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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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Tips From the PGA Championship

Golfers love to play this game, but they also love to watch golf on TV to find nuggets of knowledge that they hope will improve their game.  The PGA Championship was fun to watch and gave a few great ideas for those sitting on the sidelines.

Every Round has it Ups and Downs

The PGA Championship was a real wake-up for golfers.  Don’t get frustrated when you play a great round of golf followed by a poor round of golf.  It may be caused by the wind or the phase of the moon, but your luck seems to change day to day.  Inconsistency for the pros seems to be the same as we experience as recreational players.  If you watched all 4 days of the PGA Championship you can appreciate the UPS and DOWNS experienced by McIlroy, Zalatoris (so close), Bubba Watson (fun while it lasted), Rahm (#1 was out of it), Spieth (hot and cold), Fowler (getting hotter), Pereira (double bogie on the 18th) and Justin Thomas (winning the Playoff from 7 back).

Never Say Die: Justin Thomas was 7 behind at the start of the final round and won in a 3 hole playoff.

Rory Practicing Shots to Take Off Back-SPIN

When you are making an approach shot to a green with a steep slope off the front, you CAN’T afford to hit shots with a lot of back-spin, especially at Southern Hills where many greens are setup with a drop-off on all sides.  On the practice range they highlighted Rory practicing by choking down about 4 inches on clubs and hitting balls back in his stance to eliminate backspin.    

Tiger Using the Ball Logo for Tee Shots

I always setup my ball on a tee shot so that the logo is diagonal to my target line.  Of course, I’m giving myself a mental image to swing from the inside to outside for a draw shot (to avoid slicing the ball).   Tiger was seen setting up his Bridgestone logo on the face of his ball exactly where he wants his impact.  He was even placing the logo below the equator of the ball when setting up for a wedge shot on a par 3 tee shot.  Of course, he was planning his downswing to undercut his ball.

Cameron Smith is Human

After putting on an amazing display before the Masters, he is finally showing us how he can miss short putts too. 

That tournament reminded us that you will never win if you take this game too seriously.  Only the brave and relaxed players survive in golf.  Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to build confidence.  Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought for the Day:  Did you ever notice that it’s a lot easier to get up at 6:00 a.m. to play golf than at 10:00 to mow the yard or go to church?

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Consistent Golf with a Straight Leading Arm


I developed GOLFSTR+ to help me remember to keep my leading arm straight in my backswing. If you bend your arm in the backswing it will always be difficult to consistently swing down to the ball with the exact same arm length. A bent leading arm causes topped balls or fat hits or hits off the toe of your club.


You will never see Tiger Woods swing with a bent leading arm because he still has the flexibility for a full rotation with a straight leading arm in his backswing. He, like every other professional golfer, knows that his leading arm is HIS YARD STICK to his golf ball. He has a straight leading arm in his setup and again at impact and that gives him a consistent impact with the ball.

Driving distance champions have longer backswing but hit a low percentage on the fairway. Accuracy with a limited backswing must be a critical solution for your game.


Aging Bodies Lose Flexibility
What are aging bodies supposed to do when they can’t create a backswing like Tiger and all of the other pros. Bending your elbow will often result in a swing over the top causing a sliced shot or hits off the toe of your club. If you eliminate the top of your bent arm backswing, you can also eliminate premature casting at the top.

3 Solutions to Keep Your Leading Arm Straight.
1/ Lift your leading heel slightly to allow for more rotation of your hips without shifting your body back. Jack Nicklaus and many other pros did this. Why can’t you?
2/ LIMIT YOUR BACKSWING to the point where your leading arm is NOT BENT and your FLAT LEADING WRIST is cocked for lag. Your power comes from the weight transfer to your leading hip but even more important the release of your wrist lag at the bottom of your swing.
NOTE: Even the pros normally complete a backswing with their leading straight arm just above horizontal when hitting irons. YOU DON’T NEED A JOHN DALY BACKSWING for you irons or your driver.
3/ Train your mind to limit your backswing using GOLFSTR+. Wear it while you play 18 holes to train your mind to limit your swing. [Unfortunately, it’s not legal to wear during a competition.]

These 3 images are from Adam Young Golf showing 3 levels of backswing. Older golfers should limit your backswing like IMAGE #1 to keep your leading arm straight.

Don’t compensate for limited rotation by shifting your head and shoulders. [Note from Tiger: When he loads onto his right hip in his backswing, his next thought is to turn as much as he can into his left hip. That keeps the club out in front of him and helps him hit fades. When he doesn’t load properly, he springs up and out of his posture, the club gets too far behind him, and it adds pressure on his back.]


Practice your straight leading arm swing using GOLFSTR+. Feeling GOLFSTR+ touching the back of your arm reminds you to limit your backswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought For the Day: Why am I using a new putter?…… Because the old one doesn’t float.

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Don’t Swing Without Your Mental Image

Golf is NOT a “no brainer”. You can’t afford to setup and execute each shot without a mental plan and image. I have read blogs where the writer suggests that you should just choose your target and then swing without any mental preparation. Believe me, I have tried it and nothing could be worse. Every swing is unique for every condition that you face (wind, stance, ball location and the mental impact of your last shot).


Reading a recent issue of GOLF Digest, I was amazed at the detail that Collin Morikawa puts into every shot. I just wanted to share the thoughts that he quoted:
PLAN A: “When it’s critical to hit the fairway, I go with a little cut shape off the tee. My typical miss is to over cut the ball. It happens when my arms get disconnected from my body on the backswing [where his trailing elbow is almost touching his side at the top]. To make sure a cut doesn’t become a slice, I treat my arms and torso as one unit as I start back. Try it. You’ll feel like your backswing is abbreviated, yet fully wound.”

