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Monday, November 19, 2018

Zach Slayton Signs to Play Collegiate Golf

Congratulations goes to Zach Slayton as he made it official this week!  He is going to play his collegiate golf at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, CO.  Zach has had an impressive junior career and we look forward to a successful college and amateur career as well.  CCU is lucky to have such a well rounded young man on their team!


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Stabilize your Golf Swing with this Unusual Technique

I am just like any other golfer and I struggle with certain parts of my golf swing.  In particular, I find when I am striking it poorly, my left foot is not cooperating.  As I move through the impact position into the finish my mistake is my left heel raises off the ground and my left foot "spins out".  When this happens I hang back a bit and do not get fully to my left side.  This move causes me to hit the ball more toward the heel of the club and the ending result is a shot that travels right of my target.


In this photo sequence note how my left foot is positioned in the set up, then how the heel lifts immediately after impact and how much it has spun out in the finish.  In the middle photo I would much rather have the heel on the ground and my left leg taller and not as bent.  I am clearly NOT on my left side at that point.

In the video below I explain a technique I learned many years ago to help stabilize my feet in the golf swing.  It is called "hawk toe" and using this technique has helped me not to spin out on my left foot.

I learned this technique from one of my mentors, Raymond Gafford, when I was as assistant professional at Shady Oaks CC in Fort Worth, TX.  Raymond was an excellent player in the 1950's and I learned a great deal from him.

If you are struggling with the same issue, give it a try.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Slide Show from Golf Trip to The Broadmoor

We made an awesome golf trip to The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in May of 2018.  The Broadmoor East Course has hosted many major championships including the 2018 US Senior Open and we played just 3 weeks before the event.  It was a very stern test of golf with thick rough and fast greens.  Definitely one of my favorite golf courses in the country!  In addition, we played The Broadmoor West Course, Bear Dance Golf Club and Red Hawk Ridge.  I highly recommend all of these courses.  Enjoy the slide show.





I love the bagpiper which plays each evening at sunset at The Broadmoor...



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Slide Show from Golf Trip to Pagosa Springs, Colorado

This is a short slide show from a golf trip we made to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, in September 2018.  There are pictures from the Glacier Club and Dalton Ranch Golf Club, both in Durango, and Pagosa Springs Golf Club in Pagosa Springs.   I really enjoyed all of these beautiful courses.  Enjoy the slide show!




High Finishes for Three Junior Golfers

October 14, 2018 was a day of second place finishes for three junior golfers I work with.  Competition in the junior ranks keeps getting tougher and finishing second is not bad.  I am proud of the work all of these juniors are putting in to perform at a higher level.

Zach Slayton fired a second round 69 to finish 2nd in the Legends Junior Tour event at the Campus Course at Texas A&M University.  It was a strong field and they were competing in very windy conditions.



Arturo Hernandez finished 2nd in the STPGA Junior Tour event at Morris Williams GC in Austin, TX.  Arturo  plays for Cedar Creek High School near Bastrop, TX, and he has been working diligently on his game.


Matt Shuler from Eagle Pass, TX, finished 2nd in the STPGA Junior Tour event at the Republic Golf Club in San Antonio, TX.  Matt is making steady improvement and I look forward to more success.




Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Finally, Another Hole in One!

I scored a hole in one this week as I was competing in the STPGA Senior Series event at Silverhorn Golf Club in San Antonio, TX.


I aced the 13th hole which is a beautiful short par 3 of 155 yards.  I hit a 7 iron which hit about three feet from the hole and one bounced in.


This was my sixth career hole in one and my third in competition!  My last hole in one was in 2011 at The Dominion Country Club in San Antonio...what is it about San Antonio??

My Career Aces

1975    Morris Williams GC   Austin, TX
1982    Shady Oaks CC   Fort Worth, TX
1988    Amelia Island GC   Amelia Island, FL
2005    High Meadow Ranch GC   Magnolia, TX
2011    Dominion CC   San Antonio, TX
2018    Silverhorn GC   San Antonio, TX


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Great Playing Zach Slayton!

