Archives for February, 2016

Record Your Big Misses and Cut Your Score

If you really want to improve your golf score you should increase your focus by playing against yourself.  Yes, you heard me: Just use your score card to record your BIG MISSES. That extra focus on avoiding your big misses will lower your score.  It will take a few rounds to sort out your big misses but this will change your attitude and focus on YOUR game.

Michael Breed or Hank Haney said that golf is a game where you have to minimize your misses. Just keep the ball on the fairway, hit the green and get it in the hole. Simple game!

Why You Should Intensify Your Focus?
When you focus on the correct way to swing to create the draw or fad or controlled shot needed to keep your ball in play, you will improve your score. For example:

Sergio Garcia wants to avoid this big miss. Landing in a tree is much worse than hitting a tree.

Sergio Garcia wants to avoid this big miss. Landing in a tree is much worse than hitting a tree.

– Just remembering that swinging too hard can spoil your shot is a great example to keep you in the right frame of mind to swing with less power and more control.
– Choosing a longer iron with a slower swing will give you more control.
– Use a 7 iron or hybrid with a putting stroke instead of a 60 degree wedge off short cut grass in front of a green to improve your odds of getting closer to the hole.
– Focusing on a lag to the hole on a very sloped green for a 2 putt instead of making a poor miss and causing a 3 putt.

 

How to Play a Game Against Yourself to Cut your Scores:

THE GOAL: Identify Your Mishits and then Minimize your Mishits!

RULES OF THE GAME:  On your Score Card use one line to enter your score for each hole and leave room to mark a code for each of the following mishits (High handicap golfers may need to use a second line below their score line):

o  Hitting your drive or approach shot and Missing the fairway (M)

o  Hitting a Fat drive, fairway shot or chip (F)

o  Hitting a Topped ball  (T)

o  Landing in a Sand trap or Water hazard or hitting a Bush or tree (S, W or B)

o  Extra putts over 2 putts (P for 3 putt or PP for 4 putts)

Analyze your score card after each round and focus on solving your big misses in your next round.

Now you can focus on making the right swing or choosing the right club to avoid your big misses and minimize your shots.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to avoid those mishits. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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“The Pause that Refreshes”

You may be aware that Coca-Cola used that famous marketing line over many years. It’s a great line to remind you to pause and shift your weight up your target line to start your transition. Finally we are seeing a winning professional golfer, Hideki Matsuyama, who almost pauses the motion in his upper body during his transition as he shifts his weight to his leading leg.

Don Trahan calls this the Bump and others call it the Key or the Shift. Ben Hogan made this shift look effortless as he incorporated it in his rhythm during the transition from his back swing to his down swing. Check this out if you want to avoid topping the ball or hitting it fat.

Ben Hogan talks about starting the downswing with the lower body.  Think about the shift of your weight to your leading foot in order to allow your lower body to start your down swing.

That famous Coke line was first used in 1929: “The Pause that Refreshes”. I recently thought about it when reading a response to a GOLFSTR Swing Tip from Raymond Chastel. He is 81, lives on the French Riviera and plays golf most days. He confirmed that our comments were exactly what he is doing:

Raymond said:You CAN improve your golf until the end OF YOUR Life. I’m over 81 and playing better than ever, even if my physical condition is not as good as when I was a young man. (I play to a 7 Handicap) True, my distance off the TEE has shortened but my short game has more than compensated for that. Swinging with a fine tempo is much better than swinging fast: pause at the top before going into the downswing and push hard off YOUR right instep.”

The pause at the top must work for Raymond as he gives himself time during the swing transition allowing the weight of his club to do the work for him during the downswing without distorting his body up or down. I have to assume that this is what is happening.

On the other hand Hank Haney warns that you need a 3 to 1 ratio in the time for your back swing to your forward swing. I can almost recognize the swing of all of the successful golf professionals because NONE OF THEM ARE THE SAME, so I believe that every rule can be broken to create the swing that works best for your body and muscular make-up.

A Winning Performance
That pause at the top really works for Hideki Matsuyama who beat Rickie Fowler in a playoff at the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Check out his slight pause at the top as he shifts his weight forward to his left foot. That shift allows you to use the momentum of your back swing to shift the center line of your body forward to hit the ball before you take a div0t.

Golf Channel comments in 2013 about Hideki’s pause at the top.  He still uses the same delay during his transition today.   They commented: “That’s fascinating, I have never seen anyone do that.”

Hideki has mastered this move. I see that some reviewers don’t even comment on his slight pause in his upper body motion at the top of his transition. My point is that you need to avoid rushing the transition to keep a smooth tempo and to let the weight of your club do the work. You should use “The Pause that Refreshes”.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to help you make your transition for a perfect swing. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Why would a Fat Putter Grip Help?

