Archives for January, 2016

Improve Your Odds to Sink More Putts

Ever wonder why there are so many styles of putters?   Even Odyssey, promoted as “The Number 1 Putter in Golf”,  has more head styles than most other manufacturers. They may spend more on advertising and sell more putters but that does NOT mean that you are guaranteed to sink more putts with any of their putters. Try every type and weight of putter and focus on the one that gives you the most success and confidence.

Learn from the Pros to Improve Your Putting
Professional golfers who are winning tournaments are doing it with the fewest putts. If you want to figure out what works best, you should pay attention to what Jordon Speith and Rory McIlroy are doing. They may grip the putter in different ways but both use these principles of putting:

  1. Look directly at the ball as they swing back and through the ball. [For short straight putts Jordon looks directly at the hole as he swings straight to the hole.] Most golfers look up as they hit the ball so they miss watching the STRAIGHT swing of the club through impact with the ball.
  2. Pros impact their putter exactly in the center of the putter face. When you hit toward the toe or heal of the putter face it will throw your ball off the intended line.
  3. They swing directly up their putting line without arcing the putter as they pass the point of impact. Any motion off the target line will spin the ball sideways away from target line. Michael Breed pointed out that Jordon grips with his left hand low so that he can drag the putter with his leading arm directly up the target line. [NOTE: For 4 to 20 foot putts I found that releasing the grip with my trailing hand and finishing my swing by pointing the putter straight up the target line with my leading hand helps me avoids arcing the swing of the putter to avoid any side spin on the ball.]
  4. They swing by rocking their shoulders and eliminate any wrist action.
  5. They always attempt to hit past the hole (10 to 15 inches) to ensure that they:
    a. Reach the hole [as 100% of short putts never go in the hole]
    b. Minimize the impact of flaws in the green as the ball slows near the hole
    c. Minimize the break as the break is greatest as the ball slows down.


Rory Putts with his shoulders and keeps his head focused on to ball at rest to help him swing STRAIGHT up his target line.

Rory putts with his shoulders.  He keeps his head focused on the ball at rest to help him swing STRAIGHT through the ball.  He also sways his hips up his target line.

There are Exceptions to Every Rule:
Jack Nicklaus putted to die into the hole. If the speed of the green is very fast and the slope of the green is very sloped you can’t afford to hit well past the hole. You have no choice but to let the slope of the green allow your ball to “die into the hole” or to keep it close for your tap-in.

Green speeds change every day based on timing of the last roller compression, the growth & direction of growth of grass, sand or fertilizer application and moisture content. At the very least you need to understand the speed of the greens on the practice putting green before you start your round.

Practice and experience are the best ways to improve your putting skill. You need to develop a 6th sense to account for the feel of each putt. Rory and Jordon are both young so their skill is coming from their recent knowledge which developed their 6th sense. You can also use GOLFSTR+ to help you learn to putt by rocking your shoulders and by locking your leading wrist. Practice with it to improve your putting and 5 other swing problems! Buy one today at

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Irons Should be Your Game Savers !

You can make or break your game with your irons. Every golfer wants to hit more Greens In Regulation. Unfortunately the added pressure to select the right iron for distance and to make the perfect swing to get close to the hole can distract your mind and destroy the result.  Sand traps and water features just make it worse.  Knowing the right swing thought for your irons can save you a lot of grief.

For the next few months, I’m sitting about 30 yards from a green on a par 5 hole which is nestled between 4 bunkers, OB and a pond. There is no room for a mistake. I love to watch the strategy used by each approaching golfer. They can layup and chip up a narrow approach or try for a long high shot hoping that they hold the green. In all cases they have to use their irons and wedges with a potential for disaster.

A beautiful view for me but disaster awaits the golfers as they tighten-up for a mishit.

A beautiful view as I watch from my window while disaster awaits the panic stricken golfers as they tighten-up for a mishit.

It really is entertaining to watch the frustration as about 70% of the golfers land in a bunker, the pond, over the green as a lost ball or OB. The wise higher handicap golfers, layup short of the green and many still mishit into a trap or water. The real fun starts when sand is flying everywhere and finally the ball is thrown out in disgust or a golfer returns a second or third ball to the pond. Oh Yes: “THE JOY OF GOLF”.

The greater the pressure the better is the chance for a mishit.

Swing Thoughts for the Perfect Iron Shot
You have to recognizing that you are about to make a high pressure shot. That should be your wake-up call to realize that your body is getting tight and your mind needs to take corrective action.

The major mishit for all iron shots (short or long) is a rushed back swing with no follow through. As our minds and bodies freeze up I can see that 75% of the mishits are fat shots. Clubs are bouncing off the ground before connecting with the ball.  Panic stricken golfers are:

Swinging harder with their arms as their bodies are frozen in place
Forgetting to move their bodies through the shot to a balanced finish

Realize that the pressure of the shot is making your body tighten up. Wake-up and make these adjustments:

Loosen your grip and relax
Take a full practice swing (with a follow through) as you visualize hitting to your target.
Your swing thought should be to take a full straight-arm backswing, accelerate from the inside, take a divot after impact and finish balanced on your leading foot.

Positive thoughts and a relaxed body will pay-off. You can use your GOLFSTR+ to practice when you are playing 18 holes to make those pressure shots. Buy one today at

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Enjoy Your Fairway Woods and Hybrids

This week’s Swing Tip is focused on swing thoughts for your Fairway Woods and Hybrids. The facts that you are not teeing your ball up and you are hitting “off the deck”  which may be on an uneven lie will force you to consider many factors.

