Archives for March, 2024

Swing in a Circle to Make a Straight Golf Shot?

It really sounds like an impossible task to swing in an arc to hit a ball straight at a target. Of course, that’s what you are trying to do with every golf swing. It’s the real reason why we have so many problems trying to hit our ball at a target.

The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, used VISUALIZATION to hit his targets. He was making an imprint of his visualized shot on his brain. That memory controlled his swing direction and club face direction to create amazing shots. I suspect that it takes years of practice to achieve his skill level.

Understand the Science of Your Golf Swing
Your driver is your longest club, so the longer swing radius generates the most club head speed and distance but swing direction and face direction can generate the worst results. You need to understand what causes both of these “direction problems”.

I found this image created by HackMotion to illustrate the impact of swing direction and club face direction.

Problems for Direction Control:
1/ Your left and right arm extend from the left and right sides of your shoulders. Your shoulders should initiate the start of your downswing and your leading shoulder ends up further from your ball at the point of impact than your trailing shoulder.
2/ At setup, your leading wrist is slightly bowed but at the point of impact you want you leading wrist to be flat (for drives) or slightly cupped (for irons).

Cause of Direction Control:
Hank Haney reminds us that we need to minimize angles to control the swing direction and club face direction. Unfortunately, your shoulders and wrists need to adjust during your swing to bring your club face to square at the point of impact.

Every pro (including Hank Haney) instruct us to SHALLOW OUR DOWNSWING (in order to swing on a path from inside-to-out) but they never tell us WHY. ANSWER: As your left and right shoulder rotate, a swing path from inside-to-out will minimize the arc of your swing to give you a straighter swing up your target line.

Solution for Direction Control:
Setup with a light grip and ensure that the V’s between your thumbs to your first fingers on both hands point to your trailing shoulders. During your backswing, allow your trailing hand to rotate your club open to flatten your leading wrist. That action also allows you to shallow your downswing to square the face of your club and swing in a straight line through impact.

You also need to keep your leading arm straight throughout your swing for a consistent distance to your ball. Practice with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at

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Why Are You Hitting Worm Burners?

Wouldn’t you like to know why you are topping shots and hitting worm burners? It really is frustrating when you know that you need to clear a pond in preparation for a perfect third shot to the green. That’s when we rush our swing and dump our ball into the pond. Thankfully, Danny Maude described the cause and fix in a recent blog.

YOUR MISTAKE: To make a mishit and top your ball, you must be swinging up and through the top side of your ball. The only way to do this is by shifting your weight to your trailing foot in your backswing and rush your downswing before you shift your weight back to your leading foot. Most recreational players make this mistake.

HOW THE PROS DO IT: Pros don’t rush their down swing so that they can easily shift their weight forward during their transition at the top and make a perfect swing down to their ball. Recreational players should eliminate swaying back during their back swing to keep the bottom of your swing arc at your point of impact and inline with your ball.

Golf Digest used this illustration to remind you to keep your nose at the same distance to your ball from setup to impact.

Know that your club will (a) bottom out at the bottom of your swing arc and (b) – for right handers- spray your shots right when you connect early in the radius of your swing and spray left when you connect late.

(a) Bottom Arc Correction: For iron shots (off the ground) setup so that your nose is directly over your ball and DON’T SWAY BACK in your backswing. For your driver (off a tee) setup so that your nose and club head are on a line 4 inches behind your ball and allow your club to swing up to launch your ball.
(b) Swing Radius Correction: To control the direction of your shot, the further you place your ball back in your stance, the more you need to open your stance (by moving your leading foot back an inch or two). Since your ball is forward in your stance for drives, you should close your stance (by moving your trailing foot away from your target line).

If you bend your leading arm in your backswing, you will have to straighten it out before you connect with your ball to control your distance from your nose to your ball. Bent arm swingers should place their ball more forward in their stance, hoping that you can straighten out your leading arm before impact. Unfortunately, you will tend to top more shots with a ball forward in your stance.

Ideally, learn to swing with a straight leading arm and your leading elbow pointing up your target line. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to feel your straight leading arm and keep your distance consistent from your nose to your ball. Don’t sway back and keep your leading wrist flat to shallow your downswing. Buy one today at

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Light Grip and Lazy Wrists for More Power

If you don’t hear that whoosh of your club as it impacts your ball, you are loosing 25% of your club head’s release speed. Of course, that also means that you are losing power and distance. Most golfers, including myself, are afraid to whip their club through the impact zone as they may lose direction control. When you follow the simple steps in this blog you will be amazed at how simple it is to gain control and power for every club in your bag.

