Archive for the ‘Swing Tips’ Category

1 Axis 1 Plane Golf Swing Coming Soon!

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Recently, I have been hitting the golf ball awfully well and I have developed a new type of golf swing that I termed “1 Axis 1 Plane” golf swing, which basically uses 1 axis and 1 plane.

The golf swing theory is one I have developed while studying pro golfers like Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods, and all those great players out there.

This 1 axis/1 plane golf swing will allow beginners/advanced golfers to hit the golf ball more consistently.

Can you imagine yourself hitting a 150-yard target over and over again for 20 straight balls?  This is the golf swing that will do that.

Well, I am just very excited because I have found this method from trial and error through practice but shortly I will post details on how you can develop this simple golf swing too.

Another bonus about this new golf swing is that it puts less strain on your lower back (meaning you will be able to keep using it even if you turn 100) AND you won’t have to bang thousands of balls to keep it consistent.

I have always realized that the best golf swing for an average golfer (and advanced golfers) is the one that uses minimal effort but allows you to hit the ball with near 100% efficiency.

And yes, all free on this blog, I am not going to sell some DVD or e-books like some of those other guys do. (who fill your mind with more junk anyways)

I just feel the golfing world is filled with too much junk such as “keeping the left arm straight” or “keep the head still”.  These too common golfing advices often lead to more tension in your golf swing and plus, they don’t actually help on the golf course, where you need to hit well under pressure.

I believe a golf swing should be effortless, pain-free, and best of all, don’t require some ridiculous golfing gadget to get it right.

Is this a new golf swing?

No, it’s not a new golf swing, it’s simply a golf swing theory using the most “simplest” and “efficient” ways to swing a golf club.  I just hope it will help you to swing the golf club better with less effort.

Well, I will post some simple exercises and photos on it soon!

I found my SWING!

Friday, November 13th, 2009

You know, you have one of those days when you find your swing, every swing feels effortless, you can hit every shot at the target.  Today was such a day for me, let me share you some insights what I tried to do today.

For one, I haven’t hit balls all week due to me playing with new gadgets such as my new Canon 7D DSLR.

I felt really fresh heading out to the range and even felt a little out of it since it’s been so long (like 3 days) without hitting golf balls.

Last time I was at the range, I remember hitting a lot of balls and trying to hard.

There was a time when I used to swing effortlessly and shoot under par every time I played.  Well, today I tried that.

Instead of trying to “perfect” my swing mechanics (and btw, there is no such thing as perfection in golf, pros have only tried to set some guidelines but that is really all, guidelines, no swing guru can tell you how to swing perfectly in reality.), today I simply tried to develop a swing that was more effortless, like how I used to hit the ball.

When you try to swing effortlessly, a great thing happens, you can literally hit ball after ball and you never get tired.

Anyways, this is what it felt like:

First, I relaxed my hands throughout my swing.  This allowed me to naturally get into the right positions during the swing without tension creeping in.

Second, I felt like my backswing was like holding a basketball and simply turning to the right. (on my plane created by my spine angle)

I really felt like I was swinging a basketball and not a golf club, meaning it felt like I was using my body.

Third, I simply try to hit the ball as solid as I can without trying to do too much.

When I did these things, something wonderful happened, that is I felt like my head and body was no longer restricted.    I didn’t look up but immediately after I hit the ball after impact, I felt like I was coming up on the shot but it felt so “right” and “comfortable”.

Before, I was all trying to keep my spine angle consistent.  And you know what happens when you do that, you might hit the ball good but you are putting awful lot of pressure to your lower back plus when you are tired, you tend to slap at the ball with your hands.(especially under pressure)

Instead, I put the pressure off my lower back by simply standing up more after impact.

Let’s just put it this way, I had the best ball striking day this year.  I hit 2 jumbo buckets today and I feel like I didn’t even hit balls.

This could help you, perhaps you want to try less next time you practice and let natural instincts take over.

I will have a video soon, I know this will look much better than my last swing video so hopefully tomorrow!

How to Take Slow Motion Golf Swing Videos!

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I’ve actually noticed bunch of YouTube videos online of these awesome slow motion golf swing videos and noticed that everyone was using selective Casio Exilim series, which can do like up to 6,000 frames per second.

