Archive for the ‘A+Featured Swing Tips’ Category

Refining My Golf Swing!

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

So, today’s practice lead to more great stuff, I am hitting the golf ball beautifully, great low-to-high trajectory with lots of spin, and control over my golf ball. And yes, my driver is definitely going over 320 yards, not that it’s important.

Continuing from yesterday’s practice, here’s my swing thoughts:

Really feel like you aren’t releasing the golf club at impact. I found that your golf club HAS to release at impact, you don’t have to make a conscious effort. What I do is try to hit the ball with a 90-degree angle formed by my hands and arms. What this does is help me keep the clubhead square as long as possible with natural release of my hands, which inevitably happens anyways.

If you take your golf club and take it near impact with your golf club at 90 degrees with your arms, then try to swing without releasing the club. The only way you will do that is by rotating your shoulders and forearms. That is exactly how you get a crisp strike through the ball. This results in natural release of your hands and the clubhead, squaring the clubface.

Enjoy~

Playing with Fire!

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Okay, the reason why today’s post is called “Playing with Fire” because today’s practice session literally felt like that.

For the first time in my life, I could “feel” my hands and clubhead “lagging” behind my lower body and I could sorta control it.

What happened?

Well, you know the other day I told you to have more fun and showed you my new trick shot? It turns out to hit that trick shot, my body had to do some intuitive moves, that of really starting the downswing with the lower body and making sure the clubhead never “releases”.

Oddly, I tried that same move on my full shots and boom, I felt like playing with fire, or that thing Ben Hogan doing in his still photos, lagging the crap out of his arms and hands before impact.

Anyways, here’s the swing thoughts that made it happen:

#1. Feel like at downswing, your right elbow touches the tip of your right hip. When you do this, you HAVE to start your downswing with your lower body.

#2. I am usually a bad cocker, I mean I don’t usually cock my wrists all the way on my backswing. Well, today I made sure I cocked all the way BEFORE starting the downswing, this helped me because now I can cock all the way and on the way down, just turn my body without worrying about releasing the club.

#3. On the way down, DON’T consciously try to release your right hand, do the opposite. What this will do is make you turn through more with your elbows and body instead of breaking down and breaking your right hand.

This should help you scratch golfers and single-digit handicappers. But don’t try it if you still can’t break 80. Nothing personal, just sayin’ this blog is about “advanced” golf.

Golf is About Having Fun!

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

You know, too many youngsters these days dream of playing on the PGA Tour and take golf too seriously. Of course, if you are already at that level that’s great but in the end, you want to have fun playing golf.

Instead of judging yourself everytime you practice or trying to perfect a golf swing that cannot be perfected, try having fun on the range, on the golf course, and be a fun person to be around first before you start getting ready for U.S. Open qualifying this year.

Here, let me start with this trick shot I invented today:

The correct Movement Through Impact!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

I’ve been actually researching ways to make my golf swing easier and finally after trying different things, I’ve found a bit of wisdom in my golf swing.

Although I am not keen on so-called golf-experts on YouTube or the internet, I did try something that Tom Bertrand was trying to get through, that of using your elbows to rotate through impact, instead of using your hands or anything else.

Anyways, I have been trying to get more of this type of impact action through my full shots and short game. And indeed it has helped me tremendously to get my game more consistent and to be able to hit more shots under control.

Watch this video, it’s not for beginners out there but for advanced scratch golfers who want to shave couple strokes off their game.

Today I learned about the importance of not using the hands, and it is helping me become more consistent, hit more shots the way I vision.

How to Pronate!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Pronating is a word I think invented by Ben Hogan.  It’s the act of keeping your left wrist flat or even at unnatural negative angle while swinging through the ball.

I’ve tried countless times to add pronation to my golf swing in my 20+ years of golfing life but always gave up because I couldn’t really do it.

Well today while practicing, I “naturally” achieved it while trying to hit my short irons dead straight at the target.

Instead of “pronating” what I did is to feel like the hands and the clubhead become near vertical at impact while the clubhead lags behind the hands.  Incredibly, when I did this, my short iron shots started going dead straight.

I slowed down that action and right before impact, I could see my left hand was “pronated”.   I started using this type of action on all my shots and guess what, I am hitting the ball straighter than ever.

