Thursday, July 30, 2009

Greg McHatton Golf Swing

Here's a video of the swing of one of the big names in TGM Instruction, Greg McHatton.

Here's some still pics of the downswing:

Looks like a 'swinger' action with a nice amount of float loading involved.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More on Weir

Here's the video that somebody gave the link for me on the Weir situation at last week's Canadian Open (

I also took a pic of Weir clearly having the club on the ground and addressing the ball just before the ball moved.

Now according to Weir and the Rules Committee, they are saying that he didn't have the weight of the club on the ground because he was waggling.


The club is pretty well into the ground and it's not like he has the club hovering the grass blades.

Furthermore, as I stated in my previous post (, if there is any doubt in determining whether the player may have caused the ball to move it should be resolved AGAINST the player.

I would like to say that I have a TON of doubt about this.

That being said, I wouldn't consider Weir 'cheating.' I think it's definiely a 'fuzzy' ruling to say the least as what constitutes 'weight of the clubhead on the ground.' But, I blame the Rules Committee for not following the rules as there certainly was doubt in this situation.

To me, what Stewart Cink did at Harbour Town was flat out cheating and I think it made the point that we shouldn't take a player's word that they didn't cheat given how highly respected Cink is (and if you don't think Ted Purdy is still ticked off by that, guess again) and that on the PGA Tour they have shown that they will avoid calling penalties on some of the popular players.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Too Much Right Side by Manzella

I hate to put too many Manzella videos in a row, but I felt this was such a good video that it needed to be posted here. One of the reasons why golf is so hard is that it's often a game of 'trust' and being able to execute those mechanics or the shot and trusting those mechanics and/or your knowledge.

For instance, one of the things I work on with a friend of mine is getting him to hit the ball first, then take divot. No matter how many videos I show him, the mechanics I teach him, etc...he still has some issues with trusting the fact that you need to hit the ball firt then take the divot. That's because for years and years he's had the concept of taking a divot behind the ball.

I think the same thing happens here with use of the right side. There's so many people that hear 'too much right side' and then they tend to avoid it all together and it makes for a swing that does not fulfill its potential.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Today I'm Talkin' About The Rules...

There's been a bit of debate on the Mike Weir ruling, yet I have not seen the actual shot in question. Essentially Weir's ball moved in the fairway and there was a question of whether or not Weir addressed the ball. There are many people telling me that there's no doubt that Weir did and to make it worse, there's no doubt in their mind that Weir knew he addressed the ball and the ball moved. The ruling went FOR Weir, saying that he never grounded the club and that's where the uproar came about. If I ever get the video, I will post it up.

I personally hate the moved ball rule. I don't think it reflects the spirit of the game and we don't penalize golfers who accidentally knick the ball off the tee or even in Tiger's case where he took a full swing and stopped it at the last second and still hit the ball. That was determined to not be a stroke because Tiger didn't intend it to be.

But while I do not agree with the rule, every time you tee it up you are basically agreeing to abide by the rules that govern the game. Don't like it? Take up checkers. It's as simple as that.

Problems arose when some called Weir a 'cheat' and Weir does have some diehard fans and that really rubbed them the wrong way. Again, I never saw it so I can't really say. But I will say that I've seen highly respectable people cheat at the game of golf. And years ago when Gary Player and Tom Watson got into it over a ruling, which of these respectable people are you going to believe, Player or his accuser Watson who absolutely believes that Player cheated?

But again, not saying that Weir cheated because I have yet to see the tape.

However, this poses something that concerns me even more. That the PGA really seems to cater to their popular players. For instance, we have the Kenny Perry ruling at the FBR from earlier this year where it was deemed that he didn't try to improve his lie from the rough.

Or the highly respectable Stewart Cink who clearly swiped his finger to draw a deep line behind his ball in a fairway waste bunker to improve his lie, claiming he was just trying to remove loose impediments. That helped Cink stick the ball to about 10 feet and make birdie in a playoff at Harbour Town (check it out at about the 5:00 mark)

Sadly though this doesn't apply to the non-popular Tour players. For instance, check out this ruling that happened in a Georgia Women's event recently this year.

During the Greater Atlanta Women's Amateur Championship a competitor's ball was perched precariously on the side of a hill near a green. She moved some loose impediments in the vicinity of the ball and also took some practice swings in the area. After making her last practice swing but before addressing the ball, the ball rolled down the hill. The golfer instinctively retrieved the ball and replaced it where it lay.

She then played the stroke from where the ball had been replaced and the group subsequently asked for rules assistance at the conclusion of their round.