Congratulations to 17 year old Zach Slayton for firing a final round 67 to finish in a tie for 5th place in the Austin Men's City Championship.  He finished -1 for the four round event and also took low junior honors.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Top Ten Finish for Eston Duff!

Another high five to Eston Duff for his top ten finish in The Optimist International Junior Golf Championship.  Eston shot 75-75-74 in the Boys 12-13 division and tied for tenth out of 105 players.

The event was contested at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.




Monday, July 2, 2018

Nice Finish for Eston Duff!

Eston Duff finishes third (Boys 13-14) in the prestigious US Kids Red, White and Blue Invitational.  This event was contested at the very difficult Pinehurst #8 course and Eston was only two shots out of first place.  Next month he will be competing in the US Kids World Championship hosted at Pinehurst.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Eston Duff Finishes Second in US Kids State Championship

Congratulations to Eston Duff for finishing second in the Boys 13-14 Age Division in the US Kids Texas State Championship.  Eston is making steady improvement and is headed to Pinehurst for the US Kids World Championship later this month.



Way to go Mabrie McMahan!

12 year old Mabrie McMahan finished fifth in the Texas Oklahoma Junior Championship competing in the Girls 14-15 Age Division!  Mabrie held her own the first two rounds as she was in third place going to the final round.  Although she didn't play great the last round she played awesome competing for the first time from the longer tees this age division plays.




Zach Slayton Continues his Great Play this Summer

Congratulations to Zach Slayton for winning the 2018 Texas Oklahoma Junior Championship!  Zach won by two shots in the three round event by shooting back to back 71's.

Zach is in great company as the last two champions from Austin in this event were 1992 U.S. Open winner Tom Kite, in 1968 and two time Masters champion, Ben Crenshaw in 1970.

Way to go Zach!





Sunday, June 10, 2018

Congrats to my Junior Optimist Qualifiers

Congratulations to my "guys" for their great play in the World Junior Optimist Qualifier at the Wolfdancer Golf Club.  Zach Slayton won the Boys 16-18 Division by 9 shots firing an even par 144 for the 36 holes.  Eston Duff finished second in a playoff in the Boys 12-13 Division.  Both of these players qualified for the World Junior Optimist tournament at PGA National Golf Club.

In the Boys 14-15 Division, Lance Walker finished 11th.   After a slow start he fired a 73 the second round which was the second lowest score in his age division for the two days.  He will be back next year firing at them.




Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sarah Rovenstine Demonstrating the Orange Whip and Power Sleeve Training Aids

Sarah is home from college for the summer and working on her swing to prepare for summer tournaments.  Sarah had a tendency to not hinge the wrists quite enough on the backswing causing her to release the club too early.  This move was limiting her potential for more distance with the driver and not allowing her to compress the ball with her irons.

Swinging the Orange Whip, which is a flexible and weighted training aid, helped her increase wrist hinge and over time will help her develop more clubhead speed.  In addition, we put the weighted Power Sleeve on her 9 iron and this added weight helped her accomplish the same items as above.  The great thing about the Power Sleeve is you can actually hit balls while using the training aid.

Both of these should be used daily for maximum benefit.

There is a similar training aid as the Orange Whip and it is called the Gold Flex.  Both the Gold Flex and Power Sleeve are available at SKLZ.com.





Student Mike Moriarty Perfoming the Two Count Pause Drill

Mike was not loading entirely into his right side due to swinging a bit too fast going back.  This was causing him to reverse pivot and then slide ahead of the ball on the downswing.  The result was his misses going to the right of target.

The best way to get him to slow down was to have him stop at the top of his backswing and pause for a count of...one thousand one...one thousand two, then give it a little pump and finish the swing.  We had to make sure he was in a great position at the top of his swing and he accomplished that.  Note how he is fully coiled into his right side and ready to deliver a solid swing to the finish.

After the two count pause we went to a one count pause and then had him feel there was just a slight pause in his normal swing.

Give it a try, this drill works for many swing issues.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Drill to Increase Lag in your Swing

If you tend to release the club early in the downswing you are costing yourself distance and accuracy.  The symptoms of an early release could include the following shot patterns: high ball flight, thin or fat shots and generally unsolid iron shots.

