Archive for the ‘Golf Professionals’ Category

Video of Tiger Woods as a Junior Golfer

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

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Here’s a very interesting video of Tiger’s junior golfing life between 1 and 20.  Lol, you can take some tips on how to get your daughter/son to become a great golfing legend.

Ian Poulter Driver Swing Analysis – 1 Plane Swing

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Ian Poulter comes as close to a 1-plane swing other than Tiger or Adam Scott in my mind.

Let me show you why.

Take a look at how Ian’s clubface is pretty much dead on-plane. A lot of pro tour players are inside this point, Ian does pretty well of keeping that club wide and extended. I love Ian’s takeaway, everyone should copy this…

At half-way point, Ian is still on-plane, maybe slightly flat but that’s good enough.

At top of Ian’s swing, his hands are “almost” on plane. It’s a little upright but it’s okay.

Also note that his club is pointing way left of target, this usually is okay as long as Ian is on-plane.

At half-way down, Ian is perfectly slightly inside the plane.

At impact, Ian does a pretty good job. There actually space in-between his right elbow and hips. This is a good thing and he has not “dipped” a lot like a other players.

After impact, Ian’s extension shows that he’s on perfect plane. Also note how “tall” Ian is standing. This is great for hitting the ball good and the back.

What a lovely finish.

What to learn from this?

There are lots of ways to swing the golf club. Some can hurt your back some can help your back but both achieve the same results as far as golf shot goes.

You need to pick the right swing mechanics for your golf game so you don’t end up one day with a golf swing you can’t play as you get older.

Swing Tip: Try to stand very very tall when swinging the club. Never stress your body, let the club do the work for you. If you swing the club and you feel tired after couple swings, you are probably not swinging, but “bashing” or “hitting” the ball. Never hit the ball, let it come in the way of your swing.

Watch out as I think this young Ian guy can win lots of tournaments in the near future.

Here’s Ian Poulter’s swing in action:

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Jesper Parnevik Driver Swing Analysis

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Jesper Parnevik has always been my Swedish golf hero(outside Annika Sorenstam that is). I remember seeing him for the first time on TV about 15 or so years ago and I still remember how he had his cap backwards and advertisers actually started putting their logo inside-out just for Jesper.

Let’s look at his swing:

At takeaway, Jesper is slightly inside the plane but no big deal here, looks great.

At half-way, Jesper is still on-plane, maybe slightly flat but it works.

At the top of his swing, Jesper is pretty much on plane, maybe slightly upright. His clubface is slightly shut, meaning it’s a little closed, meaning it’s pointing a little too much at the sky. This isn’t problem for Jesper as most pro tours do have it slightly shut for a nice draw.

At half-way down, you can see how well Jesper fits his hands and club onto the red plane. Most pro tours are great at this.

At impact, Jesper is great. Maybe his right arm could be extended a little but that’s because his head dipped about 3-4 inches from address. (If you take a look at the location of the bunker at address and here, you will see.)

The dip usually isn’t a big problem for most pro tours as it’s a natural thing. You might want to watch out though if you are dipping more than 4 inches. (My recommendation is to try around 1-2 inches of dip at most. To lessen dipping on your swing, swing effortlessly and also feel like you are standing up tall during your whole swing)

Jesper looks great after impact. Take a look at the triangle formed by his arms, shoulders, and hands. This is a characteristic a lot of the good ball strikers on tour all have. (Sorta like the mirror image position of the backswing.)

At finish, Jesper is in perfect balance, enjoying his perfect tee shot. Take a look at his right foot and how the tip of the foot is straight down. You want this at the finish for a perfect balance in your swing.

What to take from Jesper’s swing?

Well, golf is partly or mostly about balance. If you can be in balance at address, backswing, and the finish, you are 10 times more likely to hit the ball straighter and farther than if you are not in balance.

Next time you go out on the range, see if you can stay in balance during your swing and also hold your finish for 3 seconds. If you can do this on every shot, you must be hitting the ball pretty good, at least solid even if you spray it.

Here’s Jesper Parnevik’s Driving Swing in action:

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Hunter Mahan Driver Swing Analysis

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Hunter Mahan is another upcoming PGA Tour pro. Let’s look at his action:

At takeaway, we can see clearly that Hunter like to follow the “yellow” plane.

