Saturday, September 26, 2015

Golf Rules for Non-Professionals

Finally, Someone Created A Realistic Set Of Golf Rules For Non-Professionals

By 09.22.15
golf rules for non professionals
YouTube - Tripp and Tyler

Golf. It sucks the life right out of you, yet many of us keep going back for more punishment over and over again. I honestly don’t know why we do it, but we do.

As Tripp and Tyler astutely point out, “The vast majority of us suck at golf, yet for some reason we subject ourselves to the same rules as professionals.” Which, as they also state, “is silly.”

So to make life better for the average non-pro golfer they have come up with a new set of golf rules perfect for the average duffer.

According to Tripp and Tyler’s awesome new golf rules for non-professionals…

— You get one mulligan for every dollar spent on greens fees.
— You also get one do-over for every dollar spent on greens fees as well.
— When you hit your ball into the woods you no longer have to find your ball. You just need to find “a ball.”

You can also do this…

They also have new rules for sand traps, water hazards, course etiquette, the fairway and more.

Yep, golf just got a whole lot more and a whole lot more fun!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Here's Shankopotamus for Flashback Friday!

One of my all time favorite commercials!



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Golf Instruction: Swing Speed vs 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.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tour Players Can't Help You

I have been saying for a long time that reading tips from tour players is not beneficial to the average golfer.  Their hand-eye coordination and talent is so superior that they can't relate.

Having someone explain how tour players do it by breaking down their swings in videos or swing sequences is also a waste.

I love it when some instructor starts in on how "critical" it is that you do this or that, especially if it involves posture or alignment.

Here's a video from possibly the best shot maker ever that shows what a really talented person can do.  This is hard to believe.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Take Shots Off the Next Time You Play

Would you like to know how to take 5 or 10 shots off your golf score the next time you play without trying to change your golf swing or doing some exercise routine? Well not only is it possible, but it’s simple and here are some golf tips to help you do it.

The first thing you are going to need to do is hit the ball in play off the tee. You can do this by either hitting something off the tee that you have confidence in or choking down on your driver a little and swinging at a slightly slower pace. The object with your tee shot is to get it in play – not hit it as far as you can. You should never swing as hard as you can at any shot.

Now that you are in play off the tee your next shot should also be something you are comfortable with. If you are a 90 or 100 shooter you should never attack the pin. Use plenty of club and play for the middle of the green. I had a golf course architect tell me once that they put most of the trouble in front of the green because most golfers under club. You never hear a golfer ask “do you think a seven is too much”. If you are not comfortable with reaching the green on your approach, play to a spot that leaves you a relatively easy chip or pitch.

"Set your own par.  For the 20 handicapper par is not 72 - it's 92" John Jacobs

In the event that you do get in trouble off the tee or on your approach the first rule is get the ball back in play. Never attempt to hit a shot you think you might pull off – hit a shot you know you can hit.

Once you are comfortably on the green the object is to never three putt. Never try to force something to happen. Concentrate on relaxing, gripping the club lightly, and being able to feel the putter. Your hand eye coordination will take it from there. Do not think about technique while you are playing and don’t try to force the putter to do anything.

On the par fives you want to end up with a relatively simple approach. It is not necessary to hit three woods on your second shot just because it is should go farther. A well struck five wood or hybrid will go farther and end up better than a miss hit three wood.

It is as simple as that. The main thing is to avoid large numbers at all cost. As I said earlier in this article, when you get in trouble just get the ball back in play safely as quickly as possible and don’t try to do anything heroic.

I f you would like help with your golf game or just have questions just get in touch with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

Wonderful Article on Bobby Jones and Stewart Maiden

One of my friends on Google+ that is an excellent blogger and a true golfer posted this the other day and I just thought it worth passing on.

Stewart Maiden 

By  John Haynes at Top Hand Golf

I was thinking this evening about just how much time I've wasted, and how many lousy shots I've hit and rounds I've played because I've been thinking about my golf swing instead of hitting golf shots.  Paralysis by analysis can happen to anyone.  It happens when we get caught up in thinking about how we want to hit it, instead of where.  It's when, instead of picking a target and taking dead aim at it, we stand up to a shot thinking about keeping our left arm straight, or keeping our head down, or whatever other tip, or idea, we've latched on to.  Paralysis by analysis; it's been the ruin of many a man's game.

It got me thinking about what Bobby Jones had to say about his teacher, Stewart Maiden.  In his book Golf is my Game, Bobby, when speaking about learning the game, wrote:

"I do recall that as I became a little more aware of the general object of the game, I began also to be aware that some people played better than others, and I began to swing my clubs as nearly as possible as the club professional, Stewart Maiden, swung his.  I was fortunate, I suppose, that Stewart was a good model.  His method was simple.  It seemed that he merely stepped up to the ball and hit it, which to the end of my playing days was also a characteristic of my play.