I found that these cameras below will let you take super slow motion golf swing videos:

  • Casio Exilim EX-FC100 – These go for about $219.95 on Amazon, really good deal for capturing up to 1000 frames per second, which beats most other digital cameras for the price and purpose of taking slow motion golf swing videos.
  • Casio Exilim FH20 – This is the higher end version that can cost about $550.  If you want to use it more than a slow-motion golf swing camera, this might be a good way to invest more and get more out of it.

Here’s some videos showing the capabilities of these Casio Exlim digital cameras:

Slow-motion golf swing with Casio Exilim EX-FC100:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Slow-motion golf swing with Casio Exilim FH20:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Of course, I don’t really advice to you analyze your own swing unless you are at least an 8 handicap and have some experience tinkering with your own swing.   Otherwise, you might be better off getting a real golf pro to look at your swing.

Also, you can use V1 swing software to analyze your swing.

I should be getting the cheaper EX-FC100 to test it out soon, I need one really bad, technology has gotten so good, it’s unbelievable!

UPDATE: I also found that Casio Exilim EX-FS10 does slow motion golf swing videos too, the cheapest of all at $179.

How to Practice at the Driving Range!

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Here’s a video I shot today of me hitting a 6-iron knockdown shot to a target about 165 yards out.

From just a look, it might look like I am not doing much but if you look carefully, here’s what’s going through my mind on each shot.

Before each shot, I take 1-2 practice swings visualizing how I will hit the ball, even the trajectory of my ball.

Once I am ready, I will take a look at my target.

Then, I will make an imaginary line from target to my ball and pick a spot about 2 feet out from the ball, that’s where I will align the clubface.

After aligning the clubface, I will take my stance parallel to my target line.  (You will see I am aligned perfectly parallel to the yellow target on each shot.)

Then I align all of my body parts such as shoulders and hips again “parallel” to my target line.

Then I take a waggle.

After hovering my clubhead over the ball (or taking just enough weight off it) I will start the swing with my whole body.

Once I reach the top, I will start the downswing with my hips then follow through with my whole body.

One thing I am not doing today I realized after taping is that I am not using my lower body through the shot, my right foot should stay to the ground more after impact.

Well, this shows how many things you should be focusing on before you even hit a practice shot, I am just telling you. :)

Btw, my cheap tripod fell off during the middle of the video, I didn’t realize until end of the practice, sorry.

Ben Hogan’s Swing Plane, Tiger Wood’s Swing Plane – What you should Really Know about Swing Planes!

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Here’s something that could be helpful for those of you who think there’s a perfect plane to a golf swing.

The simple answer, is that there is no perfect plane in a golf swing.  For one, Hogan claims in his book that the reason he used the swing plane concept was to get his backswing in a “consistent slot” but not an effort to say there’s such thing as a perfect plane.

Also, as you can notice in the pictures below, depending on your height and build, your swing plane may be flatter or more upright than the standard so there’s no use in trying to copy your favorite pro’s swing plane unless you are exactly the same height and build.

plane

plane-2

You can easily see that Tiger’s legs are noticeably longer than his upper body length compared to Ben Hogan.  Because of this, Tiger’s swing is naturally more upright than Ben Hogan’s.  Also, Tiger is 6′ 2″ while Ben Hogan is 5′ 8″.

These vast difference in physical makeup prove that there’s no such thing as a perfect plane for any golfer.

The swing plane I used in swing analysis was to simply have a reference point of how the golfer is swinging but in the recent months, I’ve began to realize that it’s not the most important factor in a good golf swing.

I’ve seen a ton of great swings that are far from golf norms, some way too flat or some way too upright.

The bottom line is, you need to build a consistent golf swing, not a swing that depends on lines drawn on the computer.

If you can hit a 200 yard target with a 4-iron 10 out of 10 times and you have what I think the worst swing in golf, I will not tell you to change your swing.

However, you can’t do that and your head is filled with swing mechanics garbage, perhaps I will tell you to focus on golf swing basics.

Golf swing basics consist of your grip, body action, and starting your downswing with your hips followed by your upper body.  In simpler terms, the more you can build a “consistent” swing, however you do it, it will work.  But you can’t really get consistency by building a perfect swing, there is no such thing.  Everyone has their own quirks and personal touch.

I’ve fiddled with a high-speed digital camera for about 10 years, trying to perfect my swing.  Sometimes I try to copy Tiger’s or Ben’s but none of those things ever seemed to bring consistency.  I threw my high-speed camera away and started building a golf swing I felt was more natural and right to me and I think I am on my way to a more consistent golf swing.

