Performing A Golf Drill Properly For Maximum Results

Golf Drills Are Similar to Weight Lifting

I like to describe a golf drill as medication.  You need to take your medication as prescribed for maximum results.  You have a rash and the Doctor gives you some ointment, you take about half of it and the rash is so improved you stop.  What happens?  You got it, the rash comes back even stronger with resistance to the medication built up.

The Doctor says one pill every four hours.  I say, “do the drill every time nobody’s looking.”  It is the number of PROPER repetitions that bring results with a golf drill.

I dedicated an entire section of our lesson action manual, (only available to yearly members) on doing a drill properly because I consider it vital to your golf improvement or reprogramming.  Yes you have to brain wash yourself, your mind, your physical movement to perform what is probably an uncomfortable movement or lets say unnatural to you. 

Take heart because the new movement will eventually take hold, (if you perform the drill properly), and become second nature with time.  However, remember that you are never cured, only in remission!  The past swing fault will always rear it’s ugly head now and again so refer back to your drill work to put the swing fault back in its proper place.

One very important point about golf drills.  One must fully understand the purpose of the drill.  The example below is of the two o’clock drill.  The purpose of this drill is to give your arms a head start on the down swing path to the golf ball so that the front shoulder, the leading arm and golf club shaft all line up perfectly at impact.

Sergio Garcia says his Dad would tell him to feel as though he were pulling down on a chain to start the downswing.  He said a chain, not a piece of string.  The chain gives the impression that it is something heavy and you need to pull hard!  Also, as you pull down on the chain your front shoulder should go upward not towards the target!

David Love III said his Dad told him to pound a stake in the ground.  He didn’t say tap into the ground.  He said pound it!  The moral to the story is pull hard and straight down not towards the golf ball!!!!!!

In summary, your front shoulder must either weight for the arms to start the down swing or move in an upward direction not towards the ball or target line.  The transfer of weight to the front foot on the downswing has been over emphasized to such a point that so many golfers have their front shoulder well past the ball on the down swing prohibited the golf club face my squaring up at impact.

Below is a video that explains it all.  If you’re not sure whether your shoulder is “off sides” or in front of the golf ball at impact, send a short video of your swing to bobbylopez@quickfixgolf.com for a FREE initial analysis.  No obligation.

Change Your Golf Swing In Only One Day?

How To Make A Golf Swing Change

You have to have one of two elements to change a golf swing position in my opinion.  The ability to nag a swing fault into submission or have an uncanny talent to focus on the task at hand and ignore the results for now meaning the golf ball flight.

I’ve presented you a very uncommon occurrence of an athlete that can make changes in an instant.  I’ve been teaching golf since 1970 and I can attest that finding that special someone that can make a change and put it to use quickly is very rare or I would not present this example on our Blog.

I guess that means that the rest of us belong to the “I’ve got to nag the swing fault to death” group. More importantly, you need to isolate the swing fault and do the drill for that specific swing fault slowly, diligently and with purpose and concentration.  Drill drill drill and forget it!  Once you get to the golf course forget the drill and let it take over.  If your doesn’t perform as you hoped you just haven’t done the drills enough or improperly.

With our lesson membership one can video themselves doing the drill and e-mail it to us for analysis.  It is just as important for us to receive a video of a golfer doing the drill as it is their full swing.  Golf drills are a form of medication and you must take as prescribed by your golf doctor to be effective.  You can see the details of our membership at http://www.quickfixgolf.com/golf-lessons/group-golf-lessons-richmond-virginia/

Here’s the video!

Improving Your Golf Game Over the Winter

Improving Your Golf Game Over the Winter

I love the golf off-season!  Maybe because I love to practice golf.  Why?  Because practicing properly makes golf more enjoyable.  Playing golf poorly is NO fun!  If you play golf five or six times a year that’s OK.  It’s a day out for you. Enjoy the day, your friends and don’t get aggravated because you are most likely NOT going to play a decent round of golf. 

