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Developing an Efficient Golf Swing

Happy New Year!! Be looking forward to more tips in 2017!!

An efficient golf swing is exactly what you think it would be: a swing that requires minimum effort and has repeatability.  All elite level golfers have repeatability in their swing because they have developed efficiency in their golf swing.

With the help of 3D motion technology like K-Vest, learning how to build an efficient golf swing is much more attainable for your everyday golfer.  Here are a few things I’ve learned from K-Vest that will help you build an efficient golf swing:

·       Develop the correct kinematic sequence.  Kinematic sequence is the order in which different parts of your body move throughout the swing.  K-Vest focuses on three main areas: lower body, upper body, and the club.  For example, a correct downswing sequence begins with the lower body, then upper body, followed by the golf club.  A great way to feel a good sequence is to make a throwing motion.  When you throw an object, pay attention to which part of your body moves first (i.e. step toward the target with your lower body, turn the upper body, and release your arm).

·       Master your posture.  Efficient golf swings require solid fundamentals.  K-Vest actually measures the angles your upper and lower body makes in your posture and compares them to a range of tour player averages.  To guarantee you’re posture is good, you will need feedback.  K-Vest provides great feedback, but so will video, a mirror, or your golf instructor that can tell you if your posture is good or not.

·       Swing within yourself, then train to improve.  Most golfers will have physical limitations that will affect their ability to make efficient swings.  Strength and flexibility are 2 factors that can limit most players.  Use balance as your guide to make efficient golf swings.  If you find yourself off balance at any point throughout the swing, chances are you’re over-swinging.  If you want to improve your strength and flexibility so you can make more aggressive swings, get with a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) certified instructor and train your body to make the swing of your dreams!

Change Your Grips and Improve Your Game

Merry Christmas!! Be sure to check back next Friday for another tip!

Tips to improve your golf game can come in many shapes and sizes.  One often overlooked aspect of the game are the grips on your clubs.

When the condition of the grips on your golf clubs start to deteriorate, your swing will be the first thing that suffers.  Grips that have lost their feel and have become slick require you to squeeze the club harder, creating unnecessary tension in your body.

I keep a wide variety of grips in stock and can have virtually any grip on the market ordered and in house within 3 business days.  If you are interested in getting your clubs re-gripped, simply visit the GolfWorks and browse through their grip selections and add $3 to the stated cost of the grip for installation. 

With winter still ahead of us, now is a great time to drop your clubs off for some much needed attention to your grips. I can also arrange a time for you to bring them in and I can have them ready that same day!

Don’t let the condition of your grips cost you strokes on the golf course.  Contact me today so we can start making 2017 your best golf year ever!

Practice Requires Proper Feedback

Every Friday I post a new golf tip on this blog. Please comment and share my tips if you wish!

Practicing your golf game this time of year has many challenges.  The weather is clearly the biggest challenge because the amount of time you get to spend on the course or even the driving range is extremely limited.  This reduces your opportunities to watch your ball flight which is the most common form of feedback when you practice.

Feedback can come in many forms, not just from watching where your ball goes.  Besides, if the majority of your practice time is spent hitting into a net indoors, you would be left with no feedback.

To make practice effective, regardless of the time of year, you need to have adequate feedback.  Too many times we rely on feel and what the ball does to determine if we’re doing the right thing or not.

Incorporate some tools you likely already have at your disposal to make sure you’re getting the correct feedback when you practice.

A mirror is probably my favorite tool when being forced to practice indoors.  Subtle changes in your posture at address can happen so easily resulting in dramatic changes to your swing.  By simply spending 5 minutes in front of a mirror before you start each practice session you can guarantee that your posture is fundamentally sound before you start swinging.

Video can be another great tool to help you make practice effective.  With the use of smartphones and apps that are designed for swing analysis, videoing your swing is as easy as ever.  The only problem is that you need to know what you’re looking for before you start picking yourself apart on video.  If you enjoy using video on your own, it would be a good idea to set a time with me so that I can guide you in some best practices for video, but also make sure that you’re effectively using your time to analyze important aspects in your swing.

Another great form of feedback when hitting balls indoors is to check where the ball is hitting the clubface.  Winter months are a great time to learn to hit the ball more consistently in the center of the clubface.  Applying tools to the club face like impact tape, a dry erase marker, or Dr. Scholl’s foot powder are great ways to visually see if the ball is indeed hitting the center of the club. 

Make sure you are getting the most from your practice time by incorporating the proper feedback. Schedule a session with me to learn more on this critical aspect of your training.

How K-Vest Can Improve Your Game

Every Friday I post a new golf tip on this blog. Please comment and share my tips if you wish!

