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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Anyone who hopes to master the game of golf needs to approach the game with reasonable expectations. There is no such thing as a natural golfer. Understanding swing path and the resulting shape and distance that you can achieve with each club is a great starting point. Learning from a mentor who can recognize your weaknesses and fine tune your swing to improve distance and direction control is definitely an advantage. Anyone can become a “good” golferbut you need to follow some basic principles.
Consider what some outstanding professional golfers have done: Tiger Woods: He learned the basics from his father but he also had the internal drive to be successful. Unfortunately that drive and attitude got derailed during his marriage break up. That confirms that our metal state of mind has a lot to do with our success. Dustin Johnson: His strength and skill went sideways with drugs but he is now back on track. Matt Kuchar: Age must be a factor. Matt was very successful in his earlier years, lost the winning formula and then won the Sony Open in 2019 even with his aging body at 41. [We all remember Tom Watson almost winning the 2009 Open at the age of 59.] Limit your expectations as you age. Work on accuracy as you lose distance. Bubba Watson: He has never taken a lesson and is totally self-taught. He is one of the longest drivers but direction control and focus for all of his clubs seem to have ended his winning ways. Control your draw or fade to control your success.
Others like Phil Michelson, Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy and Jordon Spieth have had their ups and downs with their long and short golf careers. So how can we apply their successes to our games? As weekend warriors or want-to-be golfers, what should we do to get the best out of our games?
Mental Attitude: Every mishit ball is a frustration for every golfer. Recognizing the cause is a critical starting point. You need to turn your attitude around by attacking your weaknesses. Start by taking lessons, practicing on the range and calming your mind and body. Learn that a wonderful drive or iron shot will NOT improve by swinging harder and faster.
Physical Conditioning:This is typically a problem as we age and lose our flexibility. Spend time daily to improve your basic strength and range of motion. Strained muscles can help your game by forcing you to slow down or limit your motion. Use your recovery period as a learning experience because your game will often improve when you slow down to improve your lag and get more control & distance for each shot.
Focus and Apply What Works For YOU: After a long slump, Jordon Spieth recently discovered that he needed to create a slight loop at the top of his swing to SHALLOW his club in the downswing (keeping his trailing elbow closer to his rib cage). Swinging from the inside and impacting the inside quadrant of the ball has turned his game around. It may help you too.
Keep a record of what works for Your Game to control distance and direction for your driver, irons and putter. Refine those points as your confidence improves and your scores will drop. Practicing with GOLFSTR+ will help you overcome your swing flaws. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #46: No matter how far its shaft extends, a ball retriever is always a foot too short to reach the ball.
Learning to keep your leading arm straight in your backswing is a critical step for more distance. Unfortunately, too many of us rush the backswing and never benefit from the straight leading arm. Limiting your backswing is one way to ensure that your arm is straight but it’s not the ideal solution. You should take more time to complete your backswing (with a straight arm & cocked wrist) and to start your weight transfer to your leading foot.
Don’t rush your backswing. Our recent blogs have focused on ways to create more time for more rotation in your backswing. By thinking the words “1 aaand 2” to manage the timing of your swing you are not only creating a 2-step rhythm but you are also blocking out other thoughts. 1/ Count “1 aaand 2”, by adding “aaand”. It gives you more time for more backswing. 2/ You may want to try lifting your leading heel to give you more rotation without bending your leading arm. 3/ The more time you take the easier it is to rotate your hips and then your shoulders as you lift your straight leading arm. (Older bodies have less flexibility so it takes us more time to coil up our bodies.) 4/ The power hitter (like Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson) start their driver takeaway by flattening their leading wrist(IT WORKS!). They naturally cock their wrists for lag at the top of their backswing.
Resulting Problems More backswing coil gives you more power and distance for each club but it generates a few problems. 1/ A longer drive is always helpful but you may find that you have to drop down a club on holes with doglegs. 2/ You will find that you are adding about 10 more yards for most of your clubs. You have to adjust your club selection to hit your greens in regulation. Hitting further with each club is fun to watch but not fun to play when they rocket over your target green. 3/ The worst problem that I found is that can pull some of my shots. To avoid pulls, I still setup square to the ball but I have to focus on impacting the ball on the inside quadrant of the ball.
Don’t get frustrated with your changing game. Accept the fact that you are increasing your distance as that will ultimately improve your Greens in Regulation. Make adjustments with your club selection and your line up to benefit from your NEW GAME.
