Driver Drill Rocks

J and I have began doing the THE DRIVER DRILL again last week.  It’s been probably about 9 months since I’ve done it.  What’s fascinating to me is that although I hit the ball pretty well for the most part these days, when I get back to the DRIVER DRILL, my impact jumps up another whole level.  It’s remarkable. 

You would think that a solid shot is a solid shot, no matter what, right?  Wrong.  When you make solid contact with perfect physic’s compliant technique, the feeling is something special. 

Equally important is how the drill simplifies the swing for me.  This drill ROCKS!

If you haven’t been doing THE DRIVER DRILL, well get back to it, cause it will do wonders for your game!  If you’ve never done THE DRIVER DRILL, well….  I highly recommend that you learn it and begin training with it as soon as you can!

The Pull of a Bad Perception

I see it almost daily on the practice green.  Golfers train towards the exact wrong power supply…. The perception of chipping/pitching is often to keep the body still and simply move the arms through the ball and chase the flight line. 

Even golfers that have studied the correct technique tend to fall back into the pattern of less turn, and more arms over time….  That’s the pull of a bad perception. 

Making the GRAVITY DRILLS part of a life long routine can often COMPLETELY CHANGE one’s perceptions, so you never go back to those bad ones…. 

More importantly for now, just know that if you begin to chip/pitch poorly, most likely you need to SHIFT YOUR WEIGHT INTO YOUR FORWARD PIVOTAL AXIS, DO LESS WITH YOUR ARMS (AFTER YOU HEAVE THEM INTO A SWING) AND MORE WITH YOUR TURN*!  Yes, even on small chip shots, TURN TURN TURN!!!  This rotation is a major key to a more efficient swing. 

I’ve NEVER told a golfer that they turn too much.  Never seen it, yet. 

*I’m specifically speaking of the forward turn that will sling the arms and club on a predictable path through the ball.  No steering, guiding, chasing needed. 

And Now for Something Completely Different…..

Gene, I’m saying that GRAVITY and ROTATION control the GRAVITY putt.  The pivotal rotation of the left axis slings the arms on a predictable path….

Mark, you’re shifting forward a little more than needed!  Relax the shoulders and allow the head to stay behind the ball as you rotate through the shot…..

And now we need a break from GRAVITY PUTTING…..

THE AMAZING CHRISTOPHER

Now go PLAY golf. Stop THINKING golf swing. 

Gravity Putting

Simple.  Weight leaned into forward pivotal axis.  Pop the tension out of your arms with a small heave.  As the arms and club run out of momentum in the backswing, they are slung forward by a pivoting forward leg.  The arms and club work on an arc, sending the ball on a tangent.

It’s exactly the same as a small chip, pitch, etc….  Centrifugal force keeps the arms and club in motion and on path. 

*Yes, there is a small counterfall. 

Why Putt On The Arc?

Right up front I want to make it clear that I am extremely aware that today’s blog is limited in its scope.  The purpose of the blog is to express a few thoughts on ‘GRAVITY PUTTING’, not a full blown discussion.   

Straight back, straight through putting make sense.  It also looks neat, clean and simple.  The putting stroke is a simple enough motion that many people have had success putting straight back and straight through.  
Problem is, it takes more muscular involvement.  It must be created and controlled by the body and mind every time! The body is not designed to move a club straight back and straight through, just as the body is not designed to move the putter on a vertical pendulum….  That means that it might look good, it might even produce good results if you can do it (and very few can), but it is truly more difficult!!!
I putt on the arc because it complies with the laws of physics.  I putt on the arc so I can use gravity and centrifugal force to keep my putter on path.  I believe in the GRAVITY PUTT because the less muscular movements involved, the more predictable one can be.  As we age, that becomes enormously important.  How many golfers do you know that maintain their putting ability as they age?  Not many!  Almost all deteriorate as they lose their hand/eye coordination… Worse, a large percentage of them get the yips due to mis firings of the small muscles….
I absolutely think that people should putt on the arc, like David Toms.  
I also know that some things are very difficult to change, even if a better method is clearly available.  Getting people to putt on the arc, with pivotal rotation may prove to be more difficult than getting Americans trained in the metric system… 
In my next blog, I’ll discuss the major elements of the GRAVITY PUTTING STROKE.   