The rules committee had to weigh in a bunch of factors, particularly that the wind was blowing at 20+ mph.

But finally the decision says that if there is any doubt in determining whether the player may have caused the ball to move it should be resolved AGAINST the player. That means that the player is required to be very careful with his or her golf ball when it is in play, otherwise, penalties could be forthcoming." - Golf Georgia Magazine July/August 2009 pg. 40

And yes, the Rules Committee in this case did consult the Rule Book. For those Rule Book buffs, they cited Decision 18-2a/30.5.

One of the glorious parts of the game is how it instills integrity in people, particularly young people. It's probably the only game I can think of where if somebody is to call a penalty on themselves, they are applauded in grand fashion. I think it's important to keep that in tact, but the PGA seems to want to skirt around the issue. My belief is that if you don't want to penalize these players for breaking the rules, then change the rules. (and AGAIN, I don't know if Weir broke the rules, but the respectable Kenny Perry looks like he did and I think there's no freaking doubt about it that the respectable Stewart Cink did)


A Look Into The Poll Question and a Response to a Video

Wanted to go over a couple of things. First, the look into the latest poll question 'If You Could Putt It Like Any Player In Their Prime, Who Would It Be?' Here were the final results

Ben Crenshaw - 54 votes (35%)
Bobby Locke - 21 votes (13%)
Loren Roberts - 20 votes (13%)
Paul Runyan - 12 votes (7%)
Billy Casper - 11 votes (7%)
Seve Ballesteros - 10 votes (6%)
Phil Mickelson - 10 votes (6%)
Nick Faldo - 4 votes (2%)
Greg Norman - 4 votes (2%)
George Archer - 4 votes (2%)
Mark McNulty - 1 vote (0%)
The other poll about where your mis-hits tend to be pretty much ended in a 4 way tie.

I was a tad surprised by Crenshaw winning by such a big margin, although he's probably considered by most as the greatest putter of all time. What's unique about this poll is the top 3 in this poll (Crenshaw, Locke and Roberts) all had different strokes. Most people don't realize that when hooked up to the SAM Puttlab, Roberts' stroke actually came out to be a 'cutting across stroke.' Crenshaw looks like a classic 'arced' stroke. I believe everybody pretty much arcs it, just the Straight back-straight thru putters have a tad bit of an arc because they simply cannot manage to be perfectly straight back and straight thru. But it's much less pronounced than say Crenshaw or Utley's arced stroke. Roberts is definitely attempting a SBST stroke IMO and happens to cut across the ball slightly.

Crenshaw talks a little bit about the different styles of putting in this video.

I actually voted for Billy Casper. I think he was a better player than Crenshaw and not necessarily a better ballstriker. I recall that Casper wasn't very long off the tee and hit a sizeable hook. But he could repeat it pretty well and managed the course quite well and could win tournaments with the flat stick. I remember reading a story about one of the US Opens he won where he simply could not reach a par-3 in regulation because it was too long and instead of going for it, he just planned on hitting it short of the green where the low cut of grass was knowing that he could get up and down all day from there. Meanwhile his opponents would go for the green, fail and make a bogey. He was a 2 time US Open champ, former Masters champ, finished 2nd in the PGA Championship on three different occasions, and was a tremendous Ryder Cup player. I think he was probably as good as Crenshaw with the flatstick and probably more clutch in big situations.

Anyway, thanks to all of those who voted and I have a new poll up and I would appreciate if you would vote in that poll as well.


I got a video response to my 'Learning Feel From Mechanics' from reader Greg Brown. Here it is:

I think you've got the idea down quite well. Again, feels are subjective and extremely important to repeating good alignments and mechanics, thus repeating good golf shots.

The problem is that most popular instruction has it very wrong. They think that everybody feels the same thing or the same way. And to make matters worse, they may give a feel that could work for a 'swinger' but the golfer may be better suited to be a 'hitter.'

For example, a 'swinger' usually uses a horizontal hinge action and a hitter uses an angled hinge action. But popular golf instruction may tell you to feel like you are 'shaking hands' with somebody at the halfway point of the follow thru. That *might* work for some 'swingers', but that would be a severe problem for a 'hitter' because now they would be using the incorrect hinge action for their swing. It's like putting the engine of a 1980 Mercedes into a brand new Hummer. It just doesn't fit and disaster is likely to ensue.

TGM tries to get the golfer to incorporate the proper mechanics first then asks 'how does that feel to you?' So if you're a 'swinger' trying to learn and repeat a horizontal hinge, a TGM Authorized Instructor should be able to put you into the right mechanics and then ask how does that feel. Then once you get that feel, you can just step up to the ball, remember the feel, and stripe the ball.