If you look at the top players in their downswing, they maintain close to a 90 degree angle between the hands and the golf club as the hands approach the right thigh.  If you cast your hands from the top of the swing you will not achieve that same angle.  My experience has shown that players with very long backswings have a tendency to release the hands too early.  It's much easier to retain the angle with a more compact backswing.

In the picture below, my student (left) is demonstrating an early release.  His ID is hidden to protect the guilty.   Note how the left arm and club are in alignment prior to impact.  Compared to my picture (right) our hands are in the same location but our shaft angle is substantially different.

 

At impact is when our left arm and shaft should be in alignment!


I recommend the Pump Drill in the video below to enhance the correct feel of developing lag in the downswing which produces a strong impact position. 

Perform the drill without a golf ball first just to get the feel of retaining the referenced angle.  Make sure you don't overdo the pump, but take about a 3/4 backswing and then let the hands approach the right thigh while maintaining the angle between the hands and club.

After a few reps without a ball, go ahead try hitting balls while performing the drill using a short iron such as an 8 or 9 iron.  Your ball striking may not be great at first but with a little practice the drill will produce good shots.  Be sure and video yourself and see if you making the change.

You are now ready to hit balls with your normal swing.  You should sense your left hand (right handers) is leading the way on the downswing.


                



Monday, April 30, 2018

Lance Walker Scores his Best Tournament Round

Congratulations to Lance Walker for his T2nd place in the STPGA Junior Tour Spring Series Championship.  Lance is making steady progress with his game and he shot his career tournament low round of 73 in the first round!    With his focus now on playing college golf, Lance is working hard on his game and improvements are showing in all areas.



Saturday, April 21, 2018

Congratulations to Mabrie and Eston!

Congratulations to Mabrie McMahan for her 10 shot victory in the AIPL 5/6 Division Girls Tournament at the Harvey Penick GC in Austin.  Mabrie has been working hard on her game and is making steady improvement in all areas. 


Congratulations is also in order for Eston Duff as he won the AIPL 7/8 Division Boys Tournament with a one under par score.  Eston has also been doing well on the US Kids Tour and has just started competing on the Texas Junior Golf Tour.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Drill to Improve Footwork and Balance

This is 9 year old Aiden Moore and he was having balance issues in his golf swing.  In particular, he was allowing his left foot to spin out causing him to fall forward to his toes after impact.

To help eliminate this issue, I teed up a golf ball just outside his left foot.  In addition I placed an alignment rod just outside his toes.  Aiden was to imagine he was standing near the edge of a swimming pool and the rod was the edge.  In this drill, he used a 7 iron and the goal was to make a swing and avoid bumping the ball off the tee by his foot and not take a dive into the pool.

Mission accomplished!


Friday, March 30, 2018

Use your "Noodle" to Improve your Swing

Sometimes the most useful training aids are right in your garage, pool or boat.  In this post I am swinging a simple foam noodle as a demonstration on how "lag" in the golf swing would appear.

Lag is the term used to describe the timing of the release of the club.  For example, if you look at pictures of TOUR professionals as they approach the impact area of the swing, you will see how the club head is behind the hands as their hand approach their back thigh area.  They still have plenty of energy stored and at the last second, bam, they release the club to the target!






To begin the process of developing lag, I am setting up with the noodle on the target side of the golf ball.  I begin the swing with my hands and arms dragging the noodle creating some nice width in my take away.  As I create width note how my torso is beginning to rotate and wind up.


                                         

The key is to get to the top of the swing and then start the downswing by a slight weight transfer to the lead leg and rotation of the hips to the target.  Note how the noodle is now "loaded" and ready to be released to the target.  In particular note the difference in my hip position from the top of the backswing to starting down. 




Here I am at approximately the impact position with the noodle.  With the noodle you can see the lag as the end of the noodle is still way behind my hands.  Obviously the noodle is more flexible than a golf shaft, but this exaggeration will help you at least feel what should be happening.  From impact there is just a free wheel feeling to the balanced finish.



The beauty of this drill is you don't need to be at the golf course nor in your golf clothes.  You could be in your driveway, back yard, pool or lake and still work on your swing!

Watch the video below and you will get a better sense as to how the drill is performed.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Congratulations to Abby Cloud and the Dripping Springs Tigers Girls Golf Team!

