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Take Control of Your Game with a Graceful Tempo

Each golf shot is a fresh new opportunity to deliver your ball to your target. You can’t do this without a methodical plan and response that works for you. I realize that very few golfers will ever achieve the distance and control of the male pros so I like to focus on the graceful swings of the female pro golfers. If they can consistently deliver drives that are controlled and over 250 yards, that should be good enough for 90% of all golfers who will never be scratch golfers.

When my game is going sideways, I have always been told that I’m swinging too hard. That’s exactly when I try to take control of my mind and body and place it in my own private box where I can take control of my takeaway tempo.

Slowing down your backswing gives you more time to complete a full shoulder rotation and wrist hinge for a 90-degree lag. Rush it and you will miss your opportunity for a great shot with less effort and an amazing result.

When you slow down and limit your backswing you will have more time to limit the bend in your leading elbow and focus on waist and shoulder rotation.


The Korda sisters, Nelly and Jessica, both have graceful swings. During a training session with their coach, Jamie Mulligan, they were asked how they controlled their takeaway. Nelly said that Jamie taught her to imagine that her club head is like a rock on the end of a string. She uses a slow acceleration through-out her backswing to create a graceful tempo (as she swing her rock away from the ground).

That’s a great image to help you create a wonderful tempo for your backswing. It will help you slow your transition and accelerate your downswing.

When you take more time for your backswing, don’t let your leading elbow bend to wrap your arm around your neck. Just limit your backswing and practice with GOLFSTR+ to find your straight leading arm limit and to also feel your trailing arm create a 90 degree bend for lag. Those are just 2 of the 6 uses for your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Solution for Your Crisis Mishits

There are lots of ways to create mishit shots, but you should learn the 3 basic tricks to eliminate at least 50% of YOUR mishits.  If you are falling back when you swing or taking a divot before impact with the ball, your swing arc is bottoming out too early.  Using the following “tricks” will help you learn the correct impact position to avoid mishits and should help you reform your swing.

Mental Preparation

Before you start to use these swing “tricks”, calm your mind and stop trying to knock the skin off your ball.  Your last great shot or your last missed shot may be motivating you to swing harder.  Get that out of your mind. Setup and make the exact practice swing that you plan to make before you hit your next shot.  Learn from that swing by watching where you skim the ground or take any divot.  Adjust your setup and make the practice swing that you want to execute.

Use the following “tricks” when you find that you are rushing your swing on a windy day, hitting from a bad lie in the rough or when you are planning to hit a miracle shot.  A proper swing will allow you to transfer your weight to your leading foot during your transition and allow your swing-arc to bottom-out at the correct point for your driver, irons and wedges. 

1/ Driver Trick: [Error to avoid: bottoming out under your ball and causing pop-ups]

Tee your ball up to about half the ball height above the top of our driver head.  Impact should be on a 3-to-7-degree upswing.  Setup with the ball off the heel of our leading foot and the face of your driver about 5 inches directly behind your ball (where you want to bottom-out your swing arc – just like Moe Norman).  [Tilting your trailing shoulder down and moving your trailing foot back 2 inches off the target line during your setup will help you create the right swing arc.] Swing from the inside-and-up to launch your ball for more distance.

Moe Norman is a pro who was recognized for his accuracy. Setting up at the bottom of his swing arc helped him launch his drives

2/ Iron and Wedge Trick: [Error to avoid: swing arc bottoming-out before the ball.]

Your weight needs to be transferred to your leading foot before impact.  Setup with a bent leading knee to keep 60% of your weight on your leading foot throughout the swing.  Your ball is centered in your stance (narrower for your wedge shots), square the leading edge of your iron and point your shaft grip at your belt buckle.  Control the distance of your shot with a full backswing (or limited for a wedge) keeping a straight leading arm.  Let the weight of your club start your downswing (DON’T RUSH IT).  Complete your follow-through directly up your target line.

3/ Bunker Trick: [Error to avoid: Burying your wedge and losing power to exit the trap.]

Bend your leading knee to keep 60% of your weight forward.  Setup with a wide AND open stance (20 to 30 degrees open) with the ball centered between your feet.  Open the face of your chosen wedge to ensure that the blade will bounce through the sand (NOT DIG IN).  Control the distance of your shot with the loft of your club and with an equal amount of backswing and follow-through.

Practice these tricks with GOLFSTR+ to learn the impact of a straight leading elbow and a flat leading wrist with every club in your bag.  Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Dumb Mistakes that Ruin Your Round

I found a great summary of mistakes published by Josh Berhow when interviewing PGA pros at GOLF’s Top 100 Teachers Summit . You really don’t have to change your game to lower your scores. just don’t make the following mistakes.

Golf.com used this image to help you understand how bad you may feel during a bad round of golf. Don’t make these DUMB MISTAKES!
  1. Arriving Late for Your Tee Time: Arrive early for your tee time or your round will suffer. Warm up with stretching and hit some wedges, chips and putts. Ideally you should get there earlier, don’t rush, practice with a purpose (stretch and practice your woods, chip, putt, etc.) and stroll to that first tee with confidence.
  2. Play from the right tees: Choose the tee that allows you to reach the green in 2 shots on the longest par-4 hole. Do it and you will have a lot more fun.
  3. Hit the Shots that Work for You: If you are hitting a 10-yard slice with their irons and a 20-yard slice with the driver on the range, don’t try to make changes during your round. Use the shots that work for you. Stick with it. Own it. Be confident in it. And if the issue is still there after your round or again for your next, then it’s time to check in with a teacher.
  4. Know your gear: Don’t try to get more out of your clubs than they are designed to give you. Understand that your 5-wood will give you a higher ball flight (than a 3-wood) with more stopping power on the green. Apply the same rule for all of your clubs.
  5. Stop going after pins: Just don’t do it. Even pros don’t go at every flag. Aim for the middle of the green and favor the side with less trouble. Even Bernhard Langer has said he sometimes does this when he has a lead down the stretch. He calls it being “cautiously aggressive.”
  6. Find the fairway when you are struggling: World GOLF Teachers Hall of Famer Mike Adams says, in short: tee it low. This makes you hit more down on the ball, and if you stand a little closer and flare your lead foot out, it will force you to rotate and, worst case, your mishit will be on the heel and lead to a harmless cut that still finds the short stuff.
  7. Avoid double bogey or worse: Stop playing hero shots and get your ball back in play. Punch out from a dire situation, find the green and two-putt for bogey. Call that a win and move on.
  8. Know your distances: High-handicaps miss short way more often than they miss long. Golfers with a handicap of 21 or higher missed short 70 percent of the time. So, if you are in between clubs, remember that stat.
  9. Get over bad shots and move on: After a poor shot Tiger Woods told his son, Charlie: “I don’t care how mad you get. Get over it and be 100 percent committed to the next shot. That’s all that matters. That next shot should be the most important shot in your life. It should be more important than breathing.”
  10. Don’t get too cute around the greens: Unless you really know how to hit a high-lofted wedge, chip with a safer club or if you are close enough to the green, use your putter. Learn to let the bounce of the wedge do the work for you after your round of golf.
  11. These tips will help your game without changing your swing. Why not practice with GOLFSTR+ to help you learn 6 types of swings with a straight leading elbow and to control your wrist position for putting, chipping and iron shots. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
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Control Your Tempo to Control Your Game

Easier said than done. How does your mind slow down your backswing and execute the rhythm to add power to your swing? We have the ideal solution to blank-out extra thoughts and add the proper tempo to your swing. Avoiding a Wandering Mind and adding Backswing Actions are the keys to the future success for consistency in your swing.

I realized that I was on the right track when I started my new season of winter golf in Florida. I read a simple golf tip by Sean Zak a senior writer for the Golf.com blog who referred to the “Hideki-esque” move. Hideki Matsuyama has changed his swing from an actual pause at the top to a slow transition. Most golfers lose their tempo when they jerk or rush the transition. All of the power in your swing comes from the down swing so there is no need to rush your backswing up to the top!

Hideki actually slows down his transition but he never stops moving. Rushing at the top destroys your swing so we should all try this slowdown at the top.

You can enjoy the benefits of a Hideki-esque transition as long as you control your mind AND execute a critical windup sequence.

1/ Eliminate a Wondering Mind
I have covered this in many previous blogs but you will improve your tempo and focus if you mentally repeat the following words during your backswing: “1 annnd 2”. If you say these words in your mind you will not be able to say or think any other thoughts. Buy saying these words you will slow down the tempo of your backswing.
-Say “1” to start your WIDE takeaway as your hips and shoulders rotate.
-Say “annnd” as you flatten your leading wrist and add lag at the top of your swing.
-Say “2” as you accelerate your downswing.

