Welcome to YOUR Swing Support Center, a blog with tips to help you transition to your new straight leading arm back-swing. This blog allows us to share information which we find in articles by golf professionals or success stories submitted by GOLFSTR users. These tips have helped me and I hope they help you too.
Lining up your shot is critical for your success in golf. Unfortunately, too many golfers are too casual about their approach in getting the best line up for the shot and the swing that they should be taking. Deciding on the right swing for draw or fade and then setting up your line-up both contribute to your success.
Success in golf depends on hitting more fairways and greens in regulation. If it was easy to hit every shot straight with every club, then this game would be much easier. If you played golf with a pool cue instead of clubs which swing around your body, then straight shots would be easy. In golf you have no choice but to plan for the draw or fade before you line up every shot. Controlling the direction of the face of your club at impact and the direction of your swing will both determine the direction of your ball.
You will never be a great golfer until you control your draw or fade as well as choosing the right direction in order to choose the point where you want your ball to land. 1/ It’s up to you to practice creating a draw or fade for the shot that you want. Because your club is swinging around your body, your best opportunity to add distance, is to aim to the right side of your target (for right-handed golfers) and slightly close the face of your club to add draw to your ball flight.
2/ I like Jack Nicklaus’ approach to line up shots. Stand behind the ball, choose your target line and then pick a point in the grass about 2 or 3 feet in front of your ball along your target line. [In the photo above he also used his club to line up his shoulders square to his target line.] 3/ Move forward to line up your feet parallel to your target line and then take a practice swing with your chosen club for the shot that you want to make. [Some recommend taking your practice swing before you move forward to your ball but this spoils your chance to line up and feel the swing for the shot on the line that you want to take.] 4/ Move forward to you ball and take a final look up along your target line to the point where you want your ball to land. Visualize your shot and then trace back to your ball to execute your perfect swing to a balanced finish.
Practice with GOLFSTR for every shot in your game but make sure that you FEEL your swing on the line that you chose before you execute your shot. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Knowing the stats for Mid and Low Handicap golfers is critical in helping to create an Attach Plan for all golfers who want to lower their handicap. I’m glad that I found this article by a GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall and published by GOLF.COM blog. Arrcos offers a golf shot tracking device that records every shot for all golfers using their stroke recording system. The following summary provides the performance and analysis for mid (13 handicap index) as compared to low (5 handicap index) golfers. Knowing the difference and reason for the difference will assist you in YOUR plan.
Longer drivers have an obvious advantage as they are always hitting shorter approach shots but they also hit some errant shots which are further into no-man’s land. The key here is to slow the handle of the club and let the whipping action, of the clubhead, speed up for to deliver more power and distance.
Comparison of 5 Handicap and 13 HandicapAverages
1/ Focus on better Ball Striking: Optimize your drives by keeping more of them in the fairway to give yourself a better chance to hit the green in regulation.
2/ Your second shot makes all the difference: The approach into the greens is where the biggest gain in strokes is made. The 5 index golfer hits 17% more greens in Regulation. Focus on hitting the center of the green and distance control will follow.
3/ Makeup Strokes around the Green: Focus on a 30 yard shot and build from there. Take advantage of pitch and run instead of high floaters which are risky for high index golfers.
4/ Focus on 2 Putts for every Green: Get your first putt close and sink your second putt. Learn to sink 3-foot putts with confidence and using a speed that will pass the hole by about 1 foot to eliminate green surface flaws that you can’t see.
Set your plan for every part of your game to cut the easy strokes. Consistent hits and putts will ultimately get you handicap down to 5. Practice with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com
#4 Opinions Researched by GOLF blog: “All 4-man scrambles should be played in groups of 8 so that both teams keep each other honest.” Do you agree?
Every golfer is aging. We all need tips to take advantage of methods to improve our game. Flexibility and strength are always changing as we age so we should be using every trick in the book to keep up with our rivals. Christo Garcia recently provided a great list of tips to improve any golfer’s game.
Lift your Leading Heel: As you age, you lose flexibility, so your ability to windup in your backswing gets shorter every year. One way to increase your rotation is to lift you leading heel in your backswing to give you a little more rotation for more swing distance and longer drivers. Jack Nicklaus did it throughout his career.
Shift Your Grip Back: Take your normal stance and then rotate both of your hands back on your grip. When you try this, shallow your downswing and swing with your trailing elbow closer to your side as you power your club up the slot for more distance and a nice draw.
Swing to Swoosh Your Club: If you can’t hear your club swoosh through impact, your swing is most likely too slow. Practice by holding the head end of any club and creating a swooshing sound as your wrists release your handle through the bottom of your swing. Now flip your club and create that sound by holding your grip properly.
