How Does It Feel To Make a Hole In One?

How Does It Feel To Make a Hole In One?

I can tell you because I’ve had three and two of them were exactly ten years apart to the day.  April 21st 1963 and April 21st 1973.  However, I do not equate skill with holes in one attained.  Why?  The old PGA pro that first taught me how to play, Vince Allen, had played golf since he was a boy, died at the age of 57 and never had a hole-in-one.

hole-in-one-Dennie-Pritchard,He used to take me out to play golf several times a week at 2 PM for nine holes.  One day he hit a shot on a par three at what was then Le Jeune Golf Course in those days (now called Mel Reece after the City Manager) and the ball lipped the cup from about 150 yards away and I saw a very special twinkle in Vince Allen’s eye that made me wish I could have run up there and put the ball in the hole for him.

It was that magical twinkle that only a few are blessed to experience in someone.  I saw it again when playing in a simple Captain’s choice tournament at the Crossings in Richmond, VA.  I was playing with my friend Ray Easterling former safety for the Atlanta Falcons.  He looked at us as a team and said LETS WIN with a certain twinkle in his eyes and a smile that is seared in my memory until my death.  I felt like I was almost in the huddle with him in an NFL game.   Ray was one of those seasoned athletes that give all they have for the sport they love and risk physical damage as Ray did.

This week one of my friends made a hole in one, Dennie Pritchard.  It couldn’t happen to a more deserving individual.  A true gentleman that has worked hard on improving his golf game.  He reminds me of what it felt like to make a hole in one.  I haven’t had one in many many years.

My first one was pure luck and fortunate that two gentleman on the green waved me up because I was playing by myself after school and I am sure no one would have believed me.  They started dancing on the green and I asked what happened.  They said you had a hole in one!  The flag stick was behind a bunker so I didn’t see it go in. 

Then 10 years later at Puerto Llerro Madird in the Madrid Open the first hole was a par three about 190 yards long and in the practice round and threw a ball on the ground, didn’t even tee it up, and bang right in the hole.  It was actually bad luck because the next day in the tournament there was a prize of a new convertible for a hole in one!

Well what does it feel like?  For me it just felt lucky.  Lucky that I even play this game.  Considering where I came from, my economic base and family back ground no one would expect a kid like me to play golf. 

Anyone who is living in this country should feel just as lucky.  In may other countries you just do not play golf unless you’re rich.  Plus, you ain’t getting rich if you’re not from the right family.  Only in America can you get lucky almost everyday.  Let’s not loose this wonderful opportunity.

Congratulations Dennie, well done!  AND may you have many many more!

Creating Club Head Speed In Your Golf Swing

Create More Club Head Speed In Your Golf Swing

I receive tons of comments on creating lag or angular acceleration in the golf swing.  Golfers perceive that they can create additional club head speed in their golf swing and they might be right, but not always.  Either way, I am writing this entry to explain how to create more club head speed in your golf swing and create additional lag in your down swing.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I produced a video below that explains everything as well as provide two drills that will help you create more club head speed in your golf swing.  The secret, if there is one, is the shoulders or shoulder tilt at impact which is created by giving the arms a head start on the down swing.  I like the way Nicklaus describes it. Not an exact quote but close. Nicklaus said, I feel like I need to get the golf club to the ball before the buttons in my shirt get there.

The left shoulder, if you’re right handed, has to lift up and back on the down swing.  The critical error most golfers make is they shift their weight forward.  Some claim they’ve read that you must transfer your weight before impact or you must start your down swing with your hips.  I’m not saying that some golfers might not benefit from those suggestions however the video will prove that in reality the left shoulder is moving upward while the lower should is moving towards the ground and that only after the impact position does the golf club’s centrifugal force pull you to your front foot.

There are exceptions such as trap shots, knock downs etc.

Take a look at the video and then feel free to email me a video of yourself absolutely FREE without obligation or badgering of you doing the drills and/or your golf swing after trying out the drills.  Just go to for directions on how to send your video free.  The drills to help you with your swing are below the video.

