Archive for the ‘Junger Woods’ Category

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

Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT Driver VS. TaylorMade R9 Review!

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

*NOTE – This post shall be submitted for eligibility in a Nike Golf promotion contest.

Dan from RocketXL has tipped me on the latest contest where you can win a trip to Fort Worth, Texas to get professional, custom-fitted with brand new Nike clubs. (worth $2000) Needless to say, I had to take advantage of this offer as getting your golf clubs fitted professionally determines a big portion of how well you will play on the course.

I won’t go into the specs of each driver as I don’t feel that’s more important than actual results from the field.

So without delay, let me go into how my test between the Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT driver versus the TaylorMade R9 went after hitting about 100 balls with each:

Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT Driver w/ 9.5 degrees and Stiff Shaft

nike-dymo-str8-fit-1

Points

  • It’s very easy to hit the sweetspot, the DYMO STR8-FIT driver has been designed so it’s really hard to miss the sweetspot.
  • Nike DYMO STR8-FIT is great since you can change your trajectory easily with the built-in wrench. Whether you are slicing or hooking certain days, it’s easy to adjust your driver to fit your swing, not the other way around.

Overall, I experienced consistent results with my trajectory yielding between a straight shot and a 30 yard fade on the factory neutral setting. One of the keys to success in tournament golf or weekend skin’s game is the ability to block out one side of the course.

As for me, I tend to hook my driver wildly under pressure, this DYMO STR8-FIT driver definitely helped me block out my weak side, the bad “hook”. On the plus side, I felt the DYMO driver had really good “high” trajectory mixed with overspin or no spin for longer rolls once the ball hits the ground. This is great stuff when playing in windy conditions as your drives won’t be as affected by the wind due to the “low spin”.

Another cool feature I experienced was that even when I try to hit a duck-hook, my drives would go super-straight with the DYMO STR8-FIT on neutral setting. That is a quite a bit of insurance against holes where there’s O.B. left. I have to emphasize that the clubhead did this, not my swing so I am figuring that the weight-balance on the Nike has been designed for minimal closing of the clubhead, meaning you will get more or less “square” at impact.

TaylorMade R9 Driver w/ 9.5 degrees and Stiff Shaft

Points

  • It’s hard to hit the sweetspot. This could be a more versatile for the more advanced players who want to work the ball both left and right but seems not a great fit for the average player.
  • Too many ways to adjust the R9 driver is it’s downfall.

Overall, TaylorMade R9 caused a lot of random, big wild hooks, although the ball probably went as far as the Nike DYMO driver. Even with distance, the TaylorMade R9 gave a slightly “lower” trajectory without the extra overspin “feel” that the Nike DYMO STR8-FIT provided. TaylorMade R9 is still a great driver for advanced players who need to work the ball a little bit more. I simply felt that I actually wanted to do less with my driver, hit it straight. (Even Ben Hogan used oversized grips on his driver and woods in order to keep it simpler.)

Conclusion

If you are looking for distance and consistency, I would definitely have to go with Nike DYMO driver. Honestly, I am impressed with what kind of drivers Nike is able to come up with for the average golfer while I still do think TaylorMade R9 is better suited for scratch/pro golfers who like to tinker.

As for distance, I have to say the Nike outperformed the TaylorMade as even my mishits with the Nike have gone 290 yards while the TaylorMade mishits were more in the range of 270 yards with wild hooks here and there.

One of things I want to actually emphasize here is not the club’s ability to adjust to different lies and trajectories but the clubhead itself is solid. Having a solid clubhead allows you to hit the ball straighter and with more “overspin”, allowing your ball to roll further and better control under windy conditions.

Overall, I will have to stick with the Nike DYMO driver now. My next change will include a shaft change from the factory UST PRO Stiff to a UST PRO2 Extra Stiff, this should garner me additional 20 yards.

For those of you who want to try out these drivers, head over to the Nike website to find the nearest DEMO location and you can also enter to win a free professional club-fitting trip to Forth Worth, Texas with your airplane expenses paid.

nike-dymo-str8-fit-2

(Nike DYMO STR8-FIT lie & trajectory changer)

nike-dymo-str8-fit-3

(Nike DYMO STR8-FIT wrench for changing your lie, very easy to use, took about 30 seconds to change.)

Here’s a short video I took while testing the two drivers. (Please don’t mind swing mechanics here, I haven’t hit too many balls lately…)

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Swing Thoughts

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Today, I hit the ball great again.  I didn’t start hitting the ball great until I could control the length of my backswing.  You see, overswinging causes me to slide my whole body to the right and by controlling my backswing, I was able to control my swing better, thus hit straighter shots online to the target.

So today’s key:

Swing within myself, do not overswing!

More Swing Thoughts!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Remember my post on swing thoughts the other day?

Well, today I had another great swing day and have one more modification:

Think more about the process of keeping your upper spine very vertical on the downswing and also think more about the downswing process and let the backswing dictate itself.

What I mean is that you want to be really thinking about the end result, which is good follow-through.  Once you get a good follow-through going, your backswing will naturally follow that path.  It’s never the other way around, similar to hitting bunker shots.

Today’s Swing Thoughts!

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Well, the only reason I made this blog in the first place was to record my swing thoughts so I can go back in the future to see the swing thoughts I had when my ball striking and short game was good.

Today was a really good ball striking day, perhaps the best in a long, long time.

Here’s are my thoughts through the swing:

Address

Make sure to setup up with the left foot about 15 degrees open, I have a bad habit of opening up almost 45 degrees, which hinders my balance.

Takeaway

I really want to feel like I am taking my stomach and all of upper body together away from the ball on-plane.

After that, I simply feel the momemtum of my body (stomach and all of upper body) swinging a little further to the top of the swing while cocking the clubs with my hands.

