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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Turn your Slice into a Draw with the Chair Drill

Although this drill is a little extreme, sitting in a chair while swinging a driver will help you feel the components needed to "draw" the ball. 

These are four key components needed to hit a draw:
  • The elbows must fold correctly during the swing which enables you to release the club
  • You must stay in your posture during the swing
  • You must eliminate the sway on the backswing
  • You must eliminate a slide forward in the downswing
There are probably several more items we could discuss in learning to hit a draw, but I think this drill covers the most important areas.

As far as an iron swing, the best drill is to hit shots with a mid-iron from a side hill lie with the ball above your feet.  You can engrain the same feel from this drill as sitting in a chair with the driver.








Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Difference Between an Iron Swing and a Driver Swing

I get asked all the time, "is the swing for the driver the same as an iron"?  The simple answer is no, they are different and the main difference is the angle of attack.  With an iron, there should be a divot on the target side of the ball.  This is accomplished by striking the ball with a downward or descending arc.  There better not be a divot with the driver!  The driver swing is shallower and the goal is to strike the ball with a slightly upward or ascending arc.

This is a simple drill which will help you distinguish between the two swings.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Swing Thoughts...How Many do you Have?

I have published similar posts on this subject, but I think it is important to remember it is a golf "SWING" we are trying to make and not a golf "PAINT BY NUMBER"!

Which golfer are you?

This one, whom is "locked" up due to over thinking?


Or this one, a free swinger with no thought to the outcome?

*You may fast forward to 1:25 to start the swing sequence AND pay attention to the ball striking at 2:20 as this is very similar to a drill I use quite often.


I have found many golfers play like the first golfer.  Too many swing thoughts and not enough time!  Now, this may not be entirely your fault.  For example, if you are in a profession which requires attention to details, numbers or high focus, then you may tend to play with a great number of swing thoughts.  This is due to the fact you want order to the chaos.  There is nothing wrong with this, BUT you need to cut the thoughts down to maybe two at most.  I think this type of golfer is too focused on the outcome.  It's OK to go through your process as far as hitting the shot at hand, but when it's time to pull the trigger you have to let go of all those thoughts and SWING THE CLUB!  There is a good book "Swing Thoughts" by Don Wade (1993).  In this book, top players share swing thoughts they used to win tournaments.  Most of the thoughts shared were very simple, concise and easy to picture. 

If you look at Fred Astaire in this video, I am not so sure he has any swing thoughts.  He is in rhythm and balance and doing what he does best...dance!  Obviously he has perfected his craft of dance, but look how it translates to the golf swing.  I love the freedom of movement and ease with how he moves from golf ball to golf ball.  I guess one could overdo this freedom and lack of details, but for this type of golfer I think there are 10 that play too tight.

For the golfer which has too many swing thoughts, this is a drill I use to free up the golf swing.

The first part of the drill is starting your swing with the club about two feet to the left of the ball.  I call this the "SWING-SWING" drill.  By starting the club in this position, you will feel more of a "swing" to the top and a "swing" to the finish.  Try hitting ten balls with a 7 iron (on a tee) from this position.  I think you will find your back swing will be smoother and you won't start down before you get to the top.  The second part of the drill is to start with the club hovering just above the ball.  Again, tee up a 7 iron for this drill.  I call this drill the "FORWARD-BACK-FORWARD" drill.  To start your swing just swing the club forward about two feet, then swing to the top and then through to the finish. You want the swing to feel very rhythmic and at an even cadence.  You will feel your knees working with the club and this is good.

For the golfer that plays too loose, I will work more on the process and details of set up and visualization.  This will slow that golfer down just enough to get focused on target.

Once you figure out which category of golfer you reside, you can begin to work on the things which will help you play your best.



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

PGA Junior League Pilot Program

I have really enjoyed teaching this great game to these junior golfers!


