Saturday, May 30, 2009
Here's the results.
- Jamie Sadlowski - 3 votes
This is either for the golfer who would love to just out and out bomb it or the golfer who thinks that they could harness Sadlowski's power so they could use it for serious golf tournaments and Long Drive competitions. It does have to be pretty cool for all of the PGA Tour pros to stop and watch you hit shots.
- Johnny Miller - 7 votes
- Lee Trevino - 7 votes
Miller probably got votes for those who really understood his prime and that 63 at Oakmont at the US Open. What probably hurt him is how long he's been away from the game and I generally think golfers are not in love with his swing.
Trevino is one of my all time faves and is probably hurt a bit by his lack of power. That being said, from tee to green he hit it about as pure, consistent and accurate as anybody. And he was absolutely deadly with a wedge in his hand.
- Bobby Jones - 9 votes
A bit surprised how many votes he got. Tough to gauge how truly great he was since he played in a time when there were not a lot of golfers and it's hard to get a good sense of what he did so well. Was he the best ballstriker of his era? Was he long? Was he a great putter? Questions like that are rarely asked or answered. I do think some of his votes came from the crowd that were curious to see how well he would hit it with modern equipment.
- Mac O'Grady - 11 votes
- Byron Nelson - 11 votes
Many consider O'Grady the greatest ballstriker of all time. I've heard some phenomenal stories of his ballstriking and the fact that he can do it both left and right handed. What most people don't realize is just how long off the tee O'Grady was in his prime, routinely in the top 10 in driving distance when he was on tour. However, he was always a horrendous putter. He does have a boatload of serious followers. Byron of course is known for winning 16 tournaments in one year and having the all time scoring average record for a season that lasted almost 50 years.
- George Knudson - 12 votes
- Moe Norman - 12 votes
How fitting the two Canadians finished with the same amount of votes. Knudson gained a lot of popularity on this blog after this video posted by John Erickson (aka Lagpressure)
I thought long and hard about my answer to this question and I decided I would go with the player who I thought was the best ballstriker of all time. From there I went with Moe, but again a lot of thinking went into this. Most of what I heard from people that played with Moe (and I know about 15 golfers who have played with Moe) it usually goes like this 'Moe had a funny swing, hit everything pure and straight just like Iron Byron. Shot a 65 and should have shot 60 if he would have just taken some time to read his putts!'
Those who disagree with Moe being the greatest ballstriker ever usually say they were impressed with his ballstriking, but he wasn't long and more importantly, he just hit everything dead straight and didn't work the ball. We've talked about the fallacy of Moe not being long off the tee (most of his work was shown when he was in his late 60's and the exhibitions focused on uncanny accuracy instead of power and many who played with Moe in his prime have said he had ample power). But I really started to think about Moe's problem with 'straightness.' But I think his ability to hit it dead straight time and time again makes a case for him being the greatest ballstriker ever.
The difference between somebody who can hit it dead straight like Moe time and time again and a golfer who can really work it or hits the same stock draw or stock fade favors Moe, IMO. I like to work the ball and it has helped me become a better ballstriker. However, it's because I simply cannot count on hitting the ball straight on command.
For instance, if I'm playing a par-3 with the flag tucked behind the bunker on the right, the play for me is to aim at the middle of the green and play for a small fade. If it fades, I'm in great position. But it's more than a failsafe than anything because if I do hit it straight then I wind up okay in the middle of the green. And if I push it, I may wind up doing very well. However, that's all because I cannot rely on aiming at the flag and hitting it straight. Moe had that ability, others did not. Some will say 'well, what about playing for doglegs? Well, Moe could just cheat down the side with a straight ball time and time again, so it wasn't like he was at a disadvantage. I just find that Moe could rely on the shot he wanted to hit than any other golfer. Remember, Hogan said that if you found him on in two at #11 at Augusta it's because he pulled it. Moe would've aimed at the stick and would have been purposedly on the green in regulation.
Of course, most of this 'greatest ballstriker' ever talk is splitting hairs, so there really is no one absolute answer.
- Jack Nicklaus - 13 votes
Nicklaus definitely got votes for people who consider him the greatest of all time. And in my book he is until Tiger wins at least as many majors as he does. I used to think Tiger would do it with ease, now I'm not so sure. I'm starting to think that Tiger will eventually pass him, but he won't breeze by him.
At one point I would have taken Tiger's ballstriking over Nicklaus' and not blinked an eye. But now I'm not so sure. Jack was extremely long, and perhaps the longest guy on Tour. Tiger used to be arguably the longest guy on Tour, but at 33 years old it's obvious he's really nowhere close now. Jack was still arguably the longest on Tour into his 40's. Jack was much more accurate off the tee and a better long iron player, although Tiger is usually great with the long irons as well, but Jack's long iron play was off the charts. Tiger certainly has him beat in short iron play and that's probably part of what hurt Jack getting votes.
- Tiger Woods - 17 votes
Tiger and his ballstriking is a tricky subject to get into. I think right now, for the 'best player in the world' standards it has sucked and sucked for quite awhile. But the ardent Tiger fan will think you're nuts because he is the best player in the world and in their mind he's the greatest player of all time. So how can he be a lousy ballstriker?
Again, it's by Tour standards and 'greatest player in the world' standards. I cannot really think of another #1 ranked player in the world in recent memory that struggled with their ballstriking as much as Tiger has. And to his testament, that's what makes him so amazing...he's clearly the #1 player in the world and he continually fights his golf swing in tournaments.
But it's amazing how the steadfast Tiger supporters completely neglect how great of a putter and scrambler the guy is. He's off the charts in that category as far as I'm concerned. And while he's no longer one of the Tour's longer hitters, he's playing most par 72's as par 68's. So if can hit a few drives down the middle and get some wedges in his hand, it's birdie time.
I get asked what I would do if Tiger asked for help. I would tell him to go to one of the following instructors:
- Lynn Blake
- Ted Fort
- Brian Manzella
- David Orr
- Michael Jacobs
Somebody who can customize a swing pattern for him instead of working on one particular pattern that they give pretty much every student. And furthermore, 'let them sell you' on how to improve your swing. I think a lot of Tiger's problems is he had philosophies of the golf swing that remain dear to his heart that may not suit his swing and he's unwilling to let them go.
- Sam Snead - 26 votes
Snead is beloved by a lot of golfers because he was such a talented ballstriker who had such a smooth, flowing swing. Plus, he was arguably the longest golfer on Tour for years. Back when I first got into the game I had the privilege of watching a video of Snead play a round of golf when he was probably in his 40's. Everything was donw the middle and LONG. Like getting on in two on 560 yard par 5's in the days of steel shafted persimmon drivers and balls that didn't travel very far. Wish I still had that video.
I think the reason why Snead got votes that Hogan didn't get was mostly a power issue. Although Hogan had ample power and was quite long for a guy his size, Snead's power and ballstriking ability would definitely be fun to watch with modernized equipment.