Putting accounts for almost half of your strokes in every round of golf. You need to be a great putter if you are ever going to conquer this game with a lower handicap. Buying a $300 Scotty Cameron Putter may help your ego but it won’t solve your putting problems. There are 3 parts to every putt: read it, feel the distance and perfect your swing. Get all 3 right and you will build confidence which is really the 6th sense that you need to be a great putter.

 

How do You Create the Perfect Swing?
Because the putter only impacts the ball for a split second, your back swing and follow through are extremely important to create:
1. Power to move your ball the right distance
2. Impact at the center of the club face to avoid a pull or push
3. Direction by finishing straight up your target line.

Jordan Spieth and Phil Michelson are both working with FAT GRIPS on their putter and you should too.

Jordan Spieth and Phil Michelson are both working with FAT GRIPS on their putter and you should too.

Learning from the Pros
Jordon Spieth and Phil Michelson both add a cock to their wrists to start their putting motion. Brandt Snedeker has a very short back swing where he stabs at the ball with very little follow-through. In Tiger’s best putting era always used a very calm stroke with out any preset on this putter. Use whatever works for you but I believe that Tiger’s swing is the perfect model.  Conventional grip, rock the shoulders and lock the arms and wrists.

 

Fat Putter Grip
One advance in the putter that I truly believe in using is the Fat Putter Grip. Almost 50% of the pros are using one and it is just a matter of time before they all change their grips.  Fat grips give you a few advantages:
1. The larger diameter gives your hands more surface to hold so you can hold with a  softer grip which relaxes your arm muscles and your mind.
2. The flat surface on the front of the grip is wider so your thumbs have a better feel for the line up with your target line.
3. The Fat Putter Grips are longer so that you can grip the putter at a comfortable position for you body height when using the standard putters on the market.

Final Putting Tip: Finish your Putt up your Target Line
Jordon Spieth putts with his leading hand below his trailing hand grip. He does this to control the direction of his putter as he putts through the ball and up his target line. You may want to try this but first you need to know which hand is controlling YOUR putts. Try putting left handed only and then try putting right handed only.  Which hand gives you the best control?

I control my putts with my left hand. To ensure that I finish my putt up the target line; I use a conventional grip (left hand at the top); I release my right hand at the point of impact and finish my stroke with my left hand holding the putter and swinging up the target line. [CRITICAL ISSUE: My left hand is on my leading side of my body so it does not wrap around my body in an arc the way my trailing right arm would.]

Practice putting with GOLFSTR+ on your lead hand to lock your wrist.  After you see the benefit of putting with a locked wrist and putting by rotating your shoulders, you should incorporate this into your game.  Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Change Your Game and Lower Your Scores !

In a recent news letter I saw the quote that “most golfers reach a level of golf after 3 years and stay at that level the rest of their golfing lives.”  How depressing is that?  Is your handicap going up, down or staying the same?

Benjamin Franklin has been quoted as saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting it to come out different”.  It doesn’t matter who came up with this truism but it really does make sense. Are you ready to shake up your game? What are the options that you should consider?

This blog on Swing Tips has now been published over 160 times. We hope that the tips that we find and share with you, will somehow shake up your brain and give you a fresh start to improve your game. Of course we hope that you will also purchase a GOLFSTR+ with 6 swing solutions as a brain trainer to:
First: learn how to improve all 6 of the swing conditions.
Second: practice the new and improved motion in order to “swing like a pro”
Third: to focus on testing the results on the golf course to lower your score.

Miguel Angel Jimenez never stops stretching to avoid injury. Pain will slow you down and sometimes it's the best thing for your game. It was for mine.

Miguel Angel Jimenez never stops stretching to avoid injury. Pain will slow you down and sometimes it’s the best thing for your game. It was for mine.

I have to admit that after improving my handicap by 8 strokes using GOLFSTR+, I have hit a plateau. I have been using the excuse that I don’t have time for practice and to play more golf. It took an injury to help me understand that swinging faster and harder was hurting my game.

I suffered a rib injury during a fall while playing tennis. I had to stop playing tennis but found that I could still swing a golf club at a slower speed but still with a reasonable amount of shoulder and hip rotation. By letting the club do the work [without extra force from my arms] I quickly learned that:
1/ Excessive Swing Speed was hurting my consistency in hitting fairways and greens.
2/ Slowing down the tempo at the transition in my backswing was improving the whipping action for more power and distance.
3/ Gripping down on a lower lofted club allowed me to swing with confidence to improve the direction of each hit.

This injury has given me a solution to lower my scores by playing more consistently. Now that I am keeping my ball in the fairway and hitting more greens I need to develop my 6th sense to putt with more consistency. A fatter grip on my putter seems to be a great solution to improve the other half of my game. More on that next week!

Improve the tempo for the lag and whipping action in your golf swing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to get it right. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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