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.

Bill Curry, inventor of GOLFSTR

Archives for the ‘YOUR Swing Support Center’ Category

Unique Swing Thought for Chipping AND Pitching

After last week’s blog covered a unique swing thought for each club, I was reminded by one of our subscribers that I should have covered the swing thought for “wedge play and chipping”.  I’d like to thank Richard Gula for his suggestion.  He said: “I use GOLFSTR for chipping position and practice with different clubs as well and it is terrific!”  [ BTW chipping was not included last week because we try to avoid making our blogs too long. ]

Mr Shot Game on the GolfersRX Swing Tips Blog gave us the most important building block for chipping and pitching:  “NEVER SWING DOWN!!!”  That negative thought is not going to help you develop the CORRECT swing but it sure does reinforce the problem that causes FAT, CHUNKED CHIPS AND PITCHES.

David Leadbetter chipping a longer chip with feet together and a more open stance. (Golf Digest)

To Chip or Pitch

A Chip is really just a full putting swing.  Its used to clear the fringe and run your ball up to the hole.  A pitch is simply a full swing and follow-through with any higher lofted club to clear a hazard or rough area to land on the green (possibly with backspin to help it checkup on the green).

Choose the Right Club

Every club in your bag can be used to make a chip or pitch shot.  It’s up to you to choose 2 or 3 of your PREFERENCE CLUBS that you know will reach your target with a chipping swing and a pitching swing.  I often see golfers chip with a pitching wedge or 60 degree wedge to clear the fringe and stop 30 feet short of the hole.  They are just choosing the wrong club for the job.  Dumb golfers deserve stupid shots.   If you don’t have 30 minutes to figure out what your clubs will do with a short or full swing then don’t waste your time golfing.

SWING THOUGHT

-Know that your club will swing through the lowest point of your swing arc directly below your straight left arm and shoulder [for right handed golfers].

-Practice with GOLFSTR+ on your trailing wrist to limit the hinge of your trailing wrist.

-Your chip is really a putting stroke where your club skims the grass directly up your target line.

– Practice YOUR CHIPPING swing with a 20 degree, 30 degree and 40 degree backswing and follow-through to understand the distance that each swing will produce with each of your PREFERENCE CLUBS.

-Let the weight of your club create the power for your swing.  Don’t rush it!

-Your SWING THOUGHT for CHIPPING is to use the same cadence for your back swing as your forward swing to impact.  Say the words “ONE, TWO” without acceleration  [using a longer backswing for longer runout]

-Your SWING THOUGHT for PITCHING is to accelerate through the ball with a full swing and limited wrist hinge to  a balanced finish facing your target.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to limit your wrist hinge for chipping and pitching.  Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

GOLF LAW  #23: A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is NOT yours.

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Use a Unique Swing Thought for each Club

Each of your clubs are unique so your swing thought needs to fit each type of club. The shaft length and club length & configuration is designed for unique purposes. I disagree with trainers who suggest that you should just clear your mind and swing. You can’t afford to lose the special opportunity that every club will give you with the right swing.

You may want to customize your setup and grip for each of your clubs but that will be your personal preference to create a draw, fade, high or low shot. Every golfer has a different body size with swing limitations so you have to accommodate the flexibility and range of your body rotation. This summary is only focused on the SWING THOUGHT that you should be using for each of your types of clubs.

Driver Swing Thought: Power swing up the inside quadrant of your ball. BOOM!

Driver: You will never improve your game until you can increase the length of your drives and land them in your planned target area. Power and direction are most important for your swing with your driver but you also need consistency for a draw or fade to ensure that you land your ball in YOUR target area. Jack Nicklaus said that the harder he wanted to swing the slow he made his backswing. SWING THOUGHT: Shallow your swing at the top to swing from the inside and up your target line. (IMPACT YOUR BALL on the INSIDE of the center-line.)

