Archives for June, 2022

Golf is a Game of Perfection!

I’m a real fan of Rory McIlroy. His swing is perfection but like every golfer in the world his mind can wander, and his swing may look perfect but his ball does not comply. During the first round of the Travelers Championship, he shot a bogie-free 8 under par. During his second round he was on track for another great round with 1 bogie and 6 birdies when his mind lost his FOCUS.

On the 12th hole he made a wild tee shot which led to multiple poor shots and a quad-bogie. Yes, that’s 4 over par. That was followed by a par and then a double bogie. self destruction reminded me of his 10th hole duck hook drive a few years ago during the 2011 Masters. Even Rory must question why his mind starts to wander.


We can only imagine the soul searching that Rory must go through to first identify the cause of those shots and then to overcome his fears for all future rounds of golf. All golfers and especially Weekend Warriors (WW) make poor shots. How can we minimize these poor shots?

Rory McIlroy knows that golf is a game of perfection. He lost his focus, causing this errant drive and it cost him 4 strokes.


What Causes Poor Golf Shots
1/ Pros are faced with a continuous barrage of stupid comments from spectators and the roar of excitement when others make a great shot on adjacent holes. WW don’t have those problems.
2/ Pros are faced with perfectly manicured courses but the greens have Stimpmeter speeds that we rarely experience. Putting those greens is an artform that we rarely encounter.
3/ Weather, wind and ground moisture are problems that we all face.
4/ An injury will cause problems but when you are playing as well as Rory was playing, we can rule out any physical or exhaustion problems.

SOLUTION:

A. Learn to keep your focus on YOUR NEXT SHOT for direction and distance control.
1/ Recognize that your mind controls your focus.
2/ Every shot needs a target and a plan to reach that point.
3/ Rory has a caddie who can lay out the options and recommend the best approach. For WW’s, you have to rely on your past experience to set your plan and practice the swing for your shot.
4/ BLOCK OUT EXTERNAL THOUGHTS: You can’t think 2 thoughts at the same time. The best solution is to mentally say words to control a specific motion and cadence of your swing.
[ I mentally say the words: “Flat aaand 2” during my backswing, to help me slow down. I start my backswing by saying “FLAT“, which reminds me to keep my leading arm straight and my leading wrist flat. Saying “aaand” gives me time to finish my hip and shoulder rotation as I add wrist lag. Saying “2” just starts my down swing to a balanced pose.]

B Determine the setup and swing which is ideal for your body to execute your shot with each type of club (Driver, Hybrid, Iron, Putter). If you haven’t figured these out, start taking lessons to add distance & consistency and avoid slices & hooks. STAY TUNED FOR THESE SOLUTIONS NEXT WEEK.

Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to lock-in the swings that you learn in your lessons. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought for the Day: If there’s a storm rolling in, you’ll be having the game of your life.

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Smooth, Balanced Swing for Success!

The US Open was a spectacular display of golf perfection by the best golfers in the world. The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts was a ball strikers dilemma. Many of the fairways were setup like a snake going through grass and the rough was even worse than the deep rough plays the previous week at the Canadian Open. Only the best ball strikers survived.


I was surprised to see that most golfers who hit errant shots seemed to know that they were in trouble as soon as they hit the ball. Their swing either ended up with a one-handed grip on the club or they were struggling to keep their balance. They seemed to sense that their shot was in trouble from the get-go. They had either rushed their backswing or tried to add more power into their down-swing. They lost their balance!


Frustrating Miss-Hits Happen
Recreational golfers create a lot more miss-hits than the pros. That becomes a lot more evident when you play with golfers who shoot under 40 for 9 holes. Most of their drives are dead nuts on the center of their club face. Then, out-of-the-blue, they hit a duck hook or booming slice for no apparent reason. Of course, this happens more often for higher handicappers and their miss-hits get worse as they try to hit the greens in regulation.

