necessarily the best serve. A friend of mine who is 17 can hit 120s max and around 110s consistantly but who aces more me. Me with my 80 mph out-wide or down the line kick/twist.(the twist is about 10 mph slower id say)
     
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  35. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    u cant ace anyone with a 70mph twist puff ball
     
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  36. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    First, go back one page, to the first page of this thread.

    Second, watch the video I linked of me hitting various serves.

    Third, follow this link http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/giftcards.html

    Fourth, enter $20 in the e-mail gift certificate amount.

    Fifth, enter my e-mail address (sstormer@optonline.net)

    Sixth, check out and pay, showing that you are indeed a man of your word.

    I just want to go on record saying that if you do not send me the $20 I will be extremely dissapointed in you given that you said you would play me for $1,000 in another thread.

    After collecting on your bet, I will put that same gift certificate up against LeeD to effectively go double or nothing, and if I in the end collect $40, I'll buy myself a nice shirt, and if I lose I am no worse off than when I started.

    J
     
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  37. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Jolly, you have to be more specific. The link of your serves are on page 1, post number 14.

    That $1000 bet was removed by DireDesire. You guys need to request DD to move it to a new thread. I believe DD was willing to hold the 2K pending outcome. If you want, I can request the UN to provide security. Maybe, Michael Bay can film it and Meagan Fox can be my girlfriend in the movie.
     
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  38. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    You dont know the meaning of down the line or out wide do you..
    Also just to add I dont hit an ace every single time though i force errors quite often especially with the twist serve.
     
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  39. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Well I said I would take the bet. I play sometimes at the NTC in Flushing Meadows, and the backcourts there are pretty big, especially on the show courts, and I can serve the ball through the back fences there and out into the shrubs at a pretty good clip. The back courts on the show courts are way bigger than a normal park court. So if a normal back fence is 20', I am pretty confidant that I can double that.

    Obviously I would have to get a bit creative with a tape measure and some masking tape lines, but I love science projects, and it would be worth whatever effort I had to put forth just to see LeeD admit to being wrong.

    And if I lost, I lost, I mean, I failed when I bet my boss I could eat 24 hard boiled eggs. (And I will before I die damnit.)

    No, I meant still rising when hitting a normal 20' fence, and hitting a 40' fence at all.

    Sorry if I was vague on that.

    J
     
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  40. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    How come you always get the hot girlfriends in the movies?

    J
     
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  41. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I'm from So Cal so I'm connected. You on the other hand are also connected, you get the hairy Eye-talian bodyguard.
     
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  42. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    The point of my post about hitting a fence that is 40ft. behind the baseline was not scientific accuracy. It was more about illustrating how many people over rate their serve speed. I mean you can hit the back fence on a standard tennis court at probably 60mph, maybe less depending on spin.


    I've never been lucky enough to play on a court that has 40 feet of room behind the baseline. I have however seen Pete Sampras hit one up into the stands at an exhibition match. The ball went a minimum fifty feet before getting to the seats. The court was placed in the middle of a hockey arena. Pete serves in the mid 120s. If the ball went into the seats at over 50 ft, you could imagine it would go even further before it bounced. He did this quite a few times as the match progressed. He seemed to have a stiff shoulder that day and started somewhat casually and ramped it up a bit later.

    Imagine Dr. Ivo hitting at 140mph from his racquet which has to be close to 10.5 feet high at contact. That serve is headed for the next county. I've seen him hit aces that are aces because of height, not because of width.
     
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  43. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^ Agree 100%

    If you watch tour events on TV you will see aces bounce off the back wall, and make it back to the baseline.

    Heck, I have even done it, and I have nowhere near a tour level serve.

    J
     
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  44. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I've hit the back wall at the stadium court of the sony ericsson on one bounce. Granted, it barely got there, but did hit the wall before bouncing. I would say it is about 40 feet.
     
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  45. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Totally agree. I remember when I first got my radar. I took it out to the courts, and let a bunch of the players measure their serve speeds. These are all guys, as you suggest, that grossly over estimate their serve speeds, and brag about hitting 100, 120, yada, yada, yada.

    I belive only one guy hit a serve that topped 100 and landed in. The rest of them were hitting in the mid 70 to mid 80 range. and many of those serves weren't even going in.
     
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  46. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I play with a guy who claims to serve 110... I can return it generally pretty well... I don't think its anywhere near 110. Probably many guys claim a high serve speed are the same guys that can all drive a golf ball 280... but when you are out on the course with them, its more like 240.

    Also, hitting the back fence... wouldn't the spin have just as much to do with it as the speed?
     
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  47. skraggle

    skraggle Professional

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    Jolly, don't even take the bait. This guy has already proved that he's all talk.
     
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  48. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Looks like that's all YOU can do is talk, blah blah.
     
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  49. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    I guess you showed them how it's done, pistol pete.
     
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  50. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Just checked my e-mail.

    No $20 yet.

    Please pay asap. I would like to put an order in to TW and it would be helpful if I could use your gift card.

    Thanks.

    J
     
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