I guess it took me 20 years to realize what pronation is but it’s not the result I think, it’s how you get there.  For me, that meant feeling like my hands and clubhead were near vertical at impact.   This seems like an action that will break your left wrist more than anything but go try it next time you are on the range, your shots will start shooting out like bullets!

Anyways, just wanted to share with you what I’ve learned today at practice, I finally figured out how to pronate and hit my short irons dead straight.

How to Practice Golf!

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Today was one of my better practice sessions at my local golf range.   For the first time in 3 years, I paid $5/30 minutes to practice my short game first.  Yes, in San Francisco, you have to usually pay to practice on the greens or your short game.

Anyways, I am sure many of you are city slickers like me trying to wing away your short game while you play on the golf course.  Don’t DO THAT, that will be one of the major reasons why your score never improves.

When I used to live with my parents, it was all FREE, I mean I used to practice my putting, chipping, sand shots, and my pitching shots for FREE at their local country club.   And yes, it’s not been like that anymore but no matter whether you have to pay or not, you NEED to practice your short game at least half the time.

So what?

If you want to lower your golf scores, you need to hit the practice green more often than hitting your irons or driver on the range.  I know, it’s fun, it’s fun to hit that 350 yard drive over the driving range fence or stick a 4-iron 200-yard sniper on the sign itself but in reality, it boils down to your short game.

The only person who might have gotten away without a short game in history of golf?

Maybe Ben Hogan, at his best, he hit like all the greens in regulations.  But trust me, no one can beat Ben Hogan, that is why he is a golfing legend.

The bottom line is, you can be better simply by being better around the greens.  And how many times can I tell you that game of golf is played with the putter and the wedge?   Too many, watch out for more blog posts titled, “how to practice golf” and more words on why you need to practice your short game.

And oh yeah, finally getting back into golf, I haven’t touched a golf club since last August I think, but I will be playing some events this year finally.

How Does the Correct Downswing and Follow-Through Feel Like?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

There’s nothing better than knowing exactly how to “feel” the downswing or the follow-through.  Most golfers end up manipulating the crap out of their downswing and follow-through (even myself at times) that they have no chance of hitting the golf ball squarely on the center of the clubface.

So, how does the correct downswing and follow-through feel like?

There should be absolutely no manipulations of your hands, shoulders, stomach, thighs, and legs.

You should feel like there’s a central core that moves everything.  Think of it this way, imagine your hand holds 5 yoyos and at the top of your backswing, each of the yoyos represent your hands, shoulders, stomach, thighs, and legs.   Now, since the 5 yoyos are attached to a string, how will you move your body so that you can swing the 5 yoyos through while keeping the string taut?

The only way you can do that is by swinging with your body or having a “feel” that there’s a central core (somewhere inside your chest like the middle of your chest) swinging the 5 yoyos.

In other words, in a correct downswing, there’s absolutely no “tension” if any of your body parts that are controlled by your central core.

There’s a lot of golf teachings out there that teach you to swing “inside-out”.  Now, this isn’t something you can do by manipulating your body, it’s only result of going through the correct golfing motions.

*Note – Swinging inside-out has more to do with the rhythm of your swing than mechanics.  I will have more on this later.

So, stop trying to much when you are following through, and let your hands, shoulders, stomach, thighs, and legs turn naturally through the shot.

One swing thought I use often to let this natural process happen is to simply think of transferring my body weight to my left foot (while keeping everything else passive). What this does is get me in the correct downswing motion with the lower body while preventing manipulation of my upper body.

I know, sometimes the golf swing is a lot simpler than you think, just think “transfer weight and turn your whole body onto your left foot” and let everything else follow.   This also means you can/should “feel” that your hands are light while doing so. Keeping your hands light will keep your shoulders, stomach, thighs, and legs light and prevent them from manipulating your downswing and follow-through.

Well, if you get confused, just remember my last paragraph I’ve outlined in bold and make sure you try it next time you are on the range or the golf course.

Putting Secrets – How to Putt Better with Pace and Speed!

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

You know how golf announcers on TV always mention “pace” of the putt while pros putt?

Well, this “pace”, can help you putt better.

How does it work?

