Archives for July, 2014

PLAY GREAT GOLF: You Need Confidence & Technique!

No other part of your golf swing is more important than your confident mind.  Be confident that you have: done the shot before, practiced the shot, know the distance, know the impact of wind & humidity on your ball flight.

If you have any doubt, change to another club. Club-up and hit it with less power and a more controlled swing. Just get the doubt out and focus on the shot. Tiger calls it “Getting in the zone”. At a Hoylake interview before The Open Championship he used the words calm, “really feel at peace” and confident. They all described the state of mind where he wanted to be.

If you have confidence in your swing you can focus on the key components of your swing: straight leading arm, chest rotation, swinging rhythmically from inside your target line to outside and finish in balance. [Michael Breed on The Golf FIX/ Golf Channel said that 85% of golfers slice the ball. Use these points to solve this problem.]

Height and Strength are Excuses!
The average height of the 13 sub-par players after 3 rounds of the 2014 Women’s British Open was 5 feet 5 inches. [Stacey Lewis is 5’ 5”, Inbee Park is 5’ 6”, Mo Martin is 5’3 “] They played the Royal Birkshire at 6,458 yards, par 72. Brian Harmon won the John Deere Classic weighing in at 155 pound and 5’7”. Never blame lack of height and strength on your high scores. Brute force is NOT the answer. To hit it farther, “swing more rhythmically” (Global Golf Post, July 12, 2014). Swing with a smooth rhythm with an accelerating wrist release through the ball to a balanced finish. Controlling the flight and staying in the fairway helped Mo Martin win the British Open even though she was typically 60 yards behind the longest hitters. Distance and direction control are the keys to your success.

Hit through the ball with your driver and let the loft cause your SPIN RATE.

Hit through the ball with your driver and let the loft cause your SPIN RATE.

Understand SPIN RATE for more distance:
Spin Rate is spinning the ball in the opposite direction from Top Spin so you should NOT be trying to hit up-on-the-ball to cause over spin as it will cause the ball to dive down into the ground. Spin rate has a major influence on the height and distance of a shot especially in windy conditions. More loft on your club head generally increases spin rate. All things being equal, more club speed will also increase spin rate. For distance with your driver you want to hit level through the ball and let the loft of your club generate your SPIN RATE.

The average spin rate for a PGA Tour player is 2687 rpm and the average for an amateur golfer is 3275 rpm. Why not experiment? Hit up on the ball, through the ball and down on the ball to see the immediate impact for distance with your Driver.

Buy a GOLFSTR+ to improve every swing in your game today. It helps you develop the right swing to build confidence and consistency. Buy one on line, CLICK: GOLFSTR.

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Save your Back (Part 2) Tom Watson’s Trick!

Last week we showed you that Tiger is taking steps to limit his rotation in his backswing to save his back. So I bet you are wondering how you and Tiger are going to get reasonable distance out of every drive with less backswing rotation (the way Steve Stricker does). Some of you have purchased a GOLFSTR+ to train for a straight arm in the backswing. Of course Tiger has a great straight arm swing (so he may not have purchased his GOLFSTR yet). You may not hit as far as Tiger but your distance and consistency will improve.

How Does Tiger Get Distance in His Drives?
Tiger has a wide straight arm backswing with a 90++ degree wrist lag. Sean Foley has him limiting his backswing to save his back but his arm and wrist strength still give his great distance in his drives. His wrist release at the bottom of his swing is where all of his power comes from.

Tom lifts his leading heel to help him get more rotation and power just like a baseball swing.

Tom Watson lifts his leading heel to help him get more rotation and power just like a baseball player lifts his heel for more power.

2014 US Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson Has a Trick!

He admits that his back is not as loose as it once was. He was also finding that his limited rotation was limiting his distance until he found this trick. To get more rotation he lifts the heel of his leading foot in the backswing. This gives him the extra back swing rotation and more power when he shifts forward with more power through his swing. [Moe Norman and Ben Hogan both had a slight heel lift on the leading foot in their backswing.]

One of the 6 uses of GOLFSTR+ is to remind you to keep your leading arm straight while you practice and while you play 18 holes. When you feel the curved plastic end lifting off the back of your arm you should limit your backswing at that point. You may also want to let your leading heel lift slightly to give you a little more rotation in the backswing. I often say that this is not baseball but baseball players all lift their leading foot and step into the ball. Why not try a modified version of this for more power in YOUR golf swing.

One last tip is that you should learn to stretch you leading arm using the exercise in this video. It really is one of the best video’s that I have seen on the straight leading arm swing from Thomas Golf and their : The Right Way to keep your Left Arm Straight

Check out GOLFSTR+ and use these Swing Tips to get more distance out of your drives.

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Tiger is Saving his Back: You Should TOO!