Don’t copy but learn and apply the basic fundamentals, that’s what they did too.

Lastly, a “swing plane” does help me “visualize” a consistent path for my backswing and that is really its real purpose so I can get consistent results.   If you keep drawing lines on your golf swing video/photos, it ain’t gonna help you with your golf swing.  Your swing might look “great” but underlying performance probably won’t improve at all.

Find a swing plane that works for you, find the one that you hit the best, crisp shots with both irons and woods.  Then stick with that swing plane.  It’s that simple. And I could really care less if you swung like Jim Furyk or Ben Hogan if you can hit the ball good.

I use Ben Hogan’s Grip!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

hogan's-grip

Because I tend to hook a lot, I’ve recently switched my grip from normal (where both Vs point to your right armpit) to a slightly different one where the right hand “V” points to your neck as seen above. (This is the one Ben Hogan used back in the day because he was a wild hooker.)

This would be considered slightly “weak” grip as it will promote more of a fade shot but I’ve had some good results with it so I am sticking with it for now.

Btw, your grip will dictate your swing so if you have a weak grip, you might hit the ball better with a flatter swing whereas with a strong grip, you hit the ball better with an upright swing.

For example, Freddy Couples has one of the strongest grips on Tour, he has a very upright swing.  I can’t think of anyone using a “weak” grip, perhaps Vijay Singh?

Well grip is your life for a golf swing, without the right grip for your swing, you can’t hit the ball good.

So practice your grip daily, 10 minutes a day, hold an invisible golf club or hold one while you watch TV.

Grip, is everything.

I am getting that new Canon 7D camera soon so hopefully I will have some better shots of golf basics starting next week, happy golfin’!

Feeling of “Light Hands” at the Top of Your Backswing!

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

One fo the best swing thoughts that have worked for me regardless of how I am swinging over the years is “lights hands” at the top of your backswing.

Having “light hands” at the top of your backswing can help you do one very important thing right.  By having your hands light at the top of your backswing, you will easily be able to start the downswing with your lower body instead of jerking it with the hands or the arms.   You will probably have more clubhead speed too because your arms  are not inhibited by your hands being too “tight”.

Being too “tight” with your hands is one of the worst things you can do in golf although that might be the right way to swing a baseball bat.

So next time, try this simple tip, feel as if your hands are barely holding the golf club at the top of your backswing.  All the things I’ve been mentioning about swinging with your body, the hip slide/turn and starting the swing with the lower body, this simple tip will help you accomplish that.

How to Learn and Master the Hip Slide and Turn!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Last time I mentioned how you must start your downswing with your lower body in order to hit the golf ball from the inside out.

Well, one of the ways to mastering your downswing with a lower body start is to master the “hip slide” and turn.

First, watch this video as Ben Hogan himself shows you how to do this:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Let me re-cap what Hogan is trying to teach you here.

Try doing this as an exercise for mastering the hip slide and turn.

First, get to the top of the backswing like Hogan is doing here:

topofbackswing

Then from there, initiate your downswing by turning and sliding your hips towards the target and the rest of your body such as shoulders and arms, should simply follow the action of your lower body.  Really “feel” the pulling of the upper body by the lower body when you do this.  And also try to do it in a “smooth” and fluid motion, jerkiness won’t help at all.

Another thought, try to really imagine your club coming from the inside-out angle, this will help you to promote an inside-out swing, something we want in an ideal golf swing.

Now, after you get to the point where your clubhead reaches about the hip level, you can start releasing your upper body and the club somewhat towards the right of your target.

hip-slide

After you try this in slow motion couple times, go ahead and try hitting a golf ball in full speed.  Now, this is the most important part of mastering the hip turn and the slide, learn how to “time” your upper body release just like when you throw a baseball pitch.  With proper timing of your release after the hip turn and slide, you will be able to hit the ball accurately towards your target.

Another good exercise is to try different timings such as try releasing your upper body a bit early for right-to-left shots (draws) and a bit late for left-to-right shots (fade).

FYI, Ben Hogan used to release a bit late so he can hit slight fades as his nemesis was hitting bad hooks earlier in his career.

You can also vary how “far” your slide your hips forward to control the flight.  A word of caution when you do this, you need to still keep your body in balance and the easiest way to do this is to keep your upper body “up” while” you swing.

How to Change Your Golf Swing On the Golf Course!

