Archives for December, 2018

Modernized Golf Rules Take Effect January 1 2019

It’s time to familiarize yourself with the New Rules of Golf.   USGA and The R&A have simplified the rules to speed up the game. One rule that they forgot to include is at the start of every round, players should agree to play ready golf.  If you reach your ball anywhere off the green and you are ready to take your shot,  just take it, as long as others are out of the way.

This is an abbreviated version of the 15 rule changes. Why not print them out and keep them in your bag in the event of any disputes. [The official rules are about 20 pages long but this summary will cover 95% of your concerns.]

Note: Points #5, #6 and #8 have been expanded for clarification.

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1/ To speed up play, you have the option to leave the flagstick in the hole.
2/ Fix any imperfection or loose impediment on the green (including spike marks).
3/ Accidental movement of the ball is no longer a penalty. Just put it back.
4/ Bunker: You can remove loose impediments but if you move the ball it’s 1 stroke penalty.
5/ Imbedded Ball in a Bunker: You can move the ball back and drop it in the bunker for a 1 stroke penalty or out of the trap on a line to the green for a  2 stroke penalty.
6/ Yellow Penalty Area (stream or canyon): drop ball back on a line to the green from the point of entry (1 stroke). Red Penalty Area (woods and water): If the ball is lost, estimate the point where the ball was lost, return to the fairway an equal distance to the hole and drop within 2 club lengths of the edge of the fairway as far back as you want to go. (2 stroke penalty).  Ideally you want to have hit a provisional ball whenever you think your ball could be lost in a Red Stacked Penalty Area (Your provisional ball, if needed, is lying 3 off the tee.)
7/ Search a maximum of 3 minutes for a ball. If ball is stepped on or picked up, just replace it.
8/ Out of Bounds or Lost Ball: Stroke and distance penalty or 2 stroke penalty  at any point no closer to the hole from the point of loss to 2 club lengths inside the edge of the fairway.
9/ Putting a ball back in play: Use your longest club (excludes putter) & drop from knee height.
10/ Using a scope to measure distance is allowed.
11/ A bent or broken club CAN be used but it CAN’T BE REPLACED.
12/ You are allowed to replace a cut or broken ball if it is damaged during play.
13/ You can replace your ball with a new ball at the start of every hole.
14/ During a continuous swing you are allowed to hit the ball twice and count only 1 stroke.
15/ You can accidentally hit yourself or others with a ball. No penalty. [But you can’t intentionally ricochet a ball off an object and then hit yourself (1 stroke penalty).]

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Cameron Champ is like a New Sunrise in Golf !

In last week’s Swing Tip we offered to expose the critical factors to make you a great golfer. We focused on the limited importance of your weight, height and age on your swing performance. As it turned out there are many examples of professional golfers who break the barriers for weight, height and age. The good news is that any golfer, including you, can be the world’s best golfer with the the right model for a swing and the right physical training.

Sean Foley was hired by Tiger Woods to convert his aging and very successful swing back to its winning form. Unfortunately Tiger still had a lot of physical and mental baggage. Sean had some success in getting Tiger back in shape but he did an even better job by working with Cameron Champ from the age of 14. Cameron had talent at a young age but Sean was able to turn him into a consistent long ball MACHINE.

Cameron Champ loops his club down to a lower plane from the top of his transition to generate more club head speed.

Tony Finau is one of the longer drivers on the Pro Tour. He commented at a driving competition in Utah where Cameron Champ was consistently hitting 400 yards and landing in the target fairway. Tony was amazed at how long and accurate each of Champs shots were. He is only 23 and short at 6-feet tall as compared to the competition but he out-drove the field. He commented that Cameron’s club head speed created the distance because his swing is efficient, his body is flexible and he consistently hit in the center to the face of his driver.

Champ has a wide takeaway that loops down about 10 inches at the top. He then swings down a lower plane and up the inside slot through his target line. He must have a light grip as his balls typically fly in a straight path. A wide takeaway with a slight loop at the top will definitely stop you from swinging over the top and slicing the ball.  TRY IT, YOU’LL LIKE IT!

Cameron Champ keeps his eyes on the ball, even well after impact, to drive his square club face directly up the target line.

To help you hit more consistently on the center of your club face, make sure that you focus your eyes on the ball. Most of the pros keep looking at the ball location after impact when putting and chipping. Cameron makes sure that he never lifts his head off the ball during every golf swing to ensure that he connects perfectly on the center of the face. Every great athlete who plays sports with a ball, including Roger Federer, focuses their eyes on the point of impact and you should too.

Very few long ball driving champions ever become Tour Professionals because their percentage in hitting fairways is too low. Cameron Champ has the complete package for driving distance to the fairway, greens in regulation and a low putts per green average. He is already a new top 100 contender and will give Tiger and the rest of the top 10 boys a run for their money in 2019.

I expect Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Jordon Spieth and Justin Rose to be dominant players and winners in 2019 but Cameron Champ will be in there working his way to the top of that list.

Use your GOLFSTR+ to learn a consistent swing with a straight leading arm and lag on a lower plane with your trailing wrist for longer drives and iron shots. These are only 2 of the 6 swing fixes that you can learn with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at

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Does Weight, Height or Age Give You the Advantage in Golf?

