Archives for August, 2021

Golf is a Game of Mind Control

You will never lower your scores until you master your Mind Control. There are 3 areas of Mind Control that you need to apply when you play golf: Memory, Mental Distractions and Focus. Golf is a very simple game if you could only APPLY your mind to control the PERFECT OUTCOME for your game.

Unfortunately we are not all professionals so our memory tends to forget to execute our most successful swing sequence with each club. We also let our mind get distracted as we think about a pain in our body or distracting comments by our playing partners. And the worst mind control problem is letting our mind think about the glory of success or the impact of failure instead of focusing on the execution of your most important shot: YOUR NEXT SHOT.

1. Memory of the Motion to Execute Each Type of Shot

After you discover the swing skills that work for your game for every club, you need to WRITE THEM DOWN (and don’t forget them). Learn to use those thoughts for each club in your bag. Control your mind to only think about the setup, stance, take-away, impact and cadence that works for your body. Forgetting to slow down your backswing or forgetting to shallow your backswing with a flat leading wrist or forgetting to finish your swing in balance can all be critical for your successful swing.

You should know (and write down) the single most important thought for your drives, fairway shots, chips, sand trap shots and putts (both long and short). Your notes and mental queues are the keys for every successful round of golf.

2. Ignore External Distractions

Our minds are mysterious animals. They seem to be looking for anything to change our attention from your primary interest. Abnormal noises like a bird chirping or a passing vehicle may cause a momentary distraction but comments from a playing partner often have longer lasting impacts. Even a comment like “Take your time!” can echo in your mind with a whole train of thoughts like “Wouldn’t you like to see me miss this putt?” or “I wonder how many shots I’m behind.” It’s up to you to first recognize this problem and then refocus your mind back on your calm and relaxed swing.

Be confident with the swing that you are trying to execute, ignore distractions like the guy standing behind you and focus on the WHY & HOW you execute your shot and not WHAT the result will be.

3. Focus on Your Perfect Swing

Your mind may be focused on your swing but the longer you take to execute your shot, the greater the chance you will flip to thoughts of your past failures or the reaction to the outcome of your shot. Your attention has to be on your target and how you get your ball to travel there. After you setup with the perfect grip and stance on your target line, you need to work back from your target to your relaxed grip and the controlled cadence for your perfect swing.

The chances of nervous tension and failure build when you think beyond your primary swing thought. My key thought is to slow down my backswing to give me more time to complete it with a flat leading wrist lag at the top. I internally saying the words “1 and 2” where 2 is the start of my downswing.

Greg Norman said that Jack Nicklaus give him the best tip that he ever received: “Be conscious of your grip pressure.” Ernie Els said that “tight muscles move slower than loose ones.” So remove your tension with a relaxed grip. They all got it right.

You will be a better golfer if you memorize a list of your success factors, ignore distractions and focus on the swing to hit your target line. Tiger was a master of moving his brain into his SWING ZONE. You can too! Practice with GOLFSTR+ for your Mind Control. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #73: A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent’s luck.

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What is the Easiest Shot to Plan and most Difficult to Execute?

This game would be easy if we could hit every green in regulation. If your drive is reasonable and even if your drive is in the light rough you have a good chance that your next shot can reach the green. Unfortunately hitting the perfectly shaped shot to hit the green is the most difficult to make for pros and even more difficult for the Weekend Warriors.

When you are within 160 yards you can easily see the shot that will be ideal to land on or near the green and hold the green. You know the distance that your clubs will reach and you know that your lower lofted clubs will roll-out further on the green than on the fairway. So why is it so difficult to hit the green and stick on the green?

The Problem
For some strange reason, when the pressure is on to make the perfect shot we often push or pull the shot into the deep rough, a trap or the surrounding bushes. If your leading hand grip is completed correctly, the back of your leading hand should be facing directly up your target line. That is also the position that you want your leading wrist at the point of impact in order to hit directly up your target line.

If your club face is slightly open at impact, your ball will fade and if your club face is slightly closed at impact, your ball will draw. Your club face is just an extension of the position of the back of your leading wrist.

The Solution.
Colin Morikawa has the most consistent record for strokes gained when targeting the green. He slightly bows his wrist at the top of his backswing (which is nothing like the exaggerated wrist bow that Dustin Johnson creates and more like Jordan Spieth’s slight wrist bow). Colin’s goal is the same as all professionals. He wants his club to impact the ball when his leading wrist has a slight bow and is pointing directly up his target line.

Hank Haney (reference Golf Digest) recommends that you eliminate angles in your swing by keeping a wrist flat on your leading arm at the top of your backswing (NOT cupped or bowed).

NOTE: I’m not a PGA pro but I do know that we setup with our leading wrist slightly cupped for our driver and a flat leading wrist for the setup with irons (as the ball position for irons is behind the the ball position for our driver). I have tested bowing my wrist for my driver and my irons at the top of my backswing and find that adding too much of a bow shape on my leading wrist generates hooks and duck hooks. My drives and iron shots are straighter when I limit the bow on my leading wrist (as recommended by Hank Haney). My longest hits with the best directional control happen when I feel that my leading wrist is flat at the top of my swing. I also proved this when practicing with GOLFSTR+ (which is just one of the 6 swing fixes that it give you).

