Friday, July 31, 2015

A Little Golf Humor!

Change Your Thinking and Improve.

Play Better by Thinking Better

This blog is based on the premise that the body responds to the thoughts that are going through your mind.

The major reason that golf is difficult to learn is that the ball sits still and it gives you time to think about a lot of things you shouldn't. 

Other sports where a ball is involved, such as tennis and baseball the ball is in motion and you simply react to it.  A batter in baseball does not make a conscious decision to swing the bat. He simply focuses on the ball and let’s his body react. In golf, the ball sits there waiting for the brain to decide what to do and when.

This concept is important, even at the beginner level. The brain says hit the ball and the body responds. The ball may only move a few feet, but the body was successful. The instructions were to hit the ball – contact was made.  One of the biggest challenges for a beginner is the desire to help the ball get up in the air which is impossible.

The brain also only responds to the last thought - sometimes known as the” little voice”.

The brain does not respond well to negatives. The thought “don’t hit it in the water on the right” will not and cannot produce a good swing. It produces a negative or defensive swing. The result is never a good shot.   

The “little voice” is negative by default unless you override it with a positive thought.  It is essential that you focus on what you want to happen rather than on what you don’t want to happen. The only good shots come from positive swing thoughts.

It is much easier to change your golf swing by changing what you are thinking.  You need to examine what your brain is telling your body to do.  Are there so many thoughts it gets confused?  Concentrate on one positive thought.  A good instructor or coach will find out what is going on inside your head. 

I have found over the years that the things that need changing are most often things that the student is trying to do because of bad information.  What you believe about how to swing the club correctly is often what is holding you back. 

Learning to swing at the target, rather than the ball will solve a multitude of swing problems.  Concentrating on trying to control the club at impact will create a multitude of swing problems.

I always ask my students “What is the one thing you are taking away from our lesson today?”  I find this necessary because what I think I am saying and what they are hearing me say are often two very different things. 

Just remember that you can only handle one swing thought at a time and it has to be positive to drown out the “little voice”.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Great Quote From Greg Norman!

How Swing Speed Impacts Distance.

Swing Speed vs Distance

I’m going to give you a way to drop your score without changing your swing.  This is something that all really low handicappers know that higher handicappers have trouble with.  When I was at the peak of my playing career I had the lofts on my irons set so I had exactly 10 yard increments between clubs.

One of the fastest ways to improve your score and your enjoyment is to learn how far you actually hit your irons consistently so you can make the right club selection.

In my previous articles I stated that you should swing at about 75 to 80 percent of your max to hit the ball better.  Hold on to that truth because it is essential that you have some control over where the ball is going to land.  As effort and tension increase, accuracy drops dramatically.

With this in mind, go to the range with what you consider your 150 yard club and hit about 30 balls with it.  Eliminate the shortest 5 and the longest 5 and then measure how far it is to the middle of the rest of them.  That is how far you hit that club.  If the average is short of the 150 then park your ego and use one more club.  It is all about score.  There are no extra points for how far you hit it off the tee or what club you hit on your approach.

I have put together a little chart that may help you using swing speed and distance.  Club selections are based on what club to use to hit the ball 150 yards.  These are general numbers that don’t take in to consideration varying lofts and lengths of different models.  If you are hitting it farther than these swing speeds indicate, then you are playing with very strong lofts.

Swing Speed                                                      150 Club
60 mph                                                                 Driver
70 mph                                                                 3 Wood
80 mph                                                                 3 or 4 hybrid
90 mph                                                                 6 or 7 iron
100 mph                                                               8 or 9 iron

The next thing you need to do is figure out the distance gap between your clubs.  At 100+ mph swing speed that gap should be about 10 yards.  As swing speed slows down that gap narrows.  When you get into the slower speeds there is no need for a full set of clubs.  If the difference between your 6 and 7 is only 5 yards you can eliminate one of them.

Now you are in a situation where you can figure your distance from the 150 and add or subtract.  If you are at 175 and the gap between clubs is 8 yards then you need you are going to need two or three more clubs.  When in doubt take the longer club and choke down on it.  Making it shorter will take some distance off of it.

One other thing to factor in is how are you hitting the ball today?  How solid you are hitting the ball today and weather conditions can change club selection by as much as three clubs not counting wind. 