Don’t complete your takeaway on a low plane as it will result in an over the top slice swing. Your takeaway should be straight backso that you can shallow your downswing and hit the inside quadrant of your ball to create a straight or draw shot.
A good starting point for the game of golf is to learn your straight leading arm backswing. Let your hips and shoulders coil during your backswing as your head stays over your ball. Take more time in your backswing to start your forward weight press. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to build confidence in your straight arm backswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #45 Your straightest iron shot of the day will be exactly one club short.
In our last blog we recommended slowing down your backswing to allow more time for the weight shift during your transition. We are actually trying to achieve a number of movements during our back swing but you may not realize this. All of the movements seem to melt into one consistent motion. If you miss one key element in your backswing you will destroy the downswing and your perfect impact.
I noticed that the top golfer in the world, Dustin Johnson, starts his takeaway by bending his trailing wrist back to flatten his leading wrist. Bryson DeChambeausets up with a very rigid straight leading arm and flat leading wrist which points down along the shaft of his club directly out from his leading foot. No other professional golfer setup with this rigid leading arm setup. It actually makes him look like a stiff robot but the power he generates is even greater than Dustin’s so it must be helping.
Dustin ends up bowing his leading wrist at the top of his backswing and adding more angles that need to be adjusted in his downswing. An even worse situation is that many recreational golfers cup their wrists. Bryson keeps his leading wrist flat at the top of his swing and just unloads his straight arm down and through his ball whipping the head of his club through the ball with the explosive force of a catapult. We all need to learn from his powerful swing.
Opportunity 1/ FLAT LEADING WRIST: Setting up with a rigid straight leading arm and wrist (like Bryson) is obviously not anyone’s preference (as no one else is doing it on the pro circuit). Why not setup with a straight leading arm, then flatten your leading wrist as the first move in your takeaway, the way Dustin does it. 2/ ADD RHYTHM TO YOUR SWING:Slow down you take-away to give yourself time to flatten your leading wrist and then cock that wrist to create lag at the top of you swing. That slower take-away also give you time to put some rhythm in your backswing as you transfer your weight to your leading foot. To slow down my takeaway I often mentally say: “1 aaand 2” with the rhythm of a 2-Step. –“1” to start my take-away as I flatten my leading wrist –“aaand” as I load up my back-swing with lag and start to shift my weight to my leading leg –“2” to start my downswing. I shallow my downswing from the inside and up my target line to a balanced pose.
Now that I have slowed down my backswing I have added about 10 yards for every club. I love the extra distance but it requires some adjustment to drop down a club for each distance. Practice with GOLFSTR+to keep your leading arm straight and also to keep your leading wrist flat. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #44: The lowest numbered iron in your bag will always be impossible to hit.
We love the game of golf because it’s a challenge for our minds and bodies to duplicate those EFFORTLESS swings that we see the pros make on TV. Striping a ball straight up the center of a fairway seems to be so easy when we watch so many professional golfers consistently making miraculous shots. I’ve done it myself but I just can’t maintain the consistency from the driving range to the course. Fortunately I learned that weekend warriors need more time in our back-swing to rotate my hips and shoulders as we create lag with my wrists.
We all know that a consistent rhythm or cadence in our swing gives us time to setup our bodies for the perfect transition, impact and balanced pose. When we are mentally and physically relaxed our backswing and downswing become effortless. Our minds and bodies are in sync. But what happens when our minds start to focus on the importance of the drive off the first tee or a shot along the side of a pond or over a mass of bushes.We tense up and our swing pattern changes.
The Problem I discovered the problem for more consistent swings while watching recreational golfers execute the perfect practice swing and then destroy their swing when they move forward to hit a ball. We all pause to gather our thoughts before we execute our swing. We are actually building up TENSION in our minds and our bodies. We then speed up our backswing to hopefully create more power. BIG MISTAKE! Power comes from the speed of our downswing NOT OUR BACK-SWING.
When we execute a swing, we tend to speed up our back-swing with our arms but we lose the timing to allow the pressure to shift from our back foot to initiate the downswing.A rushed back swing results in swinging OFF OUR BACK FOOT. If we don’t give ourselves time to transfer our weight during the transition at the top of our swing we tend to fall back at the start of our downswing. That results in mishits where the ball squirts off the toe of our club face.