At halfway up, you can see that Hunter manipulates his arms to get the club on-plane. (with the red plane)

At the top of his swing, we can see clearly that Hunter is pretty much on-plane with the red-plane.

Halfway down, Hunter is slightly inside the plane, perfectly good for a nice little draw.

At impact, Hunter looks pretty good, maybe his right arm could be little bit more straighter.

Hunter could benefit from a 1-plane swing. Simply by changing his takeaway to be more on-plane with the red plane, he could do more with less work.

Here’s Hunter Mahan’s swing in action:

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Tommy Armour III Iron Swing Analysis

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Tommy Armour III is actually the grandson of the great Tommy Armour who has won 3 major championships.

Although Tommy Armour III has not been as successful as his grandfather, I highly suggest you to read his grandfather’s book, A Round of Golf with Tommy Armour. The book teaches you countless great course strategy and let’s you score the game instead of focusing on swing mechanics. (It’s one of the best golf course strategy books out there that no one knows about, if not the best)

Now let’s look at Tommy Armous III’s simple and compact swing. Tommy does swing pretty quickly but don’t let that fool you, he’s actually “accelerating” through the ball better than most other tour pros.

At takeaway, Tommy likes to go with the traditional red plane. We will see that he returns to the red plane near the backswing though.

At top of his swing, Tommy is pretty much on-plane with the red plane. Also notice that his clubface is “parallel” to the red plane. (You have to imagine the red plane extends forever to the front and back of a golfer pleeez)

What I like about Tommy’s action is that he keeps his backswing pretty short but accelerates through the ball very nicely.

On the way down, Tommy get slightly inside to hit the ball inside-out.

Oh boy, with Tommy’s super fast downswing, he’s still in perfect position at impact. Look at how straight his arms, hands, and club are, almost matching the red plane.

Tommy may not have won as many tournaments as his grandfather, but expect him to win a major real soon.

Here’s Tommy Armour III’s iron shot in action:

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Zach Johnson Iron Swing Analysis

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Zach Johnson Iron Swing Analysis

Zach Johnson’s swing reminds me of Ben Hogan’s swing.  Here’s why:

At takeaway, note how still Zach’s head is.

At top of the swing, Zach’s head is still in the same position.  A lot of golf teachers teach you to transfer weight to the right but Ben Hogan didn’t do that.  (Well he did without moving his head to the right)

At halfway down, Zach actually moves forward with his head and his body, something that Ben Hogan did to prevent him from hitting his bad hook.

At impact, Zach looks pretty good with his left arm and club forming a straight line.

After impact, take a look at how well Zach extends both his arms, and also note that his wrists are straight as hell, no angles anywhere.  This is the most awesome extension I’ve seen, probably slightly better than Tiger’s.

Note how Zach’s arms are extended even at finish, this is something sorta like what Ben Hogan did, although Zach does a little more extension with his left arm than needed.

Zach Johnson shows you how to extend your arms after impact.

Why is this important?

Well, the more you extend and if you extend correctly through impact, you are thereby creating a bigger arc and more room for your clubhead to stay square to the target.  Now if you have bigger arc than anyone else you play with, you are more likely to hit your shots very very straight.

Increase chances of hitting the ball straight, hit more greens, and you score less. :)

Here’s Zach Johnson’s swing in slow-motion:

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Nick Faldo explains weight transfer

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

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Here’s a good video of Nick Faldo explaining how to transfer your weight during a golf swing.

Although this is true, there’s a lot of new “swings” out on there that might confuse you.

What to take from it?

Well, I do like the part that you should wait until after hitting the ball to completely transfer your weight to the left.

I will have to try this in detail more next time I am on the range.

Nick Price Driver Swing Analysis

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Nick Price Driver Swing Analysis

I remember seeing Nick Price for the first time on TV, his hair used to stick up all the time a lot more than most other tour pros.  Anyways, I have always been a big fan of Nick Price since the 90s, let’s look at how his swing is.

