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

Is Tiger Over the Hill at 42?

I think NOT!  We should all take a lesson from Tiger on things you may want to do or NOT do to be successful in golf. We all know that Tiger was on the edge of beating Jack Nicklaus and every other golfer in most of the important records in golf. Now that it appears that Tiger is back on the right path, let’s take stock of the changes that he had to make to get back on track.

I got on Tigers Band Wagon when he turned 42 in December 2017, about 11 months after his last spinal fusion operation. He placed 9th out of 18 pros participating in the Hero World Challenge. That was pretty amazing but it was miraculous that he had more birdies than anyone of the other competitors. Sure he had some bogies that put him in 9th place but his success proved that he has the skills to drive, chip and putt, just like the good old days. All he has to do is improve his consistency and he will be a winner.

At 59, in 2009, Tom Watson missed winning The Open when he missed 2 shots on the final hole. It was a mental collapse but his success shows us all that a win is always possible when you are older than 30. Sure there have been 8 different winners this year so far and a lot of them are in their 20’s but Tiger is gunning for them.

Rory McIlroy said that it would be the greatest comeback in sports history if Tiger won the Masters. Unfortunately he placed tied for 32. The pressure at that tournament was still beyond Tiger. But there is hope as he can still create miracle shots. He just has to put more of them together.

Tiger and Stevie remember so many great shots. This is definitely a Sunday round in his traditional red shirt. (2005 with a chip-in on the 16th at Augusta to win his 4th Masters)

A recent PGA weekly blog by the 2013 PGA National Teacher of the Year, Lou Guzzi stated: “Tiger Woods is excelling with a focus on ‘feel.’ He’s not overthinking. He’s imagining the shot he wants to hit and then he hits it.”

Guzzi mentioned a funny story about one time when the great Bobby Jones was asked what he thought about when he swung a club. Replied Jones: “The last thing that worked.” That is exactly where Tiger needs to be (and what we all need to do).  USE YOUR MIND TO REMEMBER SUCCESS AND THEN DO IT. Keep your focus on the feel for each shot. Remember your great shots and then just duplicate that calm, focused swing.

Tiger knows this. His focus is on the feel for the shot but even more important is the consistency of the shot that he is trying to make. It’s a reminder for all of us to not let our minds take over with a killer swing that will ruin our shots.

Prediction:  Tiger Will Win (if not this week, soon)
Tigers returns to Quail Hollow and the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship this week in Charlotte, N.C. His last win was on this course in 2007. It was his 57th career victory. The then-31-year-old Woods finished with a 13-under 275, the lowest score in the history of the tournament at that time. I’m expecting at least a top 3 finish this week for Tiger.

Tiger is not over the hill! He and you can control every shot with mental focus and an internal feel for the shot you want to make. Practice with GOLFSTR+ and achieve those same great shots when you take your game to the course. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

Love to hear your thought and I will report on your reaction (sale@golfstr.com)  or add your comment below.

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Fewer Putts Win Games!

I was hoping to write about Tiger’s success at the Masters this week but Patrick Reed stole the show with his putting on those extremely difficult Augusta greens. He really reminded us that if you can chip it close or putt it close, you can win this game. His 80 foot putt on the 17th green hit the hole to keep his ball at 6 feet for the par putt. He did many things right but that one saved the day. It also reminds us how important putting is for our games.

GolfRX also pointed out a “staggering statistic wrecking golf… 41.6% of your shots are putts.” So you better pay attention.

To help you catch up with Patrick’s game, Golf Tips Magazine released an article by Tom Patri, PGA, TP Golf Schools, Naples Florida about his favorite putting secrets. Following are the jewels of his article:

Confidence
The more you practice, the better you putt and the more confidence you gain. But you do need sound fundamentals and practice routines for direction control and distance control. Putting is a skill developed by FEEL (for the green speed as the conditions change, even throughout your round). With practice, you will learn to adjust for the feel for each putt. Eventually you will believe that you can sink every putt and your skill will improve.

