Archive for March, 2012

Stories

I have gotten a few emails the last week or so basically saying this…

“Monte, I would really like to hear more stories about your career and life on the tours…told through the eyes of your sense of humor.”

I wrote a book on just this subject.

LINK to book download

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Is Tiger Back?

His swing looks pretty good. Was solid with the flat stick.

This swing looks like a complete departure from what they started on, but after saying some bad things, the direction is better now.

I am still going to hold Tiger to the standard he holds for himself. He is not back until he wins a major.

Augusta, here we come.

I have 10 videos waiting for you

Here is the first one. More on Shoulder Turn. A feel.

What I learned Monday that can help you

When you read what I am about to say, your reaction is going to be…

“No kidding?”

…and in a very sarcastic way, but it is a concept many of us forget.

You can’t work on your swing on the course during a tournament or money game. It’s one thing if you are playing a fun round and trying to work on what you are working on…and test it on the course. It’s something different when you are trying to shoot a meaningful round. You have to hope that what you are fooling with on the range starts to translate to the course.

What you hope for is your work on the range has infiltrated your feel and has already created some improvement. Then go to the course and get it done. If you are struggling, do what it takes to not struggle.

For instance. Let’s say you aren’t shifting your hips far enough toward the target and that is what you are working on. You aren’t going to get them far enough forward when you play. On the contrary, under pressure you tend to revert back to old ways. So move the ball back in your stance (or forward in your stance for that matter) a hair until you can get to the range and continue to improve. That is what playing golf tells you…how to get it around when your swing is a folded up lawn chair inside a phone booth.

I am not for bandaids to fix a swing issue per se…but sometimes you have to throw one on to make it through a round that means something. It’s called playing golf and tour players do it all the time. Get through the round until you can get to the range. It doesn’t always work, but it beats the alternative…which is to struggle with your swing and play bad for sure.

During my first round yesterday, I felt hooks were imminent and it was OB left on every shot. I spent the whole first round trying to hit cuts. All of the sudden, I felt things line up, went back to my normal draw and played very well the second round.

The point is to find a bandaid that temporarily stops the bleeding until you can put a more permanent fix on it.

It’s called playing golf…and I need to do more of it.

I won the PAT

For those of you that don’t know what a PAT is…all those wanting to enter the PGA program need to pass a Play Ability Test.

You have to play 36 holes in a day, they set the course up easy and you have to shoot a pair of 77’s or so. It depends on the course rating. The number was 154 yesterday (77-77). Only about 20% pass.

Yesterday was a little nasty. 45* and light rain when I teed off and under 50* for most of the first round, then upper 50’s and 15-20 mph winds for round two.

Knowing it was going to be a marathon of slow play in the bad weather, I came up with a plan. Instead of attacking the course and getting agro (aggravated) with the slow and bad play, I decided to challenge myself. Play one ball for all 36 holes.

There was OB left on all 18 holes and any quick hook or pull was a trip back to the bag for another ball. I spent the day hitting driver on the par 5’s an hitting my new hybrid on the rest.

It was a shotgun start and we were supposed to play 36 holes consecutively without a break. I started on 8-B. Some dolt who was supposed to be 8-B, decided he was 8-A and they teed off as a foursome and my group as a twosome. Through 7 holes, they were two holes behind…and I was agro. One under par, but agro. Finally the officials figured it out (after it took 2:15 to play the first 7 holes).

I played with two really nice Korean fellows, that spoke enough English to communicate. One paced off putts and used his laser (allowed) to get yardage on chips and pitches. He shot 85 in round 1.

I shot 72 in round 1, with some pretty nasty putting. Both bogeys I made were three putts and I also three putted for par once. There were a few missed 10-15 footers, as well. I didn’t hit it all that well, but hit it in play off the tee and 20-30 feet for birdie most of the round.

The driver was weak and the putter was worse. I also didn’t pitch or chip very well…the few I had.

I shot 69 in round two which included bogeying two of the last three holes when I just ran out of focus. By all accounts, it should have been 62 if I was even decent with the putter. I was so awful, it was hard to describe. I hit it in a fairway bunker off the tee on the first hole (8 again), then hit a wedge uphill into the wind to about 8 feet and missed it…and off to the races.

