Posts Tagged ‘balls’

How Does the Correct Downswing and Follow-Through Feel Like?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

There’s nothing better than knowing exactly how to “feel” the downswing or the follow-through.  Most golfers end up manipulating the crap out of their downswing and follow-through (even myself at times) that they have no chance of hitting the golf ball squarely on the center of the clubface.

So, how does the correct downswing and follow-through feel like?

There should be absolutely no manipulations of your hands, shoulders, stomach, thighs, and legs.

You should feel like there’s a central core that moves everything.  Think of it this way, imagine your hand holds 5 yoyos and at the top of your backswing, each of the yoyos represent your hands, shoulders, stomach, thighs, and legs.   Now, since the 5 yoyos are attached to a string, how will you move your body so that you can swing the 5 yoyos through while keeping the string taut?

The only way you can do that is by swinging with your body or having a “feel” that there’s a central core (somewhere inside your chest like the middle of your chest) swinging the 5 yoyos.

In other words, in a correct downswing, there’s absolutely no “tension” if any of your body parts that are controlled by your central core.

There’s a lot of golf teachings out there that teach you to swing “inside-out”.  Now, this isn’t something you can do by manipulating your body, it’s only result of going through the correct golfing motions.

*Note – Swinging inside-out has more to do with the rhythm of your swing than mechanics.  I will have more on this later.

So, stop trying to much when you are following through, and let your hands, shoulders, stomach, thighs, and legs turn naturally through the shot.

One swing thought I use often to let this natural process happen is to simply think of transferring my body weight to my left foot (while keeping everything else passive). What this does is get me in the correct downswing motion with the lower body while preventing manipulation of my upper body.

I know, sometimes the golf swing is a lot simpler than you think, just think “transfer weight and turn your whole body onto your left foot” and let everything else follow.   This also means you can/should “feel” that your hands are light while doing so. Keeping your hands light will keep your shoulders, stomach, thighs, and legs light and prevent them from manipulating your downswing and follow-through.

Well, if you get confused, just remember my last paragraph I’ve outlined in bold and make sure you try it next time you are on the range or the golf course.

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

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

nike-dymo-str8-fit-1

Points

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

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

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

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

TaylorMade R9 Driver w/ 9.5 degrees and Stiff Shaft

Points

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

nike-dymo-str8-fit-2

(Nike DYMO STR8-FIT lie & trajectory changer)

nike-dymo-str8-fit-3

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

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

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Winner of Northen Trust Open 2009 Is….

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Phil Mickelson wins the Northern Trust Open 2009!

Congrats and although my prediction was off, Fred Couples did come real close to winning, only if he had hit a good iron shot on the last hole.

It was an exciting finish to say the least though as Phil birdied the 2 of the last 3 holes to come back, after making bunch of bogies and no birdies until that point.

Fred Couples, on the other hand, gave a good run at age of 49 and a half, about to head to the Champion’s Tour.

Steve Stricker, who finished couple holes early, came up short by bogeying the last hole, he could have easily won this tournament.

Anyways, no more golf until next weekend.  I am gonna go hit balls in the rain now. :)

Make sure to check out my swing analysis of Phil Mickelson’s swing and Fred Couple driver’s swing here.

Driver DIY – How to Add 30 Yards to Your Game in 30 Days!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Well, as a pro golfer who knows all the ins and outs of playing, practicing, and scoring golf, we all WANT to hit the ball very far.

I am not going to be teaching you any golf swing techniques here but I am going to teach you couple tricks that can potentially add 30 yards to your drives in just 30 days.

1. Get a weighted golf club and swing it daily in your home slowly about 20-30 times.

Now you don’t have to buy this weighted golf club.  What I do is take bunch of pennies (like 200 of them) and duct tape them to one of your old golf clubs.  That will get you about 5-10 pounds of weight depending on the number of pennies you attach.

Swing the golf club very very slowly.  This is about building the golf muscles, not hitting the ball.  Try to really feel that your abdomen is controlling the whole swing during this exercise.

2. For every practice session at the driving range, take your driver and hit 10 balls as HARD as you can.

You need to learn to control your swing when you swing hard and fast, the only way to do that is to swing as hard as you can.  Now I said just 10 balls, don’t do it for all your shots, that will ruin your swing and rhythm.

3. Do the above steps 1 and 2 at least 3-5 times a week for a month.

I bet you’ve added another 30 yards to your driver.

I didn’t include working out or lifting-weights here but that helps too so long as you are working on the correct muscles.  I find that chest lifting exercises help but let me get into that later, I have a specific golf workout routine that I have been using for about 14 years and that’s been helping me hit the ball 320+ yards consistently.  Stay tuned folks.

Parker McLachlin Iron Swing Analysis

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Let’s take a look at Parker McLachlin’s iron swing, the winning swing of Reno Tahoe Open.  (Too bad Michelle Wie didn’t make the cut AGAIN!)

At takeaway, notice that Parker’s clubface is actually pointing down at the ground, a little too closed.   This causes lots of pulls and balls that will start left and go left.  It’s best to have rotated a little more here for crisp contact.

At half-way, Parker looks pretty good.

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

At half-way down, Parker looks great.

After impact, Parker is slightly outside the plane, meaning he swung slightly inside-out.  Very good stuff.