As far as the homemade Smart Stick, here's a link to a post I made that has another golfer who came up with their own homemade Smart Stick

One thing to note about 'tracing the plane line' is how that happens with the 'fanning forearm takeaway' technique as described in my post. (

If you just 'fan the right forearm' back like I described, the flashlight will automatically trace the plane line going back. That's a HUGE reason why I love the right forearm takeaway method. It gets the club on plane (and also squares the clubface) without really consciously or subconsciously thinking about it. So Greg, take your flashlights out and fan the forearm at address and watch how that flashlight will automatically trace the plane line.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Learning Feel From Mechanics Videos

Here's a 2-part video (only 2 parts because YouTube only allows 10 minutes for a video and I ran slightly over and had to split it into 2 parts) on learning feel from mechanics along with how to use it with the Taly and a drill I use to help when I start to come over the top.


Flying Right Elbow Video w/ Brian Manzella

Here's another Manzella video going a bit more into the flying right elbow.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Right Forearm Takeaway Videos

Got a couple of videos for you. The first up is a video I made explaining my interpretation of the Right Forearm Takeaway. The second video is a David Orr video explaining the right forearm takeaway as well.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Brian Manzella Video

Brian Manzella with a new video on different types of grips.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

As We Weep For Chuck

Latest swing at Tahoe....YIKES! (Please excuse the synching problems.)


Monday, July 20, 2009

Mike McNary Swing Update 6/09

Here's a video and some still pics of one of my favorite swings out there, Mike McNary.

The one thing I think many can learn from Mike is that his swing is pretty slow and deliberate. On the downswing it steadily gains steam, but not until impact. Without question, his lag pressure gets built up and reaches its maximum at impact or shortly after impact.

Watching McNary's swing one never gets the feeling that he's trying to actively get clubhead speed at the bottom of the swing, but it feels like it's a swing that naturally gets a ton of leverage and of course has a metric assload of lag pressure and those sort of go hand in hand.


Foot Drag Video

A nice video looking at the action of the rear foot. Hogan, Moe Norman, Duval (in his prime) and Mickey Wright are feature. Notice how the weight is not up on the toes at impact. Pull, don't lift!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Putting Probabilities

Think you should be making more putts outside 10 feet? Well, think again. Here's a chart showing the percentage of putts made by PGA Tour pros from certain distances. Note, that this is pre-1995 data. Still interesting though.

So at about 10 feet out, PGA Tour players only made roughly 35% of their putts. From 15 feet out they made roughly 20% of their putts.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trackman Newsletter Update

Trackman has a newsletter that I really need to read more. Here's a bunch of excerpts from its latest newsletter...just great great stuff (

What are the keys to achieving the optimal, straight shot?

In terms of club delivery, it is fairly simple since there are just three
parameters in play. To hit a straight and effective shot at the target,
you need:

1. Club Path ZERO
2. Face Angle ZERO
3. Impact in the center of the clubface.
Please note a couple of things. The old TGM laws would say that the face needed to be slightly open at impact to hit a straight shot at the target. Also, it was thought that a mis-hit would cause a loss in distance. Trackman is saying that it also causes a loss in accuracy.

For a 6 iron, if the club path and face angle are both between +/-1°, this would, more or less, guarantee a straight shot (assuming center hit). But for the Driver, it is required that the club path and face angle are both between +/- 0.5° to achieve the straight shot (assuming center hit).

Why is it more sensitive for the Driver than for the 6 iron?

As a rule of thumb, for a 6 iron the ball’s spin axis will be tilted two times the difference between the face angle and the club path, whereas for the Driver, the ball’s spin axis will be tilted 4 times the difference between the club path and the face angle. So if face angle is 5° and club path is 3°, then for a driver the spin axis will be around 8°, whereas for a 6 iron the spin axis would be around 4°. To understand why, we have to look at the so-called D-plane.
So when you want to understand why it is harder to hit a driver well versus hitting an iron well, spin axis provides an answer.

For years we have heard the mantra ‘swing all clubs the same way’. But I would not agree to that. Golfers need different swings to be most effective with their shots. In order to take a divot after impacting the ball (irons), you need to hit down on the ball – negative Attack Angle. Conversely, hitting up on the ball – positive Attack Angle – with the driver enables you to maximize your distance for your club head speed.

