Welcome to YOUR Swing Support Center, a blog with tips to help you transition to your new straight leading arm back-swing. This blog allows us to share information which we find in articles by golf professionals or success stories submitted by GOLFSTR users. These tips have helped me and I hope they help you too.

Bill Curry, inventor of GOLFSTR

Archives for the ‘YOUR Swing Support Center’ Category

Straight Arm for Drives and Short Shots too!

Let’s get realistic on what you can do with a straight leading arm in the back swing.

PUTTING accounts for about 43% of the strokes in an average golfer’s game.

OPPORTUNITY lies with the rest of your game.  You need to depend on a straight leading arm for consistent drives, approach shots and (yes even on your) chips.

I have been focusing on straight leading arm for my drives and approach shots.  Dropping any of these shots in the ruff or the water or the woods will not only waste a stroke to get back into the fairway but you also lose distance every time you leave the fairway.  That’s like losing 1.5 strokes for every poor shot.   If you average 1 mishit per hole that can cost you 27 strokes a round.

My point is that you can cut lower your score significantly just by keeping your shots in the fairway. 

I was recently reminded that consistent hits on those short approach shots are also dependent on “straight leading arm”.  We all get lazy in these shots, relaxing the leading arm and topping or blading the ball.

Gary in Nebraska recently emailed to say:  Just wanted to tell you that I love this product.  I have always worked hard to keep my arm straight but having some feedback is very helpful.  I am a 5 handicap but have a tendency to miss a lot of greens and I feel it is from my arm breaking down.  I am pretty good at getting up and down so score OK but think GOLFSTR will make me better and more consistent. 

So practice with your GOLFSTR to keep the ball in the fairway and hit more greens in regulation.  Get more consistent with your drives as well as your short shots using less back swing and a straight leading arm.

Happy New Year!!!

   . . . . and may the wind be behind every drive as you enjoy golf for another year!

PS    Thanks again for the wonderful comments and encouragement to promote GOLFSTR.  We are in Orlando shooting our Golf Channel Spots January 10 and will be showing them at the Orlando PGA Golf Merchandise Show January 23-26 in Booth 3711.

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Ben Hogan Had the Right Idea!

Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.    -Ben Hogan

So if Ben Hogan believed this, it must mean that the golf swing is not a natural motion.  The most powerful swing or the most consistent swing requires a lot more than walking up to the tee an’ let’er rip.

It took me 50 years to realize that I had to commit to learning a new swing.  Actually my wife was consistently whooping my butt in golf and I had to do something about it.  I was motivated.  Making a resolution for yourself is the most important part of improving your game.

We are approaching a 1000 GOLFSTRs sold on-line in the first year of sales.  Reactions from our customers have taught us a few things:

1/ Golfers who buy GOLFSTR  have made a commitment to make a real change in their game.  They want to lower their scores.

2/ Very few GOLFSTRs are returned but I can tell by the comments that they were looking for the instant fix.  They are not committed to make a change to a Straight Leading Arm in the Back-Swing.  Hogan points out that the golf swing is not natural and it requires effort to learn it.

3/ Changing to a straight leading arm in the back-swing is just a good starting point.  It also requires adjustment of many other bad habits.  That’s exactly why we decided to offer this weekly blog.

4/ The best feature of GOLFSTR is that you can wear it as you play a round of golf.  See improvement as you play.  It builds muscle memory and that is way we call it the portable pro.

Make your New Year’s resolution for an improved swing with Ben Hogan in mind.

Wishing a Happy New Year to All.        Hit’em long and straight.

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Is Your Mind 100% Focused on your Swing OR the GARMIN Contest WINNER ?

MY POINT:  You can’t talk and chew gum at the same time.  You can’t execute a swing correctly if you are not 100% focused on the swing.  Today I am announcing the winner of the signup promotion for YOUR Swing Support Center.   It’s a stretch to say that your mind may be wondering and thinking about the contest but the GOLF SWING CAN ONLY BE EXECUTED CORRECTLY IF YOUR MIND IS NOT WONDERING.

Are you thinking about keeping the leading arm straight in the back swing; that last bad shot; that buddy standing too close behind you; that comment made about the coffee stain down the front of your shirt or that stupid bird chirping over your head?  In this fast paced life our minds are trained to think rapidly.  Phones, computers and speed of transportation have moved our brains into warp speed.

The tension rises when you step up to make an important shot.  What am I talking about?  Every shot is important: driving, layups, pitching, chipping and putting.  Miss-hit one shot and you can’t possibly make par or bogey.

