Archive for the ‘Rhythm’ 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 Perfect Golf Rhythm, What It Sounds Like!

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Do you know what the perfect golf rhythm sounds like?

It sounds like a wave then a short wave, then a medium wave.

Well, it sounds like “ding-dee-ding” or “um-ah-ummmmm”.

The “ding” and “um” is for your backswing, “dee” and “ah” is for your transition where your arms and hands drop while your lower body starts the transition, and “ding” and “ummmmm” is where you really release both of your hands and hit the ball.

I use this sound rhythm technique whenever I have been away from golf and wanted to share with you what it sounds like.

How to Swing “Effortlessly” with Rhythm!

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Yesterday, I showed you how to practice with less balls (and with quality), well today, let me show you how to swing “effortlessly” with great rhythm, something that happened to me by accident.

While trying to take it slow and really focus on every practice ball I hit, one of the things I used to do suddenly hit me.   (I know, it’s slowly coming back, hitting the golf ball pure.)

When I used to hit the ball really well, I remember being able to hit every club in my golf bag effortlessly, even the driver.

Essentially, when I used to hit the ball effortlessly, I could hit thousands of balls continuously without rest.

Well, I suddenly remembered that all I did was think of an “effortless” rhythm.

I started applying an “effortless” rhythm and immediately I began to start hitting the ball pretty darn good, straight and actually longer than ever (because I was hitting the ball squarely on the sweetspot time after time).

If  you watch pros on TV, you know how “effortless” they swing.  Simply copy their rhythm and I bet you will hit the ball better.

The only way you will be able to learn the “effortless” rhythm is by seeing it in your mind and practicing it on the practice tee.

So, let me show you exactly what I mean with bunch of great golf swings that I would call “effortless” on YouTube:

Take a look at Fred Couple’s driver shot on (the first one) on this video:

That would be an “ideal” rhythm where you can clearly see Freddie isn’t trying to hit the ball hard (although he does) but has a great “effortless” rhythm.

Here’s Tiger’s iron swing back in 2005:

I like the rhythm on this one, that’s what you should be trying to look at, trying to grasp the “rhythm”.

Also check out Jack Nicklaus’s iron shot rhythm on this one:

A bit fast but the rhythm is “effortless”, you can see how smooth Jack’s transition is from the top to the downswing, that’s what you want.

Also check out Greg Norman’s short iron shot from his prime:

Greg Norman’s wedge shots are a thing of beauty, especially his rhythm, looks so “effortless”.

These are just the “best” examples I could find of many golf pros that looks “effortless”.

Watch these videos over and over and try them the next time you are on the course or the practice range.

Happy golfin’~

Swing Thoughts!

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Okay, here’s some swing thoughts that helped me hit the ball really great yesterday even with a 5-month layoff:

  • Keep your grip super light.
  • Swing with your body as a whole, don’t overswing.
  • Smooth, fluid rhythm, keep everything moving, momentum works best when continuous.

I started hitting the ball really good after I realized that I was overswing.  I wasn’t over-swinging like John Daly or nothin’ like that but my backswing was long enough where I felt like my arms were coming off my body.  When you do that, it’s a lot harder to control your swing plus you will need perfect timing to hit the ball solid.

Instead, I shortened my swing a bit, feeling like my whole body (the hands, arms, and your torso) were moving “together”.   This kept my hands and arms in front of by body at all times (also result of shortening my swing), and I hit the ball super solid and straight.

Well, that’s all for today, try these swing thoughts!

Continuous Rhythm, Light Hands!

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Well, my swing has been getting better and better, thanks to continuous rhythm and light hands.  Today’s practice was a blast although there was a storm moving here into Northern California.  There was only one other guy at the range today and the range was closing rather early at 7pm.

Anyways, today I probably had one of the best swing days of my life (I know I say this often but my swing is getting better and better so…) and here’s some swing keys that helped me do that:

  • Hover the clubhead at address and feeling the weight of the golf clubhead.   This helps you feel the weight of your golf club before you start your golf swing plus you won’t be starting from a completely static position, helping you to get into action.  Jack Nicklaus used to do this on all his shots even on putting, I highly suggest you to do this too.  It can also be a good pre-swing move, sorta like a push forward with your hands.
  • At the top of my swing (actually it felt like I couldn’t distinguish between my backswing and downswing), my hands felt “weightless” or very light.  Also during transition, it felt so “smooth”, like butter.  To accomplish this rhythm, try waving your hands like a music conductor.  Oh yeah, that’s the feeling, smooth.

