Archive for the ‘A+Featured Swing Tips’ Category

How to Putt Better with a Pendulum Swing!

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Putting at its simplest form is a pendulum. You probably know what a pendulum is, that thing on top of your piano that goes back at forth at perfect tempo.

But how do you putt like that? The human body isn’t made like a pendulum, there are actually moving parts such as your head, shoulders, arms, and hands.

Well, today I’ve found a great way to help everyone who reads this humble little golf blog to putt better.

If you’ve putted with a belly-putter or a long putter, you probably notice that it’s fairly like a pendulum, your putter swinging from a center point, your belly or your chest.

But how do you re-create that pendulum swing without a belly-putter or long putter on a regular 36-inch putter?

I know some pros use their “imaginary” point on their chest as the center point. But believe me, there’s lots of things that can go wrong plus that’s not gonna work for the weekend warrior.

Instead use your left elbow (for right-handed golfers) as the center point. I did this today on the putting green today and started sinking like every putt!

Your left elbow is a great center point for your putting stroke as it eliminates the rest of your body. I don’t care how you putt but next time you putt, try using your left elbow as the point that your putting revolves around.

One more tip, a putting stroke should naturally open and close on its own plane. Yes, a putting stroke has a “plane” just like a full swing, the more consistent you can keep this, the truer you can roll the golf ball.

Now try this natural open and closing action while keeping your left elbow as the pivot point, then you’ve got some great consistency.

Well, that’s my secrets, thanks for listening.

Question from Robbin on Tempo Problem

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Robbin who is a 15 handicapper asked,

I still facing Tempo problem during down swing as intent to force all the way from peak of back swing to hitting the ball. That always give the bad shot and frustration.

Is there any swing thought to prevent this mistake.

Hi Robbin,

That’s a common problem for many golfers, believe me, that happens to everyone in golf at some point or another. The hardest part about golf is that you see the golf ball during your swing and all you want to do is whack it. Well, that’s going to cause a lot of problems as you will inevitably use your arms and hands to hit the golf ball, sometimes resulting in ugly fat shots and other problems I should not mention.

But there is a cure for this, there’s a bunch of them.

Here’s a few swing thoughts you might want to try Robbin:

  • Right before swinging the golf club, really look at the target once more and swing “through” toward your target.  In a good golf swing, you always swing the golf club at the target (which leads to good shots) rather than thinking about the golf ball.  The golf ball is just sitting in-between your backswing and your follow-through, you never have to actually try hitting it.
  • Watch pros play on TV, the pros have really good rhythms.  If you watch carefully, you will notice that every pro starts their downswing a bit slow then starts accelerating.  That’s the ideal tempo.  You always start a bit slow from the top of the swing then accelerate “through” the ball.  But you never stop at the golf ball, that will cause fat shots.  Try to copy their rhythm.  The more you watch the more naturally you will be able to copy their rhythm and correctly swing through on your downswing.
  • Think of the length of your follow-through on your downswing, don’t think about the ball.  This is what I do, I make sure the length of my follow-through is longer than my backswing.  This helps me accelerate through the golf ball and also not have to think of the golf ball.
  • Practice lots of short pitches around 50-100 yards.  These help you to really “feel” the correct rhythm, which should be very easy.  In fact, try replicating your short shots on your longer shots.  Once Butch Harmon told me, your full swing is only an exaggerated version of your chip shot.   Do not force your full swing, it should be easy when you let your club do the work.
  • On your next practice at the range, swing to the top of your swing, pause for a second, then start slowly accelerating through the golf ball until you finish (and don’t stop until your weight is fully on your left).  This will help you to get the correct feel and not rush your downswing.
Overall, I think your tempo problem lies in the fact that you think the end of your golf swing is at the golf ball, not after your follow-through on your finish.  A lot of problems can be fixed if you can finish your golf swing and hold it for 3 seconds.  Hope you try these tips and let me know if it helped you.

How to “Play” Better Golf!

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

One of the secrets to “playing” better golf is simply playing more golf. As simple as that sounds, playing golf more, plain simply playing more golf rounds can due some good for your golf scores.

Lately, I have been playing more golf and my golf scores have gotten better every round, I finally getting those par-runs back and some few birdies here and there.

One of the best ways to get better playing golf is to really focus during your round of golf. Notice what you are doing wrong and have some quick sense to fix it during the round of golf.

This doesn’t mean trying that swing tip your buddy gave you last night but fixing things on your own.

