Tag Search: Mechanics


Practice to Play-Article by Jim Flick

In Tactical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

I hear this all the time from average golfers and even struggling tour players: “I hit the ball great on the range, but I’m a different golfer on the course. I don’t have the confidence to make the same swing when I know a bad shot will get me in trouble.”

Confidence comes from controlling the ball, but how do you go from hitting solid and accurate shots on the range to producing those same shots on the course? It’s helpful to understand the four stages of becoming a confident player:

First, you are unconsciously incompetent. You have no idea what to do in your swing or how to get there. This is the stage in which you learn the basics of the swing.

Second, you are consciously incompetent. You know what you want to do with your swing, but you can’t do it. You use drills prescribed by your teacher. It’s helpful to place rods or clubs on the ground to set up a “learning station” to check your alignment.

Third, you are consciously competent. On the range, you hit balls to perfect your swing, but you have to think mechanically to make the shot happen. Because you’re using verbal cues and thinking of positions, you often lose your tempo and rhythm.

Fourth, you are unconsciously competent. The best golfers compete in this stage. On the course they think about the conditions, select the right club, and play shots from point A to point B by focusing on the target. They no longer think about positions but feel how to use the club to create shots.Jack Nicklaus

So how do you get from the first stage to the fourth? As Jack Nicklaus once said, “I practice mechanics and play by feel.” Remember that practicing and warming up are two different things. When good players practice, they break the swing down into mechanical parts and then put those parts together to control the clubhead–and the ball. This is the only time these players think about swing mechanics. When they warm up before a round, they forget mechanics and rehearse hitting shots to various targets, creating playing situations. Seve Ballesteros would “play” entire holes before his round: Replicating a par 5, he’d hit a driver, then a 4-iron layup then a wedge approach. When he got to the first tee, he felt he’d already played a few holes and was in the rhythm of the round.

A strong picture can override a flaw in your swing to produce a playable shot. On the range, practice visualizing the entire shot, the ball curving in the direction you want, then landing where you intend and rolling to your target. Use the same visual technique when you hit real shots on the course. You’ll be on your way to playing your best golf ever.

Source – Golf Digest 2012


Anchoring the Putter – Ban

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

On November 28, the USGA proposed a rule change that will prohibit anchoring the putter when putting. This proposed rule change would take effect January 2016, but would still allow for the use of belly and long putters as long as they are not anchored to the body.

I have tried using a belly putter, but it did not work for me. I felt very restricted and lost the feel. With that said, I have never had a problem with other players using the anchoring method.  There are many reasons why golfers use it, including to protect the back and to steady the wrists.

The USGA says it is making the proposed rule change not because they feel anchoring a putt is an advantage, but because they feel it hurts the integrity of the game. The USGA said that the long-term interests of the game would be served by confirming a stroke as the swinging of the entire club at the ball.

“Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “The player’s challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club,”

When it comes to protecting the integrity of the game, I am all for it. But with almost 1 million golfers leaving the game each year, we need to make sure we keep the game friendly and fun. I don’t know if this rule change will hurt the game, but I don’t see how it will grow the game either. No matter what the outcome of the proposal is, this is a big decision in golf. Many players around the world and especially those on the pro tour, will have very different perspectives.

What do you think?

Source Annika Sorenstan



In Physical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

When is the last time you saw a tour pro fall over after a routine swing? Not very often.

Now try to remember last time you played a round with your buddies without seeing someone fall out of a shot at least once?

Balance and it’s probably one of the most misunderstood parts of the swing. You’re feet, and poor balance, can contribute to lots of swing problems.

A sway, a reverse spine angle, a reverse pivot, or hanging back on your right side can all potential be traced back to the feet. So we might as well eliminate that possibility.

So how do I know if I have bad balance?

Its not easy to “feel” if you have good balance or not, so get a stopwatch and lets find out for sure. Continue Reading→



In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

Slide is defined as any excessive lower body lateral movement towards the target during your downswing.  This swing fault makes it very difficult to stabilize your lower body during the downswing, which will eventually rob power and speed from the upper body through impact.  Your upper body needs a stable lower body to accelerate around during the downswing.  Once the lower body starts its forward shift into the downswing its job is to transfer energy to the upper body and stabilize the extreme rotary forces that are created in the upper body, arms, and club.  If there is no stable platform to rotate around, players will lose power and try to develop speed in an inefficient sequence.

What causes me to Slide and how do I correct it?

In order to coil around your lead hip during the downswing several physical characteristics must be developed. First and foremost, lead hip internal rotation is paramount for full rotation into the lead hip without any lateral sway. If the body is unable to rotate around the lead hip due to joint or muscular restrictions than lateral movements will dominate the pattern.


Finally, the ability to laterally stabilize your lead leg during the downswing is directly proportional to the strength and stability of your gluteal musculature (your butt). When it comes to lower body lateral stabilization the glute medius is the king. This muscle helps prevent the lead hip from elevating and shifting lateral during an aggressive downswing rotation.

I would strongly recommend being evaluated by a golf specific physiotherapist or similar to get a better understanding of your personal physical  characteristics.

Source Peak Performance


Senior Golf & Golf Specific Fitness

In Physical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

What is the biggest mistake that seniors make in relation to their body and golf?