From the Top of the swing

I don’t really feel the top of my backswing anymore as I feel the body constantly moving in action.  But from the top, I really feel like my whole body simply swings inside-out pivoting on my upper body or the spine.

Well, that’s about it.

This also worked really well with the short pitch and chip shots.

I Found The Secret to Hogan’s Golf Swing!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Okay, this does really happen to me every couple months.  That is that I find the secret to the golf swing.

You go to the golf course and return with this “amazing” feeling that you’ve finally mastered the game of golf, or at least just the golf swing in this case.

Let me tell you how it happend and the secret too.

I have been on a long-trail of hitting balls on the range and really not practicing my short game or putting.

Well, yesterday, I go to the range at Harding Park GC, and found that the range closes early on Mondays.  Of course, this was my first time going to the range after 6pm on a Monday.

So, I decided to practice my short game for 2 hours.  What happened after that was amazing.

For the first hour and a half or so, I was really struggling to hit these hard-pan lies.  After trying several things, I hit a goldmine, the secret to my golf swing.

You see, the secret is in the dirt just like Ben Hogan said.  Literally, I found it in the hardpan dirt, where it’s practically impossible to hit the shot good unless you strike the ball perfectly.

As such, I found the secret of the golf swing as the following:

Your full swing is an extended version of your short shots.  It’s never the other way around.

For example, you are hitting the 2-iron really well.  You miniturize that 2-iron swing on the short pitch shots.  It might work and it might not, simply because what’s working for the full swing isn’t guaranteed to work on the short shots.

However, if you are hitting your 30-yard pitch shots from a hardpan lie perfectly (as you do need to hit it perfectly on the ball in order to avoid chunking it or thinning it) and you extend that short swing into a 2-iron swing, you will find that 99% of the time, the swing works.

This is why tour pros practice their short game so much because the rhythm and the swing technique flows into other longer shots.

Now, that is how I found the secret, let me tell you the “technical” details of my findings:

You need to feel that on the downswing, you are rotating everything including your stomach, shoulders, arms, and hands to the left while your weight is centered over the left foot.  You also need to feel you are standing very tall.

Here’s the important part, you need to feel like your wrists are uncocking upwards toward the sky just after impact.

If you take a careful look at Hogan’s after-impact position, you will notice that his wrists are actually lifted toward the sky.  This really helps you to hit the ball perfectly while minimizing wrist action through impact.

Now how to achieve this feeling?

It’s pretty simple, try to imagine there’s a giant ball hanging from the sky sorta like the above picture.

Then, try to rotate your body to move that ball foward toward your target.  Also try to hit the big imaginary ball with your elbows, this will automatically uncock your wrists the correct way by letting your wrists lift upwards.

I tried this and boy, I am going to the PGA Tour Q-School next year baby! :)

Swing Faults At Impact – Being Too Square with the Shoulders

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Swing Faults At Impact - Being Too Square with the Shoulders

I did go out to the range the other day and took a small video.  Although I was hitting the ball fairly good, my impact position was too sqaure.

Here’s my impact position compared to Ben Crane and Adam Baddeley:

If you look carefully, both of these guys have their shoulder slightly open.

Now, what I’ve found out is that, I tend to get my lower body too close to the ball near the impact, causing me to hold on to my release, thereby causing an open shoulders and also annoying hooks once in a while since I have to “flip” my wrists slightly after impact.

But the most interesting thing I found was in my practice swing.  As you can see, this is a snapshot of my practice swing impact position.  The shoulders are slightly open and the hands are exactly where I want them.

Next time, I will try to stand a little taller during the swing and that should help me fix the kink.

Darn, if I could only swing like my practice swings…

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.

Swing Tips – Swing at your target, not the ball!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Swing Tips - Swing at your target, not the ball!

Today, I had a chance to video tape the person behind me accidently. Here’s how he could be hitting the ball better.

As you can see in the above picture, his left arm and left hand breaks down after impact. This is a very no-no if you want to hit the ball straight and long.

Now the reason behind that a lot of golfer break down their arms after impact is because they are trying to hit the ball.

How to fix the problem?

It’s easy. Don’t try to hit the ball, try to swing through the ball at your target.

I actually try to hit the target with both of my arms, imagining the target in my mind, never the ball. The ball always comes in the way of the swing.

Swing Tips - Swing at your target, not the ball!

As you can see, my after impact position shows that both of my arms are fully extended after impact. This is the position you want to strive to.

Also note the yellow line and see how straight the point between my right elbow and the club? (That’s the secret. A full release means that even your wrists straighten out near and after impact. The wrists release upwards, not toward the target, this is something a lot of teachers and players do not tell you.)

Mind you, my swing isn’t perfect my any means but I am only pointing out the good parts. (and yes this 2-iron did go straight about 230 yards so I can’t complain)

Today’s Swing Thoughts

I really felt that my hands were soft throughout my swing, meaning I felt like swinging real easy.

To get this feeling, try to maintain the same amount of grip pressure during your whole swing, whether you grip it at level 2 or level 5.

I also really felt like really swinging through the “after-impact” position shown above. That’s actually my swing thought, the image of both of my arms fully extended and released after impact. The lower body must support your upper body so don’t forget the lower body action either.

Now here’s the video in action.

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

How to Hit a 15 Yard Pitch Shot with a 60 Degree Wedge!

Friday, June 6th, 2008

How to Hit a 15 Yard Pitch Shot with a 60 Degree Wedge!

Here’s a 15 yard pitch shot that you will get to use very often to save strokes around the green. For this shot, you will want to use a 60 degree lob wedge with no bounce. (Yes, try to get a lob wedge with no bounce)

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