As a good example, here’s what went through my rounds in last couple days.

Yesterday, I was literally 3-putting every green, missing very short 5-foot putts and costing me the whole round. But by 9th green I figured out that I wasn’t opening my clubface on my putts as I usually do. After that, I putted really good the rest of the round, sinking many putts more including some birdie putts. On the 17th hole, I banana-sliced my 2-iron into the hazard way short, hit a 3 wood over some hazard, hit a pretty good 60 yard sandwedge that hit pin-high but hop and spun like 18 feet too much, then made a 3-foot right-to-left 18-footer for a 5, bogey, but that’s a really good way to make a bogey.

Interestingly, I felt really comfortable on holes where I played well, didn’t really think much that I was doing well but it was the really, out-of-this-world bad holes where I had trouble. Damn.

Instead of getting mad at yourself, if you really think about you are doing wrong and do something to make it better, you will play better golf.

More thoughts:

- When putting, think open and close, your putting stroke naturally opens and closes, don’t try to fight it straight, let it open and close. Also make sure to let your arms hang fully extended naturally at address, putting is like a pendulum, you should make your putting like a pendulum and control distance with the length of your putts.

- Swinging, think of swinging back in one-motion using your whole body, keep it together and the downswing is easy, otherwise… Also make your swing thoughts simple, mine is “turn my whole body back, turn my legs through the target”, that’s it. Do your swing mechanics on the range not on the course.

- Chipping, let it swing on its own, its like your arms do all the work.

- Short Sand shots – Keep weight on the heels of your feet, really exaggerating this motion (it’s like sitting-down to take a dump in the sand like a dog seriously) and when you hit your sand shot keep clubface 30 degrees open from target line and keep the feet 30 degrees open from target line and make sure to swing through, your follow-thru determines how long your golf ball travels.

- Knock down short/med irons – Swing to half-way, then immediately swing through. Knock down is basically a really long chip with the short/med irons, this should be your bread and butter. I can hit many green from 100-150 yards no problem, this is my “go to” shot. And always play your drives to your best “go to” shot, mine is a 9-iron knockdown from 110-125 yards.

- Watch golf – Watching pros play on TV really helps you to get a good idea how to play a hole, really pay attention to how pros play on TV and watch their strategy on a hole, copy it and you’ve got a successful par/birdie run. Also helps you subsconsciously repeat their rhythm.

So, above is typically my thought process during a round of golf, I try to get better at every part of my game and note what worked and what didn’t. Throw away your bad things and focus on your good shots.

Do more of this for next 50 rounds and I guarantee you that you can shoot under par.

I’ve seen a ton of scratch golfers with faulty swings and great short game but I’ve never seen one with a good swing and faulty short game.

I am almost there (again), shootin’ 67-68 every round!

Backswing Tips for More Consistent Golf!

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

I’ve actually been playing more golf lately although I have been busy as hell with my online business. Anyways, today during practice I came up with a swing thought that helped me greatly and this could possibly help you too.

The great Ben Hogan was always big on swing planes and he said that his swing became more consistent when he started imagining this swing plane. Well for most of us Hogan’s swing plane concept isn’t going to work since Ben Hogan swung very, very flat. If you tried to copy his method of swinging in plane, you would literally hook every shot unless you copied his super-weak grip and the correct wrist position at the top of the swing.

In other words, don’t try Ben Hogan’s swing plane as it can lead to a swing that you do not want.

Instead, I thought of another way that could help me and everyday golfers like you. That is think of pointing the butt end of your golf club toward your golf ball on the way back. This allow you(me) to swing back on a consistent plane. Also, that is a good way to swing the golf club as that’s the same path as your follow-through. It’s not exactly the same but by swinging in plane or at least the “same” plane everytime, you will have more consistent results.

Now, the key isn’t a “perfect” plane or golf swing here (as there’s no such thing) but finding a way to repeat a golf swing time after time.

I found that after using this plane method, I was more consistent and could repeat my good golf shots more often. Try it, it can help you.

The Double Waggle!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Do you know the double waggle? the tripple waggle? or the quaddruple-waggle? or the infinite-waggle (that Segio Garcia uses)???

Well if you don’t it’s time to get to know them. The waggle helps you “feel” the swing, how much effort you will put into the shot, so you can control the distance.

Many people do just one waggle but always give yourself the room to do at least two waggles or the “double” waggle. This extra look at the target lets you really feel the target and become more confident about your shot, forgetting about everything else that’s going around you.