Fairway Metals and Hybrids: These are power clubs for hits off the deck. Again you are looking for distance and direction control but these clubs have shorter shafts and are designed for power. You should never try to increase your swing speed to gain more distance with these clubs. The harder you swing the worse your result because you have no height range for error. You need to hit the ball first and then skin some turf. SWING THOUGHT: Smooth back-swing and downswing on the same arc up your target line.

Irons: Each iron has a unique loft and will give you a limited distance as long as you hit the ball correctly. Practice with every iron to know you swing speed and distance that your club will generate. Choke down on your grip to shorten the distance for any iron but DON’T increase your swing speed (the kiss of death). SWING THOUGHT: Start shifting your weight forward during your transition to ensure that you bottom your swing (to take your divot) after impact with your ball.

Putter: Find a putter that has a weight, feel and look that you like. Test your putter to KNOW that every impact on the center-line will drive your ball in a straight line. Next, determine the straight impact LINE and weight to handle the slope of the green for your planned putt. If you chose the wrong line and swing speed, that’s your mistake. Feel it with your practice swings. SWING THOUGHT: Swing with exactly the same speed as your practice swing and impact UP on your ball at the center line of your putter as you stroke directly up your target line.

Keep a consistent swing thought for each of your clubs and your game will continue to improve. Remember K. I. S. S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). And practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve the consistency of every swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

GOLF LAW #22: There are two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove

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POWER Tricks for Aging Golfers

Maximizing club head speed with a square face at the point of impact is the ultimate goal for every golf swing.  As we age it’s will be helpful to know that there are tricks that we can use to maximize the speed of our club head through the ball without braking our backs. That’s right, your arms, spine, hips and feet need to SHARE the rotation for every golf swing.

Too often golfers wear out their spine by bending or arching their spine during their golf swing. Your spine is designed to rotate but you need to keep your spine straight during your swing. AVOID hunching over and hitting sideways with your back bent.  Arnold Palmer swung with a hunched back and it may have cut his playing career short.

THE GOAL
Coil the line along your spine to create a maximum backswing while maintaining a straight spine. In your downswing, uncoil your spine (feet, hips, shoulders, arms and wrists – in that sequence) to accelerate your club through the ball.

Arnold Palmer lunged at his ball as he swung through his ball to balance on his leading foot.  I’m not sure how well his bent back survived.

Tricks to Help You Coil and Uncoil:
1/ Setup with your trailing foot open by about 25 degrees to allow your body to FREELY coil back in your backswing. (And you leading foot should be flared forward about 25 degrees too.)
2/ Use a rehearsal waggle to make sure that your shoulders as well as your hips are rotating. It’s like a dancing motion to make sure that you are rotating NOT swaying back.
3/ DON’T cock your wrist at the start of your takeaway like Michelle Wie and Dustin Johnson unless you want to slice your drives.
4/ Keep your leading wrist is flat throughout your backswing and transition.
5/ Try lifting the heal of your leading foot as you bend your leading knee in (the way Arnie did it) to help increase your backswing rotation.
6/ Let your bent trailing elbow create your flat wrist lag. Pull your club down at the top of your swing to ensure that you are swinging with a SHALLOW arc from the inside and up your target line. FOCUS on impacting your ball from the inside of the centerline (NOT square on that line).
7/ You may even be tempted to step out with your leading foot (the way Gary Player liked to practice) during your downswing. Baseball pitchers do it, why not older golfers.

Try these tricks to increase your windup and follow through but don’t rush your tempo. Just enjoy your powerful wrist release at the bottom of your swing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight for more torque at the bottom of your swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

GOLF LAW #21: If you want to hit a 7-iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to use it to lay up just short of a water hazard.

 

If you are a REAL Golf Nut you may want to subscribe to this site.  Lots of fun golf insights and things that golfer’s just like you are enjoying during their rounds of golf.  Check it out for a refreshing change.

