Posts Tagged ‘backswing’

How to Get Out Of Bogey Train!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

You know many people say golf is all about your mind and it’s true, most of your good golf is played in your mind.

I am sure this happens to you on the golf course like every time you play, you get on some kind of bogey train or even worse double-bogey train. It’s one of those bad holes one after another.

But here’s the thing, virtually EVERY golfer goes through this at least once in their round, even the guy who wins the U.S. Open. (Well it might be called Par Train for them.)

Whatever train you are on, it’s not that it happens to you but you do something to break that cycle.

How to get out of bogey train? (and other trains)

First, you need to think in the present, think of the shot at hand.  No matter how many bad shots you’ve been hitting, don’t think about that but really clear your mind, visualize the shot you are going to play RIGHT NOW, and do it. If it doesn’t work out, too bad but at least you gave yourself the best chance by thinking positive.  The worst is if you give up and sloppily hit your current shot while visualizing all the bad shots you’ve been hitting, that’s a sure way to never get off the bogey train.

Second, you need to think of make just a “par” on every hole.

I tell ya, once you get on the “par train”, it’s really easy to hop onto the “birdie train”.  And once you are on the “birdie train”, making birdies become really easy and those are rounds when you shoot under par.

So, getting back to the basics, think simple and think one shot at a time, one hole at a time.

Whenever I play a round of golf and I get on one of those bogey trains, the faster I can just make a “par” is when I start to take control over my round and rest of my round goes well.

Anyways, next time you are on the bogey train (or whatever), try my advice and keep golf simple in your mind, your mind/scores will thank you for it.

 

Backswing in Golf is Like Two-Handed Hammer Action!

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Today, I realized something at the range that worked wonders for me.  The only way I can describe it (after thinking about it a bit) is that it’s like hammering something.

Just imagine holding a hammer and hitting the nail as hard as you can, what would the backswing on that look like?

It probably look like your elbows are bent about 90 degrees and your wrists also 90 degrees.  From there, all you can do is hit the nail as hard as you can.

This is exactly the action I have been using on my golf swing.  Of course, golf is done with two hands not with one.  So just imagine hammering something with two hands.

Now, here’s the secret, you don’t stop hammering, you need to keep swinging through on a golf swing, that requires you to keep swinging with both hands, not just one.  Once you start over-powering one hand with the other is when you will run into trouble.

Try it next time you are on the range, a backswing in golf is merely no more than the same action you use with a hammer but with two hands.

:)

How to Hit Those Short Chip/Pitch Shots out of Medium/Tough Rough!

Monday, August 31st, 2009

rough

(Image Credit)

Today I practiced 20-50 yard pitch shots at my favorite public course Harding Park with my 60 degree wedge.  Since Harding Park will be hosting the 2009 President’s Cup this year in October, the greenskeeper was growing the grass like mad.

Anyways, those long rough conditions allowed me to practice those tough shots and here’s simple tips next time you see some of those medium to high length rough:

  1. Set up to the ball with your clubface open, anywhere from 5 to 45 degrees depending on how high you want to hit your pitch shot.
  2. Set up with most of your weight on the left side of your body and keep it there during the whole pitch shot.
  3. Try to hit slightly behind the ball.  The long rough will actually act as cushion and add a little “bounce” to your shot, meaning you actually want to hit a little behind it to hit the ball consistently.   You want to hit about 1/4 to 1/8 inch behind the ball but no more than 1/4 inch, otherwise you will end up flopping the pitch shot.  Just make sure to keep your eyes 1/4 inch behind the ball and try to hit that spot, not the ball.  This will ensure you don’t “skull” the ball while you will get a consistent results out of any medium to long-sized rough.
  4. Make sure to keep your pitch swing nice and smooth, free flowing while keeping your hands super light.
  5. Make sure your follow-through is much longer than your backswing to ensure acceleration through the pitch shot.

Now, apply these tips next time you go out to the practice green.  I tend to like to spend a lot of time around the greens, not much of a ball-banger anymore (I used to be).  But I can assure you that when you can hit well and consistently close to the hole out of these medium to long-sized grass, you will definitely play better next time you play a good course like Harding Park.

Of course, hitting behind the ball only applies to 1 inches of grass(rough) or longer.  Anything shorter, you can keep your weight evenly distributed and focus on the front of the ball itself. (otherwise you will flub it for sure)

These shots are not easy but they are really fun if you master them and you will have a great advantage over your playing partners, especially if they are not accustomed to hitting those pitch shots within 3 feet circle like you do.

Have fun practicing and I should have some more tips on various different pitch shots.  (And yes, practicing with 1-ball can help greatly to these shots as you will learn to manipulate your 60 degree wedges better.)

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!

Lucas Glover Golf Swing Analysis!

Friday, July 10th, 2009

As you probably well know, Lucas Glover edged out my former junior golf colleague Ricky Barnes during this year’s U.S. Open 2009, beating numerous great golfers like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and David Duval.

Needless to say, let’s go over Lucas Glover’s swing to see what makes him a “major” champion.