I have always used these mental excuses for not hitting my drives as far as others in my foursome. Of course we are all looking for excuses. Now that we are starting a new PGA golf season, I noticed that there are some surprising results. By recent performance of some of the top players in the world, it looks like skill, strength and flexibility are more important than weight, height and age.

Are Weight and Height Key Factors for Your Golf Swing?
Brian Harman and Patton Kizzire teamed up to capture golf’s QBE Shootout at the Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida last week. It’s a 3 day event with a Scramble, Alternate Shot and Best Ball formats. This is a great example of tall and short as well as heavy and light weight where these factors had limited effect.

Congratulations to the Harman/Kizzire team winning QBE Shootout where it clearly showed that size does not matter in golf.

Patton Kizzire: 32, 6 foot 5inches, 215 pounds. In RSM Classic his driving average was 286 yards, longest 312, accuracy was 72% and GIR 76.4%
Brian Harman:5 foot 7 inches, 31 years old and 150 pounds. RSM Classic his average drive was 275 yards and his longest was 308 with an accuracy of 87.5% and GIR 72.2 %

Another recent example of an aging, short and light weight golfer Louis Oosthuizen at 36, 5 foot 10 inches and 180 pounds recently won the South African Open. On the par 4, 9th hole, he hit a 341 yard drive to pin high (but missed the eagle putt). 4 years ago he won the 2014 PGA Long Drive Competition with a drive of 340 yards beating Jason Day by 2 yards.

Is Age a Limiting Factor?
Charles Howell III at 39 and Matt Kucher at 40 both recently won tournaments on the same day and exactly 4 years after they had their last PGA Tournament wins.  Tiger Woods is 42 and now that he has recovered from many physical and emotional problems he will most likely win more tournaments. Of course we can’t forget the near miss for Tom Watson at age 60 when he lost his lead and tied on the 18th hole of The Open in 2009. Unfortunately he lost the playoff.

Why is an Average Sized Guy Outperforming the Big Hitters?
Cameron Champ is only 23, 6 feet tall and weighs 180 pounds. At the US Open 2017 he led the field in driving distance at 337 yards. When he won the Safeway Open, his average club-head speed and ball speed, were the fastest at 129.66 mph and 192.67 mph. He swings wide in the takeaway and loops down at the top and then swings from the inside slot and up his target line.  [Try it, you’ll like it.]

Cameron’s swing coach from the age of 14, Sean Foley, pointed out, “Look how much his club lies down across the top.” It looping about 10 inches down at the top. “He’s really loaded without swaying off the ball.” He has a perfect straight arm swing and wrist lag with a delayed release for major whipping action and power. He also pointed out that Cameron’s drives are about 30 yards longer than Dustin Johnson.

Weight, height and age are not the controlling factors in the golf swing. In our next blog we will summarize why skill, strength and flexibility along with an efficient swing are so critical for your golf swing. Practice for the perfect swing with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at

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Is Visualization Burning Memory in your Brain?

Our weekly Swing Training Support Blogs are created based on what we see and hear that the professional golfers are doing.  It’s interesting that I recall seeing that Jack Nicholas always spent time to visualizing his shots.  Brendan Steele made a similar comment on the Golf Channel about pausing (about 2 seconds) to not only find a target but he focuses on a specific point that he wants to hit.  I’m only mentioning this because pros have been telling us to do exactly the same thing for putting.  “Focus on your putting target.”  Could burning an impression in our brain really help us hit our target?

Visualization sounds like a bunch of bunk because our swing is an action that only impacts with the ball and the target is in a totally different location.  The swing and the target are really 2 independent issues.  Why would visualization create a perfect end result for a ball that we have little control over?   We are only giving the ball direction and power and the target is a figment of our imagination (because we are supposed to be looking at the ball through impact).

Visualize your target.   Then focus on swing to power your ball  up your target line.  The water is only a mirage.

The Problem:
Our brain tries to take our golf club through a set of points that will hopefully create a successful shot.  Is it really just connecting the dots for our body rotation to put the club head in different locations throughout the swing?  This is actually a STUPID thought because our brains can’t process all of these thoughts throughout the swing.

Your downswing takes so little time that you can’t possibly try to connect a number of points to pass with your hands or your club head.  What you can do is focus on the point where you want your club to impact and the visualized point where you want your ball to go.  BURN it into your mind by staring at your target for at least 2 seconds.  Then trace back on a line to the point on the grass about 2 feet from your ball.  Now you have 1 target line on 2 points that your mind is visualizing.  Your swing has to be on autopilot to swing up that line.  Now let your mind take over, load up and release your controlled swing up that line.

Even Tiger says that his putting is all about “feel” but he has to see the line and visualize the putt to create confidence for his putt.

You should feel the line that is now BURNED INTO YOUR BRAIN exactly the same way you do when you putt up your chosen line.   You need to see the point of impact before your head looks up.  You should feel and know that your swing plane is impacting your ball exactly up your chosen path.   With practice, your confidence will improve with every swing.  Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn your straight arm swing plane.  Buy one today at

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