Thursday, December 22, 2011

Observations about the golf swing

Here are some of my thoughts regarding the golf swing that may be of benefit to you as the new golf year approaches.

We call it a golf swing because that's what it is. Regardless of what you may think you swing the club with your arms.

The arm swing is allied to the shoulder windup in the backswing and the hip unwind in the downswing.

The shoulders should turn 90 degrees during the backswing.

In beginning the backswing "One Piece" simply means nothing working independently. It is a correlated movement - The shoulders turn smooth and the arms swing freely.

The two most common faults of the backswing are:

1. Picking the club up by lifting your shoulders.

2. Using independent hand action to either roll the face open or hold it shut.

"Hitting from the top"is a common flaw in the downswing that prevents the arms from working and swinging. It results from one of two faults:

1. Prematurely turning or spinning the shoulders into the shot. Also known as the "shoulder heave".

2. Prematurely uncocking the wrists - A jerking attempt to force the clubhead to the ball with the hands.

Both result from insufficient or "late" arm swing on the way down.

Players suffering from a lack of power or poor balance should have one simple thought at the top of the backswing: "Start down with your arms, make your arms swing the clubhead down and through the ball.."

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a better golf game in 2012.

Steve K.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Understanding the importance of the arms in the release

The better your "release" the more powerful, solid and accurate your shots. You hear the term used constantly in golfing circles and by television commentators. So what exactly is the "release?"

I would best describe it as a free and fast swinging of the clubhead through the ball by the hands, wrists and arms with the emphasis on "the arms". The reason the arms must swing freely is simple. When they do we are able to apply the clubhead to the ball at our maximum speed. When they don't we are generally forced to apply ourselves to the ball; the free and fast swinging of the arms is replaced by a heave of the shoulders. It is this shoulder heave, a hurling of the torso into the shot that limits so many players from reaching their distance potential.

Here is a simple drill that I have found helps more than any other to promote the feel of a free arm swing and a proper release. This drill is to hit balls with your feet together. In this position it is practically impossible to make a shot other than with a free swinging of the arms, hands and clubhead, because any excessive use of the body leads to complete loss of balance.

Tee the ball up slightly and use a five or six iron. You'll be amazed how solidly you'll hit the ball and the distance the ball travels. This drill will help you develop the proper action of the arms and hands which is present in every good golfer's swing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Pocket Caddy makes a great stocking stuffer

Steve's latest book, "The Pocket Caddy" makes the perfect stocking stuffer for the golfer on your list this Christmas. This handy quick reference manual discusses twenty of the most common faults and shot problems of the weekend player.
Steve begins each topic with a simple and clear explanation of the cause of the fault. He then explains how to correct it accompanied by detailed pen and ink illustrations and diagrams. "The Pocket Caddy" guides players through common faults and shot problems right on the course or practice tee, and will be a welcome addition to their golf bag.
To order copies of "The Pocket Caddy" call Steve at Golf Rx at (615) 288-4539 or email him at Steve's first two books, "The Dimpled Sphere" and "Why Bad Swings happen to Good People" are also available at the store or online at Amazon. com.
Golf Rx offers gift certificates as well for instruction, equipment and club repair services and can purchased at the store.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The New American Christmas Tradition

As the holidays approach, the Asian factories are busy providing Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.
Wouldn't it be nice if this year we all gave a gift produced by American hands? "But what's American made?" you say.
Well, everyone gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or golf lessons from a local PGA Professional.
There are tons of owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates.
Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Great Buys on Golf Bags

Right now we have some great buys on golf bags at Golf Rx. We have a great selection of carry bags from Ogio and Ping in stock.
The Ogio Helios Bag features a 9 inch six way top, suspension strap system, fleece lined valuables pocket and is made of lightweight hex ripstop material. This bag is regularly $149.00 on sale for $109.00.
We have Ping bags all on sale including the 4 Under, Lattitude V2 and Hoofer C-1. Golf Rx can special order any bag or accessory from Ping, Igio, Callaway, Taylor Made and Adams Golf.
We also carry U.S. Kids Golf complete sets. Call or stop by today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When it comes to grips, one size does not fit all..

Just for fun next time you visit a retail golf store ask the clerk why they offer gloves in sizes from small to extra large, but their rows and rows of clubs all have the same size grip. Be prepared for an awkward response.

If you're like the majority of golfers you're probably not aware that grips are available in a variety of sizes, materials and shapes.

Why is it important to fit grip size?

The proper grip size gives a golfer a comfortable feeling at address and control during the swing without inhibiting his wrist action through the impact area. A proper grip feel also enhances how the golfer mentally perceives the club which adds confidence.

Grips that are too large can decrease clubhead feel, inhibit wrist action and cause a player to choke down where the grip diameter is smaller and feels better. This effectively shortens the club and reduces swing speed.

Grips that are too small may cause the clubhead to twist at impact because the player cannot get a firm hold on the club, or squeeze the club too tightly to "hold on" to the club, thus inhibiting his wrist action before impact. It may also cause the player to hold the club too far out on the end where the grip is larger, thus increasing his chances of "losing" the club at the top of the backswing and reducing control.

