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

24.1 Million US Golfers Are On the Right Track

Since 2011, according to the National Golf Foundation, the number of US golfers has only dropped an average of 1.6 % per year. That’s a lot less than the 2.2% drop per year between 2003 and 2011. Golf is still a thriving industry for those of us who love the opportunity to challenge ourselves while we exercise our minds and bodies in an amazing environment.

Recent Headline News
Adidas is trying to divest itself of its golf holdings (TaylorMade who bought Adams for $70 Mil.)
Nike has decided to stop selling golf clubs and balls so that they can focus on all sports apparel.
-The Edwin Watts golf stores was sold to World Wide Golf Stores.
Dick’s Sporting Goods recently eliminated golf pros from their 550 stores.
Golf Town bought Golfsmith and now they are looking for a buyer or planning to restructure.
Glen Abbey Golf Club, Home of the Canadian Open, plans to sell to a housing developer in 2017

What a beautiful way to end a day. Make sure you pose and enjoy every wonderful shot.

What a beautiful way to end a day. Make sure you pose and admire every wonderful shot.

The Good News!
– There are still about 34,000 golf courses in the world and almost half of them are in USA.
– As fewer young golfers take up this sport the cost of golf is dropping.
– There are more great deals to enjoy by selecting tee times on www.GolfNow.com & www.UnderPar.com
– Private and Public Golf Clubs are offering wonderful deals to attract you to their courses.
– Golf will be confirmed as an Olympic Sport as a result of its success this year. The viewing audience almost equaled the Masters.
– Jack Nicklaus said that golf balls are now designed to hit much further so keep buying new balls.
– Tiger (40) will be back next year to keep Jason (28), Dustin (32), Henrik (40) Jordan (23), Rory (27) Rickie (27) and Bubba (37) on their toes.
– But look at the ages of the leaders in the LPGA: Lydia Ko (19), Ariya Jutanugarn (20) and Brooke Henderson (18), 5’4” with a driving average of 268 yards.

If you have discovered the challenge of golf as an excellent way to bond with friends in the great outdoors, HAVE WE GOT NEWS FOR YOU.

You can sink exactly the same number of putts as the pros with any shape of putter whether it cost $40 or $400. Practice because it’s all in your head and putting swing.

Putting almost counts for half the strokes in your game so spend more time practicing your putting and use GOLFSTR+ to learn to putt with a flat wrist.

Enjoy your game by playing from the tees where you can hit the green in regulation.

Stay on the short stuff.  If you need to hit 4 shots with a 7 iron and then 1 putt for you par: Just do it!

Golf is a challenging sport and you know the emotion that it stirs when you split a fairway with a perfect drive. Remember to hold that finishing pose and enjoy the moment.  Seize the Day!

If you want to bring more joy back to your game and hit more of those perfect drives, hit more greens in regulation and chip close for more 1 putt greens you should start practicing with GOLFSTR+.

It gives your 6 Swing Fixes in 1 Training Aid. You can wear it while you play 18 holes as a reminder to keep your leading arm straight in your backswing and downswing through impact. Best of all it slides in your pocket or golf bag. We call it the Pocket Pro. She’s there whenever you warm up for your next round.

Unfortunately you can’t use GOLFSTR+  when you are playing any competitive rounds of golf.  It gives you an unfair advantage.  Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Swing Tip #200: Improve Your Game Every Week

When we launched our GOLFSTR+ website to promote our 6-in-1 Golf Swing Training Aid, it was the start of our journey to help golfers consistently break 80.  We quickly understood that the discovery of GOLFSTR+ was a great start to learn the correct swing with every club but there is so much more to this game. We wanted to find and share the Holy Grail of Golf : the magic moves and thoughts to hit every shot perfectly. We had to unlock these mysteries!

Our solution was to launch Weekly Swing Tips which we learned from pros or from Swing Tip Subscribers to help every recreational golfer discover easy ways to lower scores.  As we wrote the first 199 issues of these tips we have learned that mental control is just as important as physical control for each club in your bag.

Flexibility and Exercise
-Aging bodies needs daily flexibility exercise, especial before you play a round of golf. Just do it!

