Archives for March, 2020

Unique Swing Thought for Chipping AND Pitching

After last week’s blog covered a unique swing thought for each club, I was reminded by one of our subscribers that I should have covered the swing thought for “wedge play and chipping”.  I’d like to thank Richard Gula for his suggestion.  He said: “I use GOLFSTR for chipping position and practice with different clubs as well and it is terrific!”  [ BTW chipping was not included last week because we try to avoid making our blogs too long. ]

Mr Shot Game on the GolfersRX Swing Tips Blog gave us the most important building block for chipping and pitching:  “NEVER SWING DOWN!!!”  That negative thought is not going to help you develop the CORRECT swing but it sure does reinforce the problem that causes FAT, CHUNKED CHIPS AND PITCHES.

David Leadbetter chipping a longer chip with feet together and a more open stance. (Golf Digest)

To Chip or Pitch

A Chip is really just a full putting swing.  Its used to clear the fringe and run your ball up to the hole.  A pitch is simply a full swing and follow-through with any higher lofted club to clear a hazard or rough area to land on the green (possibly with backspin to help it checkup on the green).

Choose the Right Club

Every club in your bag can be used to make a chip or pitch shot.  It’s up to you to choose 2 or 3 of your PREFERENCE CLUBS that you know will reach your target with a chipping swing and a pitching swing.  I often see golfers chip with a pitching wedge or 60 degree wedge to clear the fringe and stop 30 feet short of the hole.  They are just choosing the wrong club for the job.  Dumb golfers deserve stupid shots.   If you don’t have 30 minutes to figure out what your clubs will do with a short or full swing then don’t waste your time golfing.


-Know that your club will swing through the lowest point of your swing arc directly below your straight left arm and shoulder [for right handed golfers].

-Practice with GOLFSTR+ on your trailing wrist to limit the hinge of your trailing wrist.

-Your chip is really a putting stroke where your club skims the grass directly up your target line.

– Practice YOUR CHIPPING swing with a 20 degree, 30 degree and 40 degree backswing and follow-through to understand the distance that each swing will produce with each of your PREFERENCE CLUBS.

-Let the weight of your club create the power for your swing.  Don’t rush it!

-Your SWING THOUGHT for CHIPPING is to use the same cadence for your back swing as your forward swing to impact.  Say the words “ONE, TWO” without acceleration  [using a longer backswing for longer runout]

-Your SWING THOUGHT for PITCHING is to accelerate through the ball with a full swing and limited wrist hinge to  a balanced finish facing your target.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to limit your wrist hinge for chipping and pitching.  Buy one today at

GOLF LAW  #23: A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is NOT yours.

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Use a Unique Swing Thought for each Club

Each of your clubs are unique so your swing thought needs to fit each type of club. The shaft length and club length & configuration is designed for unique purposes. I disagree with trainers who suggest that you should just clear your mind and swing. You can’t afford to lose the special opportunity that every club will give you with the right swing.

You may want to customize your setup and grip for each of your clubs but that will be your personal preference to create a draw, fade, high or low shot. Every golfer has a different body size with swing limitations so you have to accommodate the flexibility and range of your body rotation. This summary is only focused on the SWING THOUGHT that you should be using for each of your types of clubs.

Driver Swing Thought: Power swing up the inside quadrant of your ball. BOOM!

Driver: You will never improve your game until you can increase the length of your drives and land them in your planned target area. Power and direction are most important for your swing with your driver but you also need consistency for a draw or fade to ensure that you land your ball in YOUR target area. Jack Nicklaus said that the harder he wanted to swing the slow he made his backswing. SWING THOUGHT: Shallow your swing at the top to swing from the inside and up your target line. (IMPACT YOUR BALL on the INSIDE of the center-line.)

Fairway Metals and Hybrids: These are power clubs for hits off the deck. Again you are looking for distance and direction control but these clubs have shorter shafts and are designed for power. You should never try to increase your swing speed to gain more distance with these clubs. The harder you swing the worse your result because you have no height range for error. You need to hit the ball first and then skin some turf. SWING THOUGHT: Smooth back-swing and downswing on the same arc up your target line.

Irons: Each iron has a unique loft and will give you a limited distance as long as you hit the ball correctly. Practice with every iron to know you swing speed and distance that your club will generate. Choke down on your grip to shorten the distance for any iron but DON’T increase your swing speed (the kiss of death). SWING THOUGHT: Start shifting your weight forward during your transition to ensure that you bottom your swing (to take your divot) after impact with your ball.

Putter: Find a putter that has a weight, feel and look that you like. Test your putter to KNOW that every impact on the center-line will drive your ball in a straight line. Next, determine the straight impact LINE and weight to handle the slope of the green for your planned putt. If you chose the wrong line and swing speed, that’s your mistake. Feel it with your practice swings. SWING THOUGHT: Swing with exactly the same speed as your practice swing and impact UP on your ball at the center line of your putter as you stroke directly up your target line.

Keep a consistent swing thought for each of your clubs and your game will continue to improve. Remember K. I. S. S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). And practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve the consistency of every swing. Buy one today at

GOLF LAW #22: There are two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove

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POWER Tricks for Aging Golfers

Maximizing club head speed with a square face at the point of impact is the ultimate goal for every golf swing.  As we age it’s will be helpful to know that there are tricks that we can use to maximize the speed of our club head through the ball without braking our backs. That’s right, your arms, spine, hips and feet need to SHARE the rotation for every golf swing.

Too often golfers wear out their spine by bending or arching their spine during their golf swing. Your spine is designed to rotate but you need to keep your spine straight during your swing. AVOID hunching over and hitting sideways with your back bent.  Arnold Palmer swung with a hunched back and it may have cut his playing career short.

Coil the line along your spine to create a maximum backswing while maintaining a straight spine. In your downswing, uncoil your spine (feet, hips, shoulders, arms and wrists – in that sequence) to accelerate your club through the ball. People need to check this link for the best spinal surgery advice.

Arnold Palmer lunged at his ball as he swung through his ball to balance on his leading foot.  I’m not sure how well his bent back survived.

Tricks to Help You Coil and Uncoil:
1/ Setup with your trailing foot open by about 25 degrees to allow your body to FREELY coil back in your backswing. (And you leading foot should be flared forward about 25 degrees too.)
2/ Use a rehearsal waggle to make sure that your shoulders as well as your hips are rotating. It’s like a dancing motion to make sure that you are rotating NOT swaying back.
3/ DON’T cock your wrist at the start of your takeaway like Michelle Wie and Dustin Johnson unless you want to slice your drives.
4/ Keep your leading wrist is flat throughout your backswing and transition.
5/ Try lifting the heal of your leading foot as you bend your leading knee in (the way Arnie did it) to help increase your backswing rotation.
6/ Let your bent trailing elbow create your flat wrist lag. Pull your club down at the top of your swing to ensure that you are swinging with a SHALLOW arc from the inside and up your target line. FOCUS on impacting your ball from the inside of the centerline (NOT square on that line).
7/ You may even be tempted to step out with your leading foot (the way Gary Player liked to practice) during your downswing. Baseball pitchers do it, why not older golfers.

Try these tricks to increase your windup and follow through but don’t rush your tempo. Just enjoy your powerful wrist release at the bottom of your swing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight for more torque at the bottom of your swing. Buy one today at

GOLF LAW #21: If you want to hit a 7-iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to use it to lay up just short of a water hazard.

If you are a REAL Golf Nut you may want to subscribe to this site.  Lots of fun golf insights and things that golfer’s just like you are enjoying during their rounds of golf.  Check it out for a refreshing change.

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Golfer’s Demise: FEAR OF FAILURE

We all need to learn from our personal experiences. Even though we get better at golf during our practice at the range or during our round of golf we always hit that wall: The Fear of Failure. When that CRAZY MONSTER jumps on our back and puts fear in our mind, we lose our concentration. If you are ever going to minimize your failures we need to recognize that moment when FAILURE creeps into our mind and ATTACK IT WITH THE RIGHT SOLUTION.

List YOUR Moments of Failure
My game is now at the point where I can hit at least 5 good shots in a row at the range with any club in my bag. All I need to do is take that “Positive Mindset” to the course and enjoy my game. Unfortunately I know that My Mental Monster climbs on my back for each of the following:
1/ My First Tee Drive: I rush my backswing and take my eye off of the ball.
2/ On a difficult Shot from a Bad Lie: I focus on the lie not the SMOOTH RHYTHM of my shot.
3/ Nervous Putts are Always Short: I see the pros do this on TV as they reach their last 5 or 6 greens in their final round. Be confident and EXECUTE THE SHOT.
4/ Thinking that water and sand attracts my ball: Know that tension only shortens your muscles so relax your mind and body and select more club than you need to back off the power in your swing.

Golf Tips Magazine recommends that you “Own Your Focus”

Take Control of Your Mind
Recognize the moment when your focus wanders. It’s the critical time where you can take hold of your mind and throw corrections into your game. Know that you CAN TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MIND AND YOUR GAME.

1/ Know your list of problem shots where you need to click into your FOCUS MODE. (You need to focus on every shot but we are talking about your CRITICAL problem shots.)

2/ Don’t changing your swing speed. Changing the speed of your backswing just takes your body out of its normal rhythm and sequence for your hips, shoulders and arms. Keep your RHYTHM consistent for consistent hits.

3/ Use a FULL PRACTICE SWING to a balanced finish. Plan your swing for the draw or fade that you want. Execute that exact and complete swing during your practice swing. Use your time to feel your controlled swing, then step up to your ball, exhale and EXECUTE the same swing.

I snap my mind into FOCUS by saying the words “flat – in – pose” during my swing to help me keep my focus on the 3 CRITICAL steps in my swing: (1) “FLAT”: straight leading arm/ flat wrist, (2) “IN”: bend my trailing elbow in to create lag & swing from inside and up the line and (3) “POSE”: to finish in a balanced pose.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ and OWN your FOCUS (re. Golf Tips Mag.). Buy one today at

GOLF LAW #20: Every Time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make a double or triple bogey to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.

If you are a REAL Golf Nut you may want to subscribe to this site.  Lots of fun golf insights and things that golfer’s just like you are enjoying during their rounds of golf.  Check it out for a refreshing change.

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