Although Stewart Maiden has quite properly been known as my first instructor and the man from whom I learned the game, it is true that I never had a formal lesson from him while I was in active competitive play.  In fact, it was not until he had returned to Atlanta, only two years before he died, that I ever went on to a practice tee with him.

Although neither Maiden nor I ever saw much point in spending laborious hours on a practice tee, there were many times when I required a few words from him to put my game back in the right groove.  I suppose we didn't wear out the practice tee because it was never necessary, and Stewart never liked to waste his own time.  There was, however, one lesson that was memorable, and at the same time typical.

I had been having a most trying time with my long irons, and some sort of tournament was in the offing.  I had tried to work the thing out for myself, but could not do so.  There didn't seem to be any pattern to work on.  I would hook a few and then hit one a mile out to the right.  Indesperation at last, I told Stewart of my troubles while he was at his bench planing down a hickory shaft.

At first he said nothing, which I had long before learned was for him a normal response.  After a while, though, he took the club out of the vice, squeezed the grip end as no one else could ever do, so that barely a perceptible tremor agitated the whole club, appeared not wholly displeased, and set it aside for further attention later on.

'Let's go,' he said.  With no more conversation my caddy with my clubs and I followed Stewart down the first fairway to a spot some two hundred yards from the green.  'Hit a few,' he said.  I hit two.  As I stepped up to the next, he said 'Wait.'  With the grip end of a club he was holding in his hands, he rapped quite sharply on my left arm just below the shoulder.  I moved back.  Again he rapped, 'Move back,' he said.  I moved back some more, then looked up to see where I was aiming.  'Stewart,' I said, 'I'll knock this ball straight into that left-hand bunker.'  'Never mind,' he said; 'back some more.  Now, that's good.'  'What do I do now?' I asked, trying to be bitterly sarcastic. 'Knock the hell out of it,' said Stewart.  I did.  The ball almost landed in the hole.  I hit another and another straight at the flag.  I looked up for Stewart, but he was on his way back to his shop to finish that club.

All this may seem a pointless discussion, but it does have a purpose.  By this means I am trying to show how I think instruction in golf can be most useful.  A good instructor can be helpful at all stages of a player's development, but it is most important that the doses of instruction should be simple, direct, and practical.  It is folly for either teacher or pupil to expect that any swing can be perfected in an afternoon, a week, or even a season.  It is significant that Stewart did not try to fill my head with theories.  He merely put me in position to hit the ball and then told me to go on and hit it.

Stewart Maiden was a successful instructor because his eye went always to the point of basic disturbance.  He seemed always to be able to pick out the one point in a swing at which the making of a small change would work an improvement in the performance of the whole.  I'm sure he never once thought of trying to remake a swing or to create one from scratch precisely along copybook lines.  Throughout all the years I knew Stewart he never once allowed himself to be drawn into a discussion of  the golf swing.  To him, the game of golf consisted entirely of knocking the ball towards the hole, or into it, and that in the simplest manner possible."

Bobby Jones learned a great deal from Stewart Maiden.  He even developed his swing by watching and to some degree copying Maiden's swing.  But, perhaps more importantly, he copied Maiden's practicality when it came to the game.  He believed that golf was about knocking a ball from the teeing ground into the hole in the fewest strokes possible.  Golf was not about trying to swing a golf club in a prescribed manner.  It was all about the strike.  I sense from his writing that he dearly loved and respected Stewart Maiden.  That old Scot was one hell of a teacher.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Short Game Alignment and Setup

I keep seeing articles about your setup on short shots and chip shots, but for some reason, no one mentions that alignment and setup for each shot is slightly different.  The length of the shot and how high or low you want the ball to fly is determined by your setup and alignment.

Align the Shoulders

While ball position and lower body alignment may vary, the one constant is shoulder alignment.  Your shoulders should always be parallel to your target line on any shot whether you are hitting a driver or a putter.  NOT pointed at the target, but parallel to it.

The Lower Body

The lower body – meaning the feet, legs, and hips - will be open or pointing left of the target in order to get yourself out of your own way.  The club needs to travel down the target line as long as possible and a square stance makes it much more difficult to accomplish that. 

Do NOT Shift Your Weight

The single most important factor in developing a good short game is that you absolutely must learn to contact the ground in the same spot in your swing every time.  To accomplish this you simply need to stabilize your weight.  The low point in your swing arc is where ever your weight (or center of gravity) is.  If you shift your weight the bottom of your arc moves constantly with your weight.  The odds of winning the lottery are better than the odds of getting your weight in the same spot every time if it is shifting.