Now, you don’t have to limit yourself to just two waggles, perhaps try 3 or even 5. You can do as many as you need but also do remember not to be make it a burden, I would say two or three should suffice for most shots.

How many waggles should you do?

As many as you need to really feel your golf shot, make it fun, take your time and feel the shot. Try it, you will hit shots closer to your target.

Golf is About Being Able to Repeat Your Quirks!

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Golf is really about being able to “reproduce” the same golf swing over and over again. This doesn’t mean you need to “reproduce” the perfect golf swing, it just means that you can hit the same 15-yard fade or even 30-yard hook every time you hit the ball.

Now, in order to be able to repeat your golf swing, you will need to remember exactly what you did everytime.

Everyone has “quirks”, or certain setup/movements they do during their golf swing. Now, some people do these quirks once in awhile and the good ones can do it everytime.

For me, my quirks include setting up to the ball then making sure my eyes are slightly inside-out in relation to the parallel target line. I also make sure my left feet is open no more than 15 degrees.

Why are my quirks so important to me? That’s because if my eyes are slightly outside-in, I will start taking the club too far outside and ultimately end up hitting a bad hook. If my left feet is open more than 15 degrees, I will open my hips too much at impact and start hitting a bad hook also. But when I make sure my quirks are exactly the way I want it everytime, I ultimately/usually hit the ball straight and minimize my tendency to hook.

But these quirks are different for everyone. For you, maybe you need to feel that your left shoulder is leading your backswing in order to hit the golf ball flush or maybe you need to feel that your weight balance is near 55-45 at address in order to hit the ball a certain way.

The point is, the more quirks you can repeat, the more consistent your golf shots will be. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will hit the ball straight but if you can repeat your 15-yard fade or 15-yard draw everytime, you can simply aim 15 yards left or right to hit the ball on target.

How to find your quirks?

Next time you are on the range, try to be aware of your setup, and try to repeat your quirks if you find any. Go ask your friend and ask him what is so “unique” about your golf swing and setup. I bet he will find a couple. Then make sure you repeat those quirks everytime.

More quirks you know about your golf swing, the more consistent your golf swing will be. Golf isn’t about hitting perfectly straight shots but being able to repeat whatever shot you can hit. That may be a 15-yard hook or even 50 yard banana slice. The point is, you can break par with a consistent 50-yard banana slice but you cannot break par if you have an inconsistent straight shot.

Try it and let me know how your quirks work out for you.

How to Develop Golf Poker Face!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

For those of you who have played golf for at least several years, you probably know when someone mentions “poker face” on the golf course. In fact, this is actually one of the most important key factors to playing high-level golf.

Golf is a sport where your emotions can easily get in the way and you can ruin your round literally by laughing your a** off to the 18th green.

Do you remember the last time you made a birdie, then got so excited that you thought about shooting under par, breaking 80/90, then double-bogeyed the next hole? Or maybe worse?

That’s exactly what I am talking about, you can let your emotions run your thoughts on the golf course.

Or how about the last time you made a triple bogey on a hole then follow it with 3 more triples?

Whether you have a good hole or bad hole, it’s imperative that you learn to control emotions. Imagine those monks (even if you are not buddhist and I am not) meditating, that’s how your mind should be if you want to play your best golf.

Meditating on the golf course, are you crazy?

Well I didn’t say literally but your brain should always be near an even, steady state. Never let a good shot or bad shot make yourself think too far ahead.

It’s about “detaching” your emotions from yourself on the golf course, not adding to it. And no, if you are one of those club-throwing freaks, you’ve got a long way to go. I would suggest playing some golf videos games first to improve your angry behavior. And trust me, it took me around 10 years to get my anger under control, 10 YEARS! I was very young though when I started golf but many of you start golf more mature so use your maturity when you are on the golf course.

So, how do you train your mind to meditate on the golf course and separate your emotions from your golf shots?

Simple, you need to practice it right. Next time you are on the range, on the practice green, or playing another round of golf, practice “poker face”. This means even if you just hit a 250-yard 3-wood second shot on a par 5 to 2 feet or you just shanked your drive OB on the first hole, try your best to show no emotion, DETACH all emotion from your golf shot.

Or if you are on the driving range, don’t get mad because you can’t fix your 50 yard hook or don’t get so excited that you hit 3 shots in a row that hit the target.

I challenge you to a 100% emotionless practice or a round. The thing is, we are all humans and there’s no way you are going to play perfect at 100%. Even best players in the world probably get near 95% at best.

