Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kelvin Miyahira on Bryson DeChambeau's Swing

Here's a video from Kelvin Miyahira giving his thoughts on Bryson DeChambeau's golf swing:


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Examining the Warmup Routines of Tour Players

One thing I wanted to expand upon from my previous post where I reviewed my tournament round is my pre-round warmup routine.

For years I had wondered what is a good warmup routine and prior to the event I decided to come up with one. And what better way to determine a routine by looking at what some of the world’s best do prior to their event?

Here are some things I noticed about these warmup routines (and other videos of warmup routines from Tour players):

Typically, they show up about 1 hour before the round.

This gives them enough time to get what they want to get in without over-doing it.

Not over-doing it seems to be key theme to these routines

It’s almost like the players have a quota of time and balls hit from each station and they are going to stick to it, no matter what. What I see a lot of in amateur events (and I’m guilty of it myself) is getting stuck out on the range and if you’re struggling a bit that amateurs will continue to hit balls with that particular club until they ‘get it right.’

I think the Tour players look at the event sort of like taking the SAT’s. You either ‘have it’ or you ‘don’t have it’ and all of the extra practice directly prior to the round is not likely to change anything. In fact, it does the player no good to continue to struggle on the range. Perhaps amateurs need to view it as they are getting the bad shots out of their system on the range where it doesn’t count.

If a Tour player is set to spend 25 minutes on the range and hit about 8 drivers…they are going to stick to that schedule.

They practice each main part of the game

They get time in on the practice green, the range and the short game area. They will hit 50-100 yard wedges, full wedges, short irons, mid irons, long irons, 3-woods and drivers while they are on the range. It’s more important to get some practice in on all of the shots rather than focus on one area.

There is not much in the way of technique and mechanics being practiced

Again, it’s like taking the SAT’s…you either have it or you don’t. This is very smart by the Tour players because they are now engulfed in external focus (the target, the visual of the shot you want to hit, how the ball will fly and roll, etc) instead of internal focus (swing thoughts and visuals, what positions you are trying to hit and what motions you are trying to make). There’s a time and place for internal focus, but it’s not on game day.

If we do see some technique oriented stuff, it’s usually on the practice green, but it’s more of a drill on the greens.

They usually hit the putting green twice before they tee off.

Most of the players will either hit the putting green first or second in their routine. Then they’ll make it to the range or the short game area and most of them will then head back to the practice green again before they tee off.

The first time on the practice green appears to be more about getting an initial feel for the green along with some players working on some drills. The second appearance to the practice green is more about simulating putts they will have on the course.

There is virtually no downtime, particularly before they tee off.

The players move from station-to-station. It may not be super-intense, but they are not goofing off either. And most of them go to the practice green for the second time right before they tee off and they pretty much go right from the green to their first tee. I found this to be very different from my typical pre-round warmup routine where I would hang out for a while and try to calm my nerves instead of just going from the practice area right to the tee.

With that, I came up with my own pre-round warmup routine based on what I wanted to work on. I started to time each of these routines prior to the tournament to see how long they would take. Here is what I came up with.

• Show up 65 minutes prior to tee off

• Use the Ikkos system (13 minutes, 52 minutes left)

• Head to practice green with 10 golf balls. Speed/touch drill, clock drill and then 5 right-to-left putts and 5 left-to-right putts (14 minutes, 38 minutes left)

• Head to range (25 minutes, 13 minutes left)

12 slow motion 4-irons
6 regular speed 4-irons
8 9-irons
5 2-hybrids
5 3-hybrids
4 3-woods
8 Drivers
5 punch 6-irons
4 regular swing 6-irons

• Head to chipping green (6 minutes, 7 minutes left)

• Head to practice green (simulate some putts, hit some long 30+ foot putts) (6 minutes)

• Head to first tee

Unfortunately, I over-slept and only arrived to the course 45 minutes ahead of time. That meant cutting out the Ikkos practice. I also was a little slower moving around from station-to-station here than I was when I timed it at home. But, I did get in practice at each station, I just didn’t get to hit the putting green twice. Our tee time was at 7:57 and I arrived to my cart at 7:52 and they were anxious for me to get on the first tee.

