Posts Tagged ‘downswing’

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.

 

Transition from Top of the Backswing to Downswing!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Today I realized another importance of transition from top of the backswing to downswing.

You see, I am the type of golfer who nearly pauses at the top then precede to the downswing.

Well, I’ve tinkered back and forth between pausing and not pausing but today I naturally began to transition from the top of my backswing to downswing.

Actually most pro golfers do start their downswing just before their arms reach top of their backswing.   I just didn’t feel comfortable with it until today.

I have been really working hard lately on the transition, that specifically of my arms and hands “going for a ride” while my hips move weight back to my left side and turn.  I’ve also been working on creating a good “lag”.  This is because I have a tendency to slap at the ball with my hands at the last minute, causing very errant wild hooks.  This has probably cost me many tournaments.

I remember being on the 18th hole of an AJGA tournament when I was 16 years old, all I had to do was par the last hole to finish up in the Top 5.   Well, I proceeded to hit 3 nasty drives OB left, then switched to a 2-iron and finished with a score of 10 to fall completely off the leaderboard.

That was 15 years ago and I still remember being bummed out because up to that point I was couple under par.

These little things can ruin your round, that is why I have been working hard on the lag because it helps you to completely break your habit of using your hands near impact.

Anyways, to help that lag of mine, I found that simply starting your downswing a bit early with your hips does the job, creating enough torque between your lower body and the arms/hands, pretty much shutting any chance of wild hooks.

I know I went into detail here but this could potentially help those of you in similar situation.

UPDATE: Never mind, stop trying to pause or even trying to start your downswing before, just realized the day after that it doesn’t really matter all that much, it’s more important to maintain a good rhythm and the rest will happen naturally.

Slow Down Your Downswing and Swinging with your Core!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

In last couple weeks, I’ve been working on two things that have helped me tremendously in getting my golf swing more consistent.

First of all, 99% of amateur golfers swing just way too quickly on the downswing.  When you swing so quickly on the way down, you have virtually no chance of squaring correctly other than slapping at the ball with your hands, which 99% of amateurs do anyways.

So, how to fix this problem?

Next time you are on the range, try “slowing down” your downswing.  I don’t be deccellerate.  To feel this, try downswinging at the same speed/pace at you swing back.  Once you get the hang of it, you should be hitting the golf ball more solidly and you should be able to feel it in your hands.

Even on drivers, you don’t need to swing hard or quickly to make the golf ball go far.  If you can square up your clubface to your golf ball exactly in the center of your golf club’s sweetspot, it will go farther and result in more consistent drives, leading to lower scores and longer drives.

Second, you need to feel a “core” in your golf swing.  A lot of old schoolers did this by keeping their head still but this probably isn’t the best advice.

Instead, what I like to do is feel the point between my breasts (yes, that point) and let my arms and hands rotate around that point.  You don’t actually rotate around that point but that is the feeling, that your whole golf swing revolves around a core point.

What this does is keeps your golf swing more in balance and fixes swing flaws like dipping or over-transferring weight.  Also it can fix over-swinging, which is primarily caused also by your body being out of balance.

Try these two tips whether you are a 90s shooter or single-digit handicapper the next time you go out on the range and I am sure you will hit more consistent shots.

And no, don’t try it on the golf course unless you are just out there to practice shots in-between when no one is around.  Tinkering with your golf swing in a round of golf will never do you any good.

Swing Tip – How To Start the Downswing with Your Lower Body!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Today I hit the ball fairly, radically rad and great.  I’ve probably never hit the ball so crisp.  Another point is that now I can actually control the trajectory of my golf ball better.

To be able to do all those, you will need to learn how to start your downswing with your lower body.  This is one of the crucial golf swing movements you will need to learn if you want to hit the ball super crisp.

What is “super crisp”?

That’s when you smack that golf ball right in the sweetspot of your golf club and you can “feel” the solidarity of your hit.  It feels so good, I can probably say it’s better than sex.

Besides that, you ball flight won’t be affected as much by wind or anything for that matter and for people watching this super crisp hit from the side, you will certainly hear a nice “swoosh” sound as the golf ball takes off straight to its apex and looks as if it drops straight down, lifelessly.

Sounds like something you want to learn?

Well, I’ve got the secret for you, you need to be able to hit the golf ball from the inside-out and to do that, really, you need to learn how to start the downswing with your lower body as Ben Hogan said about a thousand times in his book Five Lessons (very good book by the way, most of my golfing theory comes straight from that book.)

How to “feel” your lower body starting the downswing?

To feel your lower body starting the downswing, here’s a simple exercise I actually do.

First, swing your golf club to the top slowly.  After you reach the top of the backswing, pause slightly.  Then, start the downswing by rotating your lower body(and also a bit of weight transfer to the left foot), specifically the hips to your left and let your shoulder, arms, and hands follow that rotation, all in that order with the lower body always leading the downswing.

