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Learn to Shape Your Shots to Control Your Game

We would all love to see every shots fly straight up our target line. Unfortunately, unless you are hitting with a pool cue, this is not the easiest task to achieve. We swing in an arc, so our chances of hitting a dead straight ball are pretty slim. Successful golfers plan for a draw or fade on every drive or fairway shot. [For right hand players: draw curves slightly left, fade leaks to the right.] You should too if you want to lower your scores.

Choose your preference for a draw or fade based on your past performance. First you should understand why you are creating a draw or fade. [If you have a hook or a slice problem then you really need to learn how to avoid swinging over the top.] Of course there are many times when you should draw or fade a shot to curve around a dogleg or tree or to fit your shot up a green which is shaped behind a large, angled sand trap. Plan for your comfortable draw or fade to prepare for every approach shot to the green.

Rickie Fowler uses the exact same square setup for his fade or his draw.  Then he uses his hands to open or close his club face. Good idea to keep your eye on the ball through impact too, like Rickie.

Rickie Fowler described his preference for his setup to create draws or fads in a recent Golf Digest article. I have cut some of the content but borrowed his exact words.

Butch [Harmon] taught me to hit a real fade. Transformed my game. Now I hit my little slider (fad) all the time, even when the design of the hole doesn’t demand it. Unlike a slice, where the ball starts far left of your target and then dramatically curves back, a real fade actually flies pretty straight before drifting to the right at the end.


To hit the fade:
1. I tee it low. I want the ball’s equator level with the top edge of the driver, or even a little lower is OK. I tee it high only when I want to hit a high draw or big straight ball, like on a wide-open par 5. Just sit back and let it go. But for the fade, the lower tee height helps me to get my chest “on top of the ball” at impact with no hang-back.
2. The other thing I do is pick a spot about 10 feet in front of my ball—a leaf or piece of mud—that’s in line with the left edge of the fairway. I aim the clubface at that spot and then set my body parallel to the target line, as if the left edge of the fairway were the center stripe. Then I think about standing tall with my chin off my neck, my whole body loose and athletic. I take my normal grip, nice and relaxed in my fingers. Just before starting the club back, I let the clubface peek open just a hair to the right.
3. The funny thing about a real fade is that it feels almost exactly like you’re hitting a draw. You’re attacking the ball from the inside.

For a draw:
1. The only difference is I add extra release with my hands at the bottom of the swing, really rolling the clubface over. This is what makes a real fade so reliable: You don’t do anything with your hands; it’s just a pure all-body swing.

In the end, setting your stance toward the left edge of the fairway and opening the clubface slightly at address are the two most important adjustments you need to make to hit the fade.”

Rickie swings with a wonderful straight leading arm for his long and powerful swings. Whether you like to draw or fade you should plan one for every shot to improve your chances of hitting more fairways (worst case it may go straight and still hit the fairway). Distance is only useful if you can make your next shot to the green count. Practice with GOLFSTR for every shot in your game. Buy one today at






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Chip It Close and Stop Killing Your Score

Are you losing 10 to 18 strokes a round by not getting your chips within a 1 putt range? Isn’t it maddening when you hit the green in regulation and your ball rolls into the heavy rough just off the green. Or you stub your short chips in the deep rough and have to waste another shot. Wouldn’t you like to learn how to chip it close for more 1 putt greens?

Of course getting it close is the dream of every golfer. We all want to turn potential bogies into pars. It’s not going to happen unless you practice with the right swing to nail every chip. Golfers RX recently listed 3 principles of good chipping so I decided to share our abbreviated version of their list:

1/ Setup with your weight on your leading leg: A chip is designed for direction and distance control, not for power. Weight transfer is not necessary. You avoid a lot of unnecessary movement by starting with the majority of your weight on your leading leg. It also sets you up to finish your swing up your target line.

2/ Control your distance with the length of your backswing: A chip swing is a smooth, accelerating swing, just like a putt. Your rhythm is a comfortable swing so don’t control the distance by swinging faster or softer. Control the distance of your chip shots just like you do on your putts – with shoulder rotation and the length of your backswing. Just let the weight of your club naturally swing through the ball. For a short chip use a short backswing, for a long chip use a longer backswing.
If your ball is buried deep in the rough, take a longer backswing with the same smooth accelerating motion as your club needs more momentum to get through the deep grass.