But in the end, I think it was a better warmup routine than what I have typically employed. I plan on coming up with better routines on the practice green, so I can get what I want to get in and take it to the course.


Monday, April 25, 2016

My Orlando Amateur Golf Tour Event Review

This past weekend, I played the Orlando Amateur Golf Tour event at Victoria Hills and came in 2nd with a 73 (+1).

Here are the final round metrics:

36-37 = 73 (+1)
3 birdies (#1, #5, #17), 4 bogeys (#4, #9, #13, #18)
Par-3s: Even Par (all pars), 3 /4 GIR
Par-4s: Even Par (2 birdies, 2 bogeys)
Par-5s: +1 (2 bogeys, 1 birdie, 1 par)

9/14 Fwys
11/18 GIR
6 impeded shots
29 putts
+9 15/5 Score

What I did well:

1. Driving – I routinely was hitting the ball 40-yards past my playing partners. On #2, I hit one about 60 yards past my playing partners and on #18 I was about 80 yards past my playing partners (unfortunately, I was in the woods).

2. Short Putting – Putts inside 6-feet tend to give me a lot of trouble, but I made everything outside of a 3-1/2 footer on 18. That was due to a leaf blowing right in between the putter and the ball as I was making my thru-stroke.

3. Mental Game – I was good and focused pretty well. For the most part, I was focusing on my target and the shot I wanted to hit and nothing else mattered. I was also sticking with the mentality of hitting great shots and accumulating great shots instead of worrying about avoiding bad shots and fretting over a bad shot.

What I didn’t do well:

1. Iron Play – I only struck 2 irons well all day, the approach on #1 with a P-Wedge that still ended up 40-feet short of the hole (still on the green). And a punch 6-iron into a wind on #13 that flew the green.

2. Drives on the Par-5’s - I only found 1 fairway on the 4 par-5’s. And that was not particularly a great drive, but I ended up making birdie, anyway. I had 3 impeded shots on the other 3 holes. Snap hook on #9 which is uncharacteristic of me. The drive on #15 requires a large draw and I struck it well, but pushed it. I flew the bunker and ended up in the St. Augustine grass. I actually hit a great shot on the 2nd shot, but was screwed over as the ball ended up just short of the bunker and I should have been given a free drop due to Ground Under Repair (it rained that night and morning). I made par. Then on #18 I hit one of my longest drives all day, just pushed it a little and I had to hit a rescue shot out of the woods. But, 4 good drives on those par-5’s and I could have easily played them at -2 under and won the event.

3. Birdie Putting – The greens were smooth, but slow and the pin positions were on some big slopes. Still, I struggled to get the ball to the hole. Speed control was an issue.

What to work on:

1. Continue to work on the irons, particularly the mid-to-short irons.

2. Acquire the mindset of treating all par-5’s just like you would a normal par-4, take your stock swing and focus on making good contact and finding the fairway.

3. Work on speed and distance control drills.

I played in the event to get some experience of playing in tournaments, again. I had not played in an event in 2 years and I was looking to play in the FSGA Mid-Am in September, so I wanted to get some tournaments to help with comfortability of playing in competitive events. I also wanted to use this experience to test my game and see where I’m at.

I did not get a practice round in at Victoria Hills as I was too busy and have played there about 15 times. With increased club speed, I was in some new areas off the tee that I wasn’t accustomed to. Per usual, I was very aggressive in hitting driver off the tee. I only layed up off the tee once, on the Par-4, 4th hole

They had the tee moved up on this particular hole. I have only played this hole from the back tee, so I wasn’t sure what to hit. It played to about 390 yards. I hit a 2-hybrid and had 145 yards to the middle of the green and I made the right play.

The only hole I regret hitting driver on is #6, the 380 yard par-4 (it goes downhill a bit, so the ball flies further and rolls more.

I hit driver and didn’t execute and ended up in the left woods where the red X is located. The issue with this is that the area indicated by the yellow X was very unkempt and I could have made a pretty good swing and ended up there and have a very tough lie. That narrowed the landing area considerably. The woes of not playing a practice round.

