We love the game of golf because it’s a challenge for our minds and bodies to duplicate those EFFORTLESS swings that we see the pros make on TV. Striping a ball straight up the center of a fairway seems to be so easy when we watch so many professional golfers consistently making miraculous shots. I’ve done it myself but I just can’t maintain the consistency from the driving range to the course. Fortunately I learned that weekend warriors need more time in our back-swing to rotate my hips and shoulders as we create lag with my wrists.
We all know that a consistent rhythm or cadence in our swing gives us time to setup our bodies for the perfect transition, impact and balanced pose. When we are mentally and physically relaxed our backswing and downswing become effortless. Our minds and bodies are in sync. But what happens when our minds start to focus on the importance of the drive off the first tee or a shot along the side of a pond or over a mass of bushes.We tense up and our swing pattern changes.
The Problem I discovered the problem for more consistent swings while watching recreational golfers execute the perfect practice swing and then destroy their swing when they move forward to hit a ball. We all pause to gather our thoughts before we execute our swing. We are actually building up TENSION in our minds and our bodies. We then speed up our backswing to hopefully create more power. BIG MISTAKE! Power comes from the speed of our downswing NOT OUR BACK-SWING.
When we execute a swing, we tend to speed up our back-swing with our arms but we lose the timing to allow the pressure to shift from our back foot to initiate the downswing.A rushed back swing results in swinging OFF OUR BACK FOOT. If we don’t give ourselves time to transfer our weight during the transition at the top of our swing we tend to fall back at the start of our downswing. That results in mishits where the ball squirts off the toe of our club face.
The Solution Slow down and take more time in your back swing. Intentionally practice the same speed of backswing that you plan to use when you are swinging at the ball. Use that extra time to start the transfer of your weight to your leading foot as your hip bumps forward to start your downswing from the ground up. [The pros don’t need the extra time as they make all the right moves at high speed.]Give yourself that extra time to start your forward press with your weight shift before your hip rotation starts your downswing.
Practice slowing down your back-swing with your GOLFSTR+ using a flat leading wrist and straight leading arm. Start your weight shift during your transition before you start dropping in your straight leading arm in your downswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #43: No one with funny head covers ever broke par (except for Tiger Woods).
Are your drives randomly flying left or right every time you swing your driver? If you don’t understand what’s causing the flight path you will never be a great golfer. The swing path of your club and club face direction at impact are both contributing to your launch direction and path: straight, draw, fade, hook or slice. Check out this summary and then start practicing to shape the shot you want. Controlling the side-spin of your ball is the starting point for great golfers.
CORRECTION: In 2009 Trackman video testing proved that the direction of the clubface through impact controls about 85% of the initial directionof your ball. The path direction of your club at impact causes side spin, top spin or under spin for your ball and controls about 15% of the initial launch trajectory. [Until 2009 all golf pros agreed that swing path direction controlled 85% of a ball’s initial direction.] Of course wind direction WILL help or hinder the direction of your ball but you will have to add that factor into your shot depending on the prevailing wind direction.
The following description is for a golfer using right handed golf clubs.
Use a Conventional Grip for all Shots You should be setting up with a conventional grip with the back of your left hand facing directly up you target line. Your club should line up across the upper end of your fingers of your left hand (NOT YOUR PALM). The crease between your thumb and first finger on both of your hands should be pointing at your tailing shoulder. [Rotating your hands to a stronger or weaker grip will have an impact on your ball flight so you should test changes to understand the proper grip.]
Straight Shots Because all golf clubs are swung in an arc around your body it is difficult to hit every shot in a straight line up your target line. Just setup with your toes on a line pointing straight up your target line. If your swing impacts your ball straight up your target line with a perfectly square face up your target line, your ball will launch straight up that line.
Draw or Hook In order to shape a shot around a tree or a dogleg to the left, you may want to create a draw. Start your setup with your toe line parallel to your safe target line (to avoid trees). In order to draw your ball to the left of your target line, move your trailing foot 1 or 2 inches back from your target line and change your grip on your club so that the face is closed toward the target (where you want your ball to land). With this setup you can now swing your club directly up your new toe line to shape your shot to the left. Exaggeration in this setup can turn your draw into a hook.
Fade and Slice Take a normal setup in the direction that you want to start the launch of your ball. Move your trailing foot forward 1 or 2 inches over your target line and open your club face toward the point where you want your ball to land. Swing directly up your new toe line. The outside-to-inside swing path and the offset face of your club will generate your fade. Any exaggeration of your swing path or open club face can create a slice.