I feel the need to do a blow by blow to show how well I am able to hit the ball now when get in a rhythm. I am hoping I get more of this and then show some actual ability to read greens and putt…which I am normally good at.

Started on 8

8-Wedge from fairway bunker to 8 feet and a miss
9-Driver on par 5 up against a tree. Pitch out sideways. 8-iron to 1 foot
10-Wedge to 15 feet, miss
11-Driver on par 5. Hybrid from 250 in rough on down slope with ball below feet…to 6 feet made eagle
12-7 iron to 30 feet, 3 putt
13-9 iron from fairway bunker to 10 feet, miss
14-8 iron to 15 feet, miss
15-SW to 12 feet, miss
16-SW to 6 inches
17-Perfect cut 8 iron to nasty par 3 with water. 15 feet, miss
18-Par 5, driver 9 iron to 6 feet, miss
1-Driver and a pitch to 8 feet miss
2-9 iron par 3 to 6 feet, miss
3-Miss clubbed 6 iron to par 5 and chipped to 1 foot
4-SW to 8 feet, miss
5-SW to 20 feet, 3 putt
6-9 iron to 20 feet, miss
7-SW to 30 feet, 3 putt

It was more misreads, then bad putts. It’s a course on the side of a hill and I kept misreading the speed. I won’t lie, I didn’t put as much effort into reading the greens during this marathon as I probably would have if I didn’t know I was going to make it.

Long day and a nice little success. It was a pass/fail, but it was fun to win a tournament again. I would have been really mad at myself for mailing it in the last 3 holes if I wouldn’t have been the low score.

It was a meaningless win in an extremely weak field…but it’s a baby step in the right direction.

I did play all 36 holes with one ball.

You must have the perfect swing to be good at golf

Robert Garrigus is over the top so he hits it short and stinks.

Sang-Moon Bae has lateral head movement off the ball and doesn’t keep a centered pivot. Doubtful he can break 80.

Luke Donald will never amount to anything until he creates more lag, holds it longer, and doesn’t have a crossover release.

…and Jim Furyk is an inch off plane at P3.

Shortening the golf swing

I hear complaints all day long on the range and on the net.

“I need to shorten my swing and I can’t do it. Do you have a tip.”

I have had many students with this issue and they are all stubborn as mules. Like many other issues in the swing, people wants quick fixes, but this issue is probably the worst.

Let me attack this from a different angle. Let’s say we have a person who wants to lose 10 pounds and goes to a person that is a nutritionist and personal trainer. The nutritionist/trainer gives them a proper diet and workout regimen.

After the first day our hero weighs himself and finds he has lost no weight, goes back to the nutritionist/trainer and says…

“The program you gave me doesn’t work, I haven’t lost any weight yet.”

The NT then says it takes time and if our hero stick to the program, he will start to notice results.

A week later our hero looks in the mirror, sees no change in his body and quits the routine and goes back to his old eating habits and workout habits.

What would we think about our hero?

Idiot, imbecile, moron…insane?

A pencil or garden tool in need of sharpening?

Someone in need of a pimp slap?

Overly harsh criticism and kidding aside, this analogy is exactly what happens when people try to shorten their swings (and attack many other swing issues). They attempt to fix it an when they don’t see immediate results, they abandon the pursuit.

In order to shorten your golf swing, you make an effort to shorten it ON EVERY SWING YOU MAKE WITH EVERY CLUB.

You do the 9-3 drill, you work on staying properly (but not overly) connected, you work on stopping your swing when your shoulder turn stops, you work on maintaining your posture…or simply just plain picture in your brain making a shorter swing.

A week later your swing will be shorter, although not perceptibly. A month later people will start to notice, “Hey Joe, you don’t look like you are completing your backswing.”

6 months later when people start telling you your aren’t make a full turn and getting to parallel, you will realize you have achieved your goal and all of your golfing buddies are so stuck in a morass of cliches, you are going to start taking all of their money.

Those wanting quick fixes are never going to get better, while those understanding that improvement in golf is not measured in 5 minutes on the range and one good round, but measured in months and 30-40% drops in their handicaps.

I believe this is why handicaps have not gone down significantly even with the advent of so much club and swing technology. The instruction industry and American life in general has become about immediate gratification.

Just make an effort every day and you will lose weight, get in better shape and shorten your swing.