PGA, Sigma Pi Phi Partner to Launch PGA Junior League Golf Pilot Program



PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The PGA of America and national African-American Fraternity Sigma Pi Phi have partnered to launch a PGA Junior League Golf pilot program at seven top junior golf facilities across Florida, Georgia and Texas this fall. Funded by PGA REACH, the program provides six weeks of free PGA Professional golf instruction to children of all socio-economic backgrounds with the aim of increasing diversity in junior golf.
Participants are provided with numbered jerseys and utilize PGA Junior League Golf’s team format during the on-course portion of the program. The key youth program of PGA REACH, PGA Junior League Golf provides a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls ages 13 and under to learn and enjoy the game of golf under the direction of PGA and LPGA Professionals.
"We are tremendously proud to be partnered with Sigma Pi Phi,” said Sandy Cross, PGA of America Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion. “We believe this is a powerful relationship that will bring more youth of color into the game of golf in a very intentional and meaningful way. Both organizations firmly believe that golf will pay dividends for these children, personally and professionally, throughout their lives.  We also hope to spark great interest in careers in the business of golf and PGA membership through this partnership."
Sigma Pi Phi Boulés (chapters) in each market recruit local youth to participate in the program. Boulés volunteer their time to assist host PGA Professionals in leading the kids through the program.
"We are delighted to partner with the PGA of America to expand the reach of PGA Junior League Golf at a time when many youth in our communities stand to benefit from learning a sport proven to develop invaluable critical and strategic thinking skills expected of tomorrow's leaders," said Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Grand Sire Archon Wesley A. Coleman. "Our combined resources create a powerful formula to impact their lives for a better America. We are indeed honored to continue our social action work through this new partnership."
Participating facilities and hosting PGA Professionals include:
  • Sandhill Crane Golf Club (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) – Sherri Pla, PGA
  • Country Club of Miami (Miami, Fla.) – Larry Levow, PGA
  • Quantum Performance Institute (Orlando, Fla.) – Anthony Stepney, PGA
  • Cedar Crest Golf Course (Dallas, Texas) – Ira McGraw, PGA
  • The Clubs of Kingwood (Houston, Texas) – Aurora Kirchner-McClain, PGA
  • Roy Kizer Golf Complex (Austin, Texas) – Garry Rippy, PGA
  • Bull Creek Golf Course (Midland, Ga.) – John Milam, PGA and Steven Paine, PGA Apprentice

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Favorite Golf Books

Now that we are all approaching fireplace weather (yes, even in Texas) I thought I would introduce a few of my favorite golf books for off season reading. 

As you can see, there is not much here as far as hard core instruction.  The Five Fundamentals is instruction based and as a former assistant golf professional at Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, I probably read this book 20 times. I base a great deal of my instruction on these fundamentals. The Inner Game of Golf is the first book I read regarding the mental side of the game and I still utilize some of the concepts discussed.

Most are "feel good" books that provide a little history and instruction but not in a clinical format.  They are stories first and you might learn a little about the game as you go.





















Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Make more Short Putts with a Positive Thought Process

Making those short putts from 3-5 feet in length can really help your score. They can save a bad round or make a good round even better! You have to learn to eliminate the fear when facing these putts. I have learned you have to quieten the mind and quit thinking about the outcome and what it might mean if you make or miss the putt. The best way to do that is to imagine the hole as a "target" and simply roll the ball over the target.

If you think about a tee shot on a tree lined hole, most golfers try to steer the ball between the trees. This thought process usually doesn't work well. When you steer the ball, there is tension in the hands and arms which keeps you from free wheeling the driver. I have found it is beneficial if you focus on a target in the distance and swing away to the target!

Try this drill and I think you will feel a significant amount of freedom in your putting stroke.



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Drill to help you Maintain your Posture in the Golf Swing

In this drill, I am using my golf bag to help me stay in the correct posture through the swing.  You could also use an alignment rod or I have used the back of a chair as well.  You can practice this drill at home before taking to the range.