Setup with the ball forward of the center of your stance to hit up on the ball for the right roll. Hit dead center on the putter face using the “Gate Drill”.

There are no short cuts to being a great putter like Jordan Spieth or Ben Crenshaw. Reading greens and then making the right putt will make you a great putter.  More experience will give you the feel for better results.  So learn the right setup and swing and practice with putting games to improve your skill.

Mechanics:
1/ Setup: ball position (forward of middle, under your left breast), eye line-up (over the target line), balanced stance, light grip and a square putter face through impact.
2/ Head and lower body are locked on the ball while the arms swing square through impact.  Then hold for 2 seconds after impact (don’t look up, dummy).
3/ Flat Wrist Locked: Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to swing with a locked leading wrist to control your square club face up your target line (not at the hole).

Keep Your Mind Quiet
“A quiet ‘coconut’ ensures contact at the center of the putter face which is vital to the player’s athletic brain calibrating swing speed and distance control.  Speed control, I feel, is the most critical skill to be developed to become a great putter.”

Drills;
Lag Drill: Put 4 tees in a 4 x 4 foot square at about 30 feet from your starting point. Then putt 3 balls at a time from different positions as you move toward the hole. Getting it inside the 4 X 4 square ensures a 2 foot second putt.

Gate Drill: Practice putting through a gate setup with 2 tees spread out a little wider than the length of your putter head. Making every putt from the dead center of your putter is key for straight putts up your target line.   For 5 or 10 foot putts, place a second gate of tees about half way to the hole.

Practice putting using your GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading wrist locked so that you can hit every putt on the dead center of your putter. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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How do the MASTERS Deal with Nerves?

You would think that Tiger could deal with first tee jitters on the first day of the Masters. Well he put his drive into the trees and had to create a  miracle shot to par the first hole.  On the 4th day the final paring of Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy also blew their first hole tee shots . If they have first tee jitters, how are we supposed to take control before every one of our shots? David Leadbetter came up with some pretty sensible ideas that I felt you should consider.

If you have been reading any of the recent GOLFSTR Swing Tips, you should know that your physical and mental preparation is critical for every round of golf.

Jason Day visualizes his shot as he relaxes his mind and body.

A. Getting to the driving range and practice green are extremely important to test out your swing thoughts  for each club and to get a feel for the speed of the greens.
B. Even more important is your ability to warm up your muscles for flexibility. You need a full range of motion before you make your first drive.

 

Confidence in your swing is only going to happen if you work on it. Know that your straight arm swing and balanced finish will produce the results that you want. But you need 3 keys to make every swing click:
1/ Relax your mind as you select the right club and recall how you have executed amazing results in the past. Focus on what went right for you so that you can make a Calm and Relaxed swing.
2/ Focus on deep breathing techniques in between shots and in your pre-shot routine. This makes your muscles contract and your nerves are instantly calmed.
3/ Maintain a light grip pressure throughout the round. Fear causes you to tense up your grip. David Leadbetter suggests that you should “Try to imagine tension and nerves leaving your body” as you loosen your grip pressure.

Build confidence for every swing in your game with GOLFSTR+. When you feel tension remember to focus on positive swing memories, breathe deeply and loosen your grip. Remember these 3 thoughts and improve the consistency of your swing by practicing with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

 

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NOTE: Learn from the Masters !

It’s a wonderful feeling to watch the Masters and warm up for our Summer golf season. I hope you were trying to glean any tidbits to improve your game this year. If you were paying attention, you would have seen how Patrick Reed (the surprise winner) definitely gave us lessons to improve our putting and patience. I’m going to save the putting story for next week’s blog and will focus on the one skill that every golfer needs: PATIENCE.

