Archive for February, 2013

Working with me for 2-3 days

Someone in a comment Monday used the word pilgrimage referring to coming to So Cal to see me..lol. Well, I am far from Mecca or Jerusalem, but golfers have been making the trip down to see me for 2-3 days and I am also starting to schedule “traveling schools” where I am going out to work with groups of Golfers.

If any of you are interested in coming down for a few days to see what it’s like to have the “Monte Scheinblum experience” (not full of myself for those who didn’t read the article where I made fun of the David Leadbetter experience)…

I will take care of everything but food and airfare. I’ll include the hotel and transportation to and from hotel, airport and golf course in the price.

The trip will include one round of golf with me at Oak Creek.

This will work for 1-3 people.

On the flip side if you can organize a minimum of 3 people and up to 10. I will come to you, make my own travel arrangements, all you have to do is find a facility that will allow me to conduct the school and round of golf.

The fees obviously depend on number of people, how many days and how many hours you would want to spend at the course.

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What do I teach people?

Direction.

The job of a good instructor is not to teach perfect positions and movements, but to push the golfer in the right direction.

My analogy is I try and give the golfer a compass and tell them home is SE. There are many obstacles in the way, so getting SE is not a straight line and sme backtracking is necessary…but it’s the golfer’s job to find their way home themselves.

A response from a client.

This was a response from the fellow who made the videos I posted Friday.
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I’d be happy to talk about my lessons with Monte. A little background for context: I am currently a poor golfer by anybody’s standard. This isn’t some “aw shucks bit” either. I suck. If you can read this, I’m worse than you.

I started last May, and became hopelessly addicted to this game after some dumb luck rounds in the first few months of playing. When that luck faded, I went the conventional route and got some lessons from a nearby assistant pro that did nothing for me. Frustrated to the point of quitting, I discovered Monte’s online lessons and after a few of those, realized he was only an hour away from me and decided to see him in person.

I think I’ve had about 5-6 lessons thus far. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy. I didn’t show up once and walk away with a perfect swing, but since this was never promised or expected, it was never an issue. As Monte will attest, I am a unique case. My swing issues are the opposite of what most people face, and I get the distinct impression that Monte has never had a client like me before. This actually seems to excite him. I’m like a patient who wandered into his clinic with an exceptionally rare disease.

To be clear, the main diagnosis has remained consistent from the start. My upper and lower body are severely out of sync. By the time my arms reach impact, my hips are already sitting in the cart. The challenge has been figuring out ways of dealing with this.

The primary working feel that we’ve discovered is scandalous enough to get him banned from golfwrx, but it is basically, “swing without turning the hips.” It feels completely odd right now, but it looks right and the results (when I execute it) are great. And yes, my hips do still actually turn. It’s just a feel, but it has been a big breakthrough.

Yesterday’s lesson was four hours long, so its been no walk in the park, but Monte is obviously extremely generous with his time. He’s never let me leave a lesson feeling confused or down about my game, which is why it takes so long.

My swing

Starting feel good about this.

My whole career I have locked my right knee at impact and actually sometimes reverse rolled on the outside of my right foot. I am aware of why that happens, but have had a hard time beating it as I have only been aware of some important cause/affect concepts in the golf swing the last few years…and no one, including a few big names had a clue either.

If you go to my YouTube channel, you can see all of that from the past few years. When I long drive, I don’t care, because the fairway is huge and I have six balls. It basically happens because I pull the handle way too hard in transition and create steep hands, sometimes steep and sometimes shallow shaft and a major in to out path.

That locked right knee caused me all sorts of issues in my palying career…foul balls at inopportune times being the worst. I didn’t do it as badly the shorter the club, but the issue is just masked on shorter clubs.

I still have a ways to go, but at least I don’t feel like I have to wrestle the club on every shot to keep it from going in someone’s pool or e base of a jumping cactus.

Thanks to Tim, a reader of this blog, who made this video after his lesson today.

Good putting is about three things.

As hard as it is to believe for a long drive champion, I had many instances of Tour level putting. If you don’t believe that, having played with guys like Stan Utley and Frank Lickliter, I have witnessed consistent Tour level putting first hand. I have found what the three most important elements are and none of them are mechanical.

1. Reading the green
2. Confidence
3. Perspective

1. Green reading is a skill that anyone can develop. Not all people can read greens at a world class level, but all can be competent. Here are a few simple thoughts and this is nowhere near a comprehensive list.

