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

Adjust Your Swing for YOUR Body

Every golfer wants to break 100, then 90 and then 80. That’s why we watch rounds of golf on TV and continue to receive golf blogs to improve our games. Every pro has unique features in their swing, and you can too. You need to start with the basics that every professional depends on, but you should consider making modifications to suit your swing for your physical limitations.

Every golfer ages with different injuries and different physical activities which create limitations or unique strengths for our bodies. I know that I have had back and head injuries caused by snow skiing and a car accident. The Solomon Law Group attorneys helped me to claim compensation for the injuries sustained.Though I am left-handed in every activity but I learned to play golf with the only clubs that I could find in our attic, and they were right-handed clubs. My swing is far from perfect but I make adjustments to keep improving.

I golf with several different people from all walks of life. Over time I see their games change: some for the better and some for the worse. In most cases the golfers who are NOT improving are trying to swing faster and are ruining the natural cadence of their swing. I’m hoping that the following summary of successful swing changes may help with your game.

Discoveries for Success
Massive Hook or Slice: Narrow your stance to reduce the power of your swing. [This golfer still uses a “strong” grip with his trailing hand, but his narrower stance reduced his power and creates amazing straight drives and fairway shots.
Miss-hit Drives: Slow down your backswing to allow more time for your weight transfer from your trailing foot to your front foot during your transition. [This golfer was hitting the ground 3 inches before his club topped the ball and added top spin which forced the ball to dive to the ground.]
Toe or Hosel Shots: Setup with your ball to the inside or outside of your club face to compensate for the clubs for each club where this is happening. [These golfers are swinging with bent arms where they miss-hit the face of their clubs.]
Miss-hit Fairway Shots: Avoid hitting off your trailing foot by setting up with your weight forward on your leading foot. [Irons are lighter and shorter clubs so it’s easy to swing them faster before your weight shift to your leading foot.]
Limited Power: Swing with a flat leading wrist (instead of cupping your wrist in the backswing) and make sure that you cock your wrist for lag so that you release creates a whooshing sound at the bottom of your swing. [A cupped wrist is adding slice to your swing.
Direction Control: Adjust your stance during setup. Some golfers start with a major open stance and some with a closed stance. Only you can sort out what will works best for your swing.

Finish your swing for better direction control.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn the correct swing for 6 swing fixes and then adjust your stance and swing for your physical limitations. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought for the Day: It takes longer to become good at golf than it does brain surgery. On the other hand, you seldom get to ride around in a cart, drink beer and eat hot dogs while performing brain surgery. 

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Tiger Said: “Putt the Picture”

Tiger Woods was one of the best putters and that’s one reason why he won so many tournaments. Justin Thomas, one of Tiger’s close friends, said that Tiger’s favorite putting tip was to “Putt the Picture”. We should all understand what Tiger meant and apply it to our games.

Before you play any course, you need to feel the speed of the greens by hitting practice putts. The practice green should be cut and rolled so that it gives you the same feel and speed as every green on the course.

There are 4 stages for each of Tiger’s putts. You will never be as successful as Tiger without applying each one.
1/ Review the Changing Slope of the Green: You will never appreciate the break for any putt unless you have a feel for the amount of slope along the path for your putt. Walking around the line of your putt to view the subtle breaks on the green is the only way feel the motion of the putt. Make sure that you determine the low point below your putting line to see where your putt would fall directly downhill so that you can decide on the amount of break expected for your putt as it slows down along your putting line.
2/ Putt the Picture: From your feel for the breaks on the green, you should now visualize the starting line for your putt and the curving line that your putt will take to reach and pass the hole by about 12 to 18 inches. [Imperfections near the hole cause the most deflections for your putt as it slows down at the end of it’s roll.]
3/ Square your Body and Your Putter Face: Knowing your starting line, you should be able to square your feet and shoulders and putter face on that line.
4/ Putt Up Your Starting Line: Because you have practiced swing your putter directly up your target line, you should have no problem rocking your shoulders back and impacting your ball squarely on the center of your putter face.