Most senior golfers try to get fit through golf and very few for golf. Many senior golfers will play more golf per week then when they were in their thirties and forties however they do not invest in physically preparing their body for the increase in golf that they play. A good anecdote, is imagine driving your car 4 times further every week without giving it service or an oil change. The difference is that you can replace your car not your body.

Am I too old for this?

No, you are the right age for this program.

Our bodies get weaker and stiffer with reduced balance and posture as we get older. This means reduction in our overall function which reduces our overall ability to perform on the golf course.This aging dysfunction process may result in reduced participation in golf as you get older which can result in you being incapable of playing golf.Most senior golfers are highly successful and have worked hard throughout their lives to play good golf but are unaware of golf specific training. Many senior golfers will spend thousands of dollars on new clubs and equipment but have spent no time in, investing in the actual machine that is behind the clubs and that is your body.

Why should I do this golf fitness package when I am already working out in the gym?

A Golf specific program is unique in that it customises your golf specific exercises with your body and your swing to maximise function.Most gym programs are generic and not golf specific. Some of the general exercises are detrimental and may even harm your swing. Eg. bicep curls / sit-ups etc.

Source Ramsay McMaster


Simple Swing Fixes

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

There are no shortcuts to getting better. You’re going to have to put in some work. That’s the bad news. The good news is: If you follow my advice, the things you have to do to improve–and make that improvement last–can be fairly simple. I’m a big believer in working on one thing at a time. So to help you get started, I’ve broken down the swing into five segments. Within each segment I’ll give you a single element to focus on. If you work on any one of them, you should begin to see positive changes in your swing.  Continue Reading→


Maximizing Distance

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All golfers want to hit their tee shots as far and as straight as they can.  For many, this is where the most enjoyment playing the game is found. There’s nothing more satisfying than crushing a drive down the middle of the fairway.  I encourage you then to be aware of the following five keys
when it comes to hitting your driver farther.  Practice diligently and apply it effectively in order to increase your distance off the tee.  It will make the game more fun and you will likely shoot lower scores.  Good luck!

Fundamentals First

Sound set-up fundamentals (grip, stance, ball position, posture and alignment) is the foundation for developing the ideal distance-garnering combination – your maximum clubhead speed through impact along with a relatively square face angle. Understand and respect this. Do your utmost to ensure that you are in an orthodox starting position before you swing. Any errors here will likely manifest themselves by slowing you down and getting the clubface away from being square at the moment of truth – when you strike the ball.

Tilt your Spine to get Behind the Ball, the Reverse “K”

Tilt your spine into the Reverse “K” position. This positioning readies the body to create speed and encourages ideal club delivery possibilities. This is a classic long driver’s set-up.

Set up a Strong Triangle

Establish a preswing set up where a pronounced triangle is evident – positioning of arms and shoulders. The triangle is the strongest geometric shape. This position enables you to be as powerful and consistent as possible when striking golf shots.

Make the Shaft “Sing” through the Hitting Zone

Practicing by swinging your driver upside down – holding onto the shaft and swinging the grip without a ball present. You’re endeavouring to make
the shaft “sing,” creating as much shaft noise or “singing” through the hitting zone as possible. This provides immediate feedback on the amount of clubhead speed being generated as well as where the “singing” is happening relative to where the ball would be during the swing. Then turn your club into the normal position and try to make the shaft sing as intensely as you can through impact when hitting a ball. This drill is designed to create clubhead speed awareness and improvement. Try it. It works!

Finish in Balance, Let the Club Pull you all the way through

I encourage players to be able to stomp on an imaginary soft drink can underneath their back foot at the completion of their swing. Check yourself to see if you are finishing your swing all the way. Can you stomp on a can at the end of your swing?

Source Henry Brunton


Roll It to Improve Your Putting

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

Hit 2 balls.

Set up 2 golf balls side by side and then walk in to your putting set up with the putter head behind both balls as if you are going to hit them both at the same time.  Pick a distance it can be long or short and create a putting stroke relative to that distance.  Your goal is to hit both balls at once and see if the balls travel a similar distance.  Watch what happens.  Does one travel further than the other, if so which one.  If the ball that was closest to the heel of your putter face travelled further then your putter face was open at impact imparting side spin and backspin on the ball.  If the ball closest to the toe of your putter face travelled further then your putter face was slightly closed at impact.  This would be the preferred outcome.  It indicates that you are creating side and top spin on the ball which will keep the ball on line and rolling more smoothly.

Ideally the balls would roll a similar distance for long and short putts confirming that your putter face is neutral to the path.

Try this drill for a variety of length putts; the outcome could be different from one length to another.


Happy Feet

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

Good footwork deserves more attention than it gets, because it’s what puts you in the best position to deliver the club consistently for solid contact.

You should feel the weight transfer in your swing in terms of load on your feet–not just the back or front foot, but where on each foot that weight is falling. It starts with a 50-50 distribution across your two feet at address, with the weight concentrated on the balls of your feet–not the heels.

As you swing back, your weight should transfer to roughly 65 percent on your back foot, specifically on the inside arch area. The first thing you should feel on the downswing is a slight left-hip bump to shift weight from the arch of your back foot to the base of the big toe on your front foot. This move will help you set the club on the correct inside path and prevent the common over-the-top sequencing problem many players fight. Swinging down and through to a full finish–where 90 percent of your weight is on your front foot–will help you make solid ball-turf contact instead of striking the ground too early.

Source Hank Haney Golf Digest