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 ‘Swing Solutions’ Category

Rory McIlroy’s Short Putts are in Trouble

Watching the FedEx Cup St Jude Championship, I saw Rory McIlroy missing too many putts on the first 3 days of that tournament. Just sinking 1 more putt, would have put him in the playoffs on the final day of that tournament. Please forward this blog to Rory as the content could have earned him an additional $2.5 Million. Of course, it should also help you too.

All golfers want to use any advantage to sink more putts. Choosing the right line to start your putts and swinging with the right weight are the 2 critical issues that I hope to help Rory and you for short putts. Pros sink about 44% of all 10-foot putts and their success drops significantly for longer putts. Distortions on the surface of the green will change the direction of every putt but small distortions closer to the hole are a much bigger problem as your ball slows down near the hole. So hitting firm enough to pass the hole is critical for your success.

1/ Ball Momentum is MORE Critical Near the Hole
Every putt needs enough speed to carry the ball at least 12 to 24 inches past the hole to avoid the distortions caused by imperfections near the hole. The most damage on every green is caused by golfers carelessly bending down at the hole to remove their ball from the hole. Pressure from a footprint or the head of a putter used for balance, cause these hidden distortions.

NOTE: When you putt to pass the hole you should plan on less break at the hole.

2/ Every Putter Can Sink ANY Putt
You can’t afford to worry about using the wrong putter for each day that you play a round of golf. Rory had his caddie cut down his putter by 3/16ths of an inch “because it was not exactly the same length as the putter length that he preferred”. This was a crazy request as he was using a flat grip and could easily slide his hands up the grip. This was a dumb excuse.

3/ Pointing Your Putter Is a Dumb Solution
In the middle of the 3rd round Rory was pointing his putter to line up his ball with the hole. That was a big mistake as he missed 2 putts from about 5 feet using that method (which he rarely uses). You can’t see a break by pointing a putter and you can’t feel a slight break at the hole by standing over your putting line at any distance along your putting line. You need to trust the break near the hole as your ball slows down. ( breaks along the path of the ball need to be considered to a lesser extent)

Rory rarely uses his putter to line up a putt the way Bryson DeChambeau does. Rory did this line-up process standing over his ball for a 5-footer that he missed.

There are only 2 legal ways to measure OR feel the break near the hole: (a) by seeing the break as you look along the line of your putt from your ball to the hole or (b) by using GRAVITY to determine the amount of break at the hole, using your “calibrated” putter as a Plumb-Bob. [Stand near the hole on the line from the hole to your ball to see if the handle end of your putter shaft lines up above or in line with your ball (to find the high side of the slope at the hole).]

NOTE: You can only accurately plumb-bob with your putter if you “calibrate” it by lining up BOTH a known side (left or right as it is tapered) of the shaft and the direction of your putter face, with any door frame.

Practice putting with GOLFSTR+ with a flat leading wrist. Buy one at www.GOLFSTR.com .

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Easiest Way to Drop Your Scores

Our golfing failures are caused by our perfect expectations for each shot. Yes, we watch the successes of pros on TV and expect that we can create those successes on the golf course too. Unfortunately, your progress in golf should be taken one step at a time. Like losing weight, you can’t do it over night. Set a plan for your game and take advantage of your progress.

Work on Improvements in Every Component of Your Game: You have to accept the fact that you have weaknesses in your game. List them and then go to work on each segment of your game:

1/ Driving to Hit the Fairway: Trying to drive for distance is a killer for most golfers. Set a goal to hit more fairways (or par 3 greens) for all of your tee shots. Hitting out of the rough, behind a tree or OB are all killers for your next shot. Why not focus on hitting the fairway with an iron, a fairway wood or your driver but keep moving up to longer clubs as your success in hitting fairways improves. [Pros are happy to hit 14 out of 18 drives to hit their target.]
2/ Approach Shots: If you know that your chance of reaching the green is a low percentage shot, why not layup on the safe side of the green (away from traps and penalty areas). It’s so much easier to pitch and roll a shot onto the green.
3/ Reading the Green from the Fairway: Hitting the green and rolling off into the fringe can be another killer shot. Determine where your shot will land and roll before you take your approach shot. Take advantage of the roll to give yourself a change for a 2-putt green.

Justin Thomas dropped to the ground after his chip bounced on the 18th green and then hit the base of the flag stick. Had his caddie pulled the pin he would have sunk the chip and clinched a spot in the FedEx Cup playoff. POOR PLANNING!