More rounds of golf are blown by golfers who lose their patience and turn a mistake into a disastrous sequence of holes. We all focus on the special skills needed to execute each swing or each putt. However, we often forget that patience is probably the easiest skill to apply to anything we do in life but the Impatient Bogie Man  jumps on our back when we least expect him.

Patrick Reed was leading by 3 strokes after 3 rounds. He and his team created a plan to win using patience during the 4th round. How often do you try to make the impossible shot and then end up carding a double or triple bogie on a hole. And then the problem carries over to the next hole.

Patrick Reed won the Masters with the right strategy to win: PATIENCE

Patrick Reed’s PATIENCE Won the Masters
Patrick bogeyed the 11th hole, which opened the door for Rickie Fowler and Jordon Spieth. The pressure was on but he kept his focus and birdied the 12th. The real test came on the par 5, 15th hole when his drive landed within hitting distance to the green but was blocked by trees. He chose to layup, chip close to the hole and make his par.

He could have tried for the hero shot but he may have recalled a story by Ben Hogan when he had the lead on a final day of the Masters and decided to layup. When asked why he laid up, he said “I didn’t need a 3”. On that day Ben chipped his 3rd shot close and sank the putt.

Advice from the Pro
Our club pro gave me similar advice. If your ball is in the rough or blocked by a tree, take your medicine and hit to a safe position for your next shot. You’re playing 18 holes so you have many holes where you can still lower your score. Don’t let one hole destroy your patience and your round.

Patience is probably the most important skill that you need to take to the course for every round of golf. If you don’t have patience you will lose your focus. When your ball is in a bad location, take a deep breathe to clear your brain. Think about the right shot that you have been practicing with your GOLFSTR+.  Make the right decision.  Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

            GOLFSTR Ad as seen in GOLF TIPS Magazine (CALL 905-464-8718 for info)

 

 

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Get All 4 Factors Right: BINGO

Wouldn’t you like to know what causes good shots and bad shots? I’ve been trying to figure this out for years and I have finally narrowed it down to 4 factors that make our golf swings click. I now realize that STRENGTH, SKILL, FLEXIBILITY and FOCUS are the critical factors for successful golf. If you miss one or more of them, your swing results will not be pretty. Ideally, to lower your scores, you need to get a grip on all 4 of these factors for every shot to control your game.

I realized this while watching Dustin Johnson in the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play Tournament. DJ is the World Leader on the Money Ranking List. He had also won that tournament last year. So why did he get blown away in the first 3 elimination matches? I don’t have any inside connections but I do know that he has the strength, skill and flexibility to make the shots to win every match. Something must have been distracting his FOCUS.

What Are the Critical Features in Each Factor?
STRENGTH: Strength can be caused by your developed muscles, your energy level, your hyper active reaction caused by the food you are eating or the amount of sleep you are getting. As it turns out, you need a balance of strength. Over strengthening your upper body may be destroying your lower body (the way that Tiger destroyed his back). Building up energy with too much sugar will also change the rhythm of your swing. Focus on balancing your strength each time you play 18 holes of golf.

SKILL: There are as many ways to swing a golf club as there are golfers. We really should try to emulate all of the best golfers but their best shots are consistently caused by the point of impact and direction of their follow-through. Jim Furyk has a lot different swing than Ernie Els but the result can be exactly the same. You have to learn the skill for the perfect impact and release. Repetitive practice with GOLFSTR+ can make all the difference.

FLEXIBILITY: If you want to have a consistent golf swing, you need to warm up your muscles and create the same rotation in your backswing and follow-through for every swing. Couch potatoes are not too flexible. The older you get the more you should be working out with yoga or basic stretch exercises. Sitting on a couch with a good book or watching TV is not doing the trick for you. Completing a full backswing with wrist lag is the only way to compensate for weaker muscles. All the girls on the LPGA circuit can do it and so can you. [Click here to watch a great video on developing flexibility for a straight arm backswing and check out the notes below about PRACTICING WITH GOLFSTR]

FOCUS: You need a sharp mind to plan every shot. The golf swing does not just happen naturally until you get into the “zone”. Your mind has to tune in to that feeling of the perfect cadence for every club and every distance that you know you can achieve. Sort out your success swing with each club at the practice range and keep that thought throughout your round. If you can’t keep your focus, use reminder word like “sweep in and up” (for your driver and irons) or “one, two” for your putts.