2/ Take Your Time to Build your Backswing Actions.
Hank Haney
often points out that you need to impact your ball with a square face to eliminate slice. The critical motion is to take a wide backswing (without swaying your head or body) and add a shallowing loop at the top of your swing. This is just a natural motion when you flatten your leading wrist and add lag to your club by cocking your wrist 90 degrees.

Dustin Johnson and Michelle Wie West set their wrists in a lag position at the start of their takeaway. Of course Dustin also adds a bowed wrist (instead of a flat wrist). I’m just adding options that you may want to try but you at least need to build in a flat leading wrist and lag during you deliberately SLOOOOW Hideki-esque backswing.

If you practice a wide takeaway with a flat wrist and add lag at the top, you can easily build this pattern in your mind, ESPECIALLY when you do it SLOOOWLY. Make sure you practice your backswing using your GOLFSTR+ as a reminder to keep your leading arm straight. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Golf Can be an Easy Game

Golf is a lot less frustrating if you learn this game backwards. Putting is the easiest part of this game so why not practice until you learn to 2 putt every green. After that chipping and pitching with your irons to hit every green is a special art that you need to perfect. To make those shots easier, you need longer drives that land in the fairway. That’s why Hank Haney recommends that perfecting your game with his “Speed Slot” technique will make this an easy game.

Longer drives will improve your game faster because it’s easier to hit shorter shots into the green. So we all should have learned this game by using the forward tees until we learn the most difficult skill of hitting longer drives and landing in the fairway.

In short: Your goal is to improve your driving and iron accuracy in order to hit more greens in regulation. Then the pars and birdies are easy.

Speed Slot Technique
Hank Haney
teaches this technique for power, accuracy and to avoid the dreaded slice. The Speed Slot is the opposite of the Slice Slot. You have all heard that slicing is caused by “swinging over the top”. It’s a natural tendency that we all learn when we swing a baseball bat from the top of our backswing and down into the strike zone.

In golf you need to learn to swing your driver from the inside and up your target line. The critical move in golf is to flatten your wrist at the top of your backswing so that you can swing your club from the inside and up the SPEED SLOT.

Golf Digest is even showing that Charlie Woods has mastered his drive by swinging from the inside slot.

By flattening your leading wrist at the top of your backswing, you are actually shallowing your swing path the way every professional golfer swings. When you swing down from the inside SLOT you naturally clear your hips by rotating your waist forward and INCREASE THE POWER of your driver with a swing path from the inside and up your target line.

We all want a consistent swing for distance and direction control. Learn to shallow your driver in your downswing and set your game on fire. You may want to try opening your stance to add power as every golfer has different levels of power. You should sort this out on the driving range. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to keep you leading elbow straight and your leading wrist flat in the backswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Estimate Your Break and Sink More Putts

I was amazed to see how many long putts were made at the PNC Championships where a PGA Pro teamed up with a non-PGA family member. VJ Singh and his son shot 2 rounds of 13 under par to win the 2022 Championship. Their success came from playing a Scramble Format where they both hit each successive shot from the best location. Their biggest advantage came by understanding the break in their putts.

Every putt was played strategically by allowing the weakest player to make their best putt so that the second putter used the knowledge of the BREAK in the first putt as it slowed down near the hole. Of course we rarely get the chance to putt after someone putts on our exact same line. Watching this 2-putt team approach, we should all recognize 3 key points.

1/ Choosing the right line and speed is your primary focus if you are ever going to be a great putter.

2/ The most break occurs as your ball slows down at the end of your putt. Of course, the greater the side slope, the greater the break so you need to estimate if the break is non-existent (0), slight (1), moderate (2) or major (3 to 10)

3/ To limit your break (as the ball nears the hole on a slight to moderate slope) you should always putt with enough force to pass the hole by 10 to 20 inches. This extra force will eliminate a significant amount of the break as your ball passes the hole.

  • -It eliminates all short putts that will never go in the hole.
    • You will learn to limit the amount of expected break near the hole by consistently putting with enough force to pass the hole by 10 to 20 inches,
Golf Digest used this image to illustrate that putts on a limited side slope start to break as they slow near the hole. So estimate less break on a firm putt.

The best putter, that I have ever played with, sank single putts on 12 out of 18 greens. Every putt was firm (as they never stopped short of the hole). That golfer was confident that he was going to sink more putts with his firm putts SO HE LIMITED THE EXPECTED BREAK DEPENDING ON THE SLOPE NEAR THE HOLE.

You can be a great putter too. Build confidence on the practice green by never leaving a putt short of the hole. Watch for the AMOUNT of break on your putts as they pass the hole and memorize the target distance above the hole depending on the side slope with a 0, 1 or 2 level of slope.

