Archive for the ‘Swing Tips’ Category

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.

The Trigger Golf Grip!

Friday, May 13th, 2011

You know, I’ve had a ton of success with the trigger golf grip in the past and one of my previous swing teacher taught me this.  It’s also the same golf grip shared by Greg Norman and John Daly.

Although Greg Norman doesn’t mention it in his book, you can clearly tell in close-up photos that Greg Norman indeed used a trigger golf grip most of his career.

What’s a trigger golf grip?

Instead of placing your right thumb on the grip, you actually place your right hand a bit left of the grip so it wraps around the grip and touches your index finger.

Below are some photos explaining how to implement the trigger golf grip:

Above is a regular golf grip, where the right thumb is still on the golf grip.

Above shows a “trigger” golf grip where your thumb wraps around the golf club to touch your index finger.

 

From the side, you can see clearly my right thumb is touching my index finger.

Honestly, I’ve been using a conventional golf grip until today but I decided to go back to my old trigger golf grip and guess what happened.  I am hitting the golf ball way better and my right hand no longer is interfering.

Where can you use this golf grip?

You can use it for anything, I use it for even my pitch shots and chip shots because it take my right hand away completely from manipulating near impact.

If you have seen some high-speed photos of Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson, you probably know that their right hand (and Phil’s left hand) comes off the grip completely near impact.  Well, you don’t have to be Fred or Phil to do the same thing, you can just use this trigger golf grip.

If you don’t believe me, go grab a golf club right now and grip it with a conventional grip and see how much you can twist your golf club.

Then use the trigger golf grip and see how much you can twist your golf club, probably like 100 times less, exactly my point.

What this trigger golf grip will do?

The trigger golf grip will pretty much allow you to swing the golf club correctly through the impact with no manipulation with the right hand.

Why does conventional golf teach golfers to put the right thumb on the golf grip?

Even God doesn’t know the answer behind this but for 99% of golfers, using the trigger golf club will help them hit the golf ball better as it teaches them to swing the golf club without the right hand.

I told you about a week ago how to practice with the left arm.  Really, the left arm does your whole golf swing pretty much, the right arm/hands are just there for support and conventional grip is bad for that.

Try it, trigger grip can help fix hooks, slices, and add additional 20 yards to your golf swing.

Hey, if it works for me, Greg Norman, and John Daly, it must work!  And I am surprised not many golf teaching pros are teaching this more.

 

How to Exercise Right to Increase Your Driving Distance!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Every golfer in this world wants to hit their drives farther (not straighter but farther), and believe me, I’ve been doing exercises to improve my driving distance for the last 20+ years.

So, what are the best exercises to increase your driving distance?

I wish I had my own workout room and take a bunch of photos (which I will in the near future) but for now, let me just tell you which areas of your body you need to strengthen to increase your driving distance.

1. Forearms & Wrists – You want to strengthen your forearms and wrists because it will help you control the ball better out of the rough and also help you control the ball better. Look at every long hitter in golf history and you will see most of them have popeye-like forearms. You can get one of those wrist exercisers you can carry with you. (I used to carry this very wrist exerciser everywhere with me when I was in high school and college so I can work out my forearms and wrists while I am studying.) There’s also many ball hand exercisers too so your options are limitless when it comes to exercising your forearms and wrists on your off-time from golf. Forearms & wrists don’t necessarily add a lot of distance to your drives directly but because your strengthened forearms and wrists will better help you control the golf club, your drives will be hit more squarely in the sweetspot and result in longer drives.

2. Rotator-Cuffs – These are the crucial muscles in your golf swing, the rotate cuffs are basically the muscles under your shoulders that allow you to “rotate” in a golf swing. You need to strengthen your rotator cuffs as much as possible as they play a major role in a golf swing (and tennis too). Having strong rotator cuffs can also help you with lots of things such as lessen strain on your back, be able to rotate your shoulders faster (therefore hit the ball longer), and are basis for a golf swing.

3. Legs – A lot of people like to go to the gym and work only on their upper body and really, the legs are the muscles in golf that give you more balance, stability, and utmost, power. It doesn’t matter what kind of leg exercises you do really but make sure you work out your legs often and make sure they are strong, you will get more yards.

4. Abdominals – Believe it or not, working out your abdominals can be very healthy for your golf swing, your back, and also hit the ball longer. The golf swing is driven by the power of your core, which is your abdominals. And since abdominals play a big factor in your back aches, I highly recommend you do work out your abdominals often and make them as strong as possible. And yes, there “are” exceptions but having strong abdominal muscles can only help you in golf.

