Archives for May, 2023

Learning from the PGA Championship

The 2023 PGA Championship was a real exciting nail bitter. If you were watching, you may have picked up some insights which will impact the success or failure in your game too. Of course, perfection for every swing in YOUR game is every golfer’s wish. So that’s why you practice and play this game instead of turning into a couch potato. These tips may hopefully help you turn on a few light bulbs for your future rounds of golf.

PGA Pro Ties for 15th Place (and a big payday)
Michael Block was one of the 20 PGA Golf Course Pros who was selected to play at the PGA Championship. It is rare that these Club Pros every get into the top 20 for this tournament so the network cameras focused a lot of time on Michael Block during his Cinderella success. He had only honed his skills for years by hitting about ONE bucket of balls every week as he demonstrated shots to his trainees on a California golf course.

Why was he so successful? Surprisingly, he used old technology clubs that worked for his game. He has played with the same 7 iron since 2013 and his Odyssey White Hot 2-ball putter for the past 20 years. Luck also came into play when he sank a hole-in-one on the final day. You only need to know the right club and the right swing to hit your target. We should all work on perfecting our swing but you will need some divine guidance or a great caddie to find success.

BTW he was offered $50K for the 7 iron used for his hole-in-one shot. He should have taken the offer as he had the highest scores on his next tournament and he missed the cut.

68% of the LIV Golfers Made the Cut
Brooks Koepka won the tournament at 9 under par. Including Brooks, 5 of the top 20 spots were from the LIV team. [Three LIV players finished in the top six at The Masters.]. It really is critical for PGA and LIV to work together to provide world class golf. It will be a great loss if the golf entertainment world don’t provide a unified solution in the near future.

Brooks Koepka only won the PGA Championship by playing consistent golf and a lot of luck by sinking more long putts.

One Shot Can Ruin Your GAME
Don’t fall into this trap! On day 3 of the PGA Championship a Canadian pro, Cory Connors, was leading and playing with golf perfection until he buried his ball in the lip of a sand trap on the 16th hole. With that shot he ended up taking a double bogie and dropping out of first place. He followed up the next day with 7 bogies. He totally lost his belief that he was a great golfer and could win that tournament. Unfortunately, it takes 4 days of excellent golf to win any of the 4 majors.

Your mental attitude and belief in your ability to play great golf has everything to do with your success when you play every round of golf. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve your perfection with every shot in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Break 80 By Controlling Your Approach Shots

You will never break 80 if you can’t consistently drive into the fairway and 2 putt most greens.  Even more important is your skill to hit greens in regulation (GIR).  Longer drives or playing from forward tees will shorten your approach shots and improve your chances to hit more GIR’s as well as landing closer to the hole. That’s why it is so important to control your DIRECTION and DISTANCE to hit more GIR’s.

It’s not easy to control golf shots because you are swinging in an arc to impact your ball at different positions in your swing arc and at different speeds with different weights and lengths for each of your clubs.  Yes, this is a crazy game, but you can improve your direction and distance control by paying attention to each of the following tips.

Take a Practice Swing:  After you select your club to reach your target and choose your target line be sure to take a practice swing to learn the feel for the weight and length of the club that you have chosen.  Each club need your personal attention and you want to make sure that the soul of your chosen club is lying flat on the surface of the ground during your setup and practice swing. 

Consistent Swing Speed: Because your knees, your hips and your shoulders all move in a different sequence during our backswing and your downswing, you need to learn the cadence that allows your arms to catch up with your hips during your downswing.  Commit to swinging at 80% of your swing speed for every swing. A faster swing will leave your club face open and an inconsistent slower swing will definitely lose distance and direction control.

Always Take More Club: Know the distance that each of your clubs will reach.  Higher handicap golfers overestimate the distance for each club as they tend to remember the wonderful result for only about 10% of their perfect shots.  If you feel that you can’t reach your target, use a club with less loft, DO NOT JUST SWING FASTER as you will lose control of the direction of your shot. Adjust your distance by gripping down on a higher lofted club to take distance off your hit.

