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5 Useless Moves That IMPROVE Every Shot

All of the motions in your golf swing are completed to move your club through the ball in the right direction with accelerating power during the moment of impact. If impact is so important, why do we bother with all of the strange things that we do before and after impact? Most of the moves that your bodies make during your swing seem to be USELESS MOVES. Fortunately the right initiation and finishing moves create the perfect result.

1/ Starting your downswing with your hip turn to square (to the ball) during your transition: You need to rotate your hips to face your target so that your leading wrist has room to whip your club through the ball with a SQUARE FACE. [If your hip does not lead your swing, you will always fade or flair or slice your shot away from your body.]

Tiger completes every one of the 5 Userless Moves in his swing to perfection. You should too.

2/ Keeping your eye on the ball through impact: Lifting your head early will lift your leading shoulder and tend to make you hit a thin or topped ball. [Keeping your eye over and FOCUSED on your ball will help your brain manage the distance to the ball and AVOID shots off the toe of your club.]

3/ Keeping your left arm straight at the point of impact: That allows you to control the distance from your shoulder to the ball. [A bent leading arm in your backswing is OK if you can make the right corrections to impact with a straight arm but it’s much easier to keep your leading arm straight throughout your swing.]

4/ Following through after the point of impact: It’s critical for power and direction. Try hitting a ball when you are swinging into the trunk of a tree and have to stop short of destroy your club and your wrist. It absolutely destroys your shot so don’t try it. [The direction of your shot is destroyed if you don’t continue your follow-through directly up your target line.]

5/ Finishing your swing pointing your trailing toe to the ground: That finish for any shot from pitching to driving helps you to complete your shoulder rotation and to square your club face to your ball. [Your down swing starts with your hip; then your shoulder; then your arms and finally your lagging wrist release to a balanced finish on your leading foot with your trailing toe pointing at the ground. If you are not in balance at the finish your swing is out of control and you should take some lessons.]

Start you swing down with your hip turn, keep you leading arm straight & eye on the ball through impact and finish with a full follow-through and trailing toe pointing to the ground. These USELESS MOVES make all the difference. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for all 6 of your swing fixes. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

PS: GOLF LAW #6
A golfer hitting into your group will always be bigger than anyone in your group. Likewise, a group you accidentally hit into will consist of a football player, a professional wrestler, a convicted murderer and an IRS agent — or some similar combination.  {Don’t do it!}

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Your Smash Factor Can Make You Happy

Every golfer would like to hit longer drives directly down the center of the fairway. New equipment may help but if you are not increasing your Smash Factor, you are not getting the most out of your existing clubs. The maximum PGA Smash Factor is 1.5. That means that a golf club can only be designed to give you 50% more ball speed off the face of your driver than your club head impact speed.

Golf Digest reported Gene Parente’s (Golf Laboratories) test results using his swing robot which is nicknamed Iron Byron. “The average male amateur’s swing speed is 93.4 miles per hour, according to research by TrackMan, for an average distance of 214 yards. Using TrackMan’s “optimal” distance, the average golfer’s potential is 255 yards at that same swing speed. How? By hitting the ball more solidly, or what’s known as upping your “smash factor.”

The balls that you use and the gloves, copper bracelets, socks, shoes and lead lined underwear that you are wearing may make you feel better or more confident but the driver design is limited to give you a maximum of 50% more ball speed. There are only 3 ways to increase the distance with your driver.

Iron Byron gives us the perfect test result for the perfect swing up the target line.

1/ Increasing your swing speed will give you up to 2.5 yards of driving distance for every mile per hours of swing speed. Your lagging wrist release gives you that extra speed.

2/ Impact directly at the perfect launch angle. If you impact is down on your ball and generating a clockwise rotation at 3500 rpm, your ball will be trying to climb and taking energy out of your potential distance. If you hit your ball on an upward launch angle creating a 2500 rpm of clockwise spin, you will optimize the cutting action through the air. Topping the ball makes it drive for the ground.

3/ Impact on the center of the face of your club to generate the optimized trampoline effect will power your ball to the maximum distance. Off center hits will direct your ball away from your target and steal distance from your drive. [Spray Dr Sholl’s Foot Powder on the face of your club to check your point of impact. Above the centerline seems to perform better than below. That may not be too important as I have saw Tiger hit his driver “off the deck” with amazing low shot which was further that he can hit with his 3 wood. [I don’t have all of the answers as I am just reporting what I see and hear from the announcers.]

Achieving the perfect Smash Factor is your goal. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to improve every swing in your game with 6 swing fixes. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com.