I hope this will help you to score better and I want to thank those that took me up on my offer analyze their swings.  Keep me posted and leave comments about any questions you have.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Great Video On Address Position and How ToTurn.

I am constantly checking out instruction videos on the web for really good content that I feel will help people.  About 95+ percent of them are not worth watching.  They are just somebody else claiming that they have the "secret" or some other BS or just somebody else doing a new video about an old topic that's been done 100 times before.

One very rare occasions I run across something that is so good I can get excited about it.  The video I have attached is one of those.

This is a perfect example of "Old School Golf".  A simple, elegant, explanation of a common problem that will help almost everyone.  This is one of those.

The thing that stunned me was that it came off the Golf Channel which I am not a particularly big fan of, but they got it right this time.

Enjoy the video and I hope it helps.


What Can Stop Jordan Spieth From Breaking Nicklaus's Major Record.

Jordan Spieth is being compared to Tiger Woods at the same age and I have a little bit of a problem with that since they are two totally different players with similar records.  Never the less, the comparisons are being talked about.

Many of the golf analysts said that Tiger was a shoe-in to break Jack Nicklaus record for the number of major wins in his career.  Now the question is, will he win another, much less break Jack's record.  Unfortunately almost a perfect storm derailed Tiger's hopes.

It is just a matter of time until the subject of Jordan Spieth breaking Jack's record comes up.

Well I have the answer for you. 

It certainly looks like he has an excellent chance unless something unforeseen happens to him also.

In a highly entertaining blog by Tony Korologos, he explains the 15 things that could stop Spieth from reaching the record number of wins.

Click here to see the 15 things that could stop him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Rules For Weekend Hackers!

All of us know we have to play the ball as it lies and we cannot ground the club in a bunker and a plethora of other rules. Well – it’s time for some new rules for the weekend hackers.

Here we go:

1. If you suck at golf, do NOT give tips. Your tips will make people worse.

2. It is a fruitless exercise trying to convince your friends you shot a 79 yesterday, when you shot a 120 today. Don’t bother.

3. If you suck at putting, lining up the line on your ball to the hole, will not help and plumbing bobbing the putt is a waste of time.

4. Do not walk around the green when someone is trying to putt. We know you are going to miss the putt, but, why make someone else miss their putt.

5. Don’t mark your ball when it is 2 inches from the hole. Pick it up and move on. If you are worried you are going to miss that putt, there are other problems we need to talk about.

6. Feeling exhausted in the middle of the round? Stop taking 10 practice swings before every shot.

7. Fix your ball marks. The group playing behind you does not include your butler.

8. Don’t waste time marking your ball when there is no other ball in your vicinity. Trust me when I say that gravity will force the ball to stay where it is.

9. Visualizing the shot before you take a swing does not help when topping the ball is your problem. Go take lessons!

10. If you only hit 200 yards off the tee and you are 250 yards from the green.  Don't wait for the green to clear.

11.  It is not necessary to have a beer per hole.  Playing with drunks is no fun.

12.  Just because your game sucks today, there is no need to take it out on everybody.

13.  Spitting sunflower seeds, flipping ashes, spitting tobacco, etc. is not helping the superintendent with special fertilizer.

14.  CART PATH ONLY TODAY signs are for a reason.  Pay attention to them.

15.  If you need to stand on the green and count your strokes, just take an X.

16.  If there is a hole open in front of you then you are playing too slow.  No excuses.

17.  If you have to take or make multiple phone calls, quit and go back to the office.

18.  If you can't break a hundred you do not need a range finder.

19.  When someone in the 19th hole asks what you shot today they only want a number - not a shot by shot recap.

And finally…

10. Stop being a cheap ass and buy your friends a round of beer after eighteen. They will appreciate the gesture and will give you less crap the next time you play.

Qucken Loans Preview.

The PGA Tour heads to Virginia this week for the Quicken Loans National. Justin Rose will defend his title at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
The PGA Tour heads to Virginia this week for the Quicken Loans National. Justin Rose will defend his title at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.

With players looking ahead to next week’s WGC – Bridgestone Invitational and the USPGA Championship the week after that, many of the world’s best are using this tournament as preparation.