Controlling your leading wrist at the top of your back swing to a flat or slightly bowed position will also help you shallow your club for a more powerful impact up your target line.

Practice swinging your driver, fairway woods and irons with a slight bowed (or A FLAT) leading wrist to determine your best success. The power and strength of pros may generate the best result with a slightly bowed leading wrist but this may not apply to Weekend Warriors. Test your swing with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #72: Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut.

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Three Tips That will Improve Every Round of Golf

I recently watched videos that reminded me of the 3 most important tips in golf. One tip is for your driving, one for your iron shots and one for your putting. Every hole that you play requires your instant focus on these 3 tips. Don’t start your next round without these thoughts.

The first 2 tips came from my favorite golf instructor, Danny Maude (just Google his name for a free site sign-up). His videos are excellent so I often use his video insights in my blogs.

1/ Impact Your Irons with a Forward Shaft Lean
Danny must be following my blogs as he is using the same mental cadence as I started using about a year ago. He mentally says “1 and 2” to allow for more time in his backswing to load his weight on his front foot during his transition. It just naturally happens if you don’t rush your swing at the top of your swing. It allows you to keep your head directly over your ball and to swing your irons with a forward shaft lean during your down swing.

The forward press of your hands during the downswing closes your club face and allows you to impact the ball with less loft angle and higher on the face of your iron (on the sweet spot).

2/ Power Your Drives UP with your Head Behind your Ball at Impact
Your driver has a limited loft because it is designed to impact your ball as the club head is arcing upward. That’s right, you are powering your ball with an upward trajectory as you push with your trailing foot to thrust the ball upward. Your head remains behind the ball at the point of impact.

Make sure that you tilt your upper body at your hips during your setup. Don’t sway back in your backswing. Just rotate your hips and shoulders while you cock your wrists to create lag in your backswing. [Danny did not recommend using the cadence count of “1 and 2” for this driver tip but I still use it to give more time in my backswing to cock my wrists during my transition.] Releasing your wrist lag, at the bottom of your swing, is where about 50% of your power comes from.

This is a great sequence showing Tiger keeping his head behind the ball, holding his wrist lag and releasing his club face in an upward trajectory.

3/ Choose Your Putting Target Line and Practice the Right Swing Speed
About 40% of your strokes in your rounds of golf come from putting (or chipping and putting from just off the green). If you could eliminate your 3 chip and putt holes and make a few more 1 putt holes, your game will be a lot more fun. Great putters practice for hours daily to learn the feel of the hit required to pass a hole. Successful putter know how to:
a. Choose a target line and swing their putter up their target line (without arcing their swing) when they impact EXACTLY ON the center of their putter face as they hit up on their ball (for a forward roll).
b. Adjust for the changing slope for every putt, the green speed for the course they are playing on and for the changing speed as the green dries out during the day. Make a practice swing with the swing speed that you know will at least pass the hole. YOU WILL ONLY LEARN THIS SKILL WITH PRACTICE.

Never start a round of golf without practicing short and longer putts on a down-hill, side-hill and up-hill grade. You will never be a great putter until you learn the skill of adjusting to the green speed for the course that you are playing.

Practice these 3 tips before you take them to the golf course. Of course GOLFSTR+ is a great training aid to help you train for the proper wrist and elbow positions for every swing with your driver, irons and putter. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #71: Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

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A Simple Swing Fix May be Your Ideal Fix

If you have been following these blogs for many years you will know that I have shared my research for the best golf swings. I’m hoping that you will discover the best swing fixes for your games (and my game too). All of my suggestions are provided by professional golf trainers or by offering the tips from the pros. Unfortunately I have also discovered that swing methods and tips from the pros may NOT be ideal for Weekend Warriors.

What the Pros have that Weekend Warriors Don’t
1/ The pros are in top physical condition so they don’t change their swing to accommodate weak arms or bellies or legs. They use their strength to power every perfect swing.
2/ The pros use hours of daily training both on the course and in the gym to build their muscle strength and memory for the perfect swing.
3/ Every pro has a slightly different back swing but they all deliver the same downswing for their draw, fade and straight shots. The direction of their swing at impact and the club face direction at the point of impact are ALWAYS CONSISTENT. That’s why you need to focus on impact and follow-through more than any other component of your swing.

The speed and direction of your takeaway should be personalized to help your hips rotate and to help your arms generate a proper wrist lag at the top of your swing. It doesn’t matter how fast you complete your backswing as long as you are in position for the perfect downswing. Your stance, your grip, your takeaway direction and the speed of your backswing can all be personalized.

Customize Your Backswing for Your Body
Your personal strength and your physical injuries are preventing you from creating the perfect swing of a 21 year old PGA Professional. Don’t try to generate the power and distance expected from a younger pro. Accept your limitations and focus on the perfect downswing and impact to a balanced finish.


Don’t throw your balance off with an over-powered swing. Accelerate through the ball and enjoy the view in your finishing balanced pose.

1/ I have seen PGA professionals recommend various stronger or weaker grips to help golfers improve their swing for the perfect impact. Try changes to see what works best for your swing.

2/ You may want to try to open or close your stance to improve your impact direction and to control the release of you club directly up your target line.

3/ By experimentation I learned that my driver and fairway woods were NOT causing me to slice the ball but I was often hitting off the toe of the club. My downswing was pulling these clubs into my body during my inside to outside swing. I now line these clubs up with the ball on the inside of my club face during my setup. [Test your impact point by spraying Dr Scholl’s Foot Powder on the face of your clubs and learn from the impact point during each success and failure.]

4/ Choose your backswing speed to suit your physical limitations. Give yourself extra time to rotate your hips and spine as you cock your wrists for lag. You can take as much time as you want as long as your swing cadence is comfortable and allows you to accelerate from the top of your swing. REMEMBER: Your power is only coming from your downswing (not the speed of your backswing).

Don’t get too crazy with your swing adjustments as the swing that you see the pros make must be pretty close to the swing that you want to copy. Learn from the swing changes that you try at the range. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn (1) your straight leading arm backswing, (2) flat leading wrist in your chipping follow-though, (3) flat leading wrist for putting, (4) limited backswing wrist lag in chipping, (5) flat leading wrist at the top of your backswing and (6) 90 degree wrist lag in your backswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #70: It’s not a gimme if you’re still away.

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Create YOUR Check List for SUCCESS

If you really want to improve your game, you need to track your successes and focus your efforts on what works for YOUR game. During your round of golf keep track of your performance. You should also keep a list of swing tips that are working for YOUR drives, fairway shots and putting. When you know what’s working for every type of shot you will build confidence in your game and the emotions that works best for your game.

Track Your Success and Failures
Focusing on what works for YOUR game will give you a fresh outlook at the start of every hole. To keep your mind focused on improvement at the end of each hole record your Fairways Hit in Regulation (mark “1” in the upper left corner of your score box); Greens in Regulations (“1” in the upper right) and Number of Putts (in the lower right) on each hole. Below your score box add any problems that may have increased your score: “R” for rough, “S” for sand, “C” for chip, “T” for tree and “W” for water. Of course your scores will drop if you have a full card of “1’s”.

Can you imagine the pressure that Xander Schauffele faced when he hit a wedge to about 3 feet from the hole to win his GOLD MEDAL by 1 stroke. He committed to his shot.

List Your Success Factors — and use them! (This list will give you some ideas)

  1. I can’t give you a solution for emotion because that is a very personal issue for every golfer. I can only remind you that your reaction to your last great shot or your last poor shot can destroy your next shot. Focus on being calm and relaxed before every shot to control your direction and distance.
  2. Wind in your face or wind behind you are both your enemies as they destroy your cadence. Slow down your backswing and take time to make your full swing to finish in balance.
  3. Eliminate Slices by taking your driver straight back, looping slightly at the top and shallowing your downswing so that your elbow almost grazes your side.
  4. Your driver is longer and takes more power to get down to your ball. Take double the time in your back swing as compared to your down swing. [I mentally say the words “one and two” where “two” starts the downswing.] You may also want to try opening your stance to make it easier to power drive up your target line.
  5. Use a Distance Finder to determine the distance where you want your ball to stop rolling. Get confident with the distance that each of your clubs can easily reach in flight and also how far your ball will roll out.
  6. Always swing with a full swing for any club above your wedges. Choke down on your grip when you want a shorter distance. Never swing 20% harder to reach a target or you should expect to pull your shot.
  7. Slow down your backswing to give more time to cock your wrist for lag before your downswing.
  8. Putt with your ball slightly forward of the center of your stance to ensure that you are forcing the ball to roll over the top (instead of hitting the ball into the ground so that it bounces on its way to the hole). [If you are missing 3 to 6 foot putts this is an amazing fix.]
  9. Feel Your Swing: This may sound strange but you will learn to “feel” your swing when you slow down your backswing and take full control of my downswing and the swing up my target line. You know when you have made the right swing the same way you know that pros twirl their club or drop their club at the finish of their swing.
  10. Sand Traps and Green-side Rough Shots are the most difficult shots for all golfers. Of course hitting the Green in Regulation avoids these shots. We all need to spend more time practicing different chipping techniques to improve our success in different grass and different sand conditions.

Yesterday I was 4 over par after 13 holes and then I lost my concentration or was it my MoJo ( or my real excuse: the humidity factor was 104 F). That’s exactly the reason why I decided to create this list. Plan to use this list or modify it for your personal list. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to get more consistent. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #69: The shortest distance between any two points in a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.

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