Archives for August, 2016

Our Dream to be a Better Putter !

We all know that hitting greens in regulation or chipping it close for a 1-putt is the goal for success on every hole. The real difference between a good round and a bad round is sinking more of those 3 to 10 foot putts. We are all searching for ways to be more consistent. Here are some recent tricks that I found to improve our putting.

Learn to “Feel” the Green
Reading the break and putting with enough roll to pass the hole by up to 18 inches is all a matter of feel. Every green is different so you can never practice enough to learn the break for every putt. The length & type of grass, the grain of the grass and the firmness of the surface caused by a recent rolling, top dressing or watering of the green all affect the speed of your putt.

You need to “learn” on the practice green for the course that you are about to play and hope that the practice green has been groomed exactly the same as the 18 greens that you are about to play on. You have to visualize each putt and “feel” the right swing with your practice swing before you execute the putt.

Things You have Little Control Over
As a green dries out and the grass grows during your round, you have no choice but to adapt to the changing conditions. You can’t determine the impact of the last person who walked over your line or the IDIOT who used the end of his putter to boost himself after he removes his ball from the hole OR THE INCONSIDERATE SOB WHO IS DIGGING UP THE GREENS WITH METAL SPIKES. That is why putting is more than a talent. Putting is primarily art and a bit of luck.

Don't you want the same feeling as Jason Day when you sink any putt at any length.

Don’t you want the same feeling as Jason Day when you sink any putt at any length.

What You Can Control in your Putts
1/ Putting with the rocking action of your shoulders will take the smaller muscles in your arms and wrists out of your putt. This will minimize any shaking of your club during your stroke. Practice locking your wrists using your GOLFSTR+ and seeing your success.
2/ Choose a target point and putt directly at that target is the only thing that YOU CAN CONTROL in your putt.
3/ Your practice swing should be exactly the same swing as your actual putt as that is the only way you can “feel” the right DISTANCE.
4/ You need to deliberately swing with your shoulders and swing your putter like a pendulum up your target line at the point of impact or you will slice or draw your ball.  Jason Day finishes swinging his putter up his target line in a pendulum arc and you should too.
5/ At least reach the hole with your putt. 100% of putts that don’t reach the hole never go in!
6/ Putt with enough speed to pass the hole by up to 18 inches so that the speed will minimize any misdirection caused by the last person to step on your line or the person who created the cup placement with a slight rise around the edge of the hole.
7/ After you learn to hit every putt 10 to 18 inches past the cup make sure that you plan for less break as most of the break will happen if your ball passes the cup.

[Note: Impact with the ball only lasts for a fraction of a second so your total focus should be on looking down at the SQUARE HIT IN THE CENTER OF YOUR PUTTER FACE as well as duplicating your practice swing for DISTANCE. This tip came from a 75 year old golfer who sinks about 8 out of every 10 putts between 6 and 15 feet.]

Our Swing Tips next week will focus on ways to identify how YOUR mind and body is most effective to make YOUR putts. In the meantime practice with GOLFSTR+ for flat wrist putting by rocking your shoulder. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

 

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Olympic Golf Was an Education for All

Do you wonder why you have good golf days and bad golf days. Exactly the same happened to the Olympians on the golf course in Rio.  Patience and mental control to manage your game are probably the 2 keys that we can all learn by watching the Olympic Golf Champions.  Justin Rose was a great example to watch but we (recreational golfers) can learn far more from the women golfers.

Recreational golfers dream about playing like the professional male golfers. Unfortunately it only revs up our testosterone with images of going for the gusto. Whether you know it or not, those thoughts are destroying your game. Every time we hit a great shot we tend to put a little more into the next shot and end up in the bush or water or sculling it 20 yards.

Olympic Golf Medal were won by controlled emotion, avoiding the hazards and amazing chips.

Olympic Golf Medal were won by controlled emotion, avoiding the hazards and amazing chips.

