What’s the Army Navy Football Game
doing on a golf blog?
I’ve made it a ritual to always watch the Army Navy football game every year on TV. Well, thanks to one of our great students, (Steve Fortner former Navy Veteran himself), tickets to the game were secured and Steve and I drove up to Baltimore to see the game yesterday. If you have never attended the Army Navy game and can get tickets, (hard to get) it is worth every minute and every dime that it costs you.
I’ve been to several Super Bowls and the super bowl is not comparable to the Army Navy game, sorry. With all the commercial hoop-laa at the super bowl the tradition and atmosphere at the Army Navy game is far superior and unbelievable.
The festivities started with the parachute jumps down to the field of play followed by fly overs by helicopters and jets. I don’t mind admitting that I had to hold back the tears from all the emotion. My first thought was a thank you to grandfather for making the effort to come to America in 1920. Without his courage and belief in the American dream none of what I saw yesterday would have been possible. (By the way, he came to America expecting nothing more than an opportunity)
Most impressive were the cadets on both sides. Yes we still have fine young people in America that are smart, polite, well groomed and dedicated to their country and defense of our constitution. They could teach a thing or two to some of our folks in congress.
Here’s a picture of the field of play below with the team coming out of the tunnel.
There were several videos that were played on the large screen and the video below is the one that I thought was the best. Watch below.
Oh yea…who was I routing for? Well I attended an Army Military Academy as a youngster but my son is a former Navy Corpsman so I have to go Navy or else. But there is one thing you could feel throughout the stadium. No matter what team would win, no one held animosity or were disappointed. The game is great but the brotherhood in arms is far more important. May God bless every cadet out there and may God Bless the United States of America.
I Like the Way John Spieth Plays Golf
Great golf swing tempo, rhythm and balance
Golfers get so hung-up on golf swing positions that I think many golfers miss the point. Of course it is in the best interest of the swing gurus and golf magazines to show positions and do comparisons. Good for business. Guilty as charged! I do it all the time.
However, is the golf swing tempo and golf swing management even more important or influential to your success as a golfer than the golf swing position? Proper swing positions can “in theory” make it easier or “less risky” to return the golf club face to the proper impact position. Yea? Tell that to Jim Furyk or Lee Trevino.
Now just maybe, (in the case of Jim Furyk and John Spieth, having less than ideal swing positions like grip and more), questionable swing positions might cause one to have to be even more cognizant of their swing management. As an example both Furyk and Spieth are excellent golf game managers.
Roberto DiVincenzo, (great Argentine golfer that had controversy at the Masters) once told me, “great faith will beat a great swing any time.” Let’s add to that, “great swing management will beat a great swing without good management every time.”
Why not spend a little more time on your swing preparation, (pre-shot routine) swing ignition, (how you start it back) and over all tempo of your golf swing, especially on the initiation of the down swing. Nickalus used to say, “swing within yourself.”
You can swing harder and not hit the ball any further because you missed the center of the golf club face. So concentrate on the above as well as a good center hit and improve consistency. Here’s the swing analysis of John Spieth below.
New Callaway Golf Ball
You’ve heard me many times that you should consider hitting the same golf ball throughout the entire season. Not for distance as much as for around the green. You MUST get used to how the ball comes off the putter face, (recoil speed) as well as your chip shots and how the golf ball reacts when it hits the green.
Well, with the slow down in the sales of new drivers, you will see the golf club companies really focusing on the technology in the golf ball. One of the downsides to that is the new golf ball every year syndrome. You have to recalculate with your new golf ball the distance and short game performance.
With all this being said, Callaway is very excited about a break trough they’ve made with a new golf ball configuration (The Callaway Chrome Soft) that promises to offer the best of both worlds. Generally the longer golf balls are hard and not very agile around the green. A perfect example is the Pinnacle golf ball that mostly long drive contest golfers use.
The soft cover and core golf ball like the Titleist V1, the Callaway SR1,2,3 have the best performance around the green but usually cost top dollar as well. As much as $5 every time you hit a golf ball in the water, yikes!
I have no idea what the new Callaway golf ball is going to cost but I do have the preview video sent to me by Callaway that describes some of the features with Phil Nickelson. The video does not mention the name but it will be the Chrome Soft.
Follow this Blog for an update once I have it.
So You Want To Play On The Seniors Champions Tour
Yea right! It ain’t so easy to get on the Champions Tour. You can ask all the guys down in Florida right now playing their guts out for only five, yes that’s 5 spots available for exemption on the Champions tour.
Not to mention the sectional qualifying tournament you would have had to endure and finish at the top of the stack in order to be one of the 85 players in the final tournament of 72 holes to qualify for an exemption on the Champions Tour.
You can see the Champions Tour scoreboard here.
The first group of individuals exempt on the Champions Tour, (meaning they get to play) are the players with the most earnings from the PGA tour. So if you’re a new comer get to the back of the line and play in the two qualifiers.
That means that Freddy Couples gets to play no matter how well he is playing if he feels like playing. You might say he earned it by playing well in his youth and you might be right. Fact is , that the PGA probably thinks that you the viewer are not to going to tune in on TV if you don’t recognize the names playing.
Oh yea, it costs $2,500 entry fee for the final qualifier plus all your expenses for a chance to be one of the top five. Not a good bet. I take my hat off to all the guys that tried though. Guys like my friend Joe Daley. Joe didn’t play his best this week but he is a long time veteran of the tour. Like a journeyman quarterback that’s played for a ton of NFL teams but you cant remember his name. By the way, Joe won a major just two years ago. Still he’s back having to qualify. Now that’s tough!
What’s my opinion. Well I can make one because I ain’t playing. I think that more spots available for Monday qualifiers is not only appropriate but would possibly wake up the Champions Tour to new blood. Why recycle the same players we’ve seen in the past. Nothing wrong with it but let’s see some new blood. Some Cinderella stories that might give the local golfers some hope.
“Long time insurance agent beats the pros and wins on the Champions Tour”, etc etc. Yea! Get the crowd pulling for the under dog! Just a thought.
Here’s a video analysis of Frank Esposito’s golf swing. The winner of the qualifying tournament at 11 under par.
Hit Your Golf Ball Longer Immediately!
How many claims have you heard about new golf clubs hitting the ball longer? Well here’s the facts. Long and straight don’t go together and here’s why.
Weight, length and dynamic loft have the bulk of influence on how fast you swing the golf club. The faster the club goes the further the balls goes if your golf club face is square in both cases.
To make the golf club shaft lighter the wall of the shaft has to be thinner which means more flexibility and thus less consistency. Long hitters don’t mind a heavier shaft because distance is not the issue but rather accuracy.
I put together a driver that is 48 inches long, (the maximum allowed by law) with a light head (188 grams vs. the typical 205 grams) and light shaft of 50 grams and a very light grip of only 11 grams (most grips weigh about 53 grams). I used a stiff shaft in the original version.
I got fed up with it, (broke it over my knee on the golf course when I bailed a third shot in a row out to the right) and made a new version with the same head, same shaft but this time in regular rather then stiff, and then added the Secret Grip from Boccelli (93 grams).
Now you should say, OK Lopez how about the heavy grip. Well it made all the difference in my consistency and didn’t seem to hurt the distance. At least not enough that I actually noticed it. The heavy grip counter balanced the long length and made the shaft stiffer. Results, WALLA (as the professor in Back to the Future would say) it works! It really works!
Below is the silly video we made on the driver and below that is a video explaining what I built. If you would like one I can get you one fitted to your specs for Christmas for $229. (Regular price $279)
Young Playing Pros Today
It’s amazing to see how so many of the new young pros coming out are all so competitive. There is such a razor sharp difference between the ones that make it and the ones that don’t. One very significant influence on ones success is financial backing and personal management, potent enough to get you in to tournaments on sponsors exemption.
We had one very promising prospect stop for a check up from the UK. Europe went bonkers for golf as witnessed by the Ryder Cup wins they now have under their belt.
We’re holding a Special Workshop this Tuesday October 28th at the Patterson Golf Park driving range at 5:45 until 7 PM. Our visiting professional from London, Sam Wroclawski will hit some balls for us and answer questions. After the clinic we will both roam around the group to take a look at your swing and help you apply any tips you found worthy.
Above is the video of the lesson I did with him during his visit. Hope you can join us. Sam can hit it a mile! Tuesday at 5:45 PM.
Wisdom from the PGA Senior Tour
I say wisdom from the PGA Senior tour because at this age, you should have some. I wish all of our student/members could have joined me for what was a perfect day. The weather was perfect! Being it was Wednesday, you would have had the opportunity to see exactly how these tour players practice. That’s the key! How they practice on the PGA Senior Tour.
