My Right Leg

So the knee is improving….  ever so slowly.  I’m able to put a decent amount of weight on it for short periods of time….

It made me think this morning about how I need that knee and leg for my golf swing!

My right leg does not do a whole bunch in the golf swing.  I don’t need it to fire into the golf ball on the down swing.   It doesn’t have to ‘muscle up’ in order to sustain knee flex, or leg angle in my back swing…

It does need stability!  It does need to have the strength to handle all my mass being displaced into it for a short amount of time in the back swing.  It also needs the strength to handle the rotating forces of the upper body after the heave being worked against by the leg and foot being anchored into the ground (my ACL hurts just thinking about a full turn into the backswing…..)

Most importantly, with a strong right leg, I don’t have to think at all about it after set up.  Once it is set,  physiology and physics will automatically do the rest!  With a proper HEAVE into the backswing, the stable right leg will allow the body’s mass to fall seamlessly back into the LEFT PIVOTAL AXIS (left leg). 

You don’t have to ‘DO’ anything with the back leg….  You just need it set up correctly and strong enough to handle the forces of the heave so that the swing can work with GRAVITY AND ROTATION!

Patience……  my right leg will soon be strong again. 

So What’s the Big Gap?

I watched a lot of golf last week.  At one point it this question came up, “What can they do that my students can’t do?” (‘THEY’ being President’s Cup professionals)

I began to look at the golf swings in a slightly different way.  
First, let’s take Bubba Watson and Jason Day out of the equation.  I’m honestly not sure yet what Bubba has going on in his swing and Jason, like Camilo Villegas, uses his arm muscles with greater success than most could ever expect….  
But the rest?  
Well, they are certainly extremely talented.  They have tremendous motor patterns which allow them to repeat at a high level of consistency.  They train several hours a day, almost every day with great technique which also sends them to another level of sensitivity and consistency….  
Putting those things aside, there is no reason golfers can’t play with much greater consistency.  Without their dedication and talent, you may not become a +8 hdcp and shoot mid 60’s on a regular basis, but you can certainly play golf in the 70’s, or low 80’s!!!
They are not doing anything that is not possible for most of us!
     *(like say dunking a basketball, or sacking a quarterback or hitting a 88mph slider…..)
They practice their putting more often and with greater precision.  They build a repeatable stroke. That just takes commitment to putting straight 3 foot putts over time.  That takes swinging the arms rather than steering/striking with the putter…. We can all do this.  
They chip with weight firmly on their forward leg.  They swing their arms and use a small turn from the core to move the club.  WE CAN ALL DO THIS!  You can keep your weight on your forward leg!  All pro’s have weight firmly into the forward leg.  Almost all amateurs let weight fall back to the back leg…..  You can fix this and chip better!
Most of the President’s Cup golfers use HEAVE and BALANCE to swing their arms on a predictable path.  You can all do less with your arms and more with your core.  You can all improve your ability to FINISH IN BALANCE!  
So while you play and practice, pay attention to some simple things: 
1.  Do you practice your putting enough?  Do you putt 3 ft straight putts 3-5 times a week?
2.  Do you chip,pitch and bunker with your weight into your forward leg?  At the end of your swing, is the weight even further into the forward side, or has it moved back?  
3. Are you getting the tension out and leaving the tension out of your arms and shoulders throughout the swing? 
4.  Are you finishing in a FULLY ROTATED, RELAXED BALANCED FINISH with great regularity on your FORWARD PIVOTAL AXIS?
We both know you can.  It’s up to you to make it a priority.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Presidents Cup

One of the benefits of being sidelined with injury is that I have gotten to see the all of the President’s Cup matches up to date. 

Royal Melbourne looks awesome! 

The golf course was clearly set up too difficult on day 2 of the matches.  The speed of the greens, combined with their firmness made golf in 20+ mph winds a bit silly.  I still think too many people find it amusing or cool somehow to have professionals play on courses that are no longer ‘normal’.  Good shots were not rewarded and luck played too big of a role in my opinion…. Fortunately, the day ended with a tie in the matches, so no big deal. 

But no doubt the course looks fantastic!  Play it with greens at a 10 on the stimp meter, a bunch more receptive to iron shots, and it’s clearly one of the great courses of the world. 

The golfers….  well, they certainly are the best of the best.  We look for marquee matchups, but truth is, any golfer out there can beat any other golfer in the field on any given day.  Jay Hass made that clear during the final day picks, when he kept telling Freddy that it didn’t really matter who he picked to play against Geoff Olgilvy, or KJ Choi…. They are all good.  Any one of our players can play…. 

In about 15 minutes, I’ll begin watching the final day of singles matches.  Looking forward to watching the great GRAVITY SWINGS of Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan, YE Yang, Aaron Baddeley, KJ Choi, Retif Goosen, Webb Simpson, and Jim Furyk, just to name a few!

