Archives for November, 2017

“Control” for Consistent Putts

Putting can account for almost half of the strokes for every round of golf that you play. Last week our Swing Tip was about CONTROLLING your body for full swing shots.  Putting is a whole new ballgame.  You only have one chance to make every putt so both your Mental and Physical CONTROL are critical to be a good putter.

Make your putts release in a straight line:
a. Swinging to impact your ball on the dead center of the putter face for a straight release.
b. Avoid side spin by swinging straight up your target line at the point of impact to avoid side spin.

 

Great putters are CONFIDENT about their target line and their feel for the right swing distance to pass the hole. To build your confidence in every putt, try these 4 swing tips.

1/ Choose Your Direction: Determine your target direction based on your best estimate for the amount of break that you expect for your putt to reach 12 inches beyond the hole. If you can’t see the break, use your “calibrated” putter to plumb-bob the break at the hole (ref.: https://golfstr.com/weekend-warriors-strategy-putting/).

It is absolutely amazing that your putting confidence will be UNSHACKABLE when you know the direction of the break of your putt on a green with a 1 degree side slope. Learn the 5 second trick to Plumb-Bob the slope of each green as your ball approaches the hole. Missing a putt by a quarter of an inch is devastating.

Keep your eyes focused straight down as you rock your shoulders to putt straight up your target line. Moving your head will distort the direction of your putt.

2/ Practice Your Swing to Feel the Distance: Use practice swings for the exact swing that you feel will hit your ball 12 inches past the hole (to avoid both the extra break as your ball slows down and indentations on the green near the hole). In your practice swing you are accounting for the distance that your ball will travel uphill or downhill. Mentally count “1” as you rock your shoulders back and “ 2” as you rock your shoulders forward through impact for the right distance to reach your target.

3/ Stare at Your Target Point: Burn your target point into your brain. You know the direction that you want to start your putt. Extend that point out to 12 inches beyond the hole. Stare at the extended point for 2 to 3 seconds to lock that direction and distance image in your brain. [You are not staring at the hole, you are staring at the point 12 inches beyond the hole on your target line. That point creates an optical illusion that burns into your brain for the distance of your putt.]

4/ Stare at Your Ball: Duplicate the same putting stroke as your last practice swing but hit your ball DEAD CENTER ON THE FACE OF YOUR PUTTER as you swing straight up your target line without moving your head to follow the path of your ball.

Use these Mental IMAGES to practice putting with a locked leading wrist using your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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“Control” for a Consistent Golf Swing

You need Mental AND Physical CONTROL to be a good golfer. This Swing Tip uses key points from a recent blog published by Golf-Info-Guide by Thomas Golf  to help develop control for a consistent swing. We are not robots so we find it hard to repeat the perfect swing. Knowing the right body positions for your setup, impact and finish are a good starting point. Mentally, you also need to tie these positions together with the right tempo to avoid those unwanted violent moves that create duck hooks and slices.

Next time you watch golf on TV, pay attention to the swings so that you can guess if the result will be a good or bad shot.  Near the end of each telecast they have to show the swings for every shot to fill-in time between shots so you see the good, the bad and the ugly.  During each poor shot you may start to notice a faster backswing or an extra rush in the downswing which causes an ugly result.  Last week Justin Rose lost his cool during the final 9 holes of the DP Tour Championship in the Race to DubaiYou could actually predict an ugly shot before they showed the result.

For Consistent Full Swing Shots: “Imagine a pole running down your spine and into the ground and avoiding that pole from popping out of the ground during your backswing .”  It’s a good thought but we do move forward through the ball during the downswing.

This is my favorite slow motion swing video of Rory McIlroy performed with Chariots of Fire background music.  You can image a pole running down his spine as his head and back are rotating but never swaying in the backswing.

3 Keys for your Consistent Swing.

1/ Spine Axis: For a consistent golf swing your shoulders should be rotating around the axis of your spine as your head remains in approximately the same horizontal and vertical position. When we try to put more power into a swing we tend to sway back like a baseball player at bat. GOLF is NOT Baseball. Diving down at the ball will drop your shoulders and bury your club in the turf.  So just relax, rotate and release.

2/ Flexed Trailing Knee: To avoid swaying back in your backswing, “keep your trailing knee flexed and stationary.” Minimize your lower body movement during your backswing by only allowing the rotation of your hips.

3/ Neck On-plane: During your backswing and downswing the depth from your neck to your ball should remain on the same plane (same distance to the ball) for a consistent impact point.

Use these Mental IMAGES to practice for every swing in your game with your GOLFSTR+.  Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Want to Gain an Easy 10 Yards for Every Drive?

