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

Match Your Muscle Memory with the Right Club

I now realize that when we change to a slower swing speeds for any club, it tends to change our release rhythm. That results in poor directional control for our shots. By this I mean that our muscles fire at different rates during the swing and cause us to push or pull shots. The result can be a DISASTER!

Bryson DeChambeau may be on to something good with his uniquely designed identical iron shaft length for all of his irons. He sets up with the same athletic stance and tilt at his waist so that he can feel the same motion with every iron shot.

Consistent swing speeds are critical for consistent muscle firing. This is why we need to setup squarely along the target line for our maximum swing speed with our DRIVER and possibly with a more open stance for slower controlled swings with our IRONS and especially with our WEDGES. If you know that you have too much club for the distance of your shot, choke down on the club and take a practice swing to feel the different depth of your swing at your NORMAL SWING SPEED. (NOT FASTER AND NOT SLOWER).

Clay Ballard who creates the TopSpeedGolf blog is a real promoter to generate longer drives with faster Swing speeds. [It’s a fact that an extra 1 MPH impact speed increases your driver distance by about 2.5 yards.] In the past I have provided blogs from others who promote “controlled” swing speed or “limited” back swing for recreational golfers to land more drives in the fairway and to hit more Greens in Regulation. Now I personally find that inconsistent swing speeds result in inconsistent direction control.

Include lag in your Launch, Power or Scoop downswing.

Muscle Memory
Clay is now promoting a cutting-edge technology called Neural Adaptation Practice. I Googled this process and found the following: ‘Muscle memory‘ also known as neuromuscular facilitation, is the process by which muscles become familiar with certain motor skills. Furthermore, when signals from the brain are sent to the muscle, a pathway becomes established and this process becomes semi-automatic.

That may be a bunch of gobbledegook but we do know that a consistent backswing rotation with your hips, shoulders and arms/wrists and the same sequenced downswing will produce consistent and powerful results. (start your downswing with your hips) Unfortunately when we change our club for the next shot we need to change our swing pattern.

Driver Swing: LAUNCH your teed-up ball, UP from the inside to outside for longer draws. Let your leading foot heel lift if needed to help you get a 90 degree shoulder rotation in your backswing.

Wood/Hybrid Swing: POWER up your target line and let the loft of your club lift your ball. You are swinging level with the ground when you impact the ball.

Iron/Wedge Swing: SCOOP down to impact your ball before you skim any turf. Weight shift forward during your transition is critical to allow you to bottom out your arc just after the point of impact.

Use your practice swing to make sure that you are swing with a LAUNCH, POWER OR SCOOP SWING with the right type of club. (You are NOT trying to launch your iron shot on a par 3 tee shot.) If you don’t plan it and practice it, you WILL make the wrong swing with the wrong club. Practice with GOLFSTR+ with every club in your bag for the right swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #22: The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.

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Pick up 25 with Phil


We all love watching Phil Mickelson Bomb It! He loves to do it too, especially when he wants an extra 25 yards. Phil normally plays conservatively with a soft fade to ensure that he can hit the fairway. But when he knows that he needs some extra distance he plans for a lower spin rate and a nice looping draw. Should we be trying to copy Phil?

It was interesting to follow Phil’s drives on his bogey holes in the first 2 days of the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational. He had 6 bogeys. 4 out of those 6 drives were in the left rough but all 6 were short drives of about 270 yards. His most amazing shot was a bomb where he hit a perfect draw around a dog-leg 338 yards to the right. Yes that was his perfect BOMB!

Phil Mickelson Bombing his driver, but this one was a soft fade.

Narrow, tree lined fairways don’t always give you the chance to create BOMBS but judging by the success that Bryson DeChambeau is having we should all put more effort into creating long bombs that land in the fairway. Bryson gained 40 pounds to put more muscle (or weight) behind his drives. On the other hand Phil has lost weight and worked on building up his strength.
Phil’s Fade is his Go-to-Shot
He sets up for a fade when he needs to land it in the fairway (even though it knocked him out of contention at the FedEx St Jude Invitational). He tees his ball lower to cut his ball to create a higher spin rate for more control and a soft landing.

