The Divot Question

I get asked a lot about taking a divot.  When, how much, is it really necessary? 

Take another quick look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPYtlZ78i8A (or become hypnotized like I do and watch 1 min and 45 seconds of it….  again. Bam, I’m a better golfer.)

Anymore questions about divots?  Look in front of the ropes. 

Divots are good.  As long as the body is rotating around the forward pivotal axis, the hard metal club will cut through ground like a warm knife through butter. 

The ‘Until’ Game

This is a drill that I have a love/hate relationship with.  You play it simply by setting up specific goals or criteria that must be met before you leave the range, practice bunker, or putting green. 

For example:  “I will continue to chip UNTIL I hole out 5 shots” or “I will continue to putt 4 foot straight putts UNTIL I can make 100 in a row”. 

I love this game because it tends to intensify my focus.  I love this game because it is so rewarding to accomplish the goal. 

From a learning stand point, it’s a great game because if you are not sharp, you will need to stay longer and, well… get better.  GREAT!  On days when you are really on, many times the “UNTIL GAME” is not that difficult to complete.  GREAT!  Move on to something else. 

I hate this game because sometimes, it can KICK MY BUTT!  I’m persistent enough to stay until, and some days that means WAY TOO LONG!  This drill can drive me nuts when the results hang just outside of my capabilities for the day. 

In the end, if I compete the drill….  It’s worth the pain.  On the occasions when life calls, and I must admit defeat….  it’s crushing. 

Perhaps the hate part of the game is one of the reasons it can be so powerful? 

Process

Most of you know that I’m all about consistent and systematic training.  I also understand that life gets in the way of golf, so practicing isn’t always on the schedule…. 

The best way to combat that is to KNOW exactly how to practice when you do get the chance.  It also helps to understand the PROCESS of learning, so you don’t get derailed when you begin to train. 

Let’s take chipping for an example.  When I train, I KNOW exactly what I’m working on: 

-a tension free swing driven by HEAVE and PIVOT
-consistent impact/trajectory control
-distance control

After a long layoff from training (anything more than a few days), I work on the process.  I FEEL the swinging arms being moved by HEAVE and PIVOT, I take TONS of practice swings bumping the ground, and I’m extremely aware of the swing in relation to a target I’m intending to move a ball to.  I practice and use FEEDBACK to monitor my progress.  How was impact?  How was my distance control?  Did I swing, or hit/steer/guide?  I’m not judgemental, as much as aware. 

Currently, after quite extensive layoffs over the last 6 months, I stink at chipping, to put it mildly.  But each training session improves.  I’m not fixing, changing, searching….  I’m constantly intending to work on:

-a tension free swing driven by HEAVE and PIVOT
-consistent impact/trajectory control
-distance control

The short game demands precision.  The smallest tug of the arms, or shift of the body can have devastating effects on impact.  If impact is off slightly, it can have a major influence on trajectories and distance control.  Being just a couple of feet off, often just a couple of inches can mean the difference between par and bogie, or worse…. 

The process will work.  Practice done correctly works….  It’s PRACTICE that allows the body to become more consistent if one trains correctly.  PRACTICE will fine tune the swinging arms, impact, and my distance control. And because I train systematically, I KNOW I’m on the ‘tracks’ to better touch around the greens.  That knowledge adds confidence to my game. 

Occasional practice done correctly will improve technique yet may not yield great results.  IT’S STILL WORTH IT IN THE LONG RUN!!!!  Practice done consistently and systematically guarantee better results!  Stay patient, and let the process work. 

Did You Say Billions?

There are billions of people who walk with the grace similar to watching Michael Jordan play basketball, Roger Federer play tennis, or Ernie Els swing a golf club.  If used correctly, the self preservation systems in the brain and body can allow you to swing the golf club with that same grace. 

No kidding.                                                                                                                      to be continued……….

There is No “Down” Needed in a Bunker Shot

There are several reasons why golfers waste a lot of energy in the bunker.  One is poor set up.  They set up “high” so as to avoid touching the sand, which would be a penalty… Good.  But because of this stance, they must now use a downward force to get the club into the sand…. Bad. 

It’s unnecessary, and it wastes energy down, when what we really want is energy moving through the ball and out onto the green!

Set your knees flex and spine angle so that “IF” your arms were to hang straight, the club would extend about 1-2 inches below the surface of the sand.  To avoid touching the sand, simply raise the club by bending your elbows slightly.  This will ‘shorten’ your arms, keeping the club about the sand.  When you swing, HEAVE the tension out of the arms and then let GRAVITY AND ROTATION do the rest. 

GRAVITY will pull the club and the arms down (NO MUSCULAR FORCE NEEDED!!!) into the sand, and your forward ROTATION around the pivotal axis will allow the club to slide through the sand, sending the ball and sand out towards the target on a tangent to the arc of the swing. 

Just the weight of the club, the weight of the arms and gravity are way enough force to slam into the sand in almost every case.  Additional force from muscle is WASTED, and destroys forward rotation… Double WASTE!

MAKE IT EASIER!  Gravity and rotation.  Enjoy. 

Quote:

“The swing is an action where certain things are caused to happen, and certain things are allowed to happen.  Faults arise in trying to cause the things that should be allowed” -D. McCluggage

The takeaway must be caused.  If HEAVED away correctly, EVERYTHING else in the swing can be allowed!  By trying to lift the club, strike the ball, steer the ball, etc… you are creating errors that destroy the swing. 

HEAVE the arms into a ‘swing’, and then allow gravity and rotation to move the club through the ball on a predictable arc…  You’ll finish in a fully rotated, relaxed balanced finish. 

It’s really that simple! …. It is not, however, easy…. 

Intention Created the Camels Hump….

Many, many moons ago, the camel created it’s hump, because it INTENDED to cross the desert.  The power of INTENTION is the power of the possible.

INTEND to improve your balance, and it will be accomplished.  INTEND to move the weight of the club through the ball in a circular motion, sending the ball off towards the target, and you will improve in that endeavor, GUARANTEED. 

INTEND to figure out the gravity drills with balance, grace and power…  And you will. 

Focus your INTENTION on solid shots towards a target with a fully rotated, relaxed balanced finish.  Never let your INTENTION waver.  The end. 

I just love that camel story!  GO CAMELS!!!

And a Website Too!?

Today I just want to announce that my website is live! Check out:  http://athleticgolf.net/  Take a little look around and let me know what you think.  

Go ahead and sign up for David’s great article on “The Science of Gravity Golf”, even if you already have it.  J was able to create a pretty cool “gravity golfer’s photo album” that’s engaging to look at and perhaps informative as well.  It pops up after you click in to receive the Essay by David.  
There is a link to my blog on the site, and these posts will continue to be the main source of dynamic information on ATHLETIC GOLF.  
Love to hear your thoughts and comments!