Monday, October 26th, 2009

One of the most tragedies you will face in golf is when you try to “change” your golf swing on the golf course because you are mishitting shots left and right.

I know this blog post is labeled, “How to change your golf swing on the golf course”, but that is actually the LAST thing you will ever want to do.

The best way to actually change your golf swing without changing it (really) is to SLOW DOWN your backswing.

That’s right, 99% of amateurs swing too fast when playing on the real golf course because it’s human nature.

The next time you hook or slice your drive OB, I want you to take a deep breath.  Then, without changing your swing, simply slow down your backswing about one pace.

When you slow down your backswing, you essentially swing down your whole swing.

Part of mysteries in golf is that your heart beat simply beats faster when playing real golf.  Hence, without you knowing, you subconsciously swing a tad faster than you did at the driving range. (when you hit those perfect shots)

If you hit 3 shots in a row really bad even after slowing down your swing, I would say even then do not try to change your swing on the golf course.  Instead, play that error whether it’s a 50 yard slice or hook.  (As I did outline in my free E-book by the way, highly recommended for those of you who haven’t.)

Remember, when you slow down your body, your heart beat slows down too.  Other than that, try to slow down everything else you do including walking.

Breathing deep 4 counts in and 4 counts out also helps, something a lot of the tour guys actually do including Paul Azinger. (who mentioned this was one of his most breaking techniques to make it to the PGA Tour in his book Zinger.  By the way, Paul Azinger is one of my all-time golfing heroes, he’s also probably the Tour’s only golfer with super-closed clubface at the top, everyone said that wouldn’t stand under pressure.  Paul Azinger won enough PGA Tour events to prove otherwise.)

How to Control Distance and Trajectory of Your Iron Shots!

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

This one is pretty simple but learning how to control distance of your iron shots is one of the most effective ways to control your distance and also trajectory.

For example, you have 150 yards to the pin from the fairway.  If you hit your 7-iron 150 yards with a full swing, that’d be good to use on a sunny day with absolutely no wind.

On the other hand, let’s say there’s a heavy 20MPH wind going against you on the 150 yard shot.  You could possibly hit another club and hit your 6-iron with a full shot or hit the 6 or 5-iron with a half swing, which will result in lower trajectory  and your shot won’t be affected by the wind.

Most of the time, I choose to go with the latter, choosing a much lower-numbered club and hit it with either 3/4 or 1/2 swing.  This is usually called a “knock-down” shot and it’s imperative that you learn how to do this if you want too be a good all-around player.

For example, if you play in super-windy areas like Texas, you don’t have a choice but to deal with 30+MPH winds on a daily basis.  You need to hit the ball lower but hitting a full shot won’t help you do that.

Although you could put the ball back in your stance and make a full swing at it, because you are still swinging “full”, the amount of backspin put on the ball will be too much and affected too much by the wind.

So, you need to learn to control the distance and trajectory of your iron shots.

How to do this?

Very simple actually, just take a shorter backswing.  But you will need to practice often on the range in order to “control” precisely.

Next time you go out on the range, don’t simply bang full-swings, see if you can hit the same target with different clubs, with different length of backswings.

If you have not tried doing this before, I assure you, you will won’t be too accurate, so practice makes perfect.

For example, when I go to the range, I will hit to a 150 yard target with my 8-iron. (with a full swing)  Then, I will take a 7-iron and also hit it 150 yards but with shorter backswing, which results in lower trajectory.  I will also take a 6-iron and take even short backswing.  Usually, I go about up to 3 clubs down before I move on to my next target.

This is not only great practice for your overall “feel” for distance and trajectory, now you potentially made new arsenal of shots in your golf bag.  Instead of just having 1 full shot from each club, you potentially now have multiple uses with each club.

Having more weapons in your golf bag means more ways you can attack the pin on the golf course.   Also, let’s say you have an approach shot with a tree hanging over about 30 yards out, perhaps this isn’t even a challenge to you because you have a shot in your bag with the right distance and trajectory to hit it under the tree and still get to the green.

Another great use for length of your backswing is as a swing thought.  Instead of filling your mind with too many things, simply think of the “length” of you backswing when hitting a golf ball on the course.  This will allow you to really be able to focus on one thing, that of controlling your distance.

The rest of the swing should be pretty easy and automatic if you have been practicing your fundamentals and needless to say, the less you think about your golf swing on the course, the better you play.

Well, keep practicing different lengths and trajectories by simply limiting how far you swing back.

Happy golfin!