Consistency and Control
-Thank you Ben Hogan: “The most important swing in golf is your next one.”
– Keep your leading arm straight in the backswing and downswing for consistent hits. (consistent distance to the ball from setup to impact is critical for your success)
-Use a Soft Grip with your trailing hand to avoid distortion in the direction of your swing and it automatically helps you lag your wrist for more power.
-Use a limited takeaway waggle to see that you are keeping your wrist flat in your backswing.
-Remove all mental distractions and slow down your transition by mentally saying, “Sweep in, and up”
-Swing from the inside to up the target line with a balanced finish, facing the target.

Distance
-Set your ball up on your tee with the logo pointing at 45 degrees to your target line as a reminder to swing from the inside and impact the ball on the inside quadrant. (to avoid swinging over the top)
Your backswing is a ROTATION of your hips, shoulders, arms and wrists. DO NOT SWAY BACK.
-Soft grip with your trailing hand will help you lag your club in the backswing for more power
– During your “slow” transition, let the momentum of your backswing “bump” your hip up the target line.
-Hold your wrist lag as you pull the butt of your club down to start your downswing
– Release your wrists through impact with a whipping action. Practice your swing to hear the whooosh.

GOLFSTR+ is 6 swing training aids in 1 product. Practice daily to learn to swing with a straight leading arm and flat wrist for your full swing, chipping and putting. Also a great lag trainer.

GOLFSTR+ is 6 swing training aids in 1 product. Practice daily to learn to swing with a straight leading arm and flat wrist for your full swing, chipping and putting. Also a great lag trainer.

Sand Traps
-Open your stance and open the face of your Sand Wedge as you swing with hip and shoulder rotation back and up your target line. Take an inch of sand before the ball as well as the imaginary quarter resting in the sand AFTER THE BALL. Complete your full swing turning your chest to face the target.

Putting
-Understand the break, rise or drop and the distance when standing below the hole or line of the putt.
-Make practice swings to “feel” the swing of your backswing to ensure that you can pass the hole by a foot.
-Control the swing of your putter up your target line with your leading hand. Never slice a putt.

Practice
-Practice with each of your clubs at each of the points of the clock in your backswing for pitching and chipping.  Learn the distance in the air and roll-out for one putt.
-Avoid fat and thin chip shots up to 30 yards with any club by centering the ball in your stance (the low point of the arc). Swing with a straight leading arm and flat wrist back and forward in an arc like a long putting swing with a backswing equal in the length to the follow through.

Buy GOLFSTR+ today for 6 swing fixes at www.golfstr.com

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Is Your Dominant Hand Over Powering Your Swing?

Did you know that your dominant hand may be the key to the future success of your game? Do you ever wonder why one drive is so amazing and the next one is a duck hook. This strange occurrence and the fact that many golf professionals are trying new putting grip techniques are telling us that a dominant hand grip may have more to do with our swing than we ever thought possible.

Just to add confusion to this theory: Are you aware that Phil Michelson, Mike Weir and Bob Charles are naturally right handed but they golf with left handed clubs. There are also many golfers (including myself) who are naturally left handed and golf with right handed clubs. In my case it was not by choice as we only had right handed clubs in the attic and if I wanted to play I had to figure out how to swing those right handed clubs.

Seeing Phil Michelson (a dominant right handed person) putting with his right hand high and using a claw grip with his left hand low got me thinking about the effect of a dominant left handed person and a dominant right handed person on their swing.

Consider These Facts:
1/ One side of our body is stronger with more co-ordination than the other side as a result of our greater use of our dominant side.
2/ We swing a golf club across our body from one side to the other. One arm is pulling and one arm is pushing. These are very different motions for the brain to manage.
3/ Most people are dominant right or left handed. Our brains are also wired differently for the right or left side. [We don’t know why this happens but it does happen.]
4/ If the power in both of our arms is NOT equal then one arm may be over powering your swing and destroying the consistency of our golf swing.

Ben Hogan practiced with a loose right hand to avoid overpowering his swing and to create lag in his downswing.

Ben Hogan practiced with a loose right hand to avoid overpowering his swing and to create lag in his downswing.

One of our GOLFSTR Swing Tip Subscribers, Scott Mohn (North Carolina) saw my recent Tip about swinging with a loose right hand. He also confirmed that he had been doing the same thing to reduce the influence of the right hand before impact.

He said: “I often follow Ben Hogan’s suggestion of using just the two middle fingers of the right hand to hold the club while practicing. He thought the muscles related to the other fingers of the right hand cause most of the problems for people with over active right sides, hands, and arms. The softer the right hand is for most people, the more lag is created, automatically, without consciously trying to increase it.”

