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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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G.I.R. is Everything in Golf

What’s your primary goal if you want to par every hole that you play? You have to know that getting your ball on or near every “Green In Regulation” (GIR) will give you the best chance to par every hole. A long drive landing on the fairway is the perfect starting point. The shorter your approach shot the easier it will be to stick a high arching shot on the green. Of course you would like to land every approach shot next to the hole.

If you don’t practice every day like the pros, landing near the hole is just a wonderful dream. Recreational players like you will be much better off playing a safe shot for a better chance to get down in 2 putts or with a great pitch and a putt.

 

Pros on the PGA Tour average about 12 our of 18 GIR on every round. So don’t feel so bad if you can’t get 9 out of 16 GIR.

Why not try these ideas to hit more GIRs? Play with caution and you will par more holes. Choose the highest probability shot to get your ball on the green. Controlling a putt for direction and distance is always easier then chipping for a one putt.

 

A. Choose the right club for the right job. Of course you need to pitch a high shot over a green side sand trap to land and stay on the green but if your shot is 150 yards you may want to aim for a wider part of the green or the front access to the green so that you still have a good chance for a 2 putt green or a chip and a putt.
B. The longer your shot and the harder you swing the worse result you can expect. You lose control when you swing at 100% of your swing speed. Don’t risk missing your target. Wake up and use the club to make sure that you can make a controlled swing to land in a safe location for a chance to make a 2 putt green.
C. Swing every club at 80%. You may not always have the perfect distance to match your club to the distance you need to hit and land and rollout. Choke down on a less lofted club and accept the fact that you will not stick on the green for tight shots. You need height and space to land and stay on every green. A good alternative is to run your shot to the front edge of the green or to a side that avoids the sand or water hazards.
D. If you are hitting with a strong side wind, don’t swing harder and faster as you will lose direction and distance control. Just choose a lower lofted club and play it safe.

This is a great green to hit in regulation and it’s a bad one to miss.

E. Hitting into heavy wind is always difficult to judge for the right club selection. Let your playing partners go first and check out the loft that they are using. (It’s not legal to ask what club was used during a competition but use your eyes and brain to figure it out.) Don’t be afraid to down club by 2 or 3 clubs in a heavy wind. The fun part is stopping dead on a green (without a roll) when hitting directly into a heavy wind.
F. 2 putt greens are easy if your first putt stops within a foot of the hole. Fat chance that will happen very often. Before every round get a good feel for the green speed on the practice green. Practice your long lag putts as well as your 2 to 4 foot putts as they are the putts that make your pars.

IMPORTANT STRATEGY to sink your short putts:
A. On a steep downhill putt you may want to leave the flagstick in but for short flat putts you should always take the flagstick out. [The flagstick acts like a wall and stops you from putting through the hole at a reasonable speed.]
B. When the flagstick is out, you will be more comfortable putting through the hole about 12 to 18 inches past the hole to minimize the break as your ball slows down.
C. Be consistent in the weight that you use to make sure that you are putting to stop past the hole (not at the hole). All short putts never go into the hole and all very slow putts tend to bounce off line when hitting the imperfections around the hole.

Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to control your flat leading wrist for putting and control the lag with your trailing wrist for chips. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Muscle Memory is Between Your Ears

Several years back, Dr. Bob Rotella had an article featured in Golf Digest that basically said: “Your muscles have no capacity to remember anything.”   The only Muscle Memory resides in your brain. So the only “muscle” that really counts is the one between your ears. It’s your brain filled with bad memories playing in your head that creates bad shots. Wouldn’t you like to force your brain to only use good thoughts for great shots?

It really doesn’t matter how much you practice or even how great your swing may already be. If your mind isn’t letting your body function properly, then you will mess up your swing every time. Of course repetition of great swings with great results give you a lot of positive thoughts. So if your head is filled with bad thoughts, then your game will likely be filled with bad shots. Your task is to find a way to block out the bad thoughts.