For his “little cut shot” to hit more fairways, Collin keeps his trailing elbow almost touching his body as shown in this photo.


PLAN B: “When I want to reach back for a few extra yards, I tee the ball higher and make a bigger turn, which makes my swing longer. I’ll some-times put my right hand on my right hip and mimic a backswing to rehearse this longer drive. I want to feel my right leg straightening and my right shoulder moving back and around my body [where his trailing elbow separates from his side]. If I copy that when I swing, I can really turn it loose.” [End of Collin’s quote.]


Collin has a mental plan for each shot. And you should have one too. I try to follow his plan A to keep my trailing elbow close to my body to force my backswing rotation. I have to avoid his plan B (for extra yards as that is where I get into trouble with wild slices).


Collin Morikawa really does have flexibility to rotate and keep his leading arm straight throughout his swing. Stay tuned for next week’s blog when I describe a great solution for the backswing for less flexible golfers. Keeping your leading arm straight is critical for consistent golf so you should be practicing with GOLFSTR+. It also gives you 5 more golf swing fixes. 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 will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.

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Swing with a Lazy Wrist

Great golfers like Freddie Couples generate more power by swinging with a “lazy wrist”. As a matter of fact, you may not see the lazy motion in the takeaway, but powerful golfers lead their downswing with the butt end of their golf club. By adding lag and rhythm at the top of their swing, they automatically adds more power. Danny Maude’s (golf blogger) recent blog reminded me about this secret power builder.


If you are a rigid armed, fast swinging golfer, you will be surprised at how well you can swing if you loosen up. That’s right, put some rhythm in your swing and let your wrists do the work.
I mentioned Freddie Couples as one of the few golfers who has a swing where you can see him start his downswing with the butt end of his club while the head of his driver or iron still seems to be adding wrist lag at the top of his backswing. He is not rushing his swing, but his motion is the opposite to casting.


Casting at the top of your swing is where you lose most of your power. The only way you can add head speed is to “release” as the bottom of your swing to increase head speed and generate more distance during impact.

Freddie Couples loads his lag at the top of his swing (with lazy wrists for whipping action).


Danny Maude recently illustrated what I call “Lazy Wrist Action” by using a weak wrist takeaway like a waggle where your hands are moving the way you would waggle (in the opposite direction of the head of your club). As his hands approach the top of his swing, he lets the club head catch up and pass the wrists to add lag at the top of the swing as he pulls down on the butt end of his club and starts his forward hip press and rotation. Try to do this as you exaggerate the lag at the top and feel your wrists pulling the butt end of your club down.


Practice by waggling your club to get the feeling of leading your takeaway with your wrists (but you won’t actually do this for your swing). Then swing to the top and let the club add lag with your “lazy” wrists as you pull down with the butt of your club. Learn the feeling of letting your loose wrists create lag as you start your downswing.


You will know that the butt of your club is leading your swing when you whip the club head through the impact zone and hear the whooshing sound.


Save your power for the release of your wrists at the bottom of your swing. Learn the “lazy wrist” feeling in slow motion and then speed up the swing to feel the impact of a more powerful swing. Don’t forget to practice your straight leading arm swing with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought of the day: The pro-shop gets its name from the fact that you must have the income of a professional golfer to buy anything in there.

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Take the Yips Out of YOUR Putting

Every golfer has the strength to putt and sink putts. The best putters read the break and match the right swing weight directly up their target line to sink every putt. Easier said than done. Even Cameron Smith can’t sink every putt but he does give himself an excellent chance by setting up correctly and swinging with the right swing to start his ball rolling OVER and DIRECTLY UP HIS TARGET LINE. So why do YIPS creep into YOUR putting stroke?


I recently read the benefits of the EyeLine Putting Alignment Mirror. Unfortunately, it can’t tell you the 3 most critical features to make putts: (1) How to read the break: (2) The amount of swing required to reach the hole and (3) How to avoid the YIPS. You need to start by practicing on a variety of greens with different roll speeds to build confidence. Great putters learn to feel the right swing speed to manage the break and power the putt with a confident swing into the hole. To do this you need to swing with your shoulders AND avoid the YIPS.


A Putting Mirror is an aid to help you setup:
1/ Square up your feet and your shoulders with your target line.
2/ Your eyes should lineup directly over the target line or slightly inside of that line.
3/ Your head should not sway with your putter backswing or follow-through.


What You Can’t Learn from a Putting Mirror:
A/ Learn to swing by rocking your shoulders
TO AVOID THE YIPS (using the LARGE MUSCLES IN YOUR SHOULDERS and not the small muscles in your wrists).
B/ Your putter must swing directly back (like a pendulum) and directly up your target line BY ONLY ROCKING YOUR SHOULDERS.
C/ Make a long enough putting practice swing WITH YOUR SHOULDERS to feel the power required to reach and pass the hole by 12 to 18 inches (to avoid a deflection from green imperfections as your putt slows down near the hole).

Tiger locks his leading wrist and rocks his shoulders to swing like a pendulum and avoid the YIPS.

Avoid the YIPS and shaking hands by locking your leading wrist flat and lining-up your leading forearm with the shaft of your putter. Only use your shoulders to swing your putter like a pendulum up your target line. GOLFSTR+ helps you practice by locking your leading wrist to eliminate the YIPS. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought for the Day: Golf balls are like eggs – they’re white, they’re sold by the dozen, and a week later you have to buy more.

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