Did you ever consider that balls that you find in the rough or pond are hurting your drives and putts? Balls sitting in wet grass exposed to the sun on one side or in a pond for any length of time will decay. Those balls are not only stealing up to 10 yards out of every drive but imbalanced weight is causing missed putts too.

You may see the chance to find lost golf ball as a treasure hunt. Unfortunately many of your finds may be destroying your game. Balls rot on one side in the sun while the underside is shrinking in the shade?  The balls your find, even the good looking white balls that you find, are carrying the interior bumps and bruises from a hundred hits even though they don’t show any battle scars. Check out these fact out:

Golf balls age if they are left in the hot and wet outdoor environment. Even the low speed impact on the right will start to distort a ball.  A slight distortion or imbalance will change the direction of putts. It’s a game of inches!

According to Titleist: “Today’s Titleist golf balls can be safely stored for five years or even more, as long as they are kept away from excessive heat. … Normal indoor conditions should be fine for storage.” Moisture content is most likely a balls worst enemy. Moisture reduces flexibility and adds weight. Both are reducing distance. We don’t have a measure for the impact of wear and tear but we do know that an old ball has less bounce than a new ball.

Tiger Woods would never sacrifice distance as he knows that 10 more yards on every drive can mean the difference between success and failure. Don’t kid yourself, he moved from Titleist to Bridgestone for money but Bridgestone had to prove to him that he would get the same distance out of either ball before he made the change. New balls perform best when matched with the right driver face plate and impact speed. Good idea to get tested using your clubs.

Technology is changing in clubs and balls so you really should get rid of the old and improve your game with new technology. Tiger thinks that advancement in golf ball technology is the primary reason for significant improvements in driving distance.

In an article by Alex Miceli, published in Morning Read, he quoted Tiger Woods: “We need to do something about the golf ball,” Woods said. “I think it goes too far.” He was saying that the ball has a greater impact on the distance than the golf Club Technology. The solid-core, multi-layered ball is an advantage. In 1997, Woods’ first full year on the PGA Tour, only John Daly averaged more than 300 yards on measured drives, at 302.0. Ten years later, 18 players eclipsed 300 yards, with Bubba Watson leading the way at 315.2. Now 20 years later during the 2017 season, Rory McIlroy led at 317.2, but 43 players – nearly a quarter of the Tour – averaged 300-plus yards. Observers think the ball is the main culprit.

If you have any doubt about the age of balls that you find, throw them away. When you are playing in any competitive match, use new balls. Even better get tested with a series of different balls with your driver. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to build confidence. New balls will give you longer drives and straighter putts. Buy your GOLFSTR+ today at www.golfstr.com

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Weekend Warrior’s Strategy for Putting

I’m an engineer, so I approach all of my problems with an analytical mind. Success in golf is really dependent on emotion, feeling and tempo but putting is the only component of golf where an analytical process will save you a lot of grief. If you can’t see THE CORRECT SLOPE of the green, you will never improve your putting. Using your putter as a plumb-bob to see the direction of the break is an easy solution. Jason Rose, Rickie Fowler and many other pros do it and you should too.

To speed up your game, NEVER USE your putter as a plumb-bob to measure the slope of a green:
1/ If you can see an obvious direction of the slope of the green (don’t waste time for your foursome)
2/If  there are 2 or more brakes in your planned putting line.
3/ If you have NOT calibrated your putter (to adjust for: dominant eye, putter head and tapered shaft.)

GRAVITY is the only perfect measuring tool that you can count on.  Your ball is pulled by gravity to follow the slope of the green and your putter is a great measuring tool to tell you which way your putt will break. Its not legal to use a measuring aid like a weight on a string as a plumb-bob but you can use your putter as a plumb-bob the way many pros do.

Calibrate Your Putter: Every putter will hang at a different angle from your fingers because there are different shapes, weights and offsets for the head for every putter. Your dominant eye will also play tricks on your vision. Do this calibration test in your home by dangling your putter by 2 finger from the top of your grip. Line up the left or right side of your putter shaft (below the grip) with a straight floor tile grout line or board line on your floor (or door frame). Call this your TARGET LINE.
a. Turn the putting face plate to point at your TARGET LINE.
b. Close one eye to see the line-up of either side of your putter shaft with the TARGET LINE.
c. Then repeat with your other eye to determine which eye and which side of the putter shaft lines up best with your TARGET LINE. [i.e. I use my right eye and left side of my putter shaft.] Write down your findings. You could even mark it on your putter grip with an arrow.