Rory McIlroy said that when he steps up to hit a ball he has trained his mind to think of nothing else but the process of hitting that ball with the power and direction and finesse that he plans.  His focus is intense.

THE TRICK:  I learned to trick my mind by repeating the identical sequence of words (in the back of my mind) so that I can’t be thinking about anything else.  By rehearsing these words and internalizing them I can only think about the motion and pace of the swing.  When I setup to the ball and relax my shoulders and hands I use the following words:

STRAIGHT ARM:  I think these words as a wake-up alert to focus before I begin my swing.

Sweep :                As I talk my club back with a deliberate slowed pace.

in:                           As I keep my lagging elbow bending in near my side (to open the club face).

aaaand;                 As I make the transition into the forward press and swing with wrists hinged.

Finish:                   As I swing from the inside across the ball to a balanced photo finish pose.

“STRAIGHT ARM . . . . . . . . Sweep in aaaand Finish”   [Where F in Finish is the point of impact.]

Just try saying these words and you won’t have time to think of anything else. 

CONTEST WINNER:  I just called the winner of the GARMIN S3 GPS Watch:  Laurence Schweichler in Caladonia, NY signed up for the contest on November 11 and he also told me that he purchased a GOLFSTR.   He was certainly pleased to hear of his win.  He said that he is a higher handicap golfer and that he has been trying GOLFSTR out by hitting into a net in his back yard & garage and he can see progress with his new swing (even with his jacket on).

Thank you to all who signed up for the Blog and I hope you are enjoying it.  You may also enjoy watching our progress with Shark Tank/ Dragon’s Den/ patent/ retail packaging so check out our Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/golfstr1

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This is not Baseball! What were you thinking?

Did you ever wonder why 80% of golfers can’t break 90?  [I mean legally break 90 – –  without tipping the ball out of a hole or “magically” finding THE ball or using the foot wedge or taking those 3 foot gimmies or taking that second shot with another ball – “anyone can hit the second one”.]

Think back to when you were a kid.  Did you take up baseball, cricket or golf first?   Yup, baseball is the reason why you have a natural tendency to bend your leading arm in the back-swing.  You swing a golf club the same way you swing a baseball bat.  Why not rest you club on your shoulder while you are at it?  Shake your head or as they say today “shut the front door”: THIS IS NOT BASEBALL.  It’s time to change those baseball habits and learn the proper swing.  Why not Swing Like a Pro?  Bent arm is not the way to go.

Ben Hogan said “the golf swing is totally unnatural”.  If you are comfortable with your old swing, get over it.  You really have to WANT TO CHANGE.  Nothing comes easy.  If you really want to improve your game and break an honest 90, then you need to commit to understanding the basics and change your old habits.  I bent my leading arm in the back swing for 50 years.  Of course I saw the pros with their straight leading arm and wanted to do the same thing. Of course I could occasionally swing with a straight arm but my mind always knew better and said “Hit it like a baseball, belt it out of here!”   My baseball swing seemed to always take over and out came those banana balls and duck hooks or left pulls.

You can change your bad swing habits if you can change your muscle memory.  You need to re-program your thoughts.  Who knew that this was a mental game.  (Those who don’t play the game agree, they all think we are mental — I digress.)   The key to your success is using a reminder to keep focused on the right swing.  That’s why GOLFSTR was invented as the PORTABLE PRO.  Playing with a reminder like GOLFSTR is a lot better than tying a string around your finger to help you remember.  When it lifts off the back of your arm, you instantly know that you are bending your arm or trying to take too much back-swing.   You need a constant reminder by playing 18 holes with your portable pro.  She is always there to remind you.

It takes time to change from that baseball swing to a golf swing.  Focus and you can make the change with your golfing buddy, the portable pro: GOLFSTR.

GOLFSTR’s an unfair advantage so you can’t use it while playing in a competition. 

Imagine what it will do for your game.”

SPECIAL NOTICE:   Hurricane Sandy and the Christmas mail rush seem to be causing delivery delays on the eastern side of the US.  Please be patient as we are now seeing deliveries of 2 to 3 weeks even though all shipments are out the door within 24 business days hours.  To improve delivery we will be shipping all future US orders from our Massachusetts warehouse by the end of December.  We thank you for your patience.

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Rory McIlroy’s Lag and Release

I mentioned in my last blog that I wanted to help you understand the “feeling” of the lag, wrist release and follow through.  Rory is a great example who we can all learn from.