Phil’s BOMB is a Draw
He tees it up higher and a little further forward in his stance so that he can hit up on the ball at about a 5.5 degree angle. He even uses his taller black tees to commit to this shot. His spin rate drops from his fade shots but he picks up well over 25 yards.

If it is difficult for a seasoned pro like Phil to hit every drive the way it was planned, how can we expect the same out of our games? As a recreational players you need to work on a consistent draw or fade so that you know where to aim for each drive. Consistency is so much more important than powering it into Never Never Land.

Knowing what your ball will do before you hit it will create consistency in your game. Plan your hit and enjoy your game. Hitting more Fairways in Regulation leads to More Greens in Regulation and lower scores. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve your consistency. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

Golf Truism #21: Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing.

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Prioritize Your Focus

If golf wasn’t so bloody difficult, we could all be scratch golfers. Each facet of the game forces you to examine so many setups for the condition of the lie of your ball and the target that you are trying to hit. No wonder why this game drives us all crazy. Your analysis and your execution is the reason why we love this game so much. Most of us play for personal self-satisfaction. To enjoy this game, you really need to narrow your focus for each shot to get all of that clutter out of your brain.

Mentally we all set an outcome that we want for every round. Why not set an easy objective to take the pressure off: Break 100, 90 or 80. Success in Golf really comes down to a few decisions. Start with a mental goal, appraise the hole that you are on, plan the right shot and setup to execute the right shot.

A beginner just wants to hit the ball but recreational players with a reasonable skill level know that they can work back from the hole to decide where they want to land their ball on their first shot. If they don’t hit their target, they just rework their plan to layup or go for the center of the green. All of this is obvious for a golfer but it does come down to the club you select, the setup that you need and the swing that you plan to execute.

Ernie Els is the perfect golfer image to keep in your mind to help you swing with controlled tempo. It allows you to finish your backswing and to hold your lag in the downswing.

The Moment of Truth: Your Swing Thought Sequence
Each club demands a unique swing thought so choose wisely by testing out your focused thought during your practice swing. What is your primary thought?
A mental image of the shape of your shot to hit your target
Using a waggle to loosen up your body or as a reminder to start you backswing with the rotation of your hips (followed by your shoulders and then your arms)
Keep your wrist flat at the top of your backswing
Start shifting your weight to your leading foot during your transition
Count “1, 2“ during your backswing to add time to cock your wrists at the top
Shallow your swing to ensure that you swing from the slot to the outside

Keep your head and eyes focused on the ball location until after impact
Finish your swing balanced on your leading foot as you marvel at your shot

[The text in red are my 2 key thoughts.]

These are all good thoughts. Your mind can only process them one at a time but practicing with a consistent routine for every shot will help you execute every one of these thoughts. That’s why you can’t afford to let your mind wonder outside of your swing thought sequence.

Practice with your GOLFSTR+ at the range and take your successful sequence of swing thoughts with you to the course. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #20: Never play your son for money.

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The Missing STEP in Your Swing

We all look for a trigger to make our swing feel like a knife cutting through butter. You know that feeling when everything clicks and your ball just takes off with unexpected power and your friends ask you if you have been working out. Sure you work out but it’s timing that creates excellence in your swing. Get the panic out of your swing by feeling the STEP that makes your swing effortless.

I got this idea when watching a few videos about the rocking motion from your trailing foot to your lead foot. Be happy with a 90 mile per hours swing and just let your arms go for the ride. As you feel your swing reach the top, take that moment to feel the momentum of your club shifting more body weight to your leading foot. YES, that’s the STEP that I’m talking about.

Tiger never misses this STEP as he steps into his iron shots.