We should all learn from Tiger’s post-surgery swing if we want to help our backs survive golf for the long term. Limiting your backswing with a straight leading arm is so important for Tiger’s consistent hits. Of course his game was a little rusty at the Quicken Loan National Tournament where he missed the cut by 4 strokes. The good thing that was noticed is his swing change to make sure that he is in this game for the long haul.  With a new girl on his arm and a newly fortified backbone, he is again ready to challenge Jack Nicklaus for the most majors won.

Matthew Rudy gave us some insights about Tiger’s swing in a Golf Digest article. “ Woods’ swing has changed noticeably from its pre-surgery form. How much of it is a part of larger rebuild with teacher Sean Foley vs. early caution is still an open question.”

Overall he is depending less on the torque of his spine and more on his lag and wrist release for power through the ball.

1/ Similar to Justin Rose and Michelle Wie, Tiger is limiting his backswing. He no longer swings his club back to horizontal and depends on more wrist lag and wrist release though impact.
2/ “He has a stronger grip.” So his leading hand is rotated back on his grip so the V line from his left hand is pointing more to the outside of his right shoulder.
3/ His takeaway is wider but his release and power still comes from dropping his leading shoulder in his downswing and swinging from the inside. All of the pros do this and you should too.

Next week the swing tip is from the 2014 Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Watson with his aging back solution to get more rotation in your swing for longer drives without destroying your back. Training with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight is only half of the equation for consistent longer hits. Aging golfers need all the help you can get to keep those scores down. Check out all the Swing Fixes by training with GOLFSTR+. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE 6 SWING FIXES.

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Confident Putting Will Sink More Putts

For the last 2 weeks we have been summarizing the success that Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie had in the US Open with their putting.  This week I have collected facts to duplicate their putting success.  Every green has a different surface and speed based on the contour and the condition of the grass surface.  Only you can get a feel for the speed of the greens as they will change based on the moisture, grass height and rolling speed of the green.  Putting can be up to 50% of your strokes in a round of golf so you really should pay attention to these tips.

A good putt consists of 3 components: learn a smooth swing, commit to the right line and swing for the right distance.  Adam Scott, the world’s #1 golfer, is using a new planning system to estimate the slope of the green and deciding on his target line.  By choosing the severity of the slope he is committing to a plan for the break that he is expecting.  He is setting a plan and committing to the plan.  He must be on the right track so why not set a plan for each of your putts to swing with commitment and confidence.


Golf Digest used this image of Tiger Woods to show that he putts with his shoulders and spine.  His wrists are locked.

Golf Digest used this image of Tiger Woods to show that he putts with his shoulders and spine. His wrists are locked and he swings directly up the target line.

Develop a Smooth and Confident Swing:
1/STOP using the small muscles in your arms and wrists to putt.  Your small muscles tighten and cause the shaking motion (the YIPPS) in your swing.  To solve this problem, the professionals lock their wrists and putt by rocking their spine and shoulders.
2/ Avoid the death grip on your putter as your shoulders and spine must be relaxed.  Your grip still needs to be firm to lock your putter in your hands.
3/ Shorter putts should always be straight back and straight up the line of your intended target point.  Longer putts will require more backswing so you may find yourself rotating around your body from the inside but you need to finish straight up your intended target line.

Commit to a line.  
1/ Commitment is the first step to confidence.  Use a line on your ball to line up with your target line.  It just helps your mind confirm that you have committed to a line.
2/ MINIMIZE the Break by Sinking the Putt before your ball slows down:  70% to 90% of the break occurs as your ball slows down in the last 10% of the distance rolled.  How often have you seen Tiger’s ball drop firmly into the hole (without the final curl on his putt)?  Eliminate most of the break by planning to hit 12 to 18 inches past the hole.  NOTE: Wear and tear near the hole from hole insertion, club damage when pressed on the green and careless ball removal distort the roll of your ball.  Reasonable ball speed is the only way to minimize the impact of these unforeseen problems.
3/ Uphill putts break a lot less because you need more speed to get your ball up the hill so you should take a more direct line for uphill putts.

Practice for the Right Distance
1/  Before you play a round of golf make sure that you get a feel for the speed of the greens by using the practice green.  They change every day based on many factors.
2/  After you choose your line, take 2 or 3 practice swings with the exact stroke and cadence that you need to hit the ball 12 inches past the hole.  Step up to the ball, check your line and duplicate your practice swing.

Increase your odds of sinking more putts by developing a smooth “up the line” swing, practice your putting and pay attention to your misses.  GOLFSTR+  is an excellent training aid to develop your confidence by locking your wrists during the putting stroke.  Practice with GOLFSTR+  For Every Swing in Your Game: Click here to check out all of the uses for GOLFSTR+.

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