Archives for September, 2020

Chipping: Stop STABBING

Hitting greens in regulation is the number 1 objective in golf if you want to lower your scores. Unfortunately we normally end up with a lot more chip shots than hitting GIRs. So chipping close to the hole for a one putt is really the most important shot for recreational golfers. Patrick Reed took an early lead in the US Open by chipping it close and then making a lot of 1 putt greens. Stabbing your wedge at the ball is NOT a good solution. You need to finish with hip rotation.

Clay Ballard at Top Speed Golf highlighted the setup and swing needed to avoid fat chips or worm burner bladed chips in a recent blog. NOTHING can mess-up a hole worse than a simple short chip. When the pressure is on you may go into a yip mode. With the proper setup and rotating finish you can break out of your missed chips.

1) Narrow Your Foot Separation and Open Your Stance: Keep your feet about 8 inches apart. When your feet are too far apart, it can cause you to be too rigid during the swing, and if they’re too close it can create issues with your balance. A chip is a simple rocking back and through (like a putt), but you want to be loose. Having your feet closer together also allows for a better ball position at the bottom of your swing arc.

2) Ball Position: You want the ball to be “directly under your lead ear”. That’s the natural low point of your swing (where your club grounds out). By having the ball under your lead ear, you’ll naturally be hitting the ball just before the club hits the ground. It helps you hit your ball first. NOTE: Other pros recommend more weight on your leading foot and lining the ball up with your trailing ear. Why not try both and sort out what’s best for you?

3) Shaft Lean: Setup with your shaft pointing up to your leading shoulder. This will also force you to keep more pressure on your leading foot during setup and throughout your chip. You want to impact the ball before you skim the turf.

4/ Flat Leading wrist: A flat leading wrist with a cupped trailing wrist will allow you to swing down into the ball and direct your swing in a straight line toward your target. You should practice chipping by wearing GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading wrist flat and then you can practice limiting the bend in your trailing wrist by fitting the shape of GOLFSTR+ on your trailing wrist.

Sean Foley (ref. Golf Digest) Recommends 3 difference ball positions for different roll-outs on the green when using the same club (check out the changing shaft angle).

You will never be a consistently good chipper until you build confidence by practicing your chipping motion and finishing your swing facing your belt buckle at your target. You should also test different lofted clubs to understand how far your chip will fly and roll out on the green with each club and different amount of backswing. Choose your line and make sure you swing to impact the ball on the dead center of your club face. Keep your eye on the ball until after impact.

You will never be a great chipper unless you practice to scoop your chips. GOLFSTR+ is a great training aid to help you get there. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #26: Confidence evaporates in the presence of fairway water.

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Revolutionary Setup for Power and Consistency

Why is a flat wrist so important to your swing? As it turns out, you may already be setting up with a flat leading wrist for your irons, hybrids and woods. Unfortunately your forward teed up ball position for your driver forces you to cup your leading wrist. Pros have no problem changing that cupped leading wrist to a flat or bowed leading wrist but it’s not so easy for recreational golfers. If you are having problems creating a flat leading wrist in your backswing why not do it BEFORE YOU START YOUR DRIVER BACKSWING?

Iron, Hybrid and Wood Setup
When we setup with any of our clubs, the grip should run across our the fingers on our leading hand (NOT ACROSS THE PALM). Holding our shorter clubs this way allows us to point the shaft in line with our leading arm and shoulder. It also forces us to setup with a flat leading wrist (not cupped or bowed). This is one of the main reasons why we hit more consistent shots with our irons and hybrids.

Bryson DeChambeau, like most golfers, setups up with a flat leading wrist for his irons as well as for every club in his bag.

Driver Setup
When we setup with our driver, gripping with our leading hand in our fingers, you would think that we would get the same consistent result as our irons. The main difference is that we want to drive up on our teed-up ball so we place the ball forward in our stance. As we place our trailing hand on the lower part of the grip it naturally forces our trailing shoulder to tilt down but the shaft of our driver points at the center-line of our body. That forces us to cup our leading wrist during our setup.

Problems Adjusting Angles During Your Backswing
During your driver backswing your cupped wrist setup needs to flatten and then cock 90 degrees to create lag. Dustin Johnson actually bows his wrist immediately at the start of his takeaway to take advantage of his amazing power and release for more distance. Recreational golfers should NOT be trying to add the extra angles caused by bowing your wrist (according to Leadbetter, McLean and Hank Haney) . Your goal should be to minimize angles and keep your wrist flat throughout your backswing. Bryson DeChambeau flattens his leading wrist in his setup to avoid angles.

Bryson does NOT waggle his driver back to create a flat leading wrist. He setups up with a flat leading wrist and very sloped shoulders. Teaching pros do NOT teach this setup.

