Great athletes often PLAY. They goof around. This exploration is not only lots of fun, it’s part of the reason for their success!!! Here is a great example of PLAYING:
Sean O’Hair won the Canadian Open yesterday on a brutally tough golf course. He had missed 9 cuts in his last 12 events. I’m sure he has been frustrated, but I also know that he has a strong belief in his game, and the persistence to KEEP TRAINING, and training hard! Golf can be a relentlessly difficult game on the ego.
Looking for quick fixes is not the answer. Complaining and worrying are not the answers….
Be very clear on your objective (to move the ball solidly towards the target, in balance….), believe in your game, your method and yourself, and persist in your training.
Even the best players in the world have ups and downs in this game. Have a positive attitude, enjoy your time on the course, and your game WILL turn around.
**If you swing concept gets cloudy, muddy, or cluttered, work with a coach to get back on a clear track! Doubt in swing will almost always destroy consistency.
It’s too bad that any golfer would rather raise their handicaps in order to be competitive rather than work on their game… It leaves a bad taste in my mouth that we have come to that.
For the last decade, I’ve heard talk about getting the handicap up as a benefit more and more…. It is completely incomprehensible to me.
I know we live in a ‘quick fix’ world, where people want a better swing NOW. But most certainly we’ve taken it too far. Now we don’t even need a better swing, we can just post a few high rounds and then we’re competitive again.
Worst thing is that it hurts the few who really do work at improving. The few who see the value in training.
Those few may not win as many ‘bet’s/games’ as they should anymore, but I guess they can keep their pride.
To all those who still want to lower their handicaps AND be competitive, you have my respect! Keep at it!
*Final thought: By definition, golfers that read my blog are striving for improvement. You KNOW it takes work. Any time you may get one of those sarcastic thoughts (most always a bit of truth in sarcasm…) about getting your handicap UP, I hope you squash it and run to the DRIVING RANGE! Best,
“A few dailly disciplines practiced every day.” -Jim Rohn
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…. )
Tom Watson is ridiculously talented when it comes to hitting a golf ball. Joe is absolutely right about him not taking a divot while practicing in the you tube video I sent out a few days ago (click here to watch again)
The question is: Is that optimal?
My answer would be emphatically NO, but……
Let me explain a little. Centrifugal force, centripetal force, gravity, as well as action/reaction of impact all heavily suggest that the club and arms should be slightly longer at and past impact that at address. The result of those forces is a divot.
Now, the more perfectly balanced a swing is in terms of force and counterforce, the more level and consistent that divot tends to be.
*Swing plane and angular momentum also have an effect on ones divot….
Bottom line: Everyone should be at least bumping the earth below the grass when they swing!
Great swings typically take thin strips of grass and ground. A few, like Greg Norman, JM, and Tom Watson usually just slice the grass right down to the ground. You can’t replace these divots because they just disintegrate.
As the GRAVITY DRILL build efficiency in the swing, those that take deep, uneven, or off line divots will see them level out…. those that did not take divots or at least bump the ground with great consistency, should see that happen more and more reliably.
*I’ll finish this by giving a couple of explanations as to why Tom Watson is hitting ridiculously perfect shots without taking a divot in the video posted:
1. He’s practicing on the course in this video, and perhaps he is purposely trying to not make a mess
2. The grass is so perfect, the ball is sitting up as if on a tee, and Tom feels like he can hit is flush without getting deeper into the ground (I’ve been on grass like that…. it’s awesome!)
I’ve studied a few other videos of Tom hitting irons…. He rarely takes much divot, but does tend to BUMP the ground! That is what I expect from everyone!!!
Some great comments lately. Here are some responses:
Pete Yearout commented on THE HEAVE. Over the last couple of years, I’ve amended my verbiage when it comes to the HEAVE. The takeaway should be initiated from the BACK, not from the arms. I used to say back when referring to the heave…. but it’s too ambiguous, and often leads people to use SHOULDERS, rather than core muscles to get the club moving.
Now, when I discuss the takeaway (the HEAVE), I talk about THE CORE. When I mention the back, I discuss the muscles that run from your butt up into your lower back. I emphasize THE CORE, rather than the upper back as the mover of the club. Pete, you are right, with the core, you will be ‘connected’ with the HEAVE, If you use the upper body too much, you’ll feel disconnected. Hope that helps.
Joe Losek asked why David does not have the ONE LEG swing in his video library. His one leg drill is too difficult for most to perform, even though it is possibly the best drill to teach counterfall and rotation. He’s replaced it with the CROSSFOOTED drill, which is also fantastic!!!
My ONE LEG drill is not in his library simply because it is too easy to CHEAT with the back foot. He’s concerned about people using the back leg as a crutch. He’s right (as usual!)
I love the drill, and I impress upon my students the importance of NOT using the back foot as a crutch. It’s such a great teacher of rotation, as you suggest, that I think it’s worth the risk!
Finally, Tom Watson and the Divot (or no divot) question. … know what? I’m going to answer that one in the next blog!
Thanks everyone! Even Leon *hope those that suscribe take the time to go to the blog site and check out the comments once and awhile!
Great to see some comments posted about the Masters! Made my morning. So I’ll address them, and then add my two cents (which now costs a quarter….)
Clint posted a comment about the excitement of the back nine, and that was right in line with what I was going to write about this morning! Incredible golf yesterday. Wow!
Scotty wrote about watching Rory McIlroy up close and in person. In terms of the GRAVITY GOLF swing, Rory is by far the best of the young guns. His heave, his total release of tension resulting in total freedom of motion through the ball, and his massive power with spectacular and relaxed balance… Awesome. He will be contending for a long, long time.
Now, on number 10, he OVER HEAVED. His arms out raced his core in the backswing therefore he grabbed at the top and hit two big hooks. It happens, especially to the young. I was very impressed with how he recovered in terms of his full swing after that. I feel terrible for Rory having to go through what he did, but I also know his swing, his maturity level, his desire, and his talent will vault him past this tough day at the Masters…. WATCH HIS SWING!!!
My thoughts: The Masters is the greatest major of the year. It proves that a course does not need to be freakishly penal to be exciting, or to allow the cream to rise to the top. I’m so happy the power’s that be, and believe me, it’s their decision probably more than mother nature’s, have allowed the back nine to be like it used to be. The risk reward factor is phenomenal back there. The crowds, the course, and of course the incredible talent that is allowed to shine with birdies and eagles is the very reason it’s the feel good major of the year.
*The others are great and important, but tend to be more of a ‘last man standing’ limp to the finish line…
Ah, The Masters. Once again, it did not disappoint. Simply a blast to watch!
The powers that be at Augusta have done a great job at bringing the fun back into the Master’s. The back nine is the most exciting 9 holes in golf, no question. It’s just fantastic to watch eagles and birdies fly when good to great shots are executed by the best golfers in the world.
The most exciting tournaments are rarely the ones where pros look like amateurs making bogie after bogie as they limp into the clubhouse… The Master’s is set up for fireworks! Let’s hope we see some fantastic golf over the weekend.
…Goosebumps just thinking about it!
“Champions in any field have made a habit of doing what others find boring or uncomfortable.”-Author Unknown
“Practice? Me, practice?” -Author very well known to all