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
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Golf is a very personalized game. Every shot that you make depends on your absolute focus to apply YOUR BEST knowledge for success. You have to block out any external interference from your environment and your foursome. It really comes down to your personal skill in making a prefect shot every time you swing a club.
Don’t kid yourself: Consistent hitting with every club is NOT easy. You should study your swing for every club and take lessons to correct your swing. You need to understand what’s wrong with YOUR swing BEFORE you can develop consistency. Then use these tips to achieve the success you want on the course.
Play the Tees for your Age and Strength: If you can’t reach the green on in 2 strokes on par 4’s with 50% of your attempts then more to forward tees.
Weather Can Be your Friend or Your Enemy: Don’t expect your low rounds on a windy or rainy day. They will be more challenging and frustrating.
Avoid Blow-up Holes: If you make a poor shot by mishitting or landing in a hazard, accept your mistake and work on performing the best recover shot to a safe location. Don’t compound your error by trying to make a hero shot and ending up with a SNOWMAN 8.
Believe in your Skills for Every Shot: When you prepare for every shot remember the great shots that you have made when you relax with a full backswing and a balanced finish. Think positive words like “I’m calm and I can do this.” It’s only 18 holes and if you can par 1 hole you can par them all.
Play with Partners who can Inspire You: Play with friends who play at your speed. Who can relax your mind and take your mind off the low score that you are shooting.
Luck Helps: If you make a bad shot don’t start stewing over it until your find your ball. Focus on knowing your ball location and finding your ball, then sort out a positive solution. More often than not, you get a lucky break so that you can salvage a bogey. Find the positive and make the best of it.
Don’t Focus on a Low Target Number: Don’t focus on your end result. You can’t afford to be thinking about your chances to make a birdie or the glory if you break 90 or 80. Block those thoughts out. Make your prefect practice swing with the right cadence and a balanced finish. Then repeat that swing to execute the shot. Staying totally focused on the shot that you are making is your best way to make a final winning score.
Pros who lose their focus and start thinking about the glory of finishing with a win, never win. That’s why pros often have an emotional breakdown when they finally realize their accomplishment after their final winning putt. They can’t afford to start thinking about victory celebrations or they will they will lose that calm balanced finish on every swing. The same principals apply to you.
Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to control the 6 key components of your swings. Building confidence and consistency will help you reach more milestones in your game and solve the Golf Truism below. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #84: Golf is the only sport where the most feared opponent is YOU.
Technology in the advancement of the golf ball design over the past 70 years has been revolutionary for the game of golf. But, you need to take advantage of the technology that fits your game. Your swing speed is the key factor in determining the ideal ball for your game, so you should choose wisely.
In the 1950’s, golf balls normally ended their life with a deep cut through the cover. As a kid I spent hours cutting off the skin of those damaged balls, finding the end of the single strand of elastic and running out hundreds of yards of elastic banding to get to the rubber core of the ball. I was amazed at the elastic stretching and wrapping process that must have been used to create those balls.
More recently balls are made from multiple cores of rubber with various formulations for durability and flexibility. One manufacturer tried to change the manufacturing concept by using a metal ball bearing for the core of the ball. The PGA never approved that design even though the manufacturer argued that it had superior features of length and control over other balls. In my experience I could never get that ball to draw and constantly hit fades with it until I deepsixed it in a pond.
You may have seen slow motion videos where a club deforms a ball at the point of impact, but this video shows a 150 Mile Per Hour impact of a ball on a steel plate. It’s incredible that the ball returns to a round shape after this impact.
I included this video to help you understand that you need a swing speed of at least 100 MPH to compress the 3 part Titleist Pro V-1 golf ball.Bryson DeChambeau has a swing speed of 133 MPH. The typical swing speed of 20 to 50 year old golfer can be over 100 MPH. That’s the minimum swing speed needed to benefit from the 3 part Pro V-1.
Aging golfers like myself have swing speeds of about 80 MPH. We are wasting money buying premium balls like the Pro V-1. We can get more distance with softer balls like the TitleistNX Tour which is a 2 stage ball. Of course, there are many balls that will suit your game but I have highlighted the Titleist reference as they provided this video and associated information.
