Category Archives: Gravity Golf

How to Hit a Draw….

I’m back! Like nothing ever happened…..   More coming soon!

I believe the draw to be the ‘natural’ shot in golf.  That might seem surprising considering 85% of golfers hit a slice. Even today, in an era when many tour pro’s prefer a small fade when they play the game, I think it’s extremely important for golfers to learn how to hit the draw (I guarantee the pros can hit that draw, they just prefer the control they get with the fade).
Learning a draw is a great way to teach you a more ‘physics compliant swing’.  When done correctly, the draw almost certainly indicates that you are using your body in a more compliant manner.  Ultimately,  the draw comes from simply letting tension free arms be ‘slung’ around centrifugally by the forward pivotal axis.  The arms will naturally fall in the transition of the swing to create an inside path, and the forearms will ‘roll’ as they swing through the golf ball creating a closing clubface through impact….A draw is the result of a rotational swing.  The body rotates, the arms rotate, the forearms rotate, and the club and clubface rotate imparting spin on the ball that creates a draw….
If it were only that easy!  Here’s simple way to train the hook in your swing.
Begin with the goal of learning what I call (now that I’m happily entrenched in the south) a “Big Ole Hook”.  Understand that by ‘going a mile to get an inch’ you’ll learn to draw the ball more quickly.  Over training is the key to learning to master the draw.
Use a tee while you train, and grab a 6 or 7 iron.  The tee is important in the early stages of learning to help you get results! Results build confidence and that’s key in the learning process.
Now, before you hit any balls, begin the process of training the forearms to ROLL….  The hook is not a ‘flip of the wrists’… it’s a roll of the forearms… Grip the club and make several small motions where your really roll the forearms through the bottom of the swing arc….  watch the clubface really close down as you make these swings…. Over train! Imagine having the club face pointed between your legs as you get to the hitting area!!!  The key is to ‘WAKE UP’ the forearm roll in your swing… This takes time.  You have to over ride the impact perceptions you may currently have as well as build up a new tension relationship within your body….  Over train!
The first goal is to hit the biggest hooks you possibly can.  Hit 20-50 shots off a tee with lots of practice swings in between to roll those forearms.  Once you start getting that club face to close, you’ll be thrilled at the power you’ll feel at impact!  Keep training!  Keep over training!  While you are in the training mode, get better and better at hitting huge hooks, as big as you can!
Once the ‘big ole hook’ is mastered, and repeated hundreds of times…  you can begin the process of swinging to the right!  Best part is that this will happen somewhat naturally in response to the ball going left (for right handed golfers!).  It’s way easier to swing to the right when you know your clubface is closing through impact!  Promise.
Closing tip:  Want it to happen even faster?  Set up next to a tree or a cart tire.  take small swings (at less than full speed!!) rotating the clubface so that the toe of the club ‘sticks’ into the tree.  This will guarantee rolling forearms!  Give me 50-100 of these 3 days a week for 6 weeks and I know you’ll be on your way to learning the hook!  It’s a great feeling of power and control!

Trust the Method. Trust the Indian….

Below is a blog written by a long time student, Joe Losek.  Reading it (even though I lived it) allowed me to see it with a new perspective.  

There is a major theme in my LEARNING philosophy…. Has been for over 15 years.  I’m proud to say that this blog validates what I so strongly believe-  I’ve got to admit that it’s rewarding to know that I practice what I preach!  Here’s 2 quick ways to understand this very powerful LEARNING philosophy: 

1.  “Put your best swing on the next shot”  -J. Busuttil……  (That’s the best answer to how to ‘fix’ the last shot….golfers too often change their next swing… Fix their next swing and end up in a constant cycle of swing, fix, swing, fix, swing…..)

2.  “It’s the BELIEF in the method that makes the greatest difference in learning” 

-Dr. David Cook

OK, on to the blog.  Thanks Joe!

Guest Blogger:  Joe Losek

Title: See it, feel it and TRUST IT. Pre-shot routine

 

I have the good fortune each week of doing the Driver Drill with our pro Pete Dunham [You hit 100 balls in 12 minutes].  During the most recent drill, Pete started with right arm and left arm only cross- footed and transfer drills for the first 30 balls.  Then advanced to off the deck, 2-arm front route, cross-footed and transfers for the next 40 balls.  


The shots were not up to his usual level of “beautiful”, but considering these were one arm only and off the deck shots it was hard to be too critical. However, he then hit the last 30 shots from the tee alternating every 5 shots between spread-footed front routes to regular swings. Normally these shots from the mats easily clear the trees, but most of Pete’s hits were falling into or short of the trees and many shots were weak ballooning to the right hits. We did not know what to say. But Pete continued with no words of doubt, frustration or anger. Gravity Golf drills have worked in the past and there was no reason to think that the forces of gravity and rotation had changed.  The laws of physics do not change. Just ask David Lee.