Start your Downswing with Your Hips: Your downswing actually starts while your hips start to shift their weight forward during the transition at the top of your backswing. Let your weight shift to your leading hip as you rotate your shoulders then your arms and finally your wrist release. Unwind and deliver more power and distance.
Find Your Balance at the Top and at the Finish: Feel your rhythm to your BALANCED TRANSITION (as you say the words “1 annnd” then finish your downswing to a BALANCED FINISH (as you say the word “finish“). Or you may want to say “1 annd 2” or “Coca-Cola”. Whatever works for you. But make sure that you swing to a BALANCED FINISH.
Swing with A Straight Leading Arm: For a faster swing you need to maximize the distance of your swing by keeping your leading arm straight in your backswingand your downswing. Practice with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods agree that the most important component for your golf swing is “speed” (club head speed). They both agree that you need to learn swing speed first and accuracy will come later. Without speed you can’t generate more distance. Without long driver distance you will never reach anywhere near the 300 yards that you want, to get closer to the green, for easier short approach shots.
Control Is the Second Most Important Component Jack and Tiger felt that direction control was less important than distance. All golfers can eventually learn to make setup adjustment to control their draw or fade to improve their percentage of fairways hit in regulation. Tiger was not worried about missing fairways with his longer driver distance. His skill to hit more Greens in Regulation proved that he could recover from difficult locations and still land his ball in great putting locations.
Overall Tiger’s had a worse percentage of hitting Fairways In Regulation than his Greens In Regulation. That means that his ability to recover or scramble from off the fairway was the best part of his game. This make sense when you see his backyard. He has 3, par-3 holes and can practice whenever he had spare time. Way to go Tiger!
I have never been a big fan of swinging faster but I do realize that a faster club head speed is the only way to gain distance. I’m getting back on the bandwagon, but I will definitely focus on hitting more fairways with a stronger release. Of course I still practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep my leading arm straight in the backswing. Setting up with my leading elbow pointing up my target line AND KEEPING MY LEADING ARM STRAIGHT are both real success factors for my improved game. My goal is to shoot every round in the 80’s or better. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf opinions researched by GOLF blog: 3. “The cart fee should be shared with your riding partner.” What do YOU think?
Why are you making golf so difficult for yourself? You learned to throw a ball well before you picked up your first golf club. If you consider the elbow bend required to windup and throw a ball, you will realize that this is the same motion that your trailing right arm makes when you throw a sidearm baseball. Yes, your hand comes over the top when you throw a baseball, but the same power is there when you throw a side-arm pitch. Shouldn’t you be able to generate more power when you swing a driver as if you are throwing a side-arm pitch with your right arm?
Just use your normal body movement to generate more power. If you are right-handed, you have thrown a ball with your right arm hundreds if not thousands of times. That motion is the only motion that you need to generate more speed.Tiger is naturally right-handed and he only thinks about throwing his RIGHT wrist to release his DRIVER through the ball as fast as he can.
I’m naturally left handed in every thing that I do except playing golf. [Right-handed clubs were the only clubs in the attic when I was younger. So I had no choice but to learn to swing with those old right-hand clubs.] Now that I have learned to swing without coming over the top, I finally understand the importance of building speed and power with my trailing weaker right arm.
Using my right arm to generate power in my golf swing was a major physical change for my body and mind. Fortunately, I have also learned to use my right arm to make single handed shots in tennis and pickleball. If you are naturally right-handed you really should enjoy the natural feeling of generating power with your right “throwing arm” for your golf swing.
Treasure the next moment that you pick up your driver and think about generating more power and swing speed with your right arm. Use your side-arm throwing action to generate that power. You now have a new perspective when you deliver powerful drives. Let your trailing arm shallow in your backswing and take over the power of your swing up the slot on your target line.
Now you should realize why your straight leading arm (your left arm) is responsible for delivering a full arc during your downswing. Your right arm is just delivering the POWER for your wide swinging arc of your driver to the point of impact. Practice with GOLFSTR+on your weaker left arm to control your STRAIGHT ARM and LONG arcing swing for more power. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
What do you think is the easiest way to improve every golf shot? It’s important for our driver, irons and putter. The distance from your shoulders to your ball should remain the same for your setup and your point of impact. The shaft of your club is not changing so it’s up to your spine, shoulders and arms to find the same distance at impact. Early extension at the point of impact is a killer.
Shoulder Control Most golf pros suggest tilting your shoulders at setup for your DRIVER to ensure that your impact is in an upward direction. It keeps your swing arcing upward toward the forward position of your teed up ball. For all other clubs your shoulders should be level and square to your target. In all cases, your job is to just rotate your shoulders with your spine.