Adam Scott estimates the side slope for every putt using a technique called AimPoint. By feeling the slope with his feet about halfway along his putt he estimates the degrees of slope and then uses his fingers to find a target point. It’s not a perfect system as the slope changes as you walk along your putting line but it is a good idea to estimate the slope near the hole.

Improve your putting by paying attention to the amount of slope near the hole. Choose a target point to aim at for the expected amount of break as your ball passes the hole. Stare at your target point, then return your stare to your ball and keep looking at the spot until 1 second after impact. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your wrist flat during your putting stroke. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Solution for the Worst Miss in Golf

We all have a love hate relationship with golf. When its good, we love it. When it’s bad, it can be very frustrating. Burning the side of a hole with a missed putt is only costing you 1 stroke. A poor drive results in losing some easy distance. But a missed chip from 10 to 40 feet is so much more frustrating because its such an easy shot. After your miss, you tighten up and your next attempt is fat or bladed across the green. Then your blood begins to boil as you add-on 3 more strokes putting. Wouldn’t is be nice to make every chip for a 1 putt green?

You need an easy solution for perfect chip shots to limit your putts around the green. Mr. Short Game on a recent GolfersRx blog reminded us to “take your hands out of the swing”. Limiting your hand action is the perfect solution for consistent chips.

He reminded us to chip exactly the way Steve Stricker and Jason Day chip.

-Let your limited hip and shoulder rotation take care of the speed and power of your swing.

-Start with a narrow stance

-With more weight on your leading foot and

-Add a limited wrist lag for your club with your trailing hand during your limited backswing.

Learn this limited lag by practicing with GOLFSTR+. It limits your trailing hand lag by fitting the back of your wrist to the curved plastic shape.

The perfect chip is NOT a full golf swing. It’s a half swing where you keep the face of your club SQUARE in your setup, in your backswing and as you finish your swing directly up your target line. Depending on the distance that you want, just increase your back swing and match that swing distance with your follow-through swing distance.

As Tiger Woods described his chipping success when he sank a 40 footer from 10 feet off the green on the Saturday round of the 2022 PNC Championship: “Just keep a firm left hand and knock it in there.”

Tiger chips with a flat leading wrist and a slight bend in the trailing wrist to ensure that his club returns to the same distance as his setup distance.

The key for successful chipping is in allowing the distance of you arms at setup to create the same distance at impact. Don’t get floppy or flippy with your hands and wrists. Avoid bending your leading elbow in your backswing and through impact. Finish your impact by pointing your club up your target line.

A perfect chip should be the simplest swing in golf but for most of us it can be the most frustrating shot in golf. Practice with GOLFSTR+ strapped to the back of your trailing wrist. The bend on the end of the plastic plate will limit your wrist lag to the perfect angle. GOLFSTR+ was designed to remind you to keep your leading elbow straight in your backswing. A golf pro at our club recommended that I learn to improve my chipping with the limited wrist bend using GOLFSTR+ training aid. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Lee Trevino’s Driving Secret

I recently found a blog titled: “Trevino’s Left Hand Secret”. In 1974 he exposed his secret for accurate tee shots: “Keeping your left hand ahead of the club-face.” He said: “If the other guys ever learn that it is the back of the left hand that controls the club-face, there would be a lot more winners, and I would have a lot more to worry about.” He also recommended this “with an open stance which will give your arms room to extend along the way as your body turns.”

I have never heard any pros recommending an open stance for drives, but it really caught my attention as this is exactly the way I setup and drive off a tee to control the direction of my drives. An open stance helps me shallow my downswing so that my trailing elbow grazes my side as I drive up my target line.
Lee also bowed his wrist at the top of his swing (where I flatten my wrist) to shallow the downswing for an in-to-out swing. It’s described as a push-cut swing causing a slight fade.

Lee had a looping swing from his takeaway to his downswing. For Lee this created a slight fade but most golfers hit a draw with this swing.

I’m sharing this description to highlight the fact that you can choose the setup (open stance), transition (cupped wrist) and delivery (inside to out) for your swing as long as it gives you consistency and control.
Your dominant strength in one arm, wrist and leg or a tightness in your hips, spine or neck will all have an impact on the swing that works for your body.

Changes in any position in your swing will continue to provide inconsistent results. You don’ t have to stick to the text book swing. Find the swing that gives you a consistent result and then groove that swing for your driver and another swing for your irons.