Breakthrough Opportunity to Improve Your Swing:
1/ For your every club in your bag (full swing and putter), you should be testing your golf swing with a loose grip for your trailing hand.
2/ Your straight leading arm, wrist lag and whipping action is the reason why a scrawny 12 year old can hit further than most adults. Allow your leading hand to control your swing.
3/ Your leading hand grip must be in your fingers (not up your palm), to allow the whipping action of your club as you release through impact.

Practice with GOLFSTR+  for a straight leading arm in your backswing and downswing. You will find that a loose trailing hand will easily create lag and whipping action through impact for longer and more consistent hits. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Learn from the Pros but Adapt for YOUR Game

When we watch Dustin Johnson hammer a driver 300 yards up the center of a fairway, we imagine how we can make the same shot. It’s a great feeling when you dream about it but you better get back to reality before your next swing or your ball will be headed into Never Never Land.  Learn to ‘tune your game back and make the easy shots within your ability’.

If you spend most days working at a desk or anywhere but swinging a golf club, you need to be realistic before your next adventure on the golf course. “You are You”, not Dustin Johnson or Jason Day. Their game and your game are in 2 different leagues. Body shape, strength, stamina, training and mindset are all different from yours.

You need to set realistic expectation for the swing of each club. Keep your expectations in check and minimize your check points to make more consistent swings. Try these tests:

Takeaway Test:  Try a takeaway waggle like Rickie Fowler. Watch for 2 things.
1/ Flat wrist: With a straight leading arm and a wide takeaway, keep your wrist flat and in-line with your arm as you break your wrist sideways and point your club head away from the ground. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to ensure that your wrist is flat.
2/ Rotate, Don’t Shift: In your backswing make sure that you are rotating your shoulders and hips to coil your body (as you load pressure on your trailing foot). DO NOT swaying back in your stance for more power like a baseball player (golf is not baseball)

Rory has a perfect flat wrist position as he lets momentum shift his hips slightly up his target line. He lets his club do the work to whip through impact with his ball.

Rory has a perfect flat wrist position as he lets momentum shift his hips slightly up his target line. He lets his club do the work to whip through impact with his ball.  He also finishes in balance on every shot.

Balance Test
In a recent PGA video by PGA Professional Eric Hogge, he offered a tip to help you understand how hard you should swing each club and still hold a balanced finish. He completed a drill called “2 Tees and a Ball”. He placed 2 tees and a ball on a third tee all in a line so that he could hit them in succession. His first swing was at 50% to hit the first tee, then 60% to hit the second tee and finally at 70% to hit the ball. If he was able to hold a balanced finish for 2 seconds, he knew that he was in control. This is great test to understand the speed that is realistic for your swing. DON’T swing as hard as you can.

Body Test
Marin Hall, a trainer on the Golf Channel, reminds us to get our bodies “into the swing”. Don’t just use your arms and fall back when you swing. Don’t rush your swing at the top. As your club reaches the top of your backswing let the momentum of your backswing start the slide of your hips forward as you drop your hands and feel the whip of your club releasing from a wrist lag to impact with your ball.

To clarify: Don’t muscle your club through the swing. Keep your leading arm straight through out the backswing and downswing and feel the whipping action of your club as it releases through impact. Let the weight of your club create the power of your swing.

Adjust your stance and straight arm swing to ensure that you are impacting with your ball in the center of your club face.

Adjust your stance and straight arm swing to ensure that you are impacting with your ball in the center of your club face.

Impact Test
Use a powder marker or Dr. Scholl’s spray powder to mark the face of your driver and your irons and figure out where you impact the ball. Adjust your stance and accept the fact that the head of your club may not line up with your ball at address the same way that it does during the swing. (As an amateur golfer, your body will do bewildering changes during your swing.  Make adjustments or you will suffer with poor shots.)

Summary

You should be swinging with a straight leading arm and a flat leading wrist. If you don’t learn to do this you will never be able to create a consistent distance to the ball for consistent hits. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for straight arm and straight wrist and lag training. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Create Lag for Power with Limited Backswing

Martin Chuck has been releasing blogs with a series of drills to generate lag and whipping action for more power and distance. I love his recommendations as they fit with the exact solution that I developed for my aging body. If your spine rotation limits your backswing, you are not alone. You need a solution to create lag without coming over the top and slicing the ball.