The Solution Slow down and take more time in your back swing. Intentionally practice the same speed of backswing that you plan to use when you are swinging at the ball. Use that extra time to start the transfer of your weight to your leading foot as your hip bumps forward to start your downswing from the ground up. [The pros don’t need the extra time as they make all the right moves at high speed.]Give yourself that extra time to start your forward press with your weight shift before your hip rotation starts your downswing.
Practice slowing down your back-swing with your GOLFSTR+ using a flat leading wrist and straight leading arm. Start your weight shift during your transition before you start dropping in your straight leading arm in your downswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #43: No one with funny head covers ever broke par (except for Tiger Woods).
Are your drives randomly flying left or right every time you swing your driver? If you don’t understand what’s causing the flight path you will never be a great golfer. The swing path of your club and club face direction at impact are both contributing to your launch direction and path: straight, draw, fade, hook or slice. Check out this summary and then start practicing to shape the shot you want. Controlling the side-spin of your ball is the starting point for great golfers.
CORRECTION: In 2009 Trackman video testing proved that the direction of the clubface through impact controls about 85% of the initial directionof your ball. The path direction of your club at impact causes side spin, top spin or under spin for your ball and controls about 15% of the initial launch trajectory. [Until 2009 all golf pros agreed that swing path direction controlled 85% of a ball’s initial direction.] Of course wind direction WILL help or hinder the direction of your ball but you will have to add that factor into your shot depending on the prevailing wind direction.
The following description is for a golfer using right handed golf clubs.
Use a Conventional Grip for all Shots You should be setting up with a conventional grip with the back of your left hand facing directly up you target line. Your club should line up across the upper end of your fingers of your left hand (NOT YOUR PALM). The crease between your thumb and first finger on both of your hands should be pointing at your tailing shoulder. [Rotating your hands to a stronger or weaker grip will have an impact on your ball flight so you should test changes to understand the proper grip.]
Straight Shots Because all golf clubs are swung in an arc around your body it is difficult to hit every shot in a straight line up your target line. Just setup with your toes on a line pointing straight up your target line. If your swing impacts your ball straight up your target line with a perfectly square face up your target line, your ball will launch straight up that line.
Draw or Hook In order to shape a shot around a tree or a dogleg to the left, you may want to create a draw. Start your setup with your toe line parallel to your safe target line (to avoid trees). In order to draw your ball to the left of your target line, move your trailing foot 1 or 2 inches back from your target line and change your grip on your club so that the face is closed toward the target (where you want your ball to land). With this setup you can now swing your club directly up your new toe line to shape your shot to the left. Exaggeration in this setup can turn your draw into a hook.
Fade and Slice Take a normal setup in the direction that you want to start the launch of your ball. Move your trailing foot forward 1 or 2 inches over your target line and open your club face toward the point where you want your ball to land. Swing directly up your new toe line. The outside-to-inside swing path and the offset face of your club will generate your fade. Any exaggeration of your swing path or open club face can create a slice.
Practice your draw and fade shots before you try them on the course. Slight foot and club face changes make a huge impact on every swing that you make. That’s why you need to understand what causes your draw or fade. Changing the swing path and the club face direction WILL shape your shots. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to perfect your straight leading arm and flat wrist swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #42 The practice green is either half as fast or twice as fast as all the other greens.
Ideally every year we should all be finding a professional golf club fitter to recommend the perfect clubs for your body-strength and flexibility using the latest technology. Unfortunately that is not financially practical for many of us so we make do with the clubs we have. As our bodies age, we tend to get weaker and less flexible along with more aches and muscle strains. If you want to improve your gamefirst you should consider making some physical adjustments with your existing clubs.
Very minor adjustment can add distance and consistence. Don’t try to make radical changes to your swing on the golf course. You could start by taking lessons with a PGA Instructor. Understand your weaknesses. Create a plan of action for your drives, fairway shots, approach shots and putting. Or you may consider purchasing a training aid like GOLFSTR+to help you train for 6 swing fixes with all of your existing clubs. Learn to swing properly with a straight leading arm, a flat leading wrist and lagfor more power and consistency.
All of your longer clubs (driver to 8 iron) should be swung with a consistent 80 to 85% swing speed. For a shorter distance with any club, just chock down and swing at the same speed. NEVER swing faster for more distance (UNLESS YOU WANT TO ADD A DUCK HOOK OR SLICE).