For the drills just click on the links below.

1) The 2 o’clock drill
2) The turn and tilt drill Turn and tilt with a swing trainer
4) Another tilt drill

Minjee Lee Wins LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Championship

Minjee Lee Wins LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Championship

For the first time in more than twenty years I visited a ladies golf tournament on the LPGA tour and I was NOT disappointed.  The level of play among the lady tour players has really improved and it was obvious the conditioning has added to their longer tee shots.   (Not that I was looking at what good shape they were in. I’m sorry LUCY!)

In fact, the first golf tournament I ever witnessed as an eleven year old was a ladies golf tournament.  Kathy Witworth, Marlene Hagge, Micky Wright and a slew of other pioneers of the ladies golf world.

The one thing I noticed about the lady golfers is that they are more willing to get behind the golf ball at the top of their back swings.  Everyday I deal with golfers attempting to keep their heads locked on top of the golf ball.  If the intention is to get your front arm and golf club shaft in a straight line at impact, how in the heck can you do that unless your head is behind the golf ball?  You either have to have your head behind the golf ball in the first place or back up on the downswing.  Both methods have proven successful on the PGA tour.

Berhard Langer backs up on his down swing while Ben Crenshaw gets way behind the golf ball and lets the momentum of the golf swing PULL him to his front foot.

I’ve done a complete analysis for you below of both Carrie Web and this week’s winner Minjee Lee hoping it will help you make the transition from playing on TOP of the golf ball to BEHIND the golf ball. 

One other comment before we look at the videos.  Shame on you Central Virginia!  There were not nearly enough spectators at the Kings Mill event.  I live in Richmond and can tell you it seems impossible to keep any sports team or activity for lack of support.  Organize a wine festival and the place is packed!  Bring a great minor league baseball team to town or arena football or hockey and they starve trying to make expenses.  We used to have a senior tour stop years ago at Hermitage.  What happened to that?  We hold the State Open golf tournament and no spectators?  I don’t get it.

Enough with the rant here’s the two videos I prepared for you.  First Carrie Web and then this weeks winner Minjee Lee.

You Find the Golf Swing Flaw

You Find the Golf Swing Flaw

Here’s a new golf game we can play.  You find the golf swing flaw!  Watch the video of Lydia Ko below and then try and find the golf swing flaw she has.  Once you find it, what would you do about it?  Is it worth making the change?  If so, what would be the benefits?  What would be the time period to make the change and how much is that going to cost in lost winnings?

If you decide to live with the golf swing flaw, what would you do as a safe guard to keep the golf swing flaw in check?  Especially in situations where there is a very high risk factor?

What you should be looking for here is, how does the golf swing flaw effect impact?  That’s all the matters!  Of course there is one other thing.  Once you bring the golf swing flaw to the attention of the player and they recognize it, there are the psychological effects.  The high risk situation presents itself and the player starts thinking about the golf swing flaw in stead of the shot at hand.

Good luck!

Here’s the analysis I did.  Don’t peak until you do your own.  Then you can match up and see if you were close.  You can get an analysis of your swing FREE.  Get all the details at

New Callaway Golf Clubs for 2015

New Callaway Golf Clubs for 2015

new-callaway-golf-clubsI’ve posted all the new callaway golf clubs for 2015 on our site  I also had the opportunity to attend a special session for Callaway staff pros, (of which I am one) in Alexandria.  Some of the top brass from Callaway flew over and it was eye opening to talk directly to the engineers that build the golf clubs and find out exactly what and why they did something different this year and how does that benefit our students.

Lets start with the driver.  Everybody wants to hit it further and you can too…..maybe!  Considering that the COR rule is in effect, which means you can not have a golf club face that allows the golf ball to recoil off the club face at a faster rate than .83.  Simple terms, they shoot a golf ball out of a cannon at 100 mph at the golf club head and the ball can not recoil back faster than 83 miles per hour.

callaway-big-bertha-v-series-driverWith that being said, the only thing you can do to make the ball go further is:

1) Make the golf club travel faster through weight or design or length.
2) Increase the amount of the golf club face that produces .83 recoil.