Decide on the factors that are messing up your scores. If you don’t make changes you will struggle with golf for the rest of your life. It’s a wonderful game when it all clicks and your scores start to drop. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ and make it happen. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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New Golf Rules Should be Adopted Today!

 

The US Golf Association and the R&A have announced changes to The Rules of Golf which will be effective at the professional level in January 2019. I’m all for adopting these rules at the club level today. Here is an abbreviated listing of the new rules.

 

 

General Rules

Its about time that we souped up this game. Speed up and Simplify.

> Dropping procedure: When taking relief, drop from knee height.
> Measuring in taking relief: Use your driver for a 1 or 2 club length relief.
> Removing the penalty for a double hit: When you make a continuous swing.
> Balls Lost or Out of Bounds: Allow golfers the option to drop a ball in the vicinity of where the ball was lost (two-stroke penalty) or re-hit from the initial spot (counting a second stoke plus a penalty stroke).
> Elimination of “ball moved” penalty: There will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball.

 

Relaxed putting green rules:
> There will be no penalty if a ball hits an unattended flag stick.
> Players may repair spike marks and other damage
> There is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt.

Relaxed hazard rules:
> There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.

Relaxed bunker rules:
> There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club.
> You are still NOT allowed to intentionally ground your club next to the ball.
> Unplayable Ball: It can be dropped outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.
> Relying on player integrity: It is up to a player’s best judge when lifting a ball (checking for ownership or damage) or choosing a line of entry into a hazard (without making an announcement).
> Pace-of-play support: Play ready golf. Up to 3 minutes to search for a lost ball and 40 seconds to play a stroke.

It’s about time that someone brought some common sense to this game. Too bad they didn’t go farther. They could have included: Move your ball out of a divot, clean mud off your ball, remove an embedded ball from the wall of a sand trap or the ground. It takes a long time to make changes in a historic game. Don’t forget to practice with your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Focus for Consistent Golf !

You can’t be good at this game if you have blow-up holes. Why are you trying to hit your record long drive or miracle shot with pin point accuracy when the pros have a hard time doing it every time they swing a club? In many of the major tournaments MOST OF THE PROS are not even breaking par. The TV cameras only focus on the top 10 golfers who are making the miracle shots or birdie putts. The rest of the field is struggling (but not as badly as we do). Don’t try to play the same game!

Golf is a game of consistency for 18 holes with 3 to 5 unique shots on every hole. You need to set a plan to give yourself the best chance to par every hole. Here are some suggestions that you should be considering:

FOCUS! Close your mind. Its just you against the course. Make it happen!

1/ Swing at the same speed with every club. If you alter your swing speed, its difficult to change the cadence of your body with relationship to your club speed. If you don’t synchronize every motion in the attempted slower version of your swing, you will most likely end up leaving your club face open and spraying your shot wide.

2/ Adjust your distance for each club by gripping down on your club and swinging at your normal speed. When you know that you have too much club, just choke down on the grip to hit a shorter distance. This is the only way to ensure consistency.

3/ Play a game with your mind to hit 18 out of 18 fairways in regulation. Blow-up holes are typically caused by a bad drive. Every golfer should know their “big miss”. If you tend to stand too far from your ball and hit it off the toe, check your setup every time. It takes constant focus to get this right so add a tick on your score card to track your success. Check to see if you bogie or double bogies correlate with your missed drives.

4/ Hitting your GIR (Greens in Regulation), is the real focus for your game. The pros are happy when they hit 75% of their GIR so anything over 50% is a good target for you too.

