Posts Tagged ‘Tiger Woods’

Ben Hogan’s Swing Plane, Tiger Wood’s Swing Plane – What you should Really Know about Swing Planes!

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Here’s something that could be helpful for those of you who think there’s a perfect plane to a golf swing.

The simple answer, is that there is no perfect plane in a golf swing.  For one, Hogan claims in his book that the reason he used the swing plane concept was to get his backswing in a “consistent slot” but not an effort to say there’s such thing as a perfect plane.

Also, as you can notice in the pictures below, depending on your height and build, your swing plane may be flatter or more upright than the standard so there’s no use in trying to copy your favorite pro’s swing plane unless you are exactly the same height and build.

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You can easily see that Tiger’s legs are noticeably longer than his upper body length compared to Ben Hogan.  Because of this, Tiger’s swing is naturally more upright than Ben Hogan’s.  Also, Tiger is 6′ 2″ while Ben Hogan is 5′ 8″.

These vast difference in physical makeup prove that there’s no such thing as a perfect plane for any golfer.

The swing plane I used in swing analysis was to simply have a reference point of how the golfer is swinging but in the recent months, I’ve began to realize that it’s not the most important factor in a good golf swing.

I’ve seen a ton of great swings that are far from golf norms, some way too flat or some way too upright.

The bottom line is, you need to build a consistent golf swing, not a swing that depends on lines drawn on the computer.

If you can hit a 200 yard target with a 4-iron 10 out of 10 times and you have what I think the worst swing in golf, I will not tell you to change your swing.

However, you can’t do that and your head is filled with swing mechanics garbage, perhaps I will tell you to focus on golf swing basics.

Golf swing basics consist of your grip, body action, and starting your downswing with your hips followed by your upper body.  In simpler terms, the more you can build a “consistent” swing, however you do it, it will work.  But you can’t really get consistency by building a perfect swing, there is no such thing.  Everyone has their own quirks and personal touch.

I’ve fiddled with a high-speed digital camera for about 10 years, trying to perfect my swing.  Sometimes I try to copy Tiger’s or Ben’s but none of those things ever seemed to bring consistency.  I threw my high-speed camera away and started building a golf swing I felt was more natural and right to me and I think I am on my way to a more consistent golf swing.

Don’t copy but learn and apply the basic fundamentals, that’s what they did too.

Lastly, a “swing plane” does help me “visualize” a consistent path for my backswing and that is really its real purpose so I can get consistent results.   If you keep drawing lines on your golf swing video/photos, it ain’t gonna help you with your golf swing.  Your swing might look “great” but underlying performance probably won’t improve at all.

Find a swing plane that works for you, find the one that you hit the best, crisp shots with both irons and woods.  Then stick with that swing plane.  It’s that simple. And I could really care less if you swung like Jim Furyk or Ben Hogan if you can hit the ball good.

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.

Independence Day AT&T National Predictions!

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

As of now, Michael Allen, Cameron Beckman, Anthony Kim, and Tiger Woods are tied for the lead at 9 under total.

Based on golf history and performance, I would have to say Anthony Kim (who is the defending champion) and Tiger Woods both have great chances of winning.

There’s so many great names at the top of the leaderboard this Independence Day weekend, I hope all those guys get to see the fireworks at night.  (which I am sure they will)

As for me, I will be taking a break and start a barbeque, cook up some nice tri-tip steaks, teriyaki chicken, and more goodies.

Okay, my final prediction – Tiger Woods or Anthony Kim, although I think Tiger might have an edge this weekend.  We will have to see and find out if those two end up in the final group tomorrow.  If that’s the case, Anthony Kim will have to psych out Tiger Woods for the trophy or the other way around.

Either way, I am glad two of my favorite players are at the top.

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.

Short Golf Prediction Note on AT&T National

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Okay, I have to admit that I sorta get really into the golf tournaments, even if the winner has been decided.

For AT&T National, my final prediction was:

We will have to see but my final prediction is Tiger -14 and Anthony -13

Interestingly, I got the winner right, Tiger Woods and also by how many shots he won, which was by one stroke over Hunter Mahan who shot 12-under with a dazzling 62 in the final round while Tiger woods came up 1 shot short of my prediction at 13-under.

Not baaad for this week, I could have won some big money at the sports books in Tahoe or Vegas. :)

AT&T National Winner – Tiger Woods!

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Last year, Anthony Kim showed on exceptional performance at the AT&T National, winning with ease.

This year, Anthony Kim comes really close, playing with Tiger Woods in the final group of the final round.

Notables include Hunter Mahan, who shot an incredible 62 today to finish before the final groups at 12 under.

As I did predicted during the 3rd round of the AT&T National, this tournament really came down to Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim.  And I did say Tiger probably will have an edge over the last finishing holes, where he did make birdies to gain lead in the tournament.