Adjust for Slope: The term “Slope” is used to rate the difficulty of courses because a significant factor is the wild undulation of the fairway surface.  When you take your stance to hit a ball, if its above your feet, the arc of your swing will direct your shot to the left (for right hand golfers).  Compensate for that direction by aiming to the right. 

Undulating fairways increase the slope rating of every golf course. When your ball is on any slope make adjustments to your swing.

If your ball is below your feet, it is even more difficult to correct for the slice that you will most likely hit.  Chocking down on your grip, opening your stance and swinging with a more vertical shaft are the best options to allow the base of your club to rest flat on the ground.  You need to avoid hitting the ground with the hosel (shaft end of the club face) and which will twist the shaft before impact with your ball.

Don’t Setup to Hit the Pin:  Even lower handicap golfers will aim their shots at the green near the front or the center to avoid rolling off the green or landing in a trap.  Use the slope of the green leading down to the pin to make every green a single or two putt green.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve every swing in your game: www.GOLFSTR.com

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Learning to Golf Without Lessons

Bubba Watson has had his ups (2 Green Jackets at The Masters) and downs during his pro career but his successes came by learning from his own trial and errors as he practiced his game of golf. He was proud to say that he never took a lesson in golf. He figured it out be using whatever worked for his game using draws and fades. So why can’t you develop your game by experimenting for your success.

Anyone can Learn to Golf
I learned this game the hard way by finding old clubs and some balls in our attic so that I could hit balls around a park with my buddies. In my early years playing golf, I never had the money to pay for a lesson, so I just hacked around the park and short golf courses with friends. In my early working years I decided to put more focus into my game and joined a golf club. I bought a books about the fundamentals by Jack Nicklaus and took a week of group lessons. At least that was my starting point.

Bubba is a self-taught golfer who drives longer than most but his hooks and slices now get him into more trouble than any golfer wants. A more conventional swing my save his game.

Don’t Go it Alone
If you want to get serious about golf read up on the basics and rent some clubs to sort out the shaft stiffness that suits your physical strength. You may even want to buy some used clubs with the correct shaft length and flex that work for your swing. Take some professional lessons and then buy some new clubs that will fit your game.

Read GOLF Tips to Find Your Game
This is a great example: Dustin Johnson & Lee Trevino swing with similar grips and elbows. They roll both of their hands back on their grip to give for a “STRONGER GRIP“. They also keep their trailing elbow bent so that it stays under their leading elbow for more leverage to add power to launch their drives. You may want to try this but my description below may help you achieve this approach.

Creating a stronger grip is easy as you do this during your setup, but managing your elbows during your downswing may cause some confusion. Fortunately I discovered the easy way to make this happen. BOW YOUR LEADING WRIST during your takeaway and add wrist lag as you near your transition at the top. That forces you to shallow your downswing and keep your tailing elbow bent like Dustin and Lee. Trust me. This really works so practice this swing with your driver and start launching amazing straight drives.

Taking golf lessons, exercising and upgrading your clubs are all helpful but you also need to find the tips that improve your mind and body for every swing in your game. Keep reading GOLFSTR Swing Tips and sort out what works for your body and strenght. Of course, you should keep practicing with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Attack Angle is Critical for your Drives

I have always wondered why all of my golfing buddies and I rarely hit our drives over 220 yards when I see some recreational golfers and all of the pros hitting over 280 yards. In Jon Rahm’s case its strength and club head speed but I’ve seen scrawny golfers drive 280 yards too. I just watched a 110 pound golfer hitting a 290 yard drive and demonstrating 3 things that he did to gain 50 yards. We can all do this.

In all cases he hit each drive dead center and used a swing monitor to verify a consistent swing speed just over 100 MPH. [Recreational golfers swing at about 85 MPH so that accounts for a gain of 35 yards but it would still be nice to hit 255 yards on every drive.]

