Archives for March, 2019

An Ugly Swing to Learn From

The Player’s Championship was an exciting match to watch because the course is designed to tear the hearts out of great players and leave the cream at the top. As much as I was happy to see Rory McIlroy add this critical win to his young career, at the age of 48 it was even more exciting to see Jim Furyk charge up the leader board to finish 1 stroke off the win. We really should take a lesson from this veteran golfer with that ugly swing.

With $70 million in career earnings, Jim Furyk is the 4th highest on that list. So that begs the question: why is he so good with such an ugly swing? He must be doing something right and we should all take a closer look to understand why he is so successful. His “ugly” swing has made him one of the most CONSISTENT golfers in the game.

There is no one in golf that swings like Jim Furyk. He has this crazy looping swing over the top of his head. Then he creates a downswing on the perfect plane. The plane of his downswing is exactly the same as every great golfer who swings from the inside slot (as David Leadbetter calls it) and directly up his target line. Jim is not thinking about his crazy loop in his backswing. He just has one thought to avoid swinging over the top. Tiger and Cameron Champ do a very modified version of it too.

Cameron Champ drops the head of his club about 10 inches at the top of his backswing so that he can swing from his inside slot and up his target line (to avoid swinging over the top).

Why is Furyk so Consistent?
1/ We all know that if we could eliminate our mishits that we would all have lower scores. Jim not only avoids mishits but his hideous swing is always controlling the perfect direction of his shots.

2/ His crazy looping backswing allows him to swing high and then loop down and perfectly up the slot on every swing. If you ignore the ugliness at the top of his swing you will see that it prevents him from swinging over the top and gives him time to bump his hips forward in preparation for his perfect downswing.

3/ Bad golf swings are caused by rushing the downswing before we complete our transition from up to down. Rushing the arms before allowing our hips to start the downswing creates our fat hits, thin hits and slices. Our swing is ALL ARMS and we are forgetting to keep our hips moving. Jim Furyk is using his looping swing at the top as if it is part of acrobatic routing to prepare for his downswing.

Here is a YouTube Video of Jim Furyk’s Swing in Slow Motion

Click to watch it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7jePVzL47E

The next time you work on your swing at the range, you may want to take a little more time in your transition to drop down into the slot for a more consistent, controlled swing. Of course you should be practicing with your GOLFSTR+ as a reminder to keep your leading arm straight for a consistent swing distance down to the ball. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Plumb-Bobbing: Your Putting Break-through

Plumb-bobbing (PBing) to determine the break of a putt near the hole is a critical piece of information that you need to know if you can’t quite read the break NEAR THE HOLE. PBing with your putter is the only legal way to see the actual slope near the hole. DON’T waste your time PBing unless you know how to do it correctly and especially if you can’t see any break.

I have seen many pros on televised tour events trying to see the slope of the green from behind their ball. Unfortunately that only tells them the slope below their feet and near the ball (NOT NEAR THE HOLE). The worst break on every putt happens as your ball slows down near the hole. So your primary concern is the break near the hole and the only way to measure the direction of the break is to plumb-bob behind the hole. [ I REPEAT: Plumb-bobbing actually measure the slope of the green directly below your feet when you stand on a line extending between the hole and your ball. Ideally you need to stand behind the hole to see the actual slope near the hole.]

NOTE: If you can see a double or triple break, PB will only help you read the direction of the break near the hole (when you measure from behind the hole and back to your ball). On a severely sloped green, your ball will start to break at the start of the putt (near your ball) so don’t forget to include that break in your read. Don’t try to Plumb-Bob if you don’t follow these 4 steps as you most likely will not read the right measurement.

1/ Calibrate your putter: (a) Because the weight of your putter head can change the angle of your shaft (when you hang your club from your fingertips) you need to determine a consistent DIRECTION TO POINT THE PUTTER FACE when you are using it to PB. (b)You also need to use the same eye every time you PB. (c) To “calibrate” your putter stand back from a door frame and hang the putter in front of you with 1 eye closed (then try the other eye). (d) The shaft is tapered so you need to consistently use the same eye and the same side of the putter with the face of your putter pointing in the same direction that allows your putter to line up with the side of the door frame.

