Archive for June, 2010

Keeping the club/hands in front of you part 2.

Got lots of emails and questions about this after the last video…so here it is.

Gotta love the camera work.

Link to

How to avoid the blowup…

Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, and Robert Garrigus have all had major blowups recently. Jean Claude Van de Velde…ouch.

I have had too many to count and so have all of you.

The fix is so simple, yet seemingly impossible. All you have to do is treat every golf shot as if it were in a vacuum and try to hit it as well as you can…regardless of your score on that hole, day, or tournament.

That is they key to golf. One of the few cliches in golf that are true. One shot at a time. Tiger is quite literally the best in the history of the game at this…I have been terrible in my career, but am making an effort to be better.

AHA!!!!! That is how you get better at this and everything else at golf. This concept and everything about golf is terribly difficult. Need for immediate gratification stunts the improvement of all facets of our games.

The way to get better at this or any other facet of golf is to make an effort to be better than yesterday…and you will be better 6 months from now.

There is no such thing as fixing it today. That is a lost cause. Just make an effort to be better and you will be…just 6 months from now.

I know I say this from time to time, but this is probably the best advice I have written. The better I do this, the better chance I will have of achieving my goal.

I am tired of what I am seeing and hearing on the range and course.

I don’t have to do another rant about the ills of modern golf teaching and how they affect score, pace of play and enjoyment of golf.

I want to do something about it. I am going to send proposals to some of the major golf publications and The Golf Channel about a possible column/segment/show that appeals to the “regular guy.”

Whether it’s cargo short videos, simple drills, a more digestible description of fundamentals, etc.

I am looking for ideas to include in my proposal. Most of you like what I have to say and have had great ideas in the past.

So let’s hear it.

The next time I play golf I am bringing the video camera with me and am going to have my father-in-law film me hitting different shots different ways to prove there is more than one way to skin a cat. You just have to find the best way for you.

Also looking for ideas on shots you would like to see played different ways. The first one that comes to mind is a shot from just off the green in the fringe with lots of green to work with.

There is no one right way to hit this shot and I will prove it. Give me some more and I will do them.

I am going to Vegas for the weekend.

As suggested by a reader, I am going to spend the next several weeks categorizing all of my instructional posts for easier reading for both new and old readers. The I will put the links to each cetegory on the right side of the page. Here are a few categories I am thinking of off the top of my head. Any others? I would appreciate input.

1. Fundamentals
2. Drills
3. Explaining misconceptions
4. Cliches

I am taking the weekend off from babies and golf. When I get back, I am going to work my tail off trying to get “Tour Worthy”…at least Nationwide Tour worthy. The Long Beach Open is the last weekend in July. After that, I hit the Nationwide Monday’s. I will be posting all of my thoughts every step of the way.

The lower body and preventing over the top

First off, OTT is not what people think it is. Bryce Molder comes over the top and I don’t think any amateur golfer in the world would not want to play as well as he does. Peter Kostis perpetuated this nonsense and misconception with his comments. Craig Stadler and his son are OTT, Bruce Lietske was OTT…it is not necessarily a bad thing. So if you do something to prevent this on purpose, you are likely taking yourself out of a possible good shot pattern.

The OTT that plagues most amateurs is improper weight shift, no shoulder turn, hands that are too active, a bad release, and most likely, a swing path going back that is too far inside causing the rest of the problems already listed. (not a comprehensive list)

I have said many times that trying to turn the lower body independently of the upper body to initiate the downswing is a terrible idea…and it is.

What you want is the lower body moving toward the target to initiate the downswing and have everything turn together. This will prevent the over the top move (that everyone hates, but doesn’t understand) or hands being too active.

One might say this is a slide. It is not. If your body is turning and the lower body moves toward the target, it is not a slide. It also creates the proper weight shift and stops the “hang back.” As long as you are in balance and your body is turning, it would never be considered something bad.

Even if it is a slide, it beats the alternative. Hanging back and snatching it with your hands.

Some might feel better moving their zipper toward the target. Whatever feel that gets your lower body shifting to the front side while your upper body stays behind the ball (head still) is the feel and movement you want.

The reason I point this out is two fold.

1. Shifting to the front side and not controlling the downswing with your hands is huge.

2. All of the “know it alls” out there want to tell people to stop OTT, get the club in the slot. lag the club, etc., etc., etc., by initiating the downswing by turning the hips and leaving the upper body behind…are trying to screw you up or know as much about golf as I know about women.

I had to post this

Here is a response to a guy who asked how to flatten out his downswing. There was a picture of his backswing midway and downswing midway with lines showing it was “over the top.” His backswing was too flat, so it was obvious he had to come OTT to make decent contact and not be stuck.

Look at the response he got. THE HORROR!!!!! Someone talk me off the ledge.

Swing with only your lower body, as soon as you try to utilize your arms you are going to go right back to OTT.
Manually try to flatten out the club on the downswing.
Exaggerate the motion as much as possible, you will know you are on the right track if you it a ball O.B right only to have it spin back to the Center of the fairway.
Visualize the club coming under and behind you not *down and in front* of you and swing out to right field not down the target line.

The topped putter chip

In the video below you will notice the ball position is behind my back foot and my hands are well forward. I could have played it back a little more and put the hands more forward.

You MUST hit down on this shot. Any attempt to help it in the air and it won’t work. The object is to pinch the ball between the putter face and ground and get it to squirt out. That will pop it out of a bad lie as in the first shot I hit, or get it to bounce immediately to jump a sprinkler head, bad tuft of grass, etc…as in the second shot. That shot was from an old divot that hadn’t grown in. It was on hard dirt with rough all around it and you can see how easy it was. The third shot shows a closeup of the stance and immediate hinging of the wrists.

You can hit it from almost anywhere. Up against high rough when you are in the fringe, from a bare lie that you can’t get the LW under, or any other shot that makes you nervous. The only two requirements is that the lie is firm under the ball and that you hit straight down on it.

You will find you don’t have to hit it nearly as hard as you think as the ball squirts out quite nicely.