One point that needs to be made at this time is watching and reading about how tour players do it is a waste of time unless you are already that good.  Tour players have extraordinary hand-eye coordination, touch, and feel so they can do things in their swing that would be problematic for the average golfer.

It is easier to just place the weight on the left side or left foot and keep it there throughout the swing. 

 Keep the Club Head Low

Keep the club low to the ground as long as possible on the back swing and the follow through.  Never make any attempt to lift the club or cock the wrists unless hitting out of deep grass.  Keep the hands quiet.  Over active hands will result in fat and thin or skulled shots.

Another very important factor is to be able to have your hands in the same position at impact that you did at address.  The club head must never pass the hands until well after impact.  The chipping or pitching swing is made primarily with the arms and shoulders – not the hands.

How long the shot is determines how wide or narrow the stance and how open your body is.  For a chip shot your right foot is very close to your left foot and your lower body is very open.

For a pitch shot it is less pronounced.  The hands will generally be more forward on a chip, but the height of the ball flight will be determined by the loft of the club and the forward lean of the shaft.

Grip Down On The Club

One final point that needs to be addressed is gripping down or “choking up” on the club.  The shorter the shot the more you choke up.  It is perfectly fine to grip all the way down to the bottom of the grip.  This enable you to be firmer and more aggressive because the shorter you make the club the shorter distance you will hit the ball.

Hubert Green who had 19 PGA Tour wins including 2 majors used to choke the sand wedge all the way down onto the steel and open the face so he could be firm and aggressive. 

Never let the golf club slow down prior to impact.  Taking it back too far and slowing down prior to impact will cause the club head to pass the hands with the absolute certainty of a bad shot.

Practice with slightly different alignments until you find what is most comfortable for you.  I suggest practicing extensively with a sand wedge which is about 56 degrees.  By adjusting the shaft lean forward and backward and opening and closing the face you can learn to hit a variety of shots.  I am not a fan of using the lob wedge to chip or pitch with.  I agree with Barney Adams, the founder of Adams Golf, when his club designer told him they were going to design a 60 degree lob wedge he told them to stamp a skull and cross bone on it. 

As you go from a full swing to a less than full swing to a chip the right foot gets closer and closer to the left and the hips open more and more.  Shoulders stay parallel to the line.

Once you have learned to develop a solid short game simply start taking a bigger and faster swing and gradually square your body alignment and you will have an excellent full swing as demonstrated by the video below.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Learn to Control Your Driver and Keep the Ball in Play

Here is a wonderful video on learning a quick and simple way to keep your driver in play.  It actually applies to every club in your bag, but I find it easier to learn by starting with the driver.

The most important key to this is taking practice swings.  You need to swing without the ball until you are comfortable taking a full swing at various speeds.

Take the practice swing and then hold the finish long enough to remember what it felt like.  Remember the feeling of being balanced and controlling speed.  Then just repeat that feeling.

Just remember that it is not a three-quarter swing - it is a full swing at three-quarter speed.

You will find out that when you start to relax and slow the club down you will start to make very solid contact.

The importance of this was taught to me by the legendary Mickey Wright.  How far I can hit a club and how far I should hit it are two different things.

The video only takes a couple of minutes and will be well worth your time.  It and several more are posted on my YouTube Channel.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015

You Can Always Count On John Daly!

 From John Daly offering some health tips in light of recently being rushed to the hospital.

"They thought I had a heart attack. But I only smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, not three, so I'll be alright." – Daly, on his recent on-course collapse that sent him to the hospital with a collapsed lung.

Consistency: Golf's Most Important Lesson

In this golf lesson. A Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor, covers the most important skill in golf. It is a critical step towards developing a consistent golf swing and producing consistent results. This drill can really change your golf swing for the better.

Check out to learn more from Charlie.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Jason Day Credits Tiger Woods!

Jason Day credits Tiger Woods for success

Jason Day during the final round of the PGA on August 16, 2015
© Getty Images
Jason Day has credited his recent success to a growing friendship with golf great Tiger Woods.

Day claimed his first major championship title last month and, after winning three of his last four starts, he has a chance to become number one in the world for the first time at this weekend's Deutsche Bank Championship.

"It's just random things," Day told reporters. "We'll be talking about finishing on Sundays and the process of stuff. His text messages, I have to digest them a little bit more, because he is very smart. And he has to kind of dumb it down to my level.

"We talk about family every now and then, but it's mainly just golf, just trying to shoot to get better. If I think of a question, I'll just shoot it to him. I may hear it that day or I may hear in a day or two.

"He's been arguably one of the best players of all time. Who wouldn't want that mentorship from a player like that, especially on the golf course? To be able to receive text messages and ask him questions and him being so open toward me has been fantastic."

Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge is currently holding a first round lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship, with Day three shots off the lead.