Confessions

I started practicing my pitch and chips shots about a week ago…  You see I noticed that my short game was costing me a stroke or two per round then deduced that I had been slacking in my short game practice….

My contact is now more solid and the trajectory and distance control seems to improve every day that I play.  Coincidence?  
My true confession is that I had gotten away from my ONE ARM gravity golf training!  I used an aching right shoulder as an excuse not to train with one arm drills…. That was 8 months ago!!!!  Although I’ve been training consistently with other GRAVITY DRILLS,  the ones that are most effective, I’ve been avoiding….
So when I give you a hard time about not training enough with the GRAVITY GOLF DRILLS,  Know that I am a “sinner” amongst you.  
About 3 days ago I began ONE ARM training and I can already see a difference in my consistency on the course!   Wish I could say I’m surprised!!!!!
Question:  I now notice that my shots from 80-120 yards have been less sharp than back in April….  I also know that back then I was training 2-3 times per week specifically on those shots.   I’m just wondering what I should do about it? (is that too sarcastic? Or is it just enough to make a point?)

Watching golf

There’s a rain delay at the Colonial right now.  Bummer.  Fun to watch these guys play fantastic golf!!!  Give them a great course, with great conditions and it really shows just how good they are!  And how incredible they can putt!!!

Earlier today I took a tour of Charleston with the family on THE THRILLER !   A touring speed boat that was really a fun way to see the area from the harbor.  Two thumbs up!!!
Back to golf.  Cory Pavin was impressive this week, one of the last of the great feisty golfers that really works his way around a course with a multitude of shots…..
How about Bryce Molder’s swing?  I believe he’s got GRAVITY on his side!!!   My students need to check him out and see if you can see the elements of his golf swing!
*He is not a Gravity putter.  Very linear.  (very, very good as well)

Practice!?

What I really love to do is help others enjoy the game and play better golf shots.  While I completely understand that many golfers don’t like to practice or convince themselves they don’t have time to practice, to expect improvement from a lesson without practice is a bit of a stretch.   Let me give you an example:  Playing golf can be compared to a pianist playing a concert.  No matter how much mechanical information a pianist had, no matter how much they loved playing concerts… it would be silly to think one could play effectively without practice.

Can you imagine a “high handicapped” pianist who doesn’t practice
expecting a tip about his hand position, or posture to make the
difference in his performance?

I’ve spent many years designing training sessions built for EFFICIENCY! By that I mean I want you to get the most out of every moment you train, simply because we are all busy, and the more quality you can get from your training, the better.  I absolutely believe in practice, I am convinced that it is clear, systematic and consistent training that has the greatest potential to improve one’s skills.  Here are some simple thoughts for simple training:

*Practice improving the short shots that cost you strokes during your last round!!!! Pitches, chips, bunkers, or maybe lag putting…  By spending simply 15 minutes on a particular shot, you may develop some confidence for your next round

*Spend 5-10 minutes just 2-3 times per week on 3 foot straight putts!  This is the simplest, most efficient way to improve your stroke.

*Hit some 9 irons off a tee with the thought of swinging smoothly and into BALANCE!  20 swings in BALANCE with a 9 iron and a tee will likely do more for your swing than several hours of practice struggling with your long irons and woods!

These simple techniques can help you play more consistently and take very little time.  If you’re interested in seeing real improvement, find the time to get in some quality training!  If improvement becomes a goal, LET’S TALK!  I’ll show you THE BEST TRAINING METHODS FOR GUARANTEED IMPROVEMENT!

Now go PLAY GOLF!  Stop THINKING GOLF SWING.

The Target Creates The Swing, Part II

 

There are 5  basic targets in golf….   4 of them are ABSOLUTELY wrong.  99.9% of golfers unfortunately choose several of the 4 bad targets for every swing they make!

Let’s look at 1 bad target:   THE BALL.  The great instinct in golf is to set up to the ball, and attempt to strike it.  take a look at this video and really watch his third swing (from the face on view).   You’ll clearly see his intent to strike at!  : First Golf Swings
  It’s the very reason that most great athletes fall flat when they take up the game of golf.  Athletes in general can jump from sport to sport pretty easily.  Just ask any jock the sports they played growing up… .Very rarely were they good at just one… They were studs in every sport they played!  Then there’s golf!