Knock yourself down a few pegs and get real. I hate to say this but we should all play like the women. This sure sounds like a sexist remark but I’m serious. Control your shots, avoid the hazards and chip to the cup.

Imbee Park (Gold Medal winner) is not a long driver. She also had to lay off her practice time and tournament play prior to the Olympics to allow time for recovery from her wrist injury. Limiting her practice and mentally focusing on the Olympic course allowed her cautiously win over the 4 days of tournament play. She had 3

Maria Verchenova, a Russian golfer got a lot of attention and her golf was good too.

Maria Verchenova, a Russian golfer got a lot of attention and her golf was great too.

rounds of 66 and a 70 on a windy day.  Her steady play was nothing like the spectacular single rounds by Stacey Lewis, 18 year old Brooke Henderson or the Russian, Maria Verchenova who shot a course record at 9 under par.

– Imbee has a pause at the top of her backswing and never rushes her swing.
She rarely showed any emotion on a good or a poor shot.
Her amazing chipping was often followed with a single putt.

Lydia Ko (Silver Medal winner) is a lot like Imbee. She is not a long ball hitter and she did not get upset when she had a poor hole. By focusing on her game she knew that she would start to sink putt.  She had a hole-in-one (the first in her professional career) which was icing on the cake for her final round.

Shanshan Feng (Bronze Medal winner) had many difficult recovery chips where she missed dropping the chip by a fraction of an inch. With a little more luck she would have placed higher. Her ability to visualize her chips and end up inches from the hole during her final round was amazing.

I want to emphasize that Recreational Golfers should play from the tees where you can reach the green in regulation. The course was set for the women at 6,245 yards (the men played at 7,128 yards). Accept the fact that you are a recreational player with limited time to practice. So play like the women professionals: Control your emotions to control your shots, avoid the hazards and chip to the cup

Play like these women. Inbee, Lydia and Shanshan all have this amazing focus as they “ took dead aim” on each shot. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jason Day all talk about this focus and visualization to hit their target. Harvey Penick (a famous golf instructor) was quoted by Golf-Info-Guide (Thomas Golf) as saying “take dead aim.  Once you address the ball, hitting it to the desired target must be the only thing in your life. Allow no negative thoughts and focus on your goal”

I hope you enjoyed this advice and will use it whenever you play golf.  Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve every swing in your game. Pattern your swing after the pros and make sure that you spend 50% of your practice time pitching, chipping and putting with GOLFSTR+.   Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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24.1 Million US Golfers Are On the Right Track

Since 2011, according to the National Golf Foundation, the number of US golfers has only dropped an average of 1.6 % per year. That’s a lot less than the 2.2% drop per year between 2003 and 2011. Golf is still a thriving industry for those of us who love the opportunity to challenge ourselves while we exercise our minds and bodies in an amazing environment.

Recent Headline News
Adidas is trying to divest itself of its golf holdings (TaylorMade who bought Adams for $70 Mil.)
Nike has decided to stop selling golf clubs and balls so that they can focus on all sports apparel.
-The Edwin Watts golf stores was sold to World Wide Golf Stores.
Dick’s Sporting Goods recently eliminated golf pros from their 550 stores.
Golf Town bought Golfsmith and now they are looking for a buyer or planning to restructure.
Glen Abbey Golf Club, Home of the Canadian Open, plans to sell to a housing developer in 2017

What a beautiful way to end a day. Make sure you pose and enjoy every wonderful shot.

What a beautiful way to end a day. Make sure you pose and admire every wonderful shot.

The Good News!
– There are still about 34,000 golf courses in the world and almost half of them are in USA.
– As fewer young golfers take up this sport the cost of golf is dropping.
– There are more great deals to enjoy by selecting tee times on www.GolfNow.com & www.UnderPar.com
– Private and Public Golf Clubs are offering wonderful deals to attract you to their courses.
– Golf will be confirmed as an Olympic Sport as a result of its success this year. The viewing audience almost equaled the Masters.
– Jack Nicklaus said that golf balls are now designed to hit much further so keep buying new balls.
– Tiger (40) will be back next year to keep Jason (28), Dustin (32), Henrik (40) Jordan (23), Rory (27) Rickie (27) and Bubba (37) on their toes.
– But look at the ages of the leaders in the LPGA: Lydia Ko (19), Ariya Jutanugarn (20) and Brooke Henderson (18), 5’4” with a driving average of 268 yards.