Case in Point:
I love to golf but I also play tennis. When I need to make a great second serve my mind often recalls the serves that I hit into the net. Sure enough, it happened again. Yesterday I was playing a doubles tiebreaker where it was my serve and I had to make 2 serves to win the match. My partners said “hit your serves to the backhand!” This is the only thought that was in my mind. I nailed 2 serves to the backhand of both players and took the final 2 points to win the set and match. I forgot to think about my historic bad thought of hitting into the net. My focus was on my positive thought to nail a slice serve to the backhand of my opponent. That positive thought proved to be the winner.

Unleash your hidden tiger.

We all need to replace bad thoughts with positive thoughts. That’s why Jack Nicklaus and Jason Day visualize the shot that they know they have hit many times before. They visualize the ball flight. You need a positive mental attitude. Just calm your body and swing with a controlled backswing to create lag and then release through the ball. CALMING YOUR MIND and BODY are KEY!

Keep your eye on the ball and take that relaxed swing from the driving range along with you to the course. Your goal is a smooth-swing-rhythm to a balanced finish. Swinging to kill that ball is the one thought that should NEVER ENTERS INTO YOUR MIND. Relax your shoulders and feel your weight shift forward as you transition into your down swing and into a balanced finishing pose. When you focus your mind to swing to a final balanced pose, direction will take care of itself and distance will be generated naturally.

You can: Just do it! Finish your swing in balance.

Trick to Eliminate Bad Thoughts   Focus on your balanced finishing pose. If you do everything right in your swing, you can’t help but finish in balance. [There is no time for bad thoughts to enter your mind.] If your focus is to end up in balance, your mind won’t let you take a killer swing. The only way that I can swing to a balanced finish is to take more club than I need and give myself time to finish my backswing as I transfer my weight to my leading foot. Voila! I finish in balance and execute the perfect swing and shot.

Focus on the end result where you finish your swing in balance on your leading foot. It’s all about a smooth swing to finish in balance. The pros do it and you’ve seen Ernie Els do it. [Get Nick Price’s rushed swing and John Daly’s super windup out of your mind.] Use the swing that will allow you to finish in balance as you enjoy watching the amazing flight of your ball flying to your target. Practice with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Are You Mishitting Your Driver?

When you don’t hit the center line of your driver, you lose distance and direction control.  I recently watched a video that summarized the problems that we cause when we mishit our drivers.  Gene Parente, the president of Golf Laboratories and the designer of the golf swing robot (often call: Iron Byron) shared some amazing test results.

His lab tests all brands of golf clubs to determine the distance and direction that you can expect when hitting a ball in the dead center of the club face as well as ¾” to the inside and to the outside of dead center.

Iron Byron tests clubs for the perfect swing to determine the problems caused by the point of impact on the club face. Center Line is perfect. Anywhere else can be a problem.

When the Robot is setup with a Swing Speed to hit a 200 Yard Shot (with a right handed driver):
1/ Dead Center impact provides the straightest and longest hit.
2/ An impact at ¾ of an inch to the OUTSIDE of dead center will lose about 9 yards in distance and the shot will fade to the right by about 10 yards. Faster club head speeds create worse fads.
3/ An impact at ¾ of an inch to the INSIDE of dead center will ALSO lose 9 yards in distance and will push the shot left of center and then fade back to the target line.

Of course if the club face is crossing the ball from the outside to inside or inside to outside you will add more fad or draw respectively.

This explains why it is so hard to control a driver. Hitting on the center-line and half way up the face creates a dead straight shot. Mishits inside or outside of the center-line will BOTH add fade to your ball. That’s also why it is so critical to swing from the inside and up the target line WITH A SLIGHTLY CLOSED FACE to add a draw spin to your drives. Any swing mishitting the face of your driver with extra swing speed and especially an over the top swing will exaggerate your fade into a killer slice.