New Swing Opportunity
1/ Swinging with a flat wrist will help you avoid coming over the top and causing a slice.
2/ Keeping your wrist flat during your backswing allow you to shallow your club at the top of your swing.
3/ Your flat leading wrist also forces you to bend your trailing elbow to allow you to graze your side (with your elbow) as you swing from the inside and up your target line.
4/ As you swing from the inside you should imagine that you are hitting the inner quadrant of your ball (on the inside of a line running across your ball and up your target line). That also allow you to swing up on the ball to maximize your distance.

Solution for a Driver Setup with a Flat Wrist
Do your proper driver setup and grip. Hover your driver slightly off the ground and flatten your leading wrist so that your driver shaft points up to your leading shoulder. Yes, your club face will open up and move away from your ball as a starting point for your backswing. Low handicap golfers do this naturally in their backswing. You will be amazed at the result. Waggling to a flat leading wrist before you start your backswing takes one more motion out of your backswing. [Bryson swings with a flat leading wrist for all of his clubs including his putt.]

This is a revolutionary new way to fine tune your setup but you will be amazed at how consistent your drives will be with more distance. You can also test this flat wrist setup for your driver with GOLFSTR+ to lock your flat leading wrist. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #25: Bets lengthen putts and shorten drives.

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You Already Know the Right Swing Skills. Use them!

It’s amazing when we hit perfect shots and wish that we could capture that swing in a bottle. It seems to be magic but it’s really the fact that you used the swing skills that you already know. You just need to bottle up the right moves in every swing.

My Recent Awakening
After I played 9 holes of golf with consistently poor drives my wife suggested one of my swing thoughts: “Are you swinging with a flat wrist?” I thought “What a stupid question!” Of course she may not really know what I mean when I tell her to swing with a flat leading wrist but she said it as a serious reminder. Sure enough that was my exact problem. I immediately pared the next 4 holes. It was that one simple thought that I forgot during my backswing. I had been cupping my wrist.

Recreational golfers should avoid cupping your wrist in your backswing. You need power like Dustin Johnson to manage a severe bow shape in his wrist. Flat wrist is the best solution. GOLFSTR (used in this image) helps you learn to swing with a flat wrist.

It’s the same thing that a teaching pros will do with professional golfers when they see a swing mistake during a tournament. I’ve heard interviewers discover after a round of golf why a pro has had an amazing turnaround during a round of golf. There is one small detail in their swing that they tend to forget about as they get frustrated with their game. Their trainer spotted the problem and the fix is instant.

That’s one of the 6 swing fixes that you can discover when practicing with GOLFSTR+. I invented this training aid to remind me to keep my leading elbow straight in my backswing. Teaching pros suggested 5 more uses for GOLFSTR and that’s why we call it “GOLFSTR PLUS”.

1/ STRAIGHT ARM BACKSWING: It’s applies pressure on the back of your arm to remind you to keep your leading arm straight and to limit your backswing to avoid bending your elbow.
2/ FLAT WRIST PUTTING: Forces you to learn to putt by rocking your shoulders and NOT bending your wrists.
3/ FLAT WRIST BACKSWING: Swinging with a flat wrist forces your tailing elbow to graze your ribcage during your downswing and to swing from inside-to-up-your-target-line. That was my recent BINGO THOUGHT and it really works..
4/ FLAT LEADING WRIST for CHIPPING: It prevents you from bending your leading wrist while chipping for better direction control to your target.
5/ MINIMIZE TRAILING WRIST LAG while chipping: It stops your wrist from bending more than 30 degrees as you sweep down into the ball.
6/ LAG TRAINER: Reminds you to bend your trailing elbow 90 degrees during your backswing to feel that you have loaded up a proper lag.

GOLFSTR+ helps you train with the 6 most important swing skills that you need to use in every round of golf. Make sure that you practice with it in all 6 applications as you may forget how important one of these swing fixes can be for your game. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #24: The statute of limitations on forgotten strokes is two holes.

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Are You Optimizing Your Drives?

I started to write this article about hitting straight drives with your driver. In my research I learned about the bulge and roll across the face of every driver that creates a “gear effect” which causes your ball to curve back to the center line of your swing direction. Then my research stumbled on the way to gain 20 to 50 yards with every drive. The pros do this, so why don’t you?

As an over 70 year old golfer, I can hit my drives 220+ yards but I wanted to know how to turn that into 250 to 270 yards. I have limited strength and a limited swing speed. I just wanted to find that magic formula to gain at least 30 yards on 75% of my drives. I found it with a higher launch angle.