Improve your game with golf balls that match your swing speed. Unfortunately golf balls may get you closer to the hole on every shot but GOLFSTR+ will help you refine your swing to reduce your scores on every hole. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com
Golf Truism #83: Golf! You hit down to make the ball go up. You swing left and the ball goes right. The lowest score wins. And on top of that, the winner buys the drinks.
I was happy to see that Colby on a recent GolfersRX blog suggested putting with a swing like a pendulum. As a graduate engineer I decided to swing my putter like a pendulum many years ago. It really is the only way to direct a putt directly up your target line. If you read the breaks and hit the right target line with the right speed, you should be able to sink more putts. A perfect “pendulum” swing is ideal for your success.
Your your swing must impact the ball with a square face and with a follow through swing directly up your target line. Unfortunately, we all have a natural tendency to swing our putter around our body as our arms are attached to our rotating shoulders.
Pendulum vs Arc Putting Swing There are too many putting contraptions that encourage you to swing the putter in an arc as you rotate your body during the putt. This really is a dumb approach to putting as your putter only squares to your target line for a fraction of a second as it arcs around your body. If your ball is not resting exactly at that spot which is square to your target line, you will never hit it on the right path.A perfect pendulum swing is the only solution to minimize miss-directed putts.
The Colby Recommendation To eliminate the wrap around the body effect, he suggested that you practice with your leading left arm wrapped around your ribs to your right side while you practice putting with your trailing right hand (for right-handed putters). He stated that “the toe of the putter should turn over just slightly after impact”. Unfortunately, if you don’t place your ball on the perfect point before your putter turns over, you can expect a pulled putt.
Solution Because your leading arm is on your left side (for right-handed putters) it’s much easier to make a pendulum swing up your target line if you use your leading left arm to swing straight up your target line (and not around your body). That’s right, let your leading arm be your pendulum and your trailing arm my even let go of your putter as it impacts the ball (and continues swinging up your target line).
Grip your putter with a normal left-hand grip so that the back of your left hand is facing directly up your target line. Then steady your putter with an open fingered right hand (so that your thumb is open and parallel with your flat fingers). With this method your putter can slide out of your right hand after the point of impact as your left-hand swings your putter (like a pendulum)directly up the target line.
With this pendulum swing make sure that you move your ball forward and in line with your left armpit. That is the exact point where your putter is starting to swing up in its pendulum arc. Pete Styles at Golf-Info-Guide.com by Thomas Golf also suggests that your back swing should be 1/3 of your swing and your follow-through should be 2/3 to ensure that you accelerate through impact with the ball.
This putting technique will work for you if you practice finishing your putting stroke with your left arm swinging up your target line (and NOT around your body). You should also practice using GOLFSTR+ to lock your leading left wrist to ensure that you keep your flat leading wrist swinging directly up your target line. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #82: Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle, followed by a good bottle of beer.
Wouldn’t it be nice to score a round of golf where you could play a MULLIGAN every time you miss-hit a ball? I’m NOT talking about a shot that is a little off-line or short of your target. I’m talking about drives into the woods or fat fairway shots or thinned chips over the green. If you could cut out those miss-hits, you could shoot in the 80’s or even the 70’s. We have some suggestions to get you on track to avoid those miss-hits. [I wish we could totally eliminate miss-hits but I believe practicing as often as the pros could do the trick.]
Every successful shot has 4 DISTINCT STAGES. Don’t skip one: Preparation, Practice Swing, Mental Focus and Rhythm. Take your time and get these right to eliminate those miss-hits.
1/ Preparation Take your time to chose the right club to reach your target and to setup on the right target line. Knowing your normal draw or fade or the slope break on a green are all critical to making a good shot on the right target line. Don’t try for the high risk shots. Hit a layup if you know your shot will not hold the green. Get rid of your dumb thoughts while you have plenty of time to sort this out.