1/ Straight Leading Arm: Ideally you need to keep your leading arm straight during your backswing and your downswing to maintain the consistent distance from your nose to your ball throughout your swing. That’s why I developed GOLFSTR+, a training aid to remind you to keep your leading arm straight throughout your swing to impact.

2/ Light Grip: Your upper hand needs to do 90% of the work during your swing. That’s why you need to keep your upper hand grip pressure at about 5 out of 10. Your lower hand can destroy your direction control and your power with a tight grip. It should be gripping with a pressure of about 2 out of 10 just to help you guide your club and your shoulders through your swing.

3/ Point Your Leading Elbow: It is critical to rotate your leading elbow during your setup to point up your target line. That rotation also helps you lock your straight leading arm.

4/ High Backswing to Shallow Downswing: Your takeaway should be directly back for the first 12 inches as you rotated your shoulders & hips as you lift your arms to a high backswing. Flatten or slightly bow your leading wrist during your transition in order to shallow your club during your downswing (to avoid an over-the-top swing causing a slice).

Golf Digest used this image of Scottie Scheffler to show his flat leading wrist and a 90 degree lag for more power at the point of impact.

5/ LAZY WRISTS AT THE TOP: Don’t rush your backswing. You will feel your light grip allowing your LAZY WRISTS to add lag at the top during your transition. That relaxed lag will allow you to start your downswing without casting at the top. You will feel the casting and whipping action at the bottom of your swing through impact. [Unfortunately you will gain at least 10% more distance with every club. The good news is that you can now back off on rushing your swing and get better direction control. Accept the change and enjoy the results.]

The whooshing noise that you just heard at the bottom of your swing is caused by your added power during release. About 75% of golfers never experience this powerful sensation to create longer drives and iron shots. You will be excited to create more distance and direction control with your new swing. Use your head when you setup and practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve your game. Buy one today at

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Control the Shape of your Drives and Hit More Fairways

Wouldn’t you like to hit more fairways with your driver? We all practice hitting straight shots with our driver as that is what we hope to do on the golf course. Unfortunately a lot of our practice shots go left or right or even hooked or sliced. Even the pros have problems hitting fairways from the tee box.

If you are ever going to be successful in hitting more fairways you will have to learn the setup and swing that creates your draw or your fade. Practice those shots so that you can plan to hit them on the course. When you build confidence in those shots, you can setup for a left or right fairway shot to allow your ball to move back to your target point near the middle of the fairway.

Bubba Watson was able to create tremendous distance with his excessive draw and fade shots but his game has gone downhill because he was missing too many fairways and greens in regulation.

In an SI Golf blog, Dethier asks Mickelson what the difference is between hitting a straight ball compared to a draw or a fade. Mickelson said “It’s a feel thing. If I’m hitting a draw, I’ll let [my arm] release over. If I’m hitting a fade, I’ll get a little wider and try to hit the outside part of the ball; which slows down the release of the club. When hitting a straight shot, I’m just feeling the club go back to square.”

Translation: Phil may be able to feel his draw or fade but you need to setup to swing to impact the inside back quarter of the ball for a draw and the outside back quarter of the ball for a fade. Setting up with a slightly closed face will add to your draw and setting up with a slightly open face will add to your fade.

Golf Digest used this image to illustrate Phil’s straight line setup with no bent elbow

He also highlighted “You won’t find a good ball-striker who doesn’t setup with a straight-line arm and club. You can return to that position (at a high speed), and feel yourself going back to square. If you start with your lead arm bent, there’s looseness. If you start there, you can’t go back to a certain point in the backswing, stop, and go forward. But if you start in a straight line, you can take it back and you’re in a position to go forward with your downswing. All good golfers will start with their lead arm straight. So I’ll start with a straight line going back, and then I’ll feel it cast back to a straight line [coming down] to impact.”

Translation: Setup without bending your lead elbow and point your club straight out on the same plane. GOLFSTR+ is a great training aid to remind you to keep your elbow straight throughout your back swing. Buy one today at

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