My prediction for AT&T National earlier today also became true, as Tiger had an edge over the last couple holes of “pressure” golf.  I think Anthony Kim has come a long ways, especially during the 9-month period that Tiger was going through his knee surgery but I think he still has a long ways to go before beating Tiger head-to-head.

Of course, don’t forget Hunter Mahan, he’s been shooting awfully low scores at many tournaments.  I think every time I turn on my TV, Hunter Mahan is shooting a 62 or 63.  I am sure he will win many tournaments.

One thing is for sure, Tiger Woods is certainly back after winning 3 tournaments already this year.  It will be harder to beat him as Tiger plays more tournaments and I think he’s still not 100%, something seriously to worry about for other PGA Tour players.

I am sure Anthony Kim will beat Tiger Woods in stroke play one day though.  When that day comes, Tiger will have a good challenger to compete with.

Overall, I think everyone did a great job here, there’s a lot of veterans who are at the AT&T National this week, something I haven’t seen before.  Interesting to note that people were applauding for a war hero who was on his wheelchair as the final group walked up the 18th hole.

Congrats to Tiger Woods on his comeback 2009 and winning the 2009 AT&T National!

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AT&T National Winner Sunday!

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Wow, what a fun Sunday this is as Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim are TIED for the lead at 10 under par each for the tournament as of 12:36PM PST right now.  AND Hunter Mahan just birdies to get to 10 under, making three people tied for the lead.

It’s interesting my 2 predictions from yesterday came out to be true with Tiger and Anthony in the final group.

Who will be the winner today?

It’s hard to tell as Anthony Kim is the defending champion, except he won last year when Tiger was going through knee surgery.

If Anthony Kim wins this year, he can prove that it was not fluke last year, that he can win even if Tiger is playing.

This is a crucial moment for Anthony Kim as if he can out-duel Tiger today, he will be able to keep doing it again in the future.

Of course, I think Anthony Kim can actually play  good under pressure as he can, the young 24 year old has won numerous tournaments and I have been a fan ever since he’s win last year.  It was exciting to watch a young pro golfer get better and better, winning tournaments and entertaining people like me while Tiger was gone.

My final prediction?

Well, it’s hard to make a final prediction but I think Tiger might have an edge possibly over the last couple holes when the pressure is the hardest.

We will have to see but my final prediction is Tiger -14 and Anthony -13 .

Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera Leading Masters 2009!

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

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Wow, what an exciting 3rd round it was at the 2009 Masters.  While Tiger Woods barely finished with 4 under par, Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry “killed” the field with numerous birdies and great shots.
(You can see live twittering that went on over here @progolferdigest.)

Chad Campbell had been leading the the first 2 rounds, double bogey and bogey during the last couple holes cost Chad the lead.  It’s still too early to tell if Chad Campbell can win but my honest opinion is that he “lacks” major championship experience, especially at Augusta, where even former world’s number one player Greg Norman had failed to win a single Masters.  (While he came close to winning a bunch of times, only to fail on Sunday.)

Likewise, tomorrow will be exciting day for the golfing world as we will get to either watch Kenny Perry or Angel Cabrera MELT DOWN!  (Am I being evil?  Yes, I am free to my own predictions but don’t mind me, winning isn’t EVERYTHING.  Whoever finishes tomorrow at the Masters will be still racking up a lot of cash home.)

Here’s my biased predictions (from a pro golfer) for tomorrow:

Based on history of Masters, I don’t think either Kenny Perry nor Angel Cabrera will win.  Of course, I could be wrong but my favorites this year are Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim, or Jim Furyk.

I have seen countless tournaments and it’s actually an advantage if you get to tee off early; couple shots back from the leader.  Unless Perry and Cabrera plays “lights out” golf tomorrow, they are going to have a hard time dealing with all the pressure and other great players of the world, right in front of them, hopefully making birdies.

Perfect swing aren’t everything but you can see my detailed analysis of Kenny Perry’s swing and Chad Campbell’s swing. (You will see WHY Chad’s swing can become instable at times, proven today near the end of the round.)

Anyways, I will be live twittering all day tomorrow for the Sunday finale, follow me on Twitter @progolferdigest.

Watch Masters 2009 Live on the Internet!

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Looks like Masters 2009 is already on its way, you can watch the holes 15th and 16th live on the internet over at Masters.org.  This is probably the tournament of the year and also my favorite one to watch so let’s see who’s gonna finish up on top.

You can also follow me live twittering on my twitter probably around when Tiger tees off.

My favorites this week: Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, and Nick Watney.  (I know, call me old-school but I want the old guys to win, they deserve one before they retire to Champion’s Tour. :) )

Tiger will be teeing off 1:52PM Eastern Standard Time.

There’s two leaderboards you can follow, MajorChampionships.com, and Masters.org.

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