 

When done, Pete asked us if we saw any obvious flaws. We have been doing Drive Drill together for over 4 years and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses  and routinely critique our sessions, usually with words of congratulation. However we did not see any flaws, Pete was turning deep and level and finishing balanced, but the hits did not have the sharp pop and piercing slight draw trajectory as in the past. Did the forces of gravity and rotation suddenly abandon our talented pro?  Will those who of us have seen great improvement and a renewed enjoyment to our golf need to find a new method to advance our games?

 

Fortunately NO. The principles of Gravity Golf are as true as ever. Pete’s driver head was cracked. For once it was the arrow and not the Indian.

 

Take home message, despite poor shots, Pete continued to turn deep and finish balanced, completely trusting the principles of Gravity golf. For us who have not worked at Gravity golf for as many years as Pete, such an experience would have likely transformed us into raging, foul worded, doubting complainers. Learn from Pete, TRUST IT.

Be Who You Are….. AND Turn!

This blog should be 2 things….

1.  Short
2.  Inspirational!
At every club, in every area, on every tour…. we all know about golfers who have a ‘funky’ swing and yet still beat the ‘stuffin’s’ out of everyone day in and day out.  Most are great athletes.  All are great competitors….  No doubt about this.  
If we dig a little further, in almost every case…..   These golfers are GRAVITY GOLFERS. (Hurray!)
They play golf.  They let their arms fly wherever…. They let their legs move as they move…. They usually make excuses for their strange technique…. And yet, they play GREAT GOLF!
Simply put:  In almost every case, they have learned to use their CORE TURN to produce power and consistency.  The arms and legs flail around according to ‘who they are’, but their core dominance takes over and produces path integrity!
You see, if the core is dominant, and is simply turning back fully, then getting to the FORWARD PIVOTAL AXIS, and TURNING AGAIN into a (say it with me…) FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH, the arms can just flail away and yet be controlled with CENTRIFUGAL FORCE and GRAVITY.  
So why is this inspirational?   Because very few of us can make a golf swing that looks like Ernie Els…..  No reason to be depressed!!!  
Almost all of us can turn fully (if you get the tension out of the core!!!!) and that means that we can all improve our ability to maintain PATH INTEGRITY!!!
Almost all of us can improve our ball striking ability if we let the core dominate!  No matter how ‘weird’ our bodies look while swinging….  Now that is great news!  Now that is INSPIRATIONAL!
****Since I already failed at the ‘short’ part of this blog, I’ll give you some illustrations and examples of the great greats in golf that had funky swings and why that may be the VERY REASON why they played great golf!  
WooWhooooo!!!!!   Love it.  
*Thanks to Joe Losek for giving me the idea for this blog

Guest Blogger…..

I’m turning the spotlight on to a blog written by my good friend George Connor.  Visit his website at Connorgolf.com!

don’t be redundant

My Father always got mildly upset when someone used a redundant statement.  Things like “an unexpected surprise” or “at this point in time” he felt was wasting words.  You could say “at this point” or “at this time” but there was no reason to say both.

The other day I saw another teaching professional encourage a student to “let the club fall so it comes from inside the target line to the ball.” Redundant!  If the club falls, truly falls, it must be inside the target line.  The only way to get the club to go outside the target line would be to use the upper body to move the club there.  In this case the arms and club would not be falling.

Allowing the arms to fall translates into the arms and the club swinging when the body rotates.  Whatever falls and swings is no longer dependent on the hands to guide the club.  Falling and swinging are controlled by the laws of motion and physics.  Those two are more consistent than you are!

The Club is Left Behind

I try very hard when I teach to not offer too much advice on specific things to ‘feel’.  The human body and mind are so diverse, trying to tell someone what to feel in a golf swing is wishful thinking at best, destructive in many cases……

Having said that, I’m now going to attempt to discuss a Bobby Jones quote that relates to the golf swing.  In an all out effort, similar to asking someone to NOT think about a PINK ELEPHANT, I’m going to ask you all to not make too big a deal over what Bobby Jones felt in his swing. 

Understand it- Yes.  No big deal if you never feel what Bobby Jones felt, YOU ARE NOT HIM!  The key is to understand and train in a manner that makes his statement a reality in your golf swing, regardless of individual feel! 

“The all important feel which I experience as the swing changes direction is that I have the distinct feeling that I have l left the club behind as I start forward.”  
                                -Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones sensed that the arms and club were continuing back due to MOMENTUM created in THE HEAVE.  There was little to no tension in his arms and shoulders and the body was naturally falling, or beginning the forward motion of the swing before his arms and club ran out of momentum in the downswing. 

