Archive for September, 2009

Notice the “boxgroove” icon on the right.

This is a website I came across recently and think it’s a great idea. I emailed with the owner and I think he has a good vision to expand this project. I am looking forward to when it hits Southern California. This is not an advertisement, as I am not being paid, I just like the idea and think many of you could get some use out of it. Here is a general explanation of the benefits.

PRIVATE CLUBS SEEK CREATIVE WAYS TO COURT NEW MEMBERS
Recession Yields Unique Play Opportunities for Regional Golfers

As businesses of all sizes pursue layoffs and salary cuts, Americans are limiting personal spending. Casualties of this belt-tightening include vacation travel, pricey dinners and…the private country club membership. Once associated with waiting lists and high initiation fees, the private club business model is undergoing change. Unable to woo new members and losing existing members, private clubs are embracing new and creative marketing partners.
Boxgroove.com is one such partner. Launched in June, Boxgroove.com is an online, membership marketing company that works exclusively with private clubs. Using a patented web platform, Boxgroove.com allows country clubs to generate revenue and engage potential members through the controlled sale of unused tee times. Using Boxgroove.com’s player screening controls, participating clubs can target the sale of tee times to golfers of a particular geography, club affiliation and/or handicap. With over 50% of all tee times going unused, this now gives clubs new ways to court new members and broaden the appeal of their club while having no impact on their members.

The response from clubs has been overwhelmingly positive. Since its launch, Boxgroove.com has partnered with over 50 private clubs from 10 states and 3 major golf associations. Boxgroove.com is designed to be very respectful of the private club experience and to give clubs exposure to new members.

Golfers are also embracing the innovative service. Not only is Boxgrove.com offering golfers unprecedented play opportunities, but also creative ways of pursuing business development. A unique feature of the boxgroove.com platform is for their members to make requests. Requests for play go to the courses using the boxgroove.com platform as well as members of that course who belong to boxgroove.com. For example, if I would like to request a tee time for two people to one of the courses using boxgroove.com then this request goes to both the course and any members of that course who belong to boxgroove.com. A true social network! Unlike public tee time aggregators, boxgroove.com’s communication is bi-directional and members of country clubs can post tee times to host other members of boxgroove.com. Therefore, the boxgroove.com network grows very fast. So if you look at boxgroove.com and don’t see a course close to your location, do not fear. As country club members join boxgroove.com, you now have play opportunities.

Whether you are looking for new friends, new play opportunities or better reciprocity, check out http://www.boxgroove.com as there are opportunities for every golfer. Boxgroove’s popularity with golfers has allowed it to grow to over 500 members from 16 states in a matter of months, with more enrolling daily.

For more information about Boxgroove.com, including video testimonials and a directory of participating clubs, visit http://www.boxgroove.com.

Adendum to August 2011 post on the 19th

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The last part of this is technical, so if you are not interested, the three elements are enough to make you better.

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So far the three elements were pretty simple, now we are on to the complicated goal. I have narrowed complicated golf mechanics down to one spot. Bad golfers rarely reach this spot and great golfers miss this spot when they hit a wild shot under pressure.

I will do a video on this later in the week to make absolutely sure you all know what I mean.

There are shaft planes, arm planes, shoulder planes, hand planes, carpenter’s planes, airplanes…hinges, levers, angles, restrictions, power packages and all sorts of other mumbo jumbo we are supposed to perfect to just get the ball on the club face and in play.

Now there are exceptions to every rule, but what I am about to say is nearly infallible. If you draw an imaginary line on the golf shaft at address, that is the “shaft plane.” I have found almost every good shot hit…draw, fade, worst beginner, all the way up to Tiger…a square club head hits that shaft plane just before impact.

A few points. Obviously any time the club hits the ball it is on this line at impact, I am talking just before impact. You can miss this spot and still hit a good shot if you save it with some contrived body movement. You hear them on TV say, “he saved it with his hands,” at least once per telecast.

When a high handicap slicer is just before impact, the club head is above this line…thus the term “over the top.”