Jason Carbone demonstrates using most of his weight on his leading foot, locked wrist and hands forward of the club head as he swings through the ball.

3/ Keep a lead wrist rigid through impact. Your leading wrist should be locked and ahead of your club head through impact. Don’t collapse or flip your club head through impact to avoid losing control of your chip.  And don’t jam your club into the ground hoping that the ball will pop up.

Chipping can be done with any club depending on the lie of your ball and the runout that you are trying to achieve to reach the hole. Consider using your putter, any iron up to your 60 degree wedge or a hybrid. For short chips, if your ball is sitting in the deep secondary rough within 15 inches of the green, you may be better off putting it, but this takes practice.

Track your progress to improve your chipping by counting your total chips (up to 30 yards) and putts on every hole. For non-professionals this total is far more important to track your progress than total putts. 36 is your target total and keeping under 54 is your goal.

You will never be a great chipper unless you practice with a range of clubs for a range of conditions. It takes practice and judgement for every grass condition and slope run-out on the green. The more you practice the better your feel will get. Make sure that you build confidence with at least 4 different clubs and practice with your GOLFSTR to prevent your leading wrist from flipping when your make your chips. Buy one today at

If you like this tip, please click the LIKE BUTTON to spread the word. 

And share your thoughts using the Reply box.  Love to hear from you. 

Your Swing Support Center Advisor:  Will Curry



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Minor Setup Changes May be Killing Your Swing

If you are suffering from inconsistent hits you may find that your practice swing is perfect but your actual swing at the ball is changing. Moving forward to that little white ball may be changing your physical and mental outlook. I’ve seen many golfers (including myself) change their setup and swing as they move up to the ball. It seems that our minds has a mental “rush” to hit that ball harder and further.

A consistent swing starts with a great setup and a PERFECT PRACTICE SWING. Unfortunately I can see a change come over my playing partners. It’s like the Grim Reaper takes over their bodies as they tense up. The longer they stand over the ball, thinking about their 20 swing thoughts, the tighter they get.

Here are 2 changes that you should be doing to make sure that your PRACTICE SWING is identical to your ACTUAL SWING.

Justin Thomas won the Fedex Cup and $10 Million because he did not tense up or lose his focus. So Keep Your Swing Consistent and Stay Loose.

A. Make Sure that Your Physical Setup is Consistent
I just discovered that I have been changing the drop of my arms every time I move forward from my practice swing to my actual swing. Reaching out with my arms is a bad idea. Almost every golf instructor (except Moe Norman) tells us to drop our arms straight down from our shoulders to grip the club in your setup position.

Unfortunately, pros that I have been watching during tournament telecasts appear to be stretching their arms forward toward the ball. This may be a distortion from the TV camera but it was sinking into my mind as a good position for me. During my swing my arms were returning to the correct dropped position directly below my shoulders and this was often causing fades or mishits off the toe of my club. This is just an example how one small change can cause problems.

B. Don’t let your Mind Tense up Your Body
The longer you stand motionless over the ball, the greater the chance that you will freeze up and loose the natural rhythm of your practice swing.

Your swing really is like a simple dance step. You should be using a waggle to avoid freezing your hips or shoulders. I love to use the Rickie Fowler, Mike Weir or Justin Thomas waggle. Its just a rehearsal to start rotating my shoulders (with a straight leading arm) as I point my club head at my imaginary target line extending back from my ball. A training Video by Alex Elliott Golf  not only uses this motion but he also points the butt of his club at that line throughout his backswing to stay on one plane.

What a great idea to minimize angles in your swing. Ben Hogan and Mike Bender both use the concept of pointing your club head and then the butt of your club along the plane of your target line to eliminate angles.

Consistent hits builds a confident golf swing. Duplicate your practice swing and minimize your angles with a relaxed swing for more consistent golf. Learn your consistent rhythm by practicing with GOLFSTR. Buy one today at

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Top 10 Golf Tips from Golf-Info-Guide

Golf-Info-Guide by Thomas Golf  has provided a lot of the inspiration for many of our blogs. We hope that this condensed version of their Top 10 Tips will help you too.