PS: GOLF LAW #5
The higher a golfer’s handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor.

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SLICERS – Get Under It !

If you are one of those golfers who swings from OVER the top creating a boomerang slice, get UNDER IT. You can make 2 simple changes to get rid of that slice by getting under your ball. A wide take away and a flat leading wrist will make all the difference. Great golfers don’t have to kill the ball, they just release their wrists and their ball flies up the center of the fairway. You can do it too but you will have to focus on 2 SIMPLE points during each shot.

I recently saw a promotion video, “Reverse Slice Sequence” by Eric Cogorno which highlights the common theme by most PGA trainers. Don’t CUP your leading  wrist (with your hand bent up) in your backswing as your brain will naturally try to close the club face by swinging over the top and slicing across the face of the ball.

It’s not easy to change old habits but many pros have discovered the best solution to break the bad habits causing your slice. Make a wide takeaway keeping your leading wrist flat, loop down at the top to swing from the inside and up your target line. Yes, get under the ball not over it.

Step 1: BACKSWING WITH A HIGH PLANE ANGLE – During your take-away (rotating your shoulders and hips), swing your club straight back along your target line and point the blade of your club directly up at the sky while keeping your leading wrist flat. Continue your straight leading arm backswing and cocking your trailing elbow to point the grip end of your club down along your extended target line.

This is an exaggerated view of looping your club to swing down from the inside with a flat leading wrist and up your target line.

Step 2: DOWNSWING ON A FLATTER (lower) PLANE-  Keeping your leading wrist flat and cocked to create a 90 degree lag angle with your club to your leading arm.  Loop your club down on a lower plane to swing from the inside and up your target line.   Your flat wrist at the top and down through impact on a lower plane angle is the key to the elimination of your slice.

Increased distance will come from the proper release sequence in your downswing. Start with your hips, then your shoulders and finally releasing your wrist lag as you whip your hands through impact (from the inside and up your target line).

Your flat wrist is the critical factor during your back swing and downswing. One of the 6 swing fixes provided with GOLFSTR+ is to LOCK YOUR LEADING WRIST FLAT during your backswing.

This fix is only designed to let you feel your flat wrist during your backswing. Ideally, you should do this many times in slow motion (the way Ben Hogan perfected his swing). You can feel your wrist flat against the flat plastic plate. Then remove GOLFSTR+ and make your full swing with a flat wrist from the inside and up your target line. Your slice will be gone forever. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

PS:  GOLF LAW #4Golf balls never bounce off of trees back into play. If one does, the tree is breaking a law of the universe and should be cut down.

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Why Do You Stub Your Pitch Shots?

Chipping and pitching are probably the most frustrating shots in Golf. Many of us, including myself, get tight when we prepare for an easy chip shot in short grass. We swing with a tight body and create fat, thin or misdirected shots. Chipping is really a putting motion. Pitching uses more body and wrist rotation to pitch your ball over a hazard. They really are 2 different swings with different lofted clubs.

Split your Short Shots into Either of these Options:

A. Chips with a putting stroke using irons up to your 9 iron or a hybrid.
B. Pitches with a longer swing and more body and wrist release to power your ball over a hazard using wedges which are more lofted than a 9 iron.

Hitting it FAT? Stop swinging so hard. Accelerate through the ball and finish your swing.

We all know how to use a putting stroke with a chipping iron. Pitching is where our problem happens. When you practice pitching, you may have a few mishits but when you pick up the rhythm of the swing, you can make endless perfect pitches. So why is it that everything changes on the golf course? You seem to duplicate your swing perfectly in your practice swing but when the moment of truth arrives, your hands take over and the fat and thin yips begin.

Rewind That Video:

1/ Setup with a strong grip, an open stance and 20% more weight on your leading foot. These changes will help you complete your swing (even though it is a short shot).

Pitch with a full shoulder follow-through and your eye on the ball.

2/ At the top of your limited backswing, wait for the weight of your club to start the acceleration down though your ball. DON’T RUSH IT!  Pros pitch with an EFFORTLESS SWING.
3/ Remember that your practice pitch swings were easy because you let your trailing shoulder rotate through impact. Finish your swing AS YOU KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL.
4/ Let your trailing wrist lag as your hips and arms pull your swing down to LIFT your ball using the angle of your club face. [In Deeper Rough: Pitch with a higher lofted club, ball back further in your stance and more backswing to power through the grass.]