Choose your target line and visualize the amount of break and exact line that your putt will follow.

Most putts are missed because golfers forget to account for the extra curl as your ball slows down and rolls to a stop. If your putt is across-the-hill or up-hill, hit firm enough to pass the hole and avoid deflections by imperfections. Down-hill putts are the most difficult as you have no choice but to let the ball die into the hole.

Always putt with your large muscles by rocking your shoulders. Practice putting with a flat leading wrist, using your GOLFSTR+, as your wrists should not break when you rock your arms with your shoulders. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought For the Day: It’s amazing how a golfer who never helps with house or yard work but will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.

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Tips From the PGA Championship

Golfers love to play this game, but they also love to watch golf on TV to find nuggets of knowledge that they hope will improve their game.  The PGA Championship was fun to watch and gave a few great ideas for those sitting on the sidelines.

Every Round has it Ups and Downs

The PGA Championship was a real wake-up for golfers.  Don’t get frustrated when you play a great round of golf followed by a poor round of golf.  It may be caused by the wind or the phase of the moon, but your luck seems to change day to day.  Inconsistency for the pros seems to be the same as we experience as recreational players.  If you watched all 4 days of the PGA Championship you can appreciate the UPS and DOWNS experienced by McIlroy, Zalatoris (so close), Bubba Watson (fun while it lasted), Rahm (#1 was out of it), Spieth (hot and cold), Fowler (getting hotter), Pereira (double bogie on the 18th) and Justin Thomas (winning the Playoff from 7 back).

Never Say Die: Justin Thomas was 7 behind at the start of the final round and won in a 3 hole playoff.

Rory Practicing Shots to Take Off Back-SPIN

When you are making an approach shot to a green with a steep slope off the front, you CAN’T afford to hit shots with a lot of back-spin, especially at Southern Hills where many greens are setup with a drop-off on all sides.  On the practice range they highlighted Rory practicing by choking down about 4 inches on clubs and hitting balls back in his stance to eliminate backspin.    

Tiger Using the Ball Logo for Tee Shots

I always setup my ball on a tee shot so that the logo is diagonal to my target line.  Of course, I’m giving myself a mental image to swing from the inside to outside for a draw shot (to avoid slicing the ball).   Tiger was seen setting up his Bridgestone logo on the face of his ball exactly where he wants his impact.  He was even placing the logo below the equator of the ball when setting up for a wedge shot on a par 3 tee shot.  Of course, he was planning his downswing to undercut his ball.

Cameron Smith is Human

After putting on an amazing display before the Masters, he is finally showing us how he can miss short putts too. 

That tournament reminded us that you will never win if you take this game too seriously.  Only the brave and relaxed players survive in golf.  Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to build confidence.  Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought for the Day:  Did you ever notice that it’s a lot easier to get up at 6:00 a.m. to play golf than at 10:00 to mow the yard or go to church?

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Consistent Golf with a Straight Leading Arm

I developed GOLFSTR+ to help me remember to keep my leading arm straight in my backswing. If you bend your arm in the backswing it will always be difficult to consistently swing down to the ball with the exact same arm length. A bent leading arm causes topped balls or fat hits or hits off the toe of your club.

You will never see Tiger Woods swing with a bent leading arm because he still has the flexibility for a full rotation with a straight leading arm in his backswing. He, like every other professional golfer, knows that his leading arm is HIS YARD STICK to his golf ball. He has a straight leading arm in his setup and again at impact and that gives him a consistent impact with the ball.

Driving distance champions have longer backswing but hit a low percentage on the fairway. Accuracy with a limited backswing must be a critical solution for your game.

Aging Bodies Lose Flexibility
What are aging bodies supposed to do when they can’t create a backswing like Tiger and all of the other pros. Bending your elbow will often result in a swing over the top causing a sliced shot or hits off the toe of your club. If you eliminate the top of your bent arm backswing, you can also eliminate premature casting at the top.

