Category Archives: My Mentor

Crossfooted Pitches

If there were one thing I’d like to see almost all golfers do better, it’s turning through freely on short shots.  Until the body counterfalls and pivots freely, a golfer MUST make compensations with the arms and shoulders on ever shot…. That’s just too tough!

Once a free flowing pivot is developed, the arms CAN deadfall and be slung with great consistency through the ball.  Impact, accuracy and distance control will all improve with path integrity. 

This drill is very powerful.  Master it, and it will change your game! 

Click here to listen to David Lee discuss the crossfooted pitch

Perfect Timing

Just got a request from Bill S. to put up some video of the swing to help him with some visuals.  The request could not have been timed better!

On my last blog I discussed turning with your core.  The swing example there was Tom Watson (hard to do much better than that!)….

‘Core turn’ for each golfer may look different, and will most likely feel different.  What’s important is that the powerful back moves the arms into a SWING, rather than the arms moving the arms into the backswing.

With great pleasure, I’m going to refer you to David’s new Gravity Golf website.  Watch Danny Lee (David’s son) do the drills, and I think you’ll get a fantastic visual of THE HEAVE.

This link goes to the section:  Why Drills?  and has a discussion of why the GRAVITY GOLF drills are so effective and important.  On the left hand side you can click and watch various drills.  Watch the “left hand normal swing” and you’ll definitely see the core move the arms!

Maybe one day soon, I’ll be video blogging myself!?

‘Gravity’ Rises

As I was watching golf yesterday, it hit me again how many tour pros have GRAVITY swings.  I’ve heard several people dismiss David Lee as a teacher because he doesn’t work with any of the big name pros (although I’m not sure you can get much bigger than Nicklaus and Trevino….).  Truth is, while most instructors are dinkering around with the aesthetics of the swing, David’s method (the one I endorse completely) is developing swings that tour pros stumble into as kids.  Almost every tour pro has to a large degree, a GRAVITY GOLF SWING.  It might not be 100% gravity like Trevino, Irwin, Couples and Els;  but most are close- and that’s one of the reasons why they are so good!

On the PGA tour yesterday, I was watching D.A. Points, Hunter Mahan, Bryce Molder, Jimmy Walker and Phil Mickelson make great GRAVITY swings…  On the Senior tour leader board were two of the best ‘GRAVITY’ players:  Tom Lehman and Jeff Sluman (and don’t forget Hale Irwin who finished in 6th place at 65 yrs old!). 

Learning to swing in compliance with physics, rather than through mechanical positions, is the way to swing more efficiently.  Tour pros just do it, without understanding how. 

Unfortunately, most golfers learn a muscular based hit, and never come close to what these pros ‘figured out’ somehow….  I strongly suggest you learn the GRAVITY GOLF SWING.  And it just so happens that I know how to teach it! 

*For those of you down in Charleston reading this…..   KEEP DOING THE DRIVER DRILL!!! 

Instincts

Interesting thing about instincts….  They don’t go away easily.  I’ve mentioned (bragged, whatever) several times in my blog about being fully trained as a Gravity Golfer.  That means that my core dominates my swing, my tempo is created by gravity (the most consistent form of rhythm that exists) and power and accuracy  occur due to counter force, centrifugal force, and other bits of physics I don’t really need to be concerned with (they happen to me!). 

It most importantly means that I own my golf swing.  I can take days off, weeks off, whatever, and I still know exactly how to swing a golf club.  It’s not something I have to re-find or fix, rather I just have to allow it to happen after a good Heave
but…

Let’s say the weather is atrocious for several weeks at a time.  Instead of living a normal life of a golf pro where I’ve got a club in my hand most every day to teach, practice, whatever, I am basically slumped over my computer or doing very non-golfing things day in and day out (perhaps like some of you?). 

Bottom line:  I’m tight. 

Before I went out to play yesterday, I decided to run to the range because I didn’t want my tightness to mess with my first few swings of the day. 

I immediately began with the FRONT ROUTE drill and hit about 50 balls (all but 5 in the FRONT ROUTE).  It was fascinating!  The first ball I topped so bad it indented the ground and went about 15 feet.  The next 15 were sculled….  They went head high and sent shocks through my fingers. 

Did I forget how to swing?  NO!!!  Because I was tight, I was unable to turn freely and fully in order to get and KEEP all the tension out of my arms….  Because of my lack of turn, my arms INVOLUNTARILY hunted the golf ball in order to help me make contact and create power.  This hunt almost always backfires, causing plane changes due to Newton’s 3rd law of physics (for every action, a pulling of the arms at the ball, there is a reaction…  a plane change)…

The best news is that I just kept doing the FRONT ROUTE.  I know exactly what a bad shot is telling me (and it’s easy to learn in the GRAVITY GOLF SYSTEM .  Physics rarely lies), so I simply keep trying to turn the tension out of my arms with a powerful heave, and then let the rest of the swing happen due to gravity and rotation.  About 25-30 balls into my session, I began to hit beautiful shots and went on to play a solid round of golf (even in 39 degree, very wet weather). 

NO FIXES.  No over thinking…  I just let my heave over ride my instinct to strike by staying in the drills. 

Instincts die hard.  That’s why we must think of the Gravity Drills as LIFETIME DRILLS. 

The Man

I’ve been fortunate over the years to have been exposed to a lot of great teachers.  I have tremendous respect for many of the greats, including Harvey Penick, Ernest Jones, Percy Boomer, John Jacobs, Jim Hardy, Jim Mclean, Rick Smith, Fred Shoemaker, Tim Gallwey, Dave Pelz,  Butch Harmon and David Ledbetter to name just a few.  Some for their content, others for their passion, still others for their ability to communicate.  Mike Hebron is a genius in the field of teaching, and his books and seminars are probably most responsible for putting me on the path to meeting the best of them all…

I was introduced to David Lee’s “Gravity Golf ” in 1996.  He had a video tape series that I was hell bent on discrediting!  I reluctantly watched his videos only to be transformed as a teacher!
David Lee is brilliant, a great communicator, passionate, and most importantly, correct!  His understanding of physics, physiology, and neurology as it pertains to motor sports and specifically golf are fascinating and illuminating!  He confirmed my distrust of traditional golf instruction (mechanics) and really put ATHLETIC GOLF on a whole new path!
I studied his book and tapes for years, as well as putting them to the test with my own game and with my students….. In 2003 I met David, and we’ve been fast friends ever since.  My respect for him has grown, and I am more confident than ever in the principles of “Gravity Golf”.
Most of you know that I teach “Gravity Golf”.  I think I’m pretty good at it (if I do say so myself!)….  I think David is better!!!  Let me know if you want to read his book, or watch his DVD!  I’ve got them, or check out his webpage:  Gravity Golf
You can also get a glimpse of the man here: