Improve Your Golf Game Over the Winter

Now is the time to make changes in your golf swing

You should have in place an off-season program for making upgrades to your golf swing and/or game in general.  We’re located in Virginia and the winters really aren’t that severe but if you’re further north you better clean out the garage and get a mat and net.

I would also suggest a mirror and if possible download the V1 home version of their software so you can do an analysis based on the one I did for you originally.  The more you learn to help yourself the better.  I always say, the educated golfer is our best member!

You actually only have two months, (January/February) which is why you should have started back in November.  Players from the Champions Tour rent a house next to the golf course of their choice in Florida for the most part to practice the entire month of December, (taking a short break on Christmas to get back with the family) preparing for the first tournament in January usually in Hawaii.

Nicklaus used to go back to his pro Jack Grout every year and say lets start with the grip.  Even a simple fundamental can make all the difference in your play.

Here’s some tips on making your re-build program successful.

  1. Get professional help in pinpointing the exact movement you wish to re-program or train.
  2. Do drills that focus right on the swing fault you’re re-programing.
  3. Do the drills slowly in front of a mirror and make sure your instructor sees you performing the drills to make sure you’re taking the swing medication properly.
  4. Be patient and don’t rush it all out to the golf course expecting stellar results.  You should film yourself hitting balls on the range vs the movement you are performing in our garage.  You may be very surprised at the difference.

Tiger mentioned that it took him 13 months to implement the changes Butch Harmon was recommending for his game.  Tigers also said, you have to dominate the movement in a drill, carry it over to the range, take it to the golf course, then to a tournament and then a major.  He also said it can all break down all along the way.

Golf is NOT an easy game!  BUT that’s part of the beauty of it all.  You must accept significant failure with a few short moments of shear bliss when for some reason we may never know, you play the round of your life.  Look at Jim Furyk.  Looking at all the golf swings on tour, would you have chosen Jim Furyk to shoot the record 58?

Here’s a our webinar held on January 5th 2017 entitled How To Do an Off Season Rebuild of Your Golf Swing.  If you have never seen your swing on video just get out your cell phone and video your swing and email it to ;”>bobbylopez@quickfixgolf.com for a FREE analysis.

 

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.

Here’s Vijay Singh Doing A Stick Drill

Here’s Vijay Singh Doing A Stick Drill

Drills drills and more drills.  There are tons of different drills out there but the most important thing is…do you do them properly and consistently?  I see folks do a drill one or two times and expect it to spawn results.  Not so.  You have to “nag” your body into submission.  If you do not understand this process please live with my wife for a month!

Doing drills in short intervals “often”, even without a ball is the way to go.  It is the process of logging a sufficient number of reps that build the consistency.

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!

I Read A Tip In A Golf Magazine Yesterday and It Ruined My Swing!!!!

I Read A Tip In A Golf Magazine Yesterday
and It Ruined My Swing!!!!

Boy have I heard that one before. Here’s the problem. When the golf magazine company asks a professional to write an article they do not offer any service to monitor if the tip is negative or has merit. In a lot of cases the tip has merit but just does not apply to your swing needs.

The only thing I’ve ever received in the way of instruction when writing an article for a magazine is the number of words. They will say something like, “you need to hold it to only 400 words.” Makes sense. They have space to fill. Remember magazines are in the advertising business.

The best thing to do is this. If you’re taking lessons with a PGA pro and I hope you are, make sure to bring the golf tip up to him/her first. Get their opinion. I like it when my students mention a tip they read. I want them to tell me so I can address it. It might be a great tip that I might want to use in the future or it might be the worst medicine for that golfer but good for another.

Be careful about chasing rabbits. Stick to the fundamentals of a good swing and you can’t go wrong.

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.

Keep Your Knees Flexed To Swing Down and Out.

Keep Your Knees Flexed To Swing Down and Out.

There’s a golf web site out there called Hit Down Damn it! Funny title but they don’t give you the whole story. Bottom line is you need to compress the golf ball against the ground.

