Archives for December, 2014

Where is the Bottom of Your Swing?

It changes with each club. Knowing where each club should reach the bottom of the swing arc is critical for consistently great shots. A recent blog from Golf-Info-Guide by Thomas Golf about hitting fairway woods “off the deck” reminded me that the bottom of the swing arc is different for each type of club.

First you need to accept that fact that there are 2 types of swings which change the location of the bottom of your swing: Full Swing and Putting/Chipping Swing.

The “Full Swing” includes a weight shift to your forward foot as you rotate your hips and shoulders through the swing. The bottom of your swing moves forward of the center of your stance. Use the Full Swing with your Driver, Fairway Woods, Hybrids and Irons.

The “Putting/Chipping Swing” is a pendulum swing WITHOUT the weight shift. If your shoulders are level, the bottom of your swing is exactly in the center of your stance. So for Putting your ball should be just forward of center for top roll and for chipping your ball should be centered or slightly back of center.

Now let’s look at the WHERE and WHY you want the bottom of your arc for each Full Swing club:

Your iron shots bottom out after you impact with the ball ( as your weight shifts forward).

Your iron shots bottom out after you impact with the ball (as your weight shifts forward).

Driver: We want to connect with the ball on a 3 to 5 degree upswing (after you bottom out) and that is why we tee up for a driver and place the ball in-line with the insole of our leading foot.
Fairway Woods (3, 5 and Hybrid): The swing arc bottoms out at the point of impact for these clubs. This is referred to as hitting “off the deck” which should be forward of the center line of your stance (as your weight shifts forward). In low-cut fairway grass the 3 wood (with the longest shaft) is the most difficult shot to hit with a clean impact.
3 Iron through to Pitching Wedge: For all of these clubs the bottom of the swing arc should be just after the ball. In other words, you should be impacting with the ball and then taking a divot after the ball. Your club is actually hitting down through the ball to impart a reverse spin (instead of a top spin).

Knowing where you want to bottom your club should be at the top of your mind when you complete your practice swing. If you don’t bottom out at the right point, try again with the correct swing. It’s a great check for your swing.  If you are not bottoming out on your swing you may be bending your leading arm. Wear your GOLFSTR+ when you practice and get it right:




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Understand Impact for Consistent Hits


In a recent blog by Robert Cotter, Instant Golf I was surprised to see the effect of swing path and club face position. As it turns out: “ 85% of your ball’s initial direction is determined by the angle your club face is pointing in at impact… open, closed, or square to your target.” Proper grip and getting back to a square club face at impact should be your primary objective.

You can use any Straight Arm backswing and still create a great ball flight.  As examples, these pros all have different backswings but their downswing is almost identical as they typically swing from the inside to out to generate a controlled draw:

Jim Furyk's wild backswing helps him swing down from inside to outside for a perfect impact.

Jim Furyk’s wild backswing helps him swing down from inside to outside for a perfect impact.

1/ Jim Furyk swings straight up with a loop at the top to get down into the slot.
2/ Bubba Watson also has a very high backswing.
3/ Phil Mickelson has a low backswing where the butt of his club points higher than his ball
4/ During Adam Scott’s back swing the butt of his club points directly in line with his ball.

All 4 of these pros reroute their clubs for the same down swing and impact position with their weight over their leading foot. To get there you need to shift your weight and it all happens by pressing your hips forward as you reach the top of your backswing.

The direction of the club swing at impact causes side spin but it has a lot less impact as compared to club face.  Don’t get too hung up over the route that your club takes as you take your club back as long as you start with 2 straight arms (ref. Michael Breed) to force shoulder and chest rotation. Then take your club to the top with a straight leading arm.

GOLFSTR+ will help you get there. Got to love this product, the great reminder for practice or as you play 18 holes. Enjoy your new swing in 2015.

Season’s Greetings and Wishing You All the Best from

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Put the Punch in Your Swing for Power

Casting your club from the top of your backswing is the NUMBER ONE REASON WHY YOU LOSE DISTANCE! Last week our Swing Tip helped you with the 3 moves to rotate your body and create wrist cock at the top of your swing.  This preparation is wasted if you don’t hold the wrist cock as you start your down swing. Punching the butt of your club down from the top of your swing is a critical starting point for LONGER DISTANCE.

A tip from GolfLink Swing Tips by Chuck Cook (instructor to such PGA Tour greats as Payne Stewart, Tom Kite, and Corey Pavin) described this motion as a Punch Drill. He described it as swinging under a tree limb and releasing your wrists through impact. This image is a little strange but you need to train your mind to get this right.

Learning to punch down with the butt end of your club is easy to do in slow motion. Unfortunately there are 3 things happening as you transition from your back swing to your forward swing:

1/ as your club reaches the top of your swing, you need to use the forward momentum to press with your trailing leg and start your hip rotation in the forward direction.

2/ your arms reverse direction and lead the down swing with the butt of your club.

3/ you need to visualize Ernie Els with his gradual acceleration. Slow in the transition and accelerating as you swing down and releasing your cocked wrists as you whip the head of the club through impact.  [YouTube video in appreciation from ]

Practice this in slow motion to get the punching motion correct. Unfortunately the momentum of your swing to the top can’t be duplicated in slow motion. Momentum is caused by the mass and speed of your club head. That’s why it is so difficult to start a golf swing from a dead stop at the top of your backswing.