If you have discovered the challenge of golf as an excellent way to bond with friends in the great outdoors, HAVE WE GOT NEWS FOR YOU.

You can sink exactly the same number of putts as the pros with any shape of putter whether it cost $40 or $400. Practice because it’s all in your head and putting swing.

Putting almost counts for half the strokes in your game so spend more time practicing your putting and use GOLFSTR+ to learn to putt with a flat wrist.

Enjoy your game by playing from the tees where you can hit the green in regulation.

Stay on the short stuff.  If you need to hit 4 shots with a 7 iron and then 1 putt for you par: Just do it!

Golf is a challenging sport and you know the emotion that it stirs when you split a fairway with a perfect drive. Remember to hold that finishing pose and enjoy the moment.  Seize the Day!

If you want to bring more joy back to your game and hit more of those perfect drives, hit more greens in regulation and chip close for more 1 putt greens you should start practicing with GOLFSTR+.

It gives your 6 Swing Fixes in 1 Training Aid. You can wear it while you play 18 holes as a reminder to keep your leading arm straight in your backswing and downswing through impact. Best of all it slides in your pocket or golf bag. We call it the Pocket Pro. She’s there whenever you warm up for your next round.

Unfortunately you can’t use GOLFSTR+  when you are playing any competitive rounds of golf.  It gives you an unfair advantage.  Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Swing Tip #200: Improve Your Game Every Week

When we launched our GOLFSTR+ website to promote our 6-in-1 Golf Swing Training Aid, it was the start of our journey to help golfers consistently break 80.  We quickly understood that the discovery of GOLFSTR+ was a great start to learn the correct swing with every club but there is so much more to this game. We wanted to find and share the Holy Grail of Golf : the magic moves and thoughts to hit every shot perfectly. We had to unlock these mysteries!

Our solution was to launch Weekly Swing Tips which we learned from pros or from Swing Tip Subscribers to help every recreational golfer discover easy ways to lower scores.  As we wrote the first 199 issues of these tips we have learned that mental control is just as important as physical control for each club in your bag.

Flexibility and Exercise
-Aging bodies needs daily flexibility exercise, especial before you play a round of golf. Just do it!

Consistency and Control
-Thank you Ben Hogan: “The most important swing in golf is your next one.”
– Keep your leading arm straight in the backswing and downswing for consistent hits. (consistent distance to the ball from setup to impact is critical for your success)
-Use a Soft Grip with your trailing hand to avoid distortion in the direction of your swing and it automatically helps you lag your wrist for more power.
-Use a limited takeaway waggle to see that you are keeping your wrist flat in your backswing.
-Remove all mental distractions and slow down your transition by mentally saying, “Sweep in, and up”
-Swing from the inside to up the target line with a balanced finish, facing the target.

Distance
-Set your ball up on your tee with the logo pointing at 45 degrees to your target line as a reminder to swing from the inside and impact the ball on the inside quadrant. (to avoid swinging over the top)
Your backswing is a ROTATION of your hips, shoulders, arms and wrists. DO NOT SWAY BACK.
-Soft grip with your trailing hand will help you lag your club in the backswing for more power
– During your “slow” transition, let the momentum of your backswing “bump” your hip up the target line.
-Hold your wrist lag as you pull the butt of your club down to start your downswing
– Release your wrists through impact with a whipping action. Practice your swing to hear the whooosh.

GOLFSTR+ is 6 swing training aids in 1 product. Practice daily to learn to swing with a straight leading arm and flat wrist for your full swing, chipping and putting. Also a great lag trainer.