- Ben Hogan - 100 votes
Can't say I blame anybody here. There's a few holes of Hogan in a Shell's Wonderful World of Golf video on YouTube where every drive is 'perfect' according to the announcers and he's pretty much all over the flagstick on every approach shot be it with a 4-wood or a wedge. I never really bought into 'Hogan wasn't long.' He wasn't the longest guy on Tour but I believe he was probably middle of the pack if not above the middle of the pack for most of his prime, which in my book is still long when you look at it from a broad point of view. Plus, here was a guy that was really lucky to be alive after that car crash and golfers thought golfing again was out of the question. And people forget that he had some years taken away from him due to his service in WWII.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and we started to discuss what type of clubs Hogan would be using today. We decided that saying he would use 'Hogan' clubs was a bit of a cop out. I think most golfers would probably see him using Mizuno or Miura irons. However, I actually would be a bit surprised by that. Nothing against Mr. Hogan, but many Americans from his generation did not like the Japanese due to WWII and that would probably play a factor.
My guess is that Mr. Hogan would probably look for an American company to sign with and somebody that would give him free reign to design his own clubs and do it with the utmost precision and the highest of quality. I think the irons are pretty simple, an old school blade design. The driver he would probably go to a driver that with a bit smaller clubhead, maybe 400 cc's, that was probably heavier than most. Hogan really hated lighter golf clubs. I wouldn't be completely shocked if he went to a MOI designed driver, because he was a guy that hated the hook with a passion and those drivers are hard to hook (at least for me anyway). But he would probably want to work the ball. I think Titleist or maybe Adams would be his company of choice.
I get asked a lot about what it takes to go from a low handicap (say 3-6 handicap) to a scratch golfer. And I've been working on this post for awhile because I wanted to word it just right with what I deem the proper verbiage so people can be sold on my point. I'm sure there are many views on the subject, but the ones I come across are along the lines of 'improve your short game' and/or 'improve your mental game.' This is a bit different.
My qualifications are having played scratch golf (lowest ever was +2.3) 10+ years ago and just recently getting back into the game after an 8-year layoff I was between a 4-5 handicap in February and now I'm at +0.3 (according to my latest calculations). So while I'm not an expert, I think I've been around the block a few times on the subject and have a pretty good perception on how it's done.
I think the problem with the 'improve your short game' approach is that some of it is unrealistic expectations. David Orr's putting studies show that golfers putt about 20% better on PGA Tour greens. Let's say the average Tour player averages about 1.7 putts/GIR and 29 putts/round, that would likely mean on your regular club course they wouldn't putt as well. They may be better statistically because the ballstriking part of the course may be less challenging, but if they were asked to sink 20 different putts from 10 feet on the regular club course, they probably would sink about 20% less than they would if the course was of PGA Tour quality. Now you have amateurs expecting to have 24-30 putts in a round and they simply do not have the ballstriking for it.
That's what leads me to what I think the #1 factor between most low handicappers and scratch golfers...ballstriking. But the big thing for me is the swing, in particular impact alignments. It's what has gotten my handicap to the (+) range in just about 3 months of work.
The big key I believe is the flat left wrist at impact. Now, you don't have to be creating a ton of lag to have a flat left wrist at impact. Morgan Pressel is an example of this.
However, if a golfer has a flip with a lot of clubhead throwaway they will never hit it as long, accurate and consistent as they would if they still had a lot of throwaway, but a flat left wrist at impact.
I believe that the in this case, where there is still throwaway but now with a FLW at impact, the distance improvement will be slight...maybe ten yards or so. But the improvement in accuracy and consistency will be very noticeable. And if you can finally eliminate most if not all clubhead throwaway, then you can see major improvements in power without being in better physical condition or doing more training for that power.
I still have a bit of clubhead throwaway with the new swing under the Taly, but I've seen at least 10-20 yards in added power. In fact, this is one of my problems. For instance I hit my PW about 135 yards and the other day I got up and caught one extremely flush and with the Bushnell 1600 Rangefinder w/slope we figured that I hit it a little over 150 yards. Which is nice, but it cost me any real shot at a birdie. They goal is to one day get that type of swing down pretty consistently.
However, the real noticeable improvement is in the greens in regulation and the fairways hit. I'm now hitting about 13-16 GIR on a consistent basis. Even more importantly...and something that would go unnoticed by most amateurs...my missed greens are in far better position. So now I can make a pretty easy up and down. Most amateurs who keep scramble percentages for their own statistics see it and say 'wow, I need to improve my short game dramatically' and don't realize that their short game isn't that bad, it's just that they've missed the green so badly that even Mickelson or Tiger would have a difficult time getting up and down.
Almost all low handicappers have some sort of flip in their stroke and I believe that should be solved FIRST if they are serious about raising their level of play.
This also leads to another important factor...distance. This almost never gets mentioned when it comes to this question, but it's an unbelievably huge factor. If you can hit the ball deep or greatly improve your distance, you're at least making it easier to become a scratch golfer. Of course, you can't be all over the grid because if you're having to hit 3-woods off the tee instead of a driver and can 'only' hit a 3-wood about 260 yards, then you really haven't increased your distance or become a 'power player' because that is not a long distance off the tee if that is the main club you need to use to stay in play. But otherwise if a golfer becomes quite long off the tee, they are turning most par 72's into par 68's, which is very beneficial when trying to lower your handicap. So it's not mandatory, but is a great shortcut. And of course, it helps to improve swing mechanics...particularly getting a FLW at impact in order to hit the ball longer and with accuracy.
I decided to capitalize this for good reason. I think it's important to really understand the mental game and what the pros do versus what most amateurs think the pros do. My qualifications for this are having played with many Tour pros in tournament action, be it college or mini-tour golf and carefully observing them. In a nutshell, here's some key points of their mental game.
1. They play 'smart' golf and rarely piss away shots.
2. They have tremendous focus on every shot.
3. They play without fear.
4. They make sure to be aggressive, if the risk/reward situation is favorable.
They play 'smart' golf and rarely piss away shots.
Mainly this means the Tour pros are very observant. They know where it's okay to 'miss' a shot and avoid 'short siding' themselves. They account for environmental factors like wind, topography of the hole, tricks designers use, etc.
For example, the 6th hole at one of my home courses calls for a shot from 150 yards. The lie will almost always be a downhill lie and the green is very slightly elevated with a bunker up front that has a big lip. I would estimate that at least 9 out of 10 golfers will come up short. And to make it worse, they'll come up short again and again and keep using the same club into the hole. OTOH, I routinely hit the green because I understand that while there's a very slight elevation to the green, the downhill lie is likely to make the ball go shorter, so I need to hit one extra club into the hole. And if I didn't know that, I would be sure to make the adjustment the next time out.
Another good shortcut to improving is to keep statistics. Not only on your GIR, Fwys, Scramble %, etc. but on your score for each hole every time out. When I did this recently I found that I was the most over par on 2 of the easiest holes on the course. From there I was able to adjust my way of playing the hole and I dropped my scores significantly. I feel if the golfer who continually comes up short on #6 and comes away with a bogey or worse would take the same statistical approach, then they would realize that they need to play the approach shot differently. To me, this all falls under the umbrella of 'smart golf.'
They have tremendous focus on every shot.
One of the annoying fallacies I come across is that according to many amateurs, the Pros never get that upset. If you've ever been to a pro event, you'll know that is pretty untrue. I remember watching Chris Dimarco year after year at a certain PGA Tour event have quite a few memorable temper tantrums.
I also remember watching an event where Tiger hit a poor bunker shot and slammed his club quite hard on the ground, something that quite noticeable and could seen from far away. But what I really noticed in both Dimarco and Tiger's cases, along with many other cases of Tour pros is that they may get upset after a shot, but they IMMEDIATELY start becoming engulfed in focusing on the very next shot.
