Archives for November, 2014

Turn your Short Game Upside Down

I could not believe this either but the hip motion in the short game swing for many successful professional golfers is different than the long game swing. Wow, was this a shocker when I saw this promotion for James Sieckmann’s Phase 5 System (instructor for Watney and 13 others). He learned the secrets by his close relationship with Seve Ballisteros, a master of the short game.

There really is a POWER swing (which I described in last week’s Swing Tip) and a FINESSE swing. The POWER swing uses shoulder and hip rotation in the back swing then leading the swing with your hips in the down swing. The FINESSE swing (where you don’t need power for chip and pitch shots) is a shoulder and arm backswing with minimal rotation or shift of your lower body until you follow through.

In your short game, if you are hitting a lot of fat shots (where your club digs into the ground before the ball) you may be rotating your hips in the back swing and rushing the swing with your arms so that the bottom of your swing is before the ball. You can also recognize this problem if you end up with your weight on your trailing leg or if you top or blade the ball by flipping your wrist at impact.

Keep a quiet lower body with limited hip rotation in the back swing.

Keep a quiet lower body with limited hip rotation in the back swing.

To improve your SHORT GAME, simply eliminates hip rotation in the backswing. It’s a calm and relaxed swing with a cadence where you let your club do the work.
1/ Your stance is narrow. Your ball is in the center or slightly back from center of your stance. For right handed players, grip with the V between your thumb and first finger on your right hand pointing to your right shoulder. Hands are ahead of the club. The balance on your feet is slightly forward.
2/ Use your shoulders and arms for the backswing (minimal hip and chest rotation) and let your club pull your arms, shoulders and then your hips through to your finishing position (chipping is a low finish, pointing at the target and a longer pitch is a high finish).
3/ Avoid taking a backswing that is too low or too much from the inside. You don’t want to put any side spin on the ball.
4/ To create a high shot or flop shot your need the club face open to allow the angle of the club to lift the ball. Your stance needs to be open for these shots.
5/ Rushing the swing causes a “down cock” or break of the wrist so that your club head never catches up to your hands causing fat shots. Commit to the height of your backswing during your practice swing and then repeat it when you make your shot.
6/ For green-side bunker shots, use a FINESSE swing. Your lower body needs to be still to ensure that your sand wedge enters the sand just before the ball and bottoms out and reaches maximum speed after the ball position. Make sure you finish the full swing.

When chipping practice the lag in your trailing wrist backswing and your flat leading wrist in your limited follow through using your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today. Great Christmas present for any want-to-be golfer.

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Up, Down and Bob’s Your Uncle!

Back-swing and rip it!  There is no time to run your mind through 100 swing thoughts. Unfortunately some of those lingering thoughts are the reason why you mess up the occasional shot. Ideally you need to get a feel for the perfect swing. You need a simple, repeatable way to make it happen every time. Why not clear the clutter out of your mind and make every shot count?

Every week I see a number of new ideas to help us swing more consistently and hit longer. I agree that they are all important to understand and practice. That’s exactly why we developed GOLFSTR+ for 6 different swing problems. It helps you learn to take control of your body so that you get a feel for the right swing and see the result when it’s done correctly. It lets you feel and see success with a straight arm, a flat wrist and wrist lag. You need to build confidence in your swing by seeing your success as you practice.

Are you one of these golfers? You have a perfect practice swing. But when you move up to that little white ball, your mind and body freeze up. You forget to press through the ball. You leave most of your weight on your trailing foot. You need to finish your swing by transferring your weight and body over your leading foot.

During the few seconds of your swing your mind does not have time to think about every detail:
• getting your club to the correct backswing position
pressing your hips forward before you release your wrists through impact
• and finishing with your weight on your leading leg and chest facing your target line.

As you practice to get the right FEEL for each shot you need TRIGGER WORDS to lock in that feeling: “Swing Back and Down” are NOT good thoughts for the higher handicap golfer.

You need trigger words in your mind to use when you take your practice swing. Then use the same trigger words for your backswing and follow-through.

In your mind use the trigger words: “Straight – Lag” in the backswing and “press” to start your downswing.

1. In your takeaway say “Straight” as a reminder to keep both arms straight to force the rotation of your chest.
2. Up to the top say “Lag” as you pull your club into a 90 degree LAG position with your trailing bent arm.
3. To start your downswing say “Press” as you start your hip rotation and weight shift to your leading leg.

Started your down swing by rotating your hips so that you will end up in a balanced position over your leading leg and your chest facing your target. Once you get this feeling grooved into your mind, you won’t need the trigger words but you will enjoy this wonderful game a lot more as you lower your score.

Hank Haney is showing Stephen Curry (NBA Basket Ball star) how to start his swing with his hips.

Hank Haney is showing Stephen Curry (NBA Basket Ball star) how to start his swing with his hips.   I don’t make this stuff up!

Here is a promo video by Golf Digest for Hank Haney with the 5 Minute Fix (“hands and arms are outracing the body”) you have to start with your hips: Push your hips through and the rest will follow.  CLICK THE IMAGE.

By the way: “Bob’s your uncle”?     Wikipedia: to conclude a set of simple instructions.       In French “et voilà!”.  (and there you see it!)