Start your STEP forward at the top of you swing during the change of direction for your club. If you rush your swing, you will miss the weight shift STEP. Baseball batters STEP forward as they lung into their forward swing. You may even notice golfers who turn their foot forward (or STEP forward) as they transfer their weight to the leading foot at the top of their swing.

It’s a strange feeling if you have never PAUSED for your weight shift at the top of your swing. You will feel like you are delaying your swing but that momentum shift to your leading foot actually allows you to start opening the leading side of your hip and pressing with your trailing foot as your arms drop.  Then release your wrist through the bottom of the swing.

If you don’t rush at the top of your swing, you can feel your weight shift forward as your LAZY arms let your club lags from the top of your swing and then whip through the release with more power through impact. MAKE SURE YOU FINISH YOUR SWING or you will leave the face of your club open for a push or a slice.

Get the rush out of your swing as you start your acceleration from the top of your swing. You can even practice this motion like a dance step by shifting weight to your trailing foot during the upswing and over to your leading foot starting in the downswing.

NOTE: I feel this weight transfer more with my irons than my driver as I launch my driver swing by thrusting with my trailing foot and driving up on my teed-up ball (as I keep my leading ear behind my ball).

Learn this feeling at the range while you practice with both your irons and your driver. They really are 2 different swings (Scoop vs Launch as described in our August 6 blog). Learn to swing with your straight leading arm using GOLFSTR+ for practice. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Golf Truism #19: Never teach golf to your wife.       (HINT: She’s not listening.)

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Swing to Launch, Power or Scoop

Each type of club requires a unique approach for your setup and swing. Unfortunately many recreational golfers attempt to use the same swing for every club and they pay the price. Actually the sweep of your club across the ground has the same type of arc but your point of impact has a huge affect on your success with each type of club.

You can easily adjust your draw or fade with any club by changing your face direction, your swing path and your trailing foot back or forward. A side hill lie (up or down) also has a huge impact on the success of your shot. Before you can master your swing with any club you need to see the resulting impact of a properly lined-up shot verses a poorly lined-up shot. This blog is primarily concerned with avoiding mishits with your driver, your fairway woods/hybrids and your irons.

Launch your drives as you impact with an upward angle of attack off your trailing foot.

Setup to LAUNCH your Drives
Your driver has a limited angle on its face. It’s really designed so that you can hit up on your ball and LAUNCH it in an upward angle. Of course that’s why you tee your ball up and line up your ball with the heel of your LEADING foot. That’s also why you need to impact your ball as your club arcs upward on an inside to outside path (AFTER it passes the low point of your swing arc).

To help you create longer drives you should setup with your shoulder line tilting slightly down on your trailing side and 55% of your weight on your trailing foot. Give yourself a count of 1, 2 to create time for a full backswing rotation (and count 3 for you downswing). Keep your leading ear behind the ball through-out your swing. Release up your target line as you thrust forward to LAUNCH YOUR BALL UPWARD.

Setup to POWER your Fairway Woods and Hybrids
Setup with your ball closer to the heel of your leading foot in addition to your weight evenly distributed. Your goal is to impact the ball near or just after the low point of the arc of your swing as you transfer your weight up your target line.  Use the loft of your club to create the angle of rise on your ball.

Setup to SCOOP your Irons
Setup with 55% of your weight on your leading foot and your ball lined up progressively closer to the center of your stance for your wedges. Let your weight continue to press forward during your transition to ensure that you impact your ball on your downswing before you SCOOP any divot.

Focus on LAUNCH, POWER or SCOOP for each type of club to ensure that you create the right impact and shot. Finish your full swing to a balanced finish to ensure that you don’t leave the face of your club open at the point of impact. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight through impact. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #18: Any change works for three holes.

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Center Impact for Distance and Control

All of your golf clubs are made with a wide head face to help you avoid mishits. You can get away with hits off the toe or heel of your driver, woods, irons and putter but you are losing distance and direction control if you don’t impact your ball in the balanced center of mass on your club face. Using tape or powder on your club head is a great way to understand where you are normally impacting your ball on the face of your club.