The golf swing happens within a few seconds.  You can’t possibly plan each component of the swing as your mind can’t think that fast.  While reading Percy Boomer’s historic book “On Learning Golf”, I noticed that he describes the swing as knowing the right feeling for the swing.  This reminded me of the wonderful impression and feeling that we get when we watch a successful golfer in slow motion.  Understanding what the golfer is trying to do and then watching the motion really helps you feel the effort in the swing.

I found an amazing slow motion video of Rory’s swing on YouTube.  [Slo Mo of Rory’s swing]  Of course Rory, like most pros, swings with a straight leading arm in the back swing.    80% of the golfers in this world who would like to break 90 are wondering why they are not hitting the ball consistently.  That straight arm is just Rory’s starting point for consistency.  Rory does not need GOLFSTR as he learned the straight arm swing in his youth.  If you don’t have this natural feeling for the swing, GOLFSTR is a great Brain Trainer to help you make the change.

What Rory does so well in his downward motion is lagging the release of his wrists and moving the club head from inside to the outside (across the face of the ball) as he releases his wrists.  It’s like skipping a flat stone on water.  The wrist lag causes the burst of speed as they whip though the bottom of the swing and accelerate the club head to extreme speeds through the impact zone.

Practicing the swing to feel the lag and whip of the club head from the inside to outside is so critical for your success.  You can’t think it through.  You need to feel the motion that you want to achieve.

NOTE: If you enjoy these blogs please share them with your friends.   Please encourage them to add their name and email address in the blue box on the lower right side at www.golfstr.com  to subscribe and for a chance to win a GARMIN S3 GPS Watch.  [CONTEST DRAW DATE IS DECEMBER 20] 

GOLFSTR is also the perfect stocking stuffer.  The Portable Pro is easy to carry in your pocket, wear it as you play and see results.  It’s like having a reminder from your pro every time your swing.  Our Golf Channel ads says: “GOLFSTR is an unfair advantage.  Imagine what it will do for your game.”

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Why Does Ernie’s Swing Seem so Effortless?

Passionate golfers marvel at the power and distance professional golfers hit their drives.  That’s what keeps us glued to the Golf Channel and weekly tournaments on TV.  So where is all of that power coming from?

Professional golfers are athletes.  They train a lot more than recreational golfers so don’t expect to hit those amazing long shots like Ernie Els or Rory McIlroy or John Daly.  Strength, flexibility and technique are all major factors in their success in generating speed and distance.  Technique is the only component where this blog will be focusing today.  And GOLFSTR is designed to help you with muscle memory as well as technique.

So why does Ernie Els seems to swing with so little effort?  Straight leading arm in the back swing is a key starting point.  Rotation of the shoulders gives him added torque in his back-swing.  Length of the back-swing is so important.

But the real reason why his swing looks so effortless is that his power comes from the rotation of his wrists as his arms reach the bottom of his swing.  His wrists are accelerating the club from horizontal to the ground, through the ball and up to horizontal to the ground with very little movement of his arms.  The club head is moving 95% further than his hands.  You are seeing the effortless motion of his arms and losing sight of the whipping action of his hands and club head accelerating though the ball.

If you want to Swing Like a Pro (and Ernie), don’t release the hinge of your wrist until your arms start to approach the bottom of the arc in your swing.  Ernie, like all great golfers, delays his wrist release.  Others refer to it as lagging the release and snapping the wrist as if you are trying to throw a side arm pitch or skip a stone across water (more on this in the next blog).  No matter how you want to visualize this just make sure that you don’t start your forward swing by releasing your wrist at the top of the back swing.  Keep your leading arm straight and delay the wrist release.  You will be amazed at your improved distance.

 

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Hinge Your Wrist to Generate Power

Many golfers limit the power of their swing by limiting the hinge of their wrist in the back-swing.  The takeaway and back-swing must include a straight leading arm, lagging elbow near the ribs and a flat hinged wrist to generate power in the swing.

If you are having a problem hinging your wrist in the back-swing, you may want to try what we see in Dustin Johnson’s takeaway.   As he starts his takeaway, he rotates his wrist to the right and hinges or cocks his wrist so that the club face is open (pointing vertical to the ground).  By the time that his leading arm is horizontal to the ground his shaft is already cocked at a 90 degree angle to his leading arm.  By doing this you don’t have to think about cocking the wrist at the top of the back swing.