For the true golfer, (those that have been bitten seriously by the bug) a crummy day on the golf course is agony and frustrating for the golfer and for those around them.  Golf can be so frustrating!  You must accept that as part of the beauty of the game and keep your frustration to yourself and be determined to make a well planned effort to improve.

That’s why I love the golf off-season.  This opens an opportunity to target specific areas of your golf game for improvement without the pressure of having to perform on the golf course. Only play when you’re ready to put your new skills to the test.  I like to tell students, “you’re putting the car in the garage to do a valve job so you can’t drive it for now, (stay off the golf course).  Maybe I should add that you can still play golf on those nice days that surprise us during the winter that’s OK.  But, do not expect miracles or a finished product from your off-season work.  Expect the car to sputter a little until the value job is done.

What do you need to do and what do you need in tools to improve?

  1. You need a full length mirror – Just like a ballet dancer you need to see yourself doing your dance step, (golf swing drill).  You need to perform the drills slowly with vigilance in the mirror to make sure you are performing the drill properly.  I’d rather do three (3) drills properly than twenty (20) wrong.  Junk in junk out!  In our Lesson Action Manual, (sorry only available to members) there is an entire section dedicated to practicing a drill properly.  Mucho Importante! For members go to http://www.quickfixgolf.com and look for the Members tab upper right.  Login and then go to the Golf Action Manual tab and click on that to get to the manual.  See pages 22 through 25.
  2. This will sound basis but you need someone you can trust to evaluate where you are golf-lesson-on-cell-phonein the process and critique how you’re practicing. With today’s technology you can take a “selfie” of yourself dong the drill, email it out to me for immediate feedback BEFORE you head to far down the wrong road potentially causing more bad habits than the ones you have now.  I use the V1 system which you can download on your computer for FREE at http://www.quickfixgolf.com/golf-lessons/golf-lessons-retrieval/ (bottom of the page) or down load for about $2.99 the cell phone version which is quite convenient.
  3. You either need a few decent days to test your drills on the range or a range that is covered and sometimes heated in your area.  Most towns have one.  Video your drill work at the range as well.  You can view the video later at home, compare it to older videos and email it off to your coach if they offer such a service, (we allow unlimited videos analyzed with our yearly membership).
  4. I try to stay away from teaching tools or gimmicks.  They generally end up in the vijay-signh-golf-progarage collecting dust.  Quite frankly touring pros generally don’t use them either.  Too cumbersome to carry around with you from town to town on the road.  I get annoyed at pros that suggest you should purchase a swing plane tool for $299 when they themselves use an old broken shaft and a water bottle! Notice this picture of Vijay Signh doing just that.
  5. Keep a golf club handy by the sofa – You’re watching TV?  No reason why you can’t pick up the golf club and work on your grip during a commercial.  I get up and do a short drill taking care not to pop someone on the head.  Not necessarily a full length or full swing drill.  I take the opportunity to “NAG” the movement I am trying to re-program into submission.  It’s the number of PROPER reps you log that will make the difference.  You most likely will NOT get to the range often enough so you have to take advantage of practice at home.  Setting up a net and mat at home in the garage is great if you can do it.  If you don’t have a net you can get some very soft foam golf balls at Walmart. 

Ready to get going!  The spring will be here before you know it so get going.  Please send me your video if you’re a member and if you’re not your first video analysis is FREE.  Just go to http://www.quickfixgolf.com/golf-lessons/free-golf-lesson-online/

I can be reached at 804-378-7456.

The Golf Swing Weight Transfer

The Golf Swing Weight Transfer

Now we have proof!  I’ve been saying for years that even baseball players don’t really transfer their weight in the way people think.  Yes they lift their front leg but then their body does not actually move forward during the swing. 