Tiger Woods is looking to bounce back from missing the cut in The Open Championship in this, a tournament that he will host. He’s twice been champion before.

With just four weeks left of the regular PGA Tour season, this is an important time for players looking to make it into the top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list and qualify for the first playoff event – The Barclays.

This event was known as the AT&T National between 2007 and 2013. The first instalment was won by K.J. Choi of South Korea and, since then, the champions have been Anthony Kim, Tiger Woods (in 2009 and 2012,) Justin Rose, Nick Watney and Bill Haas.
Last season, Justin Rose won the event for a second time. He came through a playoff against Shawn Stefani to join Tiger Woods as the only multiple champions in this tournament.

The tournament has moved later in the schedule this year because of there being one fewer week between the US Open and The Open. It may move again next year because of the Olympics.

The course at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club is set on the shores of Lake Manassas. It opened for play in 1991 and has played host to The Presidents Cup on four occasions.
The weather forecast for the week is for some pretty warm weather. It could be rather muggy out there and that will add to the challenge.

Venue: Robert Trent Jones GC, Gainesville, Virginia
Date: Jul 30 – Aug 2
Course stats: par 71, 6,409 yards
Purse: $6,700,000 Winner: $1,206,000
Defending Champion: Justin Rose (-4)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 7.30pm
Friday 31 – Sky Sports 4 from 7.30pm
Saturday 1 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Sunday 2 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm

Player watch:
Justin Rose – He’s defending the title (he won last year at Congressional) and is looking for a third victory in this event. He was tied sixth in The Open Championship.
Rickie Fowler – Solid performance in St Andrews and the winner at Gullane the week before, Fowler is a threat in any tournament he enters and, if he gets his putting boots on, he could well be the winner this week.

Johnson Wagner – One of the PGA Tour’s form players, Wagner has been tied fifth, tied 10th and tied 18th in his last three starts.

Key Hole: 18th – a testing par 4 that requires two precise shots. The green sits right on the edge of Lake Manassas and any approach that strays to the left could end up wet.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Do We Need To Change How Golf is Taught?

Changing How Golf is Taught

After watching the Canadian Open this week end and watching Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk I have to ask the question - "Is there a better way to teach someone to play golf"?

This is not about WHAT we teach so much as it is about HOW we impart that knowledge.

Bubba Watson may be the best thing to happen to golf instruction in years.  For those of us that believe it is all about impact and not about what the swing looks like we have a two time Masters Champion talking about developing his on swing – not someone else’s idea of what it should be.

Then you have Jim Furyk.  He's only had one golf coach his entire life and that's his father who is quoted as saying, "I taught him to play golf, not how to swing the club".

When Lee Trevino came along the swing gurus hadn’t become so entrenched.  The really funny thing was that all those that “were in the know” said he would never last.  He went on to win six majors and become recognized as one of the greatest ball strikers ever with an odd looking swing he built himself.

Unfortunately technology has become so readily available that instructors have come to depend on it rather than develop their own skills.  The other problem is there is no unified code of instruction.  It’s all opinion and we are trained to take the opinion of the so called experts who are pushing their pet theories.  This is one thing that is killing golf.

We have taken the fun out of it.  It’s generally different with children because if you start them young and don’t let them grip the club cross handed they will more often than not develop a good golf swing just out of trial and error and have fun doing it.  Unlike adults, they do not have a fear of failure and don’t worry about looking foolish.

We need to take more of the same approach with beginners of any age and let them use trial and error with some coaching along the way to develop their own swing and have fun doing it.  Fortunately there is a growing movement that includes some of the top ranked instructors that are pushing for this.

One of the major reasons that Butch Harmon is so successful is that he tries to optimize the swing and game that got guys on the tour.  He doesn’t try to rebuild them based on some image in his own mind.  In my personal opinion that is why Tiger was so successful while he worked with Butch.

I ran across a great quote by Michael Hebron, PGA Master Professional, One of America's top 50 golf instructors.  “PGA should not be an acronym for “perfect golf alignments, but rather, pleasurable game for all.”  Encouraging participation over perfection is the best way to grow the game.” 

The main point is that it is all about impact and not how you get there.  Just relax, quit thinking, feel the club, and have fun.  

Please spread this around to your friends and leave comments.