Posts Tagged ‘sorta’

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.

2009 Masters Winner Angel Cabrera and Re-cap of Masters 2009!

Monday, April 13th, 2009

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Today, Angel Cabrera beat top-notch PGA Tour players like Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell to win the 2009 Masters at age of 39.  When I first heard about Cabrera about 10 years ago, I saw him playing on the European Tour on Golf Channel.  Of course, Angel was always winning tournaments.  A native Argentinian, it was always fun to see one single gifted South American beating all the European tour players in European Tour.

That was almost 10 years ago and I guess Angel Cabrera will play in America from time to time including this year’s Masters.  Angel Cabrera is probably the player who deserved to win this year’s Masters in the playoff.

For the record, Angel Cabrera has won a major on U.S. soil before, the 2007 U.S. Open, one of the most coveted majors on one of the hardest golf courses in the world, Oakmont Country Club.  In contrast, Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry both never have won majors.

Although they all finished with same scores, it was clear to me that Angel was the only player who had “dealt” with the final moments of pressure.  After the fact that he’s 2nd shot on the 1st playoff hole rickashaded short of the green, Cabrera was unfazed and made an easy par with a great pitch shot.

Of course, things could “easily” have different if Cabrera missed his putt but he didn’t, he “knew” how to deal with the press.

On the other hand, Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell might have come close but nothing close to Cabrera’s mental strengths.

Clearly, Kenny Perry had a meltdown on the last two holes, making bogeys.  (and yes, Tiger and Phil sorta did the same thing.)  It was unbelievable to some viewers because Kenny Perry was making birdies and had a 2-shot lead coming into the 17th hole.

I noticed that around the 15th hole, as Kenny Perry was approaching the final holes of his last round, he seemed to play more cautiously and noted here on Twitter:

#Masters Kenny Perry is playing too cautiously, it’s gonna cost him in the last 3 holes, betcha bogeys.

And after bogey on 17th, here’s my tweet:

#Masters Kenny Perry falling apart, I foresee him not winning, no offense kenny lovers.

At that point, he should have been more confident but I KNEW he was “worried” in his mind, his body language and the way he played clearly showed that Kenny Perry was suddenly worried about his lead.

What I said before his meltdown:

#Masters PRESSURE is ON at the last 2 holes, MELTDOWN for players who can’t handle the Master’s last-2-hole-pressure!

I have read tons of golf psychology books in my lifetime and that’s what you don’t ever want to do on the golf course at the last stages of the tournament, worry about your lead or even “think” about your score.  (You can read about this from Rob Rotella’s book, “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect”, very good book on golf psychology.  I read it when it came out 10+ years ago.)

This is simply what I “see” in a player when watching tournament golf, derived from junior, amateur, and pro golf tournament experience.  I am sure some of you scratch golfers will agree.

Did Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell have a Meltdown in the Playoffs?

You betcha, no player should really win with a par in a playoff unless the other players experience meltdowns.   Kenny Perry’s confidence disappeared on the 15th hole when he started playing cautiously, he’s mind told him that he’s not going to win.  Chad Campbell hit his bunker shot mediocre, (even though he holed a bunker shot in the same day!  He is a good bunker player.) and missed a short putt for par. (shorter than Cabrera’s par putt)

These are signs of weaknesses in Perry and Campbell’s mental states, it’s not good for the playoff holes.

Don’t get me wrong, Perry and Campbell still have won many, many PGA Tournaments, they will beat 99.9% of the world population in golf including me probably 365 days out of 365 days in the year.  But what they lacked is experience and “mental” state required for winning Major championships.

A good example of that is Tiger Woods.  We have seen numerous times Tiger seemed to “will” his way into winning majors.  Of course, Tiger is human too, he can’t win all the majors.  I think today Tiger and Phil actually fed off each other during the whole round, Phil shooting an unbelievable 6 under 30 on the front while Tiger made every short to medium putt until the last two holes.

The reason why Tiger and Phil failed is they were playing too aggressive.  Tiger pulled a driver out on the last hole, when he had been using 3-wood all day long.  They were both trying to beat each other too much in the end, when they should have simply played their own games in crucial moments of pressure.  This ultimately ended up in Tiger/Phil meltdown at the end although it did helped them go WAY under during the round.

The last 3 holes of golf has always proven to be either extremely detrimental or explosively helpful for golfers including me.  I can recall countless times when I “birdied” the last 3 holes to win OR I made a 10 on the last hole that costed me the trophy.

The last 3 holes of golf always “test” your true mental strengths and in today’s case, Tiger, Phil, and Kenny all FAILED although Chad finished pretty good until the playoffs.

Another thing to note, heck, I was rooting for Tiger but the world doesn’t end if he doesn’t win.  Golf is simply not about winning, it’s what you do with the results.

Who knows, Chad Campbell is still young and I am sure he will win Masters one day.  Kenny Perry has made a living from the PGA Tour, makes more money than 99.9% of the population.  I don’t see anything wrong with that other than people should be able to get a better perspective of reality.