3 Solutions to Keep Your Leading Arm Straight.
1/ Lift your leading heel slightly to allow for more rotation of your hips without shifting your body back. Jack Nicklaus and many other pros did this. Why can’t you?
2/ LIMIT YOUR BACKSWING to the point where your leading arm is NOT BENT and your FLAT LEADING WRIST is cocked for lag. Your power comes from the weight transfer to your leading hip but even more important the release of your wrist lag at the bottom of your swing.
NOTE: Even the pros normally complete a backswing with their leading straight arm just above horizontal when hitting irons. YOU DON’T NEED A JOHN DALY BACKSWING for you irons or your driver.
3/ Train your mind to limit your backswing using GOLFSTR+. Wear it while you play 18 holes to train your mind to limit your swing. [Unfortunately, it’s not legal to wear during a competition.]

These 3 images are from Adam Young Golf showing 3 levels of backswing. Older golfers should limit your backswing like IMAGE #1 to keep your leading arm straight.

Don’t compensate for limited rotation by shifting your head and shoulders. [Note from Tiger: When he loads onto his right hip in his backswing, his next thought is to turn as much as he can into his left hip. That keeps the club out in front of him and helps him hit fades. When he doesn’t load properly, he springs up and out of his posture, the club gets too far behind him, and it adds pressure on his back.]

Practice your straight leading arm swing using GOLFSTR+. Feeling GOLFSTR+ touching the back of your arm reminds you to limit your backswing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought For the Day: Why am I using a new putter?…… Because the old one doesn’t float.

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Don’t Swing Without Your Mental Image

Golf is NOT a “no brainer”. You can’t afford to setup and execute each shot without a mental plan and image. I have read blogs where the writer suggests that you should just choose your target and then swing without any mental preparation. Believe me, I have tried it and nothing could be worse. Every swing is unique for every condition that you face (wind, stance, ball location and the mental impact of your last shot).

Reading a recent issue of GOLF Digest, I was amazed at the detail that Collin Morikawa puts into every shot. I just wanted to share the thoughts that he quoted:
PLAN A: “When it’s critical to hit the fairway, I go with a little cut shape off the tee. My typical miss is to over cut the ball. It happens when my arms get disconnected from my body on the backswing [where his trailing elbow is almost touching his side at the top]. To make sure a cut doesn’t become a slice, I treat my arms and torso as one unit as I start back. Try it. You’ll feel like your backswing is abbreviated, yet fully wound.”

For his “little cut shot” to hit more fairways, Collin keeps his trailing elbow almost touching his body as shown in this photo.

PLAN B: “When I want to reach back for a few extra yards, I tee the ball higher and make a bigger turn, which makes my swing longer. I’ll some-times put my right hand on my right hip and mimic a backswing to rehearse this longer drive. I want to feel my right leg straightening and my right shoulder moving back and around my body [where his trailing elbow separates from his side]. If I copy that when I swing, I can really turn it loose.” [End of Collin’s quote.]

Collin has a mental plan for each shot. And you should have one too. I try to follow his plan A to keep my trailing elbow close to my body to force my backswing rotation. I have to avoid his plan B (for extra yards as that is where I get into trouble with wild slices).

Collin Morikawa really does have flexibility to rotate and keep his leading arm straight throughout his swing. Stay tuned for next week’s blog when I describe a great solution for the backswing for less flexible golfers. Keeping your leading arm straight is critical for consistent golf so you should be practicing with GOLFSTR+. It also gives you 5 more golf swing fixes. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought For the Day: It’s amazing how a golfer who never helps with house or yard work will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.

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Swing with a Lazy Wrist

Great golfers like Freddie Couples generate more power by swinging with a “lazy wrist”. As a matter of fact, you may not see the lazy motion in the takeaway, but powerful golfers lead their downswing with the butt end of their golf club. By adding lag and rhythm at the top of their swing, they automatically adds more power. Danny Maude’s (golf blogger) recent blog reminded me about this secret power builder.