4/ Practice to Cut Your Putts: Practice putting is the best way to cut strokes on every round that you play. Don’t expect to improve your putting without practice. You can only learn to reduce your putts by learning the feel for putting and reading greens. At least 40% of your practice time should be spent practicing your putts from every distance. Learning to make a good lag putt and then sink your second putt. A single putt green is just a bonus.
5/ Reading the Break: You may have 2 or 3 breaks in your putting line, but the slope closest to the hole is the most critical as your ball will break more as it slows down near the hole. Look at the line for any putt from the slope below the hole and again from behind the line from your ball to the hole. You need a good feel for the direction of the break and the distance of your putt.
6/ Short Putts NEVER Go In: Always putt to ensure that your ball will pass the hole by up to 2 feet. Even a 3-foot putt should be hit firm enough to pass the hole by at least a feet to avoid the many imperfections on the surface of the green next to the hole as most damage on the surface is done by golfers as they remove their ball from the hole. When you consistently pass the hole by up to 2 feet with every putt, you will learn to account for less break at the hole.

Practicing with GOLFSTR+ is a good starting point for every club in your bag. Stick to your plan to hit more fairways; make realistic layups or approach shots, hold more greens and make more 2 putt greens. If you make a poor shot, ensure that your next shot gets you back on track. Buy your GOLFSTR+ today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Rory Has a New Winning Swing Thought

After Rory McIlroy’s win at the Scottish Open I anxiously read a blog which highlighted his victory which was based on a fresh new swing thought.  That heading was a real teaser as the article never exposed his wonderful thought.  But it certainly made me realize how your focus on a single swing thought can turn your game around.

I agree that a swing thought is critical if you want to be successful with each type of club, but it may change with every type of club. Each of your clubs have a different weight and swing characteristic so it’s only in your best interest to focus on a thought that will help you achieve excellence for each type of shot.

Golf Magazine shows Rory shallowing his downswing. (1) High at the top, (2) Looping at transition (with a flat wrist) and (3) Shallow on the downswing

Driver Thought: This club is designed for distance so any swing thought should be to generate power with a shot that will land in your target fairway.  I personally aim to the right side of the fairway and setup to create a draw by slipping my trailing foot back slightly from my target line and teeing the ball up to ensure that the ball will launch higher.   My swing thought is to bow my wrist at the top (to shallow my down-swing) and rotate my leading hip to swing up the inside slot. (Rory does not use a bowed wrist.)

Iron and Hybrid Thought: These clubs are designed for a unique distance with better direction control.  At the point of impact, your sternum needs to line-up just in front of your ball to ensure that the lowest point in your swing arc is just beyond the point where your ball is resting.  Low handicap golfers shift their chest to line up their sternum during their down-swingHigher handicap golfers may find it easier to setup with extra bend in their leading knee to lining-up their sternum forward of the ball at setup (and hold that position through out their swing to impact).

Wedge Thought:  Plan your shot by choosing the right club and setup to allow your ball to land and roll out to the hole. Impacting with the ball before the ground is important but you need to practice the right amount of backswing to generate the distance and rollout that you want.  Focus your thought on the right amount of backswing.

Putter Thought:  After you line up your putt based on the expected break and distance you should practice your feel for the right amount of swing required to pass the hole by about 1 to 2 feet.  Your only thought during your putt should be to impact dead center on your putter face as you swing up your target line: DON’T MOVE YOUR EYES OFF THE POINT DIRECTLY BEHIND YOUR BALL until 2 seconds after impact.]

You may have your own personal thoughts but keep them simple.  Practice with GOLFSTR+ to perfect the correct swing with your arm and wrist for all 6 swing fixes.   Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

NOTE:  Golf  Magazine said that Rory focuses on a wider takeaway so that he can shallow at the top and swing up the slot with rotated (open) hips.

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What Fired up Brain Harman to Win The Open?

I found 3 surprising opportunities that fired up Brian Harman to win The Open. They are not what you are thinking. He has NOT been winning for many years, but his game has recently been improving in spit of his aging body at 36. He has finally rejuvenated his game after 20 years of trying to find the magic again.

The most important fact that we should pay attention to, is that he never stopped trying to find perfection in his game and we should all do the same. These 3 points were critical for his success.

Brian Harman wins The 2023 Open in spite of his historic lack of success.

1/ An Unpleasant Inspiration
On day 3 of The Open, he started his day leading the field. Unfortunately, he made 2 early bogies in his round. Most golfers may see this as the end of their good fortunes and continue to crash and burn. Fortunately, a hostile fan heckled Brian with the comment: “ Harman, you haven’t got the stones to win” . Those vicious words were enough for Brian to turn around his day. It put fire in his belly. It not only inspired him on Saturday but carried him to victory by 6 strokes.

2/ Sticking to His Strategy
Harman had decided that the pot belly bunkers were the evil plague that destroyed the rounds for so many of the pros. He decided to select clubs on every hole to hit short of the bunkers. Most of the greens were surrounded by those bunkers so he also used high shots onto every green to avoid them. Even more important was his skill to hit long iron shots safely to the greens.

3/ Always Searching for Success
In recent years Brian was making a good income from golf but he wanted to find perfection. Knowing that his putting was letting him down, he found an old Golf Training Aid in his collection of golfing paraphernalia. He called it a “silly mirror”. He was “cutting” his putts and used the mirror to help him put a “baby draw” on his putts. [These are very strange words to describe any putting motion when the object is to hit putts STRAIGHT.]

After the US Open, Brian started using his training aid as a reminder to improve his putts. His putting heated up even more at Hoylake, where Harman led the field in strokes gained putting (+11.57 for the week). He sank 58 of 59 putts from inside 10 feet.

GOLFSTR+ may be the Training Aid that will kick-start your game with 6 swing fixes. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Scottie Scheffler Does IT, Can YOU?

Can you learn from Scottie Scheffler’s swing? He recently returned to World Number 1 with 6 wins since February 2022. He achieved this feat in spite of his wild footwork during his swing. Most swing lessons tells us to finish in balance. Scottie does this but his feet are flying throughout his swing. Should you attempt to duplicate his fancy footwork?

Scottie adds a lot of motion to his footwork during his downswing in orderto add more power. Others, like Rory McIlroy, achieve the same distance with a balanced finish using a more conventional golf swing.

I found this interesting review of Scottie’s swing in a recent blog:

[The defining trait of Scottie Scheffler’s golf swing is his footwork. During his downswing, his trail (right) foot slides towards his left. Greg Norman did something similar, and Scottie himself says it’s become a way that helps him feel athletic through the shot. His feet slide in the same direction as the club when it swings through, which helps transfer his weight and prevent a left miss.

It’s a move that may have been coached out of a player in a bygone era. But Scottie and his longtime coach, Golf Digest Top 50 coach Randy Smith, built around it. And therein lies the lesson, said fellow PGA Tour player Michael S. Kim on Twitter: “Find your best swing, don’t copy others.”

Kim’s point is a good one: That rather than caring how something should look, the ultimate goal is to meld a swing to your unique body. Everybody is slightly different, which means they’ll be more prone to swing the golf club in slightly different ways.]

Scottie Scheffler lands on his leading foot just after impact. Will this work for you? Will his ankle survive?

In the long run Scottie may wear out body parts or he may lose his magic touch for direction control as his body tires out during each round of 18 holes (as noticed in a recent tournament).

Scottie’s spectacular record may inspire you to try his technique or your own unique swing features for distance and direction control. If that’s not working, you can always convert back to a traditional swing the way that Rickie Fowler got his game back on track.

Before you try to innovate a new swing, you should learn the basics by practicing with GOLFSTR+ for 6 swing fixes. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Straight Arm Golf Swing SOLUTION !

Over 10 years ago, I developed GOLFSTR+, a golf training aid to remind me to keep my leading arm straight during my backswing. I knew that I had a winner when I started playing a round of golf at Indian Wells Golf Resort in Palm Springs, CA while wearing my GOLFSTR+. After hitting a number of greens in regulation, I removed my training aid and soon lost my magic. Practicing and playing with GOLFSTR+ was a great start for my future golfing success.

I had learned that if I kept my leading arm straight, I could generate more distance, but my limited flexibility was limiting my backswing. In every round while playing without GOLFSTR+, I found that I would start bending my leading arm to increase my backswing to gain more distance. That bent leading arm would eventually destroy the consistency of my hits.

If you have been reading my recent blogs, you will be aware of my testing program to roll my leading arm elbow clockwise so that it faces up my target line during my setup.

BINGO: I now realize that this leading arm muscle roll is creating a strain in my arm that locks my leading arm straight DURING MY BACKSWING.

The #2 use for GOLFSTR+ is ideal for you to use with a clockwise rotated leading elbow during your setup to keep your leading arm straight during your backswing.

This is the miracle that I have been searching for to create consistency in every shot for distance and direction control. I just have to remember to set up with the elbow roll for every shot. I may add a 2 to 3 foot takeaway waggle for my driver but I definitely have to take my time to add a full backswing and a cocked wrist for lag at the top.