K-Vest uses 3D motion technology to capture the movement of your body and the club to evaluate and train the efficiency of your swing.

K-Vest is different than Trackman as K-Vest is measuring the entire swing where Trackman is only measuring impact and ball flight.  With these two tools combined, along with good old fashioned 2D video, I can get to the bottom of any particular fault that may be facing a player because of swing mechanics.

Not only does K-Vest help me diagnose what the problem may be, it also allows me to train my students by using the live biofeedback training software included in the system.  Long story short, when using K-Vest and attempting to make a particular correction in the swing, K-Vest will play music when you achieve the desired position.

This comes very handy when working with a player’s posture.  Posture is already very difficult for players to work on because they can’t see it.  By getting the extra feedback from K-Vest it becomes much easier for players of any level to get in the correct posture.

Many of you have already experienced what K-Vest can do for you and your game.  I’m very excited to have another winter to train many of you using K-Vest.

I use K-Vest throughout the course of a normal lesson as I see fit or at the request of the student.  However, for only $45 you can schedule a 30 minute session where I will put you on K-Vest for an evaluation and/or let you train using the live biofeedback.  This will work great for players that may take lessons from other instructors or for my current students that would simply like to spend more time having supervised training at a lower cost.

To schedule a K-Vest session contact me today!

End of the Week Tip: Make More Birdies and Pars

Every Friday check out my blog for a new golf tip. Please share and comment if you wish!

One way to ensure a lot of birdies and pars is to hit a high percentage of greens in regulation.  

Hitting more greens in regulation sounds great, but if it were so easy everybody would be doing it.  What’s also important is that when you miss a green in regulation you are at least near the green where you have an easy chip shot to make salvaging par much easier.

Here are a few tips to not only hit more greens, but also leave yourself in a good location to make par if you miss the green:

·      Forget about the pin.  Firing at pins can be a sure fire way to make bogies or worse.  It is much wiser to aim to a larger part of the green that isn’t protected by bunkers or hazards that can inflate your score if your ball ends up in them.  Sometimes the best option may be to play to a location just short of the green so you can be left with an easy chip.

·      Know your yardages.  The best way to discover the true yardage each club in your bag will travel is by testing each one.  You can do this by hitting 20 shots with each club using a Trackman or similar device to get real numbers to measure your distance.  Instead of picking the one that goes the farthest and using that yardage, take out the farthest 2 and shortest 2 and count the average of the other 16 shots.  This will give you a much more accurate yardage that you would most likely end up with on the course. Don't have a Trackman? Simply get on the internet and find the nearest PGA professional who does.

End of the Week Tip: Putting Under Pressure

Every Friday I post a new golf tip on this blog. Let me know what you think and please share if you like!

Most of us will never know what it is like to have an important shot to win a PGA Tour Event, or even begin to know the feeling you would have knowing that your next putt could be the difference of several hundred thousand dollars.

But there are still plenty of times when we play, especially if you play competitively, that you will feel the tightness of added pressure.

Here are a few tips to help the next time you start feeling the pressure mount over an important putt during your round:

·      Breathe. When the pressure builds, anxiety starts to overcome even the most seasoned veterans. Your first defense to calm those nerves is to breathe properly.  You want to make sure you are breathing deeply and using your diaphragm to fill all of your lungs with air.  This will get more oxygen in your brain and help to calm you down. I imagine filling my stomach with air as I take a breath to make sure air is getting into the bottom of my lungs.

·      Block out distractions.  This is sometimes referred to as “getting in the zone”.  Unfortunately “the zone” isn’t a place we can always go to on command.  When you are able to ignore distractions going on around you, whether it’s 10,000 spectators or the grounds crew using machinery nearby, you can bring yourself closer to getting in the zone.  Block out distractions by placing all of your attention on your routine.

·      Stick to your routine.  Successful golfers all have routines.  No two routines may be exactly the same from player to player, but good players rarely change their routine in the middle of the round.  Spend extra practice time polishing your routine by going through it over and over. Change the parts you don’t like and stick with the parts of the routine you do like.  Then be sure to stick with it on the course.   

End of the Week Tip: Make the Most of Your Putting

Every Friday I post a new golf tip to this blog. Please, like, comment, and/or share if you wish!

Making good contact on full swings is a skill that improves as the overall skill of the golfer improves.  But being able to get the ball in the hole with the putter is a skill that anyone of any skill level can master.

Here are a few tips to improves your putting:

·      Hit it solid.  The biggest reason golfers struggle controlling the speed of their putts is their impact point on the putter face changes too often.  The sweet spot in the center of the putter is ideally where you want impact.  Increase your chances to hit solid putts in the sweet spot by setting up the same way each time.  When in my posture, I prefer my eyes to be just inside the target line and my arms to be close to my body.