They play without fear.
This is one reason why I like watching The Golf Channel's 'The Big Break' show. It's a fascinating observance in the mental game and its impact on golf. You can best bet that the champion of each Big Break winds up being the golfer who plays without fear and can focus on every shot. Those players advance while the perhaps more talented hothead who plays careful winds up getting eliminated.
They make sure to be aggressive, if the risk/reward situation is favorable.
There are few holes at one of my home courses that display this point. The 3rd hole at my home course is a dogleg par-5, more shaped like a reverse 'C' with trouble hugging the right side and trouble on the right. Most low handicappers take a 3-wood off the tee because they are afraid that if they go a little too far to the right, they'll go in trouble with the driver where they would land safe with the 3-wood. But the pros and scratch golfers usually take the driver out because it should be a drive they can hit with some reasonable chance. But that's only because the reward is excellent for a driver hit safely over a 3-wood hit safely. With a 3-wood, the golfer is left with a 230 yard shot on a downhill lie. With a driver, you're looking at a flat lie with about 190 yards into the green.
The 15th hole is a bit of a strange hole. Again, most low handicappers take out a 3-wood. I take out a driver because a well struck driver will roll down into the rough of this large valley. However, a well struck driver will give me a shot to an extremely elevated green, but all I am hitting is a lob wedge. However, a well struck 3-wood will leave me with a 7 or 8-iron into a green that if you miss you could be in a lot of trouble. Not to mention that you have to hit a very hard and precise shot 3-wood off the tee because there are some fairway bunkers that come into play with the 3-wood. To me, it's a NO BRAINER to be agressive on this tee shot and while the rest of the golfers are struggling to make a par, I'm threatening for a birdie.
However, the 4th hole shows where being aggressive is not worth it. Strangely enough, this is the hole where many low handicappers decide to be aggressive. A short hole about 370 yards long. The golfer can take out a driver and fly some the fairway bunkers on the left. However, the hole gets narrow once you get past those fairway bunkers and you could start flirting with the hazard on the right. On the flip side, taking a 3-wood off the tee will put you just short of those fairway bunkers. But the real key is with the driver the golfer would have at best a SW into the green and with the 3-wood they are still likely hitting a PW. The 'reward' certainly is not worth it, IMO.
Of course, a lot of this is intertwined with improved ballstriking and impact alignments. If the golfer's impact alignments are superb, then they can play more aggressively and without fear.
All of this is to not say that the short game isn't important, but IMO it's not nearly as important as those who are low handicappers that want to be scratch golfers think. Where superb short games become of major importance is for the golfer who wants to start breaking 80 and the scratch golfer who wants to be one of the nation's best amateurs or become a tour pro. The rate that those players can get down in 2 whenever they have a wedge in their hand is outstanding. But for the low handicapper who wants to turn scratch, it's more important to have 'better misses' and to be able to attack courses more.
Friday, May 29, 2009
A couple of things. Notice the umbrella out in front of Grant. I think this is a great drill for all golfers, particularly high handicappers who come over the top. I use this drill with my problems coming over the top. Simply aim at the umbrella, but try and get the ball starting out to the right of the umbrella. If you come over the top, the ball will start left of the umbrella. I'm sure Grant isn't worried about coming over the top, but probably working on fades, draws and other stuff. But still a great, simple drill nonetheless.
As far as him changing to the S&T (and I'm sure I'll get a lot of questions on it, so I'll answer them now), I do wonder why he's changed. And it's not a knock against the S&T, it's that even if he improves his ballstriking he's already one of the best ballstrikers on Tour. There's only so much he can improve it. Furthermore, Grant was quite long off the tee in his prime so going to the S&T, which really isn't known for power is well...questionable. However, I believe he's had some injury issues in the past few years and the S&T is actually good for the back if you're athletic enough to execute the pattern. Grant certainly fits into that category.
Okay, here was my impact position on Tuesday.
Now, here's my new impact positions, basically after one day of using it.
It took a little while to feel comfortable taking full swings with the Taly on, but once I did I just would hit 10 with the Taly on and then 10 shots with it off, like it is prescribed in the instruction. I'm hitting my driver much higher, but much longer. No ballooning, just rockets off the sweet spot with a lot of force and clubhead speed.
And so it goes...
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I first became interested in the Taly thru Lynn Blake's Web site (www.lynnblakegolf.com). I am usually averse to using training aids because most don't work, some actually ingrain more bad mechanics, and some that work only work for certain type of swings.
The Taly certainly made sense to me about the way it operated given my knowledge of the importance of the flat left wrist at impact. And I had been around the block a few times and understood how many instructors will pimp off less than stellar training aids because it will fatten their wallets. Lynn has never struck me as that type of instructor and I was even more impressed when in a recent golf school he held he included a Taly training aid with the cost of tuition for each student. That tells me that Yoda really believed in the Taly because he didn't have to include it with the school.
For me, I have been switching off an on between flipping and not flipping recently, but still with quite a bit of clubhead throwaway. I decided to see if this Taly would live up to the hype, so I purchased one on May 19th and received it on May 27th.
It does have a good set of instructions, although the instructions are more of Taly Williams' (the inventor) mindset than the typical TGM type instruction. And as far as putting the Taly on, any idiot can do it.
I'm usually not into training aids because they usually don't work or they can even ingrain bad mechanics or often at best they work, but for only one type of swing. But the Taly can work for any type of swing, whether you be a 'hitter' or a 'swinger.' With something like the Swingyde (pic below) that's really meant for the 'swinger' and is practically useless, IMO, for the 'hitter.'
The main goal of the Taly is to keep the golfer from 'flipping' thru impact and keeping that left wrist flat. This is all done by keeping the red ball on the Taly ahead of the clubhead. So whatever procedure you use...pulling (swinger) or pushing (hitter), the Taly works. But it's not just about impact, it also can help with training the proper backswing plane (which I haven't used it for yet) and downswing clubhead path (by simply running the red ball over the golf ball). Regardless of swing plane or grip or swing procedure, it does fit every type of pattern.
However it's important to note a couple of things:
1. Practicing with the Taly the address position should be at 'impact hands' so that the shaft on the Taly is parallel to your clubhead shaft. Then the goal is to swing the club with the Taly so the clubhead is behind the red ball.
2. You should do as the instructions say and hit 10 shots with the Taly and then 10 shots without the Taly and then back with the Taly. Keep switching off an on and see your brain finally start to 'get it.'
The last key is that you need to understand the result you should hope to achieve. It's not really about the flight of the ball. The results you're looking for are to make good contact with the ball while keeping the clubhead behind the red ball on the Taly. When you do it correctly, try to FEEL what was different.
At first when I tried the Taly I struggled quite a bit with it. I then took a break and started to feel my way around. I noticed that my startdown was too quick, that I could start to now feel and see my right forearm flying wedge and how I wanted to crash it into the golf ball. All of the sudden I started hitting it great. The big key for me is that I could actually SEE myself maintaining the right forearm flying wedge as it went into impact. Very powerful stuff.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
#1 Power Accumulator
This is the right arm for the golfer. The power accumulator 'loads' when it is folded at about a 90 degree angle at the top of the swing. The power accumulator is them released when the golfer fully extends the right arm in the downswing. It is best to release this accumulator (full extension of the right arm) AFTER impact. At impact the right arm should still be slightly bent. This motion is very similar to a boxer throwing a punch. Or as I like to say, a 'palm heel strike' because the right wrist should be bent.
The #1 Power Accumulator is the main PA for 'hitters.'
#2 Power Accumulator
This is the cocking and uncocking of the left wrist. Here's a pic of the left wrist at a 'level' position (neither cocked or uncocked) at address.
Here is the left wrist 'cocked' (usually at the top of the swing).
Here's the left wrist uncocked (usually right at impact).
Most ask 'wouldn't that be casting?'
Casting occurs when the right wrist starts to cock and uncock. The right wrist should remain bent throughout the swing. If that uncocks, then you have 'casting.'
This is a very popular PA for 'swingers.' However, this is a crucial PA because most golfers struggle to put this PA in the proper sequence on the downswing. I will get to that later. Either way, this PA 'loads' when the left wrist becomes cocked and then releases when it is uncocked.
This motion is similar to somebody using a hammer to hammer a nail.
#3 POWER ACCUMULATOR
Let's take a look at JJ Henry's swing.
At address, the top of Henry's hand is for the most part, pointing at the target. This is when the #3 PA is 'set in neutral.' It then 'loads' at the top of the swing when the top of the hand is facing us. It is then release when it goes back to facing the target at impact and then eventually swiveled over in the follow through.
#4 Power Accumulator
This deals with the left arm and it's relation to both of the shoulders.
At address. there should be about a 90 degree angle formed if I were to draw a line from the right and left shoulders and then another line that went down the left arm.
This power accumulator 'loads' when the golfer takes the club back and that angle turns into a 45 degree angle. Then it 'releases' once the angle goes back to 90 degrees. A favorite of 'swingers' who often load this power accumulator and then just pivot their body thru and hold onto the power accumulator for as long as they can. It's often known as 'throwing/blasting the left arm off the chest.'
Many people get confused on what a 'single barrel' or a 'triple barrel' or a '4-barrel' pattern is. That's quite simple to answer, it's just how many power accumulator a golfer uses in their swing pattern. Most full swings are either 'triple' or '4-barrel.'
According to Jeff Mann, there is no such thing as a '4-barrel swinger' because swingers do not use the #1 Power Accumulator. I will have to check with some more people and see what they think about Mann's assertion.
Mr. Kelley stated that the 4-barrel pattern is the most dynamic of the bunch, but a triple barrel pattern that executes the pattern properly and consistently has nothing to worry about from a 4-barrel pattern that has inconsistent execution. Again, dynamic does not equal 'best.'
In a 4-barrel pattern, the correct sequence of power accumulators released goes 4-1-2-3. It should follow a similar sequence for triple barrel patterns as well. I believe I am a 'triple barrel hitter' and thus I believe my proper sequence of Power Accumulators goes '1-2-3.' But a 'triple barrel swinger' may go '4-2-3.' It's very important to note the sequence of the #2 and #3 Power Accumulators as most golfers release the #3 PA before the #2 PA and that usually causes a flip and some hooks.
1. 4 Power Accumulators. They are 4 actions that 'accumulate power' in the golf swing.
2. #1 PA = right arm thrust. Think 'palm heel strike.'
3. #2 PA = cocking and uncocking of the left wrist. Think 'hammering a nail.' It's not casting. Casting occurs when the right wrist uncocks.
4. #3 PA = roll and turn of the left wrist.
5. #4 PA = Angle between the left arm and a straight line between the shoulders. Swingers will often 'throw the left arm off the chest' by using their pivot to get full use of this power accumulator.
6. Triple barrel, 4-barrel, etc. is just how many power accumulators a golfer utilizes in their swing.
7. A properly and consistently executed 3-barrel pattern has nothing to worry about from a 4-barrel pattern that is inconsistently executed.
8. Sequence is 4-1-2-3 unless you're a 3-barrel pattern and then it is similar to that sequence.
9. One of the biggest issues golfers have is that they release the #3 PA before the #2 PA which often causes a flip and/or hooks.
Up next, The Flying Wedges
Monday, May 25, 2009
There are 4 pressure points according to Mr. Kelley, with 3 of the 4 pressure points being in the hand. A golfer can use just one pressure point or any combination of pressure points, although 'hitters' and 'swingers' tend to use some of the pressure points over the other pressure points.
#1 PRESSURE POINT and PRESSURE POINT #3
I will go over the #1 and #3 pressure points together because this is the best picture I could find of either of them and they are often both used by golfers who use the 'hitter' pattern.
The #1 pressure point is the life line of the right hand, right where it either touches the left thumb or the clubshaft (depending on how you grip it). This is the primary 'thrust' pressure point for 'hitters.' If you want to thrust at the ball, do it with your #1 pressure point.
The #3 pressure point is the base joint of the right index finger. In this video, Mr. Hogan talks about this pressure point.
For the 'hitter', they can use the #3 Pressure point and the 'aiming point' concept. This concept has the golfer (in this case) find a spot in front of the ball (about 4 inches or so) and then aim the #3 pressure point at that spot in front of the ball. If they can do that, then they'll get a flat left wrist at impact with a impact motion of 'down, out, and forward.'
It is inadvisable for a 'swinger' to use only the #1 and #3 pressure points.
#2 PRESSURE POINT
The #2 Pressure Point is the last 3 fingers (pinky, ring and middle) of the left hand. This is a favored pressure point for golfers who use the 'swinger' pattern. Because the 'swinger' is pulling the club, this is one of the pressure points that enables them to do so and maintain the lag. The swinger's startdown is usually a 'rope pulling' motion. This is where the swinger gets at the top of the swing and feels like they are pulling a large rope straight down in order to 'ring the bell' one one of those old, large bells back in ancient times. But they 'ring the bell' with their left arm/left hand and this is a great pressure point to do it with.
Awhile ago I was back into 'swinging' and able to get a flat left wrist at impact and the key for me was to 'slam' that #2 pressure point right into ball (making sure to hit the ball first and then take a divot). Some will ask 'won't this cause a shank?' But I found that the hand will naturally turn over and square up the clubface.
#4 PRESSURE POINT
The #4 Pressure point is where the left arm and left side connect.
This is favored by 'swingers' as well. The 'swinger' will tend to keep their left arm connected to their left side throughout the downswing and just pivot so the clubhead will make connection with the golf ball.
As a 'swinger' I have used both the #4 and #2 pressure points, but never together. I would use 'left side' connection and then just pivot so the clubhead goes towards the ball. And as I mentioned with the #2 Pressure Point, I would pull the club straight down with that pressure point and then 'slam' it right at the ball.
As a 'hitter' I use the #3 Pressure Point to 'trace the plane line' on the way back and then thrust with the #1 Pressure Point on the way down.
1. Four Pressure Points, 3 of them in the hands.
2. Can use 1 or any combination of Pressure Points.
3. #1 and #3 PP's are favored by 'hitters', #2 and #4 PP's are favored by 'swingers.'
4. #1 PP is more of a 'thrusting' pressure point, #3 PP is more of a 'tracing' and 'aiming point' pressure point.
5. #2 PP is good for the 'swinger' start down. #4 PP is good for a 'pivot and let the hands take a ride' motion.
Up next, Power Accumulators.
While I think it is important to understand the technicalities, I think the golfer and the instructor are better off going by what the golfer predominantly does in the golf swing or finding out what provides the best results.
In any part of life, if a human wants to move an object, they need to either push the object or pull the object. For instance, if I want to move a dresser in my bedroom, I can choose to either get behind it and push it or get in front of it and pull it. In the golf swing, the golfer is trying to move the golf club from the top of the swing thru impact. So they have a choice to push it with their right arm/right hand or pull it with their left arm/left hand.
One way I look at 'hitters' vs. 'swingers' is the right arm in the golf swing. Take a look at the pic below.
In the pic of JJ Henry, at the top of the swing his right arm is folded at about a 90 degree angle. Then on the downswing it slowly extends until it is fully extended after impact. The 'hitter' will simply get this extension of the right arm by simply throwing the arm out like a boxer throwing a punch, which is a pushing motion. A 'swinger' will use the left arm/left side/left hand and pull the club to impact which automatically will straighten out the right arm without consciously trying to straighten the right arm out.
There is no scientific evidence that I know of that can tell if somebody is better of with a 'hitter' swing pattern or a 'swinger' swing pattern. But, popular golf instruction seems to favor a 'swinger' method over a 'hitter' method. And a lot of the Authorized Instructors of TGM that I've come across seem to favor the 'swinger' pattern as well. That being said, from reading more and more about TGM and Homer Kelley's work I believe at this moment (I could change my mind) that if pressed Homer Kelley would say that he thought that most golfers were better off using a 'hitting' pattern. This could also explain why the average golfer's handicap has not improved over the years, popular instruction has preferred one particular pattern over the pattern that Homer Kelley may have thought the golfing public was better off using. And Homer knew a thing or two about the golf swing.
The two big reasons why I think hitting is a bit easier for people to grasp than swinging is that:
1. It plays to most golfer's 'dominant' arm and using that dominant arm. Most people have nowhere near the strength and coordination with their non-dominant arm which is what is primarily used in the 'swinger' pattern.
2. The 'swinger' pattern is very 'pivot based.' The hitter pattern still requires a quality pivot action, but the 'swinger' pattern almost uses the pivot to swing the club. This requires some pretty good flexibility which many golfers may not have.
Still, it's not to say one is 'better' or one is 'worse', but that there is a 'best' for each individual golfer. And in the end it will probably take the golfer some trial and error to figure out what is best for them.
I do think there are some noticeable differences between the two. Two prominent 'swingers' are Vijay Singh and Fred Couples, as noted at impact their right hand is often barely on the grip. That's because they are using a 'swinger' pattern and the right hand just 'goes along for the ride.' A hitter like Brian Gay has the right hand firmly on the grip because he is pushing with the right hand. Also, 'swingers' tend to have those long, fluid golf swings whereas hitters tend to have a little shorter and more compact golf swings.
As far as execution goes, one way I heard it described is that a good 'swinger' pattern is like a Ferrari and a good 'hitter' pattern is like a Rolls Royce. Both are top of the line, excellent cars, but they tend to accomplish different things. The Ferrari (swinger) is a high performance automobile which can hit blazing speeds, but will often require a lot of maintainance to keep the car running at that high performance. Fred Couples is a perfect example. He hits it great and is still one of the longest on Tour, but somedays he'll be hitting a lot of shots off the grid. Vijay is consistent, but nobody performs more maintainance on his machine than Vijay Singh.
The Rolls (hitter) won't reach the high performance of the Ferrari, but performs extremely well and doesn't have major breakdowns as much. So you probably won't see that 'exotic' shotmaking as you would with a 'swinger' pattern, but you should be much more consistent and if you take some time off, you're more likely to get back into the groove quicker with the hitter pattern than the swinger pattern. As a golfer who has done both 'swinging' and 'hitting' I find this to be very true.
But again, a 'hitter' pattern may not work for you. So if you want to be more consistent and try to become a 'hitter' and it simply doesn't work for you, then you're probably never going to be more consistent with the hitter pattern. And if you want more 'exotic ballstriking' and go to a 'swinger' pattern and it's not meant for you, then you probably won't hit as many great shots with the 'swinger' pattern.
That being said, I'm amazed at golfers I talk to about the hitter and swinger patterns and they automatically decide that they are 'swingers.' Almost to a man. Remember, I believe that Homer Kelley thought most people were better off being hitters and Homer had a lot of keen insight on the swing. So in my mind, even if you think you are a 'swinger', you may want to try 'hitting' first and give it a good shot and see how it goes. After say a month and you see zero improvement, then you may want to consider swinging. But as always, you're better off going to an Authorized Instructor of TGM first.
With that, here's a couple of drills I have to perhaps help you. The first is the 'combo drill.'
1. 'Connect' your left arm to your left side, so the upper part of the left arm is pressed up against the left nipple.
2. Now take your grip and take your right index finger and right thumb off the club.
3. Hit 'basic motion' (chip shot length) shots. Then move onto 'acquired motion' shots (right forearm parallel to the ground going back and right forearm parallel to the ground in the follow thru). Try and use your pivot to get the clubhead to hit the golf ball.
Next is the right forearm flying wedge drill (I'll get into the flying wedges later on in this TGM Basic Series).
1. Set up with 'impact hands' at address. This means the hands are forward pressed so the left wrist is perfectly flat. The right wrist AND right elbow should both be bent.
2. Try and maintain the flat left wrist by using the right hand/right arm to push the club. You may feel like the right forearm is moving in a motion similar to a piston in a car engine on the downswing.
If you're digging the combo drill, then you're more likely to be a 'swinger.' If you're digging the flying wedge drill, then you're more likely to be a 'hitter.'
1. Right arm folds at the top of the swing and then steadily extends on the downswing. Does not fully extend until AFTER impact. Swingers will pull with the left side and the right arm will fully extend unconsciously. Hitters will consciously push the right arm in extension, like a boxer throwing a punch.
2. Swingers are more 'pivot based.' They often 'hit it with their pivot.' Swingers usually have a much longer and fluid swing. They also can have some 'exotic ballstriking', hitting the ball extremely long while having a depth touch. But much like the Ferrari, they tend to need constant maintainance to keep their machine performing at a high level or they may burn out the clutch.
3. Hitters are more 'thrust based' with the right arm folding and thrusting, much like boxer throwing a punch. The tend to have shorter, more compact swings. They tend to lack that 'exotic ballstriking', but are very consistent and accurate. Much like the Rolls Royce, this is a fine machine when executed properly and requires a lot less maintainance.
4. Popular instruction and even a lot of TGM Authorized Instructors favor the 'swinger' pattern, but I believe that Homer Kelley thought most golfers were better off using the 'hitter pattern.' Golfers should probably try the 'hitter' pattern first for about a month or so under close guidance of an Authorized Instructor and see if it is for them.
5. Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson = Swingers. Brian Gay = Hitter.
6. Combo Drill = Swinger based. Use your pivot to hit the ball.
7. Flying Wedge drill = hitter based. Use your arm and hand and 'push' the club to hit the ball.
Up Next, PRESSURE POINTS
Two biggest things I'm working on is 'drive loading' to get rid of my flip and hopefully over time, eliminate 'clubhead throwaway.' Here's a look at my latest impact position.
Here's my latest DTL, halfway down position.