Spine Control Your hips and spine generate a lot of the power in your swing. You can’t afford to sway back during your swing. Spine ROTATION allows your hips and your shoulders to wind-up in your backswing.
Arm Control In your arms you have 3 active sets of joints: shoulders, elbows and wrists.
A normal arm socket can only rotate about 45 degrees across your body when your shoulders are square to your body. Don’t try to move them further (like Rory and many of the pros).
Your leading elbow should remain straight throughout your back-swing and down-swing or you will be forced to make split second (potentially disastrous) corrective actions at the point of impact. GOLFSTR+ will help your train for a straight arm back-swing.
Your wrists both need to cock for lag at the top of your swing and then release at the bottom of your swing, for direction and power control.
Feel the weight of your club head taking charge during your back-swing and down-swing as you rotate your body to a balanced finish. John Daly and Jon Rahm are examples of the 2 extremes in the back-swing. Find your happy medium without swaying or bending your elbows. And, heaven forbid, never extend your legs and back until after impact.
Trick to Prevent Leading Elbow Bend: Setup with a straight leading elbow and then rotate your elbow to point directly up your target line. Rotating your elbow will help you lock your leading elbow like RoryMcIlroy during your backswing and downswing.
Practice with your straight leading elbow using GOLFSTR+ to keep that perfect distance from your shoulders to your ball at setup and impact. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf opinions researched by GOLF blog: #2. “Music on the golf course is trash. Have a beer in a backyard or go to a concert if music is so important to you.” Do you agree?
Every golfer hits errant shots, and some hit more than others. Wouldn’t it be great to have an easy reminder, like getting a kick in the butt, when your game goes off the rails. Two bad shots in a row are enough to trigger a melt-down. We all tend to knock the poop out of the next shot. The pros have better solution to control their games and so should all of us.
Over the past many years, I have seen golfers like Billy Horschel and Jon Rahm react violently when they miss a shot. Of course, their coaches see this on TV and realize that they can make these examples a real learning point. Blowing up can only ruin your next shot. And possibly the rest of your round. When you mishit your ball, take action and get back on your game.
Whether you make a mishit from a bad lie or a poor tee shot from a perfect setup we all need to reset our minds, get over the mistake, reevaluate our next shot and get on with our game. Compounding an error with another bad shot is not going to help your game. Following are remedies that have been suggested by trainers in GOLF MAGAZINE.
Take These Specific Step for Corrective Action 1/ Admit that You Made a Mistake:Use an abnormal wake-up when you don’t like the outcome for any shot (especially a mishit). You need to pause, calm down and ADMIT TO YOURSELF that you made a mistake. Trainers suggest that you should make an ABNORMAL ACTION like pinching your hand or slapping the flat of your hand on your side to force a pause before you make another stupid shot. 2/ Identify your Mistake: Was it caused by early extension, a poor lie, a wrong club selection, irritation from others talking during your swing or just a rushed backswing causing a poor result? Identify it and take action to correct it. 3/ Take a Corrective Practice Swing: Many pros (like Jim Furyk) will pause and make a perfect practice swing after they identifies their mistake. Focus on your correction during your next practice swing.
Changing your mood from ugly to positive is always the first step that you need to take when CORRECTING your game. Get over it. Life is too short to live it in anger. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to feel the correct swing and improve your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf opinions researched by GOLF blog: #1:“Players should get free relief from divots in the fairway.” Do you agree?
I was reminded about the importance ofTIMINGwhile watching one of my favorite weekly blogs by Danny Maude. He actually copied the phrase that I have been exposing in many of our past blogs. He suggested that you count the words: “one and two” during your back and forward swing to add time to slow down your backswing. There really are 2 reasons why you need to repeat these words. The first is to add rhythm to your swing and the second is to block out distractions.
Swing Rhythm I use the phrase “one and”during my backswing to slow my backswing and to give myself time to rotate my hips & shoulders as I lift my arms while I cock both wrists at the top of my swing. Wrist cocking allows me to shallow my club during my downswing as I swing up the inside slot. Releasing my cocked wrists, during the bottom half of my swing, generates most of my power through my ball. Listen for the woooshing noise near YOUR point of impact.
Block Out Distractions Our minds can be tricked to avoid distractions. For example, you may be watching advertising on TV while your mind is thinking about getting ready for an upcoming event and you have no recollection of the content of the ad that you are watching. Another example is that you can say the words “one annnd” but you are not able to mentally say another word at the same time as your eyes stare at a dimple on the back of your ball.