For pitching, practice lagging your trailing wrist by wearing your GOLFSTR+ on your trailing arm letting the angle of the plastic limit the lagging angle of your wrist. That will help you build confidence as you finish the rotation of your trailing shoulder through your pitch. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

PS:  GOLF LAW #3: Brand new golf balls are water-magnetic. Though this cannot be proven in the lab, it is a known fact that the more expensive the golf ball, the greater its attraction to water.
COROLLARIES: (a) Never wash your ball before you hit it over water. (b) Very clean and new balls tend to be attracted to water. c. Old golf balls rarely find water.

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Clarity for Consistent Golf

There are always a few (or more) holes in every round where our games can go off the rails.   Hitting our maximum handicap number on any hole is a crisis for me and should be for your too.  I hate to hit my max.   So I’m always looking for a way to create consistency on every hole. I was glad to be reminded of a great solution by Todd Kolb, PGA Professional on the USGolfTV blog. He recommended that Clarity of Mind is the best solution for Consistency.

One bad shot can often be corrected by one or two good shots to salvage a par or bogie. A lapse in clarity for each shot can destroy your next shot. Just understanding that you lost your focus to create that bad shot is a good starting point to get your mind back on track for your next good shot.

Simplify your swing by clearing your mind to focus on the flight direction of your ball during your back and down swing.  “See the flight in your minds eye.”

Understand What Caused your last Poor Shot
Clay Ballard at Top Speed Golf, provided the following check list to sort out where your last swing went wrong when you try to generate more power for more distance:
1/ Setup with at 10 degree body tilt to your trailing side and hold it through impact.
2/ Hip AND shoulder backswing rotation are critical for distance.
3/ Load your wrist lag as you bend your trailing elbow to finish your backswing.
4/ Start your downswing with your hips as you swing from the inside.
5/ Let your driver drop down to swing from the inside slot.

Each of these points need to be built into your swing. Focus on making them all happen in your practice swing and THEN CLEAR YOUR MIND.

Stare at your target and then VISUALIZE hitting that target line (in your minds eye) AS YOU RETURN YOUR EYES TO LOCK ON OUR BALL (until after impact).

You may want to count “1,2” during your backswing (as you cock your trailing elbow for lag) and “3” in your downswing (to block all other thoughts) as you visualize swinging to hit your target line..

Clarity of your mind during your swing to see the perfect flight of your ball is all that you need to think about. Putting needs the same confident clarity that you have chosen the right line and swing-power to pass the hole by a foot. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ for 6 swing fixes. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

PS:  Golf LAW #2:
Your best round of golf will be followed almost immediately by your worst round ever.   The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.

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Putt Smart to Sink More Putts !

Putting is a target sport. If you can’t control the direction of your putter straight up your target line, you will never be a great putter. All racquet and club (golf, baseball, cricket) sports have one critical point in every swing. It’s the point of impact where the direction of your swing controls your success. Unfortunately the arc in the swing of your putting stroke is limiting your success.

I just watched a YouTube Strategy Video for Pickle Ball. Control of the direction of your shot directly up the LINE of your launch angle and target line are the keys for success. Putting is even easier as you only have to swing your club up the direction of your chosen target line (without worrying about a launch angle).

Kevin Na set a putting record by sinking 558 feet of putts during the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. A straight-line swing was critical for his success.

Rotation of your putter around your body is the killer for every putting swing.
Even Dave Stockton, the world renowned putting instructor, advises that you can setup your feet and hands in any way that your body feels comfortable as long as it helps you:
1/ Bottom-out your swing before impact to allow your putter face to swing up on the ball (forcing the ball to roll over instead of skidding across the surface).
2/ Swing directly up your chosen target line by rocking your shoulders and allowing your arms to swing freely up your target line through the point of impact.

Problem Habit for Justin Rose
For the last few years I noticed that Justin Rose made a habit of tucking the shirt sleeve on his trailing arm under his arm pit for short chips and putts. He chose to do this to force his trailing arm to lock tight to his body and force a shoulder rotation in his backswing. Unfortunately the tight trailing arm creates an arc in his putting swing. I saw him miss a critical, 4 foot, 18th hole, tournament losing putt last year where he pulled his putt to the left. A tight trailing arm to your body for short chips may  help your hips and shoulders rotate back and through the ball but FOR PUTTING it’s a BIG MISTAKE!

Grain of the Green DOES Affect Your Putts
The grain of the grass (the direction that the grass leans) does have a small effect on the break of your putt as it slows down near the hole. Look for the rough edge of grass around one side of any hole. The rough edge (where there is a fringe of grass falling into the hole) is the down-grain side. The softer you stroke your putt the more the grain will affect the break. On a 3 or 4 foot putts you should putt more to the clean cut side of the hole as your ball will want to fall to the down grain or rough side of the hole. OF COURSE THE SLOPE OF THE GREEN IS OVER 90% MORE IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER THAN THE GRAIN DIRECTION.