Your driver may give you the opportunity to get further down the fairway but that extra distance can all be wasted when you land in the rough or behind trees. Because a mishit driver on the outside or inside of the center-line will create a fade, you should either setup to create a draw (with your trailing foot lightly back from your target line) or line up your aim for the left side if every fairway and accept the fade is it happens.

Understanding the natural fade of a mishit driver is critical for every round of golf. You really should test your driver marking the face with a powder marker or by spraying the face with Dr Scholl’s Foot Powder. Knowing where your ball impacts on the face of your club and seeing the result can be a real wake-up call for corrective action.

Practice for a consistent swing with every club in your bag. Use your GOLFSTR+ to help you focus on the control of your straight leading arm to impact on the center-line of every club. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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The Miracle of Consistent Golf

Is it really possible to find that special MIRACLE that you need to consistently hit every shot?  It’s most likely a personal thing for every golfer but I’m happy to report that I discovered that single SIMPLE THING that was messing up my consistency. Of course there are many things that we all need to do as reminders for every shot in golf but my missing MIRACLE was so simple that I am embarrassed to report it. Keeping my Eye on the ball!

I know that there are many things that we all need to do to maintain a consistent swing so I have decided to share my personal list and you should create your list too.

1/ Keep my Eye on the Ball: Do not take your eye off the ball during the back swing and down through impact. This is so important for my drives, fairway shots, chipping and putting that I can attribute every one of my missed shots to the instant that I must have taken my eye off the ball. If I focus on the ball I don’t hit the ball fat or thin. [Shanking and toeing the ball are 2 other issues that I cover later.]

Don’t sway back. Ben Hogan loaded onto his leading leg at the top of his backswing. You should too.

I now draw an eye ball on 2 sides of my ball (with eye lashes) as a reminder to keep my eye on the ball. It ain’t pretty but I love it when my playing partners call out “there’s an eye on that ball”. Of course there are other things that I do for consistent hits but not keeping my eye on the ball is a killer.  It keeps me from taking too much backswing and it forces me to STOP swaying back like a baseball batter windup.

2/ Never Gloat: Never talk or think about my success as it goes right to my head and kills my next hole.

3/ Stay in MY Mental Golf Zone:  It’s like a numb feeling or mental fog that keeps me calm and relaxed. On critical shots I mentally say “Sweep-In-Pose” to block out any other thought during my swing. “Sweep” for a wide takeaway, “In” to remind me to loop my club down at the top and lag before I swing inside up the slot and “Pose” to finish in balance and watch my amazing shot.

4/ Waggle to Relax: Use a take-away waggle (like Rickie Fowler) to ensure that I start my take-away with my spine and hip rotation. It also loosens up my body for a consistent take-away.

Get the feeling for weight forward by hitting balls with your weight forward. That shift will start to happen naturally during your backswing.

5/ Lag: I take my time in my backswing to ensure that I create my wrist lag as I shift my weight to my leading leg. [If I can’t slow down enough for my weight shift or “bump”, I just start my round with more pressure on my leading leg.  Eventually the rhythm and bump work their way into my natural backswing.]

6/ Special Setup for my Driver and Woods: Line up the center-line of the club face beyond the ball for a wide takeaway and “swing up the inside slot” (AKA Jim McLean’s mantra) to avoid hitting off the toe.

Create your critical swing factors and then put them to the test. Track your success on every hole by marking the corners of the square for each hole on your score card: Upper left mark a 1 for hitting the fairway, upper right corner mark 1 for GIR and lower right for number of putts. At the end of every round total these numbers and count your pars (birdies count as 2 pars). Compare your progress from round to round and keep track of your Personal World Record.

Of course GOLFSTR+ is the training aid that I use to help build a consistent swing for every club in my game. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Don’t Forget Your Brain When You Go Golfing

Golf is a game that we all love to play or you would not be reading this article. Golf is a challenge that we all enjoy because we have the mental and physical power within us to master our own minds to play a wonderful round of golf every time we play. We know this because we have all pared or birdied many holes in our lives. If we can do this on one hole why can’t we do it on every hole? That’s the challenge and that’s why we love this game. It really is a mental game so don’t forget your brain when you go golfing.