Rory McIlroy,creates drives which are well over 300 yards by impacting his driver with an upward (positive) launch angle.

POSITIVE ATTACK ANGLE
All 3 of his recommendations were focused on generating more power impacting the ball TEED UP HIGHER to allow an upward attack angle and to reduce ball rotation from 4000 RPMs to 2000 RPMs. Most recreational golfer impact their drive with a downward (negative attack angle) swing. Hitting with a positive attack angle is the best solution.

1/ Shoulder Angle: Setup with your trailing shoulder below your leading shoulder and your shoulder line parallel with your target line.
2/ Head Back at Impact: This is totally different than swinging with an iron where you swing to hit down to impact the ball before you skim the turf. Keep the leading side of your head behind the ball at impact.
3/ Ball Forward: Setup with your ball lined up with the toe of your leading foot (instead of your leading heel). Adjust your stance to make sure that you are still driving the ball up your target line. Moe Norman used a slightly closed stance with his driver starting on the ground about 4 or 5 inches behind the ball to launch it in a positive plane upward.

These are pretty simple adjustments that every golfer should be doing immediately to gain more distance with your driver. Adding head speed (to gain 2.5 yards/ MPH) requires more strength for a more powerful release of lag through your ball. Exercise when you can but practice with GOLFSTR+ to launch your straight arm drives. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Activate Your Muscles before your Swing

Do you freeze-up over your ball for 5 or 10 seconds before you execute your putt or drive? A recent golf tip said that the best putters keep moving their feet and hands before they putt. Patrick Cantlay is one of those movers and shakers. In the past, golfers all used some sort of waggle before they hit their drives, but we don’t see so much of that typical waggle like Jason Dufner. Mike Weir used a takeaway waggle and now I see that Justin Thomas is using a similar pre-shot motion. Is there a benefit adding motion to your arms and legs before you putt or hit any shot?

I decided to experiment with active hands, feet and legs before putting and hitting my driver. It really makes sense that you should not let your muscles freeze up before your make a controlled swing. Fortunately, I have discovered the reasoning with amazing success without using any of the historic waggles.

Putting Issues
Successful putters need to “feel” the right amount of swing required to pass a hole by up to 2 feet and they also need to choose the right target line to anticipate any break in their putt. Your planning is critical but your swing has to be smooth too. Nervous shaking hands will NOT HELP YOUR PUTTS. That’s why putting needs to be completed by rocking the major muscles in your shoulders and avoiding any small muscle jitters from your wrists or hands.

Putting Solution [Don’t freeze-up over the ball.]
After you line-up your putt and make a practice swing (by rocking your shoulders) with enough force to pass the hole, (1) move up to your ball and lift your putter away from your ball to make one more practice swing (by rocking your shoulders). (2) Look up to your straight-line target point for 2 seconds. (3) Then in 1 continuous motion, visually trace the line directly back to the grass behind your ball as you swing your putter back and up your target line without looking up from your focus point (behind the ball). BINGO, you will sink more putts.

Driver and Iron Solution
A poor first hole drive can destroy the mental outlook for your round. You are nervous so you can’t afford to freeze your body waiting to make your shot. Take your practice swing and then move forward to your ball. DON’T FREEZE-UP OVER YOUR BALL FOR 5 TO 10 SECONDS. Make a slow 2-3 foot backswing (waggle) to activate your spine and hip rotation for the backswing that you plan for your shot and then use the same motion to initiate your drive. BINGO, you will no longer miss your first tee shot (and many other nervous iron shots).

Click here to see a video of Mike Weir’s Waggle.

Of course, you may or may not want to use this muscle warm up for all of your woods, hybrids and irons. It wakes up back muscles and helps you slows down your takeaway.

I am really excited to share my personal experience with amazing success to overcome my shaking arms and tight back muscles. You may want to customize your pre-shot motion to suit your swing but I am totally recommending more motion and less time staring at your ball while you wonder how bad your shot will be.

Stay loose and practice with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game www.GOLFSTR.com

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