How to determine proper grip size.

The best way to fit grip size is to have the player take his normal grip on the club. Next, remove the right hand only from the club, and with the left hand remaining in the same grip position, bring the club up so that the fingertips of the left hand are visible. If the fingertips dig into the palm, the grip size is too small. If the fingertips barely touch or just miss touching the heel portion of the palm, the grip size is correct. If the fingertips are separated by more that 1/8" from the heel portion of the palm, then the grip size is too large.

Keep in mind that specialty grips are also available such as arthritic grips. These grips are designed to feel softer and install to a much larger size under both the right and left hand. The softer feel and larger size allows it to be more easily held during the swing while exerting less hand pressure than would normally be required.

Often players are not aware of the poorly transmitted grip feel by using a too small a grip, too large a grip, or in most cases, a slick or hardened worn out grip. Sometimes the size is correct and the grip is new, but the player may experience another grip material or style that he likes better based on personal preference.

Grips play an important role in the club fitting process as they provide the golfer his only physical contact with the club. If you have questions about your grips or are considering re-gripping your clubs stop by Golf Rx and talk to Steve. His response will be anything but awkward...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The anatomy of a lesson

Students are often curious and sometimes a little nervous about taking a golf lesson. As a player myself who has taken lessons I can relate to those feelings. I hope to ease those concerns by outlining for you the format of my lessons. But before I discuss that let me explain why the golf ball itself is your best teacher.

First, a golf ball is brutally honest and never lies. On every shot it tells you exactly what your clubhead was doing at impact. Also known as "Ball Flight Laws" this is extremely important information and is the basis for long term improvement to your game.

The second reason why the golf ball is such a good teacher is it doesn't care about your particular technique. It doesn't know or care if your grip is "weak" or "strong", if your swing plane is "flat" like Matt Kuchar or "upright" like Jack Nicklaus. Nor is it concerned with your posture, alignment or ball position. All that matters to the golf ball is what the clubhead does to it.

By watching the flight of the ball I know exactly what the student's clubhead is doing at impact. This is extremely helpful information in order to show the student what they must do in their technique in order to improve their shots. It is also a much more personal application than some rigid "method teaching" meant to fit all players into the same mold.

A student must first understand that their shots, whether good or bad, are determined by the impact conditions. Which direction was the clubhead moving when it contacted the ball? Was the clubface facing to the left or right, or straight down the club path? Was the clubhead moving down, up, or parallel to the ground at impact? Was it moving at a relatively fast or slow speed?

With this explained you will have a better understanding of my teaching format which contains three parts - Diagnosis, Explanation and Correction.

First, I watch my students hit a few shots standing directly down their target line. This allows me to see the path of the clubhead as it moves through the impact area. I also see the ball's flight including the initial direction and any subsequent sideways curve. The ball's flight combined with observing the clubhead's path tells me where the clubface was facing at impact. At this point I am able to make a diagnosis based on what the club is doing to the ball and what the player is doing to the club.

Second, I give the student an explanation of what the club is doing at impact as well as what it should be doing in order to improve his or her shots. I may hit a shot or two reproducing the student's impact conditions resulting in a similar ball flight. Then I'll hit a shot or two with proper impact conditions to show the student how an improved condition will similarly improve his or her shots.

Third, I explain to the student what correction techniques will improve their impact conditions. Often I will demonstrate the correction accompanied by a drill or practice tip that will further simplify the student's effort.

This is not to say that our impact conditions aren't determined by the way we grip the club, set up to the ball and actually swing. They certainly are. What I am saying is that the flight of the ball greatly assists you in knowing what you should change in your technique in order to improve your shots.

In closing I would offer this advice to amateur and weekend players. Never accept a piece of instruction, no matter how impressive the presentation, without first asking just how this advice will improve your clubhead's impact with the ball.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why are the pros going to the long putters?

Anyone who has watched tournament golf lately has noticed the enormous popularity of belly putters and long putters. In fact Keegan Bradley was the first player to win a major championship using a belly putter. When asked their reason for switching the players all came to the same conclusion. They feel more confident and are making more putts.

The biggest reason for poor putting is a stroke that is too wristy. This not only prevents solid contact with the ball, but also alters the alignment of the putter face at contact. The longer putters create a one-lever system which essentially eliminates the possibility of the wrists breaking down. The putts are hit solid every time creating a better roll. These putters are weighted heavier as well which minimizes the putter head twisting on off center hits.

If you struggle with your putting especially inside ten feet you may want to try a longer putter. We have a large selection of traditional and longer putters at Golf Rx. We can also modify your existing putter into a belly putter that will be custom fit for you for only $45.00.

Just arrived are the Adams Golf Idea Pro and Idea Tech V3 Hybrids and the Ping G20 Driver. Stop by soon and let us know what we can do to help your game.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Four Steps to Improving your Game

At first this may sound like a generalization to improving one's golf game, but speaking from experience I would say these four steps are vital.