1/ Take Your Time: The best golf swings are those where the speed develops gradually as the club accelerates from the transition down to the point of impact.

2/ Pick out a Specific Target: Whether you are driving or putting, focus on a specific target to let your eye trick your body into automatic pilot to hit that point.

3/ Relax Your Grip: Your grip should be relaxed (just enough to avoid throwing your club) to avoid tensing your muscles to promote club head speed for more distance.

4/ Quite Hands in the Takeaway: Your takeaway should be controlled by your shoulders without caulking your writs.

5/ Play to Your Strength: As you chose your club for each shot, build confidence in the outcome by deciding what works best for you.

6/ See the Club Hit Your Ball: Watch your club as it impacts the ball to generate the power and direction that you need to reach your target point.

7/ Stay Perfectly Still While You are Putting: Your knee caps never sway as your shoulders rock back and forth to swing your putter in a constant tempo.

8/ Don’t Slide: Your shoulders and hips need to rotate around the axis of your spine as you keep your pressure on the inside of your trailing foot through impact.

Finish your swing & admire your shot. This is why we play this wonderful game!

9/ Finish the Swing: Complete your swing by accelerating through impact to a balance finish for control of consistent hits.

10: Have Fun: Golf is fun if you enjoy your successes and understand your mistakes to make improvement every time you play. Find the joy in every part of your game.

If you see these tips as a check list to improve your game, you are on the right track. [Suggest you print this list to read as calming reminders before you play!]   You have the right mental attitude for GOLF. You are trying to make improvements every time your play this wonderful challenging game. That’s why we play this game so don’t lose sight of it when your game starts to go sideways.

Life is a challenge.  The game of golf is a mental exercise to build confidence for your future personal success. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve your success and make your game more fun. Buy one today at


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Why is Your Trailing Arm THE MOST Critical Controller of Your Swing?

Think of your arms as having 2 different functions during your golf swing.  Your straight leading arm provides the power and your trailing arm provides the direction control.  If you don’t understand what is happening during your swing, you will never take control of your game.

Your leading arm should be straight throughout the backswing and downswing.  As long as you are only rotating your hips and shoulders (around your spine axis) with a minor hip press up your target line, you will consistently connect with the ball.


Your mind only has time to think about 2 thoughts:

  1. The direction of your straight arm takeaway as your trailing arm pulls to create lag (90 degree bent leading wrist) at the top of your swing.
  2. Your down swing initiates as the instep of your trailing foot presses your hip forward and your arms release from the inside to up your target line.


Here are a number of  great slow motion examples of the golf swing. 

Each pro does it a little differently but the basics are always the same.


If you let your trailing arm create the PROPER plane for your swing, you can avoid those nasty hooks and slices:

1/ Your trailing hand grip on the club should be lighter than your leading hand or it will dominate the rotational release of your club at impact.  Your leading wrist needs to be relaxed to whip through the release for more power and distance.

2/ Your trailing hand grips the handle below your leading hand so that you automatically tilt your shoulders. You want this natural shoulder tilt to launch and power your drives up.

3/ Your takeaway should be initiated with your shoulders (no wrist action) straight back on a high plane.

4/ Lag is caused by the bend of your trailing elbow as you pull your leading wrist up to the top of your backswing.

5/ As your powerful leading arm starts your downswing, your trailing arm and shoulder should pull your club in a slight loop to swing from the inside to outside across your ball.  Think of your trailing elbow almost grazing your ribs as you swing from the slot: inside to outside.

These are exaggerated comments to help you visualize how your trailing arm controls the swing plan and direction of your hit.  Your hips lead the downswing but your swing will happen naturally if you let your trailing arm control your inside to outside path.

Master this motion to avoid slicing your ball and get a lot more power up your target line.  Practice with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game.  Buy one today at

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Understand What Shapes Your Shots

We swing a golf club in a circular path to hit a golf ball straight. This should be an easy task considering that the ball is not moving (as it is in baseball). We are only faced with 2 issues: Club Face Direction and the Swing Path Direction. Unfortunately in golf the impact has to be perfect every time. If you don’t learn what causes the shape of your shots, you will never lower your scores. by Thomas Golf recently provided a nice summary to understand the cause of ball flight and a great solution to shape our shots. It’s easier to plan for a draw or a fade than it is to hit a ball perfectly straight. And of course the dreaded straight ball happens when you least expect it.