So, let’s assume that your vertical swing plane with a 6 iron is 60° and your attack angle is -5°. In order to create a straight shot, your goal is a club path of 0°. How can this be achieved? The answer is a Horizontal Swing Plane of -2.5°, which means aim 2.5° left of the target line with your swing plane.

In summary, for a swing having a 60° vertical swing plane, an attack angle of -5°, and a horizontal swing plane of -2.5°, the result will be a club path of 0°.

These charts and figures can be rather academic. Can you explain it in a very down to earth way?

I can try: We can say that with the driver you need the same value for attack angle and horizontal swing plane in order to obtain a 0° club path – for example if your attack angle is +3°, the horizontal swing plane needs to be +3° to obtain a club path of 0°. And for irons it is half effect – for example if attack angle is -4°, the horizontal swing plane needs to be -2° to obtain zero club path. In short,
aim left when hitting down on the ball and aim right when hitting up upon the ball. And remember when I say ‘aim left’ I mean the swing plane, the face angle should always be aligned towards the target line.

Vertical Swing Plane = Angle of Attack.

Horizontal Swing Plane = Swinging 'Right' or 'Swinging left.'

And for reference, the a positive degrees for horizontal plane means the path is 'inside-to-out' or 'swinging out to the right.' A negative degress for horizontal plane means the path is 'outside-to-in' or 'swinging to the left.'

I will use two examples.

Christy Kerr hits up with her driver about 5*. With the driver, in order to obtain a perfectly straight shot and that 0* 'true path', she needs to swing out to the right by about 5*.

Tiger Wood on the other hand hits about 3* down with the driver. In order to hit a perfectly straight shot and get that 0* true path, Tiger needs to swing out to the left by about 3*.

Of course, this changes with the irons because of the spin axis. If I hit 5* down with a 7-iron, then I have to swing 2.5* left in order to hit a perfectly straight shot. If I then grab a PW and hit 8* down, then I need to swing about 4* left to hit that perfectly straight shot.

Ball position is an issue here as well?

Absolutely. If you move the ball back towards your right foot for the same horizontal swing plane, the effect will be a steeper attack angle (more negative) and a more inside-out club path (more positive). So, in order to maintain a zero club path while moving the ball further back in your stance, you simply have to rotate your horizontal swing plane towards the left (more open stance).
One of the things that is taught by many TGM'ers is that if you want to hit a draw, you should put the ball back further in your stance and open the face slightly. Trackman is saying that when you do that, you effectively cause the angle of attack to be steeper. This means the golfer now has to swing more left to hit the ball perfectly straight. But moving the ball back in your stance also causes the clubpath to be more inside-to-outside as well. So what we know about the 'new ball flight laws', curvature of the ball is caused by the clubpath in relation to the face angle at impact (actually it's seperation, but to make it easy we'll say impact.) So by moving the ball back in your stance, you're just causing more of an inside-to-outside path which creates a hook spin. And by opening the face, you're allowing the ball to start out to the right and then draw back towards the target.

Now let's take a look at what Trackman has to say about mis-hits and their effect on ball flight.

How close to center impact do you need to be? How big is the effect of off-center hits?

Impact location and gear effect have a surprisingly significant effect on the curvature of a golf shot. If we start with the ideal situation with a face angle of 0° and a club path of 0° and impacting the ball in the center of gravity of the club face, then the ball will go straight. However, if you impact the ball just 1 dimple (0.14 inch) towards the heel of your driver, it creates a spin axis of +6° (fade spin) and the ball will end up 10 yards right of the target line on a 250 yards carry shot.

You will probably be on the fairway, but in a major with very narrow landing areas and firm turf conditions, the shot may be in jeopardy of missing the fairway. If you impact as much as half an inch towards the Toe, the dispersion will be 35 yards left of the target on a 250 yards carry!

Luckily the club manufactures have added a curvature to the club face (the bulge) on woods and drivers. This means that when you impact the ball on the heel your face angle at the impact point will most likely be closed, hereby starting the ball more left and tilting the D-plane towards a draw spin. The net effect will be a much straighter shot compared to the zero face angle situation.

1 dimple towards the heel (0.14" towards heel = 10 yards to the right at 250 yards

1/2" towards the heel = 35 yards to the right at 250 yards.


1 dimple towards the toe (0.14" towards heel = 2 1/2 yards to the left at 170 yards

1/2" towards the toe = 8 yards to the left at 170 yards.

All of this being said, a golfer needs to obtain the basic fundamentals of the golf swing and the 3 imperatives according to The Golfing Machine are a good place to start. There's also a difference between coming over the top and 'swinging left.' But I would work on those TGM imperatives first and once they are executed consistently, then start to focus on horizontal swing plane.


