Archive for the ‘PGA Pros’ Category

Seve Ballesteros Passes Away at 54

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Today I got up and heard the new that Seve Ballesteros at 54 due to brain cancer that has been getting worse for the last two years.

I remember when I was about 14 years old, that’s when I first heard about Seve Ballesteros from my then golf teacher, his golf hero was Seve. Everytime my golf teacher taught me a new short game trick or trouble shot, he would mention Seve. In fact, he mentioned so many little stories about Seve, that might be why Seve’s been one of my golf heroes.

I do remember this one story clearly, I guess Seve’s never been the type to play the golf course with a correct swing. Instead, Seve would play golf with just one club such as a 4-iron. He would drive, hit fairway shots, putt, and even hit sand shots with a 4-iron throughout the whole round. This type of training taught Seve a lot about golf and that is why he became so good at golf. In fact, my golf teacher would force me to take a 4-iron and go play 9-holes of golf every once in awhile. This is a great practice by the way, to play the golf course with one club, it will teach you a whole lot about golf such as duck-hooking your drives so you can make the 4-iron go 50 yards farther or even opening up the clubface for a sand shot.

Anyways, from that I began to really like Seve Ballesteros and yes, he’s probably the master of hitting the hardest trouble shots in golf. I did a swing analysis on his swing couple years back, you can take a look here.

Anyways, this is a sad day for the world of golf and to those who have loved Seve Ballesteros as one of their golf heroes. It would have been nice to see him playing the senior tour but to die at an age so young, that is very sad indeed.

How good was Seve?

He’s probably the icon for many Europeans and Americans for setting a standard in the 80s.

Certainly, Seve will be remembered as one of the best golfers who’s ever lived.

We will all miss him, rest in peace Seve.

Nick Watney Swing Analysis!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I’ve played with Nick Watney during my junior golf years many times, it’s finally good to see Nick climbing up the PGA Tour leaderboard.  One thing I like about Nick is his personality, he has a pretty easy-going demeanor, perhaps why he kept going at it.

Anyways, let’s take a look at his swing and yes, it hasn’t changed much since I played with him like 15-16 years ago.

At address, Nick sets his spine angle slightly, like ever pro does, grip is a bit on the stronger side.

At takeaway, you can see that Nick extends his arms well, nicely rotated.  Perhaps his clubface is a bit closed, he might hit a bit of a draw here.

Nick looks really good here, nicely balanced.

Nice top of the backswing, everything well poised, the back facing the target.

At transition, you can see Nick moves well into his left side, a move reminiscent of Ben Hogan indeed.

At impact, Nick has squared his clubface pretty darn well, he seems to have dipped his body a bit, could be a bit more “up” but still, great impact position.

Nick extends both of his arms well after impact as seen here.

And nicely transferred weight to his left foot.

I know Nick Watney will be winning a few PGA Tour tournaments this year, don’t forget to root for him! WOOTWOOT!

Also see slow-motion video of Nick Watney’s golf swing:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Brian Davis Golf Swing Analysis

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Brian Davis is one of those players who’s been playing the PGA Tour for many years now but hasn’t won any tournaments.  Of course, I think he’s having the best year so far this year, putting himself into a playoff with Jim Furyk in a playoff earlier this year.

I think Brian Davis will do well the rest of the year.  What I am impressed most is his iron swing such as this one he used to force a playoff with Jim Furyk:

At address, Brian Davis looks nicely balanced for this “pressure”-type shot.

You can see a nice, connected takeaway here.

At the top, you can see that Brian Davis is in-line with his swing plane and note how well extended his arms are.   You can see that his hands, arms, and shoulders form a “triangle”.  I love this position.

At impact, Brian actually “drops” a lot of his body but still manages to hit the ball well.  Dipping at impact is okay as long as you don’t over do it.

I love how Brian Davis finishes almost straight up, this is not only good for your golf swing, it’s really great for your back so you can play golf longer than others who finish with a curve.

I bet you Brian Davis wins a PGA Tour by end of this year, go Brian!

Ernie Els Swing Analysis!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Well, I haven’t done much swing analysis for years but let me start it up again, we can never learn enough from the pros.

Check out Ernie Els here.  Although he hasn’t been doing much lately with golf world, he has one of the best “big-man” swings in the world.

At address, you can see Ernie Els looks very comfortable, knees bent a bit, nicely balanced and hands freely hanging from his shoulders.

At take away, you can see that all Ernie did was rotate 90 degrees to the right with his triangle formed by the shoulders, arms, and hands.  Also notice that his clubface is perpendicular to the ground, perfect takeaway.  You will want to copy this exact move.

From takeaway, Ernie will take it up a bit upright to his true swing plane.  This is what David Leadbetter teaches (preachs).

At the top of his swing, you can see Earnie’s perfect in-align with his true swing plane and notice that his club is also parallel to his feet and target line.

From here, all Earnie can do is hit the ball straight and far.

Half way down, you see Earnie’s dropped his arms hands beneath the swing plane.  This is perfectly fine for an inside-out hit.

