Posts Tagged ‘Phil Mickelson’

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.

 

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.

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.

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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.

Golf DIY – How To Mentally Play Well and Score Well by Practicing Mentally!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Anyone who has played golf for at least a year would realize that golf is 90% mental and 10% skill.

This is so more true as you get to a higher level such as scratch golf or pro golf.

The truth is, most PGA Tour players today can hit the ball as good as the guy next to him.

The real difference between top players who win tournaments and the guy who finishes last in a PGA Tour tournament may be blamed purely on mental state of the player.

I have mentioned in many of my previous tournament analysis that the player who is tougher nearing down the last 3 holes of the tournament usually wins the golf tournament.

That is completely true, most golf tournaments are decided on the last 3 holes.

For example, even the 2009 U.S. Open came down to the last 3 holes where Lucas Glover made a birdie on the 16th hole and parred out the rest while everyone else had at least 1 bogey. I am sure it could have been different if Ricky Barnes, Phil Mickelson, or David Duval birdied couple of those last holes.

Or even take a look at the miraculous win by Tiger Woods at 2008 U.S. Open, where Tiger had to birdie the last hole to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate. Tiger dumps his drive in the rough, then procceeds to hit his 2nd shot to the rough, and barely makes it to the green. But Tiger’s mental toughness has helped him make that 10 footer downhiller under intense moments of pressure, not just his skill or luck.

So, how to get this mental toughness?

Well, first you need to be in that state of pressure, if you have nothing to go for, there’s no pressure.

You can easily practice this type of pressure while you practice on the driving range or play a round at your favorite golf course.

What me and my pro golfer friends like to do is actually bet money and play a skins game during the course of the round. This “pressure”, even if it’s a dollar a hole, will make you focus more on “playing” the game and also let you “practice” pressure golf.

When I am at the driving range, I like to play games with myself. I will challenge myself to hit 10 of 10 shots to within 100 yards. (You can also read about developing your bread-and-butter shot by signing up for my newsletter in the free E-book I provide.)

Another way to engage yourself in pressure golf at the driving range is to actually play a round of golf in your mind.

That’s right, I will imagine my favorite golf course and actually hit my drives, approach shots, and pitch shots. I make it so real that I actually go through my whole pre-shot routine, which is a must if you want to play great golf. (I will also do a blog post soon on how to develop and maintain a pre-shot routinne later this week.)

A lot of people don’t like to gamble on the golf course but gambling with your friends is actually one of the best ways to improve your game and practice “pressure” golf.

You don’t have to bet a lot of money, even pennies will do, just so long as there’s something on the line, mainly which boils down to your confidence, not really money itself.

So again, make sure you play for some money (or even house duties) the next time you play golf with your friends and family.

One of my favorite things to do was play skins game with all the seniors at my local club and take all their money, even with handicaps given for them. Now, that was a lot of fun because the seniors enjoyed playing with good young golfers like me, even if that was losing couple bucks every time.

Next time you go out on the range, don’t just mindlessly bang golf balls after another, practice “playing” on the practice range.

I hope these golf tips help you play better the next time you try to let your friends pay for your dinner and I will have to get back to getting my golf game up to par so I can try out for the PGA Tour next year.

Happy golfin’~

P.S. One of the keys to playing well under pressure is to simply enjoy golf and have fun. Can you remember how many times you played good and had fun?

Oops, another golfing secret spilled…

Winner of U.S. Open 2009 – Lucas Glover!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Wow, how lucky were Lucas Glover and Ricky Barnes to be pretty much leading the tournament for most of the weekend!

I had the pleasure of watching these 2 young pros play golf the last couple days, I have to say I am very impressed regardless of who won.

For one, I have personally played with Ricky Barnes as a junior golfer, I am proud of him that he did so good.

As for Lucas Glover, he did outright win the tournament by playing better than the world’s best players.

Because of many rain delays and unfortunate luck of the draw, top players like Tiger  Woods may have gotten a bad break at the U.S. Open.

Neverthless, golf is not a game that players can control, players can only hope to control their own game to their best, no matter what the circumstance are.

That said, Lucas Glover is the 2009 U.S. Open champion!

As for my old friend Ricky Barnes, he did very well too by finishing tied for 2nd with Phil Mickelson and David Duval.  Ricky Barnes has never won a PGA tournament, let alone finish top 10, he’s going to be securing his PGA Tour card by finishing 2nd at U.S. Open for sure.  I am sure Ricky will win a regular PGA Tour real soon.

For Phil Mickelson, I won’t feel bad for him, he’s been making so much money winning tournaments, it’s just another U.S. Open, I am sure he will win many before he retires.

I also do feel happy for David Duval, the former #1 player in the world who has been struggling for the last  10 years or so.  I am glad he finished tied for  2nd, I see a strong possibility that David Duval might start winning tournaments again.

Overall, this year’s U.S. Open featured some of the “unknown” great players or even players who were good before.

I am sure a lot of you don’t even know who Lucas Glover was before this week or even Ricky Barnes.

I don’t think it’s a random chance they played well at this year’s U.S. Open.  But yes, time will tell if they were fluke or for real.

Anyways, congrats to everyone who finished the tournament today.  At the very least, everyone will be taking a large of chunk of change and history back home.  I would kill myself just to finish 60th at a U.S. Open, you probably would too.

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~

Arnold Palmer Invitational This Weekend!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Well, it looks like it’s going to be an exciting weekend again, Tiger will be playing at Arnold Palmer Invitational.

I’ve been really busy with a bad flu this week but heck, I will be enjoying golf for sure.

Phil Mickelson will be missing out of action this weekend by the way, while the young Nick Watney will be contending.

My favorites are probably Tiger Woods, Nick Watney, and Paul Azinger.  Those are my “favorites” and might be lucky if any of them win, although I think Tiger might have a good chance since he’s “warmed” up through couple practice rounds.

CA Championship Live on ProGolferDigest Twitter!

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Well, 2 more holes left to go in the CA championship, it’s either gonna be Phil Mickelson or Nick Watney, who I have played with before in junior tournaments.

Follow live on my twitter account here.

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.

Golf Predictions for Northern Trust Open!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Well, it looks like Phil Mickelson is tearing up the golf course apart with a 62 today all the while Fred Couples is making a come-back.

We will have to see tomorrow but I am rooting for Fred Couples, you just can’t not love his smooth, silky swing.

Of course, Phil might win too but my bet is going to Fred Couples.