Henry Cotton Swing Sequence

Henry Cotton Swing Sequence, 9-iron


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael Jacobs on Putting Vision

A great video by Michael Jacobs on putting vision. Jacobs is an authorized instructor of The Golfing Machine as well as a 'Geoff Mangum Academy Instructor.'


Tuesday, July 14, 2009 On 'Hitting'

Somebody brought this link to my attention and wanted to know my thoughts on a link that goes on to talk about 'hitting' in TGM terms. ( . So here's my thoughts/analysis of it.

The hitting action is a bit the dark side of the moon when it comes to golf instruction. It seems that a vast majority of golf instructors (with the exception of The Golfing Machine Instructors of course) are simply unaware of its existence and mainly teach golf the "Swinging way".

This is very unfortunate because it is a very efficient way to strike the golf ball and to my opinion a very interesting alternative for strong or less flexible players.
This is pretty much dead on to me. However, I even find that the majority of TGM Instructors teach or feel more comfortable teaching a 'swinging' method. Brian Manzella calls 'swinging' as 'force along the clubshaft' and hitting 'force across the shaft.' I actually like this term quite a bit because I believe that technically we all do a little of both of 'swinging' and 'hitting', but there needs to be a term for what we primarily do. But if you go thru any golf magazine article, most of the time they are teaching something from the 'swinging' or the 'force along the shaft' standpoint.

Unlike the Swinger who manipulates centrifugal force, the pure Hitter ONLY uses his right arm to activate the Primary Lever Assembly (that is the Left Arm plus the club as a whole).For those interested, the muscle involved here is the right triceps as it is responsible for straightening the arm. So if you are a boxer you should give the Hitting stroke a try !

The main action involved here is a muscular thrust of the right arm against the Primary Lever Assembly.The clubhead is not thrown into orbit by the pivot; Instead, the hitter pushes radially (against the radius!) against the shaft with his right arm only.

Think of it like pushing against one spoke of a bicycle wheel to put the wheel into motion - Swinging would make you drag the rim of the wheel.

The proper action is to straighten the right arm without flattening the right wrist in a piston like action.
Excellent, excellent, excellent. I would also mention that the right forearm moves a bit like a piston in a car engine as well. Or feeling like you are using a palm heel strike into the ground.

This position, while not mandatory, allows for an easier pickup of the Primary Lever Assembly as a whole by the right arm (the right forearm takeaway). Also it establishes the proper impact alignments right away.

From this position all you have to do is to freeze your wrists into their position and move the whole thing back and forth with your right arm pretty much in a piston like motion.

A good way to feel this motion is, without a club, to hold your left wrist with your right hand and move your left arm back and forth. Simple enough? Well this is the principle of the Hitting motion.
Excellent again. Many people get into hitting and then work from impact fix at address and struggle and then give up on hitting. However, I think that's giving up on it too soon as the author writes, impact fix is NOT MANDATORY. In fact, I do not use impact fix. Neither does Lynn Blake when he's using a hitting procedure. However, the beauty of impact fix is that it makes the procedure simple to understand. Just keep those alignments in the swing and you'll have a flat left wrist at impact. But again, not mandatory.

Let me explain: For the Hitter, an efficient way to establish the Lag is to resist the backstroke motion then perform a right arm thrust against this clubhead Lag striving to accelerate a pre stressed clubshaft from a slow startdown through impact and to both arms straight.

Here, the Pivot (Right Shoulder) must also provide the initial acceleration of the Power Package (Shoulders, Arms, Hands and Club).

But beware! From there, you only have your bent right arm to provide the Thrust. So, if the right arm begins to straighten too soon, you will have triggered the release, and you will run out of right arm before impact and product a nasty Clubhead Throwaway.
'Running out of Right Arm' means that the right arm is fully extended at impact. One of the key concepts that most golfers do not grasp is that at impact, the right arm should be slightly bent at the elbow.

As previously mentioned, for the Hitter a slow Start Down is mandatory to allow for the right arm to properly get into position.

In the transition from the Top to Start Down think very Slow and very Heavy and that should do the trick.

Extremely important. I think this is key for 'swingers' as well even though Homer Kelley prescribes a quick startdown for 'swingers.'

Summing things up

1. Set up at Impact Fix and "freeze" your wrists alignments.

2. Pick up the whole thing back in a "piston + fanning" like motion (a piston-only motion would make you look like starting a lawnmower which is not the motion we want).