If you are a rigid armed, fast swinging golfer, you will be surprised at how well you can swing if you loosen up. That’s right, put some rhythm in your swing and let your wrists do the work.
I mentioned Freddie Couples as one of the few golfers who has a swing where you can see him start his downswing with the butt end of his club while the head of his driver or iron still seems to be adding wrist lag at the top of his backswing. He is not rushing his swing, but his motion is the opposite to casting.

Casting at the top of your swing is where you lose most of your power. The only way you can add head speed is to “release” as the bottom of your swing to increase head speed and generate more distance during impact.

Freddie Couples loads his lag at the top of his swing (with lazy wrists for whipping action).

Danny Maude recently illustrated what I call “Lazy Wrist Action” by using a weak wrist takeaway like a waggle where your hands are moving the way you would waggle (in the opposite direction of the head of your club). As his hands approach the top of his swing, he lets the club head catch up and pass the wrists to add lag at the top of the swing as he pulls down on the butt end of his club and starts his forward hip press and rotation. Try to do this as you exaggerate the lag at the top and feel your wrists pulling the butt end of your club down.

Practice by waggling your club to get the feeling of leading your takeaway with your wrists (but you won’t actually do this for your swing). Then swing to the top and let the club add lag with your “lazy” wrists as you pull down with the butt of your club. Learn the feeling of letting your loose wrists create lag as you start your downswing.

You will know that the butt of your club is leading your swing when you whip the club head through the impact zone and hear the whooshing sound.

Save your power for the release of your wrists at the bottom of your swing. Learn the “lazy wrist” feeling in slow motion and then speed up the swing to feel the impact of a more powerful swing. Don’t forget to practice your straight leading arm swing with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought of the day: The pro-shop gets its name from the fact that you must have the income of a professional golfer to buy anything in there.

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Take the Yips Out of YOUR Putting

Every golfer has the strength to putt and sink putts. The best putters read the break and match the right swing weight directly up their target line to sink every putt. Easier said than done. Even Cameron Smith can’t sink every putt but he does give himself an excellent chance by setting up correctly and swinging with the right swing to start his ball rolling OVER and DIRECTLY UP HIS TARGET LINE. So why do YIPS creep into YOUR putting stroke?

I recently read the benefits of the EyeLine Putting Alignment Mirror. Unfortunately, it can’t tell you the 3 most critical features to make putts: (1) How to read the break: (2) The amount of swing required to reach the hole and (3) How to avoid the YIPS. You need to start by practicing on a variety of greens with different roll speeds to build confidence. Great putters learn to feel the right swing speed to manage the break and power the putt with a confident swing into the hole. To do this you need to swing with your shoulders AND avoid the YIPS.

A Putting Mirror is an aid to help you setup:
1/ Square up your feet and your shoulders with your target line.
2/ Your eyes should lineup directly over the target line or slightly inside of that line.
3/ Your head should not sway with your putter backswing or follow-through.

What You Can’t Learn from a Putting Mirror:
A/ Learn to swing by rocking your shoulders
TO AVOID THE YIPS (using the LARGE MUSCLES IN YOUR SHOULDERS and not the small muscles in your wrists).
B/ Your putter must swing directly back (like a pendulum) and directly up your target line BY ONLY ROCKING YOUR SHOULDERS.
C/ Make a long enough putting practice swing WITH YOUR SHOULDERS to feel the power required to reach and pass the hole by 12 to 18 inches (to avoid a deflection from green imperfections as your putt slows down near the hole).

Tiger locks his leading wrist and rocks his shoulders to swing like a pendulum and avoid the YIPS.

Avoid the YIPS and shaking hands by locking your leading wrist flat and lining-up your leading forearm with the shaft of your putter. Only use your shoulders to swing your putter like a pendulum up your target line. GOLFSTR+ helps you practice by locking your leading wrist to eliminate the YIPS. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

Thought for the Day: Golf balls are like eggs – they’re white, they’re sold by the dozen, and a week later you have to buy more.