Btw, he’s a student of David Leadbetter, so he swings on the yellow plane. (We will have to term the yellow plane swingers as 90s swingers.  I also have been guilty of practicing the yellow plane for about 10 years of my life but that’s the 90s, let’s focus on the true swing plane here)

At halfway back, Nick does the perfect match with the yellow plane.  I’d rather see him more outside near the red plane.

At the top, Nick does get back on to the plane.

Surprisingly, Nick does come back to the yellow plane before impact.  This is actually harder to do and its only because Nick’s really good at it.  Most tour pros would come down the red plane line.

At impact, Nick is somewhat neat the red plane.

Now, a lot of pro golfers and teachers still rely on the 2-plane swing, which is combination of the yellow and the red plane.  This is too confusing and there’s too many moving parts.

If you want to swing on 1-plane swing like Tiger or Moe Norman, you will need to concentrate on getting your clubhead on one plane only.

Stewart Cink Driver Swing Analysis

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Stewart Cink Driver Swing Analysis

Let’s take a look at Stewart Cink’s swing and see why he is so consistent.

At address, you can see I have two plane lines.  The tour pros usually follow the red one or the yellow one depending on what school of “plane” they believe.

Stewart, in this case, resorts to the yellow plane line, which is perfectly okay, but the red plane line is the “new” and deadly “secret” that the tour pros won’t tell you about.

At takeaway, you can see Stewart right-on-plane with the yellow plane.  It’s actually inside the red plane, meaning Stewart will have to re-route slightly to hit the ball.

At 1/2 way on the backswing, you can see Stewart follow the yellow plane perfectly.  This is the old-method taught by teachers like David Leadbetter and some others.  (It’s not a TRUE plane as I will explain further in the latter pics.)

At the top of Stewart’s swing, you can see he’s veered off the yellow plane completely and he’s now on the red plane.  Why the yellow plane worked is because he actually “manipulated” his arms to go upright.  This isn’t natural but then over 50% of pro tours swing like this.  (except Tiger and couple other players)

At 1/2 way down, you can see the Stewart is actually on-plane with the true red plane.  The yellow plane, as shown here, does not constitute as the real-plane as it has no meaning.

Why is it like this?

Because the yellow plane only shows the plane of the club shaft at “address”, not “impact”.

At impact, your wrists and arms straighten out due to the centrifugal force applied by the body, that’s called the red plane, true plane to follow for hitting the ball flawlessly.  A lot of teachers do not even know about this simple because they are too stubborn and stuck in the 90s.

At moment of truth, check out how Stewart’s shoulders, arms, and hands are on plane with the red line than the yellow line.  (This is why yellow plane has no meaning except that teachers try to teach you an invisible concept)

Even after impact, look at how well Stewart stays on-plane.

Now, you have learned the two ways of planes in golf.

The first plane is the plane formed by the clubshaft at address.  (the yellow line)

The second plane is the plane formed by the line between your clubhead and the middle of your right shoulder sockets.  (the red line)

Tiger Woods and couple other top players in the world are using the red plane.  Everyone else is using the yellow plane.

Which one is correct?

The red line plane is more correct because it’s based on your impact position, not address.

The reason why the yellow plane works is because Stewart manipulated his arms after takeaway to fit the red plane.  (So in fact, all his previous work to get the club on-line with the yellow plane becomes worthless)

Take a look at my swing analysis of Tiger’s swing and you will know what I mean here.

Here’s Stewart Cink’s driver swing in slow motion:

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Today’s Advanced Swing Thoughts

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Today’s swing keys:

1. Keep weight transfer natural, meaning don’t force yourself to transfer weight to the right on the backswing, let it be natural.

2. To control the weight transfer to the right from becoming a sway, do not sway and turn.  Also control the amount of the weight transfer by limiting your backswing length.

Short backswing = smaller weight transfer

3. On the downswing, really let everything go and extend your arms and wrists.  Keep the head down through the shot.

Well, I am hitting the ball again and I might actual apply for Amateur reinstatement to play some amateur tournaments again.  There’s simply not enough mini-tour tournaments around San Francisco and I cannot afford to play so many mini-tour events right now.  It’s gonna cost me $125 just to get my amateur status back though, darn it.  You can actually go to USGA online and do everything online now.

Time to go beat the amateurs baby!  Wish me luck on the next year’s U.S. Amateur.