You can pre-program your mind to create a full backswing (hip rotation, shoulder rotation, arms rising, and wrist cocking)during the time it takes to say “one and”. By the time you say the word “2” or “finish” you should only be making your downswing with a focus to reach a balanced finish on your leading foot.
Golf is a MIND GAME! You are only playing this game against yourself and your personal past performance. It’s up to you to focus on your swing and to block out any other thoughts. Your ball is at rest. Natural elements like wind, rain and the sounds from birds or passing cars or planes or machinery could be distracting you. If others in your foursome are talking, you can ask them to keep quiet. The only thing that you can’t control is their constant stare or any mental hex (or evil-eye) from others in your foursome.
During Tiger’s hay days, he would put himself into a mental trance. Anything to disturb that trance caused him to stop his swing and then start the process again. You need to have the same dedication for your swing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to build your swing as you say the words “1 annnd 2” or “1 annnd finish”. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Wouldn’t we all like to create longer tee shots when we start a round of golf? I happen to be golfing on northern courses in the Fall so the cooler mornings seem to be having more impact on my driver success. This limitation got me thinking. Why do I generate shorter and more inconsistent drives during my first 9 holes?
We all need to accept the fact that our minds and bodies need to be tuned into our game before we generate the success at golf that we expect. Younger golfers may not be experiencing the problems of aging golfers, but I just wanted to list the causes that may be limiting our games.
Rev Up Your Engines While driving to a golf course at the start of a day or at the end of your workday we all need to recognize that our minds and bodies need to change modes. 1/ Relax Your Mind: Easier said than done. Get the frustrations of the day out of your mind before you arrive at the golf course. Choose a calming station on your radio and get your mind thinking about successes in your last round of golf.
2/ Flexibility: Use your arrival time at the course to ensure that you can flex your body and rotate with your clubs to relax your swing. A few swings of your club will not do the trick. 3/ Practice: You really need to hit balls into a net or on a range before your body will adapt from driving in a car to playing a great round of golf. Test your swing and make sure that you test out your putting to get a feel for the speed of the greens. Over 40% of your strokes are on the putting greens so make sure that both your full swing and your putts are turned-in for the golf course. 4/ Body Rotation: If you rush your backswing you will never allow enough time for a full hip, shoulder and arm rotation, especially early in your round. It’s amazing to see how much further your can drive a ball with better direction control as you get well into your round.
Golf is a game that needs your full attention. Make sure that you change your mental station over to the game that you want to play.
Practice with GOLFSTR+ when you have time but make sure that you apply the key principles for your successful swings. Slow down your back swing to improve your rotation and focus on a full rotation to a balance finish to improve your direction control. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
If you are paying attention to your game, you will discover techniques that work and others that don’t. You really need to keep a mental note of all of the positive things that you learn about YOUR game (after every recent round). I know that my successes change with the flexibility of my body and the state of my mind as every round progresses. You may have the same problems.
I was reminded about the minor changes in our minds during a recent round of golf. One of our friends in the foursome playing in front of us commented: “Every time your catch up to us, I hit a poor drive.” This comment was a reminder that golfers are in a heightened or distressed state of mind. Very touchy! The slightest change can set any golfer off. We become a strange breed of human. Following are a summary of techniques that you may want to consider to help your game.
For Your Driver and Approach Shots -Standing behind your ball, stare at your target for 2 or 3 seconds to lock that image into your mind’s eye. -Follow your target line back to a point 2 or 3 feet in front of your ball. Then step forward to line up your toes on a line parallel to your mini-target-line. -During your setup, rotate your leading elbow to face your target line (clockwise for right-handed golfers). This move will help you keep your leading elbow straight in your backswing. Practicing with your GOLFSTR+ will also help as a great training aid.
-Avoid jitters during your tee shots by waggling your club with a 2 foot takeaway by only rotating your hips (like Justin Thomas or the start of Tiger Woods’ swing). –Start your backswing with your hips then your shoulders, arms and finally add wrist cock. -Give yourself more time for a full backswing and wrist cock for lag before your downswing -During your downswing (your eyes are focused on your ball) so your only thought should be to swing through your ball to a balanced finish on your leading foot. Don’t kill the ball.
Putting: -Determine the slope and choose your target line. Focus on hitting your ball on the center of your putter face directly up your target (over a point about 1 or 2 feet in front of your ball). –Don’t look up until at least 1 second after your impact. [Early look-ups will pull your ball.] -Always practice your putt with enough force to pass the hole by at least 1 foot to eliminate surface distortions near the hole and the faster break as your ball slows down.
Keep your game simple. Practice to improve 6 types of swings with GOLFSTR+ and use the techniques that work best for YOUR GAME. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
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