3. Perform what feels like a shorter backstroke as what you are used to.
From the top, initiate a slow startdown by pushing against the shaft with your right arm only (pressure point #1 feel). The slow start down will give yourself enough time to get closer to the ball to deliver your blow.

4. Drive it strongly down and out. Destroy the ground!
I would only slightly disagree with point #3. Over at there was some talk about how 'hitters' cannot have a longer backswing with the hands above the rear shoulder at the top of the swing and Lynn Blake put that to rest and said that is up to the golfer a well. Generally, hitters do have shorter backswings, but that's hardly mandatory.

Overall, a very excellent job of going over the basics of hitting. But TGM is very customizable and there's no one way to 'hit' or 'swing.'


Birdseye View Swing Video

Oh, I love those birdseye view videos. This is of JB Holmes


Monday, July 13, 2009

A Look At Sonic Golf

I've been asked about the Sonic Golf Training Aid that has been developed by Yale Professor Dr. Robert Grober. I've yet to try it, but here's a video going over it.

It's definitely an interesting concept. The main issues I have with it are:

1) You have to find an old club and re-grip it with the Sonic Golf grip.
2) It's not cheap ($399) -- although I can see how they justify the price with that type of technology.
3) I've been told it teaches a pause at the top of the swing. The video doesn't seem make the 'pause' that pronounced, so some of the people that have tried it may be exagerrating the type of pause Grober is actually talking about.

Still, this appears to be a real nice product because it attacks in my mind a major issue with golfers in a very fast startdown instead of being slow and deliberate on the startdown and then getting all your speed at impact.

What I like about the Taly training aid device is that it helps rid the golfer of having too fast of a startdown visually. Sonic Golf helps those with fast start downs by teaching them through sound.

You can find this training aid at


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Changing Planes With Simon Williams

A video from Simon Williams about changing planes according to 'The Golfing Machine.'


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Latest Game Update

Some people have asked to see my putting stroke along with my latest swings. Here's a video and some still pics.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Club Ho's...Be Prepared to Drool

Saw this video promoting an upcoming Web site at thru the PGA Tour equipment and repair truck. And just to think, I was given grief when I wanted to bend my Mizuno's 2 degrees upright.


Geoff Mangum on Using the Line on the Ball to Aim the Putter Face

Recently I went back to using the line on my ball to align my putts. It's nothing set in stone in the sense that I won't always use the line, but it gives me a reference point and I still like to be intuitive with my putting. I found the line to be really good on short putts. Particularly the left-to-right short putt that I usually leave high. And I also learned that if the ball line 'feels' like it's aimed too far right, chances are my putter is aimed too far to the right. But if it feels like it's aimed too far left, then it's usually okay.

Anyway, Geoff Mangum had a post over at his forum at on using the line on the ball to aim the putterface. His method is different and interesting and I'm going to try it out.


1. Aim from behind the ball,

2. walk to the marker on the green with the ball in hand,

3. squat low and look level at the target with the ball held at eye level so that the line on the ball is aimed directly at the target like a rifle,

4. lower the ball and the line vertically to the marker without changing the aim of the ball's line,


5. step back behind the ball to check the aim using your putter shaft to connect the dots of ball with line and target along the outside edge of the shaft to make sure the ball's line parallels the shaft edge,


6. walk back to the ball and aim the putter face squarely thru the ball with the alignment mark on the putter matching the line on the ball and the sweetspot of the putter centered at the back of the line on the ball,


7. set up to the putter face as aimed with the throat line the same as or parallel slightly behind the leading edge of the putter face and with the shoulder joints parallel to the aim of the putter face and with the eyeballs physically directly / vertically above the sweetspot of the putter,

8. aim the face itself (not the eyes) at the sweetspot of the putter face as if there is an arrow sticking straight thru the back of the head out of the bridge of your nose so that the arrow is perpendicular to the plane of your face (the same face plane as shown by holding flat palms behind each ear),


9. close the left eye (eye closest to the target) and use the right eye to look inward at the point where your nose meets your eyebrow in a peak or arrow-head shape blocking your vision and note where on the ground about 1-2 feet left of the ball this visual border point appears to meet the ground,

10. make sure this peak point in your face / nose-eyebrow is positioned along the same line on the ground indicated by the line on the ball and the aim of the putter face,

11. rotate or swivel the head to turn the face and eyes towards the target so that the top of the head and top of the swivel axis simply spins in place and does not sway left or right as the face turns,

12. observe that the peak in your nose-eyebrow border appears to run in a straight line along the ground as a result of this head swivel and that this straight line is the same as the aim of the ball line and the putter face,

13. at the end of the distance, notice WHETHER the aim of the ball line and putter face point at the target as intended or to the left or to the right of the intended target spot by noticing what exact spot on the ground at the end of the line shows up just inside the peak, as this spot on the ground will be the same spot that the putter face and ball line actually aim at.