I’m not going into all of the theory of the science behind distance but I do want you to know that topspin and too much underspin both reduce the distance that your ball travels. So we need to eliminate topspin and minimize underspin. Gear effect (caused by hitting off center) will draw or fade the ball back into our target swing path so that should not be a major factor unless you are killing your shot by impacting near the hosel or the toe of your club.

Swing speed is another important way to gain distance. Unfortunately if you have a swing speed which is crossing the face of the ball, you can either add a duck hook or a violent slice on your ball. So power and swing speed really have limitations for all recreational golfer.

The Magic Distance Solution [“Strike Plan” by Adam Young]
It’s a combination of swinging to launch a ball at a higher angle about 4 degrees up (plus the angle of your club face) without adding underspin to the ball. You can minimize the spin by impacting exactly on the perpendicular face of your driver launch angle.

Modern golf is played with a higher tee (setup with 1/2 of your ball above your driver club head when it’s at rest on the ground).

Most of the longest drivers on tour hit up on the ball. Rory McIlroy hits 3 degrees up on the ball with a club face angle of 9 degrees for his total launch angle is 12 degrees. (his club path is close to 0 and his face path is 1.5 degrees closed – creating a draw). Justin Thomas (the most efficient driver on tour) hits 6 degrees up on the ball. Long drive champions, like Joe Miller, can hit as much as 12 degrees up on the ball (but he needs a lot of swing speed to take advantage his launch angle).

As a recreational golfer, your power is limited, so a launch angle over 12 degrees will not help your ball travel an extra 100 yards. Just tee your ball up higher and impact just outside & above the center-point of the your club face. Setup to impact AFTER your swing bottoms out and starts to rise. You still have to minimize the spin of your ball by swinging to impact your ball perpendicular to the face of your club.

Spraying foot powder on the face of my club to see what impact location is giving you longer drives. I love it when I add on 30 yards to my drives and you should too. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to launch your drives on a higher trajectory with less top or under spin. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #23: It’s surprisingly easy to hole a 50-foot putt when you lie 10.

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Match Your Muscle Memory with the Right Club

I now realize that when we change to a slower swing speeds for any club, it tends to change our release rhythm. That results in poor directional control for our shots. By this I mean that our muscles fire at different rates during the swing and cause us to push or pull shots. The result can be a DISASTER!

Bryson DeChambeau may be on to something good with his uniquely designed identical iron shaft length for all of his irons. He sets up with the same athletic stance and tilt at his waist so that he can feel the same motion with every iron shot.

Consistent swing speeds are critical for consistent muscle firing. This is why we need to setup squarely along the target line for our maximum swing speed with our DRIVER and possibly with a more open stance for slower controlled swings with our IRONS and especially with our WEDGES. If you know that you have too much club for the distance of your shot, choke down on the club and take a practice swing to feel the different depth of your swing at your NORMAL SWING SPEED. (NOT FASTER AND NOT SLOWER).

Clay Ballard who creates the TopSpeedGolf blog is a real promoter to generate longer drives with faster Swing speeds. [It’s a fact that an extra 1 MPH impact speed increases your driver distance by about 2.5 yards.] In the past I have provided blogs from others who promote “controlled” swing speed or “limited” back swing for recreational golfers to land more drives in the fairway and to hit more Greens in Regulation. Now I personally find that inconsistent swing speeds result in inconsistent direction control.

Include lag in your Launch, Power or Scoop downswing.

Muscle Memory
Clay is now promoting a cutting-edge technology called Neural Adaptation Practice. I Googled this process and found the following: ‘Muscle memory‘ also known as neuromuscular facilitation, is the process by which muscles become familiar with certain motor skills. Furthermore, when signals from the brain are sent to the muscle, a pathway becomes established and this process becomes semi-automatic.

That may be a bunch of gobbledegook but we do know that a consistent backswing rotation with your hips, shoulders and arms/wrists and the same sequenced downswing will produce consistent and powerful results. (start your downswing with your hips) Unfortunately when we change our club for the next shot we need to change our swing pattern.

Driver Swing: LAUNCH your teed-up ball, UP from the inside to outside for longer draws. Let your leading foot heel lift if needed to help you get a 90 degree shoulder rotation in your backswing.

Wood/Hybrid Swing: POWER up your target line and let the loft of your club lift your ball. You are swinging level with the ground when you impact the ball.

Iron/Wedge Swing: SCOOP down to impact your ball before you skim any turf. Weight shift forward during your transition is critical to allow you to bottom out your arc just after the point of impact.

Use your practice swing to make sure that you are swing with a LAUNCH, POWER OR SCOOP SWING with the right type of club. (You are NOT trying to launch your iron shot on a par 3 tee shot.) If you don’t plan it and practice it, you WILL make the wrong swing with the wrong club. Practice with GOLFSTR+ with every club in your bag for the right swing. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #22: The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.

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