As was talked about all over the PGA show this year, the weight transfer in your golf swing actually goes backward or toward your back foot at impact!  I’ve shown backward motion in the golf swing on video numerous times in lessons and our workshop sessions. The new Bodytrak swing mat proves what I, as well as many other golf instructors, have been saying for years!  You can refer to our Blog posting on the Bodytrak system at http://www.quickfixgolf.com/2015/01/24/scott-hamilton-speaks-at-v-1-session/

How many times have you read golf tips that say “transfer your weight to your front foot.”  Big mistake!  Of course if a given golfer has a serious spin out move, meaning they turn their body excessively, the weight transfer in their golf swing motion could be a big help.

I would like to thank one of our new members Lisa Wright for sending us this video analysis of a classic baseball swing.  Please take note of the following:

1) How the body turns on the axis and does not pass the blue line drawn by the coach
2) Notice how even with the lifting of the front leg the hands of the batter do not move forward or toward the pitcher at all.

Hurricanes go around, electric motors go around, tornadoes go around!  Any movement side to side only reduces your golf club head speed and adds to the possibility of inconsistencies. 

A really good drill to try is hitting balls on only your back foot.  Take something like an eight iron and hit balls real easy on only your back leg.  I like to place my front toe BARELY touching the ground just for balance, but I put no weight on it at all.  You might be surprised at how straight and consistent you hit the ball this way.

How Do You Transfer Your Weight In the Golf Swing? You Don’t!

Alright stop screaming!  Let me explain.  Yes there is weight transferred in the golf swing but it is because of the upper body tilt and centrifugal force.  Now you’re really confused?

I went to see Chi Chi Ridriguez do a clinic and out of the audience came the question, “hey Chi Chi, when do you transfer your weight in the down swing?”.  Chic Chi said, “You don’t!”  He said, “if I want to hit it high and stay on my back foot, if I want to hit it low a stay on the front foot.”

Now what actually happens is your tilt in the back swing toward your back foot moves most of your weight on your back foot by virtue of the tilt, not a slide or sway.  Then you make a body turn from that same tilted position on your back foot. With your body turn and the centrifugal force created by way of the circular turn pulls you to your front foot at the finish.  You do not step on to your left or front foot first or slide to your front foot first before turning on your down swing!

The result of sliding or swaying will be pushing the ball out or a slice as well OR if you’re really quick with your hands you will snap hook the ball off to the left, (for right handers).

Take a look at the video of one of our workshop lessons below.  Hope it helps your golf game. 

Golf Drill For The Flying Elbow

Getting your right elbow, (for right handers) is a risky move.  You’ve probably heard of stuck and behind you?  Once you get your right elbow behind you in the back swing you make it difficult to get the golf club back in front of you at impact.  Your only resolve would be to throw your hands at the ball which could cause a snap hook.  Most likely you will bail the ball out to the right because you can’t recover.

Here’s a drill that might help you.  Byron Nelson used to talk about getting your right elbow in your gut on the downswing.  Same thing really.

Try this drill.

Holy Cow Lopez…You Gave Me Too Many Drills!

Holy Cow Lopez…You Gave Me Too Many Drills!

I hear this comment often and it concerns me as well so I wanted to clarify my reasoning for the drills. When doing weight lifting you don’t just do curls. You might work the same muscle group from several different angles. I could assign a student four to six different drills which all relate to the same problem. Here’s an example.

Let’s assign a given golfer these drills:

Stick DrillFeel the proper path slightly exaggerated
Short Impact Zone Punch ShotsGood for clean ball contact and getting the forearms over.
Lift Over Head Great drill for golfers who “swing over the top”
2 O’clock Drill – Great drill to get your arms started first
Turn & Tilt Drill You’ll look and swing like a pro once you dominate this drill

There you go Lopez. Too many drills and now I’m confused!

Here’s the problem at hand. The student turns his shoulders “first” on the down swing. The shoulder need to “TILT” so the golf club comes down in the slot with the impression that it is traveling on an outside swing path, Adding to that t,he golfer also takes the golf club back low and inside the swing plane.

The stick drill will help the golfer start to feel the “lifting” needed to get the golf club “up” and on plane. That will help the low and inside back swing path. In fact this drill will exaggerate the lifting because in most cases you need to over do a movement to change it because you will fall back a bit once you try and hit a ball. Old habits die hard!