GolfersRX recently released another video by Gene Parent at Golf Laboratories illustrating the lost distance for driver mishits at 90 MPH (the typical recreational golfer swing speed). At that swing speed you will hit a ball about 200 yards in the air and it will roll out to about 230 yards IF YOUR IMPACT IS ON THE DEAD CENTER OF YOUR DRIVER CLUB FACE.

Center impact is always to best impact to control distance and direction.

If your impact is ¾ of an inch inside or outside of dead center, you will lose about 10 yards of distance. Impact toward the toe will push your shot about 10 yards to the right of a right hander’s target line and impact toward the heel will pull about 10 yards to the left.

Unfortunately if your swing path is over the top and from the outside to inside when you impact toward the toe you will compound your error and slice away from your target line. An inside to outside swing path, when your impact is near the heel of your club, will create a duck hook.

Ben Hogan said that about 90% of all shots in golf are either a draw or a fade. His suggestion was to plan for your draw or fade and plan your shot by aiming up the side of the fairway and bringing it back into the center with your expected draw or fade. Using his suggestion will at least keep your landing area in the fairway.

Spend some time at the driving range to test the results of your swing path and your point of impact on each type of golf club. Controlling your swing path will help you improve your Fairways hit in Regulation (FIR) and Greens hit in Regulation (GIR). Start marking your score card with a tick mark in the upper left in the box for each hole for each FIR and a tick in the upper right for each GIR. Now guess which holes will yield the most pars and birdies?

Plan on hitting more draws by hitting in the center of your club face when you move your trailing foot 1 inch back from your target line (or you can close the face of your club slightly). Practice your straight arm swing with your GOLFSTR+ to improve your consistency in hitting more FIRs and GIRs. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #17: Whatever you think you’re doing wrong is the one thing you’re doing right.

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Your Brain Controls The Success of Your Game

It’s amazing to read the Monday morning reviews about the changing scores as both the Professional and Amateur tournaments wrap-up ever Sunday. Streaks of birdies or bogies and double bogies seem to happen for no explainable reason. The only way that we can explain these successes or failures is through rays of sunlight or dark clouds that pass over every golfer under pressure. Your brains controls all.

If only we could control our positive mental attitude, even after an unexpected double when we hit into the ruff, sand trap, water or a low hanging tree branch. It’s the unexpected shot that seems to cloud our next few holes, if not the rest of our game. We need to recognize and accept our failures and get back into a positive mental attitude. GET OVER IT!

When Should Our Alarm Bells Go Off  Pay attention to the problems that can throw your game off:
1/ Your playing partners start kidding you about the pressure on your next shot.
2/ You just hit an amazingly long drive on your last hole and expecting to hit even further on your next drive.
3/ The joy of making birdie affecting your next drive (PBSU: Post Birdie Screw-Up)
4/ Hitting the perfect shot only to nip a branch and lose 100 yards on the shot.
5/ When you have 3 other sets of eyes watching you prepare to make a 3 foot putt.

Jon Rahm found that throwing a club was a lot safer then breaking it when he slams the head into the ground.

What Happens to Your Mind and Body
1/ Flashbacks of past failures
2/ Your heart and mind start to race so that you rush and limit your backswing
3/ Your muscles tighten up to limit your flexibility.

How to Get Your Mind and Body Back on Track
1/ Mentally say the word “STOP” so that you can clear your mind.
2/ PAUSE and shake your hands or wiggle your fingers to get the jitter out.
3/ Relax your shoulders and LET THEM DROP as you take a deep breath and exhale.
4/ Remind yourself that your last shot is done so get on with your game.
5/ Accept the fact that you can’t make a miracle shot so just go for a recovery or layup that will put you in a good position for you next great shot.

Jon Rahm has learned to control is temper. It’s called Anger Management. You can do it too.