There are only 3 steps that you need to focus on to improve your ability to generate more lag for more power and distance.

Step 1: Light Grip with your Trailing Hand
Martin Chuck showed a drill where he grips his club normally with his leading hand and places his trailing hand with fingers open and flat against the trailing side of the club. He recommends making some light swings where your leading wrist rotates your club shaft to 90 degrees in your back-swing  (and your trailing open hand just rests on the side of the club).

By doing this you will feel a whipping action as you release your leading wrist at the bottom of your swing. Your club head  accelerates at about 4 times the speed of your arm rotation. The whipping action and extra club head speed is generated from your leading wrist release. Your trailing hand is just moving along for the ride.

NOTE: Use a very light grip with your trailing hand to help you create a 90 degree lag with your leading wrist. Generate all of your power and direction control with your leading hand and wrist release.

You don't need this full rotation to generate power. However you need to lag your leading wrist and release it at the bottom of your swing for power.

You don’t need this full rotation to generate power. However you need to lag your leading wrist and release it at the bottom of your swing for power.

Step 2: Chest rotation and Straight Arm Back Swing
Adam Scott has the perfect example swing. He starts his swing with a wide takeaway. He straightens his leading arm as he rotates his hips 45 degrees and then his shoulders by another 45 degrees from the line across his toes. Hold a club across your chest to check your total shoulder rotation. For many of us the rotation is much less than 90 degrees. Stretching and exercise in moderation will help with this rotation but you should accept your limitation to avoid back injury and depend on a 90 degree wrist rotation for lag.

Step 3: Lower Your Swing Plane to Avoid Over the Top Hits
When Sergio Garcia swings, he creates an optical illusion, which looks like his club shaft lag is even greater 90 degrees from his leading arm. In reality, Martin Chuck showed that he is just dipping his club down to a lower plane in his backswing (by tucking his trailing elbow closer to his side). Lydia Ko, the 19 year old who is #1 Ranked in the World does a similar reroute in her swing. Jim Furyk also does a crazy version of a very high backswing and looping down to swing from the inside. Jim McLean, Golf School at Trump Doral GC, also instructs with a swing which loops down in the backswing.

In all of these cases the golfers are just adjusting their swing plane to route from the “inside to out” and up their target line. This creates a wonderful draw and more distance.

Summary
Aging bodies with limited spine rotation need to generate power with a limited back-swing and a straight leading arm for consistent powerful hits. A very light grip with my trailing hand helps you create a 90 degree wrist lag with my leading wrist. You will generate a lot more power and a swooshing noise when the club whips through impact with the ball. If you are not hearing the swoosh, you are gripping too tightly as you whip through the bottom of your swing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep a straight leading arm in your back-swing to avoid fat and thin hits. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Why Are Pros Constantly Changing Putters and Grips?

Have you noticed that the commentators during the US Open, THE OPEN and many of the recent televised tournaments are talking about pros changing their putters and the way they grip their putters? If these great players are looking for the perfect solution to their putting as well as their swing, shouldn’t you be experimenting too?

It seems that Rory, Phil and Jason are changing putters or the style of their grip every other week. Phil Michelson is now using a claw grip with his trailing hand (which seems to guide his putter). Jason Day is very conventional with left hand high. Jordon Spieth always putts with left hand low and Rory McIlroy is flipping hands every other week. Brandt Snedeker slaps at the ball and Brooke Henderson holds her putter with 2 parallel hands as if she is in prayer (which seems to work best on Sundays).

Let’s get back to basics so that you can decide what works best for you.  Almost half of your strokes during every round of golf are putts.  More than 2 putts per hole is a big problem.  What do we know for sure?
1/ Avoid Side Spin:  Your swing must NOT be sliding across the ball or it will spin left or right. (That’s how Brittany Lang missed a 4 foot putt on the 17th to force a playoff in the LPGA Open.)

2/ Avoid Bouncing Your Ball: Hitting down will make the ball underspin, skid and bounce. Phil Michelson was famous for his forward handle lean but he recently dropped it.

3/ Get the Ball Rolling: Set the ball slightly forward of center in your stance to ensure that you hit it slightly on the upswing of your club for a clean start to the roll.