In simpler terms, you need to find the “correct” speed of your putting stroke that will work with the greens on the golf course you are playing at.

One of the reasons why many golfers will shoot much higher score at better golf courses is because they cannot cope with the super-fast green speeds and start panicking.

Once you start panicking over a putt on the green and overshoot it by miles and end up 3-putting or even worse, you lose your confidence.  And if you do this for more than a hole, all of your putting confidence disappears for the day.

Does this sound familiar to you?  Don’t worry, it has happened to me hundreds of times, especially when I am trying out for U.S. Open qualifying, those greens are slick as hell.

It’s a vicious cycle of putting bad but in actual reality, you aren’t putting bad, you simply didn’t have the right “pace” for the green.

So, how to achieve the sound “pace” for the golf course you are playing today?

Make sure to get a feel for the greens by getting a 15-minute warm-up session before you play, especially if this is a golf course you have not played before or you know beforehand that the greens are kept immaculate and super-slick.

While you warm up to get the “feel” for the greens, you need to find the correct “pace” or “speed” for your putting stroke.

For best results, I highly recommend to control the distance that your putts roll with the “length” of your putting stroke. Now, if you overshoot or end up short, you need to then adjust your “pace” or “speed” of your putting stroke accordingly but do not change the length of your putting stroke.

Because your brain is already taught to use a certain “length” of your putting stroke for the distance required, you don’t need to change that, just change the “pace” of your putting stroke.  Once you get the right “pace”, make sure you record it in your brain and use it for the rest of the day.

If there’s a certain green that’s under a tree and feels damp in your feet, you will have to adjust accordingly as it’s most likely going to be slower than other greens on the golf course, speed up your “pace” just a tad.

Of course, for those greens on the hills and if it’s one of your last holes of the day, the greens are going to be a bit faster, slow down your “pace” just a tad.

Why adjust “pace” not the “length” of your putting stroke?

Pace is everything in golf, and if you’ve just switched from a super-slow green to super-fast green, you aren’t going to be able to make the correct adjustments with the length of your putting stroke easily but you can easily with “speed” of your putting stroke.

I will have a further video tutorial on exactly what I mean here, feel free to ask any question below!

How to Swing With Your Body!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

For those of you who want to really learn to swing with your body, you will want to read the rest of this blog post.

To really swing with your body, there’s one exercise I do and let me tell you how to do that exercise.

First, I want you to setup with a golf club (any will do) and take your address as if you are going to swing a real ball.

Second, I want you to grip it with both of your hands like you would normally then take your left hand off there while leaving your right hand on the golf club.

Third, I want you to use your body to move your shoulders, arms, hands, and the golf club to the top of your swing very, very slowly.  Let me emphasize again that you want to do this as slowly as possible and feel all your big muscles like the torso and the core of your body doing the turning of the backswing.

Also when you use your body to get to the top of the swing, I want you to really “feel” your body “turning”.

Can  you feel it yet?

If you can feel it, that’s how you swing a golf club with your body.

For the downswing, it’s the same thing, you use your body to control the downswing.

Why is this so important?

Because when you swing the golf club with your body, you will be able to swing the same way time and time and also be able to hit the ball longer, straighter, and effortlessly.

Also if you tend to take a lot of time from golf like I have been, it simply makes sense to have a golf swing that’s easy to repeat and uses your body as control point.

Anyways, I’ve been using this new swing (that I’ve forgotten) lately and hitting like every fairway, flawless iron shots that “nip” the grass just right.

Try it, really, and I bet it will help you feel what the correct golf swing motion is like.

How to Swing Without Using Your Hands!

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

In golf, using your hands on the downswing too much or manipulating them can be one of the worst things you can do. In fact, that’s what 99% of golfers actually do, uncock their hands first from the top and then wonder why they didn’t hit the ball far enough nor straight.

Today, I realized something about my golf swing, something I used to do, that is to swing without using your hands.

How to swing without using your hands?

It’s easy, don’t use your hands on the downswing.

What I do is actually think of my hips turn instead. From the top of your backswing, all you really need to do is think about your lower body “clearing” or in simple words, turning towards your target. The rest of your body should follow and you shouldn’t need to “consciously” think of your hands at all.

So, next time you head out to the range, don’t swing with your hands, it can only hurt you.