GOLFSTR+ is 6 swing training aids in 1 product. Practice daily to learn to swing with a straight leading arm and flat wrist for your full swing, chipping and putting. Also a great lag trainer.

Sand Traps
-Open your stance and open the face of your Sand Wedge as you swing with hip and shoulder rotation back and up your target line. Take an inch of sand before the ball as well as the imaginary quarter resting in the sand AFTER THE BALL. Complete your full swing turning your chest to face the target.

Putting
-Understand the break, rise or drop and the distance when standing below the hole or line of the putt.
-Make practice swings to “feel” the swing of your backswing to ensure that you can pass the hole by a foot.
-Control the swing of your putter up your target line with your leading hand. Never slice a putt.

Practice
-Practice with each of your clubs at each of the points of the clock in your backswing for pitching and chipping.  Learn the distance in the air and roll-out for one putt.
-Avoid fat and thin chip shots up to 30 yards with any club by centering the ball in your stance (the low point of the arc). Swing with a straight leading arm and flat wrist back and forward in an arc like a long putting swing with a backswing equal in the length to the follow through.

Buy GOLFSTR+ today for 6 swing fixes at www.golfstr.com

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Is Your Dominant Hand Over Powering Your Swing?

Did you know that your dominant hand may be the key to the future success of your game? Do you ever wonder why one drive is so amazing and the next one is a duck hook. This strange occurrence and the fact that many golf professionals are trying new putting grip techniques are telling us that a dominant hand grip may have more to do with our swing than we ever thought possible.

Just to add confusion to this theory: Are you aware that Phil Michelson, Mike Weir and Bob Charles are naturally right handed but they golf with left handed clubs. There are also many golfers (including myself) who are naturally left handed and golf with right handed clubs. In my case it was not by choice as we only had right handed clubs in the attic and if I wanted to play I had to figure out how to swing those right handed clubs.

Seeing Phil Michelson (a dominant right handed person) putting with his right hand high and using a claw grip with his left hand low got me thinking about the effect of a dominant left handed person and a dominant right handed person on their swing.

Consider These Facts:
1/ One side of our body is stronger with more co-ordination than the other side as a result of our greater use of our dominant side.
2/ We swing a golf club across our body from one side to the other. One arm is pulling and one arm is pushing. These are very different motions for the brain to manage.
3/ Most people are dominant right or left handed. Our brains are also wired differently for the right or left side. [We don’t know why this happens but it does happen.]
4/ If the power in both of our arms is NOT equal then one arm may be over powering your swing and destroying the consistency of our golf swing.

Ben Hogan practiced with a loose right hand to avoid overpowering his swing and to create lag in his downswing.

Ben Hogan practiced with a loose right hand to avoid overpowering his swing and to create lag in his downswing.

One of our GOLFSTR Swing Tip Subscribers, Scott Mohn (North Carolina) saw my recent Tip about swinging with a loose right hand. He also confirmed that he had been doing the same thing to reduce the influence of the right hand before impact.

He said: “I often follow Ben Hogan’s suggestion of using just the two middle fingers of the right hand to hold the club while practicing. He thought the muscles related to the other fingers of the right hand cause most of the problems for people with over active right sides, hands, and arms. The softer the right hand is for most people, the more lag is created, automatically, without consciously trying to increase it.”

Breakthrough Opportunity to Improve Your Swing:
1/ For your every club in your bag (full swing and putter), you should be testing your golf swing with a loose grip for your trailing hand.
2/ Your straight leading arm, wrist lag and whipping action is the reason why a scrawny 12 year old can hit further than most adults. Allow your leading hand to control your swing.
3/ Your leading hand grip must be in your fingers (not up your palm), to allow the whipping action of your club as you release through impact.

Practice with GOLFSTR+  for a straight leading arm in your backswing and downswing. You will find that a loose trailing hand will easily create lag and whipping action through impact for longer and more consistent hits. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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