Phil Mickelson dropped his forward shaft lean and now putts by swinging with his leading hand.  His claw grip with his trailing hand is only a guide to steady his grip.  I find it easier to just let the putter go at the point of impact as my leading hand swings directly up the target line.  It’s a great way to eliminate slicing your putts.

4/ Impact Time on the Ball is a Split Second: To increase your odds of a square impact your swing and square of your putter must be moving up your target line at the point of impact.

5/ Eliminate Nervous Shaking Hands during Your Swing: Take the small muscles in your hands and arms out of your putt.  Putt using the rock of your shoulders straight through impact without bending your wrists. (Practice with GOLFSTR+ to prevent any bend in your leading wrist.)

6/ Understand the Breaks on the Green: Stand in the low point of the green in the area where you are putting to decide on the direction of your putt and the amount of break. Move to the LOW POINT of your target line to appreciate the rise or drop or tilt of your putt. (Depth is more difficult to perceive when standing above the hole on a downhill putt so don’t let it change your mind.)

7/ Choose an Aiming Point: Use a line on your ball to line up with a target point about 3 feet in front of your ball.

8/ Duplicate Your Practice Swing: Complete a practice swing with the EXACT SAME SWING tempo and length that you plan to use when you make your putt .

9/ Plan Your Putt to travel 10 to 20 Inches Past the Hole: Plan for less break at the hole as  speed minimizes the break and distortions of the green at the edge of the hole.  PET PEEVE: Pros and many golfers lean on their putter and indent the putting surface as they bend down to retrieve their ball from the hole.  DON’T DO IT AS YOU ARE MESSING UP THE NEXT PERSON’S PUTT.

Final Thoughts:  Exaggerate your swing  up your target line to ensure that you are hitting a straight putt. Even Scotty Cameron is demonstrating his new $400 putters with Fat Grips (to help with soft hands) and a flat front surface (to help you square the club with your thumbs). Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to lock your leading wrist during your putting stroke. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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On the Road to Golf Excellence

If you really want to break 100 then 90 then 80, you need a plan. Of course it would take many books written by the best golfers of our times to give you all of the insights that should be considered. I just wanted to share a few points that crystallize a meaningful progression to reduce your scores: Minimize Mishits, Manage Your Mind and Track Your Successes.

Golfers at all levels mishit the ball. This is a constant battle but you need to understand that even the pros mishit the ball (but tournament leaders make fewer mistakes). Consistently hitting the ball for every shot will guarantee your success. An 82 year old golfer (a GOLFSTR user in the French Riviera, Raymond Chastel) reminded me that he never tries to shape his shots to maintain a 7 handicap. This is an enviable record and a great lesson for any golfer who wants to shoot in the 70’s.

Imagine being able to enjoy beautiful views and perfect shots landing on greens in regulation every time.

Imagine being able to enjoy beautiful views and perfect shots landing on greens in regulation every time. [Thank you GOLF TIPS MAGAZINE.]

Minimize Mishits:
80% of all golfers often have mishits. A good starting point is to change your approach to the way you select each club. Sort out if you are topping, slicing or hitting fat shots and take corrective action. Take lessons or watch YouTube Swing Videos by Ben Hogan or other great golfers. Buy a GOLFSTR+ to practice and correct every swing in your game.

Use lower lofted clubs and slow your swing speed to 77% (your lucky numbers). Your consistency and direction control will improve significantly. Eliminate the macho long balls into the woods or deep grass. This suggestion came from the same trainer (Hank Haney), who tells us to swing as fast as we can to gain more distance. Distance is useless if you have to waste strokes to get your ball back in play.

Learn to lead your down swing with your hips, impact the ball before you brush the ground and follow through with a balanced finish. Stay calm and relaxed to hit controlled, consistent shots.

Control Your Mind:
This is easier said than done. You are not playing golf for your living, so don’t be so hard on yourself. As Ben Hogan said, “the most important shot is your next one”. You can’t change what has happened so get over it and enjoy your next wonderful shot. Take your key swing thought from the practice range, relax your mind and make it happen on the golf course.

Measure Your Performance:
You should measure the good, the bad and the ugly. Hank Haney came up with a great plan to track your PENALTY strokes on your score card after you play each hole. He called them the 3 P’s:
1/ Penalties: Mishits, strokes off the fairway and strokes to get back on the fairway.
2/ Pitches: 1 pitch or chip is OK. Count 1 penalty for more than 1 pitch.
3/ Putts: 2 putts are OK. Count 1 penalty for each extra putt.