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Golfer’s Demise: FEAR OF FAILURE

We all need to learn from our personal experiences. Even though we get better at golf during our practice at the range or during our round of golf we always hit that wall: The Fear of Failure. When that CRAZY MONSTER jumps on our back and puts fear in our mind, we lose our concentration. If you are ever going to minimize your failures we need to recognize that moment when FAILURE creeps into our mind and ATTACK IT WITH THE RIGHT SOLUTION.

List YOUR Moments of Failure
My game is now at the point where I can hit at least 5 good shots in a row at the range with any club in my bag. All I need to do is take that “Positive Mindset” to the course and enjoy my game. Unfortunately I know that My Mental Monster climbs on my back for each of the following:
1/ My First Tee Drive: I rush my backswing and take my eye off of the ball.
2/ On a difficult Shot from a Bad Lie: I focus on the lie not the SMOOTH RHYTHM of my shot.
3/ Nervous Putts are Always Short: I see the pros do this on TV as they reach their last 5 or 6 greens in their final round. Be confident and EXECUTE THE SHOT.
4/ Thinking that water and sand attracts my ball: Know that tension only shortens your muscles so relax your mind and body and select more club than you need to back off the power in your swing.

Golf Tips Magazine recommends that you “Own Your Focus”

Take Control of Your Mind
Recognize the moment when your focus wanders. It’s the critical time where you can take hold of your mind and throw corrections into your game. Know that you CAN TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MIND AND YOUR GAME.

1/ Know your list of problem shots where you need to click into your FOCUS MODE. (You need to focus on every shot but we are talking about your CRITICAL problem shots.)

2/ Don’t changing your swing speed. Changing the speed of your backswing just takes your body out of its normal rhythm and sequence for your hips, shoulders and arms. Keep your RHYTHM consistent for consistent hits.

3/ Use a FULL PRACTICE SWING to a balanced finish. Plan your swing for the draw or fade that you want. Execute that exact and complete swing during your practice swing. Use your time to feel your controlled swing, then step up to your ball, exhale and EXECUTE the same swing.

I snap my mind into FOCUS by saying the words “flat – in – pose” during my swing to help me keep my focus on the 3 CRITICAL steps in my swing: (1) “FLAT”: straight leading arm/ flat wrist, (2) “IN”: bend my trailing elbow in to create lag & swing from inside and up the line and (3) “POSE”: to finish in a balanced pose.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ and OWN your FOCUS (re. Golf Tips Mag.). Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

GOLF LAW #20: Every Time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make a double or triple bogey to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.

If you are a REAL Golf Nut you may want to subscribe to this site.  Lots of fun golf insights and things that golfer’s just like you are enjoying during their rounds of golf.  Check it out for a refreshing change.

Welcome to Golf Nuts!

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Putting Accuracy Improves with Distance Lineup

A recent GOLFERS RX blog suggested turning every putt into a 2 inch putt. I usually love Colby’s ideas but this time the only point that he made correctly is that it is much easier to sink a 2 inch putt than it is to sink a 20 foot putt. The point of this blog was to pick a point 2 inches in front of your ball, directly on your chosen putting line and then putt your ball across that point.

Unfortunately the error in the angle of your putt increases dramatically when you choose a shorter target point. If the point that you choose is off your target line by 1/8th of an inch, by the time your ball rolls 1 foot it is off target by 3/4 of an inch or by the time it rolls 20 feet it’s off target by 15 inches.

You don’t have to be as precise as Camilo Villegas but it helps if you can see the slope change along your putting line.

Ideally you need to line up every putt using the furthest point on your target line. If it’s a straight putt then line it up with the hole. All you have to do is choose your furthest point or your target line where you think your putt needs to start breaking and run your eye back to you ball as you take your putter back on that same line. Then swing directly up that line. ALL IN THE SAME SEQUENCE OF MOTION.