Stop fighting with hooks and slices. The weight of your club and/or the flex point of your shaft may be killing your shots. There is a perfect open or closed stance with a forward or rearward ball position that will generate straight golf shots for every club in your bag. Go to the practice range to test each of your clubs to determine the right correction for all of your clubs.
Slight adjustments will cause every club to slice or draw. Know your preferred shot shape so that you can setup for your shape.
Train yourself to swing with a straight leading arm. Limit your back-swing at the point where your elbow starts to bend.
Learn to swing with a flat leading wrist. It will force you to bend your trailing elbow and shallow your downswing to avoid swinging over the top for those crazy slices. [ Our #1 tip! ]
Don’t rush your transition as your weight starts the shift from your tailing foot to your leading foot. A smooth transition with a constant acceleration during your lag release will make your club whooosh through the point of impact.
You may want to lift your leading heel to assist your back-swing to allow for more hip rotation. Your back-swing is a hip, spine and shoulder rotation. NEVER sway back. [Swinging with all of your weight on your trailing foot will causes fat, thin and topped balls.]
Putting and Chipping Control
Eliminate shaky hands when putting. Use the major muscles in your back to rock your shoulders and swing your arms with a flat leading wrist and finish by swinging up your target line at impact.
Eliminate the arc in your putter swing at the point of impact. You may want to try releasing your trailing hand at the point of impact and allowing your flat wrist leading hand to swing up your target line.
Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn the right wrist and arm action for every club in your bag. Experiment at the driving range or ask a pro to help with foot and ball adjustments to get the most out of your existing set of golf clubs. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #41: Out of bounds is always on the right, for right-handed golfers. (that dreaded slice)
I recently sent out a Golf Truism with our weekly blog: “Why does it takes 17 holes to warm up?” That thought comes up when the golf Gods allow us to hit an amazing shot on the 18th hole to make sure that we come back again. It’s could be that or your body is tired so you are extremely relaxed or your mind has finally dropped all of its external thoughts so that you can finally focus on golf.
Staying relaxed and visualizing the shot that you want to make must be a controlling factor for your success. Swinging with all your might is definitely not a good solution. Golf is NOT a “no brainer”.
Don’t let your mind wander. Jack Nicklaus lost a Masters Tournament when he lost his concentration as he shook a fans hand during his walked up to the green on the 18th hole. He lost his focus and missed a key putt and lost the tournament. He commented in retrospectthat he never did that again. If you want to be good at golf you need to zone in and tune out everything else. Keep your mind on your preparation and execution for each shot.
Great golfers take these 4 distinct steps: 1/ Clear their mind before they setup to execute their shot. 2/ Decide on the shot that they want to make (based on experience). 3/ Visualize their ball flight to their target. 4/ Zone into a rhythm for a full backswing and release to a balanced finish.
The mechanical components of their swing are NOT in their mind.
Rhythm and club head direction are all that they have time to visualize.
For rhythm you may mentally say Dah, Dah, Dah or One Hundred ‘n One or 1,2,3. Or for putting you may want to say “1,2”. Anything that your mind can repeat will allow you to clear your brain from any other thought.
Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn what swing works for every club to create your draw or fad. Know how to create your shot. Make a practice swing before every hit to FEEL the exact swing that you WANT to execute at the pace and rhythm to generate the perfect speed for both your backswing and your downswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #40: You can hit a 2-acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time.
I have played this game for over 50 years and love the challenge. I only break 80 once in a while so I’m always looking for ways to keep a consistent swing for every club in my bag. One of our blog followers asked if GOLFSTR+ could help him overcome EARLY RELEASE. My response reminded me how important your practice with training aids can be.
Swing rhythm and weight shift from your trailing foot to your leading foot during your transition can help you avoid YOUR EARLY RELEASE. Unfortunately the changing weight of each club and the mental pressure from your last shot often have an impact on your next shot.
Practicing with GOLFSTR+ will remind you to keep your leading arm straight. Your leading arm should stay straight in both your back-swing and your down-swing. That’s a good starting point to stop your early release. Following are 2 of the 6 training aid uses for GOLFSTR+
1/ Straight Arm Trainer a. Feel it touching the back of your leading arm as you pull down to start your down swing. b. That’s your mental reminder to prevent your EARLY RELEASE as you shift your weight to your leading foot.
2/ Lag Trainer a. The pressure on your trailing forearm is the reminder to start your transition. b. The rotation of your leading hip starts your weight shift. c. Holding your cocked wrist as you start your down-swing stops your EARLY RELEASE.