Practice putting with a locked leading wrist using your GOLFSTR+. Rock your shoulders and free arms to swing straight up your target line. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

PS GOLF LAW #1:
No matter how bad your last shot was, you should have Inner Peace knowing that a worse one is yet to come. This law does not expire on the 18th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer and, eventually, a lifetime.

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Game Changer for Your Irons

Too many golfers fall back when they swing their driver and then they duplicate the same problem with their irons. All driver and fairway club swings are meant to end in a balanced pose on your leading foot. Unfortunately the ball forward setup for your driver tends to make you fall back if you rush your arms through the swing. Using the same swing for your irons, is deadly. If you are falling back or out of balance for your drivers and your irons, you need to change your swing.

Tiger gets it right by finishing in balance on his leading foot.

Because you setup to drive by lining up your ball with your leading heel, it should be easy to finish your driver swing in balance and posing on your front foot. During every swing, you are trying to make a weight shift from your trailing foot to your front foot.  If you swing with your arms without any weight shift (at the top), you will fall back at the finish of your swing.

DON’T hang back on your trailing foot especially when you are using your irons.

When you are swinging any iron your swing should be made so that your weight is shifting to your leading foot and your club is swinging down at the ball to take turf after the impact with the ball. Unfortunately irons are shorter and lighter than a driver, so we tend to swing faster (with our arms), before our weight is transferred to our leading foot,

Trick to Correct Your Iron Swing
Our friends learned this trick from their club pro and passed it on to my wife when they saw her falling back on her trailing foot as she completed her swing.

Place a bottle cap or a golf tee flat on the grass about 2 or 3 inches on your target line before your ball. Your goal is to allow your body to transfer your weight forward (during your transition at the top of your swing) to ensure that you are swinging to impact the ball without hitting the cap or tee before your ball. Hitting the ball and then the turf will only happen if you transfer your weight to your leading foot and end your swing in a balanced pose on your leading foot.

If you practice with a bottle cap or tee behind your ball, you will learn to slow down your backswing to allow a little more time to transfer your weight forward during your swing. Of course you need to keep your eye on the ball through impact.

Practicing this down-stroke swing with your irons will save a lot of shots for every round by giving you a more consistent and longer hit. For your higher lofted clubs and wedges, you will also see that your ball checks-up faster on the green or even backs up with back-spin. Learn all of your iron shots using your GOLFSTR+ for 6 swing fixes. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Is Chipping Your Game Killer ?

Have you ever kept track of the number of times that you have to make a chip during a round of golf?    Weekend Warriors don’t hit a lot of Greens In Regulation but they lose a lot more strokes “missing” a chip or chipping outside of 5 feet and end up with a 2 or 3 putt hole.  Fortunately Chipping is the easiest stroke to fix with the right coaching.  I saw Peter Jacobsen, a PGA Pro promoting a Cleveland Wedge where he offered this simple tip.

Your 2 to 20 yard wedge shot is NOT a full body swing shot.  You actually make this shot with a limited spread of your feet (as balance is not an issue with a light swing) and with an open stance to ensure that you keep your weight forward on your leading leg as you swing directly up your target line.   There is no need for weight shift as the weight of your club is doing all the work.  You are basically swinging your arms (like a pendulum) hanging from the right side of your chest (for right handed clubs).  There is very little weight transfer in a chip.  You want to hit the ball before you skim the grass so you need to setup with the ball directly opposite the inside of your trailing heal.

Pressure forward, backswing enough to let your club do the work and follow through with your hips

Key for Successful Chipping

1/ Line up your chip and move close to your ball to make a few practice swings.

  • Chipping is easy if you make a few practice swings to “feel” the amount of swing needed to hit and run up close to the pin.
  • Watch where your club is impacting the grass as you want the starting point to be just after your ball position.
  • You are not trying to take a divot but you do want make a shallow sweep through the grass after your ball position.
  • Let the weight of your club do all of the work as your hips follow through with the swing.

2/ Keep your head still through the back swing and follow through as you swing with a low arc like a putting stroke except with a longer swing and longer follow through with your hips and arms.

3/ Your goal is to bottom out your club AFTER you impact the ball

4/ Your swing direction should be directly up your target line.

You will never be a great chipper unless you practice with each of your preferred chipping clubs to learn the distance that each amount of swing will make your ball fly and roll-out.  The higher the loft, the shorter the roll-out.  Practice with your GOLFSTR+ on your trailing arm to limit wrist lag in your backswing as you make your pendulum swing with your arms.  Buy one today at www.golfstr.com 

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Driver and Fairway Swings are Different Animals!