Right before takeaway, you see Ernie has delayed his wrist cock till the last minute and “notice” his clubface is still perpendicular to the ground.  This is an “ideal” position for just before impact.

Gotta love this position where, Ernie’s both arms are almost extended fully while matching his swing plane.  Did you know that on a full shot, your hands actually come up a bit due to centripetal force applied?  This is why the swing plane is matching the impact.

This is also important to see, after impact.  You see how Ernie’s clubs are slight outside the swing plane?  This means that Ernie just swung about 2-3 degrees inside-out, which is what you want to maximum accuracy and power.

Ernie Els finishes up his swing nicely on his left.  Indeed, Ernie has a couple majors to win soon, I am sure counting on him! :)

2010 Masters Winner Phil Mickelson and Re-cap of Masters 2010!

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Well folks, I have been actually in la-la land away from golf.  (That’s what I call life outside of golf.)

Because it rains so much here in San Francisco plus I don’t want to waste money on practice balls unless I am going to be playing often.  Anyways, I’ve started up my golf season as of couple days ago and it seems like my golf swing is still intact, I can still hit the ball really solid.

I did watch the 2010 Masters of course, that’s one of my favorite golf tournaments to watch.

You all know Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters and I couldn’t be happier for Phil as he’s going through personal disasters such as his wife and mother both going through breast-cancer.   He deserved to win and I wish his family wellness in getting through the cancer.

Phil did a really great job on the final round of 2010 Masters and I was really impressed how “aggressively” he played under the gun, with one notable shot under the trees on a par 5 that went about 5 feet by the pin.   Of course, he didn’t make the putt but the point is that he knew the shot and pulled it off.

What about Tiger?

I don’t think Tiger had any chance of winning as far his mental state was.  With all the stuff that has been going on with his life and whatnot, it’s definitely not going help him win any tournaments.  I believe that to play one’s best golf, you need to worry-free from personal confrontations as Tiger’s current ones.

On the other hand, I think Phil did a great job of winning the Masters while he had his own personal troubles.

What about Tiger’s closing comments?

I felt that Tiger still focused way too much on winning golf while this event was supposed to be about him being honest with the world and coming back to play golf.  Closing comments by Tiger told me that he was still about “golf” on the golf course and didn’t think he was taking things in perspective.

Rather than saying his golf round sucked and he doesn’t feel good about it, I think it might have better (more professional-life) if Tiger could have said something along the lines of, “my golf game sucked but I am glad that fans were still rooting for me and good to be back.”  Or anything positive could have been better.

I have always been a fan of Tiger’s but to me it seems like he’s not matured as a human being, he still sees life as a game like a child.   If Tiger can really see things in perspective and that he’s so lucky to make money for a living, he would start saying things “in perspective” with things in life, not just golf.

I am sure that will happen one day but I just still see the same 18-year old Tiger Woods who won the Masters, not the 34-year old professional golfer he is now with 2 kids and a wife.

And I can’t take the excuse that Tiger won’t play good golf if he starts taking things in perspective.

Overall though, I’ve also changed my perspective about golf.  Golf, no matter how you look at it, is just a luxury game for people with too much time on their hands. Nothing wrong with that but I am just saying, there are more important things in life.  If you can’t take things into perspective and get mad while playing golf, you probably shouldn’t be playing golf, maybe go take a nap on the beach.

Anyways, congratulations to Phil Mickelson, the 2010 Masters winner, I’ve enjoyed Phil’s golf game and his life maturing.   Phil deserves every bit of it, I hope he goes out and get boozed up for that. =)

Golf Book Review – Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons – The Modern Fundamentals of Golf!

Friday, October 30th, 2009

ben-hogan

Even with Tiger winning so many majors and Jack Nicklaus having accomplished so much, there’s still only one “best striker” of the golf ball in my mind, Ben Hogan.

What’s amazing about Ben Hogan is not that his swing is perfect (which it is and most modern golf instruction have derived from Ben Hogan’s concepts, this very book), his car got hit by a big rig on a foggy day and he was paralyzed from the waist down!  Well, he came back somehow and was able to walk again AND he won more majors after that.

If you get into such a serious injury and still be able to win major golf championships, that certainly is a miracle.

Not all Ben Hogan’s concepts are valid as golf equipment has changed over the years but most of the core concepts are very valuable and if you haven’t read this book, you are not a real golfer.

Really, what do Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have in common?  I bet they got Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons of Golf somewhere in their house.

Look at all the shots Tiger is hitting, all those knockdown shots?  Well, they are Ben Hogan’s shots, really.

I bought my copy when I was 9 years old, that’s 20 years ago.  The pages are sorta ripped but I still read it at least once a month, it’s very entertaining to me to read it over and over again.

Get your copy on Amazon, this is a book every golfer should have if they consider themselves real golfers.

P.S. This is like the “bible” of golf, seriously.  No one else in the world has written a book detailing the mechanics of swing the correct way decades before slow-motion digital cameras were available.

Golf Book Review – Advanced Golf by Greg Norman!