Steps for a Successful Putt (or at least to get it close for a 2 putt)
1/ Study the slope of the green from a few directions (especially from below the slope to prove to yourself that the putt will break left or right or if there is a double break.
2/ Choose your initial straight target line based on the break that you expect in your putt 3/ Practice the amount of swing using your shoulders (to eliminate the impact of your shaky wrists and hands) required to pass your target point by up to 15 inches.
4/ Step up to your ball and STARE AT YOUR TARGET POINT FOR AT LEAST 2 SECONDS TO LOCK THAT DISTANCE and DIRECTION INTO YOUR BRAIN.
5/ Rotate your head back along your target line to your ball as you let your shoulders rock your putter back on that same line and then up your target line IN A CONTINUOUS SEQUENCE OF MOTION.

Good putters practice putting without bending their wrist and only rocking their shoulders to swing their putter straight up their target line. Practice putting by locking your leading wrist using GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

GOLF LAW #19: You can hit a 2-acre fairway 10% of the time, and a 2-inch branch 90% of the time.

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GOLF CONSISTENCY for Recreational Golfers

So you have been trying to increase your driving distance and consistency for your whole golfing life. How would you like to hit 10 perfect shots in a row with each of your club? Your golden golfing solution is about to be revealed. The good news is that you have known the answer for years but you rarely EXECUTE all 3 of the moves in the same swing.

It’s the reason why you make some perfect shots where your swing is effortless and your ball flies on the perfect path to your target. You only have to make 3 moves in every swing to create more power for more distance, direction control and consistency.

You always knew about these 3 moves but you may not have FOCUSED on making them happen in every swing. Just focus on making the moves happen. Setup with a proper grip and stance “uncomfortably closer to your ball” (as recommended by a scratch golfer). [It may only be 1 inch closer than your normal stance but only you will know the feeling.]

Check out Rory’s flat wrist and then his launch from inside and up his target line. PERFECTION

1/ Straight Arm & Flat Wrist: Take your club back in your backswing keeping your leading arm straight, your leading wrist flat and YOUR EYE ON THE BALL. [Limit your backswing at the point where your leading arm wants to bend as your straight leading arm controls the perfect distance to your ball.]

2/ Graze Your Rib-cage with your Trailing Elbow: Keep your trailing armpit closed during the start of your takeaway to force your shoulders and hips to rotate as your trailing arm passes your body. [That automatically setups you up to swing from the inside and up your target line as you impact your ball.] NOTE: Your driver is a longer club so your trailing arm is further from your body but you should still feel your trailing arm swing down and grazing your rib-cage as you release from the inside and up your target line.

3/ Bend Your Trailing Elbow to Cock Your FLAT Wrist: Bending your trailing elbow, naturally pulls your leading, flat-wristed hand back to create a 90 degree lag angle from your forearm to your club shaft. [Just bend your tailing arm and the lag setups automatically.]

The momentum of the transition at the top of your swing will naturally start the shift of your weight from your trailing foot to your leading foot. Pull your arms down and then whip your wrist from the inside and up your target line to release the power of your club.

Practice your swing at the driving range and take that feeling with you to the golf course. You will know when you have it right when your swing is effortless, impact feels like butter and you finish in balance as you watch your ball float directly at your target. Of course you should practice with your GOLFSTR+ to perfect both your flat wrist and straight arm swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

GOLF LAW #23: A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.

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Golf is a Mental Game !

Non-golfers think you have to be mentally unstable to play this game.  So let’s put the non-golfer thoughts aside for this blog and cover some of the mental problems that we may have with our game. Why are there so many products offering to help you hit 4 yards, 10 yards or 30 yards longer on every drive or the perfect chip for the latest and greatest wedge?

It’s a MENTAL GAME! If you believe in success, you can make it happen. FAT CHANCE!

Advertisers know that every golfer is looking for a new easier way to improve their game. If they can make you believe that they have the miracle cure then they win by making a sale. Fortunately we all want to believe that their offer of new and improved product will fix our game. That’s why we buy the latest and greatest. Of course a small percentage of our perfect shots will prove that we have made the right decision to purchase a new solution for our golf game.