Every time we start a round of golf, we start with a different physical body condition and a new set of historic memories. Our physical activities and memories in the previous 24 hours, will impact the way our bodies and minds react for every new round of golf. That’s why you may often hear your golfing friends wonder out loud: “I wonder who’s going to show up today.” Or after an amazing first drive they say: “Who is that guy.”  Exercise or lack of exercise, mishits on the range or no range preparation and problems with your family or at the office are all baggage that you carry to the first tee. 

Ideas to Keep your Brain in GOLF MODE:
Build Confidence on the Driving Range: Start with a 60% swing speed with your short irons to feel your rhythm and your club head. Then increase your speed to 80% to build confidence in your swing. [Even if you don’t have time for the range, practice your iron swing and your driver swing as they really are 2 unique swings but both must be controlled with their own unique cadence.]

Sam Snead was so right. Get positive and make the shot.

1. Calm and Relaxed: User words like “Calm and Relaxed” to prepare your mind for the perfect swing cadence as you line up your shot.

2. Tense arms and wrists will only kill your shots: A relaxed mind and body are the only way to make a perfect golf shot. Use your setup time to drop your tight shoulders, focus on the shot that you want, take a deep breath & exhale and swing with a 2:1 cadence (with a backswing which is twice as long as your downswing).

3. Count Your Cadence: You may need to count 1, 2 during your backswing and 3 during your down swing. Saying words in your mind will prevent you from thinking any other thoughts. [I use the words: “Sweep-In-Pose” to anticipate the next movement in my swing: Sweep wide as I loop and lag my club from the inside and up my target line to a balance pose.]

4. Play Your Game: Remember that this is only a game between yourself and the course. Performance by others in your foursome can be impressive but you need to setup for the shot that you know that you have completed perfectly in the past. Make it YOUR shot.

5. Consistent Swing Tempo: It’s the only way to keep your shots consistently under control. Swinging with one speed for all of your longer clubs will allow you to keep your arms stretched to the same length at the point of impact.

Why not print this blog and take it with you for a quick review before you play or even when your game is going sideways. Get back on track. Have fun and enjoy those wonderful shots. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for every shot in your game. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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To Leave it In or Take it Out ?

It’s surprising that the new golf rule allowing players to leave the flag-stick in or out, is causing some soul searching for all golfers. Ultimately the decision is a preference for each golfer but you may want to consider the scientific facts to improve your score. On the other hand putting is a game of feel for the break. That flag stick in the hole may distort your mental feel for putting firmly to minimize break. Leaving it in or taking it out is a serious decision for every golfer.

 

A recent “Morning Read” blog by By Mike Purkey provided these comments:

Bryson DeChambeau is one of the few professional golfers who is keeping the flag-stick in for most of his longer putts.

1/ “Bryson DeChambeau raised eyebrows when he said that he would leave the flagstick in the hole almost always. He said it is an advantage. While he didn’t use the flagstick all the time at Kapalua, Sentry Tournament of Champions,.he still led the field in strokes gained putting that week.” [Of course his semi-anchored putter up his leading arm is helping too.]

2/ “Recently, European Tour player Edoardo Molinari did some research with three pros from his golf academy in Italy. They used a Perfect Putter training device and rolled putts with three different speeds and three different entry points into the cup, with the flagstick in and out, 100 putts with each combination. Their conclusion was that with slow speeds, there was no difference; medium speed was better with the flagstick out and; and with fast speeds, it was better with the flagstick in.”

Putting is Personal
Brandt Snedeker likes to use his caddie to hold the flag-stick in the hole for most putts as it gives him the feeling for distance and a stopping point.