Overall, any exercise is good for golf in my opinion, just make sure you also do lots of stretching to stay flexible because that is also another key to adding MPH to your drives.

One more thing (this is an advice my chiropractor gave me), you might want to swing the opposite way often. For example, if you are right-handed, do some left-handed swings every once in awhile. Because of how human body is structured, if you hit lots of golf balls, your spine tends to get a bit awry, this is inevitable fact of golf, your spine will twist and turn the wrong way if you keep swingin’ only one way. To counter-set that, just swing the other way too. This is really for preventing back injuries but believe me, I’ve had more back injuries (due to golf) than anyone else I know. Having a good back and knowing good exercises to prevent back pain is also another key to your golfing career going longer.

How Hard Should I Hit The Golf Ball on my Driver and Irons?

Friday, May 6th, 2011

A lot of amateur golfers hit the ball with 100% (or more) of their effort and this is main reason they can not hit the golf ball with control.

One of the secrets of scratch and pro golfers is that they never swing out of control.

So, how do you swing in control?

As a rule of thumb, you should never swing more than 75-80% of your maximum effort.

The only time you would swing with 100% effort is when you are hitting driver off a par 5 hole where there’s no trouble on the left or right. But for most shots, you can get better control of your shots simply by throttling down how hard you hit the ball, and 75% is a good number.

Even I forget to do this sometimes as golf makes you want to just hit the ball darn hard but remember, whether you hit the golf ball with 75% effort perfectly square in the sweetspot of the club or you hit it 100% effort but miss the sweetspot, the results are going to be similar except the 75% effort swing will most likely go straighter at your target.

This can surely take several strokes off your strokes next time you play.

So, next time you play, don’t go over 75-80% of your maximum effort on all your driver/iron full shots. I bet your golf scores will go down.

This also helps you control adrenalin because you are not trying so hard at golf. Good golf is supposed to be easy, you shouldn’t try that hard.

Next time you get a chance, watch carefully how effortless a PGA pro swings the golf club.

Here’s Fred Couples hitting the driver:

Even though he probably bombed it, can you see that he’s swinging in full control, not all out 100% but maybe 75%?

Is Driving Swing Different From Iron Swing?

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Mike Gleeson left a comment on this blog yesterday and he asked me, “Would it be safe to say, this method could be used for most clubs?” on my advice to hit the driver longer.

Well, this is probably confused many golfers and believe me, my mom used to ask me all the time, “son, I do this differently on my driver and I hit it better.” (My mom is wrong btw.)

Folks, the golf swing stays the same whether you are hitting a pitching or the driver.

Why?

The golf swing actually never changes whether you have a pitching wedge, 5-iron, or even driver. The golf swing always stays the same.

This is because it helps you be more consistent if you have one golf swing you can use for your pitching wedge, 5-iron, or driver.

However, there ARE “special shots” such as a 200-yard 4-iron in the rough with a downhill, left-to-right lie and 20MPH wind coming right-to-left while it’s the end of your round near an ocean-view golf club where temperature has dropped from 80 degrees to 65 degrees. (Just an EXTREME example, golf is complicated as you know.)

Even when you factor all those things in, your golf swing usually stays the same and this will help you be more consistent. (I could probably use my same golf swing for the above situation by first aiming 20 yards right, then put my golf ball slightly back in my stance, and perhaps a half-swing to keep the ball lower under the wind and since with a downhill lie my clubface will “deloft”, I will still hit it further and that will adjust for the temperature difference but my golf swing would stay the same. And the rough will make your golf ball after landing, causing a “flyer”, so you might actually have to roll your golf ball to the green, can’t really one hop and stop out of the rough. TMIF)

The only thing that really changes is your setup most of the time.

For a pitching wedge, you stand closer to the ball because the club is shorter and hence, your swing automatically becomes more vertical.

For driver, you tee the ball up and it makes your swing much, much more flatter.

You see though, your golf swing stays the same although it’s more vertical or flatter.

And in other words, your golf swing does “change” in reality but your golf swing (that’s in your head) doesn’t change.

If you go read any of Nicklaus’s golf books, he says this, that nothing changes other than your setup for any full golf shot, and even Ben Hogan. Just sayin’, these aren’t my tips but tips I learned from the best golfers in the world.

It’s a simple concept to grasp, you never actually change your golf swing.

You can use one golf swing for most full-shots in golf. The more you make it complicated, the more complicated you will make for yourself on the golf course.

I will get to this later, I never had a blog post on this, that of judging the wind, downhill/uphill/sidehill lie, and adjusting to the temperature but it’s actually a big part of scoring well so that will be next.