First you need to understand what causes the Duck Hook and the Push Fade. [All comments are described for right handed golf clubs.] Then you can master your swing.

Duck Hook:
Club Face direction is the cause for 85% of the ball direction at the start of the ball flight. If you are swinging with a violent in-to-out swing path (across the face of the ball at impact) and your club face is pointing to the left (at impact), your ball will start left of your target line and will curve further left. A closed stance, tight grip on your club and a powerful rotation of your trailing hand at impact are all contributing factors.   SOLUTION A square stance; a light, neutral grip and a relaxed swing are all required to avoid the Duck Hook.

Push Fade:
This problem is caused when your club face is open at impact and your swing path is crossing the ball on a right to left (out-to-in) direction. To avoid this swing:
-Don’t try to steer the face of your club up the target line. Your hand rotation needs to rotate the club face through the point of impact.
-Avoid the slice swing path. If your take-away is too far to the inside you will tend to loop your club up on a higher swing path for the downswing. At the transition you are most likely casting your club out, chopping down and hitting the ball on an outside-to-in swing path.

Jack Nicklaus completed his high plane backswing (shown in red) with a flying elbow. Then he used his trailing arm to pull down and  swing from the inside (yellow arc).

SOLUTION –The right swing path is to take your club back on a higher plane only using shoulder rotation (without bending your wrists). Then loop your club back at the top of your swing as you bump your hip forward; release from the inside “slot” and up your target line. Your club will be traveling on an inside-to-outside swing path at the point of impact. [Think of grazing your side with my trailing elbow as you swing from the inside.]

Practice Solution to Understand the Wrong and Right Swing Path
1/ Hit 5 Block (Push) Shots: Intentionally swing from the inside and PUSH each ball to the right by swinging from the inside-to-out with an open face on your club.
2/ Hit 5 Hook Shots: Swing with a in to out swing path and turn your right hand over your left hand to close the face of your club.
3/ Hit 5 Shaped Shots: Swing to create a 5 yard, left to right draw. Swing from the inside-to-out AVOIDING an aggressive finish as you roll your hands and finish in a balanced position.

Test your swing to create a draw or a fade at the driving range. As you learn to control the draw or fade you will learn to avoid the Duck Hook and Push Slice. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ for more power with your straight leading arm. Buy one today at

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Play Every Hole Like a Par 3

It may have been Michael Breed (on the Golf Channel) that came up with this line and he was so right.  If you have a consistent drive, your approach shot is the most critical shot for every hole. You are faced with a 100 to 180 yard shot into the green on a par 5, 4 or 3.  If you can land that shot on the green and 2-putt every green, this game is easy.

The 2017 September issue of Golf Digest gave us some great tips to hit more greens in regulation.  Consistency, Distance and Direction are all critical issues.

Consistent Waist Bend for Consistent Contact:
If you keep the same bend at your waist throughout your swing, the distance from your neck to your ball will remain the same in your setup and at impact.  Rotate your shoulders around your spine during your swing without bobbing up and down during your back and down swing.  Lunging down at the ball during your downswing WILL create mishits.

High handicap golfers average a 25 degree angle across their shoulders (pointing down toward the ball) at the top of their backswing.  The shoulder slant for Pros is about 35 degrees because they don’t straighten up during their backswing.  They simply rotate around their spine by coiling and uncoiling.

Know Your Club Distances: Every golfer has to learn the distance that they hit every club.  Wind and elevation changes will impact the distance for every hit and it is up to you to account for the impact.  Jack Nicklaus reminds us to use the average distance (not your best distance) that you expect for each club.  Swing at 85% and don’t expect the “hero shot” with every club.

In this Golf Digest front cover showing Brooks Koepka you can see his weak leading hand grip and strong trailing hand grip. It may not work for you but it sure helps him bow his wrist for direction control.