That was about it and I felt like my swing was simply an exaggerated version of my small chip/pitch shots.

Also, one more thing, if you start swinging badly, stop hitting full shots and hit very short 30 yard pitch shots.  To hit great 30 yard pitch shots, you will need to lighten your hands a lot and swing very smooth.  Once you can hit the ball really solid with your pitch shot rhythm, try it on your full shots.

Well, gotta go, I got a long weekend ahead of me although I still haven’t played a single round this year.  Gotta make money first then I should be on my way to PGA Tour baby!

How to Practice the Driver!

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

For most of you, you probably have one shot with your driver, that is trying to hit it long as possible.

Well, let me tell you right off the bat, I can hit at least a dozen different shots with my driver including the full long drive, short knock-down drive, driver off the fairway, low-bullet slice shots around the trees, and the list can go endless.

Because of how the driver is designed, it can be a great weapon to use even off the fairway when there’s a fair amount of wind on the golf course or you are stuck under a low-hanging tree and you need to get the ball down the fairway as far as possible.

Of course, a long iron such as a 2 or 3-iron can also be good for hitting a low-bullet shot but the driver has some better results such as putting less backspin on the ball.  In the time you need to roll it more, the driver can come in very handy.

Well, let me just go over couple of these different shots you can practice with your driver so you can make 12 shots out of this driver club, not just one.

Having more weapons in your bag will help you become a scratch or better golfer but only knowing how to hit full shots will limit your potential as a golfer.

1. The Long Drive – I am sure you have this in your bag already, I won’t go much into details other than you should have a super-long drive ready to launch at a long par 5.

2. The Short Drive – At times, there’s a need for you to hit a distance off the tee, something between a driver and a 3-wood.  At those times you will want to grip down on the driver a little bit and make a three-quarter swing.  This will allow you to hit the ball little bit lower and control it better.  This short drive also works well on windy holes where a 3-wood balloon the golf ball in the air too much.  Anyways, this is probably more important driver shot than the Long Drive.  Look at the pros, even they are using it, especially Anthony Kim, he will grip down on almost every drive for better control and lower ball flight.  This isn’t an easy shot by the way if you don’t practice and learn to control your backswing so make sure you practice this before using it on the golf course. (or any of these shots for that matter)

3. The Short Drive Fade and Draw – Learn to really be able to work the ball left-to-right or right-to-left with these short drives, they can come in very handy for those dogleg-lefts and rights.

4. The Long Drive off the Fairway – This will require that you already hit the golf ball pretty solid.  This Long Drive off the Fairway can come in handy on super, long par 5s or super, windy conditions where you need to hit the ball far and run it too.

5. The Short Drive off the Fairway – This one is another one to practice for windy conditions and when you need to run the ball more than the 3-wood.

6. The Low-Bullet Shot – This low-bullet shot with the driver is basically same as a short drive off the fairway except you put the ball back in your stance slightly.  You won’t have to put the ball back too far back because the loft on the driver is already de-lofted a lot, just make a nice and short swing.

Also practice with different clubface angles.  For one, don’t close your clubface but rather open it up gradually and see what kind of results you get.

These shots can come in handy where you have to hit it under the tree then slice the heck out of it down the fairway.

Other than these, you might want to keep experimenting with different driver shots.  All these shots may seem like a waste of time but will actually help you hit the Long Drive good too because your hands will have to be light and your body will adjust to swing correctly.

Banging Long Drives one after another can be fun but they are usually detrimental to your overall golf swing and rhythm but if you mix your driver practice with all of these different ones I’ve outlined, you will make a much better use out of your driver plus better rhythm in the long run.

Remember, if you practice like everyone else on the range, you will only become like them. (a real good HACKER!)

Learn to be creative and create your own golf shots, that will ultimately be your competitive edge on the golf course when your competitor thinks you are stymied behind a tree, then stick it 2-feet from the pin using the low-bullet slice driver shot. :)

Bring out the best in yourself, don’t limit capabilities of a golf club to one shot.