If there was some neat ‘golf drama’ on this level, it was between myself and my playing partner, Danny Nash. Nash also shot 73 (I beat him when we matched scorecards as I birdied #1). We were tied going into the Par-4 16th hole which plays about 360 yards, but is straight uphill and fairly narrow with trees right and left and a fairway bunker left.

Nash hit 3-wood off the tee and I hit driver. Nash was playing the old ‘if I hit 3-wood, I’m only going to have about 140 yards into the hole.’ My mentality is that I know if I take an average pass at the ball, I will likely be just fine. Nash hit the fairway (yellow X) and I hit a hard driver that also found the fairway (Red X). The advantage clearly went to me as I was about 50 yards ahead of Nash with 85 yards to the hole (the pin was all the way back). But Nash stuck an approach shot to about 7-feet. I then hit a good SW, but it spun back about 10-feet and I was left with a 25-footer. I missed my birdie putt well short and was happy to make the par-save and Nash made birdie to go 1-up.

We then got on #17 which is a 380 yard par-4 that is fairly narrow as well:

Once again, Nash played the more conservative shot with a 3-wood off the tee and I hit driver. He put his 3-wood in the bunker (red X) and I blasted my driver right down the middle to about 70 yards (yellow X) to the hole. Nash hit his fairway bunker shot well short and I stuck my L-Wedge to 8-feet. Nash ended up with a bogey and I made par to go 1-up. That was before I blasted my drive on 18 into the woods and came away with a bogey and Nash and I tied for score.

I came into the event with 3-goals:

1. To have the mentality of trying to hit great shots because you can’t play great golf unless you hit great shots. And trying to accumulate great shots instead of focusing on avoiding bad shots.

2. Avoid making bad strategic errors (sometimes I get so aggressive that I take shots that are too low of a percentage to pull off).

3. Have no worse than an average performance with my short game and putting. Nobody can get putts to fall with any consistency, but if I can avoid terrible rounds putting and with the short game around the green, I can at least continue to be aggressive because if I miss a GIR, I can still save par. And if the putts start to drop, then I can get into the 60’s.

I think I did a pretty good job with all 3 goals. I did have some issues with feeling comfortable with my irons and sometimes I didn’t hit good enough putts due to being timid. The only strategic error I think I made was on #6 (drive into the left woods), but that was due to having not played a practice round and I still made par (and hit the GIR) on the hole. I would say that my short game was at least at the average. I had a couple of poor shots and a couple of great shots and mostly average shots. And my putting was likely a little below average. I left myself with too many putts with ‘some meat on that bone.’ But I only missed 1 putt I should have made and countered that with a 40-footer I made on the first hole.

Overall, it was a fun experience and I like how it tested my game so I know what to work on.


Friday, April 22, 2016

My Current WITB

Here's a look at my current WITB:

Click to Enlarge the specs sheet


The 3-wood is new. I plan on installing a new shaft, soon. I replaced my old Edel L-Wedge with a new Edel L-Wedge and I like the new Edel logo better.

The Brick was something I tried out at the PGA Tour Superstore and was immediately digging it.  I have the Edel Torque Balanced E-3 Putter (along with 2 more Edel putters).  I really like the E-3 and putt very well with it on fast greens.  But, I prefer The Brick's feel, particularly on mis-hits. 

I will be trying out the Wishon Sterling Single Length irons out in May.  From there, I will likely be changing iron shafts (the Nippon iron shafts launch too high for me) and likely be switching irons to either the Wishon Sterling set or the Srixon Z945.  I also eagerly await the Hogan VKTR Hybrids that will be coming out.  My current hybrids are 7 years old.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Science of the Golf Swing by the USGA

Here's a video from the USGA discussing some scientific concepts in the golf swing in layman's terms:


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tour Sequencing with Brendon DeVore and Monte Scheinblum

Here's a video from Brendon DeVore of BeBetterGolf with Monte Scheinblum discussing sequencing using the MySwing 3D Motion Capture system.



Monday, April 11, 2016

Kelvin Miyahira's Analysis of Danny Willett's Swing

Fresh off the Masters victory, here's an analysis of Danny Willett's swing by Kelvin Miyahira.