What we can learn by watching the Pros!

Do you like to watch golf on TV? I am not a huge fan, but my husband is! He watches the tournaments every week. He will call me into the room when they slow a golfers swing down…..this is my favorite part! They are truly amazing at what they do when they swing a golf club. When they slow it down on TV it actually gives all of us a chance to really see the different parts of the golf swing.

First I look at their setup: Posture is nice and straight, knees slightly bent, front arm straight.

Next is the backswing: How they use their front shoulder to take the club back on plane, with their front arm straight and back arm relaxed, the toe of the club pointing up.

The Top of the Swing: They rarely over swing, the front arm staying straight, shoulder under chin, body so strong and coiled

Now the Downswing: The HIP TURN IS CRAZY! They start their hips first and then their arms just follow allowing gravity to take over.

Impact: The clubface is square, the hips are moving towards the target, and the front arm is still straight!

Past Impact: The CLUB IS STILL EXTENDING to the Target, the arms are still straight, the hips are still turning!

The Finish: Look at how high the arms are finishing above their head!

THESE PROFESSIONALS ARE AMAZING!

Now we are not professionals, but if we are going to look at or mimic anyone it should be the people that make the big bucks in this game. We can learn a lot from them!/

Distance Control Practice Drill

Hi! I have had a lot students asking for some good practice drills lately. This drill is actually one of my favorites!

We start by chipping a ball about 5 yards away. A good short chip…remember no hips. Then our second ball we take and chip a little farther away. The third ball you do the same thing. You start creating a line with balls down the driving range. Eventually you will have to transition to a pitch shop using your hips to get the ball farther. Then continuing using your hips and taking longer and longer swings. Count how many balls are in your line. The closer the balls are together, the better distance control you have, and can continue to add more balls to your line. You literally can do this drill all the way through your bag. Working on getting the ball farther and farther while controlling the distance during the drill.

On a second note you can also notice my shots are in a straight line. The second part of this drill is working on your extension with your club. When you are swinging you are ensuring that the clubface is moving down the line towards your target for clean contact.

Check out the Video:

Understanding your Path/Plane of your Golf Swing

A golfer’s swing path is a very different feeling compared to the path of a tennis or baseball player. Most people are used to swinging horizontally around their bodies to hit a ball. In golf, the ball is stationary on the ground. Therefore a golfer has to learn to swing more vertically to make the club go up so that the club comes down on the ball. Then to remember after hitting the ball to continue to go out and then up instead of going around horizontally again. When you have the correct swing plane it will ensure that your club will be hitting down properly on the golf ball and the club face will square up to compress the ball properly. Students sometimes will have a good backswing plane and then reroute the swing on a different path through the ball. It is always good to check your backswing plane first because this can effect the downswing and follow through. After a good backswing plane, then check the downswing plane, and then the follow through plane.

The video and picture is of our Explanar at the Learning Center. This shows the correct plane for a golfer. It is a great way to visual what your plane looks like and also lets you feel the path that your club should go on. Hopefully you can come to the Learning Center one day at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and check it out yourself!

Also check out my previous blog called: Ensure Your Swing is Starting on Plane. This blog will teach you how to use a wall to help you with your swing plane too.

Finding Your Front Shoulder Connection

If you have ever been taught by me, you will understand how important I believe your front shoulder a major key to making more consistent contact with your golf ball. This blog is here to help you make sure you are using your front shoulder. Lots of us believe that we are utilizing our shoulder correctly but when it comes down to it most of us are not. If you are having some inconsistencies this is a good place to start. Most students are relying on their forearms and wrists to swing their golf club, which can cause your club face to twist and turn too much and lead to inconsistencies.

First take your club and setup to a golf ball. Then stand up from your posture and lift the club up only using your front arm. Your front arm from your hand to your shoulder should be in line with each other. If you do this properly you should feel the strength of you shoulder holding the club up. If you do not feel this check the alignment of your arm. Are there any breaks in your arm? How does your grip strength feel? Too Tight? RELAX!!!

Once you have found that amazing connection, set up to your golf ball again and feel the connection you have with your golf club and your body! Doesn’t it feel stronger and more connected! Congrats – welcome to a new stronger setup!

Sweeping can Improve your Golf Game

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during this crazy time! My family and I are going to keep the tips coming from our house here on James Island, SC.

Spring has sprung and we are stuck to our house so why not start cleaning. Using a broom can definitely help your golf game. The bottom of the broom is similar to a clubface. When you sweep: the goal is get all the dust into the dust pan. If your broom head twists, turns, or even swings towards the sky to fast you will be sweeping for a long time because you are missing your dust pan. This is similar in your golf swing. When you take the golf club and practice swinging you don’t want your clubface to twist, turn, or swing towards the sky because the ball won’t be hit properly. So keep sweeping properly, it can help your golf game and your house is clean too!

Better Contact Every Time

When we swing a golf club we need to use our shoulders. We have two shoulders: your front shoulder that is closest to the target and your back shoulder which is farther from the target. When our front arm is straight at setup and through contact our contact can be more consistent. If it bends it has a chance of swinging up or around the golf ball creating inconsistent contact.