The new Callaway V Series driver use less weight to make the golf club head go faster.  The gram weight of the head is about 193 grams vs. the typical head weight is about 205 grams.  The math is: for every 10 grams you lighten the golf club you pick up 1 mile per hour of clubs head speed which equates to about 3 yards.  The V Series is also about 46 inches standard which is about an inch longer then their other drivers.

Sound familiar?  Yes our Palo Grande weights even less at 275 gracallaway-big-bertha-alpha-815ms and is 48 inches long, the legal limit.  Now here’s a BIG surprise.  After talking with the engineers at Callaway they will make a Palo Grande for us and support the effort.  I’ll have more on that on the Blog soon.  Just placed an order for demos as well.  It’s basically their light model V Series with a few teaks to accommodate the additional weight in making it longer.

Lets take the second scenario.  You can’t swing the golf club any faster so you’re stuck with the length you have?  No!  You can improve on the launch angle, ball spin for additional roll and/or carry AND what Callaway is doing for you is making the recoil area of the golf club face larger so that if you miss the center of gravity the drop off in ball speed is not as severe. Callaway has definitely improved in this department from last year.

If you hit any golf club in the center of gravity you will get the best performance you can get out of that golf club.  However some head designs drop off the planet in ball speed if you miss the center of gravity.  Do keep in mind that you may still be penalized in accuracy for missing the center of gravity.

To see the entire new line of New Callaway Golf Clubs for 2015 go to:

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

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.

A Special Thank You to All Our Students/Members

sauers-lopezA Special Thanks You to All Our Students/Members

I had a very exciting weekend in Ft. Lauderdale and it’s all thanks to you!   All the fine students we have that have supported us year after year is what made the weekend with Gene Sauers possible. It’s my turn to reciprocate with passing on the “insider information” of a touring pro golf lesson, to help you better enjoy this wacky game of golf we all know and love.

I can NOT thank Pat Robertson enough for putting Gene and I together.  No not the pastor, no relation, but I do consider our Pat a Saint.  Life long friend of Gene’s  doing everything he can to help Gene win on the Champions Tour.

I will be holding a webinar on Tuesday night at 7 PM.  I’ll show pictures, explain what we worked on and why it will help Gene be more consistent, (you too!).  I’ll also show you the new video capture software Gene introduced me to that we will put into practice this season.

All you have to do is go to  Please get there around five minutes early so you have time to set up your sound to hear the webinar.  You will find a green bar across the top and one of the icons will look like a telephone receiver.  Click on that and then choose call by the internet.  That will allow you to hear and ask questions during the webinar.

I do NOT want to put this out on the internet.  This is only for the benefit of our fine students/members!  Tuesday night at 7 PM.

Tiger Woods Shoots an 82

Tiger Woods Shoots an 82

Tiger shoots an 82 and everyone has their opinion.  I shoot 82 and nobody cares, same for you.  I not only have an opinion but I also have some proof.  I have a video analysis I did years ago comparing Tiger’s swing from what he had in his rookie year and college until after Butch made the necessary adjustments.  (The video is posted below)

Necessary is the “key” word!  When is enough, enough?  I would argue that Tiger Woods had better success before he tried for utter perfection in the golf swing.  Now, was it his ego that made him think that he could achieve the perfect golf swing and be the best of all time?  Well, didn’t Hogan feel that way? No!

Hogan himself said that his swing was NOT as good as some of his competitors yet so many golfers goo goo over Hogan’s swing and try like heck to mimic or copy it only to their golfing demise.  You’re NOT Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods is NOT a robot!

Unfortunately success can be an evil thing, especially when you don’t handle it right.  Tiger’s problem is NOT his golf swing or his short game, it’s in his mind and soul at this point.  Does that mean that it’s time to call a Priest for an exoticism?