Depending upon the result of this final "checking" of where the ball line and putter face appear to aim (using the correct, accurate body procedure to find out), you will either agree that the putter face and ball line aim at the target as intended or see exactly which way and how much the aim is off and make the appropriate adjustment and check a second time. Once the checking verifies that the ball line has been aimed accurately, you can trust that a straight stroke thru the ball down the same aim the ball line indicates is exactly what you should do when you make the stroke.

Notice that unless in #7 above you position the eyeballs vertically above the ball (when the line on the ball is not tilted but is oriented vertically in plane to the ground), you will look down from slightly inside the ball on a tilted angle of view and the "line" on the ball will not actually appear straight, but will look more like a "rainbow" curve of a rope draped over the top of a beach ball seen on a slight tilted angle. The "line" on the ball will ONLY appear to be a straight line when the angle of view is straight down onto the line. So if the line is vertical, the angle of view also has to be vertical. If you position the eyeballs slightly inside the ball, the the line on the ball has to be tilted towards your face so that the line of sight aims straight down into the top of the line. otherwise, you will be looking at a curled "line" that biases your stroke to the inside with a pull stroke.

Here's a video on point #7 made by Geoff.

Points #9-#13 I'm still a little foggy on, but here's a video on it as well.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Richie3Jack 1st Annual Top 50 Teachers -- Part II

Here's Part II ---

Geoff Jones
Texarkana, AR

Steve Khatib
Melbourne, Australia

Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD

Geoff Mangum
Greensboro, NC

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA

Greg McHatton
Valencia, CA

Kelvin Miyahira
Oahu, HI

Tom Ness
Alpharetta, GA

Pia Nilsson
Phoenix, AZ

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC

Mike Perpich
Alpharetta, GA

Andy Plummer
West Linn, OR

Brad Pluth
Chanhassen, MN

Brady Riggs
Van Nuys, CA

John Rohan-Weaver
Burleson, TX

Kevin Shields
McMurray, PA

Neil Smith
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, UK

Paul Smith
The Vines, Australia

Todd Sones
Vernon Hills, IL

Harold Swash
Southport, Merseyside, UK

Justin Tang

VJ Trolio
West Point, MS

Stan Utley
Scottsdale, AZ

Simon Williams
Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK


Richie3Jack 1st Annual Top 50 Teachers List -- Part I

Recently Golf Digest named their top 50 teachers. While I don't care for the results, it's hard to complain too much about the process since these teachers are voted on by their peers. The only problem is that they only allow the voters to choose from a list of 80 names and they get to pick 12 of those teachers from the list of 80. So I came up with my own list which is hardly scientific. I did not put them in order, just 'my top 50' and it's based upon teaching ability, perception of student success, my perception of their knowledge of teaching, etc. The only requirement is that they must get paid for golf instruction. They do not need to make a living doing it, but they must get paid for their instruction services. Hopefully this will open the eyes to some golfers on instructors out there and the process will get better as the years go on. I had to split this up into 2 parts. Here's part I.

Jimmy Ballard
Key Largo, FL

Mike Bennett
West Linn, OR

Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL

Lynn Blake
Marietta, GA

Ian Clark
Surrey, UK

Shawn Clement
Richmond Hill, ON Canada

Chuck Cook
Austin, TX

Peter Croker
Rye, Victoria Australia

Dana Dahlquist
Long Beach, CA

Lee Dietrick
San Dimas, CA

Ben Doyle
Monterey, CA

John Erickson
San Francisco, CA

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ

Jeff Evans
Macon, GA

Mark Evershed
Toronto, ON

Sean Foley
Toronto, ON

Ted Fort
Marietta, GA

John Furze
Sandringham, Australia

Jim Goergen
Cumming, GA

Martin Hall
West Palm Beach, FL

Paul Hart

Michael Hebron
Smithtown, NY

Brian Hepler
Scottsdale, AZ

Jeff Hull
Athens, GA

Michael Jacobs
Manorville, NY

Part II Next


Suzy Whaley Putting Tip

Very good tip by Suzy Whaley because it's simple, correct and allows golfers with all sorts of putting strokes to use this drill.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

John Erickson Swing

Here's John Erickson's (aka Lagpressure) swing from the Face On view in slow-mo.