5/ If you are having problems keeping your leading arm straight and creating lag with your trailing arm, you should buy a GOLFSTR+ and use it to train for a more consistent swing. Improve the cadence in your backswing and limit your backswing when you feel GOLFSTR+ touch your forearm as you make your transition to your downswing.

Learn to focus on each shot. Make your shot selection, select your club and select your last perfect shot with that club (out of your memory bank). Hold that thought and enjoy your success.

Take your mind into a trance as you recall your last perfect swing with the club that you are about to swing. Use the words “calm and relaxed” to take your mind into your focused state of mind. If you need more practice to learn the right swing, buy a GOLFSTR+ and use it for 6 swing fixes with your driver, fairway clubs, irons and putter. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Which is Better: Longer or Straighter Drives?

Golf tips that we read or see on TV may be damaging our thought process as we prepare and execute every swing in our game. I started to realize this while reading a blog from Top Speed Golf. Clay asked the question: Is it better to drive longer or straighter? He referenced the earnings of the longest driving pros to declare that longer is more important than straighter. If you are not a pro, I don’t think that this relates to YOU.

Don’t get sucked in by the blogs that you read about swinging faster to hit longer. What you read about the top 1% of golfers, most likely will not apply to the recreational golfer. Consider the following facts to improve your game:

1/ The Haney Project on the Golf Channel tried to train celebrities like Charles Barkley to learn a proper golf swing. Some of the celebrities like Ray Romano, improved their games by controlling the tempo of their swing but Barkley could not get rid of the hitch in his downswing. Swing change is difficult.

2/ Jim McLean endorsed the amazing improvement that you can expect with a wedged plastic boot that was worn on your trailing foot to force you to push forward and finish forward in your swing. It was a nice endorsement but the product died when the contract ended. Don’t believe everything you hear.

3/ Have you ever noticed that a golfer who hits 3, short hits, straight up the fairway on every hole will avoid the rough & hazards and typically avoid double bogies?

I predict this!   Tiger is back!    Hit more fairways like Tiger and your scores will drop. 

4/ Tiger hits long drives. When Tiger is missing over 10 fairways in a round, he seems to be able to scramble from the trees or the rough but his score still suffer. Don’t try to scramble like Tiger because it is so much easier to hit from the fairway.

5/ When you swing with a smooth rhythm; hit your ball in the center of your club face; finish your swing in perfect balance and see your ball land exactly where you wanted to hit it: were you trying to kill the ball or were you trying to lay the ball up to a nice comfortable location?

I love the recent thoughts from GolfersRx: “A golfer’s finish position tells you whether or not they made a well-balanced swing. It basically comes down to this… If you’re off-balance at any point from set-up to follow-through, you’ll be off-balance at the finish.”

When you swing your arms faster than your hips and body rotation, you are swinging out of sync. Use your practice swing to feel the start of your weight transfer from your trailing leg as you approach the top of your swing. Feel like your club is heavy at the top of your swing so that you will swing from the ground up (trailing foot, hips, torso and finally the arms). Take your time to hit with the same 80% swing rhythm every time.

Faster and harder is NOT farther especially if it lands off the fairway. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn the right swing cadence for YOUR body. Learn your calm and relaxed swing on the driving range and THEN take it to the course. Learn to control your arms and wrists during your swing with GOLFSTR+ and hit more fairways. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Straight Arm Builds Power and Consistency

Why are golf training videos of professional golfers always showing a straight leading arm in the back swing and down swing? It seems so easy to bend your leading arm and wrist to achieve the same effect? A bent arm works well for baseball. Unfortunately, Golf is a whole new ball game.

The primary focus of golf is to hit that little stationary ball on the center of the face of each club. Swing speed and direction control are really secondary concerns but your game is destroyed without them. Your straight leading arm gives you a consistent distance to the ball at a maximum arm distance for maximum power. Distance control is wasted if you don’t cock your wrist to create lag in your back swing and release your wrist at the right time in your down swing. In addition to a more consistent swing on your chosen swing plane, you will increase your club head speed for more power and distance.

