Game Improvement Key is Level of Commitment
The New Year is upon us. How many articles have been written over the years about goals for one’s golf game regarding the coming year? Slam dunk, every year, all the magazines, all the teaching pros, will be coming at you hard with their version of can’t miss systems of swinging, ways to think better on the course, and the new physical fitness push. Fact is, not much is new in this game. We’ve been trying to figure out better ways since before the gutta percha ball when wooden shafts ruled. Obviously, enhanced equipment has enabled us to play better. Bigger, stronger, faster bodies on tour are showing us how important physical fitness is to our end result.
But the fact is, that “best way to swing” the club remains whatever way you are swinging it that gets you out there as much as possible. Sure, the type A’s are all screaming about “perfect practice,” convinced that a heightened degree of organization and detail to ones practice regimen will produce the best and quickest results. Fine, that works for them. But whether you play to practice or practice to play, you gotta get your reps in.
That brings us to the only game improvement non-negotiable: The biggest key to your improvement in our game for 2014 is found in your level of commitment.
Can you get out two more times a week? One more time? These can be 20-minute putting sessions or a small bucket of balls. It can be playing the loop on South at OP (1,2,3 brings you right back to the clubhouse). Doesn’t have to be a half day of ball beating to do yourself a ton of good. I’d rather see my students get out to practice for 30 minutes four times in a week than have two sessions of 150 balls painstakingly taking 2 hours to obsess on minutiae.
Our lives get so jammed full of obligations, responsibilities, errands, work, school, family and even with some required down time, that making time for our golf game can be a daunting task. I challenge you to create practice times that you commit to throughout a week. Whether you seek instruction or not (obviously I think you should!), keep these game improvement dates with yourself at all costs. Ramping up your level of commitment will be the first and most important step on the way to game improvement in 2014.
Ramblings today, nothing but the ramblings of a teaching pro not teaching at the moment.
Been watching my fellow professionals teach inside and it’s been an education. J.B. does well with technology and Curt has been hammering out the TPI screenings in an effort to get the golfers bodies better able to do what the brain tells it to. For my part, I keep preaching the message of fundamentals regardless the level of player in front of me, certain that the grip, stance and alignment are most of what goes wrong if something isn’t just right. Between us all, think we’ve about got it covered.
Really enjoying the latest Golf Magazine’s article on Brent Snedecker’s putting method. Previously it would have been heresy to proclaim that taking the putter back with a right wrist action was a good thing. Watch Snedecker roll it and you will come away with a couple of things that can only help you. Number one, he doesn’t take long over the ball. Once he has his line it’s a quick look and bam. Secondly, it’s a very short stroke that has trouble getting off line. If you are someone that has good feel for distance but has difficulty with direction you might try this. It’s a short pop stroke that delivers all energy to the ball, at the ball, then stops abruptly. Snedecker speaks of taking it back with his right wrist but you can do it without the wrist involved if you forward press. Gets the ball rolling so pure.
Can’t remember when I fell in love with a lot of wrist in short game shots but have gone the other way lately. Maybe when I was a younger athlete possessing better hand eye coordination I was able to do anything with the wristy technique and had the nerves to avoid flipping at the bottom. Not so much now. With the variety of loft on today’s wedges it seems much simpler to just remove all wrist and vary only the ball position and voila, all the variation you need is found in ball position and club selection. All but the fanciest flop shots can be played this way. So much easier.
Enough for today, stay tuned.
Consider a yearlong program to give yourself the best chance possible for maximum improvement.
OK, absolutely guilty of using this blog to promote business. But I really mean this, the only way to give yourself a real chance of improving as much as possible is by “working” at that improvement all year long. I’m not talking about 6 day a week, two hour sessions, hands bleeding and feet barking from excessive workouts. What I am talking about is staying in touch with the progress you make during the course of a season and keeping that improvement going instead of quitting for the season and starting all over again next year.
Here’s how we’ll do it. Both JB and I will offer yearlong packages giving you first crack at our schedules and some money-off standard rates.
We will sell a limited number of these, too many and we can’t get it all done.
JB and I will be working out of our indoor range through March so we offer the product now in conjunction with the Holiday Season and will be available to start this program with you or your golfer from January 1 on. That doesn’t mean you have to start then, it just means we will be available to you then. We are different teachers with separate businesses so our products will be slightly different in their structure; just know that the value will be similar. I’ll talk to you about my deal here; JB’s will be a little different and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about his offer.
20 private lessons, 30 minutes long, includes video analysis and two 9 hole playing lessons (part of the 20) along with suggestions for strength and conditioning work based on what we see will give us the best you playing golf you can be. Guaranteed.
With this workload we will able to assess where you are now (and for some of you, where you have been in the past), establish where we think you can get to and set a clear path to how we will get you there. Expect our sessions to be approximately two weeks apart but allow for some flexibility there as we will encounter times when we need to work together more intensely and times when you will need longer to “own” our particular goal at the time.
Retail on this program priced separately would be in excess of $1,500.00.
I offer the program to the first 10 golfers wanting “The Yearlong” as the answer to finding their best golf for ONLY $900.00! Junior pricing for those 17 and under knocks another $100.00 off.
Best Christmas present ever to that special golfer in your life? The Yearlong!
With the opening of the indoor range fellow instructor J.B. Kim and I have had the opportunity to get our swings on the V1 swing analyzer way too many times. Seeing your own swing has benefits for many but, surprisingly, a downside to some.
Those that are naturally visual learners benefit most from the use of video. By seeing what they do, they no longer rely solely on the instructors ability to communicate action and feeling. In the hands of a good instructor and a willing student, video can help.
But beware, the golf swing has always had a Don Quixote like search for perfection affiliated with it. Some people can get so wrapped up in the look and/or feel of a swing that they forget about moving the ball from point A to point B and the all important short game. It’s the difference of playing golf vs. playing golf swing.
When you see yourself swing make sure that you come out of the process with the correct information. Your, or an instructor’s, desire to recreate Ernie Els swing can only end in disappointment. Look for the movements that prohibit you from delivering the club to the ball in a positive fashion. For example, if you come dramatically over the top you’ll not be able to drive the ball towards the target. With this outside/in swing path you can drive the ball straight left (squaring the face with the faulty path) or hit with some degree of a glancing blow (dependent on how open the face is at impact) but you cannot drive the ball to the target. Conversely, you may possess a “loop” in your swing but have it traveling down the path with a square face (a good thing!) Jim Furyk has had a pretty good go of it working with this “fault.” Why mess with it? Learn the positives of your swing and hone them, learn the truly bad things about your swing and work on defeating them. The trick is to find what really is preventing the ball from going to the target with appropriate distance. You might be surprised to find that those things that may look out of whack to your playing partners really aren’t faults at all, just your way of swinging the club.
Above all, before tinkering with the swing after viewing video make certain that the non-negotiables of correctness within the family of fundamentals (grip, stance, alignment, tempo) are right on. The prettiest swing in the world with poor pre swing fundamentals won’t get it done.
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