Take a look at Ozzie Smith swing a golf club.  You can see he is not fluid like you would expect a professional athlete to be (especially one as talented as Ozzie Smith!):

The reason is simple.   THE BALL is the wrong target.  It’s absolutely wrong and makes playing this game much more difficult than it needs to be.  Any attempt to strike at the ball creates a swing that has little relationship to the real target!  We can’t deal with two targets very well…. .Just think what it would look like if a basketball player tried to bounce pass to his right and at the same time also tried to shoot a basket!!!!  Sound crazy?  Welcome to golf!
You can’t “throw” the arms and club out to the real target (in a circular motion) AND swing at the ball….  It’s physically impossible and yet that’s what golfers constantly try to do!!!! No wonder they are in search of elusive swing mechanics!!!!
Understand this:  THE BALL GETS IN THE WAY OF THE SWING!  You throw, and the ball get’s in the way and is sent out to the target!
Jack said it this way:   “I swing and the ball simply gets in the way.”
Fred Couples looks as though the ball is velcro-ed to the clubface and he simply leans back and throws the club and ball out to the target…. take a look:

There is NO HIT in that swing!  Because he has no concept of HIT!

Regardless of results, keep throwing the club out to the target (in a circle around the body)….  Let the body figure out how to be more consistent at throwing on the right path!!!!  TRUST THE REAL TARGET.

 

Ladies Driver Drill

Just finished the first semester of the Ladies Driver Drill Club.  I thought it went great!  As an observation, I would say that the ladies in general were much more fearful of the drills.  Whether consciously or unconsciously, they struggled more than the men (in general) in the crossfooted  and transfer drill.  It seemed more difficult for them to let themselves experiment and experience regardless of results…

I‘m curious as to why?….  Less athletic experience?  More nervous about making mistakes?  Something I’m not thinking about?  Love to hear your feedback as it will help me as a teacher.  
The drills are difficult, but most golfers end up doing better in the drills than in their regular swing.  I’d say that was true for only 2 of the 8 ladies in the class.   
Now having said that, it was quite evident that just about every one of them bombed it in their regular swings!!!!  I mean it was just awesome to watch!  My hope is that the DRIVER DRILL simplified the swing for them, and freed them up!  
The biggest victory for me?  Seeing them to turn into a FULLY ROTATED, RELAXED BALANCED FINISH!  Keep turning ladies! Great Job.  

What is GRAVITY GOLF®?

Gravity golf is a defining name, assigned by David Lee, one of golf’s foremost instructors and swing technologists, to the style of golf swing employed by a number of the world’s finest players.  According to Lee, there are at least four different ways to execute a golf swing from the standpoint of energy origins within the body.  The swing may be powered with a “centrifugal flip” (Bobby Jones), or a pure “shoulder rake” (Arnold Palmer).  It may be powered by a “gravity aided rotary “sling,” exemplified by such great modern day players as Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, and Freddie Couples .  Or, it may be powered by a “combination” technique, using a rotary sling and a racquetball type forearm “lash” (Ben Hogan).

Although all of the above techniques have produced superb players, the pure “GRAVITY” swing is the only one of the four which doesn’t turn at least some energy back into the body  during its execution (which causes swing-path movement and off-line shots), thus making it the most compliant technique with the laws of motion. The Gravity swing allows one to play to the most advanced age without losing distance or control!

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:

The Target Creates The Swing Part I

I was told to attempt “short and simple”…..  Simple I can handle… Short, well, I’ll do my best!

The target creates the swing.  It’s the philosophy behind ATHLETIC GOLF.  It means that if you are truly trying to move a ball out to your target in a “throwing” motion, the golf swing can develop or create itself…   
It also means that if you have a bad target, you will create a bad swing.  
I’ll be blunt.  Pretty much every golfer (including me) learned this game with one, two, or several bad targets….  It’s why pretty much every golfer constantly struggles with their swing!  With the correct target, golf is difficult. With the wrong targets, it’s close to total chaos!!!
Without a total change in your target perceptions, most likely your golf swing will never change.  I know that sounds harsh, but look at it honestly.  Most golfers pretty much never change….  Even after lessons, they tend to fall back into the same old “habits” they had before. 
The reason is that bad target perceptions pull a golfer back towards their old golf swing….  
Intend to throw the arms and club through the ball and towards the target (this must be a circular motion that I’ll discuss later).  With a “throw” intention, you’ll develop most if not all of the natural athletic motions inherent in a throw…. WONDERFUL!  
How’s that for short?  I feel like I’m leaving you hanging big time by stopping this post now….  Guess you’ll have to wait for part II!  