Sort out where your P’s are coming from and focus on corrective action when you practice.

Last Thought
Relaxed muscles and a light grip will let the weight of your club do the work. Be confident that you setup correctly so that you can focus on your critical swing thought to avoid old habits. Practice this approach with GOLFSTR+ FOR EVERY SWING IN YOUR GAME. Make it happen and buy one today: www.golfstr.com

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Get Your Motor Running !

Are you starting your swing from a dead stop and expecting your body to instantly jump into the right mode?  You really should “Get Your Motor Running” to wake-up your muscles for a more consistent swing. Watching the US Open, I couldn’t help but see Dustin Johnson re-grip his club and tap it on the ground 3 to 5 times before he pre-set his wrists forward and starts his back swing. Sure did work for the US Open Champion.

Following is a video of Dustin Johnson borrowed from YouTube.  It shows his preshot routine for both face-on and up the line.  Watch for his gripping and tapping waggle as well as his wrist pre-set.   This is also an amazing golf swing.  It’s a must see.

 

Recreational golfers tend to move up to the ball and look at it as if we are memorizing the way to keep our head down through impact. The longer we stand frozen, addressing the ball, the tighter our muscles get. Our minds start to wander or focus on a screeching bird or our muttering golf partners.  Do this and it will kill your game.

As it turns out most PGA Professionals have their personal way to get their motor running.

Hank Haney does a single back waggle and a little hand shift forward before he swings.

Martin Chuck pre-sets his hands slightly forward as part of his swing but he never talks about it or suggests that his students should do the same when he presents a lesson.

Jason Dufner almost completes a dance routine with his hands before he swings.

Rickie Fowler, Mike Weir and Michelle Wie all complete a quarter back swing waggle. All are rehearsing their flat wrist takeaway (great solution using GOLFSTR+ ) or direction of their preferred takeaway to overcome a historic problem.

Andy Anderson (Golf Swing Secrets blogger) sold a golf swing training program where you bend your wrist back (in the direction of your backswing) before you start your takeaway. It actually creates your bowed leading wrist at the top of your backswing the way Dustin Johnson does it.

As Advertised in GOLF TIPS Magazine

As Advertised in GOLF TIPS Magazine

For heaven sake, whatever you do, don’t take an eternity looking up at your target and adjusting your feet for a minute like the idiot who golfed in front of us today. Look up your target line from behind the ball, take your stance and then do your favourite hand and shoulder and bum routine to wiggle or waggle but DON’T STAND FROZEN OVER YOUR BALL before you swing.

You should always practice your line-up and waggle routing on the driving range when you practice. Improve your practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn the perfect swing with a straight leading arm, flat leading wrist and a proper lag for 6 swing fixes.  Get your motor running and buy one today  at www.golfstr.com

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Is Your BALL or Your BRAIN Controlling Your Game ?

Recreational golfers are frustrated when they aim for a point and the ball decides to draw or fade. Your swing path and the setup of the face of your club dictate where your ball is going. Even a slight change in the swing path or club face position will cause a new direction for your ball. Why not use your BRAIN and start to take control of your BALL (and your game).

Hank Haney commented that one of his early instructors said: “golf IS what the ball DOES”. Club path creates the trajectory and the club face creates the curve (draw or fade) at the point of impact. If 50% of your shots are landing off the fairway in the rough or bushes, you need to plan for your ball flight.

Use your BRAIN to plan the shape of your shot. Turn your random hits into a CONTROLLED draw or a fade. Don’t leave it to chance. NOTE: It’s not easy.  In the US Open in the closing holes, you may have seen, Dustin Johnson turn his planned fade into a duck hook which landed in the deep grass. The pros were definitely choosing a draw or fade to hit every one of those narrow fairways at Oakmont Country Club.  A straight shot was their preference but they had to plan their draw or fade to land in the fairway.

1/ Grip Pressure: You may not realize that your club head can change direction if you increase your grip pressure as you waggle or start your take away. When you setup your hands and apply a medium grip, make sure you are not increasing your grip pressure and changing your club face direction.