·      Hit your line.  When it comes to executing a putting stroke, every putt is a straight putt.  The ball may curve after it leaves the putter face, but your job is to pick a line and hit it.  Practice hitting your line by using a chalk line on the practice green.  If the green is flat, the ball should roll consistently down your line.

·      Trust your reads.  Green reading is an acquired skill that will only get better the more you apply yourself and gain experience.  The bottom line is that green reading is always going to be an educated guess that will have more than one answer to get the ball in the hole.  Once you are comfortable picking a line, avoid changing it when you address the ball.  If what you see over the ball doesn’t look as good as your original line, step back and reevaluate.

End of the Week Tip: Master Bunker Shots

Every Friday you can check out my latest golf tip on this blog. Please share and comment if you like!

Tour players are well known for their bunker play. Statistically, the average Tour player is just as likely to hit a sand shot on the green and two-putt, as he is to get it up and down.

For most players it is very important that we are good enough from greenside bunkers that it should never take more than 3 shots to get the ball in the hole.  Here are some tips to help you get the most from your bunker play:

·      Learn to hit the sand. If bunkers scare you, start by finding a practice bunker and learning how to hit the sand.  Draw a line in the bunker perpendicular to your target line and simply make practice swings making the club enter the sand on the line.  By controlling where the club hits the sand, you will be on your way to good bunker play.

·      Setup consistently.  I’ve seen too many players get twisted up like a pretzel thinking they have to setup a certain way in a bunker.  With the ball slightly forward in your stance, the only adjustment you may want to make will be to slightly open the clubface (pointing right of the target for RH golfers) and your stance (left of the target for RH golfers) to match.

·      Finish the swing.  Allowing the sand to stop or significantly slow down the club through impact is a big no.  Keep the club moving through the sand and hold your finish an extra second or two to reinforce your balance.  The length of your follow through should closely match the length of your backswing.

End of the Week Tip: Gaining Strokes on the Field

Every Friday I have a new golf tip posted on this blog. Be sure to leave a comment or share if you like what you read.

The strokes gained statistic on the PGA Tour has revolutionized how we understand what it takes to win. It should be of little surprise that the players who hit the most greens and putt well on those greens tend to do very good.

Hitting greens in regulation for most golfers is a great thing, but being able to capitalize and make some putts on those greens can have you playing great golf.

Here are some tips to help you make more putts and maximize your ability to make putts when on greens in regulation:

·      Know yardages with your wedges.  Most birdies on Tour are made when the players have a wedge into the green.  It is easier to get the ball close to the hole when you can use a shorter club.  You must however be able to control these shorter clubs to take advantage of getting to use them.  Practice distance control by practicing a stock shot to a comfortable yardage using a less than full swing.  For example, use your sand wedge and practice making the ball travel half of its full swing distance.  From there you can make slight adjustments to account for the difference in yardage.

·      Expand your makeable putt range.  I’ve never seen a putt I didn’t think I could make and hopefully you haven’t either.  But the truth is that the farther you get from the hole the more luck is required to make it.  Begin by making 2 footers your 100% make range.  Practice by spending more time making 2 footers than any other putts.   Once you feel like you’ve accomplished this, expand your range to 3 feet.  Keep expanding your distance until you feel like 5 feet is your 100% range.   The goal is to build the confidence of knowing that any putt 5 feet and in should be an easy make. This will allow you to be more aggressive on longer putts and reduce the fear of running the ball past the hole.

End of the Week Tip: Fairway Metals from the Fairway

Hitting fairway metals from the fairway can be difficult.  Here are some tips to help you take advantage of your fairway metals on long approaches:

·       Have the right equipment.  Most players automatically put a 3 wood in the bag as their next logical choice of club following a driver.  However not every player generates enough club head speed to launch a 3 wood high enough for it to go any further than your next club.  Using launch monitor technology like Trackman you can see what your carry distance is relative to the next club in the bag.  A 4 or 5 wood may turn out to be the optimum club to follow the driver.

·       Choose your target wisely.  Pin seeking with a fairway metal isn’t always a good idea, especially if the pin is guarded by bunkers, rough or water hazards.  Choose a target line that will allow the ball to roll out after hitting the ground and will keep you out of trouble if the ball lands a little short of your intended destination. 

·       Stick the finish.  When the ball is on the ground versus a tee, our subconscious may tell us to “lift” the ball in the air, resulting in topped shots that stay on the ground.  These swings also result in finishes that hang back, or end with more weight on the back foot instead of the front.  Be sure to contact the ground and finish with your weight on the front foot, allowing the loft of the club to do its job and get the ball in the air.