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Aging Golfers: “Cheat” Your Swing

Aging Golfers tend to slow down their swing and that can lead to more missed shots. (1) A slower wrist release for your heavier driver tends to create more shots that fade or slice. (2) Your irons are lighter, but your hip release gets out of sync with your swing and that results in more topped balls or miss-hits. If you are experiencing these two problems, I have some wonderful news for you.

Realizing what my aging body was slowing down, with a driver swing speed at about 80 mph, I decided to experiment by setting up for my driver and my irons to compensate for my slower swing. Yes, I decided to “Cheat” my swing so that I am now saving about 10 strokes per round. My golfing buddies are amazed at my game. Last week while playing in the Men’s Golf Association, I won the top prize money at $211 by winning my flight in Best of 2 Ball, a Closest to the Hole on a Par 3 and 2 Skins.

Of course, I am calling my new swing setup “Cheating” but I am really setting up with a slight modification to compensate for my AGING LAZY BODY. It’s not really cheating but I wanted to get your attention with this blog.

“Cheating” Setup for your Driver
I am definitely losing power in my arms and wrists, so I tend to hit more fades or when I try to swing faster I get more slices than distance. I know that I am getting more distance when I shallow my down swing at the top (with my flat wrist) but that is only making my fade or slice even worse. My solution is to setup with an open stance, with my leading foot back a few inches from my target line. [My swing from the inside to out is like throwing an underhand softball pitch with the wrist releasing close to my hip.]

Surprisingly, after my first 6 to 9 holes when my body is really loosened up, I minimize my open stance for my drive to avoid pulling my drives. Our bodies tend to loosen up as we play so it is up to you to sort out how much of an open stance your need for your drives as your game progresses.

This image illustrates an OPEN Stance. I use an open stance for my driver and swing from inside and up the target line for amazingly straight drives and to land in the fairway.

“Cheating” Setup for your Irons
During your transition at the top of your swing, your body should be shifting more weight to your leading foot, to ensure that you bottom out the arc of your swing directly after your club impacts the ball. Trainers and pros to this to compress their ball with more power. As I age, I tended to lose this weight shift forward at the top of my swing. I now “Cheat” my setup by adding a slight bend to my leading knee so that I am pressing forward right from the start of my backswing. I understand that I lose power by using this “Cheat”, but it gives me better control of the direction of my shots with very little lose in distance.

SPOILER ALERT: Performance Golf offers the “Power Joint Secret” to get 30 yards further: JUST KEEP YOU LEADING WRIST FLAT IN THE BACKSWING. That’s just one of the 6 Swing Fixes that you get with GOLFSTR+.

Using these two “Cheats” I’m getting more GIR’s and makeable birdie putts. Of course, I also focus on my straight leading arm and flat wrist backswing by practicing with GOLFSTR+ . Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

David Letterman: Why Golf is Better than Sex #1: “When your equipment gets old you can replace it!”

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Make Every Chip Count

Are you one of those golfers who occasionally yips your chips? You know those short chips near the green when you want to reach the putting surface and roll out to the hole. How often do you blade your chips across the green or bouncing your club into the ground before you brush your ball with a weak result? Imagine the strokes you could save if you could make every chip count.

I am one of those golfers who tends to miss-hit my chips when the pressure is on to lift my ball out of deep rough with a very short run-out to the hole. Of course, I also stub those easy chips from a tight lie about 20 yards from the green. I have tried a few special chipping clubs that promise success but the weight of these heavier clubs have a different feel than my set of clubs, so my swing cadence is inconsistent and my results were poor.

I found the perfect solution where I can use my existing clubs as well as the different lofts of each of my clubs. Danny Maude teaches the proper swing for chipping (the way Scottie Scheffler or any other pro chips), but he also provides this much simpler chipping method with a putting stroke. What could be easier to use for recreational golfers?

Learn to Make a Putting-Chip: By gripping down on any of your irons and standing with your eyes almost directly over your ball you can chip your ball from any lie to clear 1 to 20 feet of rough and settle on the putting surface.