When Tiger hits his wild block to the right where he lets go of the club…or when he has to shut everything down and flip it causing a snap hook, the club head is under this line…thus the term “underneath.”

The sooner you get the club head on this line, the easier it is to square the club at impact.

There are infinite ways to get there. Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk being 2 odd ways. How about Jeev Milkah Singh? WOW! Hogan got there, Nicklaus got there, Couples got there and Trevino got there. The point is, perfect swing mechanics are bogus and arbitrary, you just need to get the club to that spot however your body will do it.

That is why it is complicated, because how to get there is different for every golfer…not the one perfect way that book and DVD salesman have led you to believe.

I am making this complicated point for one reason and one reason only. Modern golf instruction has become about hitting 3,429 perfect positions and if you miss even one of them, you are toast and will never hit this “sweet spot” I am talking about. I am saying you only need to hit one position…and what you have to do is find out how you personally do that in the easiest, most efficient way possible. This is where elements 1, 2 and 3 come in. Being tension free, balanced and rhythmical are the base. Then eliminating the muscle memory/movements that are getting you out of position. Some can do this on their own, but most need someone who actually knows what they are talking about and want things to be simple. That is the hard part, finding an instructor that can help you simplify things and hit that sweet spot.

In case you care about what my problem has been and how I am trying to find the spot. As far back as I am aware, I have been underneath. From short little chips all the way up to driver…and even putting. You know those two videos I posted about proper release and doing it constantly and smoothly from the top? Guess what? The sooner I start the release, the sooner I am hitting that “sweet spot” and regardless of what the “delayed release” guys tell you, I am hitting it farther because the ball has less spin and better trajectory. I was taught to delay the release and no matter what I have tried, it didn’t work for long. I am retraining 25 years of bad muscle memory to release the club properly and it’s working. Guess what else? The better my relaxation, balance and rhythm are (elements #1 and #2), the better I release the club (my element #3) and hit the sweet spot.

I guess my friend and I are both right. Elements #1 and #2 are what are most important, but element #3 must take place first before #1 and #2 can take over and be the base of your golf swing.

PS-just to make sure I have all of you on the same page of what I am saying…whenever I refer to the “sweet spot” I am not referring to the sweet spot in the middle of the club face. I am referring to the club hitting that spot on the shaft plane just before impact.

Tomorrow’s post will be epic.

I have basically taken this year off from tournament golf to get my game straight after 5-6 years of terrible play. I have spent this year trying to undo what all of the complicated methods have done to disrupt my natural ability to play the game at a high level.

Writing this blog has been part of my quest for this simplification. I have thrown some of theories out there and listened to what you readers have to say.

I have simplified the golf swing down to three simple elements that are universal and one very complicated goal that will be different for each individual.

Tell your friends because everyone, even if you disagree with me on some points, will get something simple from tomorrow’s post that will help their golf game.

Until then, some fluff. I can’t wait for the President’s Cup.

I don’t have quite the fondness I do for the Ryder Cup, but I wait all year for this event.

I was 12 when the US Olympic Hockey Team beat the Soviets and still to this day I get an emotional rush hearing Al Michaels’ call of Mike Eruzione’s Goal.

It was always my dream to compete in the Olympics for the USA and since I became a golfer it was to play in the Ryder Cup. In recent years the Presidents Cup has become almost as fun for me to watch.

If you asked me if I could make a putt to win a major, or the Ryder Cup, call me crazy, but I would take Justin Leonard’s putt over Phil’s putt at the Masters any day and it’s not close.

Give me the choice between making the winning putt in the President’s Cup and a major…it’s close, but call me crazy again.

There is something about drenching your teammates in champagne like they do at the World Series and golf team matches. That looks a lot more fun than sitting in your room, by yourself and sleeping with the Wanamaker Trophy or Claret Jug.

Call me crazy.

I am thrilled about Phil’s new/old “method”…

because it is exactly what I am trying to do. This is going to sound a little like spin to justify my wrongness, but I already posted that I made a boo boo.