I close my left eye to view with my right eye and line up my left side of my putter shaft when the putter face is pointing directly at the door frame. [Calibrate your putter now!]

2/ If you can see that the green has an obvious slope at the hole, don’t waste your time PBing. Just putt to the high side. [Use PBing to speed up your play not to waste time. Do your PBing while others are checking out their putts as you are only sorting out the slope direction near the hole.]

3/ If there are a number of left and right breaks on the path of your putt, don’t waste your time PBing unless you need to read the final break near the hole.

Plumb-Bobbing: Stand on the line from the hole to your ball.  Hang your “calibrated” putter shaft to line up with the hole.  The shaft lines up on the high side above the ball. The putt in this photo has a right to left break.

4/ To determine the high side of the green (the side where your putt will break down to the hole), stand behind the flagstick and visualize a straight line from the flagstick to your ball. Hold your putter up and line up with the bottom of the shaft with the center of the hole (using your calibrated eye, your calibrated side of the shaft and calibrated putter face direction). If your putter shaft lines up with the ball, there is no slope on the green where you are standing. If the upper part of your putter shaft lines up on one side of the flagstick then that is the high side of the green (at the point where you are standing).

Test out your plumb-bobbing skill on the practice green to build confidence in reading the break at the hole (and also from behind your ball if you can’t see the obvious break where you are standing). Now that you know the direction of the break at the hole, practice with a flat leading wrist for straight putts with your GOLFSTR+ to the high side of the hole and sink more putts. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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What’s the Easiest Shot to Lower Your Score?

We all know that consistently making every shot is the only way to become a scratch golfer. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen for recreational golfers. We just don’t have the time to hone our skills to perfection. Even the best of the pros struggle to find their best game every time they play. So you should focus on the easiest shot that you can make on every hole to save one stroke. It can save you up to 18 strokes for every round of golf that you play.

Driver?
Your driver demands that you have the timing and skill to power your ball with a draw or fade to the perfect safe spot on the fairway. Of course distance and a long run out are bonus benefits for every drive. Hitting 18 perfect tee shots is every golfers dream but it is not the easiest shot to make. For many of us, our drive is the most difficult shot to consistently make.

Fairway Shots?
Woods, hybrids or irons all demand skill and perfection to control direction and distance. The slope on the ground where your ball is resting, wind, altitude and humidity all make these difficult shots. Again, we all work hard to perfect these shots but they are not the easiest shot, especially when you would like to hit every green in regulation.

Putting?
Of course it takes a lot less skill and power to control the direction of a putt. Reading the green for every putt is also a critical skill that you need to master but sinking a putt in a 4 inch hole is never easy.

Get your lap putts close to the hole and avoid 3 putting.  Visualize the best line to get your putts close.

What’s the Easiest Way to Drop Strokes?
The easiest shot in golf to help you save 1 stroke on every hole is a great lag putt. If you can’t get your lag putt or lag chip to stop within 4 feet of the hole, you run the risk of missing your final putt and adding 1 more stroke for every hole. The shorter your putt, the easier it is to sink. So if you can’t get your lag putt within 4 feet, your risk of missing your final putt increases exponentially as the length of your putt increases.

Suspense on TV:
Some televised golf tournaments are starting to show the percentage chance that a player will sink their putt based on their historic record. It really does build up the suspense for us when we are hoping for an underdog to take over the top spot in a tournament. On a recent tournament in Mexico I saw a caption saying that Rory McIlroy had a 15% chance of making a 15 foot putt. If he has that slim chance then what do you think your chances are?

Your lag putt is the easiest stroke for any golfer to make. Practice will help you develop a good feel for direction and distance when you are faced with different slopes and green speeds. The shorter the putt or chip the easier it is to get it close for your final putt on every hole so you have to make your lag putt count. You will never be a low handicap golfer if you don’t get rid of those 3 putt greens. Of course I’m including those chips or putts from just off the green as your opportunity to lag it close for a 1 putt green.

Take the risk out of every shot and learn to lag it close. Whatever you do, learn to putt with a flat leading wrist. When you rock your shoulders using the large muscles in your back, you will have a lot more control of the direction for every putt. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to lock your wrist and swing directly up your target line. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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