Archive for November, 2013

I am Joe

This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.

“A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

“Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

“Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”


Happy Thanksgiving everyone. For those of you that aren’t yanks…have some turkey and enjoy the day.

What is my swing pattern?

I get asked this all of the time, as if there is one way to swing the club.

If I could use one concept to describe my swing pattern, it’s about creating room for the arms to connect to the turn (body, pivot) in transition…and room for the arms to accelerate past the body at and after impact….or better stated, don’t do anything to prevent the arms from accelerating.

Notice I didn’t say accelerate away from the body. That is an important distinction as you could say standing really far from the ball would be a good thing under that unqualified concept.

A second question would be that a one plane swing would take care of the first part of my “pattern”…i.e. linking the arms up in transition. The problem with that is one plane tends to lack speed and a huge portion of the golf public does nasty things when they attempt a one plane swing. Too inside going back, too steep coming down being a big and common one.

My philosophy/pattern involves a huge window of what you can do and a few concepts to avoid in order to allow the arms to link up and speed up the way I describe.

People have mistakenly labeled me as just telling people to have more hip turn, or a reverse K and maximum secondary tilt. Quite the contrary. Poll most of my clients and you will find many hear none of the three.

I don’t particularly encourage a big hip turn as much as a deep and unrestricted one. I just like the right hip to get behind the right heel (in a down the line view) for balance and more room for the right elbow to get in front of the right hip on the downswing. That doesn’t necessarily mean more rotation. Sometimes, it’s actually less.

Some would also surmise that you could get the arms going past and not away from the body by coming over the top. My answer. Are the arms accelerating? If so, why is it bad? Some of the greatest players in history did this. I am not advocating this, but it’s better than the alternative. Getting the arms stuck trying too hard to come from the inside and having to stall and flip or have the arms accelerate away from the body too much.

Been there…don’t do that.

Here are a few of the no no’s that don’t allow the arms to link up properly in transition:

1. Long backswing with arm over run and/or rotating out of tilt
2. Restricted backswing hip turn
3. Firing hips too early in transition
4. Standing too close to the ball

Here are a few things that don’t allow the arms to accelerate past the body (properly and not away from the body):

1. Upper body moving laterally toward target and not creating any secondary tilt
2. Right shoulder working down (toward the right hip) too much or for too long
3. Steep shaft and/or angle of attack
4. Standing too far from the ball

Now obviously this doesn’t encompass everything I like and don’t like about a golf swing, but you could pretty much categorize anything using these guidelines. No two of my clients swing close to alike…but the regulars will mostly lack these things I deem difficult to recover from.

Look at all of the top long drivers. They have some of the craziest things going on, but they all have one thing in common. They create room for the arms to accelerate. Ridiculous secondary tilt, getting up on tip toes, etc.

PS-I ethnocentrically and prejudiciously wrote this from a right handed golfers point of view…and I invented two new words. Sorry lefties and members of the Webster family…and probably the Roget’s too. Shakespeare (or Edward de Vere if you prefer) probably want to come back to life and slap me as well.

The big issue most golfers of all skill levels have…

…is having the proper balance between having the club head stay on the arc and move left after impact, without the shaft and/or angle of attack being steep.

In other words, you see golfers who swing the club left, but they are steep and you see golfers who are shallow, but the club swings too far right. What you see few of is golfers who are shallow and the club moves left after impact.

That is the secret. Get the club to move left after impact, but coming in shallow and with a shallow shaft angle.

So in turn, the secret is learning how to shallow the club in transition.

The way to set that up is to not be too inside on the backswing.

This sounds technical, but it is not. When you pull the butt of the club to the ball…steep. That’s your over the top, shank, early extension…etc.

When you transition properly and the right elbow leads and drops in front of the right hip, that shallows the shaft and forces the body to rotate.

In other words, steeping the shaft forces the body to do bad things to hit the ball, while shallowing the shaft forces the body to rotate.

One of the best lines ever.

Someone said that fixing the golf swing is like playing the game Whac-a-Mole. Never were truer words spoken.

For those that have never played.


What would this swing produce?

1. Low and slow
2. Restrict hip turn for maximum coil
3. Late handset so you can pull the handle and get maximize lag
4. Hold the lag
5. Cover the ball by getting your spine forward and vertical at impact.

Now what would this swing produce?

1a. Left arm working up to match the shoulder turn
1b. Faster tempo to match what most top players have
2. Free hip turn
3. Early wrist set so the arm swing remains short and keep the arms from sucking inside
4. Cast on purpose to speed up right arm to link with turn…or at least allow the the wrists free motion
5. Keep upper body back to create tilt and make room for arms to speed up

I am thinking golfers of equal skill levels given a year to work on these things one by one. Golfer number two would be able to give golfer number one a stroke a hole. Unless of course golfer number one quit golf part way into the project.

Shaft Bowling

I needed a new term for a client I had today.

He was so locked up with all the restrict hip turn, hold lag, swing to right field stuff.

He didn’t just shank. He hit the ball so far in the heel, he hit the ball dead off the shaft and the ball went along the ground.

Even with a high lofted wedge.

Shaft bowling.

PS-I combined the no turn cast drill with the miss the ball drill and by the time the lesson was over, he was hitting the ball quite nicely with only an occasional shaft bowl.

He thought the term was appropriate.

Golf swing misconception #38,127. Hanging back.

Hanging back.

People solve this the wrong way and get their upper body in front of the ball and lose all their tilt, have no room for the arms to swing, lose power and the result is a cast…then they hold the lag…then they quit golf.

Hanging back has nothing to do with the upper body…you want the upper body to “hang back.”

Hanging back is all about the lower body and not shifting the weight to the front side to initiate the downswing.