Test your Destructive Bent Arm Swing
Try to make a backswing by only bending your arms and wrists to wrap your club around your back [without rotating your shoulders and hips]. Notice that your club will naturally point down across your back. You can also bend your wrists and arms to lift your club and point it up over your head. When you swing your club from either of these positions, it’s difficult to make enough corrections to find the right swing plane to consistently hit your ball with direction control. This test proves that you need to use your shoulders and hips to add power to your smooth swing in a consistent plane.

Tiger does it and you should too. PREDICTION: Tiger will win this year.

Lesson Learned
Another benefit of keeping your leading arm straight in your backswing is that it forces the rotation of your shoulders and then your hips. That coiling effect by your spine in your backswing allows your club head to travel a longer distance as it accelerates back down through your ball. The sequence of uncoiling your body and releasing your wrists, generate your club head speed.

Benefits:
1/ A straight leading arm forces you to rotate your chest in the takeaway.

You can feel GOLFSTR+ touching the back of your straight leading arm. It’s a great reminder.

2/ If you don’t keep your leading arm straight, you will naturally swing over the top .

3/ Rotate your shoulders and hips before you lift your arms and cock your wrists.

4/ Reverse the order when you uncoil from the ground up. Shift your weight from your trailing leg as you uncoil your hips, shoulders, arms and finally your wrist release through the ball.

GOLFSTR+ is the ideal training aid to remind you to keep your leading arm straight in the backswing.  It can also be used to create a 90 degree bend in your trailing elbow for the perfect lag at the top of your swing. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Aging Bodies Need a NEW Focus!

I was shocked to hear this: “Golfers over the age of 50 lose 10 pounds of muscle every 10 years”.  Guess this means that the extra weight that I’m putting on is at least 10 pounds of FAT.  I found this information in a promotion for a seminar about the proper way to exercise if you want to lower your scores after you pass 50.

It was even more disturbing to read in Morning Read (Golf at a Glance),  that most golfers peak in strength at about age 30. Pros train more, so they maintain strength through their 30s better than the rest of us.  An overwhelming majority of golfers are older than 30, meaning that we are losing strength and distance every year.

At the very least you should be doing some basic stretch exercises before you play a round of golf.

Most of GOLFSTR customers are over 40 so you should be interested in these recommendations.

1/  Flexibility is the #1 cause of poor consistency and loss of power.

2/  Golfers over the age of 50 are more prone to back, hip and shoulder injuries.

3/  If you want power from your golf specific muscles then you better exercise them.

We all know that endurance, strength, balance and flexibility decrease as we age.  If you want to enjoy your life over the age of 40, take up golf , swimming, tennis or pickle ball.  They will also drive you to do more strengthening and flexibility exercises.   I you don’t keep in shape, your body and game will suffer.

Tips to Keep in Shape:

1/  Find you favorite strengthening and stretch exercises for golf on the internet.  There are so many floor exercises and stretch band exercises to choose from on the internet. ( I hope you saw Lindsy Vonn working out with a stretch band before her Olympic ski runs.)  Or you can look up exercises recommended on Your GOLFSTR Swing Support Center

2/  When you sit down in front of the TV, make that your trigger to start your exercises.  Get your lazy butt on the floor and start stretching and working out.

3/  When the weather is beautiful, get out and work on your yard and gardens or just go for a long walk.

4/  Golf is a great sport but you may want to consider taking up indoor sports when the weather is not ideal for golf.  Swimming at the YMCA or racquet sports are excellent sports to keep your muscles active.

5/  Join an aerobics class (for muscle mass) or yoga class (for flexibility).

Whatever you do, get moving!  Your game will suffer if you don’t get rid of some of that belly fat and replace it with your new macho look.  You can also go to the the driving range and practice with your GOLFSTR+.  Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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