Ben Hogan said that the most important shot in golf is YOUR NEXT ONE. We have all seen the pros make a bad shot. They seem to be able to clear it from their mind and get on with their game. Jon Rahm is a great example of a golfer who carried a lot of mental baggage after a bad shot. He has changed his attitude and it paid off at the Memorial Tournament where he won and took over as the #1 PGA GOLFER.

Mental baggage may be the only thing holding you back. Don’t slam your club down after a poor shot. Compose and get on with your next wonderful shot. Take a practice swing by slowing down your backswing and make a full swing to a balance finish. Make YOUR next wonderful shot. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for every shot in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #16: The odds of hitting a duffed shot increase by the square of the number of people watching.

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Any Putting Style Works

Why are there so many styles of putters and so many different ways to improve your putting? We are all made up with different body structures, minds and strengths. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another.  Some methods work better than others and stubborn golfers find it hard to change.  As it turns out there are only 3 consistent skills that you need to master for putting success.

You need to understand that every method of putting CAN BE successful. Every different style of putter and putting stoke has won the US Open and The Open (British). You can be successful by swinging your wrists or rocking your shoulders and swing in a straight line or arc. You can also jab at the ball or swing with the consistency of a pendulum or accelerate through the ball. Only you can determine what works best for your physical limitations and ability.

Phil Kenyon training Rory McIlroy (who has a wonderful putting stroke).  He locks his wrists, rocks his shoulders and swings straight up his target line.

I recently read an article by Phil Kenyon, who is now the director and principal owner of Harold Swash Putting in the UK. He has trained many of the top professional golfers and recent winners to the US Open and The Open  to help them hone their personal putting styles. He believes that they must achieve three key outcomes to have success.

The 3 Key Skills:
1/ Control the starting direction of the ball,
2/ Control the speed of your ball.
3/ Predict the break of your ball.

Kenyon stated: “So regardless of the technique you may use, which ever style of green reading, which ever style of technique to start the ball on line, you have to master those three skills. So for any player that I work with, it would be around developing that skill set and then finding the appropriate techniques to help them develop that.”

Suggestions for YOU to Apply the 3 Putting Skills:
How to Control the Direction: You have no choice but to impact the ball on the balanced center of your putter face to make the ball roll with topspin and no side spin. That means that your putter face must impact the ball exactly in the direction of your target line and on the upswing. Do whatever is required with your arms and body to make a straight impact. Before every round of golf test your skill at sinking straight 3 foot, 5 foot and 10 foot putts on the practice green.

How to Control the Speed: This is a combination of understanding the speed of the greens and the slope of the greens that you are playing on. Practice will help you improve your appreciation for every situation. Before every putt that you attempt, make the practice swing that you know will reach or pass the hole by up to 2 feet. Short putts never go in the hole.

How to Predict the Break: You can only learn your feel for the break by trial and error in every condition. We still recommend that you learn to putt with GOLFSTR+ using a flat wrist to eliminate extra angles in your putting stroke. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #15: No matter how badly you are playing, it’s always possible to play worse.

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Putting Success!

Have you ever said “If I could only make a straight putt, I could sink this one”. Then you push or pull or leave your putt short. It’s so frustrating but it happens all the time. Fortunately if you say this to yourself, you are way ahead of 50% of all golfers. At least you understand the critical component of putting: Choose your line and make a straight putt.

Alignment is critical. If you swing your putter directly up your target line and impact the ball dead center on your putter face, you should at least hit the right line. Developing a “Feel for the Break” is the hard part. Getting the right swing speed for the right distance is a matter of practice but the break and slope is different on every putt.

Alignment
I saw an ad for a putting alignment mirror highlighting steps to hit a straight putt:
-Choose the right target line. The mirror has a line which is easy to line up when you stand behind it and line it up with your target point. [Too bad it’s not legal on the course.]
-Make sure that your head and eyes are directly over the ball to avoid a distorted view of the direction to your TARGET. [Basically, that’s all the mirror is helping you control.]