Trevino and every other pro found the right swing motion for their driver and irons. Once you find it you need to lock it in for consistency. Unfortunately, the older you get the more the more you have to be aware of your bodies tending to change throughout each round of golf depending on your stamina, the changing temperature and your energy level.

Practice to improve the consistency of your golf swing with GOLFSTR+ and find out what works best for your clubs the way Lee Trevino has done. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Tips to Sharpen your Game (#9, Tips 28-30)

This is the ninth in a series of blogs to help you simplify your knowledge of golf and hopefully improve your game. [These tips are distilled from an article published by Luke Kerr-Dineen for a GOLF franchise called “Play Smart”.]

28/ Flare Your Feet: If you’re sitting at a desk all day, you’ve probably got tight hip flexors. That will limit your ability to rotate during your golf swing, which will cost you power—and could even lead to lower- back pain. To increase your hip turn on either side of the ball, GOLFTEC’s resident GOLF Top 100 Teacher Nick Clearwater has found one method works almost instantly and easily: flaring your feet. “Turning your toes out 20 degrees—maybe even more—effectively makes you more flexible,” Clearwater says. “It creates greater range of motion in your hips, which produces a distance boost in short order.”

This is a pretty basic principle to help your body rotation. We should all be flaring our toes to extend our backswing and especially the follow-through.

29/ Use Your Logo Wisely: At the 2012 World Scientific Congress of Golf, researcher Dr. Joan Vickers revealed the fascinating results from an eye-tracking study performed on a group of golfers. She found that highly skilled, lower-handicap players tend to keep their eyes fixed on one portion of the ball. Higher handicaps tend to move their eyes to multiple points.

This is not only important for your fairways shots but also for your putting. Don’t follow your backswing or your follow-through with your eyes. Just focus on swinging in a straight line up your target line.

It may not solve all your problems, but keeping your eyes focused on one tight spot is a quick upgrade you can make to your game. Tiger Woods, places the Bridgestone logo on his ball toward the back (where he wants his clubface to impact) as he tees it up. It acts as a bull’s- eye to hit on every tee shot.

30/ Temperature Impact on Ball Fight: GOLF Top 100 Teacher Andrew Rice and PING have studied the effects of temperature on ballflight. A 30 degree drop in temperature from 80 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit will reduce your drive and iron shots by about 6 yards. Warmer air temperature is thinner and causes less resistance for the flight of your golf balls.

This ends the selection of 30 mini tips to simplify your game for more success. BTW Tiger’s father always reminded him that “you only get out of your game what you put into it“. Practice with GOLFSTR+ as a reminder to limit your leading elbow bend and to keep you leading wrist flat in the backswing and at point of impact. You will love the results. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Tips to Sharpen your Game (#8, Tips 26 -27)

This is the eighth in a series of blogs to help you simplify your knowledge of golf and hopefully improve your game. [These tips are distilled from an article published by Luke Kerr-Dineen for a GOLF franchise called “Play Smart”.]

26/ Know Your Cover Number: There are lots of numbers that come into a pro golfer’s consideration whenever they set their sights on the green. But there’s one above all else that reigns supreme: It’s the yardage to the front of the green, which pros call the “cover number.” “The COVER is a number players know they absolutely need to hit their shot,” says GOLF Top 100 Teacher Boyd Summerhays, who teaches Tony Finau. “It’s really important.” When your COVER NUMBER is paired with the distance to the back edge, it illustrates the size of your target zone.

You should know the distance that each of your clubs will cover when you execute a great shot. Unfortunately your perfect shots occur less than 50% of the time. Why not up your club and hit with 80% of your power to ensure that you reach the green or roll out to the center of the green.

27/ Improve Your Green Reading: Is it better to over-read putts or under-read them? Mark Sweeney, the inventor of the groundbreaking green-reading system Aimpoint, found that it is better to err on the side of over-reading putts. Putts rolling downhill keep rolling and take longer to lose their speed. In the example below a putt that has been over-read (above the hole) by 12 inches will trickle down to about six inches above the hole. A putt of the same speed that has been under-read by 12 inches will take more of the slope and keep rolling all the way out to 36 inches.

When putting across the slope of a green, you will end up closer to the hole if you over-read your putt on the high side of the hole. Putts rolling downhill will roll a lot further than putts rolling across the slope of the hill.

Golf is a game of perfection, but you will never improve your scores if you don’t apply the basic swing to improve the consistency of your hits. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for all of your swings to limit wrist and elbow bends where you should not be bending. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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