I know it sounds slightly confusing but go grab a golf club and try it.

Now, keep rotating those hips and the rest of your upper body *SLOWLY* until you reach the point where your golf clubhead is about waist height.  Your hands and the golf club should form a 90 degree angle, this is called “LAG”.  If not, make sure there’s 90 degree angle.  This should happen naturally if you lead your downswing with your hips.  If you didn’t, ultimately you won’t have the “LAG” and that means you broke something in the process.  Do this until you can get it right.

Now when your golf clubhead is at about waist height, you no longer need to lead the downswing with the hips because it will probably impossible as your upper body starts catching up near impact.  At this point try to feel that “ALL” of your lower body (hips) AND the upper body and turning simultaneously together and SWINGING OUT towards the right field. (Like I told you here on swinging the golf club inside-out.)

When you do this right, you should feel some kind of “torque” on the golf club as you downswing.  This is caused by your lower body starting/leading the downswing.

Do all the above steps until you can get all the parts I outlined right and you get a good feel for it.  Start with a slow swing then steadily increase the speed of your golf swing.

Keep practicing until you can record in your muscle memory.

Now, don’t think about anything and just hit the golf ball normally.  Your muscle memory should “automatically” start your downswing with your lower body.  If your body doesn’t keep practicing in slow motion after each ball hit on the driving range until you “get” it.

Once you master this method of starting your downswing with your lower body, you should be able to hit the ball straighter, further, and also be able to control the ball better.

The greatest part about swinging like this is that once you master it, you can hit the ball as hard as you want AND your ball will go even straighter/longer.

Of course, this is something I learned from Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons.  He doesn’t outline every step but I have added some exercises that can help you feel what he’s trying to teach in his book.

After I started doing this instinctively through practice, I began to realize how much better I can fade/draw the ball while I could also control the trajectory better.

There, I just told you the secret to hitting that golf ball like a pro, now go practice.

Btw, my golfing career is coming along now, I am hitting the ball better than ever, my putting is superb with my new method of using mostly hands.  (I will have a blog post on how to putt like a pro soon.)

Good luck on improving your swing and don’t give up after 100 swing, try at least 10,000 more swings. :)

benhogan

(Image Credit) – Click to Enlarge – Watch carefully how Ben Hogan leads his downswing with his lower body and look at that big LAG he’s generating!

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~

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.

Anthony Kim Driver Swing Analysis

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Okay, today, we will do a “real” swing analysis of Anthony Kim’s swing. (unlike my older post on Anthony Kim’s swing video only)

Now, this young man gas a great swing and might start taking over PGA Tour with multiple wins.

At takeaway, Anthony is a little too much inside. (This is what the “traditional” golf teachers teach you. But don’t be fooled, the follow-through will prove that Anothony “came back” to the right plane to hit the ball, which almost every pro tour golfer does)

At half-way, Anthony is still way too inside but that’s okay as it will get from here on.

At top os his swing, you can see how well his hands, and clubface are in-plane. (The four diagonal lines represent the true plane of the golf swing)

At downswing, Anthony is slightly inside the plane, which is perfectly acceptable.

At impact, notice how his left arms is straight and right arms slightly bent like at address.

Now what impresses me about Anthony Kim’s swing is not his takeaway or backswing but right after impact.

As you can see, his clubface is almost dead-on or slightly outside the plane. This movement is actually the best move. (Players like Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods do this)

After impact, it gets even better as Anthony’s club stays on-plane.

At finish, check out how controlled his right foot is, it’s barely coming up.

What can you learn from Anthony Kim’s swing?

There are many ways to swing the club. Try to focus on getting that club on-plane at the top of your swing and after impact.

Even most tour pros have completely different opinions on how to swing on-plane but their after impact positions will be the same.

Here’s Anthony Kim’s swing in slow-motion (SWING VISION):

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Tom Pernice Jr. Driver Swing Analysis

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Here’s a swing analysis of Tom Pernice Jr., who is currently leading the AT&T National tournament at 10 under par.

At takeaway, Tom is in good position. (he’s slightly inside the plane but that’s okay as many tour pros use this position)

At half-way, Tom is slightly inside the plane, which is perfectly fine.

At the top of his swing, Tom is perfectly on-plane.

On the downswing, Tom is slightly inside the plane, meaning he will he from the inside out.

At impact, Tom looks pretty good although his arms could be streched a little more.

After impact, Tom is slightly inside the plane. Usually, most tour players are outside the plane at this point but Tom’s club is slightly inside because he sorta swings more “around” himself. This is not a super bad thing but it can cause some really bad duck hooks at tiimes.

Finish is textbook for Tom as his body stands very tall and high.

Here’s Tom Pernice Jr.’s driver swing in slow-motion:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Here’s Tom Pernice Jr.’s driver swing in action:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

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