Perhaps, Phil, Tiger, Chad, and Kenny all wanted to win so badly that it affected their game.  On the other hand, Angel Cabrera played horribly in the beginning of the round, sorta disappeared from the spotlight, and slowly creeped up on the leaders.  This might have helped him rally to win the playoff.

Mental Tip for the Day

In my competitive tournament experience, I have learned that if you “slowly” play better in the round and start hitting the fairways/sinking putts nearing the end of the round, that always results in better scores and top mental state.

This tip you can take with you.  The next time you double-bogey your first hole, just remember golf isn’t finished until you hit your ball in the hole at the 18th.

Both Phil and Tiger started playing lights out from the beginning, their adrenalin was running so high, it was inevitably hard to control near the end of the round.  It’s like you got a 350 horsepower car that might not stop if you go too fast.

Even Kenny Perry was “leading” the tournament from hole 1 to 18th hole but he started “bogeying” everything starting on the 17th hole, not good.

Your mental state in golf is critical to your success in golf.  Your perfect swing is never going to help you hit the ball in the fairway if your mind’s somewhere else under pressure.  I can recall countless times when I had been shooting under par consistently before a tournament, only to “lose” my swing suddenly in competition.  (maybe that’s why I am not on the PGA Tour…yet.)

How to achieve the mental state required to play under pressure?

As a player, I have played good at various times too, those times I usually felt like I was “home” or simply “relaxed”.

Here’s some tips on how to feel “relaxed” during your round:

  • To feel relaxed, you need to make sure to “visualize” your outcome during the round and don’t be too “aggressive” on holes that you don’t have to.
  • Develop and hit your “bread-and-butter” shots.  Sometimes, I even hit a low-screaming knock-down shot with my 3-iron on short par 4s and my playing partners are like, “did you miss that?”.  No, i can hit that low screamer at my target 9 out of 10 times, even under pressure.
  • If you start playing bad on the course, take at least couple days off golf.  Those mental pictures  you keep putting in your head will end up in vicious cycle of bad rounds thereafter.  You need to get those out of your system.  If I were Phil, Tiger, Kenny, or Chad, I would take at least a week off golf before I even “touch” a club.  Trust me, your golf memories are EVERYTHING in golf.
  • When you practice, make sure you hit perfect shots, meaning take every step of your pre-shot routine to ensure 100% quality in your shot.  Don’t just bang balls one after another, that’s worse than just sitting on your couch.  It’s ALL about your mental memories of your previous “good” shots.
  • Especially for shorter shots like short game and putting, practice with 5 to 10 balls.  Don’t dump your golf balls and bang away.  Treat each shot like it’s REAL.  If you hit a bad chip shot and it comes up 20 feet short of the pin, CLEAR your balls and start over so you don’t SEE or REMEMBER your bad shots.
  • Keep tricking your brain on a consistent daily-basis that you only hit “perfect” shots.

Well, that was a long post that included my thorough analysis of the top golfers at today’s Masters from a pro golfer and my “mental” tips on your golf game.  You won’t get this from the announcers on TV (because it’s not their job), subscribe to my blog and please leave any other tips in the comments line or @progolferdigest that might be helpful to other golfers.

Congratulations to Angel Cabrera from ProGolferDigest.com and keep up your great “major” works:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode



Golf DIY – How to Hit the Sand Shot!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

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(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. :)

Ben Hogan Iron Knockdown Swing Analysis!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I have been studying Ben Hogan’s swing for about 20 years now and I’d have to say he’s the best ball stiker in the world.

Here’s some analysis into his iron knockdown swing, which he was very good at and Tiger Woods has copied his moves.

Ben’s takeaway is simply rotation of his triangle formed by his shoulders, arms, and hands to the right. (sorta like shaking hands with person on the right)

There’s no “visible” weight transfer whatsoever here. His belly or the stomach, also turns along with his triangle.

This is probably the most important takeaway you can learn from Ben.

To put it simply:

Rotate your triangle and belly together to the right from a fixed single axis.

At top of Ben Hogan’s swing, you can tell that he’s almost doing a “reverse-pivot” by traditional teachers’ standards. In my opinion, he’s proving to you that there’s no need for a visual weight transfer to the right side. Hey, this picture proves that point.

This might be why there’s so much buzz with the tilt and stack swing when in reality, they are all derivatives of Ben Hogan’s swing.

On the downswing, you can notice Ben’s head has “dipped” 2-3 inches compared to position at address and top of his swing. This proves that the “dip” is actually a necessary natural action to a golfer’s swing provided the golfer doesn’t dip too much. Look at every top player in the world, they “dip” their head a little because it’s human nature.

Do note the fact that Ben’s lower body has aggressivly cleared to his left side while his spine tilt is actually a little straighter, meaning his upper body “moves” toward the target.

This move is inevitable to Ben’s swing in order to hit the ball square, you need to feel like you are on “top” of the ball on the way down in order to extend your arms correctly through impact.

After impact, notice how straight both of Ben’s arms are and the club dissecting between the two arms. This is something Ben is really good at.