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Do you YIP when you CHIP?

There are 2 pressure shots in golf and both require a calm and effortless swing: Putting and Chipping. Unfortunately, when the shot is so easy and there is so much pressure to be precise,  many of us get the YIPS. Hunter Mahan choked on a 2010 Ryder Cup chip that lost a match. Of course it was a yip that he will never forget. You need to understand what takes over your mind and body to mess-up these shots?

First you need to understand why you feel this pressure and why your muscles and mind react the way they do. Both of these shots are finesse shots. They require soft hands and a good feel for the shot, the roll of the green & the loft of the club (for chipping). The pressure is all in your head. When you drive a ball or hit a fairway shot there is a lot of room for errant shot. When chipping or putting you have 1 shot to get your ball close to the hole. You expect perfection. THAT IS PRESSURE and that is where the YIPS come from!

My favorite weekly blog from Golf-Info-Guide by Thomas Golf  summed up the solution in 2 words: CONFIDENCE and PRACTICE.

CONFIDENCE: Golf is a game of memories: the good ones and the bad ones! Unfortunately our last poor chip or putt is a hard memory to overcome. A lack of confidence creates self-doubt: “Stiff shoulders, arms, wrist and fingers choke the club and limit freedom of motion.” You need to realize when this is happening and snap out of it. Take your mind back to the perfect swing.

When Chipping learn to avoid the YIPS using GOLFSTR+ in your backswing (#4) and follow-through (#6).

When Chipping learn to avoid the YIPS by using GOLFSTR+ in your backswing (#4) and follow-through (#6).

PRACTICE: The Golf-Info-Guide blog reminds us that you need to learn the skill of chipping by practicing. It’s not going to happen your you have one shot under pressure on the golf course.  Learn the shot with different lofted clubs. Understand what works. Relax your hands and don’t rush the swing.   Let the weight of the club do the work as you accelerate through the ball to a straight arm finish with your club pointing to your target.

>Narrow your stance with the ball in the center of your stance and weight forward on your leading foot

>Hand grip should be a 4 out of 10 with your hands forward of the ball at address and at impact (shaft is leaning forward). This is especially important when you have a tight lie in front of the green.

>The swing is a downward blow, taking a slight divot forward of the ball as you rotate your chest toward the target.

>Don’t rush the swing: 1/3 backswing with limited wrist break and 2/3 follow through with no wrist break.

GOLFSTR+ is the ideal golf swing training aid to help you learn limited lag in your trailing wrist (fix #4) and a flat leading wrist in your follow-through (fix #6). Check it out today or buy it as a gift for your friends for Christmas. Great Stocking Stuffer.

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For the Love of Golf

As a break from our Weekly Golf Tips I just wanted to share these 2 interesting stories about the love of golf.

#1      50 Shades of Golf
Four guys have been going to the same golfing trip to St Andrews for many years. Two days before the group is to leave, Jack’s wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn’t going. Jack’s mates are very upset that he can’t go, but what can they do. Two days later, the three get to St Andrews only to find Jack sitting at the bar with four drinks set up!

“Wow, Jack, how long you been here, and how did you talk your misses into letting you go?”

“Well, I’ve been here since last night..  Yesterday evening, I was sitting in my living room chair and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and asked, ‘Guess who?”

I pulled her hands off, and there she was, wearing a nightie. She took my hand and pulled me into our bedroom. The room had candles and rose petals all over. Well she’s been reading ‘50 Shades of Grey’.On the bed she had handcuffs, and ropes! She told me to tie her up and cuff her to the bed, so I did.

And then she said, “Do whatever you want.” So— Here I am!

[Dream on and don’t get any bright ideas from this.  At least my wife thought it was funny.]

GOLFSTR+ is a training aid that you can feel when you wrist is flat in the backswing.  NO cupping or bowing allowed.  It helped Michael Yu.

GOLFSTR+ is a training aid that you can feel when you wrist is flat in the backswing. NO cupping or bowing allowed. It helped Michael Yu.

#2      Another success with GOLFSTR+
Michael Yu of Santa Clara, CA recently purchased a GOLFSTR+ from our website after a golf lesson at GolfTEC.  He discovered GOLFSTR+ at GolfTEC in a Golfsmith store on Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara/ San Jose.  Moe Morgan, his instructor,  used a GOLFSTR+ to help him stop cupping his wrist in the backswing. “It improvement my swing and also helped stop my flying elbow.”  He said that he just “needed some muscle memory” to see the improvement and get out of his old habit.

GolfTEC provides about 1/3 of all golf lessons in the US. GOLFSTR+ samples have been sent for review and possible retail sales. Many of the GolfTEC training centers are in Golfsmith retail outlets so this will be a great way for you to test and purchase GOLFSTR+ in 2015 if their evaluation is successful.

In the mean time you can still buy GOLFSTR+ with 6 swing fixes the same way 4,000 others have from our Store Page on our website


Public Announcement: If you know someone who is in their 20’s and trying to find their way in life, check out this book The20Project.  It was  just released by our daughter with chapters from 20 others who shared their experiences to achieve success.    It’s a great Christmas Present if you want to help someone find their way in life.

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