But no, if a golf tip works for your driver, it should work the same for your shorter clubs too.

I hope I’ve answered this question as best as possible and thanks for listening, more golf tips coming tomorrow! :)

P.S. I still remember Butch Harmon(the guy who helped Tiger win more Master than any of his other teachers) tell me, “Son, the pitch shot is nothing more than a miniature version of your full golf swing and you golf swing is nothing more than exaggeration of your pitch shot.”  That was my last golf teaching pro.

How to Hit the One Hop and Stop, Low Trajectory/High Spinning Wedge Shot!

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

You probably seen on TV golf pros hitting that one hop and stopping wedge shot.

This is probably one of the most useful shots from 100 yards in because it’s a “one hop” and “stop”.

I know you’ve seen other high-spinning wedge shots that land then roll back 20 feet.  I am not talking about those.  Actually those shots are much harder to control and would only be useful in situations you actually have to roll it back.

For most situations from 100 yards in, you will benefit more from one hope stop, then a shot that lands and rolls back into the water.

So, how do you hit this shot?

First, you need a “clean” wedge with no dirt or grass between its grooves.  If you don’t clean your golf clubs, I highly suggest you to do it starting from now on or at least clean your wedges as it will help you put more spin on the ball and hit the one hop and stop shot.

If you don’t have a clean wedge with dirt or grass in its grooves, that pretty much gives you no chance at this shot because clean grooves mean backspin on the ball.

Third, you need a relatively soft ball.  If you use long-distance balls, you are probably not gonna one stop and hop it by any means.  You might be able to do it in perfect conditions but if you want to hit the one hop and stop shot on consistent basis, switch to a softer ball as this will help your overall shortgame too.

I primarily use Titleist Pro V1X, that’s been my favorite golf ball for like the last 10 years or since it came out.

When you have a clean wedge and a soft ball, you are ready to rock!

The one hop and stop shot is nothing but actually a clean half-swing shot.  To hit this, you need to do a half-swing instead of a full swing and try to hit the golf ball really clean.

When you do a half-swing on a wedge, you will get a lower trajectory and won’t spin out of control (and spin 20 feet back) but will simply one hop and stop.

There are of course more advanced ways to hit this shot but in reality, anyone can hit this shot with a clean wedge, soft ball, and a half swing provided the ball is hit squarely on the center of the clubface.

If you want to get a bit lower trajectory, you can play around by putting the golf ball slightly back in your stance (but I don’t recommend beyond center) and getting your weight over to the left on your downswing, which feels almost like you are coming over the top.

Also, you don’t hit this shot HARD, you want soft hands and a lazy rhythm.  It’s a “feel” shot, if you force it, your ball will shoot up in the air and you won’t get the same stop and hop effect.

Remember, you need to hit the golf ball super-crisp and super-clean, a nice “thin” divot is a sign of that, no big divots please.  Big divots mean you struck down on the ball too much and what happens is that the dirt  and grass will get between the ball and your wedge grooves, killing your chances of putting lots of backspin on the golf ball.

You can hit this shot with pretty much any wedges (sand, lob, pitching), I prefer my sand wedge the best).

Remember, practice makes perfect.  You will want to practice this shot with a clean wedge and also clean, soft balls.  And yes, try to have a wet towel with you so you can clean your grooves every couple shots.

All these little things do matter when hitting the hop and stop shot.

The hop and stop shot is a great weapon to have in your golf bag because you can use it on a good day or a day with 30MPH+ winds.  Since it will travel at a lower trajectory, your wedge shot isn’t affected by the wind as much, meaning more wedges shots closer to the hole.

Anyways, enough rambling, I hope these tips help you, just remember the most important 4 things: Clean grooves, clean “soft” balls, easy half-swing, and perfect contact with the ball.

You don’t have to do anything special to make the golf ball spin, just do the basics right.  THAT, is the secret.

Happy golfin’

How to Hit the Ball 365 Yards!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Today, I was able to max out my drives at the driving range, never before have I hit it longer.

It’s a good thing though, I ain’t like one of those fake golf pros trying to sell you some e-book on how to hit the ball long, it’s all free on my blog because I like to give my secrets out.

But no, when I used to be a full-time pro-golfer, you never share your secrets, it’s a very competitive golf world out there.

So, here’s how I maximized my driving distance additional 40 yards (up from 325 yards):

Today, I was having some trouble on my downswing, I kept hooking my ball because my hands were getting a bit active.