At finish, notice how straight Ben’s lower body is and his upper body is pretty straight too. What impresses is how much his whole body is stretched on his finish while he remains in perfect balance with no sign of extra force exertion.

Bloody Ben Hogan, he’s the greatest golfer with the greatest swing ever. Even Tiger has great swing but won’t come close anywhere near Ben Hogan in my opinion.

Now, this is way back in the 50-60s when they had no cameras or any type of visual feedback for the pro golfers. How amazing is his swing when you think of that?

Very amazing indeed that Tiger’s still trying to copy Ben’s moves.

Even after 50 years, every tour pro including Tiger is trying to copy Ben Hogan’s moves, not Jack Nicklauses, not Arnold Palmer, but Ben and only Ben Hogan.  That my friend, IS amazing.

Here’s Ben Hogan’s Iron Knockdown Swing in action:

(Mind you, Ben Hogan was the first master of these knockdown shots, not Tiger. Tiger only copied his moves.)

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Zach Johnson Iron Swing Analysis

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Zach Johnson Iron Swing Analysis

Zach Johnson’s swing reminds me of Ben Hogan’s swing.  Here’s why:

At takeaway, note how still Zach’s head is.

At top of the swing, Zach’s head is still in the same position.  A lot of golf teachers teach you to transfer weight to the right but Ben Hogan didn’t do that.  (Well he did without moving his head to the right)

At halfway down, Zach actually moves forward with his head and his body, something that Ben Hogan did to prevent him from hitting his bad hook.

At impact, Zach looks pretty good with his left arm and club forming a straight line.

After impact, take a look at how well Zach extends both his arms, and also note that his wrists are straight as hell, no angles anywhere.  This is the most awesome extension I’ve seen, probably slightly better than Tiger’s.

Note how Zach’s arms are extended even at finish, this is something sorta like what Ben Hogan did, although Zach does a little more extension with his left arm than needed.

Zach Johnson shows you how to extend your arms after impact.

Why is this important?

Well, the more you extend and if you extend correctly through impact, you are thereby creating a bigger arc and more room for your clubhead to stay square to the target.  Now if you have bigger arc than anyone else you play with, you are more likely to hit your shots very very straight.

Increase chances of hitting the ball straight, hit more greens, and you score less. :)

Here’s Zach Johnson’s swing in slow-motion:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Swing Tips – Takeaway and Just after Impact

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Swing Tips - Takeaway and Just after Impact

One of the most important part of the golf swing is your takeaway and how you come into the ball through impact.

Unless you have a super-strong or super-weak grip, you will want to rotate your arms, hands, and the clubface so that the clubface points away from your body and shown here. (The blade of your clubface should be pointing straight up at the sky)

Why is this so important?

The correct takeaway allows the golfer to come into the ball without manipulating the hands. It also lets the golfer to unleash the rotated power.

Think of it this way.

Golf is not a game of vertical or horizontal, it’s a game of rotating naturally around your body.

In order for you to swing the club, you must turn your body sorta like you are shaking hands with the person on the right. Now, you wouldn’t shake hands with the back of your hand facing up or down, would ya?

The second most important position in golf is probably right after impact. You want to feel as though the triangle formed by your shoulders, arms, hands and the club are one, pounding into the center of the golf ball.

Here, I am only hitting a 30 yard pitch shot. Still, you can see that I’ve extended my whole upper body.

This impact position will only be possible to achieve if you have a correct takeaway.

It’s feels almost like a 2-handed basketball pass. But when you do it right, you will feel that both of your arms and hands are hitting the ball with “equal” force.

Try the takeaway and the impact position the next time you are on the range, you will hit the ball more consistently.

Tiger at One Over at the U.S. Open and I found my Swing!

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Well, I spent 3 hours watching Tiger today on TV.  Although he doesn’t seem 100% yet due to his knee surgery, he did okay today by shooting 1-over.  Phil Mickelson shot an even par while playing with Tiger.

My Prediction This Week?

Tiger won’t win the U.S. Open because he just got back from his knee surgery.  Man, talk about getting back too soon I think…

Phil?  Nah, Phil’s not gonna win it either.

I think it’s either going to be someone who’s unknown or Stuart Appleby might win it at this point.

Oh yeah, btw, I found my swing today.  I am swinging like Tiger and Ben Hogan!

Today swing keys:

1. Really feel the triangle on the backswing.  Make sure to rotate in-plane.

2. On the downswing, really feel like the both left and right arm form a triangle and hit the ball with the same force, sorta like basketball 2-handed pass.  I did this and hit the ball like super straight and hit it a mile too.

3. Same thing with short pitch shots.  Really feel the plane, rotate, then just swing through with arms extended.

J. B. Holmes Iron Swing Analysis

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

J. B. Holmes Iron Swing Analysis

J. B. Holmes is another player who recently appeared on the PGA Tour with a power swing.

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Kenny Perry Swing Analysis

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

Kenny Perry Swing Analysis

Congratulations to Kenny Perry today, who won the Memorial Tournament for the 3 times in his life, matching Tiger Woods’ record, the only other person to have won 3 times.

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