We all love watching Phil Mickelson Bomb It! He loves to do it too, especially when he wants an extra 25 yards. Phil normally plays conservatively with a soft fade to ensure that he can hit the fairway. But when he knows that he needs some extra distance he plans for a lower spin rate and a nice looping draw. Should we be trying to copy Phil?
It was interesting to follow Phil’s drives on his bogey holes in the first 2 days of the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational. He had 6 bogeys. 4 out of those 6 drives were in the left rough but all 6 were short drives of about 270 yards. His most amazing shot was a bomb where he hit a perfect draw around a dog-leg 338 yards to the right. Yes that was his perfect BOMB!
Narrow, tree lined fairways don’t always give you the chance to create BOMBS but judging by the success that Bryson DeChambeau is having we should all put more effort into creating long bombs that land in the fairway. Brysongained 40 pounds to put more muscle (or weight) behind his drives. On the other hand Philhas lost weight and worked on building up his strength. Phil’s Fade is his Go-to-Shot He sets up for a fade when he needs to land it in the fairway (even though it knocked him out of contention at the FedEx St Jude Invitational). He tees his ball lower to cut his ball to create a higher spin rate for more control and a soft landing.
Phil’s BOMB is a Draw He tees it up higher and a little further forward in his stance so that he can hit up on the ball at about a 5.5 degree angle. He even uses his taller black tees to commit to this shot. His spin rate drops from his fade shots but he picks up well over 25 yards.
If it is difficult for a seasoned pro like Phil to hit every drive the way it was planned, how can we expect the same out of our games? As a recreational players you need to work on a consistent draw or fade so that you know where to aim for each drive. Consistency is so much more important than powering it into Never Never Land.
Knowing what your ball will do before you hit it will create consistency in your game. Plan your hit and enjoy your game. Hitting more Fairways in Regulation leads to More Greens in Regulation and lower scores. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve your consistency. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.
Golf Truism #21: Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing.
If golf wasn’t so bloody difficult, we could all be scratch golfers. Each facet of the game forces you to examine so many setups for the condition of the lie of your ball and the target that you are trying to hit. No wonder why this game drives us all crazy. Your analysis and your execution is the reason why we love this game so much. Most of us play for personal self-satisfaction. To enjoy this game, you really need to narrow your focus for each shot to get all of that clutter out of your brain.
Mentally we all set an outcome that we want for every round. Why not set an easy objective to take the pressure off: Break 100, 90 or 80. Success in Golf really comes down to a few decisions. Start with a mental goal,appraise the hole that you are on, plan the right shot and setup to execute the right shot.
A beginner just wants to hit the ball but recreational players with a reasonable skill level know that they can work back from the hole to decide where they want to land their ball on their first shot. If they don’t hit their target, they just rework their plan to layup or go for the center of the green. All of this is obvious for a golfer but it does come down to the club you select, the setup that you need and the swing that you plan to execute.
The Moment of Truth: Your Swing Thought Sequence Each club demands a unique swing thought so choose wisely by testing out your focused thought during your practice swing. What is your primary thought? –A mental image of the shape of your shot to hit your target –Using a waggle to loosen up your body or as a reminder to start you backswing with the rotation of your hips (followed by your shoulders and then your arms) –Keep your wrist flat at the top of your backswing –Start shifting your weight to your leading foot during your transition –Count “1, 2“ during your backswing to add time to cock your wrists at the top –Shallow your swing to ensure that you swing from the slot to the outside –Keep your head and eyes focused on the ball location until after impact –Finish your swing balanced on your leading foot as you marvel at your shot
[The text in red are my 2 key thoughts.]
These are all good thoughts. Your mind can only process them one at a time but practicing with a consistent routine for every shot will help you execute every one of these thoughts. That’s why you can’t afford to let your mind wonder outside of your swing thought sequence.
Practice with your GOLFSTR+ at the range and take your successful sequence of swing thoughts with you to the course. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
We all look for a trigger to make our swing feel like a knife cutting through butter. You know that feeling when everything clicks and your ball just takes off with unexpected power and your friends ask you if you have been working out. Sure you work out but it’s timing that creates excellence in your swing. Get the panic out of your swing by feeling the STEP that makes your swing effortless.
