The Search for My Perfect Swing — Part 1


Welcome to my blog. I will be updating this blog frequently, as I test, modify, adjust and finalize various aspects of my horseshoe pitching. I am also creating an Activity Record to reflect any changes made to this blog. The header above, reflects the flight of my horseshoe when released 25.50 feet from the stake at a height of 3.0 feet reaching a high point of 6.75 feet. The foul line was 27 feet for an Elder pitcher. The flight plot is broken down in 1/40th of a second increments. I’ve also tagged the various points on the plot that are meaningful. I will demonstrate an electronic glove that shows your exact release point which makes these plots possible. The vertical line indicates the highpoint of the arc of flight and the exact location downrange of that highpoint which is 10.72 feet. 


I am hoping that some of the information that has worked for me, may also work for you. “The Search for My Perfect Swing,” is a play on words based on the excellent book entitled, “The Search for the Perfect Swing,” by Alastair Cochran & John Stobbs. The book was written in 1968 that was an effort to determine the science of swinging a golf club and whether there was a perfect swing. Sir Aynsley Bridgland of the Golf Society of Great Britain gathered a variety of authorities in many disciplines, ballistics, anatomy, transport technology, medicine, biomechanics, physiology, etc. There were many conclusions that were developed by this group of professionals that applies today, i.e., coefficient of restitution, swing speed and mass, launch angle, spin rate, foot position, late release, etc.


As you read through, you will see the results of a computer program that calculated the flight of a horseshoe based on any release point, any maximum height or any distance, time of flight, initial angle of release and initial launch speed. I’ve also created a variety of teaching aids such as a special electrified pitching glove that shows the exact release point, an apparatus that controls the arm swing on the line of flight, a platform that monitors the foot position and stride, a test to determine the center of gravity of any shoe, and a “Pendulum Man” that displays how to determine the visual alignment to the stake, etc. I will also discuss how to use a metronome to control swing speed based on computed time of flight.
I am primarily directing this blog to the beginner, youth, women and Elders who are new to pitching horseshoes or are considering joining a league or pitching in tournaments. The NHPA indicates an “Elder” as anyone reaching the age of 70 in the current calendar year. I reached this milestone in 2008. This entitles me to pitch from 30 feet. I’ve decided to pitch from 40 feet on my league nights and 30 feet in tournaments. Perhaps you are just checking out this blog to see if there’s anything new.

The Beginning

In 2007 I joined American Legion Post 7 in Crownsville, Maryland, primarily because they were the only Post that had a horseshoe pitching league. The league coordinator at Post 7 was able to find an available partner and my horseshoe pitching was to begin. Prior to the first night, I stopped by my local darts/billiards/horseshoe store and purchased my first pair of horseshoes — Sidewinders. I was stunned by the number of horseshoes available. I don’t know why Sidewinders, they just felt good. I also ordered two videos — “Yes, Horseshoes!,” with Dan Kuchcinski and “How to Pitch More Ringers,” by the late Carl F. Steinfeldt. I read everything on the web I could find, unfortunately, there was not very much. I also tried to find some local pits where I could practice. Nothing found.

The first night arrived and I was both excited and nervous. I met my new partner, was introduced around and noticed 10 nicely groomed rows of sand pits. Problem number 1! My partner was a flipper and couldn’t use my Sidewinders because they didn’t have a place for his thumb. Bummer! I had to use his shoes — Snyder EZ Flips. This is not a cancellation league, it was also an 80% handicap league. All points counted. Ringers 3 points, a leaner and anything within a shoe width was 1 point. Each game was 36 shoes, 18 shoes in each direction, 3 games each night. I wasn’t expecting a lot, and that was good, I averaged 18 points per game without a single ringer in any game. I left that night with the determination that I would find some answers. So, this is a synopsis of my search and what I have learned along the way.

Continue to Part 2
Table of Contents






  1. Awesome .. kinda fantastic issue. I am goin to write about it too.

  2. Your blog is awesome! What a wealth of information for those that wish to improve their game. Thank you!

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