Jack Nicklaus always tried to “die the ball into the hole” on lag putts. [Unfortunately 100% of his putts that were short, never sank.] On the other hand his short putt strategy was to putt through the hole to give every putt a chance to go in.

You really need to give every putt a chance to sink in order to lower your scores. Putts that are dead on line and stop short of the hole are very frustrating.

Any putt on a slope will break more as it slows down and the slower the putt the more the flaws and minor indentations near the hole will deflect your putt. A high percentage of golfers use their putters for balance as they bend to remove their ball from the hole and that unseen flaw remains near the hole all day long. Some ball speed at the hole gives you the best opportunity to keep your ball rolling with speed over a depression and into the hole.

I subconsciously putt to stop at the flag-stick when I leave the stick in the hole. I know that my short putts are missing because I hit for the flag-stick and not for the break. I need to putt with enough speed to past the hole by 10- 15 inches and plan for a less break at the hole.

In general you can benefit by keeping the flag-stick in for long putts and taking it out for the short ones. Downhill putts can really benefit with the stick in. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to lock your wrists during your putting stroke to hit more consistent straight putts. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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Is Your Shaft Length Killing Your Game?

We all know that a long tee shot will shorten our approach shot to the green. That’s why we pull out the big dog and prey that our planned draw will draw or fade will fad. Unfortunately it’s starting to look like the driver is the riskiest club in our bag. The pros know this and that’s why they drop to a fairway wood or an iron on most narrow holes. If the length of our driver shaft may be killing our drives, you may want to shorten up on the grip by 2 inches for better control.

Shorten Your Grip for Control and Speed:
I got this idea when I saw a Top Speed Golf Blog with suggestions to use when your game is falling apart. Clay recommended that we should choke-down on our driver by about 2 inches to create more consistent drives with better control. I know that golfers are using longer driver shafts to get more power and distance and that would be the opposite to sliding our hands down to shorten our shaft length.

PAY ATTENTION ! This is EARTH SHATTERING STUFF!
1/ Clay then demonstrated that he thought he would lose distance by gaining more control as he gripped down on his club. On the shortened grip his Trackman distance was over 300 yards. When he changed back to his normal grip near the end of the club, his club head speed increased by about 5 miles per hour but he lost 15 yards in distance. He chalked this up to a slight mishit on the face of the club. He did not reshoot the video which illustrated the opposite of what he expected. Better control of your impact point definitely give you more distance with your driver.

Rickie Fowler and many other pros choke down on their clubs for more control. You should too.

In reality, we should understand that finding a balanced rhythm using about 80% of our swing strength will most likely produce the best results for our driving distance. The pros on the Tour always keep about 15%-20% in “reserve”. Average handicappers tend to swing too hard and rarely catch the ball flush on the center line of the club face. [ALERT: Rory McIlroy was chocking down on his driver in the Kailua Tournament of Champions last weekend — for better control. ]

2/ John Richmond, a teaching pro on the Golf Channels Golf Academy demonstrates how he choked down on his driver grip; generated more club head speed; got better direction control and more distance. Again, this is contrary to the thinking of most professionals but as recreational players, you will really improve your game using a shorted grip on your driver by hitting more consistently on the center of your driver face.

Copy and paste his video in your browser:  https://www.golfchannel.com/video/richman-choke-down-more-distance

Case in Point:
Why do you think we often hit worse shots into the wind? The more wind we feel in our face and hear in our ears, the more our adrenaline increases. Our minds go into panic mode and we swing faster and harder. You don’t want to do this. It just happens. It’s a human reaction. Big mistake!

When hitting off the first tee or when playing into a strong head wind or cross wind, avoid over hitting by choking down on your club and making a nice controlled swing. It’s so much easier hitting your next shot off the short stuff. The next time you go to the driving range, loosen up, relax your shoulders, grip down 2 inches on your driver and swing at 80%. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ for every shot in your game. Enjoy controlling your shots and staying in the fairway. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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