Practice your draw and fade shots before you try them on the course. Slight foot and club face changes make a huge impact on every swing that you make. That’s why you need to understand what causes your draw or fade. Changing the swing path and the club face direction WILL shape your shots. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to perfect your straight leading arm and flat wrist swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #42 The practice green is either half as fast or twice as fast as all the other greens.
Ideally every year we should all be finding a professional golf club fitter to recommend the perfect clubs for your body-strength and flexibility using the latest technology. Unfortunately that is not financially practical for many of us so we make do with the clubs we have. As our bodies age, we tend to get weaker and less flexible along with more aches and muscle strains. If you want to improve your gamefirst you should consider making some physical adjustments with your existing clubs.
Very minor adjustment can add distance and consistence. Don’t try to make radical changes to your swing on the golf course. You could start by taking lessons with a PGA Instructor. Understand your weaknesses. Create a plan of action for your drives, fairway shots, approach shots and putting. Or you may consider purchasing a training aid like GOLFSTR+to help you train for 6 swing fixes with all of your existing clubs. Learn to swing properly with a straight leading arm, a flat leading wrist and lagfor more power and consistency.
All of your longer clubs (driver to 8 iron) should be swung with a consistent 80 to 85% swing speed. For a shorter distance with any club, just chock down and swing at the same speed. NEVER swing faster for more distance (UNLESS YOU WANT TO ADD A DUCK HOOK OR SLICE).
Stop fighting with hooks and slices. The weight of your club and/or the flex point of your shaft may be killing your shots. There is a perfect open or closed stance with a forward or rearward ball position that will generate straight golf shots for every club in your bag. Go to the practice range to test each of your clubs to determine the right correction for all of your clubs.
Slight adjustments will cause every club to slice or draw. Know your preferred shot shape so that you can setup for your shape.
Train yourself to swing with a straight leading arm. Limit your back-swing at the point where your elbow starts to bend.
Learn to swing with a flat leading wrist. It will force you to bend your trailing elbow and shallow your downswing to avoid swinging over the top for those crazy slices. [ Our #1 tip! ]
Don’t rush your transition as your weight starts the shift from your tailing foot to your leading foot. A smooth transition with a constant acceleration during your lag release will make your club whooosh through the point of impact.
You may want to lift your leading heel to assist your back-swing to allow for more hip rotation. Your back-swing is a hip, spine and shoulder rotation. NEVER sway back. [Swinging with all of your weight on your trailing foot will causes fat, thin and topped balls.]
Putting and Chipping Control
Eliminate shaky hands when putting. Use the major muscles in your back to rock your shoulders and swing your arms with a flat leading wrist and finish by swinging up your target line at impact.
Eliminate the arc in your putter swing at the point of impact. You may want to try releasing your trailing hand at the point of impact and allowing your flat wrist leading hand to swing up your target line.
Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn the right wrist and arm action for every club in your bag. Experiment at the driving range or ask a pro to help with foot and ball adjustments to get the most out of your existing set of golf clubs. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #41: Out of bounds is always on the right, for right-handed golfers. (that dreaded slice)
I recently sent out a Golf Truism with our weekly blog: “Why does it takes 17 holes to warm up?” That thought comes up when the golf Gods allow us to hit an amazing shot on the 18th hole to make sure that we come back again. It’s could be that or your body is tired so you are extremely relaxed or your mind has finally dropped all of its external thoughts so that you can finally focus on golf.
Staying relaxed and visualizing the shot that you want to make must be a controlling factor for your success. Swinging with all your might is definitely not a good solution. Golf is NOT a “no brainer”.
Don’t let your mind wander. Jack Nicklaus lost a Masters Tournament when he lost his concentration as he shook a fans hand during his walked up to the green on the 18th hole. He lost his focus and missed a key putt and lost the tournament. He commented in retrospectthat he never did that again. If you want to be good at golf you need to zone in and tune out everything else. Keep your mind on your preparation and execution for each shot.
Great golfers take these 4 distinct steps: 1/ Clear their mind before they setup to execute their shot. 2/ Decide on the shot that they want to make (based on experience). 3/ Visualize their ball flight to their target. 4/ Zone into a rhythm for a full backswing and release to a balanced finish.
The mechanical components of their swing are NOT in their mind.
Rhythm and club head direction are all that they have time to visualize.
For rhythm you may mentally say Dah, Dah, Dah or One Hundred ‘n One or 1,2,3. Or for putting you may want to say “1,2”. Anything that your mind can repeat will allow you to clear your brain from any other thought.
Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn what swing works for every club to create your draw or fad. Know how to create your shot. Make a practice swing before every hit to FEEL the exact swing that you WANT to execute at the pace and rhythm to generate the perfect speed for both your backswing and your downswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #40: You can hit a 2-acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time.