Prove to yourself that you can hit a straight putt on a flat surface. Build CONFIDENCE in you ability to putt straight.

-Swing so that the putter will impact directly on the center point of your putter. [That’s your primary thought during your swing.  [Test your putter on a perfectly flat surface to build confidence in your putting stroke and your swing for a straight 4 foot putt.]
-Limit your backswing so that you can accelerate through the ball and continue your swing directly up your target line. (Don’t jab at it and quickly return your putter.)

Feel the Break
We can all play catch by tossing a ball 4 feet or 10 feet or 15 feet. Unfortunately putting is infinitely more difficult. Judging the distance is easy but you must develop your feel for the green speed as well as the slope and break of the green to hit a very small target. Jerry Seinfeld is NOT a fan of golf. He said “golf is about as challenging as throwing a Tic Tac 100 yards into a shoe box.” And sometimes we wonder why we play this crazy sport.

PowerPutting
During the COVID-19 recovery period, you may be fortunate enough to play on a course where the holes are ringed with a rubber insert. On those course, if you hit the insert, USGA ruled that it counts as a sunk putt. Smart golfers quickly learn that a firm putt does not break as much near the hole and they nail that rubber ring every time. BINGO, LIGHT BULB: Why not hit firm putts to limit the break and sink more putts. Hitting PowerPutts (that could run 2 or 3 feet past the hole) are much more likely to sink.

Practice putting using your GOLFSTR+ to hold your leading wrist flat. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #14: One birdie is a hot streak.

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Shallow Your Driver

That may seem like a pretty strange phase for a golf training solution but stay tuned and I guaranty that it will turn your drives on.  Yes, shallowing your driver in the backswing will be a key for your future power and consistency with your driver. The length of your driver is actually messing up the swing that you have honed with your irons. It’s easy to make your downswing from the inside with your iron and not as easy with your much longer driver.

We are all watching the pros swing their driver on TV and it appears so easy. They seem to swing back on one plane and then swing down on a slightly lower plane. Well as it turns out for recreational players it ain’t so easy.

Webb Simpson shallows his driver in the downswing so that his trailing elbow almost grazes his rib cage for Power and Consistency.

David Leadbetter and Jim McLean both talk about swinging from the inside or from the slot. It’s easier said than done.
Top Speed Golf Blog gave us 3 areas to focus on at impact (for right handed golfers)
1/ Your left bicep should be squeezing against your left chest or peck muscle,
2/ Open your hips first (as you are rotating them toward the target)
3/ Your swing is to the right of your target line or you may feel that way as you shallow your club in the downswing.

 

Swing Trick to Shallow your Club in the Downswing
I saw this in Rory McIlroy’s swing as he likes to take a wide or straight back takeaway which is on a more vertical plane than his wider and flatter downswing. You should actually feel more power thrown into your swing as you thrust from the inside and up your target line.  You may even feel your trailing elbow graze my rib cage on the way down. That forces my early hip rotation and my shallow swing “up the slot”.

In slow motion you can see a slight loop at the top of the swing during the transition. That loop creates the shallowing of the driver club head. You only need to practice this with your driver as it is your longest club so it naturally needs to be dropped or shallowed from the top of the swing.

Brooke Henderson is about 5 foot 6 inches tall but she uses the longest regulation shaft (mind you, she does chock down on her grip). Her loop at the top is very exaggerated but it has a huge impact on her ability to hit longer drivers than most of the LPGA pros.

If you are very tall and have no problem with your hip and shoulder rotation in your backswing, you may not need to shallow your club in the downswing. But for golfers who struggle with consistency and power you should try to loop and shallow your driver head from the top of your swing. The 3 points listed above will make it happen automatically.

Learning to shallow your driver from the top takes a little practice. Try it out with your leading arm straight using your GOLFSTR+ for your straight arm swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Golf Truism #13: No foursome in front of you ever played too fast.

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