Plumb bobbing is a waste of time unless you already know which way the putt breaks and it doesn’t work on putts that break more than a few inches. If you line up the putter shaft even a fraction of an inch to the side of your eye, it can give you the opposite break.

The best way to decide where a short putt breaks is to find the low side of the hole and everything will break there. If you stand about 5 feet away, the more you can see of the inside of the hole, the more on the low side of the hole you are.

On long putts, you always need to know what is going to happen the last 5 feet of the putt, because that is when the ball will be slowing down and taking all of the break.

EDITED: Sometimes I don’t remember everything. A reader reminded me that your feet are great at measuring the slopes and contours on the greens as you walk. I do this often, especially on the days my eyes are lying to me. When the slope, not matter how subtle, bends and contort your feet, they feel it and give you an idea of what the slope holds for you.

2. Confidence is the most important factor in putting. A 5 handicap with a strange stroke, on a hot putting streak and believing he is going to make every putt, will beat a PGA Tour player who is questioning his great stroke…every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Believe it. Frank Lickliter has one of the best strokes on the PGA Tour (even though he recently lost his card), but I watched him lose a putting contest to a 5 with a right hand slap, because the 5 thinks he’s the greatest putter on earth and makes a bunch.

Look at some of the old timers and the nasty wristy stokes some of them had. I know the greens are different, but the point is that being confident is way more important than how good your mechanics are.

3. Perception is part of confidence, but I will give it it’s own section. If you perceive that you like your putter, you are going to make more putts. If your perception is you are going to hit a solid putt and it will go in or it won’t…you will make MANY, MANY more putts.

People perceive they have some control over whether or not they can make a putt go in. Sorry folks, from outside of 18 inches, once you read the putt properly, you have no control over making a putt other than just hitting a solid putt…so that is what you need to do.

Imperfections in the green no matter how perfect they are, will make good putts bounce out of the hole. People who try too hard to make the putt end up steering it and not hitting it solid…especially on short putts.

Which brings me to my next point. Speed versus line. I ask people once they have read the putt and lined up, what % to they pay attention to speed and what % do they pay attention to line. I get all sorts of answers and almost all of them are wrong.

Once you have read the putt and lined up…line is all taken care of and 0% of your thinking goes toward it. You need to pay 100% attention to hitting the putt solid and the correct speed to make the putt on the line you are aiming.
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Someone asked me about lag putting. I don’t like to adjust how hard I hit putts, so I adjust speed with length of back swing. Some people like to change the width of their stance to the length of putt to help them adjust the length of stroke. Guess what? both of those things are great if they work and terrible if they don’t. Putting is extremely individual and whatever works, do it. It all goes back to confidence. If you are confident you are going to make putts if you site lines from the movie Caddyshack to yourself…you are going to make more putts if you do that. Putting is not about perfecting a stroke, it’s about a mental and physical approach that will give you the best chance of hitting a putt solid and believing it will go in.

Let’s stop the Hogan emulation…and emulation of “magic moves” in general.

Great ball striker, great swing, but I will be redundant yet again and kill two birds with one stone.

You can’t look at stop action positions in his swing and zero them out. The leveraged right elbow, for example. Some Golfers will have bend at impact and others will be straight. It depends on body type, the amount of hip clearance…and duh…what happened in the swing up to there.

There are very few rights and wrongs in the swing, what is more important is that your swing matches.

I had a client the other day who had a very flat shoulder turn and even flatter arm swing. I tried to get him a little more vertical, to match his setup, he actually steepened the club even more than he did from the flat position. The end result was I changed his setup to match his swing and viola, he started to hit it better and feel better.

No Dustin Johnson’s Bowed left wrist, Tiger’s locked left knee, JB Holmes short hinged backswing, Bubba’s straight rear knee, high hands and arm over run, Hogan’s Bent right elbow, Sergio’s 19 year old down load lag move…and certainly not my 1992/3 massive lateral move off the ball. You can throw in Jack Hamm’s grunt if you’d like. I am sure there are people out there that literally think if you could perfect all of those moves, you could hit the ball 500 yards.

It has to match or it doesn’t work. Zeroing out positions that look pretty on great players and long hitters end up hitting ZERO good shots.

Would you rather…

…hit a shot the right distance (including speed on putts) or perfectly on line?

The obvious answer is the right distance. That being the case, the goal of golf should should be to hit the ball solid.