Now once the golfer begins to attempt to swing outside the stick on the back swing and then inside the stick on the down swing they will most likely NOT rotate their forearms to square up the golf club face. You MUST work on the path AND the golf club face at the same time.

The lift the golf club over your head drill will help in “slowing down” the shoulder turn which is the key to repairing the swing path. The outside the stick drill does somewhat the same function with the feedback of the stick which provides feedback telling you you’re not completing the drill properly.

The 2 O’clock drill will also help slow down the shoulders or chest turn and the “turn and tilt” drill will help one feel the tilt of the body on the downswing which allows you to get outside the stick.

All these drills attack the same issue. The key is to perform the drills “SLOWLY” and “Deliberately” as well as often. I always say, “do the drills for five minutes every time nobody’s looking!” It is the repetition that will help you “reprogram” your faulty swing movement.

Hope this helps and if you have a problem with “swinging outside in” or “over the top” your drills are above. Get to work!

Drill, Drill, Drill and Forget It!

Drill, Drill, Drill and Forget It!

Golfers sometimes make the mistake of carrying over their practice session to the golf course. NOT a good idea.

Thinking about your practice assignment on the golf course could frustrate you to such a point that you give up on the good work you’re doing on the range.

You may be improving in “reprogramming” your swing fault on the driving range and NOT be ready to carry it out to the golf course.

Work on your drills at the driving range and let that work “meld” into your swing on the golf course. On the golf course your mind should be on club selection, shot selection, swing tempo and balance. You actually have a better chance of having the hard work to invested on the driving range produce results if you relax and let the new movements jump in on their own.

If you’re still having trouble with the transition from the range to the golf course then you need to stay off the golf course and get back on the driving range. Do your drills as often as you can whether it be at home, in the back yard with whiffle balls or in front of a mirror.

That’s why I think the off season is the BEST time to work on your golf swing.

You Can Try Too Hard and Get Worse!

You Can Try Too Hard and Get Worse!

I see folks trying TOO hard at getting better and sometimes go through a very difficult period until they get tired and relax. When you’re practicing make sure you hold the golf club lightly in your hands. Take a breather after each shot. Grip pressure is a real killer if you don’t be careful.

In fact, many a golfer who says, “it was that last shot on 18th hole that keeps me coming back”….well did you ever think that maybe you just finally relaxed because you knew the round was over.

Nobody is shooting at you and they are not going to electrocute you if you play bad. Lighten up your attitude, grip and forearms. Nicklaus used to talk about soft forearms all the time.

Just like a receiver in football trying so hard he starts dropping passes you too can try so hard and think so much that you get yourself tied up in knots.

Overall on the golf course don’t think! Drill…drill…drill and forget it! Let the work you did on the range meld in to your golf game. Don’t take it on the golf course.

Less Is More When It Comes To Your Golf Swing!

Less Is More When It Comes To Your Golf Swing!

I’ve asked many a student to hit me a shot while attempting to hold their body as still as possible. When they view the video playback they are always shocked at how much their body moved during the swing. So many of us try to do too much. Once you get on the golf course and your RPM increases the problem gets even worse. Too much movement with the body can destroy your golf swing and especially your consistency.

Work on swinging while holding your body still….a swing that feels to you like all arms. You’ll be surprised at how far you’ll hit the golf ball and how consistent you will be in ball contact.

The body needs to work as a support mechanism or base to work from. Yea yea yea, I heard all out the leg drive too but it’s a con. Don’t fall for it.

I once saw an article in Golf Digest that was an interview of Jack Nicklaus on his long career. The interviewer asked, “Do you credit some of your success to the strong leg drive you had?”

Nicklaus replied, “I’ve heard a lot about that and read it in many articles. Fact is I never thought about my leg drive. I always felt that having strong legs offered me the opportunity to swing my arms harder.”

You’ve got to Be kidding! How many golfers were totally screwed up because of all the articles about leg drive!