In throwing sports (golf is better perceived as a throw than a strike at….) there is always forward motion of the body while the arm or leg is still moving back.  We do this without any thought in other sports!  I think it is pretty clear from the above pictures that these athletes are ‘LEAVING THEIR ARMS/RACQUET/CLUB behind as they fall and rotate forward

Unfortunately in golf, almost everyone BEGINS THE DOWNSWING WITH THE SHOULDERS, ARMS AND BODY….  

The Gravity Golf Concept makes very clear that the tension is tossed out of the arms early in the swing (THE HEAVE).  It also recognizes that the takeaway (HEAVE) or core turn into the backswing begins the downswing!  The downswing actually begins fairly early in the motion of sport.  Think about a baseball pitcher or a field goal kicker for a moment.  How about a Tennis server?   It’s pretty easy to visualize that athletes move forward with their bodies early in ‘the backswing’.  They throw their arms or leg back AS THEY BEGIN TO FALL FORWARD. 

          

Golf is no different.  (Just harder to see.  perhaps you can sense that Hogan is falling back towards the target in the picture on the left…….)

Understand this.  Keep working on getting ALL  the tension out of the arms and shoulders early in the backswing.  Move the ball far and forward with YOUR FOLLOWTHRU, NOT YOUR ARM MUSCLES! 

*OK, go ahead and hit a few balls trying to feel the club being ‘left behind’.  If it feels wonderful for you in a few swings, great…. The rest of you, please FORGET about trying to FEEL that and just keep doing your drills!  It will happen to you.  You will create your own feel that will be perfectly suited to……  wait for it……… YOU!  

Gravity Meets Rotation- A Love Story

In sport, when the INTENT is to move something forward, the body leans or falls forward without thought.  Imagine yourself throwing a ball, kicking a ball, bowling, hitting a forehand, etc…

In every instance, you move into your FORWARD PIVOTAL AXIS (forward leg) WITHOUT THOUGHT…. 

So if the INTENT in golf is correct (to move your golf ball forward), then for today’s blog I will assume (with all the ambiguities and fall out that accompany any assumption….) that everyone reading this blog seamlessly falls into their FORWARD PIVOTAL AXIS before delivery of the club into the followthrough. 

Now on to the love story:   

The arms can simply FALL.  The body can simply ROTATE around the FORWARD PIVOTAL AXIS……  GRAVITY MEETS ROTATION

So romantic!  GRAVITY FALLS IN LOVE at 32 feet per second, per second.  It accelerates creating speed and power.  ROTATION blushes at the thought of SLINGING a gravitational force in a perfect and harmonious circular path!

Path Integrity is born from this joyous union. 

You’re golf shots can live happily ever after if you develop THE GRAVITY GOLF SWING!

Bliss. 

*If the HEAVE is correct, the arms and body will be thrown into the backswing with sufficient force to sustain the swing. NO ADDITIONAL MUSCULAR EFFORT will be needed to move the ball powerfully and accurately.  The HEAVE creates a SWING.  A swing moves on it’s own volition due to the laws of nature.  It’s all about the birds and the bees, people!

***I very rarely use the word ‘ASSUME’ when I write.  Sometime in my teenage years, I had a professor make very clear the many problems inherent in an assumption.  The saying he so often used-
“When you ASSUME,  Mr. Dunham, you make an ASSoutofUandME.” will be with me forever……

The Timing of THE HEAVE

THE HEAVE:  A.K.A., The takeaway.  The heave is a powerful move from the back that throws the tension out of the arms with sufficient force to sustain a swing. 

By creating a swinging motion early in the swing, you give yourself the opportunity to use the laws of physics to create power and consistency in the golf swing.  The HEAVE is evident in almost every great golfer’s swing……  Slow and muscular movement into the backswing is evident in almost everyone else’s golf swing…. 

The term HEAVE was first used to refer to the takeaway by David Lee, founder of the Gravity Golf Swing.  Over the last 30+ years, David has also developed a system of training that allows the body to feel and develop a swing based on physics, rather than the lift and strike method 99.9% of golfers instinctively develop. 

Learning to NOT use your arms in the backswing is extremely difficult from a normal set up position.  The tendency is to use arm muscle to move or pull the arms back into the backswing….  The beginning of the swing should be from the core (back), and those powerful muscles should ‘throw’ the arms into a swinging motion… 

In the drills, specifically the FRONT ROUTE DRILL, you can rid yourself of the old habit of using the arms to move the arms!!!!  It takes understanding, time and repetition, but it can and will happen. 

I get asked often about the HEAVE and it’s roll in the FRONT ROUTE DRILL.  If you can’t visualize the FRONT ROUTE DRILL, please click on the link and watch. 