If the pros and recreational golfers could just eliminate their adrenaline rush to avoid those miss-hits, golf would be easy. I must admit that Matt Fitzpatrick’s miracle bunker shot on the final hole of the 2022 US Open must have been filled with adrenaline.

Matt Fitzpatrick’s final bunker shot in the 2022 US Open was a fast and furious, 150 yard, 6 iron miracle shot. Amazingly he finished almost in balance.

Strategy to Avoid Miss-Hits
1/ Make a controlled practice swing exactly with the speed that you want to execute your shot.
2/ Your drives need more body rotation to generate more power, but your focus needs to be on a smooth accelerating swing through your ball and up your target line
3/ Limit the backswing for your iron shots with your straight leading arm at about the 10 o’clock position. Your power is primarily coming from the release of your lagging wrists through impact.

4/ A limited iron backswing also helps you avoid casting from the top and helps you control your swing direction up your target line.
5/ Include a flat wrist lag in your backswing and a full follow through to a balanced pose for your drives and fairway shots.

Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to create a smooth, balanced swing for every shot in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought for the Day: A good golf partner is one who’s slightly worse than you.

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CALM Breeds Success

When you look back at your most successful rounds of golf, you may realize that your CALM state of mind was the most important factor for your success. Of course, there are many contributing factors which create confidence in your game. Your skill level for every swing with every club will only culminate in success if you can minimize the fear of failure. Your mind needs to focus on the simplicity of every shot and then doing it well.


I was reminded of the importance of a CALM state of mind when I watched the movie, King Richard. It was about a father’s tenacity to teach 2 of his daughters, Venus and Serena, to overcome the fears of racism and failure by committing to the sport of tennis and practicing to built confidence that they could win, both inside and outside of the actual game of tennis.


You will never reach the skill level in golf that the William’s sisters achieved in tennis. But you can apply everything that you have personally learned about golf if you allow your CALM mind to focus your simple skills.

State of Mind Can Lead to Failure
I saw this example of a tournament leader arriving late for his tee time on the second day of a 2-day tournament. Without any time to practice, his mind was in a state of panic. He made a few jokes about his late arrival and tried to calm down, but he shanked his first tee shot. By the end of the round, he was 10 shots out of the lead. Yes, he was rushed but he never calmed down enough to focus on success for each shot.

A CALM Mind Allows you to Focus and Make Better Shots
-When you hit a great drive, your ball lands in the fairway on a flat lie and closer to the hole to make your next shot that much easier.
-When you hit the green in regulation, it just makes it that much easier to make par with a 2-putt green.
-When you pitch or chip your shot close to the hole it’s also easier to sink your putt.

This image may be an overkill but if you keep your mind calm and focus on your ball, your scores will improve.

Every golfer is faced with the same wind or weather conditions so don’t make that an excuse for failure. As a golfer, you have already faced every bad lie or deep grass situation. If you take a CALM approach to every shot, you will chose the right club to land your ball in the best position for your next shot. A CALM State of Mind will allow you to make the best decisions and give you the best results.

Of course, you need to improve your skills for your game. Once you have the skills, just like the William’s sisters, you can use your CALM state of mind to execute your next shot [which is the most important shot in golf]. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn the key straight arm and flat wrist skills of golf so that you can approach every shot with a CALM mind. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought for the Day: A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.

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Adjust Your Swing for YOUR Body

Every golfer wants to break 100, then 90 and then 80. That’s why we watch rounds of golf on TV and continue to receive golf blogs to improve our games. Every pro has unique features in their swing, and you can too. You need to start with the basics that every professional depends on, but you should consider making modifications to suit your swing for your physical limitations.


Every golfer ages with different injuries and different physical activities which create limitations or unique strengths for our bodies. I know that I have had back and head injuries caused by snow skiing and a car accident. I’m also left-handed in every activity but I learned to play golf with the only clubs that I could find in our attic, and they were right-handed clubs. My swing is far from perfect but I make adjustments to keep improving.