Well, trying to fix it, I tried to really start my downswing early just before finishing my backswing.  What that does is create “torque” while also creating additional “lag” and making your your clubface doesn’t close early.

But I face another problem, whenever I tried to do that, I would not finish my backswing all the way like I should and my hands would go all over the place, resulting in inconsistent shots.

I am more used to a relaxing backswing, then hitting through the ball.

While experimenting, I found that I could do my same old relaxed backswing and hit the golf ball with more lag and more power.

So, that is the secret to my additional 40 or so yards I gained.  That is, to really hold your upper body at the top of your backswing for a split-second.  It “feels” like you are pausing the top of your backswing while your lower body start the downswing.  When you keep practicing this movement, what happens is that your body “naturally” learns to start the downswing with the lower body.  Sorta like what Ben Hogan used to preach all the time but here’s the difference:  Hogan told you that you start the downswing with the lower body and the upper body follows.  THAT, is really hard to do in real life.  It’s the same thing but a better way to think of it is to hold your upper body for a split-second so you give your lower body a chance to lead and start the downswing.  It works, believe me.

Never in my life I though I could do that but I did today.  And you know what, that creates so much torque but under control, I hit the ball damn straight, 365 yards, which is the distance to the fence where I practice and I hit it multiple times.

Besides that, I hit the golf ball perfectly on the sweetspot, meaning straighter, longer shots.

I even tried using this method on my irons and works great.

So, how do “you” practice method?

Next time you are on the range, I want you to feel like you are resisting your upper body from moving for like a split second during the beginning of your downswing. (And also turn your hips to the left.)

When you do this correctly, you will feel incredible amount of torque generated by the resistance of your upper body and your lower body.  Then after that split second, you just let it go and voila!  You’ve got extra 40 yards and straighter drives.

Anyways, this is something I found out today and you won’t even see it in GolfDigest (my favorite golf magazine btw) so don’t tell anyone, just keep it to yourself so you can outdrive your friends all day long and take their money.

The AWESOME DRILL – “Left Shoulder Practice”!

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

You know the easiest way to improve your golf swing?  I do, I’ve been swinging golf clubs most of my life, that is very simple.

The most “awesome” drill in golf (Swing) is to swing your golf club with just your left hand (or your right hand for lefties), then try to feel very powerful.

Just try to swing with one hand and see if you can  swing really fast but under control.   This pretty much is your golf swing, your left shoulder.

Next time you swing a golf club, just make a simple practice swing imagining your left shoulder controls everything.

What I do is a rehearsal swing with just my left hand and shoulder then go really fast with one hand.  Once I can do that two hands become a piece of cake.

 

How to Get Extra 10-20 Yards on Your Drives!

Monday, April 11th, 2011

So, today I figured out how to get extra 10-20 yards on my drives.  This isn’t for everyone who’s already doing it or I figure most of you aren’t scratch golfers or pro-golfers.

Anyways, it’s very simple, you need to make sure to turn your shoulders all the way during your backswing.

Make sure your left shoulder (for right handed-golfers) is moving at all times during your backswing.   This just means that you are using your whole body to swing and you will get that extra 10-20 yards on your drives because you are using your left shoulder as you really should.

Honestly when I hit the ball really long I used to do this and forgot it lately but today I realized that I wasn’t doing it and found that it does indeed help with your distance AND accuracy.

A simple way to practice is to just “mentally” monitor your left shoulder while you swing back, make sure it’s in control and it’s moving somewhat.  When you do that, you will be swinging more or less correctly and 10-20 extra added to your drives.

And I have seen about 9 of out 10 people who don’t use their left shoulder in their backswing, seriously including myself.

Butch Harmon used to say, “What do you when a doctor gives you a prescription?”  You don’t stand around so you can take another 30 minutes of his time, you just go get your prescription so it fixes your golf swing.

How to “Really Really” Lag Your Golf Club!

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

One of the “secrets” behind being able to hit the ball long or just simply accurate lies behind the fact how “really really” well you can lag your golf club right before impact.

Why is this?

Because when you correctly “lag” your clubface right before impact, two things happen.

First, you can only strike the golf ball perfectly square behind the golf ball.

Second, you take advantage of the distance your extra “lag” gives you.

In other words, distance and accuracy go together. When you hit long, you are accurate. When you are accurate, you hit it long.

Sadly in golf, there’s nothing in-between, you can either hit it long and straight or be short and miserable.

So, “how to really really” lag your golf club?

Just take some extra time from the top of your backswing to the point where you are right before hitting the ball. The longer you can make this section of your golf swing, the more accurate and longer your golf balls will go.

Enjoy~