2/ Compensate for Tilt of the Ground: When you setup, your hands should be hanging directly down from your shoulders. The front edge of your club should be resting flat on the ground and square to your target line. (When your feet are below the ball, grip down and line up to compensate for a draw. When your feet are above the ball, use more bend in your knees and line up to compensate for a fade.)

For a DRAW: swing your club outside your target line and bring you ball back to your target with a closed club face.

For a DRAW: Swing your club from inside to the outside your target line and flight your ball back to your target with a closed club face.

3/ Plan for a Draw or Fade: If your club face is “open” by a few degrees (pointing to the right from your swing path for right handed clubs), your ball will slice to the right because your ball is spinning with a side spin to the right. If your club face is “closed” by a few degrees from your swing path, your ball will spin left for a draw.

4/ Swing Path: The direction of your swing path creates the initial direction of the ball. In the US Open you saw pros choose their preferred natural draw or fade as long as they were confident where it would land.. For a draw, Hank Haney suggests that you set your club face 1 degrees to the left and swing from the inside to the outside by a few degrees. Yes, these are minor changes and that’s why your ball decides to go randomly left or right when you don’t plan for it.

5/ Control Your Swing Path: If you are swinging “over the top” and fading or pulling every shot, setup with the imaginary line across your toes parallel to your target line and then move your trailing foot away from that imaginary line by a few inches.

Small changes in your swing direction and your club face alignment can make the difference in hitting your next shot from the fairway or from the rough. Sort this out on the practice range and use your GOLFSTR+ to eliminate or control angles on your arm or wrist. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Are You Swinging with the Back of YOUR Hand?

I never thought of it this way until I heard 3 comments from 3 different Pros. Your leading hand (the one you wear your golf glove on) can be a great reminder for the 3 key check points in your swing. You can see or feel these points: setup, takeaway and point of impact.

I was playing golf with a friend who said that his 12 year old son just took up golf and he has a natural swing. From the first time he picked up a club, he has hit straight long drives almost every time he swings a club. Swinging a golf club is quite different from swinging a baseball bat so most of us need ONE thought in our head to generate a consistent golf swing.

The wonderful thing about the following 3 check points is that you can actually see all 3 check points. The golf swing happens in 1 or 2 seconds so you may be wondering how you can easily see any check points. Only the third check point happens during your swing.

1/ Setup: When you setup, you are calm and relaxed so you should have no problem resting your club on the ground, squaring the club with your target line and gripping with your left hand (for right handed golfers) so that you can see 3 knuckles on the back of your glove. By gripping this way the back of your hand will be pointing up your target line. It should also be parallel with the leading edge of your club.

2/ Backswing: Keep the back of your hand flat with your arm in your backswing. Golfers like Rickie Fowler waggle with a limited takeaway as a reminder to keep their wrist flat. As you waggle, you can see that you are not CUPPING or BOWING your wrist in the back swing. You can also use GOLFSTR+ to learn to keep your wrist flat. If you can’t swing without keeping it flat loosen your trailing hand grip and pull your flat leading wrist sideways for lag. [Believe me, I had this problem and it really works. It also allows you to swing from inside to out.]

Note: Hank Haney advised that you should keep your trailing wrist flat in your backswing to avoid angles which create inconsistent hits. Dustin Johnson is one of the few very strong golfers who can get away with bowing his leading wrist in the back swing.

Arnold Palmer threw the back of his leading hand up the target line in a strange lung to finish his swing. It worked for him.

Arnold Palmer threw the back of his leading hand up the target line in a strange lung to finish his swing. It worked for him.

3/ Point of Impact: As your club hits the ball you should FEEL your leading wrist pointing up the target line. Arnold Palmer almost threw his hands up his target line to avoid any wrist rotation during impact with the ball.

Of course it’s difficult to see the point of impact and the relationship of your hands at that instant (as you are busy looking at your ball). However, this is the only swing thought that you need when you are looking for a consistent hit up your target line. [Next week’s Swing Tip will turn your straight hits into a CONTROLLED draw or a fade. Don’t leave it to chance.]

REMEMBER to Check the 3 Points: Setup with the back of your hand facing your target and waggle with a flat wrist. Your third and ONLY thought during your SWING is to point the back of your wrist up the target line at the point of impact. Everything else in your swing needs to be on automatic pilot so you should practice for straight arm, flat wrist and lag with GOLFSTR+. Buy yours today at www.golfstr.com

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