A recent blog by Danny Maude gives us another great description on how to avoid EARLY RELEASE and generate more power: a. Store It: Rotate your hips and shoulders as you cock your wrists to store energy. b. Keep It: Load your weight from your trailing foot to your leading foot. c. Release It: Start your down swing with your leading hip, shoulders and then arms. Release your wrists last to generate a wooosh at the bottom.
d. Say “One Hundred and One” to add rhythm to your swing.
When you release at the bottom of your swing you will definitely hear a WOOOSHing noise. GOLFSTR+ just gives a reminder to help you delay your release. The woooshing noise is just the proof that you got it right. Practice to get the sound and that feeling for the right release. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Have you ever experienced an Out of Body SENSATION during your golf swing? It’s that moment when you get everything in sync for the perfect shot. Your subconscious mind seems to picture your swing in slow motion as it takes control of your body. I now realize that my brute force in my External Game of Golf is limiting my lower scores.
I decided to share these thoughts after I finished reading “The Inner Game of Golf”. Improve your game by letting your subconscious mind take control.
So many golfers, including myself, rush our backswing during the transition and never give our body time to start the shift of our weight to our leading foot at the top of our swing. Are you experiencing the following in your iron swings? 1/ You finish your swing falling back on your trailing foot. 2/ You rarely take any divot after the point where your ball rests. 3/ Your divot starts before your ball. 4/ The direction of your divot is never running up your target line.
You need to slow down your transition and accelerate from the top of your swing.Danny Maude refers to this motion as swinging from “high to low” as your club falls DOWN through the ball. Your rushed, brute force swing from the top of your swing is killing your game. a. Add rhythm to your swing by thinking 1, 2, 3 (with “2” at the top of your swing). b. Force yourself to start the press forward (instead of backwards) at the top of your swing so that you WILL take a divot (or at least some grass) after the point where your ball is at rest. c. Force yourself to finish your swing so that you are balancing on your leading foot and watching the amazing hit that you just made.
I know that many, including Tiger Woods, shift their minds into a yoga like trance where their subconscious takes over their swing. I’m not sure that I have described this correctly but I do know that it’s a subconscious experience. It’s that strange awareness when your mind takes control of your brute-force swing. Pros get this feeling on almost every shot.
Wouldn’t you like your ball to catapult off your club and vanish directly up your target line? Using your GOLFSTR+ to remind you to keep your leading arm straight is just a great starting point for perfect golf shots. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #38 Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.
If your lead hip is not starting to press forward at the top of your swing, your transition will not generate a powerful hit. All too often we lock our head and hips at the top of our swing and let our arms take over. That early arm action freezes our body so that we swing with our weight on our trailing foot. Your hip press or bump will start your weight shiftto your leading foot.
When you complete a relaxed practice swing (before your muscles tense up for the main event), it’s so easy to allow your weight to start shifting to our leading foot. Unfortunately when we step forward to the ball your focus often changes. We all tend to think about putting a little more power into our swing. That extra power causes us to rush the start of our downswing – – – BEFORE we start to shift our weight to our leading foot. To help you create a smooth transition, Clay at TopSpeedGolf.com made the following recommendations:
At address: Stand nice & tall (but still in an athletic position). You want to begin by standing as upright (with knees bent) as you can and still reach the club to the ball. You’re going to want to squat lower as you launch down in your downswing, so starting with nice posture can keep you from feeling too low to the ground in the downswing.
On the backswing: Activate your hips. If you rotate your hips in the backswing, not only does it help you load up on your leading foot, but it gives your hips momentum to open up through impact as you launch into a standing position.
During the Transition: Push your lead foot into the ground (as you bump your hip forward). Newton’s 3rd Law says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, by pushing into the ground with your lead foot, it pushes your lead hip back (and open). This gives you room to swing through the ball. Opening your hips at impact allows you to power through your ball as you either launch your drives or skim some turf with your irons after the ball.
As you follow through: You need to keep a shoulder tilt through impact. Your trailing shoulder should be tilted down. Focusing on this will ensure you’re staying in your athletic posture through impact.
When you get this right it feels like y o u a r e s w I n g I n g in s l o w m o t I o n. You can feel the leading edge of your club effortlessly power your ball up your target line. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep you leading arm straight through impact. Buy one today atwww.GOLFSTR.com
Golf Truism #38 The nearest sprinkler head will be blank.