Mike sent me a question about the timing of the HEAVE in the FRONT ROUTE DRILL…. The FRONT ROUTE DRILL does many things for a golfer.  It helps rid you of the instinct to strike at the ball, it really helps improve a golfers equilibrium throughout the swing… But most importantly, it develops a core takeaway.  Remember, the HEAVE is not an arm movement… The HEAVE is a powerful move from the core.  In the FRONT ROUTE DRILL, the heave begins from the core, as it turns into the backswing.  Once you have finished the forward movement of the club and are ready to move the arms and club into the backswing, that is when the HEAVE begins.  This drill takes the arms out of the backswing…  It is in it’s essence a core turn drill, or a HEAVE drill.  Once you begin the powerful turn into the backswing in the drill, or in your regular swing, you can simply let momentum carry the arms, shoulders, and back to the finish of the backswing… It will float there on it’s own accord. 

The most important thing to remember is that the HEAVE begins the backswing.  Your core can and should be the driver of the swing.  When done correctly, the arms will swing with gravity and rotation on a more predictable path, time and time again! 

*Final thought:  Great timing on this question, Mike.  All my students should be practicing hundreds of FRONT ROUTES a week in the winter!  It is a top priority to get the core moving in colder weather! 

Brain Basic and Golf

Let’s begin the new year by going over some basics…. 

First, we must understand that the brain, in it’s attempt to help out, tends to destroy a the golf swing in 2 ways:

1.  Through proprioception, we tend to HUNT the golf ball.  This hunting or striking instinct is great for killing a snake.  It’s probably the number one reason why almost all golfers struggle at the game. 

A high priority for every golfer should be to learn how to swing through a ball…. Never at a ball…. 

2.  In the brain’s attempt to get the most power out of a shot, we tend to flex the arms and shoulders on every downswing…..  This flexing of the arms and shoulders always throws the club off path (due to Newton’s 3rd law of physics) which demands another compensation or luck in order for the ball to end up close to it’s intended target.  It’s inefficient at best, massively destructive in most cases…. 

THERE ABSOLUTELY IS a way to tame that inner beast in the downswing!  It’s called THE HEAVE!!!  If the powerful core (your back) throws the heavy arms (yes, the arms of an average sized adult male weight about 30 pounds….) into a swing that has enough force to sustain the entire golf swing, the brain senses that there is enough energy to move the ball powerfully with path integrity!  That means that the arms are left to simply fall, and be carried around consistently by gravity and rotation….. 

Don’t believe me?  It’s easy to see in many of the world’s best athletes….  In golf, we marvel at the ease in which Freddy Couples, Ernie Els, and Rory McIlroy swing.  They are swinging with great power, but also with extreme efficiency!

KNOW that it is not a mystery!  KNOW that you can train the body to avoid the brain’s instincts.  The answer lies in the GRAVITY DRILLS.  A tiny percentage of golfers (I mean .001% tiny) can either stumble into an effortless swing, or hit enough balls everyday to overcome inefficiencies….  Everyone can improve their games with consistent and systematic training in the drills. 

Why are the drills so important?  Because of the 2 brain basics I discussed above.  You will always fight those instincts unless you can basically BEAT THEM out of you with the GRAVITY DRILLS. 

Get to work!  Train in the drills!  Ask me questions!  We can make 2012 the best golfing year yet! 

You Have Not ‘Lost It’….

From mid November thru sometime in February I hear golfers tell me that their game is gone….. 

  • “Worst game ever.”
  • “I have no idea how to play anymore….”
  • “I’ve completely lost it!”

 

On another day, I’ll write an article about the mental pitfalls of the above comments, but for now, let me just assure you that you have not lost ‘it’. 

You are simply not swinging with the laws of physics at the moment!  Your instincts are to lift, strike and steer…..  The colder weather restricts your turn….  and most likely, you have not been practicing as much and IN THE GRAVITY DRILLS as you were over the summer…. 

Basically, as Dr. Rick Jensen says so eloquently, “You’ve just gotten bad.”

The great news is that you are reading this blog!  The great news is that you understand THE GRAVITY GOLF SWING and how it works. 

If you are not hitting the ball well,  you KNOW that you are using your arms too much!  You KNOW that you are probably steering or striking (or both) and that will always cause the club path to be bumped off line….. 

You also KNOW how to get your swing back!   Get on the range and in the DRILLS!  HEAVE the tension out of the arms….  Let GRAVITY AND ROTATION create path integrity.  Allow the ball to get in the way of the swing!!!   Really work on Balance, core turn, and impact with the short shots! 

You no longer have the golfers age old excuse of ‘confusion’.  You are the few who KNOW. 

If you won’t get to the range (and I understand.  The weather is bad, the holidays, etc…..), then take a GRAVITY DRILL practice swing on the course….. 

And if you just aren’t motivated to train in the ‘off season’ because you need time to re-energize for next years training….. Then just try to finish in balance on every swing, enjoy the scenery and the company…. and be AT EASE. 

It’s all good.