I got this idea when watching a few videos about the rocking motion from your trailing foot to your lead foot. Be happy with a 90 mile per hours swing and just let your arms go for the ride. As you feel your swing reach the top, take that moment to feel the momentum of your club shifting more body weight to your leading foot. YES, that’s the STEP that I’m talking about.
Tiger never misses this STEP as he steps into his iron shots.
Start your STEP forward at the top of you swing during the change of direction for your club. If you rush your swing, you will miss the weight shift STEP. Baseball batters STEP forward as they lung into their forward swing. You may even notice golfers who turn their foot forward (or STEP forward) as they transfer their weight to the leading foot at the top of their swing.
It’s a strange feeling if you have never PAUSED for your weight shift at the top of your swing. You will feel like you are delaying your swing but that momentum shift to your leading foot actually allows you to start opening the leading side of your hip and pressing with your trailing foot as your arms drop. Then release your wrist through the bottom of the swing.
If you don’t rush at the top of your swing, you can feel your weight shift forward as your LAZY arms let your club lags from the top of your swing and then whip through the release with more power through impact. MAKE SURE YOU FINISH YOUR SWING or you will leave the face of your club open for a push or a slice.
Get the rush out of your swing as you start your acceleration from the top of your swing. You can even practice this motion like a dance step by shifting weight to your trailing foot during the upswing and over to your leading foot starting in the downswing.
NOTE:I feel this weight transfer more with my irons than my driver as I launch my driver swing by thrusting with my trailing foot and driving up on my teed-up ball (as I keep my leading ear behind my ball).
Learn this feeling at the range while you practice with both your irons and your driver. They really are 2 different swings (Scoop vs Launch as described in our August 6 blog). Learn to swing with your straight leading arm using GOLFSTR+ for practice. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #19:Never teach golf to your wife. (HINT: She’s not listening.)
Each type of club requires a unique approach for your setup and swing. Unfortunately many recreational golfers attempt to use the same swing for every club and they pay the price. Actually the sweep of your club across the ground has the same type of arc but your point of impact has a huge affect on your success with each type of club.
You can easily adjust your draw or fade with any club by changing your face direction, your swing path and your trailing foot back or forward. A side hill lie (up or down) also has a huge impact on the success of your shot. Before you can master your swing with any club you need to see the resulting impact of a properly lined-up shot verses a poorly lined-up shot. This blog is primarily concerned with avoiding mishits with your driver, your fairway woods/hybrids and your irons.
Launch your drives as you impact with an upward angle of attack off your trailing foot.
Setup to LAUNCH your Drives
Your driver has a limited angle on its face. It’s really designed so that you can hit up on your ball and LAUNCH it in an upward angle. Of course that’s why you tee your ball up and line up your ball with the heel of your LEADING foot. That’s also why you need to impact your ball as your club arcs upward on an inside to outside path (AFTER it passes the low point of your swing arc).
To help you create longer drives you should setup with your shoulder line tilting slightly down on your trailing side and 55% of your weight on your trailing foot. Give yourself a count of 1, 2 to create time for a full backswing rotation (and count 3 for you downswing). Keep your leading ear behind the ball through-out your swing. Release up your target line as you thrust forward to LAUNCH YOUR BALL UPWARD.
Setup to POWER your Fairway Woods and Hybrids
Setup with your ball closer to the heel of your leading foot in addition to your weight evenly distributed. Your goal is to impact the ball near or just after the low point of the arc of your swing as you transfer your weight up your target line. Use the loft of your club to create the angle of rise on your ball.
Setup to SCOOP your Irons
Setup with 55% of your weight on your leading foot and your ball lined up progressively closer to the center of your stance for your wedges. Let your weight continue to press forward during your transition to ensure that you impact your ball on your downswing before you SCOOP any divot.
Focus on LAUNCH, POWER or SCOOP for each type of club to ensure that you create the right impact and shot. Finish your full swing to a balanced finish to ensure that you don’t leave the face of your club open at the point of impact. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight through impact. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #18: Any change works for three holes.