At address, Lucas Glover really gets his head behind the ball, his upper spine and head both tilted slightly towards the target.  This slight move helps you to hit the driver on the upswing and also makes sure your head stays behind the ball during the swing.

Lucas has a very strong grip which also goes well with this type of setup.  His feet are about 10 degrees open each.

*Notice that his head is almost over his right foot, not something you’d teach someone but it works for Lucas Glover.

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On the takeaway, Lucas Glover takes away very very wide, sorta like Tiger, I bet he tried to copy Tiger’s move here.

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About half-way, Lucas is still very “wide”.  The way Lucas Glover swing the golf club reminds me almost of a slingshot.  Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve seen a handful of great players who have a “slingshot” golf swing.  This isn’t a bad thing so if you do this, keep doing it.

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At the top of Lucas Glover’s swing (or transition since his hips are already moving down now), Lucas doesn’t overswing, he actually has a pretty compact backswing although it’s hard to notice when you see it in full speed.  Watch carefully as this is when Lucas does the “slingshot” move, he will practically drop his shoulders, arms, and hands straight down.

lucas-glover-golf-swing-4

I don’t know if you notice here but, Lucas Glover is coming on a very steep angle in contrast to his takeaway and backswing.  This isn’t my favorite way to swing the golf club as your shoulders and hands must compensate for the difference.

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At impact, Lucas Glover drops his body a bit (like everyone) but his feet are still on the ground and his left shoulder to the clubhead forms a perfectly straight line, probably his key to consistency.

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After impact, watch how straight both Lucas Glover’s arms are, that is really good stuff.  And also note his feet are still on the ground!!!  (and yes that is awesome.)

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Lucas Glover’s finish is what I like most about his swing.  See how straight his body is?  This isn’t just good for consistent golf, it’s also great for your back.

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Overall, I’d give Lucas Glover’s swing 8 out of 10.  Lucas didn’t win the U.S. Open with his swing, he also had some good luck with the weather and pairings.  Of course, Lucas has a really good short game and mentally “tougher” than the others.

Here’s Lucas Glover’s Golf Swing in Slow-motion video:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

The stuff you need to learn from Lucas Glover’s Swing:

1. Wide takeaway - Wide takeaway isn’t just for hitting the ball, it also let you swing more free as you can “feel” the centripetal force as you swing back.

If you want to learn to do a wide takeaway, simply put only your right hand on the club and try to swing back like you are holding a slingshot.  If you can feel that, apply it on your real swing.

2. Stable Impact - You want to learn to hit the golf ball without losing your balance.  Next time you are on the range, try to develop a stable impact position by “staying up” through impact.  You will almost feel like you are standing up at impact if you do this right.  In fact, you want to feel like you are standing up during your whole swing.

3. Great Finish – Great finish usually result in great balance and that you end up standing tall like Lucas Glover.  Next time you are at the range, finish your golf swing and stand “tall” afterwards and hold your finish for 3 seconds.  If you can do that, that means you have kept your balance through the swing.

More cool balancing exercises – Take a golf pencil, bite it with your mouth and try to hit full shots without losing your golf pencil.  If you can master this, your body will automatically learn to balance and swing better.

Well, that’s about it for today folks, I will try to have more golf swing analysis later this week so I hope you get better at golf!

Go practice now, don’t just sit there and read golf blogs.

How to Hit The Flop Shot!

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Hitting the flop shot is probably one of the hardest short game shots in golf, that is if you do it right.

If you take a look at my previous video on how to practice with 1 golf ball, I am basically hitting an exaggerated flop shot that “flings” the golf ball straight up in the air.  As such, I can tell you that my flop shots are probably as good or maybe even better than Phil Mickelson’s.

Okay, enough self boasting there, I just want to tell you that I know how to hit that flop shot and teach you how to do it.

There are several different types of flop shots, one is very risky and wristy while the other one is safer and not as wristy.

For the Risky and Wristy Flop Shot:

1. You will need to open you stance and clubface about 30 degrees opposite each other.  You will most likely feel as if you are hitting a baseball to the left field while your clubface is pointing to the right field.

2. You will need to set your weight nearer to your heels than you think it should be, almost bending backwards.

3. On the backswing, only use your wrists, cock them straight up in the air but keep your hands super “soft” like spaghetti.

4. On the downswing, use your wrists again, making sure to hit the “bounce” of your club right before the ball and FOLLOWING through.

5. Again, KEEP YOUR HANDS LIGHT throughout the whole swing or you will risk either hitting the ball fat or really thin and hit the guy next to you.

6. Also keep your head and body really quiet, this is “wrists” only!

The Risky and Wristy flop shot is very hard to master, I used to practice it everyday for about 15 years and still haven’t perfect the method but this is the ultimate flop shot when you need to get it up and down with LOTS of backspin.  This will work well on really hard courses where the slope average is above 75 and the greens are super hard.

For the Safer and Not as Wristy Flop Shot:

1. You will need to open the stance like the wristy flop shot.

2. Same thing with weight.

3. On the backswing, you can make a regular backswing, sorta like your regular swing.

4. On the downswing, you can make a regular downswing WHILE keeping your feet on the ground.  If you move too much feet, you will probably thin the shot and kill someone next to you.  LMAO, just keep steady on this one.