So I 'regained' my flip a little, but I'm not coming over the top. I just got the GTA Laser II in the mail. I fooled around with it a bit and so far I don't really like it. The downswing path feels too over the top for me and I'm afraid that the laser isn't really positioned right. Still good on the takeaway though and I found out that I can get the SmartStick for a pretty good price. I also should get the Taly in the mail tomorrow. I'm very excited to try it out.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
To first understand it, we need to understand that the clubhead moves on an arc path on the downswing. Ever hear of an 'arced' putting stroke? Well, that's the same principle with the full swing. Here's a pic from Jeff Mann's Web site illustrating this point.
It actually does not matter if a golfer hits a hook or a slice, the clubhead will move on an arc. An 'over the top' (outside-to-inside) move will look like this.
An 'inside-to-out' swing will look like this.
In Part I of my TGM Basics post, I went over the 'Geometry of the Circle.' This is the circle that the clubhead travels on when viewing a golfer from the face on viewpoint. Here again is that diagram of the Geometry of the Circle.
So, the clubhead now has 3-dimensional motions. From the 'overhead' view the clubhead moves on an arc. From the 'face on' view the clubhead moves in a circle. And then there's the DTL view.
To start, the proper 3-dimensional motion of the clubhead thru impact is known as 'DOWN, OUT, and FORWARD.'
Repeat that again.
And the big part is that this is the motion THRU impact.
When looking at the Geometry of the Circle Diagram, you will see that a properly executed swing will have the 'low point' opposite of the golfer's left shoulder. That means that if the swing is properly executed, the clubhead will reached it's lowest point at a spot that is opposite of the golfer's left shoulder. Because we place the ball in the middle of the stance which is behind the low point, that's why when we hit an iron we are supposed to hit the ball FIRST ---- THEN take a divot. So much so that the divot winds up being IN FRONT of where the ball used to be.
In order to do this, the clubhead on the downswing comes down at the ball with a descending angle of attack. It then hits the ball and then goes DOWN even more.
So that's where the first part of the phrase 'Down, Out and Forward' comes from. Once the ball is hit by the club, the clubhead needs to go downward.
Now, when it comes to the driver it's a bit different. Trackman has found that in order to optimize distance with a driver a golfer needs to hit slightly upward on the ball. However, the Geometry stays the same. The golfer just needs to move the ball further up in their stance (and teeing it up higher helps as well). Essentially, if the golfer wants to optimize their distance with a driver, they just move the ball closer to the 'low point' in the Geometry of the Circle.
Lynn Blake has often said that getting the DOWN part of the 3-dimensional impact is the toughest part for golfers to execute.
The next term is 'OUT.' Let's look at Jeff Mann's diagram of the clubhead moving on an arc from the up top view.
Pay close attention to the impact and low point parts of the diagram drawn by Mann. If you notice the clubhead hits the ball and at about the low point (which again, is a point that comes AFTER the ball has been struck) the clubhead path is actually slightly outside the red dotted plane line.
This is NOT an 'in-to-out' path. This is actually an 'in-square-in' path. That's because according to Homer Kelley in The Golfing Machine, the clubhead must go outward to a degree after making contact with the ball. That's what usually all of this 'swinging out to right field' stuff you may hear is about. It's often because the golfer does not get the clubhead 'out' enough.
And the forward part is pretty simple. That's just the golfer going from their impact to their finish position. Most golfers have no problem with the forward part.
The problem that golfers do tend to have is that they have a 3-dimensional impact motion of UP, IN and FORWARD instead of DOWN, OUT and FORWARD. Or they'll go down, but they won't catch the ball FIRST and THEN go down. They'll catch the turf first and then go down.
1. Impact is 3-dimensional, known as DOWN, OUT and then FORWARD
2. From the above view, the clubhead moves on an arc.
3. From the Face On view, the clubhead moves in a circle.
4. Ball Should be struck FIRST and then the clubhead will go DOWN even more and take a divot. The divot should be IN FRONT OF where the ball used to be. With a driver, the geometry of the circle stays the same, but the golfer may move the ball further up in their stance.
5. After the ball is struck, the clubhead should go 'outside' of the plane line to some degree.
6. Forward is the clubhead going from impact to finish.
7. Most golfers tend to go 'up, in and forward' instead of 'DOWN, OUT and FORWARD.'
8. Most golfers do not understand that you need to hit the ball FIRST. Golfer who do go DOWN, tend to mistakenly think that you hit the turf first and this causes fat shots.
Up Next, 'Hitters' vs. 'Swingers'
I still have not fully grasped the 'why's' and the 'how's' behind the 'swinging left' principle. I will say that I believe a golfer needs to get shaft lean first, with a FLW at impact and a Bent Right Wrist at impact before they start worrying about 'swinging left.'
One of the questions I keep getting in regards to 'The Golfing Machine' by Homer Kelley is 'do I need to learn TGM in order to improve?' I then usually reply 'no, not at all. Jack Nicklaus wouldn't know float loading from a root beer float and he's currently the greatest player that ever lived.'
But then I usually mention 'however, I think one can improve their game just by learning and understanding some of the basics of TGM.' This usually draws some criticism, but I honestly do not believe that understanding the basics will hurt a golfer's game. Applying the basics of TGM incorrectly can certainly hurt a golfer's game. It's sort of like a person who has driven automatic shift in their cars all of their life now learning how to drive stick shift. If they learn stick shift, that won't make them a worse driver of automatic shift. However, if they try and apply some of the actions of driving stick shift when they are driving automatic, then they will run into some problems.
From there, I usually get asked 'what are the basics of TGM I should know' and then I give them some answers, but tell them to look it up over at Jeff Mann's site (http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/) or Lynn Blake's site at (http://www.lynnblakegolf.com/). And of course, they are a bit too lazy to do it and keep coming back to ask more questions. So to help out with that, I will be have a series of posts going over what I think the basics of TGM that can help an average golfer are. I also plan on posting a few homemade videos to better help illustrate my point.
Part I will be a very basic overview of TGM. PLEASE NOTE: I am not an expert on TGM. I'm not even certified in TGM instruction. If you have disagreements, feel free to share your thoughts. If I made an error LET ME KNOW! One of the main purposes of this blog is to help golfers get better. And the best way to do that is with accurate information.
The Golfing Machine was written by Homer Kelley in 1941 and published in 1969. By his second time golfing 18 holes, Mr. Kelley was able to apply some of his general knowledge of physics and geometry and shoot a score of 77, an amazing feat for most golfers. However, when he wanted to learn more about why he was able to play so well so quickly, the answers he got from local club pros were insufficient for his tastes.
Mr. Kelley later went on to work for Boeing as an engineering aid. He wasn't technically an engineer, but he was a valued employee because he had the unique skill of solving problems for the company. For instance, a product may be malfunctioning and they could not figure how to make correct the problem and Mr. Kelley would be given the project and could come up with a solution to the problem.
I believe Mr. Kelley looked at the golf swing in a similar fashion to the way he looked at problems he worked on while at Boeing. He looked at the problem as 'how does one figure out how to hit the ball properly time and time again.' And the solution Mr. Kelley came up with was that there were almost countless answers to this problem. Meaning, that there were almost countless ways to effectively swing a golf club so a golfer can hit the ball with power, accuracy and consistency. He then came up with the book 'The Golfing Machine' going over all of those solutions.
To expand a bit further, Mr. Kelley looked at the golf swing like a machine, much like a car. He stated that each 'machine' had 24 parts to it. And out of those parts, there's 3-15 variations of each part. And there were only 3 imperatives that each of these machines MUST have to efficiently hit the ball. And each machine, much like the cars of today, has a 'computer.' Except this machine's 'computer' is the golfer's brain. The golfer's 'computer' is crucial and needs the proper feedback to help make the machine more effective and efficient.