Parker may have a pretty good swing and he has won a PGA Tour event to prove it with a round of 10 under on Friday of 62.

Here’s Parker McLachlin’s iron swing in slow motion:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

I Found The Secret to Hogan’s Golf Swing!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now how to achieve this feeling?

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

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

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

Secret to a Consistent Golf Swing

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Well, today I kept thinking about how I have been hitting the golf ball for the last 20 or so years of my life and by examining the top golfers in the world, I have come to a conclusion that I have finally found the secret to a consistent golf swing.

Here’s the secret to a consistent golf swing:

“Keep the swing in motion”

What do I mean by that?

Well, if you have noticed, every top golfer waggles his club before starting his/her swing.

The waggle is simply a preview “feel” of you swing before you swing the club.

For example, unlike other sports, Golf requires you to start at a static position. (similar to a Basketball free throw shot)

Once you start your golf swing, you don’t ever want to disrupt or stop your motion in anyway.

How can you achieve this?

You need to think outside the box and think of a swing as a one continuous motion just like throwing a baseball or shooting a basketball.

One continuous motion requires that your whole swing flows at one continuous speed.

Ben Hogan used to start his downswing before the completion of his backswing.  In reality, the concept backswing, impact, and the finish are only “snapshots” of your one continuous swing.

Do not try to achieve a backswing position, rather try to swing in one-motion.  To correct any swing flaws in your swing, you need to do that while keeping in mind that a swing is one continuous motion.

So next time you head out to the range, practice swinging in one continuous motion.

Drills for feeling this?

You can setup about 5 to 10 balls in front of you and try to hit them all, one-by-one, without stopping your swing.  This drill is actually very well-known by most teachers and pros but it will definitely teach you the “feel” of one continuous swing and help you swing with “feel” and less “mechanics”.

Well, that’s all for today folks, this might be the best secret, of course for making few bucks off your golf buddies and winning that club championship.

I might analyze a lot of the pro swings, but you have to realize golf is not a game of swing mechanics, but of swing motion.

Kenny Perry Iron Swing Analysis

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Yey, Kenny Perry wins this week’s Buick Open. Although not an avid fan of Kenny Perry, he certainly has proven himself by winning twice this year and also coming up runner-up once.

So, why is Kenny winning at 48 years old while all the youngsters in the 20s are struggling?

Well, golf is a game of smart thinking more than it’s about power and accuracy.

Kenny Perry does not have a perfect swing by any means but he does very consistent with his swing, mostly controlled by arms and hands.

At top of Kenny’s swing, you can note that his left shoulder comes over his right leg.

On the downswing, Kenny keeps his lower body quiet while letting the hands and arms do most of the work.

At impact, you can see clearly that Kenny really “swings” the club rather than hit the ball.

After impact, notice how Kenny’s right foot is implanted on the ground. Kenny really tries to swing nice and smooth, which is what is required for a hands and arms swing.

If Kenny swung any harder, all his balls would hook or go left.

What to learn from Kenny’s iron swing?

You need to note that in order to be accurate with your irons, you need to let the club do most of the work for you. Of course, you can give the ball a real smack in the back but you probably won’t be consisten that way.

Here’s Kenny Perry’s iron swing in action:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

How to Putt Like a Pro!

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Today, I will explain couple basics about how to putt like a pro.  Trust me, I have read more books about putting than most people will ever in their life and I have spent $2000 on a lesson with Stan Utley, one of the best putters on Tour.

So here’s how to putt like a pro:

1. You need to learn to sink a lot of short putts within 3-10 feet range.  To do this, think of the short putts as the “short game” of putting.  That’s right, these short putts are the most important and count as much as a 350 yard drive.  If you can’t sink ‘em, go home.  If you can, you might become a pro.

2. Soft hands, hands like noodles, gentle grip, or whatever you want to call it but make sure you are holding the putter very very lightly while you putt.

3. Learn to lag putt real good from 20, 50, 100 feet.  Lag putts are great for absorbing the speed of the greens.  The more you can lag, the better putter you will be overall.

4. Putt for money.  Next time you are with a buddy, play an 18-hole putting match, one dollar per hole.  Without putting pressure on your putting, you never know how it’s going to be in a real tournament situation.

Heck, most of the time I play with my buddies, we are betting like $20 per putt or hole.  Pressure games make you better.

5. Develop a consistent putting stroke that rolls the ball true.  Whether you are putting a 20 footer or a 100 footer, your ball should roll very true from the start to finish.  If your ball bumps up in the beginning or at the end, you might want to work on your putting stroke so you putts roll true.

When your putts roll true, you will notice that your putts roll a lot smoother and also get less effected by any breaks in the putt.  Probably the biggest difference between an average golfer and the pro golfer is how true the pro golfer “rolls” the golf ball while the average golfer doesn’t even understand that putting can be so complicated.

Well, that’s it for today, I might need to go hit some balls.  :)

As Ben Hogan said, “Everyday you don’t practice is another day longer it will take you to become a good golfer”.

Practice, practice, and practice while playing pressure games in your head.  That’s right, you should be putting for the U.S. Open win on every practice putt.  (Damn, I let anther worst kept secret out…)

Vijay Singh Driver DL Swing Analysis

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Vijay Singh Driver DL Swing Analysis

Vijay Singh probably practices more than Tiger and that’s more than enough reason why Vijay has won so many tournaments.

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