Congratulations to the Dripping Springs Tigers girls golf team for advancing to Regionals by finishing second in their District 26-5A Championship this week.   This is team member Abby Cloud, and we are working on "swinging" the golf club back instead of rolling the wrists.  She was low scorer on the team for the second round.

Good Luck in Regionals!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Lance Walker get his First Win!

Congratulations to Lance Walker for getting his first tournament win.  Lance won the STPGA Junior Tour (age 13-14) at historic Brackenridge Park GC in San Antonio, TX.  This was his first time to shoot in the 70's in competition and only the second time since he started playing golf.  He has been working hard on his game and the improvements are showing.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Never Up, Never In!

I love it when a plan comes together.  This is student, Matthew Shuler, making a long putt for a birdie in the High School Border Olympics Tournament in Laredo, TX.  Way to go Matthew!


Friday, February 16, 2018

Zach Slayton Participates in Media Day for WGC Event

Student, Zach Slayton participated in the Media Day event for the World Golf Championships Dell Technologies Match Play Championship.  Zach was one of a handful of junior golfers selected to join Ben Crenshaw and Sergio Garcia in hitting balls from the middle of Lake Austin onto the 13th green at Austin Country Club.  A hole in one would have been worth $1 million to local charities!


What a thrill to perform in front of Masters Champions Ben Crenshaw and Sergio Garcia!  And, U. S. Open champion, Tom Kite was on board as well.


Here is a group picture with all the participants.


So proud of Zach's recent accomplishments and activities made possible not only by his good golf, but from his great attitude and participation in The First Tee Program in Austin.

Sergio Garcia

Ben Crenshaw



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Students using the Speed Trap

This is Joe Linsalata and Lee Siegismund during my Range Grinder Clinic at Clay/Kizer GC.  They are using the Speed Trap from Eyeline Golf to improve swing path/plane.  The goal is to make a golf swing and avoid the foam posts on the Speed Trap.  In addition, one should avoid striking the plastic base.  Striking the base would indicate the club was released too early.

This is a great training aid and I use it often with my students.



Netanel Eldridge Downswing Drill

Netanel is an up and coming junior golfer getting ready to start competing in the near future.

This drill is the "pump" drill and it helps with starting the downswing properly.  The idea is to take a backswing, then pump the club down twice before then hitting the ball.  You should feel you trail elbow coming close to your side as you gently shift your weight to the front leg as you pump.

This drill will prevent the over the top move so many golfers make.



Eric Magnusen Impact Drill

This is Eric Magnusen working on one of my favorite drills.  In this drill the idea is to "ring the bell" or hit the pole at 50-60 yards.  When the ball hits the pole it "chimes" hence "ring the bell".   With a 9 iron, play the ball back in the stance and position the hands in the middle of the front thigh.  Make a small backswing and try to strike the ball first, then take a divot.  For the ball to have a chance to hit the pole it has to be on a low flight.  You have to finish low to hit the ball low. Eric narrowly misses on this shot, but he did hit the pole twice when the camera was off! 



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Short Game Clinic by Terry Dill

Following are some snippets from a short game clinic conducted by former PGA TOUR, Champions TOUR and European Senior TOUR member, Terry Dill.  The clinic was conducted at The Hills of Lakeway several years ago and I videoed some of the clinic.  Terry has been a friend and mentor of mine since 1972.  In fact, he was my first official "boss" as he hired me to work as a cart attendant at Lost Creek CC when I was a junior in high school.  It was also under his mentorship I qualified for the Champions TOUR Q-School finals in 2005.

In this video, Terry is sharing some of his short game techniques he learned from playing the game at a very high level for a number of years.  I was fortunate he shared with me many of his experiences and I utilize his techniques in my teaching of the short game and full swing too. 

I apologize for the video not being perfect but if you listen, you too will hopefully pick up some valuable information which will help improve your short game.


Following is another video of Terry explaining some of his short game techniques. 


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Abby Cloud Signs with Schreiner College!

Congratulations to Abby Cloud for signing with Schreiner College to play her collegiate golf.  I am very proud of her accomplishment.