I love those offers for golf socks that are “Scientifically Proven” to improve your game. They add 13 yards for your average driver shot and 6 yards for your average 6 iron shot. High resolution ads with inspiring music (that block out half of whatever the announcer is saying) get you in the mood to make your purchase. Too bad that the socks (in all colors) are regular high cut socks and the demonstration golfer is wearing low cut white socks. The golfer talks about a game of small improvements to help you make your purchase.  Anything to sell the product.

Socks that fit well! Copper infused gloves! Lead lined jockstraps! What’s next? Golfers really are a crazy lot. We will almost try anything as long as it promises to improve our game. Unfortunately ONLY consistent controlled shots will lower your score. Lessons and practice will help you make the perfect layup. Longer controlled shots will happen as your strength and game improve.

Obvious Mental Improvements
Wearing products to make you feel good and playing with clubs that are comfortable for your game are both good ideas for the average recreational golfer. Unfortunately you really should be looking for solutions to improve the CONSISTENCY OF YOUR SWING for driving, approach shots and putting. Looking and feeling good is a nice start but it’s NOT going to lower your score.

Your practice swing with a speed that you can duplicate during your actual swing is so important to your mental success.

Practice with products like GOLFSTR+ to swing on plane with wrist lag, a straight leading arm and a flat leading wrist for more consistent, controlled shots. When you hear that whoosh at the point of impact you know that your swing is in control. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

GOLF LAW #18: The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.

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Play it Safe and Cut Your Score

In a recent GOLF CHANNEL BLOG, Rory McIlroy said that he is no longer “Playing it Safe”. He explained this week at Torrey Pines. “I have my own style of play but sometimes I get into situations and I become a little too conservative.” The pros can make decisions, like Rory, in their game but recreational players should NOT be influenced by their comments. The pros play in another world.

When recreational golfers are playing a round of golf, we start to recall that we have seen televised rounds of golf where the risk reward is high and the pros go for it. Shake your head and get back to reality. If your Handicap Index is higher than 10 you really need to “Play it Safe”. Avoid the sand traps, water and bushes.

A classic Rory McIlroy focus on his ball, well after he launches his shot. Focus on hitting the perfect shot to a safe landing area.

Get Smart:
Why do we get so bold when we see the opportunity for an easy par? Yesterday I had a 140 yard shot over a trap to hit a downhill slope on the green and then I bounced into the back end of a sand trap on the far side of the green. I’ve played that hole before and I knew that I had never held that green in the past. Why did I take my second shot (with such a high risk) and end up with a 7 after I hit out of 2 traps on that par 4?  The easy shot was to land on the front of the green in 2 and then 2 or 3 putt for a maximum 5.

This game drives us crazy because the pros put us in a mindset where we think we can make these risky shots. The best solution is to watch LPGA matches where many of the ladies layup on the par 5’s and go for the perfect pitch shot for an easy birdie.

Take a reality check. Before you play your next round of golf, decide to play conservatively. Use your woods and irons off the tee where it makes sense. Go for the easy shots, layup before those long shots over the water and go for the safe shots in the center of the green. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to improve every shot in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

GOLF LAW #17: It’s not a gimme if you’re still 4 feet away.

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Golf Success is Based on Simplicity

Over the past many years I have discovered and shared many gems of golfing knowledge with you. I try to internalize many of these gems in my game. I now realize that learning to be a consistent golfer is like a journey through life. If you don’t get rid of your bad habits, your game will never improve. On the other hand if you don’t simplify your thoughts by absorbing good habits you will drive yourself crazy with this game.