Time to get out the ice, put my bum leg up and watch some golf! Golf is healing….

Nail it!

“A nail is driven out by another nail;  habit is overcome by habit.”
-Latin proverb

The habit of using your hands, arms and shoulders to strike at a ball are strong.  The habit of using GRAVITY and ROTATION can be stronger over time.  The most incredible benefit of staying in the GRAVITY DRILLS is that the body will not only learn to stop doing the bad, it will demand that you learn the most efficient technique of moving a golf ball.  
As you train, remember that you are pushing out old technique and habit.  That’s why it’s so imperative that you train with HIGH QUALITY DRILLS.  Let your guard down, and no doubt you will drift back to your old swing….  
Drive out your old swing with consistent and systematic training with the GRAVITY DRILLS. 
LESS WITH THE ARMS, MORE WITH THE CORE. 

The Journey has Begun

Thanks for all the kind words and support going into my surgery.  I came out of it numbed up, drugged up and ready to heal!  My right knee was in pretty bad shape.  They went in athroscopically (small incision) and were able to stitch up and save my lateral meniscus and at least clean up my the torn edges of my medial meniscus.  Those repairs will make a world of difference once they are healed up in terms of walking, jogging, etc… with no pain!!!

The bigger procedure was replacing my ACL.  They took a bone patellar tendon bone allograph (that’s what they called it!? It’s a graph from a cadaver…Cool.) and inserted it through two drill holes…. First through the tibial tunnel, then through the femoral tunnel (basically, they slipped it through two holes that they drilled in my bones!) and it was attached with some really cool ‘bio bone’ screws….  
In the end, the knee should be better than ever once my rehab is finished up.  When I’m fully recovered from the ACL replacement, I should be able to be fully active in terms of GOLF, TENNIS, HIKING, etc…. I can’t wait! (oh yeah… PATIENCE….I can wait….)

I was blown away by the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Duke hospital.  I was amazed at how well they managed my pain (slightly bummed out that I didn’t need more brain altering drugs- you know, just for kicks…).  It was an experience in EXCELLENCE!

Now, I’m resting and beginning rehab.  It’s a long road ahead, but I’m fired up!  I’m considering it a challenge just like improving my golf game.  Here’s a great quote:  

I’m starting NOW!  I hope you are as well.  Make a goal to improve your putting, or your chipping, or to become fully trained in the GRAVITY GOLF DRILLS.  Next, create a workable plan and get started!  I know this rehab will teach me a ton about patience and persistence… Improving the golf game takes consistent and systematic training OVER TIME!  Let’s both get better. 

Need some guidance?  Send me a comment or email and I’ll be happy to get you on track! 

Powerful Effects of Self Motivation

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
-Napoleon Hill

Self motivation is extremely important.  This quote is intended for me.  I go in for knee surgery on Monday and my recovery will be slow and difficult.  I’m ready and excited to get back to GOLF next spring!!!!

*Please feel free to borrow this quote if it pushes you to practice a little more, or persevere if you game has been struggling!

**I’ll be in la la land next week, and most likely unable to throw out any blogs….   I’ll look forward to getting back with you in a week or so. 

The Other Arm is for Waving off Potential Victims!

You’ve got to have a sense of humor to do the GRAVITY GOLF DRILLS, no doubt….

Let’s take a look at this question:

“What I wanted to ask is how long does it take to become proficient at the one armed drills. The first time I tried others on the range left for the putting green….”

I chuckle, because I can relate!  I was so bad at first, I made a big effort to practice at times when no one was on the range. 

I think it’s realistic to look at the one arm drills in one of two ways…. 

1.  If you have the time and dedication, hits hundreds and hundreds over the next 6 weeks.  Make that thousands.  Basically, spend 80-100% of your time on the range (3-5 times a week) hitting one arm shots.  That’s the approach I took after spending 3 days with David Lee.  He said to me; “Pete, get good at one arm swings… It will change your life.”  As usual, he was right. 

It was difficult, embarrassing, slightly painful, and UNBELIEVABLY REWARDING!

2.  The second approach is the long term approach.  It’s doing 10-20 swings with each arm every time you train.  Your intention is always solid contact with a FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH….  You understand that it’s the doing that is improving your swing, rather than the results.  With this approach, you’ll see slow progress in the drills over a year, but you’ll get some impressive results in your swing.  This is a consistent and systematic way of training.  It’s incredibly important. 

It’s the approach I now take with my training. 

Bottom line-  It will take several thousand one arm swings to become proficient if you pound them out with intensity over a short amount of time.  If that approach seems out of reach, take the consistent and systematic approach, stay curious  and work on your FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH….. 

No matter which path you take, I highly recommend bringing your sense of humor along with you!  These drills are tough.