To compress the golf ball better you need to have what tour players call today “shaft lean” which is produced when the hands are in front of the club head at or just before impact. Not only does this position compress the golf ball but it also reduces loft on the golf club so you increase distance. Now, one much overlooked factor is the knees. I see a lot o golfers that “jump”at impact. They lift up thinking they will lift the golf ball up. Jumping sometimes comes from the knees straightening up at impact. The result of jumping is you catch the ball on the up swing and on the bottom part of the club face, (catch it thin).

Try and keep your knees flexed well through impact and swing out between first and second base, (for right handers). Don’t forget to start rotating your forearms well BEFORE you reach impact!

You can try some face impact tape on the front of your club face and if it shows that your impact is on the bottom edge of the golf club you’re probably jumping or flipping your hands at impact. If you don’t have any impact tape just come on out to Patterson and I’ll give you some to test your swing free.

You can find me at www.bobbylopezgolf.com

Here’s a video with a drill on developing shaft lean. By the way…I’ve lost 27 pounds since this video was taken. I’ll tell you how I did it. My wife yelled at me, “STOP EATING YOU FAT BAS____! It worked!

How To Find the Center of Gravity On Your Golf Club

How To Find the Center of Gravity On Your Golf Club

There IS a technique for finding the center of gravity on your club face. Finding the center of gravity is crucial to your success and CONSISTENCY! I would rather swing the golf club 85 miles per hour and hit the center of gravity than swing 95 miles an hour out on the toe of the golf club.

The purpose of any iron shot is to hit the ball straight. We must also move the ball a specific distance. What good does it do to swing perfectly, (as far a club head speed is concerned) for a five iron shot to travel let’s say 180 yards, and then hit the ball on the toe or the heel and only travel 165 yards. Same goes for the driver. Hitting the ball right on the center of gravity of your driver will not only add distance but also accuracy putting you in position to attack the green with an aggressive approach from a good lie in the fairway.

Today there are computers and strobe lights that are used to find the center of gravity on any golf club. Some of these studies are done by independent companies, (yea right). You also might not be able to count on the information the manufacturer gives you about where the center of gravity is on their golf club. In fact, changing the grip or bending the lie angle can change the center of gravity and balance point of the golf club. As cookie cutter as the manufacturers try to make their golf clubs today, there still can be a discrepancy from club to club within a set.

Here’s my method, (it might seem like Cuban engineering and it is, but it has worked for touring pros for many years and still works today). Hold the club face up close to your ear and bounce a golf ball off the face. Bounce it all around the club face. You’ll notice a different sound and a different bounce off different positions on the face of the golf club. Of course we haven’t mentioned that hitting the ball off the center of gravity also creates additional torque that will open or close the club face and send your shots off line.

Continue to bounce the ball until you find one spot that seems to sound the best and you get a better bounce off the face of the club and the club face doesn’t wiggle as much, (torque) in your hand. On most golf clubs, the center of gravity will not be the exact center of the club face. It should be slightly inside of center.

Once you find what you think is the center of gravity put some face tape on your club face. You can buy some at most golf stores or go on line to a company called Longshot and buy it by the roll. If you’re serious about your golf game you should be checking yourself for centeredness of hit constantly so you will use up the roll faster than you think.

The driver is especially crucial. Don’t fall for the gag the golf club companies tell you about having a bigger sweet spot. Bravo Sierra! Center of gravity is center of gravity! You may need to set up your driver at address with the ball appearing to be a little inside of center to get your eye used to hitting the ball where you’re suppose to. Most golfers don’t realize that they hit the ball out on the toe with their driver.

My suggestion is to get some face tape, find the center of gravity, hit balls until you can get your contact as close to the center of gravity as you can. If you find you’re hitting on the toe try choking up on the golf club. If that doesn’t work try taking a shorter swing. You may be surprised at how far you hit it with a smaller swing and you’ll be more consistent. If you’re still hitting on the toe you might be swinging over the top and have your club face open. If you’re hitting the heel constantly you might be swinging too shallow or too inside out. Or you could be rolling the golf club open on the takeaway.

If you have comments or questions please place them on the Blog and I’ll answer you. Leave your email address. Or you can email me at bobbylopez@bobbylopezgolf.com