But the more you can do this poker face thing, the better you will be able to handle situations on the golf course and your golf scores will eventually lower as a result.

Try it out and let me know how well you do, poker face drill.

Advanced Swing Thoughts!

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Do you know one secret that helps you become better at golf?

It’s definitely not hitting a ton of golf balls at the range although it does help if you do practice.

The key is to really become better at golf everyday, perhaps you are hitting some chip shots at the practice green or working on short 50-yard pitch shots all day long at the range.

Anyways, I hope you all are trying to get better at golf, as I have been. It’s about beating your own self, your own skills on a daily basis.

Here’s some advanced swing thoughts that help me hit the ball like really good today and last whole week.

First, practice a lot of 50-80 yard pitch shots and challenge yourself if you can hit these short pitch shots perfect. I practice these most often as they serve as core fundamentals for your golf shots, swing, and more.

If you can find a good swing that can hit good pitch shots, you will inevitably end up hitting great full shots and great drives.

And here’s the real secret sauce that I’ve been using:

The backswing is composed of your whole body working together.

Your downswing on longer shots should be more or less “effortless” or automatic if you will. The full swing on a driver is so big that you shouldn’t have to think. I like to think of my lower body’s transition and turning through on the longer shots, that’s about it. There’s no way you can manipulate the longer shots with your hand.

On the other hand, shorts iron shots and pitch shots require some finesse with your hands and arms, you will have to learn to hit various different shots on the short ones especially.

That’s about it but this could help you if you are trying to get better.

Golf Swing Thought Secrets!

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Today was probably the best day I had at the range, I’ve actually not hit many golf balls lately and it’s actually the second time I’ve practiced in the last month. But, weird how you can put it all together when you get away from it.

Anyways, here’s my golf swing thoughts, which are secrets of mine and should not be shared with anyone you know.

1. Really be able to feel your whole body on the backswing, you can feel that the triangle formed by your shoulders, arms, and hands really stay together.

2. Swing in-plane, swing back on your plane, swing through on your plane.

3. Really feel the big muscle effect through downswing, this means that your lower body leads, then followed by your upper body, shoulders, elbows, arms, hands, in that order.

4. Enjoy your shots at they shoot off like a bullet into the thin air and land right on your target.

Correct Backswing Leads to More Consistent Golf Swing!

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Today’s topic is about the backswing. A lot of people focus too much of their time on the downswing, transition, and whatnot. But if you don’t have a correct backswing, no matter what you do on your downswing and onward, you will probably still hook the ball or banana slice it. Even if you can manipulate your hands so well, that’s not going to last on the golf course and it’s likely to bite you in the future with errant shots.

So what?

Key to more consistent golf swing lies in your ability to set yourself up in the right position on your backswing.

If you can achieve correct backswing every time, you’ve solved nearly 90% of hitting the golf ball squarely on the clubface.

I know this can be a bit different (as your backswing might differ on how your grip your golf club) but let me give you some tips that can be applied to anyone’s golf swing.

First, stay in balance during your backswing. I see a ton of amateurs lose their balance on their backswing yet complain that they cannot hit the golf ball solid.

Second, you want to feel relaxed during your golf swing, having tension in your hands, arms, or shoulders can kill your chances at great golf shots.

Third, your backswing is a “body” turn”, if you are not using your whole body to turn, you are prone to make some manipulations on your downswing plus you are missing out on some extra yards you should be getting.

Well, working on your balance is crucial to more consistent shots. A great way to practice your balance is to swing to the top of your backswing and pause. If at this point you feel in complete balance, that’s great but if you are not, keep trying until you can get perfect balance. This might sometimes mean shortening your backswing a bit but if that’s what it takes, do it as I bet your golf shots will improve.

Also, pause at the top of your golf swing and see if you feel tension in any part of your body. Most of my problems come when tension creeps into my hands at the top of my backswing. What happens to me then is that the tension in my hands cause me to swing overly flat and by the time I get to impact, my clubface is too-closed and must resort to last-minute hand manipulations to hit the ball square.

A correct backswing feels like your whole body is turning together, practice controlling your backswing with the bigger muscles of your body. I like to visualize my belly controlling the speed of my backswing.

So, next time you are on the range or the golf course having trouble with your golf shots, do some practice backswings and pause at the top. You should feel very balanced, light, and together.

Once you can feel those things, you will feel more confident and hit more consistent golf shots. Let me know if this helps you!