Happy golfing!

How to Properly Warm Up before Practicing/Playing Golf!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

One of the most overlooked facts about golf is that most people believe it’s physically not intensive enough that you need to warm up before practicing/playing.

Actually the opposite is true, a golf swing requires proper functioning of your spine, lower body, shoulders, and the rest of the body.

I probably overlooked this fact too that I didn’t mention it so far on this golf blog but before any golf practice/play, I do a proper warm up for my body by swinging 2-clubs and stretching.

This is simple and common sense for those of you who have played golf for a long time but most amateurs do not warm up before practicing/playing golf.

Especially on cold days if you don’t warm up and stretch beforehand, you have more chances of injuring your lower back, which is critical for good golf.

So, here’s few warm up/stretching exercises you can do (that I do) before hitting any golf shots:

  • Get 2 of your heaviest clubs (for me it’s my lob and sand wedge) and start swinging very very slowly about 10-20 times until you can feel your body warm a bit.
  • Next, you can do a bit of stretching.  First, I try touching my toes with my hands while standing up.  This gets you whole body and hamstrings stretched out well.
  • Then, I will do some lateral rotations to stretch my spine, do like 5-10 of these.  When I do these, I usually hear some nice pops/cracks, which feels good and also prevents your muscles from hardening during practice/play.
  • Also do some more leg stretching such as holding one of you foot behind you and standing with one leg.

These are just couple warm up/stretching exercises you can do but do them and I assure you, your back will thank you for it.

And one more thought, DON’T SWING THE DRIVER right away!

I usually start with small 50 to 75 yard pitch shots before moving up to full shots and the woods.  If you start with the driver, I guarantee you that you are going to ruin your swing.

Of course, that’s for practice.  If you are playing, just really try to get yourself warmed up on the practice tee beforehand.

P.S. Even better, if you have a practice green near where you practice shots, try hitting putts/chips before moving to the range.  This will help you maintain a good, soft rhythm that will carry to your full shots.

I’ve seen a handful of great players who do this, start with short shots and gradually move up to longer shots.  And they have great rhythm.

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!

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

Weekend Warriors – How to Hit the Ball More Consistently!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Most of us don’t have the time that it takes to perfect a golf swing nor maintain it.  For those weekend warriors, here’s couple swing tips that have actually worked for me:

  • Don’t fight your swing, whether you hit a draw or fade on that day, just play that shot.
  • Keep your swing smooth but make sure your followthrough is longer than your backswing.  This makes sure you accelerate through the golf ball without over-swinging.  This is probably the best tip for keeping your ball flight consistent even if you hardly practice.
  • Keeping your ball flight consistent, whether that’s a slice or hook,  comes first.  If you can hit the ball with a consistent ball flight, you don’t have to hit the ball straight and still score good.  I’ve seen hundreds of scratch golfers who have bad swings but they have consistent ball flights.
  • Don’t ever try to “correct” your swing, just go with the flow and work with your flawed swing.  Again, consistency rules over straight shots.  Even pro golfers don’t try to hit the ball straight.  Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couple hit fades all through major championships, you should pick a side too.
  • Practice more short game and putting, that’s where your advantage is or even Tiger’s for that matter, not in the 300+ yard driver.  Although it’d be good to hit it 300+ yards off the tee, that’s the last thing that’s gonna help you score near par.

I’ve been playing golf for over 20+ years now and more I realize that perfecting your golf swing has more to do with scoring bad  than trying to work with what you already have.

Even me, I have less time to practice than before since I have to run my online publishing business.   I score better when I try to find ways to keep my swing more consistent by doing less.

Less is more, especially in golf.  No matter how many personal golf lessons you get, it’s probably worthless if you change your swing everytime you go out on the golf course.  Stop tinkering and start playing golf.

Here’s a simple exercise if you tend to end up in vicious cycle of trying to fix your swing.

1. Don’t practice on the range anymore.

2. Don’t try to fix your swing on the golf course.

3. Keep playing more golf and try to work on your golf strategy to fit your ball flight.

4. keep doing 1 to 3 until your ball flight is consistent and you have find a working golf course strategy.

5. If you must, fix your swing once every 3 months.

Happy golfing!