Grip down your shaft so that your club is almost vertical and the toe is pointing to the ground (with the heel raised off the ground). The shortened shaft makes it easier to control the ball.

1/ For shorter chips with shorter run-outs, use your highest lofted wedge and for longer chips with longer run-outs you can select a lower lofted club like a 6 iron or an 8 iron.
2/ Setup with a normal putting stance with your feet close together but your hands will be placed on the lower end of your grip or below your grip so that your shaft is almost pointing vertically from your hands down to the ball.
3/ The toe of your club will be pointing on an angle down to your ball [Sorry about the image above as the grass is hiding the toe pointing down] as you will be swinging as you would with a putter (with a flat leading wrist) to lift your ball with the TOE of your club. Use a limited backswing to chip your ball and let it run-out 1 to 35 feet across the green.
4/ You will have to experiment with different amounts of backswing and follow-through with each of your lofted clubs to sort out what works best for the air time and roll-out that you want to execute.

The fun part is that you are no longer miss-hitting chips because you are able to rock your shoulders to impact your ball at the bottom of the arc of your swing with the shortened shaft of any iron in your bag. Practice your flat leading wrist swing while wearing your GOLFSTR+ exactly as you practice a putting stroke. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

David Letterman: “Why Golf is Better than Sex (#2): You don’t have to cuddle with your partner when you’re finished.” (This is not my idea)

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Control Your Brain and Body to Shoot Par

We all play this wonderful game to improve our golfing skills so that someday we may even break par. I’m sure that every golfer would like to achieve the same goal as we are all searching for that special combination that will help us get there. Last week I played a great round of golf and shot 1 over par on my back nine. My only thought was: “How did I do that and can I bottle that special feeling for all of my future games.”

My first 9 holes were mediocre at best with only 2 pars and no 7’s. So I started wondering why my game clicked into near perfection on the back 9?

-My drives were consistently going up the center of the fairway and always over 200 yards (and into 25 MPH winds).
-Approach shots were on target as my impact was with weight on my front foot and I finished in balance. (Only 1 approach shot went over a green.)
-I missed only 3 Greens In Regulation (GIR) where I chipped up to the hole for a 1 putt or hit out of a sand trap for a 1 putt SANDY. I could do no wrong.
-I missed one nervous putt for a 3-putt hole where I was not committed to the break.
Overall, my putting was excellent where I sank most of my putts under 6 feet

Every golfer wonders how Tiger Woods achieves the impossible. Confidence and Skill must be his primary motivation to play in the Masters. HE’S BACK!

I could do no wrong. So why was I creating so much success? Could it be:
-I was playing with 2 single handicap golfers who inspired my game?
-I ignored the fact that I was playing on a par streak and ignored my score?
-I focused on the right club selection and the full swing that I needed to execute my shot?
-I made a clean practice swing and duplicated that swing for each shot?

I was calm and relaxed so the only thing that I can attribute my success to was my CONFIDENCE to execute each shots and my SKILL to select the right club and the right target line. In my case my SKILL must be more luck when I am hitting on a windy day and landing on a reasonable lie. My next round was 2 strokes higher, but I know that I am on the right track.

I built up my CONFIDENCE by marking my scorecard with a “1” on the upper left corner for each hole when I landed my drive in the fairway and a “1” in the upper right for each GIR (or S/sand or W/water or T/tree or P/pitch). Based on a quick glance on my score card, I could easily see where my success was coming from. The more GIR’s I made, the more confident I became.

Most golfers have the ability to par every hole, but we need to use our personal focus on every swing and CONFIDENCE to make every shot count. Even when we miss a green or miss a putt, we can still recover on the next shot. I learned to correct my swing for 6 swing flaws with GOLFSTR+. Now I believe in my personal performance to keep lowering my handicap. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

David Letterman: “Why Golf is Better than Sex #3: If you live in Florida , you can do it almost every day.”

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