Robert Allenby plays on the PGA Champions Tour.  He is shown here using his putter as a Plumb-Bob to determine small breaks for putts that are difficult to read.  You should too!

How to Read the Slope of a Green (BEWARE: This only applies to the slope directly under your feet as the slope may change along your target line.)
1/ Stand a few paces behind your ball directly in-line with the hole.
2/ Hold the end of your putter grip with 2 fingers,  your arm in front of you and the putter face plate pointing at the hole (exactly the same as you did for the calibration).
3/ Line up the lower half of your putter shaft on your calibrated side of the shaft to line up with your ball.
4/ If the top end of the calibrated side of your putter shaft lines-up to the right of the hole, then you have a right to left breaking putt. If the shaft lines up to the left of the hole then you have a left to right breaking putt.

KEY CONCERN: Your putt will break more as it slows down near the hole, so measuring the direction of the slope FROM BEHIND THE HOLE AND FACING YOUR BALL is even more critical than the slope near your ball. Stand a few paces behind the hole, in-line with your ball, hang your putter down to line-up the bottom of the calibrated side of your putter shaft with the hole. If your ball can be seen on the left of your shaft, your grip is on the high side of your slope so your putt will break from left to right. If your ball lies to the right of your shaft, your putt will break from right to left. (Yes, it may be opposite from what you think as everything is reversed when you get back to your ball.)

Mini-Rule: (Calibrate your putter.)  After you line-up the lower part of your shaft behind your ball or behind the hole, the top of your putter will ALWAYS be on the high side of the hole. (only takes 5 seconds to check) Your putt will ALWAYS break from the high side.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to lock your wrist flat when you putt. Choose your target line (possibly by plumb-bobbing), take practice swings to choose the right swing for distance and then stare at your target point for 2 to 3 seconds (to lock your brain in for the distance and direction). Rock your shoulders to swing straight up your target line. Lock your eyes on a spot on the back-edge center-line of your ball during your swing and for 1 to 2 seconds after impact. You WILL make more putts. Buy your GOLFSTR+ today at www.golfstr.com 

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Weekend Warrior’s Strategy for Chipping

The professional golfers seem to take a full swing at every chip to create a miracle high pitch shot with pinpoint landing accuracy. They also practice this shot with more swings than you will make in a lifetime. Because your swing is NOT perfected to the level of the pros, you need a Weekend Warrior Strategy to make more chips without the mishits.

Chipping it close is the only way to make up for missed greens and possibly make par. So why are you missing so many chips? Are you hitting them fat or sculling them over the green?  You need a method to make more chips count.

PROBLEM: How do you make perfect contact with your ball in short, intermediate and deep grass without practicing every day until the cows come home? You need to change your approach to chipping. [I learned this tip from a PGA pro but I lost the reference name and video. A chip is not a flop shot or a pitch.] It’s much easier to minimize your chipping errors by using a putting setup and swing.  Avoid a full backswing (with weight shift and wrist release). Is your Light Bulb Turning On?

Flat wrist chipping is just like a putting stroke. Rock your shoulders to create the swing and you can practice using your GOLFSTR+

SOLUTION: Use a narrow stance and rotation of your shoulders to swing as if you are putting with a flat leading wrist. You can easily chip a ball up to 30 yards (exactly the way you can putt 30 yards). Use your irons and wedges to swing with THE SAME PENDULUM PUTTING motion to chip up to 30 yards including the flight distance and roll-out on the green.  For deeper rough just put more pressure on your leading foot so that your putting stroke swings down on the back of your ball to avoid getting caught in the deep grass before the ball (Ref. GolfersRX).

 

 

Important Chipping Tips for Weekend Warriors:
A. By using a putting swing to chip, you are taking all of the wrist motion out of your swing. This will guaranty a perfect impact with the ball for every chip with more control on the direction that you choose to hit your ball.
B. With this putting swing approach, you only need to choose the right combination of lofted club for height to reach the green and the amount of shoulder rotation to create enough roll-out to reach the cup.
C. When you are within 2 feet of the green in deep rough, putt by chocking down on a hybrid.
D. When chipping from the side of a hill choose a club with reduced angle of loft to offset for the angle of the hill. Use your putting swing UP the plane of the hill (not into the hill).
E. When you are hitting under branches, estimate your launch angle to miss branches. Drop your club on the ground with the handle facing your target and stand on the club face. The angle of your club shaft off the ground shows you the trajectory of your ball flight for that club.

OK Weekend Warriors, get your GOLFSTR+ out and start practicing your chipping with a locked leading wrist. Assemble it for your putting fix. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com on the Store Page.

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