Like an Icecream for a Food Junkie

Our first frost today….  37 degrees as I write this (and to all you northerners…. I know it’s far worse up there!). 

Well here’s a little eye candy for all of us golf junkies!

Hole #10 at Carolina Colours Golf Club. 

Don’t you want to hit that shot?  Yum….  Or in the words of KJ Choi as he described his supersized jumbo putter grip:  “Delicious.” 

***Northerners….  Remember,  shovel with your core! 

Lending a Helping Arm….

The technique of the ONE ARM drills is important.  More important is the INTENTION of hitting solid shots with a FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH.  The drills are very difficult, so even if you don’t hit the ball very well, you can really be making MASSIVE changes in your swing as long as your INTENTION is consistent.

Don’t over think this(Yes, I’m talking to you.  And you know exactly who ‘you’ is….)!  Set up to SWING into a FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH, and the ball gets in the way of the swing!!!  

You understand that the laws of GRAVITY AND ROTATION set up the potential for PATH INTEGRITY.  The arm falls,  the rotation around the FORWARD PIVOTAL AXIS slings the arm and club with centrifugal force on a predictable path.  

That will happen more and more if you simple continue to have good intention, and more importantly, CONTINUE to hit lots of one arm shots!

OK, enough talk.  Watch these short illustrations to get a very clear picture of how to best do the drills! 

RIGHT ARM ONLY DRILL
LEFT ARM ONLY DRILL

One Arm Drills

Hitting golf balls with one arm is probably the best way to train a body dominant swing.  Right arm only and left arm only golf swings do 2 things extremely well.

1.  They quickly convince a golfer that moving the club with arm muscles is a recipe for disaster!  (try it, you’ll see what I mean!)

2.  With persistence, you will begin to use GRAVITY and ROTATION to move the arm and the club rather than muscle. 

If you’ve ever tried hitting shots with one arm, you know how difficult the first few shots are….  Most people stop right there because it’s too difficult.  That’s unfortunate, because those swings are really telling you the story of your golf game!

For most golfers, the right arm thrusts down, releasing the club too early creating massive and sometimes painfully fat shots (hitting the ground up to a foot behind the ball!).  When most people swing with the left arm, curiously, they tend to whiff, missing above the ball…. 

THAT’S FASCINATING!  Both arms are screwing up!  The muscle in both arms is creating movement in the swing path.  In most cases, that movement tends to be the opposite with each arm.  Once slams the club down too early, the other pulls the club up above the ball…. 

That means when you put both hands on the club, you’ve created a swing that kind of compensates for both poor motions, creating something that resembles a golf swing. 

The brilliance of ONE ARM SWINGS is that over time it will teach both arms to work with GRAVITY and ROTATION!!!!  If the right arm simply falls and picks the ball up with your forward rotation, and your left arm simply falls and picks the ball up with your forward rotation, when you put both hands on the club, guess what??? BOTH arms behave in a manner which creates PATH INTEGRITY!!! 

I’m amazed that some golfers would rather continue compensating with both arms, rather than spend time on the range training both arms to comply with the laws of physics…..

It’s not easy.  THAT’S THE POINT!  It does, however, work magic on your golf swing! 

A lifetime of ONE ARM SWINGS!!!  Get to it!  You’ll love the results.

How to Unlearn, Without Thinking About It….

Generally speaking, the more inconsistent a golfer, the further away from physics compliance he or she is. 

More specifically, golfers that struggle with power, contact and direction (sounds like most golfers?) have more physical manipulations in their swing.  By manipulations, I simply mean moves of the body that keep the arc of the club from SWINGING and ON PATH. 

We all come into this game with a perception, some people come in with far better perceptions than the rest… Most of us come in with the perception to lift, steer, and kill to some degree. 

THESE PERCEPTIONS MUST BE UNLEARNED!!!!

And happily, there is a sure fire way to unlearn!   It’s DOING WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING WHILE YOU TRAIN.  Training in the GRAVITY DRILLS, training with intent on finishing in a FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH, and OVERTRAINING the correct rotation of the forearms (hitting big ole hooks) if necessary will automatically help you UNLEARN the old perceptions. 

I’m not saying its easy.  Just that THERE IS A WAY!  Golfers must stay ON TRACK in their training for years and years.  Golfers must stay consistent and systematic in their training UNTIL!!!!

You will not unlearn by taking normal swings.  The best a golfer can do with regular swings is learn to manage an uncompliant swing.  That management disintegrates as you age…. 

UNLEARN by training systematically and consistently IN THE DRILLS! 