5. Again, KEEP YOUR HANDS LIGHT throughout the whole swing, that is key for flop shots in general.

6. Also keep your head and body super quiet, flop shots aren’t intended to go too far, just 1 to 30 yards at most.

The Safer Flop Shot is safer because it’s basically a miniture version of your full swing so it’s easy to do.  (That is the swing I used here btw.)

I usually use the safer flop shots whenever I can because stregically it’s safer.

The only time I use the risky and wristy flop shot is where I have to get it up slightly higher on super hard greens.  Of course, it all depends on what you are playing for.  Sometimes, you need to go all out and sometimes you need to play safe.

You might have seen Phil Mickelson attempt 5-6 flop shots in a tournament, only to end up with a quadruple bogey or worse.

Don’t do that, be smart and use what you can.

Anyways, flop shots in general require a lot of practice and you might want to actually practice with someone standing next to you if you want to get better.

My teacher used to force me to hit over his head, just so I can beat the pressure and that’s what it takes for tournament golf.

But for regular easies, just take it easy and don’t kill anyone with your errant flop shots.

Also, DON’T practice flop shots too much, especially the wristy ones, you will ruin your regular full swing.  LOL, yes, it’s a shot you need to practice but not that often.

Another note, always use a lob wedge for this shot.  If you don’t have a lob wedge, go buy one, don’t try doing a flop shot with a sand wedge, its results aren’t as facinating.

Get a 60 degree or more lob wedge with no or little bounce.

Enjoy~

Golf DIY – How to Hit the Sand Shot!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

sandshot

(image credit)

For most beginners, the sand shot might be the hardest trouble shot to overcome.  As a pro golfer who has hit thousands of these little sand shots under tournament pressure, let me just point out a couple things that will guarantee that you hit the ball out of the sand.

1. First, you need to see the sand as sand, not a sand “trap” or any of that negative stuff.  Golf starts in your brain, the more positive you look at your troubles, the better you will play.

2. Before you hit ANY sand shots, please “dig” your feet into the sand about 1/4″ by wiggling your feet.  If you do not make use of this wiggling (and it’s lega), you are not taking advantage of all the Golf Rules has to offer.  WIGGLE your feet until they are pretty darn stable.

3. Keep your weight near your heels.  That’s right, you want all your weight nearer to your heels so you will hit the sand with the “heel” of your club, not the “toe”.  Hitting the sand with the “heel” of the club allows your sand wedge to make use of the maximum bounce allowed and swiftly go through the sand.

A lot of people don’t know this but I am here to tell you this is the ultimate secret I learned from Stan Utley, one of the best short game players/teachers in the world.

4. Keep the ball about 2-3 inches front of center of your address, sorta like a pitching wedge.  You want your ball to be about opposite your left heart. (if you are right-handed)

5. Open your stance and clubface about 30 degrees each.

6. 50-50 weight balance will do most of the time, try to keep your weight evenly distributed in both feet.

7. Now you are ready, hover your clubhead about 2-3 inches behind the ball.

8. On your backswing, make sure to cock your wrists as fully as possible.  Cocking allows you to get a steep angle on the ball and get it out easy.

9. Hit about 2-3 inches behind the ball, into the sand, and most importantly, FOLLOW-THROUGH past your waist.

Now, that’s a lot of information but if you follow my directions, you will become a sand shot pro in no time.

Another note, you can control the distance of the ball travel with the amount of your follow-through.

During the whole swing, try to keep your body movement to the minimum (including the head) and use mostly wrists.  There’s no need to try anything fancy, simple does it.

I didn’t have time to shoot a video but next time, I will show it to you. :)

David Duval Swing Analysis!

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

If you are new to golf, you’ve probably never heard of David Duval.  But for me, he’s the #1 or #2 golfer of all-time in the 90s.

For whatever reason that David Duval has not been winning again, let’s take a look at his swing from Doral in 1997 to see what made him “tick”.

One thing I really like about David Duval is the way he finishes his swing with his back straight.  This is really good for painless-back golf.

On the takeaway, David Duval looks pretty good.

At top of his swing, David is in perfect plane.

Between his backswing and downswing, you can clearly tell that David is really transferring his weight back to the left.

Also notice that his head is actually turning towards the target at impact.  David Duval is the only other professional golfer I know who lets his head move freely during impact other than Annika Sorenstam.

I believe this head move can actually help the golfer hit the ball better if done right.  But if you simply move your head at impact, it will probably make you chop the ball more times than not.  To do it right, try following the golf ball as it takes off.

Watch David Duval’s wonderful wind-up finish.  He’s almost wind-up too much but you get the idea here.

Hopefully David Duval does recover from his long-term winning draught.  I have seen signs of him playing better lately at the British Open where he finishes Top 10 for the first 2 days.  Time will tell whether David Duval is able to come back to competitive golf or not but he’s still a British Open champ.

David Duval Links

David Duval Offical Profile at Pgatour.com

David Duval on Wikipedia

Here’s David Duval’s Swing from Doral Open in 97:

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.