Club Design
The wide flat surface on the bottom of these clubs are not ideal for taking a divot after you strike the ball so there is less room for error as compared to your driver. Ideally you are trying to take a minimal divot after the ball. The bottom of your swing arc should be at the point of impact but you still need to complete your swing by transferring all of your weight to your leading foot.

These clubs are not forgiving.  There is less room for error so a consistent swing with no change in your shoulder height, is critical for these clubs:
1/ Practice with GOLFSTR+ to ensure that you are keeping a straight leading arm during your backswing and your downswing. The distance from your shoulder to your ball during your setup and at the point of impact must remain the same. A bent leading arm will result in inconsistent hits.
2/ During your swing, rotate your shoulders & hips and avoid any bobbing action with your knees. Keep your shoulders at a fixed height. You may have seen Tiger take a ferocious lung down at the ball but his killer motion is not a good idea for consistent hits. DON’T DO IT.
3/ If you rush during the transition and forget your weight shift to your leading leg, you will bottom out your swing arc before you reach your ball causing a worm burner or topped ball.  Falling back on your trailing leg is the killer for any shot.

Ben Hogan Swing Thought: Head level, shoulder rotation and weight shift to leading foot

Ben Hogan Swing Thoughts: Head level, shoulder rotation and weight shift to the leading foot.

Your swing thought has to be on shoulder rotation and taking the time for a weight shift to your leading foot during the transition. You can still take minimal divot after the ball but you need to finish your swing in balance over your leading foot.

Fix the Lie of Your Ball with Your Setup
If you are hitting with any club off the tee, make sure that you find a flat surface as many tees will start to slope toward the sides of the tee box. I often stand at the back of the tee block to check the side to side slope and watch the impact of a sloped tee while my partners complete their tee-off. The fat face of a driver is more forgiving on a sloped tee block. Unfortunately a one inch drop or rise from your feet to your ball on a tee block can create an unexpected draw or fade.

The same problem happens on the fairway for Fairway Woods or Hybrids. Often you will have an uneven lie so you should be making adjustments to compensate for the height difference from your ball to your feet. A ball above your feet will pull toward your body (to the left for right handed golfers) and a ball below your feet will tend to flare out away from your body. If the ball is above your feet you should consider taking a less lofted club and gripping down to compensate with your club. If the ball is below your feet you need to use a less lofted club and bend your knees or spread your feet further to compensate for the drop.

Minimize you swing thoughts with the proper setup. For consistent hits with your Fairway Woods and Hybrids avoid any change in your shoulder height and concentrate on shoulder rotation and weight transfer to your forward foot.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ for a straight arm swing and take any head bobbing action out of your swing. Buy one today at

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Learn from the Long-ball Hitters

Whether you are a beginner and or a low handicap player, you need to approach each shot with a calm state of mind and a swing plan. Your swing plan has to be different for each type of golf club. The design of each club requires a unique plan and swing. They fall into 4 categories: driver, fairway woods/ hybrids, irons and putter. This week’s Swing Tip is focused on swing thoughts for your driver.

I have recently been asking golfers: “What is your swing thought to create a consistent hit?” High handicappers talk about the fear of missing the shot (fear of failure). This is obviously not where your mind needs to be. Low handicappers have a game plan and you should have one too.

I recently saw an interview with 2 of the contestants in a 2015 Longest Drive Contest. The longest hitters are tall and powerful. They also hit well over 300 yards with longer shafted drivers. The point of this article is not to encourage a radical change in your swing so that you can hit 100 yards further. I’m just trying to offer swing thoughts to help you create a more consistent hit with your driver. Without adding any more speed with your arms, you can use the tips from the long ball hitters to get a lot more distance out of your drives [Hint: use your wrists for whipping action].

How to Drive for Consistency and Distance:
1/ Tee your ball higher. Half of your ball should be above the top of your driver head when resting on the ground. Drivers are designed to generate more distance when you impact the ball just above the center of the driver face plate.

2/ Swing up on the ball when using a driver. That’s why you need to place the ball forward in your stance (directly out from the heel of your leading foot). This allows the club to pass the bottom of your swing arc and to be rising as you impact the ball even though the impact will cause a reverse rotation on the ball (opposite to a topped ball which dives to the ground).

Let your trailing elbow fly like Jack Nicklaus and then swing up the inside slot to your target line. [My personal breakthrough]

Let your trailing elbow fly like Jack Nicklaus and then swing up the inside slot to your target line. [My personal breakthrough]

3/ During your take away keep both arms straight to create a wide arc. Then let your trailing elbow fly, like Jack Nicklaus, as you pull your leading wrist with you trailing hand to create a 90 degree lag angle. Loop your club head at the top to swing down from the inside and up the target line. Jim McLean and Hank Haney refer to this as swinging from the slot. [This was my major breakthrough for my swing and consistency improvement. Learning to hold a towel under my trailing armpit during the backswing was killing my game.]

4/ Use a strong grip with your left hand, with the “V” between your thumb and your hand pointing to your right shoulder. [The heavy hitters move it further to the right.]

5/ Hit the inside quadrant of the ball (inside of the imaginary target line along the top of your ball). TIP: Place your ball on the tee so that the brand name is visible as a target on the inside quadrant.

6/ Long-ball hitters use a longer swing arc by going beyond horizontal like John Daly. If you want consistent swings, DON’T even consider this.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game. Get more distance using your wrist release through impact. Buy one today at

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