I’m only suggesting that you try this to understand the ideal position at the top of your back-swing.  Straight arm, club face open and shaft is 90 degrees to the arm.  I’m not talking about a John Daly back-swing.   Just limit your back-swing to the point where you still keep a straight leading arm or where GOLFSTR  just starts to release off the back of your arm.  You will be amazed by the power and results.

In time you need to incorporate the cocking of the wrist into your swing as a smooth motion in your back swing.  The Dustin Johnson example is not for everyone as it can create other problems.

As an exercise for a beginner golfer using GOLFSTR, I encouraged her to open her club face and just rotate her club to 90 degrees before she started her back-swing [YouTube video].  This is an exaggeration of the Dustin Johnson takeaway but it will help you see how it helped her.

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Straight Arm is ONLY a Key Component of your New Golf Swing

I am not a golf pro but much like Bubba Watson, I have developed my own swing.  What was I thinking?  Sure I have had lessons but I always fell back into my old habits of bending my leading elbow in the back swing and then coming over the top resulting in disaster.

My lesson at the end of 2010 (shown on the GOLFSTR website) clearly showed that I would never improve my game unless I put some real effort into making changes in my complete swing.  Yes, I developed GOLFSTR to force me to pay attention to the straight arm in the back swing and this was a key starting point but I quickly recognize that the swing is a chain of events.  There are so many things that can go wrong.   I dropped my handicap when I realized that my swing is a work-in-process.

Introducing:     YOUR SWING SUPPORT CENTER

GOLFSTR is just the starting point for your new and improved golf swing.   This BLOG ( which we will soon be changing to: Your Swing Support Center) will provide supporting ideas to help you change your swing.  Improving your swing requires much more than keeping your leading arm straight.  Have you seen the tips in my blog about bent lagging elbow and wrist hinge (see Sergio Garcia) for more consistent hits and power?  This blog will share the successes provided by others who are changing their swing to incorporate the STRAIGHT LEADING ARM.

It took me time to figure this out.  Shooting wonderful golf on many holes is only a starting point.  You need consistent golf for 18 holes for great scores.  GOLFSTR just helps you focus on one KEY component but you need to be committed to making changes in your overall swing to “Swing Like a Pro”.

Aging bodies will never swing with the flexibility of a young pro but it is in your best interest to swing LIKE  a pro.   We will cover topics about the  stance,  swing plane,  swing cadence, swing thoughts, swing lag and follow through.

Return to this site for your weekly fix and a chance to win a GARMIN APPROACH S3 GPS Watch.

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An unfair advantage – but who cares, as long as it works!

October 30, 2013  Dan Beaubien asked:  I’m inquiring about your “Straight Arm, Straight Shot” ad in Golf Magazine.  Please describe this product.  Is it a device that actually keeps the left arm straight (therefore probably not legal in competition) or something that trains the body to keep the arm straight?

Answer from Bill Curry:  You are right on both counts Dan.   GOLFSTR is used as a brain trainer to remind you to keep your leading arm straight in the back swing.  It does not restrain your arm in any way.  You just feel it come off the back of your upper arm if you bend your arm.   The wonderful benefit is that GOLFSTR builds muscle memory by wearing it as you play 18 holes and see your score drop.

On our User Guide and on our retail package we state: “ It gives you an unfair advantage so you can’t use it when playing in a competition.”

Why not use this “unfair advantage “ to learn your new swing and then enjoy your new and improved swing without wearing GOLFSTR.  If it was easy to change to a straight arm in the back swing you would have done it long ago.  I’ve had the bent arm problem for too long and finally decided to do something about.  If the pros can do it why can’t I?   Must be the steel plate lodged between my ears.  GOLFSTR was my solution and I hope it will be your solution too.

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Try Using a DRAW SWING to get rid of your Old Swing Habits

Your straight leading arm in the back swing is the key ingredient to help you correct your swing.

To help you change from an over the top swing, you may want to try positioning your feet for a draw swing with a closed stance [point your leading foot directly at the hitting line (not flared) and your lagging foot shifted 1 or 2 inches back from the hitting line].  Keep your lagging elbow bent near your side.  Sergio Garcia points out that this helps you swing from inside to out (to eliminate those crazy slices).

After getting the feel for your new inside to out swing, your swing pattern will change and you may want to eliminate the draw stance or minimize it.  Just change back to a normal in-line stance but keep your club coming from the inside instead of over the top.

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