To start, I'll go over the 3 imperatives of the golf swing according to Mr. Kelley. What is so BRILLIANT about The Golfing Machine is that if you don't know any better, you would think that there are SEVERAL IMPERATIVES according to popular golf instruction. Popular golf instructors, even guys in Golf Digest's Top 10 instructors, will tell the golfer that there's no one way to swing the golf club. Then they will instruct the golfer on a bunch of imperatives and if the golfer can properly execute those pieces of instruction, they'll wind up develop the same 'one way' golf swing as the next student the instructor has.
So, if you truly believe that there is no one way to swing a golf club, then that means there can only be very few imperatives to the golf swing. Otherwise, everybody would start to have swings that look exactly alike.
1. FLAT LEFT WRIST AT IMPACT
This is the #1 imperative to the 'machine.' With it, a golfer can come closer to maximizing their power, accuracy and consistency. Without it, a golfer will never be as powerful, as accurate and as consistent as they would be with a flat left wrist at impact. Watch anybody on the PGA Tour over the past 20 years and they all have a flat lead wrist at impact.
As the picture above shows, Tiger has a flat left wrist. The key to check for is how the left arm lines up with the clubshaft. Here's a pic of the same golfer. One with his left wrist bent on the left and the left wrist flat on the right.
As you can see, the pic on the left *looks* like he has a flat left wrist, but he actually does not. If his left wrist was flat, the shaft would be right in line with the left arm. When you look at the pic on the right, he does have that straight line relationship with the clubshaft and his left arm, thus a flat left wrist.
2. Clubhead Lag Pressure Point
This imperative goes a bit hand in hand with the #1 Imperative, a FLW (flat left wrist) at impact. You'll hear a lot about 'stressing' the shaft in your swing, that's what a clubhead lag pressure point.
A big key about TGM to remember is that if the left wrist is flat at any time in the swing, the right wrist must be bent. So for *some* golfers in order to obtain a flat left wrist at impact, they actually focuse more about keeping the right wrist bent at impact because you cannot have two bent wrists when gripping the golf club.
Now, if I were to hold the club in my hands with a flat left wrist and a bent right wrist there would be know 'clubhead lag pressure point' because the golf club has not moved. Lagging is anytime something is trailing behind. In our 'machines', you want the clubhead to be lagging behind the hands. If you swing a club and are able to have a flat left wrist and a bent right wrist at impact, you will now have some sort of clubhead lag pressure point in your right hand.
Every swing has lag to it, the key is to SUSTAIN the lag thru impact. The bad golfers will lose their lag before, if not well before, impact.
I think this imperative is a bit too overanalyzed at times. Essentially, if you can understand what a flat left wrist looks like at impact and then be able to execute a flat left wrist at impact, you'll have this imperative for you.
3. Straight Plane Lines
I think most golfers understand what 'swing plane' is to some degree. They also understand that some golfers have a more upright swing plane (i.e. Nicklaus) while some have a flatter swing plane (i.e. Hogan).
The Golfing Machine does not require a golfer to be on a certain plane nor does it say that a particular plane is better than any of the other planes. Nor does it say that a single plane swing is better than a 2 plane swing. But what it does say that is an imperative is that the plane lines are 'straight' and not 'bent.'
This video of the SmartStick training aid device by Martin Hall shows what a 'straight plane line' looks like.
Now, if the laser were to not point down on the blue plane line that Hall has in his video, that would be known as a 'bent plane' line. This is another beauty of TGM. Again, it's not saying you are better off with a 'one plane swing' or a 'two plane swing', it's just saying that you have to keep the laser on the blue plane line or you will get in trouble. One plane, two plane, upright or flat swing planes can all keep the laser on the plane line with relative ease.
The last part for today's 'lesson' is a brief understanding of the 'geometry of the circle' in the golf swing. Now, we don't need to get into in-depth analysis of the the geometric relationships in the swing, but just a very basic understanding.
From the face on view, the golf club moves in a circular motion. The lowest point the club will travel will be opposite of the left shoulder as shown in the diagram above. Inevitably, golfers have the golf ball usually towards the middle of the feet which is in back of the low point.
With this geometry, this makes the golfer hit the ball FIRST and THEN take a divot.
Because as they hit the ball they still have yet to reach the low point with their clubhead. So what happens is they hit the ball FIRST and then the clubhead goes DOWN even LOWER and takes the divot. This KJ Choi video will show it in action (take a look at the :52 mark).
The big reason why the flat left wrist is so important is that when the left wrist is bent (aka 'flipping thru impact'), this disrupts the geometry of the circle. The low point moves from the left shoulder joint to say inside the left heel and depending on how much the left wrist bends, that will change the low point.
What's funny about all of this is you will often hear high handicappers say they have been 'looking up' and that's why they cannot hit the ball. But often times it's not a case of looking up and taking their eye of the ball. It's more of a case of such a bent left wrist at impact that they have destroyed the geometry of the circle and will hit that extremely poor shot. Smartly enough, Mr. Kelley did not make 'keeping your head down' an imperative of the golf swing.
1. Almost countless different swings that can hit the ball with power, accuracy and consistency.
2. Because there's so many different swings, there's only 3 imperatives.
3. 3 imperatives are --- a) Flat Left Wrist at impact b) Clubhead Lag Pressure Point c) Straight Plane Lines
4. Geometry of the Circle. From the Face On view the clubhead moves in a circle. Lowest point of travel for the clubhead is the left shoulder joint. This will cause the golfer to hit the ball first, then take a divot.
Up next, 3 dimensional impact.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Here's the latest prototypes that Mizuno had out at Wentworth not too long ago. Special thanks to GolfWRX.com for the photos. These would probably replace the MP-67 blades.
'Y'know what? Golf should be fun, man.' - Sevam1
Thursday, May 21, 2009
They also come with the KBS Tour standard and can be made to any swingweight.
GW.........52.0......34 ¼ ............64
Thanks to GolfWRX.com for the pics and the info.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
This man has been a lifetime seeker of the truth. He's been involved in TGM for years. He gave me the short list of all the lessons that he had taken. He told me that he had NEVER seen himself on video with a Flat Left Wrist, until today. (hence the Amazing Change)
We worked for 45 minutes yesterday, and this is the video from the beginning of the lesson today.
I've actually gotten a lot of people PM with similar positions on the left at impact and ask me if that is 'flipping.' Well, yes..it is. See, on the left pic frame the clubshaft does not form a straight line with the left arm. In the righ pic frame it does. That's one of the big things I like about the Taly, if the golfer were to put that on their left arm, the clubhead in the left pic frame would go past the red ball (aka 'the clown's nose') on the Taly. But in the right pic frame the clubhead would be properly behind the red ball on the Taly. I'm digressing, so let's get back to how this applies to Sevam1's great book, 'The Secret Is In The Dirt.'
Anyway, Ted wanted the posters in this thread to guess what they changed. And here's some of his posts on the subject.
7-17: Foot Loading - enabled him to get the FLW at Impact.
In his backstroke, he was getting closer to the ball. He had been told to do thousands of chips/pitches with the FLW, which doesn't hurt anyone. But, he never had the ability to keep it in a longer stroke.