2/ Practice Swing After you choose your target line, take your practice swing stance. Make a perfect full practice swing with the exact backswing, lag and cadence that you need in order to hit your target line. Build confidence that you will swing with power for your drives;brush the grass with your fairway woods & hybrids and impact your ball before turf with your irons.
3/ Mental Focus Establish your confidence by remember past excellent shots with your club, which were caused by a full backswing, smooth release and a balanced finish. Be confident that you are about to duplicate that amazing feeling. [NO negative thoughts.]
4/ Duplicate Your Perfect Rhythm[These are your only thoughts during your swing.] Take your full, backswing (with time to flatten your leading wrist and add lag at the top). Let your hips start your downswing for a whooshing release that you can hear as you finish in a balance pose.
You may want to try using the count of “1 and 2” where “1 and” to help you slow down your takeaway for time to (a) flatten your wrist (to shallow your downswing) and (b) create wrist lag at the top. When you say “2”, starts your hip rotation for your downswing. Build confidence when you practice for consistent rhythm using your GOLFSTR+ to limit your wrist and arm angles. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #81: Everyone replaces their divot after a perfect approach shot.
Getting out of any bunker with a short or long shot is every golfers dream. A recent blog by GOLF Magazine gave us the 10 steps for success. These steps may not guaranty that you make more SANDIES (a bunker chip plus 1 putt) but they should at least help you reach and stay on the green.
1/ Balanced Stance: Setup with equal weight on both feet.
2/ Forward Ball Position: Your club must contact the sand before it slips under the ball so place the ball a few inches forward of the center of your stance and aim for your club to enter the sand directly in the center of your stance.
3/ Shuffle Into the Sand: You want to lower the height of your body to ensure that you club will power through the sand. Dig your feet down so that the soles of your shoes are below the level of the sand.
4/ Swing to Take Sand the Length of a Dollar Bill: Your swing needs to enter the sand just before the ball but more important it needs to take sand under the ball and well after the ball. Imagine that you are placing a quarter after the ball and that you have to clear the ball and the quarter out of the trap.
5/ Practice Pounding the Sand (without a ball): For short bunker shots open your club face and swing by pound the flat back of the club through the sand to practice taking sand out of the trap.
And For Longer Bunker Shots 6/ Practice Swinging with a Square Club Face (without hitting a ball): Swing with more power but make sure that you are throwing sand out of the trap.
7/ For Longer Shots Use Less Loft: Test your Gap Wedge and your Pitching Wedge to learn how far you can blast them out of a bunker for longer shots.
8/ Longer Bunker Shots Need a Full Swing: If you are not getting enough distance when you use less loft, add more shoulder turn with a shallow backswing to power through the sand.
9/ Finish your Swing:Never decelerate when you are hitting short or longer bunker shots. For shorter shots use an open face and finish with the same distance as your backswing. For a longer bunker shot use a square face and finish with an aggressive long divot to a high finish.
10/ Long Bunker Shots Need Speed: Don’t forget that you are still taking sand under your ball so it steals energy from your shot. Take a full swing with energy to make sure that you power both the sand and your ball to reach the green.
GOLFSTR+ can be used on your trailing wrist to limit your wrist bend for short bunker shots. It should also be used to practice 5 other swing fixes. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #80: The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination for the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all of your many other errors.
I love to see great tips from the old pros like Lee Trevino. I notice that his swing, like Jack Nicklaus’ swing evolved as he got older. They added features to increase rotation to minimize distance loss as their bodies tightened up with age. Lee suggested these changes:
1/ MOVE YOUR FOOT AWAY: Move your trailing foot back a few inches off the line parallel to your target line. It allows you to rotate for more backswing and avoid swinging over the top and slicing the ball.
2/ MOVE YOUR BALL BACK IN YOUR STANCE: Lee noticed that most of the aging golfers and want-to-be-golfers impact the turf about 2 to 3 inches behind the ball. Of course, that kills the distance. He suggests moving the ball back in your stance slightly for every shot that you make. He points out that you are swinging your arms around you body in a circular motion which pulls your club away from your ball and your target line. If you hit a lot of THIN shots, just move your ball back in your stance. (Pros shift their weight forward to avoid thin shots.)