I’m not talking about the number of hours because workaholics they’re not. That’s for the young bucks on the regular and web.com tours.
One key addition to the group was Gene’s new caddy. Gene’s caddy Derrick is a former PGA pro himself and used to caddy for Brad Faxon on the Senior Tour. Well, Gene has had problems with putting so why not take the caddy of who was thought to be the best putter on tour.
Here’s what we worked on yesterday at the Senior Tour.
Ball striking: About two hours spent hitting balls with most of the work from 100 yards. We moved Gene’s ball up in his stance. He was hitting it a little heavy. Yes, even tour players can make such simple adjustments that one would think so fundamental, that it doesn’t need attention. Not true!
Bunkers: Maybe spent about 1/2 hour. Worked on buried lies and a new method Derrick came up with which I will add to the one day school and bunker workshops.
Putting: You can see the arc tool we used in the picture above. We worked a lot on keeping Gene’s chest moving through the stroke. He has a tendency to lock up a bit at impact and then pull the putt to the left and sometimes close the club face when his chest stops moving, also sending the ball to the left.
I can’t thank Gene enough for allowing me to spend the day with him and Derrick. My ability to get “behind the ropes” on the Senior Tour will bring you true practical suggestions to improve your golf game with the same methods players are using on tour.
Improve My Short Putts
This game of golf is played from 4 to 5 feet and in, short putts. Maybe even 6 feet and in. If you perform poorly on short putts you will find it difficult to be competitive. Maybe I should say it would be difficult to be so skilled at the rest of your golf game that could afford to loose strokes from up close on short putts.
What do you have to do to be successful at short putts? Control your putter face. The ball will go where the putter face is pointed.
My Golf Swing in 1972
OK you can laugh! Go ahead laugh! The picture below was taken around 1972 by Dick Farley of Swing’s the Thing Golf Schools. Dick was the poor soul that hired me to be the Director of Golf at Andalucia C.C. in Marbella Spain. I was home in Miami visiting and taking a break while getting ready to start playing European Tour events and Dick gave me a lesson. Dick took this photo of my golf swing with his shiny new sequence camera that would take eight pictures in sequence. State of the art back in those days.
Get a load of all the hair I had then, AND I was skinny! Not to mention how flexible. How about the size of that back swing! You would have to call an ambulance today if I tried that today.
Here’s the down line view. It’s no wonder I hit the ball so much further back then. I took a BIG rip at it. Let this be a lesson to all my senior golfing friends. We just don’t have the flexibility we used to have. There is still a lot we can do to get back some of that “zippity dooda” in our golf swing and I will revel those insider secrets in our one day golf school for seniors on Wednesday October 1st.
Yes there are some techniques you can use to re-gain some of that lost distance as well as smarter decisions on short game, (we’re suppose to be older and wiser?).
If you’re interested in the one day school for seniors please email me quick at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s only $79 and includes all the instruction, lunch, a bottle of Geritol, (only kidding) cart & green fees at Pendleton and range balls.
PGA Conference – Stay ahead of the game!
In my constant effort to keep our members/students informed with all the latest and greatest improvements in golf, here is the first in a series of posts that will reveal the insider secrets covered in the latest PGA conference dedicated to golf club fitting and more.
Although the emphasis was intended for golf club fitting it never fails that teaching techniques and results become a big part of the conversation at the PGA conference. The picture above shows a clinic on putter fitting and determining the current putting stroke of a given golfer and how the ball is performing after impact.
For example, the presenter used a lie board, (a plastic hitting board used for checking lie angle) spraying it with powdered chalk. Once you hit the golf ball with your putter the chalked board would demonstrate where your ball first hit the ground. The ball was also marked with lines to reveal any side spin on the putt as well. I will incorporate this technique into our one day school and also on any workshops on putting.
Of course this method does not fix anything as far as your stroke is concerned but it reveals what we should both concentrate on in order to improve your putting.
We discussed whether you should consider a face balanced putter, 45 degree angle head drop or a 90 degree head drop. If you’re more of a straight back and forth stroke player you should consider the face balanced putter. If you have somewhat of a arc path putter try the 45 degree. Most of the pros discourage the toe down 90 degree drop putter but guess what….that’s what I use!
I will make a video of the entire process and post it tomorrow night 9-19-2014 so please return then.
Any comments? You can always reach me at email@example.com