His weight was so much on his toes that it changed the geometry. Getting closer to the ball discouraged Extensor Action. And, with the loss in structure, his wrist couldn't stay flat.
The circle was where his head started.
So, he would get closer to the ball, never really clearing the hip. The right elbow was inevitably on a collision course with the right kidney. Then the arm would take the detour, go around, and pull inward. The left arm became slightly bent, and the left wrist bent.
He felt like he was 10 miles from the ball at Impact, just to get the result that we did.
You can see that he has more weight up on the toes in the left hand frame versus the right hand frame.
Take a look at the differences in a couple of my swings. One from over a month ago.
And here's a pic of one of my most recent impact positions.
Look at the right foot. In the first pic the weight is up more towards the toes. On the second pic, the right heel is practically on the ground.
I really believe that just about any golfer who can improve their footwork can improve their ballstriking. I'm not saying it will make a 10 handicapper into a pro, but I think it will make a noticeable difference in the ballstriking improving.
The problem is that most instruction ignores footwork or teaches it incorrectly or in an incomplete fashion. Thankfully, TGM, Sevam1 and Shawn Clement do about the best job of teaching footwork I've seen.
Remember a couple of key points.
1. It's okay for the right heel to come up off the ground at impact. But it needs to come up off the ground for the right reason. If it's being lifted up off the ground, by the golfer getting the weight up on the toes, that's a problematic component. Instead, the golfer wants the right heel up off the ground if it is PULLED up off the ground from the momentum of the golf swing.
2. Like Ted mentioned, it starts at ADDRESS. The weight needs to get in the proper position of the feet at address. Sevam1 likes to talk about the pressure points being the ball of the foot and the heel. Shawn Clement talks about the arches of the feet being like 'suction cups' to the ground. Homer Kelley talks about the weight being distributed in the feet so a golfer could easily raise the toes upward if they were to choose to do so.
Some good drills for improving footwork are:
A. Hit shots with your toes raised upward.
B. Hit shots barefooted with your toes raised upward (Sam Snead Drill)
C. Stick a golf ball or a door wedge under the toes of your right foot and hit golf balls while that is under your toes.
D. Hit shots flat footed.
But the big parts are the weight distribution at address and making sure the momentum of the swing pulls the heel up off the ground instead of lifting the heel off the ground by getting the weight up on the toes. Don't be afraid to use basic, acquired and total motion to get this down.
One of the many things I find appealing about Lynn Blake's 'Alignment Golf' DVD is the rave reviews I've heard about the putting section of the DVD. That's actually what probably gets mentioned most, besides how great the DVD series is overall, that the putting is so great and it's been really surprising for them. I haven't got the DVD yet, but I think Furze's article probably runs along the same lines.
Some interesting parts of Furze's article:
When the putter face is at a 90 degree angle to the target line so that the toe is straight across the target line it is a Vertical Hinge
Varying the Hinge Actions will also have an effect on the length of the putt. For example, using Horizontal Hinging will give the ball more power so it can certainly be used for all lengths of putting but keep ion mind that for an extremely long Putt Horizontal Hinging would be extremely beneficial.
Horizontal Hinging will give the Purest of compression. Using Angle Hinge for a same length Putt as Horizontal Hinging you would have to give it a little more Right Arm Thrust.
This would also apply to using Vertical Hinging as once again you would have to give more Right Arm Thrust compared to the angle Hinge and even more Thrust in comparison to the Horizontal Hinge.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Fairways Hit - 76/95 = 80%
GIR - 90/126 = 71.4%
Putts/Round - 32.0
Putts/GIR - 1.84
Scramble % - 39.4%
Average Score - 72.7
I had a few struggles with my putting this past week and my short game. Was struggling with chips around the green, one day I would be hitting everything too hard, then the next day I would be hitting everything too soft. But, I was very pleased with my putting.
- I was looking to purchase the SmartStick Golf Training Aid (http://www.smartstickgolf.com/). I think this is a fabulous training aid because it can help with having one of Homer Kelley's 3 imperatives of the golf swing, straight plane lines. In my swing I tend to take the club down a little steep and when I'm swinging well, I'll shallow out the downswing before impact. But, if I'm off, I still get a bit too steep and troubles occur.
Anyway, the major problem with the SmartStick is the price ($225). So I decided to purchase the GTA Laser II
You can find it at (http://golfjustlikethepros.com/GTA%20Laser%20ll.htm) for only $26.95. I'm a tad bit skeptical on how it will work. Particularly the battery life, but more of where the lasers are situated, althought I think it should be pretty darn accurate. Once I get it and try it out, I'll make a quick review of it.
- I also bought the Taly. It's a highly recommended product by Lynn Blake. I was a bit skeptical of it at first since I thought it was more designed for 'swingers', but according to Lynn 'hitters' can use it as well and it also works well with 'right forearm tracing' and the 'right forearm takeaway.'
To quote Yoda:
For my students and me, the Taly is all about keeping the clubhead behind the 'clown's nose', i.e., behind the Hands and the Flat Left Wrist, through Impact and all the way into the Follow-Through (Both Arms Straight position).
If you do this, then Lag Pressure becomes a 'given', and Plane Line Tracing virtually automatic.
So if the GTA Laser II doesn't work, then hopefully the Taly will. I plan on bringing this aid to my next lesson with Ted Fort for some help with it. The Taly can be found at http://www.talygolf.com/ for about $70.
- Next month I hope to purchase the Bushnell 1500 RangeFinder w/slope. The latest versions are the Pro V2 and the Bushnell 1600, but I hope to get the 1500 on Ebay for about $250. The V2 sells for $400 (with a $50 rebate) and the 1600 goes for abotu $480. Playing up in the hilly North Georgia area, I think it's imperative to have a Rangefinder with slope. Of course, you can't use it for Tournament play. I'll have a review for that after I get one.
- Over at Brian Manzella's forum a poster asked for some 'putting tips.' Here's mine.
1. Just like the swing, there is no one way to putt the ball. Think of some of the greatest putters of all time. Locke, Crenshaw, Casper, Nicklaus, Tiger all had distinctly different putting styles. Just as it sounds crazy to listen to somebody who says you must grip the driver a certain way and swing it a certain way, it's really crazy to think you need to address the putter, grip the putter and stroke the putter a certain way because the history of the game shows differently.
2. D-Plane is alive and well in putting. It's really simpler than most golfers make it. Give me a golfer who can consistently be at 0.0 degrees to their target at impact over a guy that has inconsistent putterface angles, but a 'perfect' stroke.
3. Junk Pelz's '17" past the cup for optimal speed theory.' Mr. Geoff Mangum has thoroughly debunked this theory and speaking from experience it's a great theory if you want to hit the ball too hard.
4. Head swivel. Learn it and use it and watch your aim and speed/touch improve.
5. Learn to understand the 'fall line' and how the topography of the green tends to effect the putt. A lot of times it's easy to get fooled on the break by just reading the putt from behind the ball because the hole may not be cut properly and that can cause an illusion of it breaking one way when it actually breaks the other way. But, if you understand the fall line you can be much more accurate with your reads. Furthermore, understanding that downhill putts tend to break more and uphill putts tend to break less because of the velocity the ball is traveling.
Here, Mr. Geoff Mangum drops some knowledge.
I also suggest Mangum's 'Optimal Putting' e-book at www.puttingzone.com and David Orr's putting videos, particularly the 'How to Read Greens' video at www.orrgolf.com.