Many of the best pros and most of the female pros make a slow and controlled backswing as it has very little impact on the speed of their downswing.

Practice your lead elbow roll wearing your GOLFSTR+ for every shot and you will quickly see improvement in your drives and fairway shots. You will overcome the feeling of a strain in your leading arm as your swing becomes more consistent. Of course, you still need to transfer your weight as you execute your downswing and complete your follow-though. GOLFSTR+ reminds you to keep your leading arm straight. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Take Control of Your Swing (#4 Minor Changes to Improve Your Game)

This is the fourth in a Series of simple adjustments that you should explore to improve your game. Your swing thoughts should be embedded in your brain so that you don’t need to hash them out every time you setup for your next shot. Rushing your backswing will destroy your performance.

Avoid an abbreviated Back-Swing: Use a 2 or 3 foot takeaway waggle to feel the right rotation of my shoulders and hips before you start your actual swing. It will give you a new feeling for the start of your swing because you are making this wake-up move with your shoulders and NOT just your arms.

Add enough time in your backswing: Your speed and cadence will depend on how easy it is to keep a straight leading arm, to rotate your shoulders and hips as you add wrist lag before your transition. You will be amazed as I am that when you take more time for your backswing you can create a lot more power and distance.

Shallow Your club at the top: Haney, Leadbetter and Ballard are all teaching golfers to loop their club down at the top of their swing to shallow the club and avoid slicing from over the tip swings. Bowing your wrist down at the top will help you shallow your swing.

Avoid Early Extension: Swing through your ball with the transfer of weight to your leading foot so that your iron sweeps the grass after impact and your driver launches upward after it passed the bottom of your swing. We all want to extend our knees after impact but you can’t afford to get excited and extend them too early. Use your knees to push forward instead of rushing to spring up.

Rickie Fowler starts his weight transfer at the top of his swing and keeps his head down through impact before he springs up through his launch.

Your successful golf swing is all about timing. When you get it right you will experience a wonderful feeling of euphoria and your ball will launch like butter. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to get that feeling with a straight leading arm. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Setup Stance and Takeaway are Critical (#3 Minor Changes to Improve Your Game)

This is the third in a Series of simple adjustments that you should explore to improve your game. Your swing thoughts need to be embedded deep in your brain so that you don’t hash them out every time you setup for your next shot. Own your unique setup for each of your clubs to create a consistent swing and consistent results.

Your setup and takeaway timing is extremely critical for the success of your swing. After you stand behind your ball and choose your target line, pick a point in the grass within 3 feet from your ball. From that point forward you can isolate yourself within your own CUBE like Wyndham Clark at the 2023 US Open . Learn to believe in the success of the shot that you are about to make. If you complete the perfect setup and proper swing with the right club you can only expect excellence.

Easier said than done. Clark did it, almost to perfection but it was good enough to beat the best in the golf world. You have made perfect shots to the perfect location so why can’t you do this every time? It just takes a little focus on what works best for your strength, flexibility and mental attitude.

Setup with your arms dropped from your shoulders, stance square to your target and an athletic posture with a flat back.

The perfect setup stance: An athletic stance with a bend at your hips, a straight back & neck and a limited bend of your knees with the right spread of your feet (unique for each club). Right-handed golfers should add a clockwise rotation for your leading and trailing elbows to simplify shallowing your club in your backswing. It’s up to you to choose the pro who you want to emulate for the power that you want to generate.

The right grip for each club is a light grip which is nesting across the base of your fingers. This allows your driver and iron swings to release fully through impact. Your putter grip should be a preference for each golfer, but you can’t afford to be guiding your putt with your wrists and fingers. Swing your putter by using your spine to rotate your shoulders.

Don’t stretch out to reach your ball: In your athletic stance you are bending at your hips. Let you hand hang directly down to the grip on your club. If you stretch your arms out during your setup you will typically slice more shots off the end of your club face. Bryson DeChambeau sets up reaching his arms out for his ball to swing like a robot but he seems to be losing control of his shot direction .[Not a great example to follow.] Adjust your hip bend based on the length of your club and use your practice swing to build mental confidence that you will impact your ball correctly.