I have recently been exploring the thoughts of very low handicap golfers. They all seem to have a passion for simplifying their swing and minimizing thoughts during the swing.
1/ They focus on a simple thought that they know will improve their power or their consistency or direction control. [Like wide takeaway or flat or bowed wrist.]
2/ Their thought is only on improving or eliminating a weakness in their swing.
3/ They depend on their basic swing and a calm mental attitude to create consistent shots without any focus on the swing that has been ingrained in their minds and bodies
4/ They focus on a position or motion that they know will create their planned draw, fade, high or low shot.
5/ Brooks Keopka said that he knows the shape of his swing required to deliver his ball to a target. He just goes into automatic pilot to deliver the power needed to generate a shot without any specific thought in his mind.  He feels the shot before he makes the shot.

Improve your consistency by swinging on one plane from inside to outside.

Recreational Golfers may never get to this simple state of mine. You only have a few second to complete your swing. That does not give you a lot of time for many thoughts. Take comfort in the fact that you have already chosen the right stance, the right club, a proper grip and a relaxed state of mind before you make your swing. Feel your swing with a complete practice swing and then deliver your swing with a single thought for excellence.

Early in my round I concentrate on a slower backswing by counting 1,2 and then counting 3 in the downswing. My only thought is straight leading arm and flat leading wrist (as I now realize that a bowed or cupped leading wrist is hurting my consistency).  Another low handicap golfer only focuses on a straight back take-away and shallowing his club during his lag and release (looping down to release from the slot). [Sounds like a Jim McLean thought as shown in the image above.]

Simplicity with fewer angles seems to be the best approach for consistency. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

GOLF LAW #16: Non-chalant putts count the same as chalant putts.  [Make every putt count the way they count in a money game.]

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Driving Range Excellence vs Course Jitters

Why do you think it is so easy to hit perfect practice shots on the practice range? Being relaxed helps but the consistent flat surface makes all the difference. Taking your game from the practice range to the golf course is all about your ability to relax and adjust for the changing slope of the ground that you are standing on.

Flat Contact on a Flat Surface: Flat contact with the toe and heel of your club is critical to ensure that your club face is not opening or closing at impact with your ball and the ground. If your club hits the ground before impact with your ball you may lose control of your club face and the direction of your shot. Setup with your club edge lying flat on the ground.

Club Fitter Adjustments: It’s easy for a club fitter to test for your natural angle of impact on a flat surface. They measure you impact point with tape along the lower edge of your club. If you are impacting with the heel or toe of your club they can change the angle of your club head by a few degrees to help you eliminate your “built in” draw or fade.

It’s easy to practice on a driving range flat surface. How do you take those shots to the course?

Every Tee Box Should be Flat: Your driver is the most difficult club to hit as you are trying to add power and distance from the tee box. Make sure that the surface from your feet to your ball is DEAD FLAT. If the surface is sloped to the left you will tend to pull left and if the surface is sloped right you will tend to push your shot right (for right handed golf clubs). Shift your trailing foot in or out to compensate for the direction of your launch direction.

Your Tee Height and Forward position Affect Your Ball Flight: On a flat tee box, you setup your ball on a tee (higher than the ground height) and you line up the ball directly out from the heel of your leading foot. If you don’t shift your weight properly to your leading foot you will typically pull your shot left.  Let your body shift forward as you swing through the shot.

Fairway Slope Problems: Small adjustments can create a huge impact on every shots. Be very aware that the surface of the ground that you stand on is rarely dead flat. The slope of the ground from your feet to the ball has a major impact on the direction and distance of your shot. Adjust for ground depth with your knees or by choking down on your club. Reduce the loft of your club for an uphill lie and increase you loft for a downhill lie. Attempt to align your body so that the trunk of your body is perpendicular to the ground Feel your swing with a practice swing before you address your ball.

One of the major factors in setting the Slope Rating for a course is the rugged terrain of the fairways. With the right setup and club selection you can improve your changes for excellent shots. Adjust and make a practice swing to FEEL your shot before you move up to your ball. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

GOLF LAW #15: Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut.

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