Simple Strategy

To shoot 80-85, use this simple strategy….  it’s easier said than done, but if followed, I’ve no doubt you can lower your scores….

First is to keep the ball in play and move the ball a minimum of 150 yards (from the white tees.  From the gold tees it’s probably about 130 yards, and from the red tees 120 yards is all you need)!  Yup, you only have to hit the ball 150 yards at a time to shoot 80 from the white tees at most clubs!  Most golfers (especially men) lose several shots because they hit driver off almost every tee and because of their inconsistencies, blow a couple drives into water, out of bounds, or out of play.  
Hit your hybrid, or an iron INTO PLAY!!!
*You’ll not only hit more fairways, you’ll gain confidence because you’ll hit the ball with more control!!!
Next is to one chip or pitch inside of 30 yards.  You must become proficient enough in your short game to hit the green virtually every time from inside of 30 yard, no matter how difficult the lie.  This is the real key to scoring!!!  If there is a most important aspect in terms of technique, it would be to develop a method to move the ball onto the green from all different lies around the green.  
Finally,  2 putt.  You don’t have to be Phil Mickelson around the greens.  You just need to move the ball onto the green somewhere!  Then have enough skill in putting to 2 putt.  
Here’s what happens with this strategy.   You hit more solid shots with the full swing because you are more often in control of your ball….  You’ll most likely hit 2-4 green in regulation due to a short par 3, and a couple of short par 4’s,  etc….  Let’s say that you hit 3 greens…. Next, if you become proficient at chipping, you will be bound to hit a couple close enough to 1 putt….  usually 3-5 a round. We will say 4 times you chipped close and one putted.   If you simply make one other putt outside of say 8 feet, you will score an 82!  
This strategy will help you focus on the most important scoring areas (short game!)
This strategy will build your confidence with the full swing
This strategy will also allow you the flexibility of some major screw ups!!!!  If we say that a 3 putt, a bad chip, and a bad drive add 3 shots to your score….  you would have still shot an 85!!!
Now as your skills improve,  slowly add a longer drive to the wide open holes  (at Snee Farm that would be perhaps #9, #10, #12, #13, #18).  You’ll get to the point where you can manage your game easily where you want to be for your skill set.  
Bottom line.   Keep the ball in play 150 yards, 1 chip, and 2 putt and you can shoot low 80’s from the White Tees!!!!  
Now got work on your short game!!!!  Best, 

Move It With Your Turn!

First,let me define the followthru.  It is a ROTATIONAL move around the FORWARD PIVOTAL AXIS.  It should only begin after the heave and when the weight has fully fallen back into the left heel AND the body is well into the COUNTERFALL.

The FOLLOWTHRU is the unleashing of all the energy produced in a swing.

 

A proper FOLLOWTHRU is FULLY ROTATED,  RELAXED in the arms and shoulders, AND WELL BALANCED at the very end of the swing.

The reason you hear me say it so often is because the INSTINCT TO STRIKE AT THE BALL is so strong,  the arms fire at the ball, rather than being slung by the followthru! 

Itis EXTREMELY difficult to not use your arms in a golf swing, yet bydefinition, as soon as you use your arms, it is no longer a SWING (it’sa hit and will be thrown off path demanding a compensation).

By saying “HIT IT WITH YOUR FOLLOWTHRU” over and over and over, I’m hoping that you continue to experiment with getting more and more TENSION out of your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders andback.  My hope is that you let yourself get completely into the LEFT PIVOTAL AXIS and begin the COUNTERFALL before you begin your thruswing.

LITERALLY, THE GRAVITY GOLFER moves the ball with THEIR FOLLOWTHRU!  The arms and the club are an extension of the left pivotal axis and are slung by it on a predictable path.

I think it is easiest to see in VJ SINGH.  You tube him and watch some swings (never in SLOW MOTION!).  I think you’ll begin to see how his arms are being slung by his turn.