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

advanced-golf

If you want to get your game to another level, one of the MUST READ golf instructional books is Advanced Golf by Greg Norman.  Before Tiger Woods came into golf, Greg Norman was the #1 golfer in the world.  Well, Greg Norman might have failed in a lot of majors but I don’t think it’s his game that caused that rather something “mental”.  Regardless of how he came up short at majors, he’s still regarded as one of the best golfers ever lived along with Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan.   At least in my book he is still one of my golfing heroes.

I grew up watching Greg Norman beat virtually everyone and I betcha Tiger Woods has this very book in his bookshelf somewhere, probably autographed by Greg himself. I know for a fact that Tiger looked up to Greg Norman and learned a lot from him before he became the #1 golfer in the world.

Anyways, if you are going to get this book, make sure to get the hardcover version as it will last you longer, I still have my same book I bought back in 1995, still good as new after 14 years. :)

Let me tell you a little bit about the book though, it’s a great book because Greg Norman features his iron swing and driver techniques in detail, especially made for those golfers who are trying hard to break 90, 80, or become a scratch golfer.

This book was also written while Greg Norman was taking lessons from Butch Harmon.  (and Tiger started taking lessons from Butch before he started winning everything…)

FYI, Tiger Woods started golf when he was 2, Greg Norman started when he was 15 years old!  If you count how many years it took Greg Norman to win a professional tournament versus how long it took Tiger, you will get what I mean how talented Greg Norman is.  If Greg only started golf a bit earlier, we would never find out.

Anyways, this book is definitely a classic and I am sure it will be a classic for years to come.  If you are a hardcore golfer, this is a MUST to have in your bookshelf.

Get it on Amazon here, and make sure to get the HARDCOVER if you are hardcore golfer! (there’s an option for that)

Tiger’s Swing at 2009 PGA HD!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Here’s a good shot of Tiger’s swing at the 2009 PGA.  Although he lost, there’s plenty here to see. :)

I can see why he lost, his head is dipping like 3-5 inches on the downswing instead of the usual 1-2 inches.  That’s not going to help him hit the ball perfect.

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

I am starting to Play Pro Tournaments AGAIN!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Well, after years of not playing competitively, I’ve finally decided to take a shot at the PGA Tour again.  My goals for this year is to play at least 2 Pepsi Tour tournaments before the year is over.  I know that’s not whole lot of competitive golf but heck, I gotta start playing somewhere!

Next year, my goals are to enter couple Nationwide PGA Tour Monday qualifying events hopefully around my neighborhood in Northern California.

I will also be trying to qualify for U.S. Open next year, wish me luck to make it to the Open baby!

Anyways, my swing is looking really good, I’ve simplified it enough where I don’t have to practice much to keep my swing in shape.  (although I have desire to hit at least 300 balls everyday)

I haven’t really played much, maybe 5 rounds total in the last 2 years but it shouldn’t take me too long shooting 60s again.

I realize I am getting older but my swing is more stable and mature.  My thoughts on golf has naturally improved due to age.  Maybe that is why before Tiger’s era, pros didn’t start winning majors until they were in their 30s.

Wish me luck and I will try to keep updating the blog although I will get very busy now focusing only on one thing, winning the U.S. Open!  (hahaha, that will take me years but heck, it’s a good goal)

Today, I hit the ball GREAT just like 2 days ago.

Here’s couple swing thoughts I was using to hit laser-accurate iron shots and super-long 350 yard drives:

For short shots, be very loose, light hands, and make a very smooth swing.

Also, swing inside-out and try to keep that swing in motion before you start looking up where your ball is going.  This doesn’t mean your head stays down, just keep your spine angle consistent until after impact, that’s the key to crisp, iron shots.

For extra, super-long 350 yard drives, I’ve developed a new method of creating “super-lag” with my woods.  Basically, you start turning your lower body quickly right as you are reaching the top of your backswing, this creates a “super-lag”, plus you will be able to square the ball easily with the added amount of clubhead speed generated.  I find that a nice 15-yard draw is generated with this method or a straight shot.  Before using this method and just hitting the ball hard with my driver in the past, I experienced a lot of blocks to the right.

Well, that’s all for today, I will be gone golfing!

P.S. I will also be ordering some custom golf wear I can wear to tournaments to show off my golf blog.  PLUS, I will be interviewing couple of my old golf pro friends at Pepsi Tour, sorta like reality show for aspiring pro golfers.  (You will get to see what they are thinking, where they are going, and who knows, some of these guys DO make it to the PGA TOUR eventually so that’d be interesting stuff to watch.)

My first tournament here at Boundary Oaks Golf Course in Walnut Creek, pray for me!  (although I think it will take me at least 3 tournaments before I start playing well…)

samll

Tom Watson’s Explanation on the Secret to Consistent Golf Swing!

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Well, I might have analyzed hundreds of golf swings in my life but perhaps Tom Watson’s explanation on secret to a consistent golf swing will help you more with his simple wisdom, “keep your spine angle consisten and turn around it.”

And this has everything to do with keeping your clubhead and body parts on-plane.  The golf swing plane only exists as a result of this spine angle.

I think this advice will help you more because it’s so simple and it’s coming from Tom Watson.

Watch the video and learn! :)