3/ SWING STRAIGHT BACK: By swinging the head of your club straight back to start your backswing, you will force your shoulders to rotate more. You need to rotate your hips and shoulders and your arms but if you rush your swing you often miss the chance to rotate all 3 and add lag with your wrists. Remember: there is no need to rush your backswing. It is just the windup for your body and it only gets your club in position for the perfect shallow downswing and release.
4/ AIM FOR THE INSIDE QUADRANT: Swing down to hit your ball at 7 o’clock (where 6 o’clock is directly back and 12 o’clock is straight up your target line). When you aim to hit up the inside quadrant of your ball you are adding draw to your flight path for more distance.
KNEE BEND FOR MORE ROTATION GOLFTEC discovered that you should be setting up with your leading knee slightly more bent than your trailing knee. That bent leading knee is the trigger to help you continue to increase the bend in your leading knee during your backswing for more hip rotation. You my even want to lift your leading heel off the ground during your backswing to add to your hip rotation the way Jack Nicklaus always helped his hip rotation.
Hip rotation is the most important component to allow for more club rotation. Don’t depend on a bent leading arm in your backswing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight while your knees, hips and shoulders create rotation for more powerful hits. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #79: No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse.
We often hear the debate about distance and control to lower the scores for pros but is that relevant for your game? We all know that longer drives will get you closer to the green and shorter approach shots are easier to make than longer approach shots. But the real solution to take your scores below 100 or 90 or 80 for Weekend Warriors and Aging Hackers really lies in your ability to make consistent shots.
Bryson DeChambeau is the perfect example of a player who may be a little misguided. His efforts to build strength and distance are not helping his consistency in hitting greens and sinking putts. Mind you his driving distance as a pro is far more important than yours where YOU can choose a tee to suit YOUR game. You should be playing from a tee that allows you to hit the green in regulation on par 4’s and 5’s.
Where Distance is Critical If you play with friends who chide you into playing longer tees because they are younger or stronger and love to hit longer drives, you have 3 choices: (1) Learn to hit longer drives, (2) improve the accuracy of your drives and approach shots OR (3) IGNORE THEM and play from the tee that suits your game.
The longer you try to drive your balls the more miss-hits you can expect to make and the more your drives will fly deep into the rough. Long ball driving contests are the perfect example. The harder they swing the greater the chance they have to miss their target grid (AND THEY OFTEN MISS ON MOST OF THEIR 8 TRIES).
Kyle Berkshire won the recent longest driver contest. It’s not a great idea to try to duplicate what he is doing. First he is athletic but not overly muscular like Bryson DeChambeau. His plan for speed and power takes years to develop. He trains his body for speed by hitting at least 50 balls as fast as he can about 3 days every week and he works on adding arm and body strength without adding a lot of body mass.
I’m recommending that don’t try to set a world record every time you swing your driver. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to focus on improving every swing in your game for consistency. Move up to the tees that fit your game and enjoy honing the perfect swing to hit more fairways and greens in regulation. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #78:The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.
Wouldn’t it be nice to start your takeaway with a move that will guarantee a perfect swing with all of your irons? Well bless your stars because this is your lucky day. I have been working on using a flat wrist swing with lag that will power every shot directly up my target line. I have actually done this for years but I could not find consistency to do this with all of my clubs. 10% to 20% of my shots have often been miss-hits. I finally stumbled over a simple trick to create consistency using a wrist move at the start of my takeaway.
Many pros have used a forward arm “press” to start their backswing. Even Phil Michelson and Jordan Spieth use it for the start of their putting stroke. I have also noticed that a Pete Styles a PGA instructor on the Golf-Info-Guide training videos adds a forward press with a slight shift of his hands at the start of his backswing. No one has explained how this affects their performance.
Flatten Your Wrist to Start Your Takeaway I have been trying to incorporate a flat wrist in my backswing before I reach the top of my swing where I also add wrist lag (with a 90 degree angle from my forearm to my shaft). Somehow I have not been able to capture these 2 moves consistently so I decided to copy Dustin Johnson.