I was pleased to find a Golf-Info-Guide blog about the different swing required for a driver as compared to any other fairway club. The driver has a limited face angle as it is designed for you to hit up on the ball off a tee. Your fairway woods are designed for a level surface swing and irons are designed for a downward impact with the ball before taking any divot. YOU SHOULDN’T BE USING THE SAME SWING FOR EVERY CLUB.

I don’t recall seeing pros make a very clear distinction between the swings for each type of club. If you don’t treat your driver and fairway clubs as 3 different swings you will never be a low handicap golfer. This fact woke me up to the reason why so many golfers swing every club as if it is a driver. They swing and fall back on there fairway clubs.They never learned the benefit of shifting their weight forward during the swing for their fairway clubs (woods, hybrids and irons).

NUMBER ONE PROBLEM FOR POOR GOLFERS: They try to hit every shot with a driver swing and have never learned to swing through fairway club shots or down through iron shots].

Rory McIlroy, Voted top Golfer of 2019 keeps his left ear behind the ball when he nails a driver.  [Click the image for SloMo video]

Driver Swing
It’s the only swing where you setup with the ball in-line with the heel of you leading foot and keep your leading ear behind the ball throughout your swing. Yes, there is still weight transfer from your trailing foot to your leading foot during the driver swing but never so much as that your head shifts over your ball the way it does for an iron shot. Your driver must impact your ball after the bottom of your swing arc to create a launch angle and minimize under spin.

Rory getting his body through the ball as he impacts his iron. His left ear passes his ball at the top of his swing [Click image for SloMo video]

Fairway Wood and Hybrid Swing
These clubs all have wide flat souls. They are designed to sweep through the ball WITHOUT TAKING TURF after the ball. The loft of the face of the club is the only angle needed to release your ball at that angle into the air. Keeping the ball closer to your leading heel will allow for a higher launch but if you shift your weight to your leading foot before impact you may find that you are driving the ball into the ground or skimming the ground. Let you club do the work without cutting into the ground.

Iron Swing
These clubs have a narrow soul and are designed to hit down into the ball before the leading edge of the club takes a divot. Your weight shift to your leading leg is critical to ensure that you complete a proper swing and impact with the ground.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ for 6 swing solutions and lower your scores. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Sand Trap Escape Tricks

What is the main reason why we fail to make perfect shots out of the sand trap? Sand condition, slope of the sand, distance of your hit and height of the trap lip are all variables that you are trying to overcome. They all affect your decision for the amount of power and loft needed during your swing. RUSHING your swing speed is the killer for every sand shot. Club acceleration to a full follow-through makes all the difference.

Because your shoulders, arms, wrists, hips and spine are all moving during every swing, if we slow down or speed up a swing, we lose our sequencing rhythm. Yes, we forget to move our hips or transfer our weight and end up hitting fat or thin shots. Consistency of the motion of our swing in the sand trap is our #1 killer. We are focused on longer or shorter shots from the sand when we SHOULD BE FOCUSING on the amount of backswing and FULL follow-through with an accelerating swing speed.

Make a full follow-though with your swing and throw that sand.

Ensuring Sand Trap Consistency
Knowing the right setup is a critical starting point but you will never be consistently successful unless your complete both a backswing and a full follow-through to finish the shot. You have to think about your complete swing. Make sure that you pound down under the sand and take at least 3 inches of sand after your ball with your follow-through. Yes, make sure that you are throwing a club full of sand with your ball. Focus on lifting an imaginary quarter sitting in the sand after your ball. “Take the quarter” and finish your follow through.

Setup:
1/ Take an open stance and open your club face so that it’s parallel with the sand (pointing up to the sky).
2/ Put pressure on your leading foot so that your nose stays over your ball in the center of your stance with your grip pointed at your bellybutton. [Do this forward pressure because most of you will never transfer your weight to your leading foot during your sand trap shots.]

Lift your ball on a carpet of sand. [Pretty cool photo.]

3/ Take a wider stance or dig your feet down into the sand for stability and to ensure that your swing will slide under the sand beneath your ball to lift it on a carpet of sand. /

The amount of backswing and follow-through should be the same but the further you want your shot to go the longer the backswing and follow-through. Burying your club in the sand without any follow-through is the kiss of death for sand shots. Make sure that you throw some sand on the green with your follow-through. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to limit your wrist lag on your trailing wrist the same way you want to make a pitch shot. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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