Every professional golfer has their own routine to control the direction of their irons.  Swinging a golf club in a circle makes it almost impossible to control the precise direction for every shot. Brooks Koepka is definitely a long ball hitter but his direction control with irons is critical for his success.  He uses these swing thoughts for his iron shots:

Weak grip for his left hand (thumb V points up to his neck) and strong grip for his right hand
Lineup with an open stance to create a fade. He finds it’s easier to control direction.
Straight leading arm for a wide and high backswing to generate distance.
A slightly bowed left wrist in his backswing helps him line up the direction of his impact.
Hip bump toward the target to start his weight transfer during his transition.
Good body rotation in the back swing and follow-through.
Sidearm release of his trailing hand through impact for more power in his release. [I use some of these pointers, especially the straight arm, straight back swing with a slight loop at the top as I bump my hip and release from the inside as my trailing elbow grazes my side.  These  key swing movements have improved the consistency of my drives to 95% and length by 20 to 40 yards. ]

Your strength in each arm and leg will affect the way you swing your clubs.  Brooke Koepka is just an example from one professional to consider when you are trying to improve your direction control to hit more greens in regulation.  Sort out your direction control at the range or with a PGA Professional and practice with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game.  Buy one today at







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Take your Practice Range Swing to the Golf Course !

Does your swing stay exactly the same when you swing at the range, on the fairway or in the rough? Well your tempo should be the same. Unfortunately as our game gets in trouble, our mental state changes and we tend to take it out on the ball. In frustration, our golf swing may revert to a baseball swing. In our panic stricken mind, we are looking for every ounce of energy. Big mistake!

A. When your ball is nestled down in the rough do you rush your backswing which limits the length of your backswing? Big mistake!
B. When you see one of your playing partners pound a tremendously long shot, do you try to hit faster and harder. Big mistake!
C. When you have to get over water or trees or a distant sand trap, do you lose your tempo, avoid transferring your weight to your leading leg and top your ball? Big mistake!

SOLUTION: TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MIND and maintain the same rhythm in your swing for every shot. A consistent swing routine is a good starting point but when the pressure is on and your mind is ticked off you need a way to SNAP OUT OF YOUR COMMITMENT TO KILL THAT BALL.

Henrik Stenson won the Wyndham Championship with extreme mental control especially after a poor shot. He’s a great example of self-control and keeping his head at the same level throughout his swing. [Image courtesy Golf Monthly, UK]

1/ When you recognize that you are getting out of control you need to mentally say words to calm yourself down and get back into a calm and relaxed rhythm. [The TRICK you must understand is that your mind can’t think bad thoughts when your mind says positive words. (You can’t do both at the same time.)]
2/ Say the word “STOP” to re-start your state of mind and stop whatever you are doing to allow time for a mental reset. Use the word “STOP” as a trigger to get back on track.
3/ Start your “CALMING PERFORMANCE”. Take a deep breath and exhale. Then say words to yourself that will lead you through your normal setup and swing. You should develop your own calming words. Practice saying them at the driving range and then repeat them when you recognize that you are out of control.

I start my calming process by using the words “Straight Arm” as I calmly use a shoulder rotation waggle with my straight leading arm (ensuring that my trailing elbow is out from my ribs).

To control my tempo I use the 3 words “SWEEP AND FINISH”: #1 SWEEP for full shoulder rotation, #2 AND for wrist lag and #3 FINISH for wrist release from the “slot” to a balanced finish.

NOTE: TAKE YOUR PENALTY: When your ball is deep in the rough, you should accept the fact that you need to pay for this penalty. Use a lofted iron that will dig down into the rough to hit it out with a lot less distance than it would normally achieve when hitting on “the short stuff”. Control your mind and decide to take the penalty shot to get your ball back in a perfect fairway position for your next shot. DON’T try for the miracle shot which may just put your ball back in the rough.

Practice your CALMING WORDS at the range and when your mind needs to be calm on the course. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for your straight arm swing AND 6 Swing Fixes. Buy one today at






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Is Your Right Arm Strength Killing Your Consistency?

Is your right arm taking over your swing? If you are right handed, you are most likely playing with right handed golf clubs. Unfortunately the extra strength in your right arm may be overpowering your swing. This may be the cause for your inconsistent swing problems.