Dustin Johnson must be doing something right with his swing. In addition to being the #1 golfer on tour, he just won 5 points for the USA Ryder Cup Team. He starts bowing his wrist (forming a bump on the back of his wrist) and gradually adding lag from the start of his takeaway. I don’t have his power so I decided to just STRAIGHTEN my wrist at the start of my backswing (instead of BOWING my wrist). This is my eureka move that creates consistent hits with better direction control.
I noticed that the leading wrist on every golfer during setup has a slight cup shape when you setup for any of your clubs (especially for your driver where you setup with the ball further forward in your stance). Only Bryson DeChambeau sets up with a flat leading wrist for his driver and all of his driving clubs.
The Shift Just straighten out your wrist by moving the head of your club back from the ball by about 3 to 10 inches before you start your hip and shoulder rotation for your backswing. By doing this at the start of your backswing you can lock your wrist to a flat position during your complete backswing.
I’m not exactly sure why a Flat Leading Wrist gives you a more consistent swing with a more consistent direction control. Eliminating angles seems to force you to shift your weight forward during the downswing and to impact your ball before you take any divot or skim the turf.
I know that Hank Haney encourages the flat leading wrist so starting your swing with a wrist shift may be ideal for everyone. Practice for the control of your arm and wrist using GOLFSTR+ for 6 swing fixes but NOT for your leading wrist on your iron (as you need wrist mobility to finish your swing). Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #77: If you are afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have 2 options: you can immediately shank a lay-up or you can wait until the green is clear and top a ball halfway there.
We all want to improve our scores but we struggle to keep our focus as we play every round of golf. By now you must know that the most important shot in golf is your next one (Thank you Ben Hogan.) Unfortunately it takes about 3 great shots to par every holes. Yes, that would be 3 shots in a row on every hole. Unfortunately those miss-hits in the middle of your sequence don’t turn into Mulligans. I have found that your focus on hitting the fairway with your driver and hitting more Greens In Regulation (GIR) are critical for your success on every hole.
Rhythm and Direction Control You may be able to hit further than others in your foursome but if you can’t hit the fairway or hit the ideal target for your next shot, your playing partners will usually take you down. You will never be successful in this game until you generate the following two (2) consistencies:
1/ Rhythm: Don’t let a burst of adrenaline spoil your rhythm. Consistent rhythm, at about an 85% swing speed, is so critical to allow time to shift your weight to your leading leg at the top of your swing. Think of it as “The PAUSE THAT REFRESHES”.Rushing at the top will kill your weight transfer and create an inconsistent impact. I use the mental words “1 and “ to give more time to add wrist lag and weight transfer at the top of my swing before I begin my down swing at the count of “2”.
Counting in your mind will slow down your backswing and give you time for the perfect position at the top.
2/ Draw or Fade Control: When you swing with the same rhythm, you should end up with a consistent draw or fade depending on the club that you are using. It is critical that you figure out when you will draw or fade with every club by sorting this out while practicing on the range. Of course sometimes our expected draw or fade turns into the dreaded straight shot. So make sure that you line-up properly to avoid trouble with any surprising straight shots.
Suggestion To Track Your Progress If you want to improve your scores, you should track your successes at the end of every hole. Mark the upper left corner of your score for each hole with a 1 if you land your drive in the fairway (or on the green for a par 3). Mark the upper rightcorner of your score card for each hole with a 1 if you hit the green in regulation. I also add a coded letter below each score to identify the reason for my missed fairway or missed green in regulation (T-tree, R-Rough, W-water, MH- Miss-Hit, PP-Poor Pitch, OB etc)
If you aren’t adding a lot of 1’s to your score card you will also be missing a lot of pars and birdies. BTW you should mark your pars with a circle and birdies with a triangle (It’s a lot more fun to highlight your successes.) Practice with GOLFSTR+ for 6 fixes to improve you swing with every club. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #76: When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either use one more club or 2 more balls.