AHA MOMENT!  ALERT!   What else can I say to get your ATTENTION!
To learn to control the speed of your transition, holding lag at the top and acceleration:  Practice with a flat souled shoe on your right foot (works best with a rubber soul on a wet mat or grass) and a golf shoe on your left foot. If you rush at the top and cast your club early, your right foot will slip back away from the ball. If you hold your lag and control your  acceleration from the top you will be able to stay in balance throughout the swing.  [YOU WILL KNOW WHEN YOU ARE DOING IT CORRECTLY WHEN YOU ARE STILL IN BALANCE OVER YOUR LEADING FOOT AS YOU WATCH YOUR BALL DISAPPEAR OVER THE HORIZON – – – just kidding but you get the idea.]

I got this tip from Robert Ryley in Minnesota.  He discovered this while playing in flat bottomed running shoes.   He had to slow down his swing at the top and hold the lag in his wrists in order to keep  his balance.  BINGO: He dropped his handicap from 16 to 4.   WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Try this tip at the range or while you play a round of golf on wet grass (or while the morning dew is still on the grass). And don’t forget your GOLFSTR+ For every swing in your game:

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Golf is NOT Baseball!


Tiger Woods was on the Mike Douglas Show with Bob Hope showing off his golf swing when he was 2. The straight arm swing was the only swing that Tiger learned. Unlike Tiger Woods, most of us started our childhood swinging a baseball bat where a bent leading arm is normal. Keeping your leading arm straight in the backswing and down through impact will help you hit more consistently.

GOLFSTR was designed to remind you to keep your leading arm straight in the backswing. It’s a great product to help you reprogram your brain. There are 3 fundamental which you need for success with the straight arm swing:

1/ Stretch your leading arm across your chest. For right handed golfers, reach your left arm across your chest at shoulder height, place your right fist behind your left elbow and slowly stretch your arm toward your shoulder line.  [As seen on a training video on Golf-Info-Guid by Thomas Golf: How to Keep the Leading Arm Straight!!! : CLICK HERE]

2/ Learn the limit of your backswing body rotation. Standing with your feet flared and spread shoulder width, clasp your hand or a club and rotate your 2 straight arms to the right coiling your hips and your shoulders.

Henrick Stenson is shown pulling his wrist to a 90 degree cocked position with his bent trailing elbow.

Henrick Stenson is shown pulling his wrist to a 90 degree cocked position with his bent trailing elbow.

3/ Learn to lag your wrist at the top of your swingWith your arms in front of you, using a normal golf club grip (with the V between your right hand thumb and first finger pointing to your right shoulder) cock your wrists to the right to form a 90 degree angle between your straight left arm and the club shaft. Your left wrist must remain flat in line with the extension of your arm.  Now as you reach the top of your swing you can cock your wrist the same way by pulling with your trailing bent arm.

Accept the fact that you have limitations in these 3 motions. Fortunately with practice you can gradually stretch these limitations to improve your power. Your backswing is the combination of these 3 motions and using a bent trailing elbow to pull your flat leading wrist into a 90 degree cocked position at the top of your backswing.

Remember, this is not like your windup with a baseball bat. So accept your limited rotation and start playing more consistent golf. To help you improve, practice with a GOLFSTR+.  Available at a limited number of Golf Retailers and on our website:

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Lydia Ko: An Inspiration for All Golfers

Every golfer who buys a GOLFSTR+ would love to golf as well as Lydia Ko : only 17, 5’ 5” and consistently shooting under par on 6500 yard courses. Her demeanor is as consistent as her perfect swing: calm and controlled. She learns from her misses and enjoying the thrill of every shot. Pay attention to Lydia Ko and every swing in your game will improve.

After watching Lydia win another tournament I was pleased to see the GOLFWEEK Approach Shots blog by Beth Ann Nichols.  Her blog reported that only weeks after turning pro, Lydia moved from New Zealand to the Orlando, FL area to work with Sean Hogan and David Leadbetter (also training Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen). Sean is working on adding to her low fad shot by teaching her to work the ball up and down and side to side. The article covered some of her basic training exercises that we all should be using:

Pull your leading straight arm as you rotate your chest for an improved backswing.

Palm-push Drill: Pull your leading straight arm as you rotate your chest for an improved backswing.  It’s a great stretching exercise to learn the straight leading arm swing.

1/ Warm-up Palm-push Drill: She loosens her upper body by pulling her straight leading arm in the backswing motion. She crosses her left hand above her right wrist and stretches back and through simulating a swing. This achieve the same rotation that Michael Breed talks about with 2 straight arms in the takeaway to rotate the chest. Of course GOLFSTR+ is a great trainer to achieve this straight leading arm swing as you play 18 holes.

In practice to improve her draw, Lydia steps into her swing like a baseball batter or pitcher.

Step Drill: In practice to improve her draw, Lydia steps into her swing like a baseball batter or pitcher.

2/ Hit the Draw using the Step Drill: As she takes her backswing she is lifting and shifting her left foot back to her right foot (like a baseball pitcher winding up) and then swinging from the inside. “The step drill really promotes a draw because it drops the club to the inside on the way down,” Hogan said.

3/ Swing Focus Flow Drill: To keep her natural rhythm Hogan has her lift her club forward of the ball and taking the club back over the ball to complete her backswing and then swing through impact. Ko even uses this in her pre-shot practice swings to stay loose.

4/ Building Consistency with a Stability drill: Hogan uses a shaft in the ground and leaning against the right side of her leg to prevent swaying to the right. This keeps her weight forward as she completes her swing.

5/ Short Game Practice to Stir Creativity: He challenges her to create different shots with different clubs from various locations around a green to promote creativity.

6/ Putting focus on a Shortened Backswing: Ko practices with a tee in the ground behind her putter to restrict her backswing and force the acceleration of the swing up her intended line.

These are all great training tips.  Of course GOLFSTR+ should be used to practice Every Swing in Your Game too.  Check it out at


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