The Hardest Things to Overcome, part II

Using the arms to move the arms into the backswing can be disastrous, yet it is an extremely difficult move to overcome….

Some of you might be a bit confused.

For as long as the game has been played, most have believed that we used our arms to move the golf club back.   It sure looks that way!

We’ve made it even worse with the infamous statement:  “take it back low and slow“. (very, very bad suggestion for most)

The most efficient golf swings actually use their backs (core) to move the arms and club into the backswing.  The best way to swing is to create enough force from the core early in the swing to allow the arms and club to be swung (slung) on their own momentum.  If you can create a swing, you will have a better chance at maintaining path integrity simply because you can employ gravity and rotation (2 very consistent forces).  This is, of course, THE HEAVE .

Golfers that use hands, arms, and shoulder to move the club back are in for a long ride of inconsistency…. Sound familiar?  Yeah, it sounds like pretty much every golfer on the planet, except for a few dozen…. 

The brain doesn’t care how talented you are, how old you are, or how many balls you hit….  It simply responds to the power supply submitted in the backswing.  If the arms move the club back,  the brain will send signals to FORCE the arms down into the forward swing in order to create power….  THE END.  It’s an involuntary response!!!

That doesn’t mean you can’t hit good shots, just that you must make compensations for that downward force applied in every swing.  It means that the club will be bumped off it’s path every swing….

It’s hard to overcome using the arms to move the arms,  I’m the first to admit that, but it had profound effects on my game when I trained myself to use my core to HEAVE  the arms and club into the backswing. 

I consider it a lifetime project to train in a manner that keeps me HEAVING , rather than using arms in the backswing…. It’s that important, and it’s why you will continue to see me doing the GRAVITY GOLF DRILLS! 

Hope you do them as well…. Many of you have no idea what’s possible with your game if you train consistently and systematically as I suggest…  Awesome!

Carolina Colours- Picture #9


Hole #9- 500yd par 5
This is your view as you drive into Carolina Colours Golf Club.  It’s a beautiful and fun hole to play.  Potentially a 2 shot hole for long hitters, you just have to navigate the water on the left.  Bail out to the right and you can find yourself in a big ole’ bunker about 30-40 yards from the pin (a difficult shot made terrifying by the water surrounding the green). 

Play it as a 3 shot hole and it’s very manageable.  Bill Love (course designer) does a fantastic job of intimidating a player, yet giving them plenty of room if they play a smart shot.  A good chance for birdie, the occasional eagle, and even some heartbreak!

The Hardest Things to Overcome, part I

There’s a long list of things that are hard to overcome for golfers…. probably as many things as there are golf swings! 

I’d like to discuss 2 that I feel are particularly damaging due to the fact that the brain is wired in a manner to make them happen! 

The first is the INSTINCT TO STRIKE at the golf ball.  Everyone begins this game striking at, rather than swinging through the golf ball. 

Here’s a great example.  Watch at least a swing or two of this young kid.  He hits the ball terrifically, but it’s clear that he is HITTING, not swinging.  Both his feet are still planted, and his body stays facing the tee, rather than being unwound into a fully rotated relaxed folowthru.  It’s not a knock on the kid, just an illustration of INSTINCT.   – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKywn24jacU&feature=related

*You can see the same strike impulse in Phil Mickelson’s swing at 2yrs old…. 

The problem with the strike is that it leaks energy, and more importantly, bumps the swing off it’s plane.  A “strike at” demands that compensations be made to get the club back on path before every shot.  That’s a massive problem, especially if you don’t hit hundreds of balls every day, are really, really coordinated and fit, and happen to be lucky enough to NOT be getting older…. 

The Strike destroys every swing in the game.  It makes your full swings erratic, your chips a disaster, and your putts will have very little consistency in accuracy or distance control…. 

So, can it be overcome? 

Absolutely, but it takes time, training, trust, and change in perception.  

Completely lose any thoughts of hitting the ball….  LET THE BALL GET IN THE WAY OF THE SWING

Work on the feelings of your practice swing, free flowing and uninterrupted (*make sure your practice swing finishes freely and fully into the followthru…  Please don’t cut it off right after you bottom out.  And please don’t keep your head down and body still!!!!)  

LET THE BALL GET IN THE WAY OF THE SWING.

And the very best method, of course, is GRAVITY GOLF.  Learn and train in the drills that demand an efficient swing.  These drills are designed to take the instinct of ‘striking at’ and KICK IT’S BUTT!

Wisdom of Champions

It’s only fitting that on my wedding anniversary (9), I write about something my favorite golfer* once said.  It was something that had a profound effect on my game and philosophy as a teacher….

Although I wasn’t caught up in the mechanics of my swing, or over analyzing positions, I was way too conscious of making adjustments in my ball flight as a younger player.  Once I hit a shot off line, I tended to go to extremes hitting too far right, then too far left, over correcting each time. 

At the time I began working with Jeanne-Marie (aka J), she was already one of the premiere ball strikers in the world.  Her stats for hitting greens in regulation was up over 75%!  That means she hits it ‘real good’.

As I was trying to pull information out of her as to how she learned the game, what she thinks about, what kind of adjustments she makes and how mechanical she was in her thinking, she made a statement that was so logical, yet something I had never considered. 

“I just put my best swing on the next one,” she said to answer my question about how she reacts to an off line shot…. 

No fixing, no thinking, no analyzing swing positions….   Just intend to hit the next shot great. 

Simple.  Profound. 

Know what your great swing looks like (in your mind).  Know what your best swings feel like.  No fear, no doubt, no steering, guiding or hoping.  Put your best swing on the next shot.  The end.

*Needless to say that my favorite golfer, J, is my best friend and wife of 9 years.  HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!