The power for your swing comes from your straight left arm and wrist release at the point of impact. The key functions for your right arm are to create lag at the top of your swing and to keep your shoulders moving through your swing plane. If you allow your stronger right arm, wrist and hand to dominate your swing, you can lose control of your swing.

Swing Problems that your Stronger Right Arm Can Cause
• An early release or casting of the wrist at the top of your swing.
• An early turn of your shoulders preventing the swing from the inside slot.
• An early turn of your wrist release at the point of impact causes a duck hook.
• A death grip which kills the whipping action of your left wrist at the point of impact.
• Tight arm muscles which shorten your arms so that your impact is at the toe of your club.

Knowing that your stronger right arm may be the culprit that causes your inconsistent swing is the important starting point to improve the consistency of your swing.

SOLUTION: Use Your Practice Swing to Test for Swing Changes
At the practice range your muscles are loose and relaxed. Your mind and body may change when you start your round of golf. Use a full practice swing to compare the setup position of your club head with the impact point of your club head (as it whooshes through the impact point). This point may be changing as you stretch out or tighten your muscles during your round of golf.

First tee nerves; anger thinking about your last mishit; fear about hazards ahead and excitement caused by your last successful shot are all reasons why your body tightens or loosens throughout your round of golf. These changes are most likely the cause for your inconsistencies.

Jason Day was missing fairways with his drives. He was frustrated so his tight muscles may have been killing his drives.

On Day #3 of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Golf Club, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama both lost their driving accuracy. When the pressure is on, even the pros can lose control of their minds and bodies. They needed miraculous shots to stay in contention.
1/ Set up in a comfortable position with your hands hanging down directly below your shoulders.
2/ Take a full practice swing to see if your club head is traveling across your setup point.
3/ If your right arm is taking control of your swing, you may see that your club head swings inside or outside of your setup point. If this occurs, move up or back from your ball to compensate for the mishit distance in your practice swing. Then go ahead and make the perfect shot.

Your dominant trailing arm muscles are relaxing and tightening as you play your round of golf. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to swing with a straight leading arm and avoid letting your trailing arm ruin the consistency of your swing. Buy one today at


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Find the Right Positions and the Swing Happens

I wish it was as easy as the title states!  I recently saw a blog by Rotary Swing that gave me a new perspective on the golf swing.  Hitting thousands of balls will never fix your swing if you don’t relax and incorporate the 4 key moves for a consistent, powerful swing. It’s as simple as Shoulder, Lag, Bump and Release. If you can’t learn these motions, it’s difficult to create a consistent, powerful golf swing.

The Haney Project was a TV series on the Golf Channel with many celebrities like Ray Romano, Charles Barkley and Rush Limbaugh. Hank Haney created some success with each individual by repetition and hitting 1000’s of golf balls. He worked on their swing path but never gave them the power and consistency that they were all hoping to find. The Rotary Swing Blog said that this series only highlighted the weakness of repetition when you are not focused on key body movements to create the right swing plane.

Create a Successful Swing
The simplified version of the golf swing is completed in 4 steps:
1/ takeaway with a shoulder rotation;
2/ pull your straight leading arm up with your bent trailing arm to create lag,
3/ weight transfer at the top with a hip bump during the transition and
4/ a whipping, wrist release at impact.

Upper body leads the takeaway and the lower body starts the down swing. Your hands are the last to release. For power and consistency you need to generate these 4 motions during your swing. Hideki Matsuyama has developed a “mechanical” swing that works.  The key to his swing is finding the right lag position and hip bump at the top.  This slow motion video shows it all.

To be a good golfer, you don’t have to look like you have the perfect swing. Last weekend when Hideki won the WGC Bridgestone Invitational against the 50 best golfers in the world, he proved that you can create a position at the top of your swing. He actually stops the motion of his swing at the top of his swing with a straight leading arm and wrist lag as he shifts his weight to his leading leg. He finds that  position and then pulls the trigger with amazing results.

Consider creating a great position at the top of your swing before you pull down and release. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to learn all 4 of your key motions for consistency in your swing. Buy one today at

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