Category Archives: Gravity Golf

Up On The Toes!

Got a great question about the golf swing a couple days ago:

“An observation while watching Tiger win this weekend, at impact Tiger (as well as many accomplished players)  is on his toes (the toes of both the right and left feet), especially when swinging a driver. How can you counterfall when you are on your toes?”

 The counterfall is a critical element of the MOST EFFICIENT golf swing, what I refer to as the GRAVITY SWING.  If a golfer is on his toes, or lifting his/her heels during the impact segment of their swings, then they are clearly NOT COUNTERFALLING….. 

Is this a problem with the theory of GRAVITY GOLF?  After all,  some of the best players in the world, including Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Camilo Villegas, Natalie Gulbis, and even the great Bobby Jones lifted their heels thru impact….

There is no problem with GRAVITY GOLF.  Remember, David Lee suggests that GRAVITY GOLF is the most efficient way to move a golf ball, not the only way.  The heels lifting off the ground is simply an indication of a reaction to a downward force of the arms and shoulders in the swing.  A few great athletes can make this compensation with great consistency and play at the highest level…. 

Having said that, I would also like to add a couple of points.  In many cases, these arm/shoulder players tend to be erratic drivers of the golf ball, …..  Secondly, to play at such high levels with these compensative motions is extremely difficult. 

If you were to go on YouTube and watch Lee Trevino, Freddy Couples, Tom Watson and even Rory McIlroy swing their drivers you would notice that there is NO lifting of the left heel in the impact area….  Coincidentally,  these players are some of the greatest drivers of the golf ball in the history of golf…. 

So the heel lift is a compensating move.  Many great players make it and play just fine.  I don’t recommend it, and I do think it is a VIVID illustration of FORCE and COUNTERFORCE at work!

I’ll end with this:  Tiger rarely if ever lifts his heels while hitting a 7 iron.  He is also one of the best iron players EVER.  

It’s not something to focus on!  If you let the arms fall, and move the arms, club and ball with counterfall and rotation….   you’ll be just fine.

Hope that answers that.  Thanks,

3 Priorities for Better Winter Golf, Part II

You can play to your handicap in the winter.  You do not have to play lousy golf along side all the other golfers who suffer through the winter….  Have 3 priorities while you train:

1.  FINISH WITH A FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH (As discussed in the previous blog)

2.  CORE TURN.  Cold weather tightens up the muscles in the body.  Blood naturally goes away from the extremities in order to protect the vital organs.  We wear extra clothing which further restricts our movements….  The less we turn, the more we use our arms.  This is a recipe for bad golf.  It’s one of the major reasons (that and lack of consistent practice) why almost all golfers play poorly every winter. 

*Using the arms to move the arms and club in the golf swing will ALWAYS throw the swing arc off it’s path.  You are doomed to rely on your ability to compensate on EVERY swing you make.
    
    Good news!  You can train in a manner that will not only help your winter golf, it will show huge dividends come next spring and beyond!!!!  The key is to TRAIN THE CORE WITH GRAVITY DRILLS all winter long. 

**The UPROUTE and/or THE FRONTROUTE drills are by far the best and most important drills to be doing ALL YEAR (I MEAN WINTER) LONG!!!! 

If you train in these drills at least 90% of the time with your full swings, you will play better winter golf, and be training to play great warm weather golf!!! Think of winter training as just that…. Off season training like professional athletes do that make them better when the season begins!  Forget about your regular swing on the range this winter!  TRAIN IN THE GRAVITY DRILLS and BAM! You’re a better golfer. 

To be continued…..

3 Priorities for Better Winter Golf, Part I

I feel the urge to send out a reminder on how to play better golf in the cold weather around this time of year…. 

Make these 3 things a PRIORITY in your training throughout the winter months and I know you will take money from your non-gravity golf buddies all throughout the winter!

1.  FINISH WITH A FULLY ROTATED, RELAXED BALANCED FINISH.   I may have mentioned this on before….  It is a pre-requisite for consistent golf all year round, and must be a priority when the cold weather tightens up your golf swing!  ‘Nuf said. 

To be continued……

….Full Disclosure:  I blogged in such a frantic manner for the first few months when I started this site, I’ve written out the bulk of my best stuff already…..  (If you are faily new to my blog, take some time and check out my archives…. There is some great stuff in there!)

That being said, I now rely more and more on your comments and questions!  Since there has been a lull in questions, I’m breaking this blog into 3 parts!  Cheesy, I know

Send me questions, comments, or suggestions!

….And be on the look out for the next 2 priorities! They will have a tremendous impact on your golf game! 

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!

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 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. 

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 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!