It’s a LIFETIME project!  Enjoy and be fascinated. 

And of course, come see me, ask me questions, take more lessons, comment on my blog… Get answers to your questions!!! 

Commenting on the Comments

George had a couple of one liners over the weekend that are worth responding to.  George, if you don’t know, is a two time Teacher of the Year (including 2011) up in Connecticut, and a long time friend.  I highly recommend going to connorgolf.com and keeping up with his writings. 

Anyway, he made me giggle this morning when I checked out his comments from my last two blogs. 

In response to my picture of the empty driving range, he optimistically wrote: “Maybe they are all on the putting green?…”

We both know that chipping and putting practice are far more productive in terms of score for everyone’s game.  Golfers should be spending a significant amount of time on and around the greens…. 

His second one liner was in response to Calvin rolling and eating the golf ball….   “rule 18″.  that’s it.  It took me a second to realize he was referring to Calvin moving a ball at rest.  Calvin would be an ‘outside agency’ that moved a ball at rest.  The rule states that I would replace the ball (once I could get it away from him) to its original position.  No penalty. 

Now, if Calvin had a bib on and was my caddie for the day, I would replace the ball and receive a one shot penalty for having moved the ball!

Morals of the day:   CHIP AND PUTT!  And replace a ball at rest that has moved. 

How Golfers Use Muscle Successfully in the Swing

So there are a tiny few golfers that use muscle successfully in their swing.  By successfully, I mean that they are truly excellent ball strikers that hit more than 50% of fairways and upwards of 70% of greens in regulation. 

Camilo Vilegas  is a great example.  He’s very strong, works extremely hard on his golf game and is a great athlete.  Click on his name and watch his swing.  You can clearly see the slow backswing (and we all know that the slow backswing is NOT optimal!!!), you can also see the PULLING of the arms down and through impact. 

The video is a great example of ACTION/REACTION.  As he pulls down with his arms, his back foot pulls out in reaction!!!  He does that ALOT!  (How often have you seen Freddy’s back foot slip out?) 

So how can he have such a adverse reaction to the pulling in his golf swing and still hit fantastic golf shots?

All his strength allows him to compensate for the errors that muscles create.  That downward force works against forward rotational force.  He is strong enough to pull down AND get to his left side(even as his back leg is slipping back) and rotate fully and level. Hitting thousands and thousands of balls a week allows him to create consistency in his compensations.  Being a fantastic athlete affords him greater hand/eye coordination than most….  in the end, he plays great golf!

**I am not criticizing Camilo.  I have tremendous respect for him, and also really think he’s a terrific guy.  I’m pointing out what muscle does in a golf swing.  

For those less strong, less dedicated and less talented, using muscle is usually a disaster.  It’s completely CHAOTIC and a never ending loop of error correction and fixes.  

Maybe the title should have been:  “If You Have to Ask, Muscle Will Not Work in Your Swing”

Now watch this swing a dozen times to get a physics compliant swing back into your head! 

No ‘UP’ in a Backswing

Let’s get back to the golf swing.  One of the great errors that golfers make is using their arms to lift their arms and club into the back swing.  It seems like the right thing to do (for many golfers it’s an instinct to ‘lift and kill ball!’ Ugha…) and many golfers think that using the wrists and lifting the club onto a mythical plane looks good.

As soon as the arms engage in a muscular effort to move the arms and club back, maximum power and consistency are compromised.  Some golfers can recover extremely well, but that’s the problem… they have to recover on EVERY swing. 

The backswing is a CORE POWER MOVE that turns the arms and club into a SWING.  The energy should be rotational from the core.  The energy is back or LEVEL with the arms and club. 

If you placed a ball 12-16 inches behind your 7 iron, you should bump it during the early stage of your backswing…. If you don’t, you are most likely LIFTING the arms. 

THE ARMS and club go ‘up’ because they are attached to your shoulders.  No physical effort needs to be made to move them UP!

Swing level.  The design of the body and physics will create a wonderful swing arc that is far more predictable than hand and arm manipulations!!!!

Can’t Move on Without Saying This….

This is a small bit, but VERY worth putting down in a post:

“Hey Pete – thank you for posting my comments!  One thing I forgot to mention . .. not only will golf-specific workouts and flexibility enhance your golf game, but it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway!) that the better shape you are in, the more years you will be able to enjoy the game of golf.   Regardless of your game quality, you will have the endurance and stamina, and avoid the aches and pains, to allow you to play for years to come.” -Meredith Nelson

No matter when you start on a GOLF SPECIFIC workout program, every golfer can see benefits for the long ter!!!!   GET TO IT!