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.

 

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.

Does Golf Get Harder As You Get Older?

Does Golf Get Harder As You Get Older?

I can testify to that!  Even if you had the same flexibility and stamina, you don’t have the same time on your hands.  When I was about 10 years old, I could walk to the golf course from my house and I didn’t come home until dark. Of course back in those days, a young kid could walk around safely.  I worked on my golf game all day without a care in the world.

As you get older you have so many distractions.  Responsibilities of life that have to be met.  Bills to pay and money to earn. I’ve seen players on tour with their entire family practically living in a van.  Now that’s hard!

The purpose of this conversation is to let you know that it’s OK to be easy on yourself in your golf game improvement.  You’re NOT doing it for a living so you should enjoy challenging yourself and accept the bad shots with the good ones.

This is also why I am a BIG believer in doing drills at home as often as you can.  You can’t get to the golf course and/or driving range everyday.    Logging a considerable number of reps at home will have a significant impact on your play at the golf course.  I promise.  I always have a golf club in the living room so I can do a drill during a commercial.  Of course the one downside to this is, my darling wife has a weapon easily available in case the wrong name comes up on my cell phone!  Naaaa, not a chance.

Can A Ballet Dancer Improve Your Golf Game!

Can A Ballet Dancer Improve Your Golf Game!

I’ve had all kinds of students over the years. Everything from floor sweepers to NFL stars. This is the FIRST time I had a ballet dancer as a student. Phil Skaggs is a great ballet dancer for the Richmond Ballet. He’s a great guy and it goes without saying that the rigorous physical activity all ballet dancers goes through is tremendous.

Here’s what might be interesting to you. Some of the “lingo” and references are very similar from Ballet to golf. For instance; I am constantly reminding students that balance is NOT a thing to do but a place to go! Exactly the same with a ballet dancer. Phil understood this immediately and could do it even faster!

What really struck me was his ability to GO to a swing position even if it didn’t feel comfortable. I hear constantly from students, “this doesn’t feel comfortable to me”, no XXXX Sherlock! Golf ain’t suppose to feel good.

Phil said that as a ballet dancer they are trained to GO to a specific dance pose or position and to expect it NOT to feel as it should. I guess that’s why they have all those mirrors in their practice room. They look at the mirror to SEE where they are and then try to relate the feel to the position.

It is exactly the same way with improving your golf swing. That’s why I always tell students that their best friend is a full length mirror at first. Both the video analysis and the mirror will help them relate the visual to the feel.

Use your mirror and your video analysis to visualize where you should be, then relate the feel of where you are and trust that you are in the right place, it just doesn’t feel like it. This is someone like a pilot that flies on instruments. The pilot can NOT count on his feelings. He has to follow the instruments no matter how much his “feelings” tells him he is out of position.

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.

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!

You Have To Be Willing To Make A Jackass Out Of Yourself!

You Have To Be Willing To Make A Jackass Out Of Yourself!

There is one thing about learning a new language…you have to be wiling to make a jackass out of yourself and attempt to speak the language even if you’re making mistakes. I’ve met folks that claimed to have taken four years of Spanish in high school and then four more years in college and they still can’t speak a lick of Spanish!

It’s all in the application. If you were to move to a foreign country a be forced to speak their language you would learn it in no time or be very lonely.

Good golfers are wiling to go to the far end of the range and do their drills, hit short easy shots and look like a hacker but stay on target on what they are attempting to accomplish. They don’t care about knocking it out of the park or impressing the other golfers around them.

When doing drills. Do the drill dry three times first, (that means without a golf ball). If you’re convinced that you can perform the drill properly then hit a short shot with the drill. You need to have a way to monitor your finish and know that you did it properly. I like to call it taking inventory. Then and only then do you attempt to perform the drill with a full shot and again monitor or inventory your results! Hold your finish at least until the ball hits the ground and then look at the position of your hands, arms, your balance point etc.

You might look like a jackass compared to someone else knocking the snot out of the golf ball hitting one after the other as fast as they can…BUT…in my estimation the golfer hitting their balls in the way I just mentioned looks like the jackass!

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!