Friday, July 3, 2009

The Famous Ben Hogan Slip

Here's the video of Hogan on the 72nd tee in the 1955 US Open where his right foot slipped. This slip was one of the incidents that helped Mike Maves (aka Sevam1) discover what he calls 'The Move.'

Special thanks to frequent poster 'Martinez' for posting this up on YouTube.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some Jeff Hull Secrets To The Game

Jeff Hull is one of the best golfers in all of Georgia, and is one of Lynn Blake's certified instructors teaching at the University of Georgia Golf Club. Over at, Jeff shared some secrets on how he plans out his tournaments.

When I am preparing for a tournament I spend most of my time "mapping" the greens and a surrounding area of about 30 yards to include bunkers, swails, or anything else not seen from the fairway. There are several ways to do this but my procedure is as follows:

1. Either buy a yardage book of the course if it has a quality drawing of the green or go to google earth and print out pictures of the course and each green. You would be surprised what kind of detail you can get from this. Google earth will also give you an exact "true north" position for each hole. This is important for "grain" and wind direction. If neither of these is available I draw it as acurately as possible.

2. Once I have a green diagram, I pace the green depth front to back, side to side, and also diagonally if I feel I may be coming in from an odd angle such as par 5's or short par 4's.

3. As I am pacing these areas I also note distances to ridges, bunker edges, downslopes, etc, and place directional arrows on areas where there is significant slopes or run-off areas.

4. Once I have the green and surrounds complete I look for potential hole locations and mark those. Once I have these I create "go spots" and "no-go spots". When playing a tournament I often do not have the luxury of guessing. I need to know that I have a "green light" to a flag or not. I also make note of green "breaks", firmness, and pace.

I try to play at least two practice rounds in order to become familiar with the course. I do not spend as much time mapping the course because most things are in front of you and I use a rangefinder. If I am not able to use a rangefinder then I spend more time mapping the course as well.

Hope this helps. I would love to hear from some of the pro caddies out there to see what they do for their players.

And here's another excerpt from that very thread.

I use true north as a reference only. When the wind is coming from the West/Northwest I can mark it on each hole so the "swirls" do not confuse me. Also if you are playing in an area where everything breaks toward the ocean, or Indio, or whatever, I can always have that reference.

For those who play on bermuda, grain is always an issue. The grain will typically grow toward the west (setting sun). Once again having a reference helps to eliminate doubt and is by no means an absolute.

Here's a video of Jeff at the old AT&T tournament that used to be held at TPC Sugarloaf just outside of Atlanta.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Peter Kostis Said What?

What did he say that I personally believe is 'we should turn this on mute' worthy?


Harold Swash Putting Video and Some Thoughts

Harold Swash is the putting guru of Europe and is the inventor of the C Groove technology of the Yes! Putters.

I had somebody e-mail me about Stan Utley's putting philosophies. I've never read his book 'The Art of Putting' but have some pretty decent knowledge of what Utley endorses. One of the reasons why I prefer Geoff Mangum over Utley, Pelz or even Swash is that he basically doesn't have a method that he believes is THE way to putt. In fact, in Mangum's book 'Optimal Putting' he essentially states that as long as the putter face is square to the target at impact and about 3" after impact, all the rest is just window dressing. Pelz is a SBST advocate. Swash likes the arc stroke, but wants a wide stance and the golfer trying to hit up on the ball to get the ball rolling with as little skid possible. Utley is an arced stroke advocate.

One of the things I've come across with Utley's philosophy is that he believes that golfers should add loft to the putter because he believes that golfers do not play with enough loft on the putter. But according to David Orr's studies on putting (and he researched 677 subjects including 50 Tour pros), most golfers actually have too much loft on their putters. From my observations Utley, Pelz and even Swash's philosophies are not all that scientific. Pelz used to work for NASA and while he did have a scientific approach to his philosphies, they often were woefully flawed or had such a small sample size that no self respecting researcher or scientist would publish those findings.

It appears one of the goals of putting is to hit the ball solidly off the sweetspot while hitting slightly upward on the ball and producing as little skid as possible. I guess it would be very possible to minimize skid or eliminate it all together by topping the putt, but that would destroy speed control/touch. So minimizing skid should happen when the ball is struck solidly and is part of the golfer's 'natural' putting stroke, IMO.

In the end, it's not to say that they (Pelz, Swash, Utley) are exactly wrong, but it's too say that like the golf swing and like clubfitting for full swing golf clubs, there's almost countless ways to do it. The C-Groove technology (and Taylor Made and Rife's groove technology) does seem to work extremely well. But like the golf swing, there seems to be very few imperatives to the putting stroke.