Whenever you make a change, it is uncomfortable…because it’s a change. It also looks contrived to the trained eye…because you are forcing something to happen to retrain muscle memory.

All that being said, I am trilled to hear that Phil is trying to go back to the way he used to do things and that he is having huge success with it. As I am typing this he has 7 consecutive one putts.

I am also trying to get back to the way I used to do things before guru “methods” caused me so many problems.

Which brings me to the way golf should be taught. Using what you do well already as a base…not changing what one does to fit an arbitrary “correct” way of doing things according to what some big name guru says.

This should work from the worst beginner, all the way up to the best player int he world.

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

I bet you didn’t think you’d get a quote from old French Literature on a dumb golfer’s blog. I know things. 🙂

Anyway, in my zeal to make fun of Dave Pelz again, I inadvertently attributed Phil Mickelson’s issues to him, when Phil is actually working with Dave Stockton Sr., whom I respect greatly.

I still stand by my position that Pelz’s dogmatic methods do more harm than good, but I don’t want to hide behind a back page retraction.

So as Roland said to his Uncle Charlemagne, “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.”

LOL

I love it when the talent of a world class golfer makes me look stupid. I commented on Phil looking uncomfortable putting on Thursday and the rhythm of his chipping/sand game looked off. Well, the fact that he is #1 in the field in putting doesn’t change the fact that he still doesn’t look comfortable over the ball and he has world class eye hand coordination and could putt about any way and make putts for a period of time.

Just like Tiger winning doesn’t change the fact that the more he dives, the more crooked he hits it…the fact that Phil is #1 in the field in putting this week doesn’t change the fact that if you do something that is unnatural for your body and are not comfortable doing something, it is not going to hold up under extreme pressure.

Here is where it becomes debatable. What is the difference between a natural change that feels uncomfortable during the change that will make you better and an unnatural change that should be avoided? Different people can debate this until everyone is pissed and there is no resolution.

I guess it is just a philosophy difference between the “gurus” and myself. My philosophy is to understand some basic fundamentals of golf, how the body works and use what each individual player does well as a base to build from.

Whereas the gurus have their theory on what is right and adapts whomever they are teaching to that way of doing it. I have experienced Pelz and Haney, that is what they did to me and that is what they are doing to Tiger and Phil…I don’t like it and the two most talented players in the world through their talent, are masking what is a horrible way for the golfing public to get better.

Tiger’s putting tip to Sean O’Hair

If nothing else, I am obsessive about hating “methods” of playing golf. A “method” by my definition is something that was invented by a golf guru that golfers of all shape, size and skill level are supposed to implement, because that is the “right way” to do it.

Well, it’s the right way to sell books and DVD’s but no way is the right way for everyone. Actually, some ways aren’t the right way for anyone.

Which brings me to square to square putting. I have campaigned against this ever since I was exposed to it and it gave me the yips from 30 feet. I have campaigned against it since the inception of this blog.

Now the greatest clutch putter of all time has made my point for me. Tiger Woods gave a tip to Sean O’Hair. The putter, by O’Hair’s own admission, is wha has kept him from winning more in his young, but already successful career.

The tip Tiger gave to O’Hair: They key to good putting is releasing the putter. In order to release the putter properly you have to open it a little on the back stroke.

So much for the Square to Square putting “method”

The greatest putter of all time, IMO, Ben Crenshaw open and closed the putter face quite a bit.

People will counter with Jim Furyk using square to square, but that with left hand low and he learned to do it that way. I can’t think of a single great putter, or even good putter who have been able to master square to square.

The body doesn’t work that way naturally and the hours of exact practice it takes to master it are too numerous to even count. What usually ends up happening to square to square converts is they shove puts and are forced to aim left and shove the ball on line.

That does not put a good roll on the ball.

Edited: Since I had a couple of readers yell at me about square to square, I will clarify what I meant. I said it was fine if you learned to putt that way like Jim Furyk did. My criticism with square to square is I have never seen anyone switch to it and putt well long term. I never change anything that works, as long as you learned to do it that way and it is natural. This article is about Pelz converting people to square to square because it is the “right way.”