A golfer needs to initiate the straight front arm at setup to ensure proper position of the clubface. Feeling like the front shoulder, down the arm, through the club is all a straight line. If your front arm is not straight our club will not have a good chance of connecting properly with the golf ball.

Next we need to maintain the front arm staying straight through the golf shot. This is extending your front arm sweeping through contact. If the back arm pushes the front arm through impact, the clubface will move around making contact harder to occur.

Check out my video for a visual explanation. Look forward to blogging about this more in the future!

Ball Position for Full Swing

When we use various golf clubs to play golf we have to change where our ball placement is in our stance. I am no math genius but there is some math equation that says when you use a longer club the ball placement must move forward to allow for the length of the club to come back to hit the ball in the center of the club face.

How we know how to place the ball is by starting with our shortest clubs in our bag: our wedges. Our wedges are played in the center of our stance. This position puts our wedge in the correct position for proper loft. From here  we can go to the direct opposite length, the longest club which is our Driver. Our driver is placed off of our front big toe. Again this puts the Driver in the correct loft position to be hit properly. As for the rest of the clubs, they are placed in the middle of those two positions depending on the length. Such as a hybrid: it is longer than a PW but shorter than a driver.

Proper setup is so important to help hit your ball properly. Please watch the video to help  assist you further.

Golf Balls!?

Titleist, Callaway, Taylor Made……What!!!! There are so many choices out there these days. It is very hard for any golfer to make the correct choice. Let me help you out!

As a beginner golfer, truly it doesn’t matter, yet. The cheaper the ball maybe the better for a little bit.

But then, all of sudden you turn a corner and start to say to yourself “Why does my ball always roll past the pin and over the green?” This is the point when you must start to look at what a golf ball can do for you. Now, I can’t tell you brand or kind because truly most of them out there are great golf balls. I am going to be very basic here. Most companies have three lines of golf balls with three different price points. You can go on their websites and read all the information they have. But to tell you the truth it can be a little overwhelming with all the technology out there. But again it is good to do. Another great place is to look on the package of the golf ball. Most of the time the package can give you the basic attributes of the golf ball.  But reading and learning about the golf balls can only go so far. At best it can only get you to the point where you are looking at a couple companies or one specific ball category……

But now you have to try them out.  It is just like a science experiment. Pick three different golf balls (brand, category, price etc.). Go to the practice green. Chip all three to the same flag from the same place. What happened? Did one feel better than the next? Did one react better? Go get them and try it again? What happened?! Next do a different shot, maybe a longer or shorter chip. Then try a pitch. Spend about 20 minutes just trying all of them out. At the end, what do you think?

As your game improves, so should the decision you make when buying golf balls. If you are playing a distance golf ball and can’t hold a green. This could help you out. Yes, it might be the golf ball.

 

Squaring Clubface Through Contact

Making solid contact at impact is so amazing for golfers. I think that is what the true addiction for a golfer is! But this concept is very hard to us. First, you can always practice chipping or putting.  This swing can be easier because it is less moving parts and we are not working on so much power. But as we move to a bigger, fuller swing things can be come erratic. Here is a way to practice and understand how your clubface is coming through contact.

Take a tennis racquet or a badminton racquet (we put an extender on it to make it feel like a full length golf club), practice swinging and concentrate on how the head of the racquet is coming through at contact. At first it might move around like crazy, but with a couple practice swings and concentration you should start to feel those good muscles such as shoulders and hips moving the club face through a lot straighter.

 

Practice Well!

Happy New Year! Along with the new year comes people making resolutions for 2019. Maybe even a resolution to improve your golf game by practicing more! That’s great! But we have to remember good practice is not about how many hours you put in on the range, or how many golf balls you hit, or even playing 5 days a week on the golf course. These things are great and might make you feel better, but this is not the way to gaurantee improving your golf game.

Here are a couple tips to improve your practice.

1. Only take two or three clubs to the driving range. Don’t get stuck hitting the same favorite clubs all the time. Rotate them every time you go.

2. Don’t keep track of how long you have been at the range. Pick a goal: how many up and downs till you can leave, how many fairways you can hit with your driver out of 5 balls, hit the green 3 consecutive times with your 7 iron.

3. If you practice 30 minutes on the driving range, go to the practice green and spend the same amount of time.

4. ALWAYS HAVE A TARGET ON THE DRIVING RANGE. It doesn’t always have to be a green with a flag, but maybe a hill, a hole, hit in between two trees, or pretend the green is a pond and you have to hit over the pond. Be creative, try to make it like the course with boundaries and obstacles!

5. 10 minutes is better than nothing. Grab a wedge and putter. Try to make 3 up and downs from 3 different places and leave. Next time just take a 7 iron and work on controlling your distance at a target. Sometimes one small goal will improve your game more than trying to do 5 goals all in one session.

These are just a couple good pointers. Let me know if they help!

PRACTICE WELL!