You have no excuse to mess-up your setup. Emulate the setup by Ernie Els and Adam Scott. Do it slowly and deliberately to find your comfort position before you make your practice swing and then move forward to your ball. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to get the feeling right for every swing with each of your clubs. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Roll Your Elbows During Setup: (#2- Minor Changes to Improve Your Game)

This is the second in a Series of simple adjustments that you should explore to improve your game. Your swing thoughts need to be embedded deep in your brain so that you don’t need to hash them out every time you setup for your next shot. Rolling your elbows in your setup will add power and direction control for every shot.

I was surprised to see that Martin Chuck and Danny Maude released blogs a few weeks ago recommending that you should setup by rolling an elbows clockwise (for right handed golfers).
Martin Chuck recommended: “How to Aim Your Elbow to Maximize Your Consistency and Accuracy.” His blog referred to a setup by rolling your LEADING arm elbow.
-Danny Maude recommended: “Aways Start with Your Right Arm in this Position for Consistency, Accuracy, and Distance.” His blog referred to a setup by rolling your TRAILING arm elbow.
It really was surprising to see both of these trainers recommending unique elbow setups (one for your leading arm and the other for your trailing arm). Of course, I had to test these setups before releasing this blog. I really did find surprising results.

Understanding Elbow Rotation
You can try this with or without a golf club in your hands. Extend your arms and hold your hands together as if you are gripping a golf club. Without rotating your hands (for right hand golfers) you will find that you can rotate your left elbow clockwise so that it will line up to point in the direction of your target (up the fairway). You can also rotate your right elbow clockwise so that the crease at your elbow faces upward (as it normally does with a strong grip).

Rory McIlroy sets up with both his left and right elbows rotated clockwise. It works for him.

Observations Watching the US OPEN and on the golf course
Pros in the US Open and lower handicap golfers automatically line up their leading arm elbow in the clockwise rotated direction (with their elbow pointing up the fairway). Weaker golfers typically setup with the crease on both elbows pointing inward.

I tried drives with all 3 combinations: (leading elbow rotated, trailing elbow rotated and both elbows rotated clockwise). After I got over the tension in my arms (caused by the forced rotation), I was able to make very consistent drives as long as I released with an inside to outside swing to create a nice draw. [You may find a different result but I am recommending that you test this out on your game.] Leading elbow rotation helps my swing to shallow the club in my backswing and trailing elbow rotation delivers a much stronger release up the inside slot.

Rory setups up with a clockwise rotation on both elbows.

Both of these clockwise elbow rotations (for right-handed golfers and the opposite for left handed golfers) will improve your consistency for direction control and more distance. I love these recommendations but realize that I need to ingrain my elbow rotation into my setup routine. Practice with GOLFSTR+ as I know that the leading elbow rotation really helps me swing with a straight leading arm. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Minor Changes to Improve Your Game: Shape Your Shot (#1 in the Series)

This is the first in a Series of simple adjustments that you may want to try to improve your game. Your swing thoughts need to be embedded deep in your brain so that you don’t need to hash them out every time you setup for your next shot. Setting up to shape your shot is the easiest way to hit more fairways and greens.

It really is frustrating when your ball does not head where you thought you were aiming your shot. Minor changes in your setup and swing make all the difference. Your line up, your posture and bad thoughts from your last shot will all affect your next shot. You can’t afford to stand over your ball thinking about your last miss-hit. You need a positive plan to make your next CONFIDENT swing or putt exactly where you plan.

Learn to Shape your Shot
Don’t expect to hit every drive or fairway shot exactly straight at you target. Very few of your shots every fly in a straight line. To add more control to every one of your shots over 100 yards you should be setting up for a slight draw or fade depending on your normal swing. Your launch direction is based on the face of your club at the point of impact and your ball flight will create its curving path based on the side and/or top and undercut rotation of your ball.

Golf Monthly provided that image to help you see how a draw and fade can both help your game. Take control and choose your shot direction and shape to hit more fairways and greens.

A higher percentage of pros tend to add draw for their shots to gain distance and you should too. Practice creating a draw for most of your shots. Setup with a very slightly closed club face and execute your swing with a shallow inside to outside swing across your target line. If this is not creating a draw, then test your swing with a slightly closed stance (moving your trailing foot back an inch from your target line) and/or a slightly stronger grip by rotating your trailing hand back (pointing the V from your thumb to your first finger to the right of you trailing arm pit).

Every golfer has different strengths in their physical body rotation so you should use a trial and error approach at the driving range to figure out if you need to add a closed stance or stronger grip change to add draw to most of your swings.

Golf is a game of physical science. Every human body has a different makeup of strength depending on your physical activity and injuries which you have sustained throughout your life. Make slight adjustments to determine what works best for your body and game. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to control every swing in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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