If Tiger called for help on his swing I would tell him I’m not interested in joining the parade of past swing gurus trying to find that secret element that will put Tiger back on the map. What I would do for you Tiger, in complete privacy, is to get to work on fixing you, not your golf swing.

I’ll tell you what I would suggest with all honesty and no kidding.  I would call my friend Dr. Patrick Porter PhD who is a genius on the human mind.  Award winning author of Psycho-Linguistics and an accomplished Hypnotist with success stories from many of his patients.  In fact, Dr. Porter started the largest chain of Hypnosis Centers called Positive Changes.

I would set up an appointment at a quiet place or even deserted island as long as it had a golf course.  Start with a session with Dr. Porter putting Tiger under hypnosis.  Let Dr. Porter find the true issue in his mind that’s holding him back.  Take him back to his golfing child hood.

Dr. Porter through his hypnosis techniques can help Tiger regain his hunger to win and his enjoyment of that hunger.  Get away from all this techno swing jargon which is a bunch of crap anyway!  Take it from me, I’ve been teaching golf since 1970.  I’ve see more swing theories then my wife’s cat has flees!

After that, I would have Tiger hit balls on the range, maybe even under hypnosis and video tape the session so he cold see himself afterwards.  Let him go back to his natural self.  Let him hit balls with no target.  No flag sticks on the range period.  Might even have him hit balls blind folded and video tape that.

I would consider bringing some kids out to this secluded camp and have him spend a day or two with them playing golf, teaching them\ kids some and just having some fun, like playing ping pong with the kids.  Tiger just needs to go back, way back to where Dr, Porter can take Tiger Woods.  To his child hood! Of course Tiger Woods has to want to do it. Bob Toski once told me, “No matter how you good you get at golf kid, you’re never bigger than the game itself.” Tiger has to surrender to himself and accept his short comings like all of us.  “We all fall short of the glory of God”

Maybe we should blame some of the powers that be that put Tiger on such a pedestal for financial gain. Was he set up for a big fall?  Was he carrying the television viewing audience on his shoulders? 

Here’s the video….done two years ago or more.

The Perfect Golf Swing

The Perfect Golf Swing

No I’m not talking about a player on tour.  I’m talking about a robot!  I compare the robot to Ernie Els and Tiger Woods for similarities and there are many.  The video below should give you a better idea of what you need to accomplish in your golf swing.

1) Set up with a 90 degree spine angle and maintenance of same throughout the swing or slightly past impact.
2) Hurl or swing the golf club on an angle 90 degrees to the spine angle or on the same angle as the shaft at address.
3) Keep the golf club face a right angles to the path of the golf club

That’s it!  Oh yea, you sort of need to align yourself at the intended target in the first place.  Of course there is also rhythm, tempo, balance and oh the heck with this, let’s play tennis!  No wait, watch the video first!


A couple of things mentioned in the video that I think are key is the presetting of the angle before making the back swing and the stopping at the top of the back swing before beginning the down swing.  That is a drill Tiger used to with Butch many years ago when he was playing his best golf.  The Tiger Woods drill is available here. [/sws_text_video]

I think I found the Best Golf Putter Ever?

I think I found the Best Golf Putter Ever?

best-golf-putterSomething caught my eye at the PGA show this year, 2015.  I saw a sign that said, “the only no torque putter!”  Yea right.  How you can have a no torque putter when the club shaft is on the inside of the arc.  Of course the face balanced putter, (that’s where the face is pointing skyward when you balance the shaft on your finger) alleviates some torque or I should say allows you to swing the putter on a more straight back and forth motion.

The Axis putter is designed so that the face of the putter is balanced toward where you’re going, the target!  Dynamite!  With Luis’s heel weighted design the club face will not open up on you like a traditional putter.  It didn’t take more than a few rolls on the carpet in his booth that I gladly handed over my Visa card so you can try mine when I get back to Richmond.   Click on this link to watch a video from the inventor Luis Pedraza that better explains the concept.

I also tried to do a personal interview with Luis for you but again the sound is not the greatest so turn your sound levels up.