I golf with several different people from all walks of life. Over time I see their games change: some for the better and some for the worse. In most cases the golfers who are NOT improving are trying to swing faster and are ruining the natural cadence of their swing. I’m hoping that the following summary of successful swing changes may help with your game.


Discoveries for Success
Massive Hook or Slice: Narrow your stance to reduce the power of your swing. [This golfer still uses a “strong” grip with his trailing hand, but his narrower stance reduced his power and creates amazing straight drives and fairway shots.
Miss-hit Drives: Slow down your backswing to allow more time for your weight transfer from your trailing foot to your front foot during your transition. [This golfer was hitting the ground 3 inches before his club topped the ball and added top spin which forced the ball to dive to the ground.]
Toe or Hosel Shots: Setup with your ball to the inside or outside of your club face to compensate for the clubs for each club where this is happening. [These golfers are swinging with bent arms where they miss-hit the face of their clubs.]
Miss-hit Fairway Shots: Avoid hitting off your trailing foot by setting up with your weight forward on your leading foot. [Irons are lighter and shorter clubs so it’s easy to swing them faster before your weight shift to your leading foot.]
Limited Power: Swing with a flat leading wrist (instead of cupping your wrist in the backswing) and make sure that you cock your wrist for lag so that you release creates a whooshing sound at the bottom of your swing. [A cupped wrist is adding slice to your swing.
Direction Control: Adjust your stance during setup. Some golfers start with a major open stance and some with a closed stance. Only you can sort out what will works best for your swing.

Finish your swing for better direction control.


Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn the correct swing for 6 swing fixes and then adjust your stance and swing for your physical limitations. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com


Thought for the Day: It takes longer to become good at golf than it does brain surgery. On the other hand, you seldom get to ride around in a cart, drink beer and eat hot dogs while performing brain surgery. 

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Tiger Said: “Putt the Picture”

Tiger Woods was one of the best putters and that’s one reason why he won so many tournaments. Justin Thomas, one of Tiger’s close friends, said that Tiger’s favorite putting tip was to “Putt the Picture”. We should all understand what Tiger meant and apply it to our games.

Before you play any course, you need to feel the speed of the greens by hitting practice putts. The practice green should be cut and rolled so that it gives you the same feel and speed as every green on the course.

There are 4 stages for each of Tiger’s putts. You will never be as successful as Tiger without applying each one.
1/ Review the Changing Slope of the Green: You will never appreciate the break for any putt unless you have a feel for the amount of slope along the path for your putt. Walking around the line of your putt to view the subtle breaks on the green is the only way feel the motion of the putt. Make sure that you determine the low point below your putting line to see where your putt would fall directly downhill so that you can decide on the amount of break expected for your putt as it slows down along your putting line.
2/ Putt the Picture: From your feel for the breaks on the green, you should now visualize the starting line for your putt and the curving line that your putt will take to reach and pass the hole by about 12 to 18 inches. [Imperfections near the hole cause the most deflections for your putt as it slows down at the end of it’s roll.]
3/ Square your Body and Your Putter Face: Knowing your starting line, you should be able to square your feet and shoulders and putter face on that line.
4/ Putt Up Your Starting Line: Because you have practiced swing your putter directly up your target line, you should have no problem rocking your shoulders back and impacting your ball squarely on the center of your putter face.

Choose your target line and visualize the amount of break and exact line that your putt will follow.

Most putts are missed because golfers forget to account for the extra curl as your ball slows down and rolls to a stop. If your putt is across-the-hill or up-hill, hit firm enough to pass the hole and avoid deflections by imperfections. Down-hill putts are the most difficult as you have no choice but to let the ball die into the hole.

Always putt with your large muscles by rocking your shoulders. Practice putting with a flat leading wrist, using your GOLFSTR+, as your wrists should not break when you rock your arms with your shoulders. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought For the Day: It’s amazing how a golfer who never helps with house or yard work but will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.

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