Gravity Putting

An avid student, let’s call him ‘Joe’ sent along this comment about David Tom’s putting:

Pete,
We all know that David Toms is playing fantastic golf. I believe you would agree that he has a gravity golf swing, but among the touring professionals his putting has to be the closest to gravity putting. What do you think?
Putting is not a common topic on your blog. Now is your chance.

Joe,
I just spent the last 10 minutes looking at video of David’s putting stroke.  He is most definitely putting ‘on the arc’, an important piece of the gravity stroke.  Even on short putts, it’s very clear that his putter head swings on an arc, and the ball takes off  tangentially. 

I would say that David Toms and Y.E. Yang, another golfer you and I have talked about, have the most easy to see GRAVITY PUTTING STROKES in the game right now. 

While watching today, pay close attention to 2 things… 
1.  David will rotate his body on the followthru of his putts.   He ‘releases’ or more specifically moves the arms and the club with the pivotal rotation of the left axis.  It will often give the look like he is ‘coming out’ of his putts, something someone will inevitably say when he misses a putt.  (even though he is consistently one of the best putters on tour with that same move…)

2.  Watch how the putter clearly works on an arc.  NO LINEAR motion in the stroke, which put together simply complies with the laws of physics compared with straight putting. 

I’ll spend more time in the next blog or two talking about why a GRAVITY PUTTING stroke is so AWESOME, what goes into a GRAVITY PUTTING STROKE, and how to begin training it…. 

Thanks Joe!

Create a Great Play

OK, here’s what I want you to do over the next few weeks.  Each time you find yourself thinking or visualizing disaster on a shot, shake the thought/image out of your mind like an Etch a Sketch!!!

Take a deep breath and THINK LIKE A CHAMPION!!!  Flood your mind and body with images/thoughts of a great putt/chip/bunker shot/drive, etc….  Set up for success and allow it to happen!

Do this consistently and you’ll not only get incredible satisfaction out of changing your outcomes, you’ll begin to create a new habit of PLAYING TO PLAY GREAT! 

Create one great play!  I know you can. 

***Let me know how this works out for you.  Best,

A Discussion for Serious Golfers

If you don’t play in the rain, you can skip this read.  For those who play tournament golf to any degree, or love golf enough to simply put a hat and a rain jacket on…. I’ve got some advice for you.  (I seriously hope that no one that reads this blog would let a little rain stop them from playing golf, or get them to quit mid round…. )

WEAR RAIN GLOVES.  One of the great advancements in golf, in my opinion.  Most golfers remember the frustration of trying to keep their grips dry while playing in the rain…. With today’s rain gloves, you don’t have a worry in the world!  The club simply will not slip. You don’t have to hassle with extra towels, etc…  
You are losing shots to the field and needlessly frustrating yourself if you don’t have them.  It’s that simple.  
I’ll finish by saying this: If you think you can’t wear 2 gloves, or 1 glove because it changes your feel….  That’s a lame excuse!  It’s holding on to an archaic and false belief about feel.  (We can have that discussion later).  

Aware?

Take 4 practice swings.  On a scale of 1-5, how well did you swing into balance?  Are you fully turned?  Relaxed?  Can you hold that finish position steady for a while?  Rate your practice swing on smoothness and balance. 

As your numbers approach 4 and 5, begin to swing more powerfully….  See if you can still get a sense of smoothness with great balance at the end. 

Now hit 4 shots.  On a scale of 1-5, how well did you swing into balance? 

Not only will you learn how to transfer the feelings of your practice swing into your real swing, you’ll probably also become very aware of 2 things:

1.  The instinct to strike at the ball (bad)
2.  Results of impact and ball flight will overwhelm most golfers, keeping them from improving balance, the critical element in improving impact and ball flight….  

If you can recognize and overcome this desire to scrap balance once a ball is present, you can really begin to work on your FULLY ROTATED, RELAXED BALANCED FINISH!!!!  Improvment is then pretty much guaranteed…

Now repeat.  4 swings, no ball into balance.  4 swings with a ball.  Simply judge on smoothness and balance. 

BAM!  You’re better.