Step 1. Evaluating your swing

The vast majority of tour players have instructors to turn to when things begin going wrong. The reason is simple: They can't see themselves and even if they could an experienced and competent teacher is better suited to evaluate the video. Weekend amateurs are certainly no exception to this. Locate a PGA Professional in your area and let him determine what is causing your shot problems, and develop a personal plan to help you correct your swing faults. This way your practice time becomes productive rather than further ingraining the same flaws.

Step 2. Short Game

The fact is whether your handicap is 2 or 32 approximately 65% of your strokes during a round of golf are from inside 70 yards. Again let your PGA Professional help you learn the proper techniques for less than full approach shots, bunker shots, chipping and putting. Then agree to devote two thirds of your practice time to the short game. This is the quickest way to lower your scores.

Step 3. Properly Fitted Equipment

We all have heard the saying, "It's not the arrow, but the Indian", but I can assure you if you're playing with antiquated or ill fitted equipment you're at a distinct disadvantage. Modern day equipment is light years ahead in terms of game improvement design and forgiveness. All major manufacturers now offer custom fitted equipment for the masses. Locate a PGA Professional that offers custom fitted equipment and make an appointment. You wouldn't buy a suit off the rack without trying it on, nor should you invest in new equipment with being custom fit.

Step 4. Course Management / Rules

Even if you could hit it like Jack Nicklaus you would still have to learn to think like him. Make an appointment with your PGA Professional for a 9 hole playing lesson. Not only will this give him an opportunity to evaluate your ball striking, but your decision making as well. I often see weekend players make a big number on a hole not because of a bad tee shot, but because of a bad decision on the following shot. Your professional can help you improve your decision making, strategy and course management skills.

Believe it or not the rules of golf are not designed to penalize a player, but rather to explain the options when in a particular situation. Knowing the basic rules makes the game more enjoyable and will often save you strokes as well as time when on the course. "The New Rules of Golf" by Tom Watson and Frank Hannigan is an excellent book with plenty of photographs and diagrams making the rules easier to understand.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Whatever happened to Customer Service?

When is the last time your called a business and an actual human being answered?

Most likely you got a recorded message followed by options to press 1 or 2 or 3. A computer voice asks your account number and then informs you the approximate waiting time to talk to a customer service representative is 15 minutes. Sound familiar?

When you call Golf Rx you're going to hear, "Golf Shop, this is Steve". That's because I answer every call personally, just like the old days.

You are going to talk directly to me everytime you call Golf Rx. Whether it's to make an appointment for a lesson, club fitting or if you have a question about club repair or your equipment.

Old fashioned customer service is alive and well at Golf Rx. If you're in the neighborhood drop by for a cup of coffee and visit for a while. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flex your right knee, then coil against it

One of the most common faults I see with players is starting the downswing with their arms and shoulders rather than their lower body. This is often a cause and effect problem with the cause being an out of position right knee. Let me explain.
Regardless of your skill level it is imperative that you coil into the right knee when making your backswing. The right knee serves as the anchor which provides the resistance against the coiling of your upper body in the backswing. If the right knee collapses or straightens the resistance is lost
The two errors are locking the right knee where the left knee moves out toward the ball, and buckling the right knee where the player's weight moves to the outside of the right foot. Both faults lead to a poor turn forcing the player to start down with the upper body.
To correct this focus on flexing your right knee at address then retain the flex all the way to the top of your backswing. A sign that you've done it correctly is feeling some tension inside your right thigh as your trunk coils against it.
A good drill is to turn your right foot in at address about fifteen degrees then make some swings. You'll quickly feel the resistance in your right knee against the winding of your upper body. This in turn creates tremendous power delivered to the club head as your legs and hips unwind in the downswing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Hitting from the top"

"Hitting from the top" a fault seen often with higher handicappers is best described as an aggressive or too quick change of direction in an attempt to hit at the ball. Described as "swinging over the top" this jerky swing characterized by an overactive head and right shoulder leads to a loss of power and accuracy. The player lunges forward with their upper body forcing the club to approach the ball too steeply from outside the normal plane often resulting in sliced and pulled shots.

The transition from the top of the backswing into the downswing establishes the rhythm of the swing as is evident when watching a good player. There is no urgency to hit the ball from the top, but rather a smooth coordinated movement of the club and body which allows the acceleration of the club head to peak at impact. Because the lower body initiates the downswing in one synchronized motion it produces a swinging motion of the arms and club which appears effortless.

I would recommend this drill to improve the tempo of your swing during the transition from backswing to downswing. Using a 6 or 7 iron with the ball teed up slightly and your feet only a few inches apart hit a few shots. Swing the club back smoothly and let your lower body unwind to initiate the downswing. Focus on a fluid transition allowing the club to fall before releasing it through the ball. Keep your head steady as your downswing starts which will allow the club to approach the ball from the inside, on a shallower plane resulting in more solid contact with the ball.

After hitting a few balls you will begin to sense the swinging to the club head through the ball rather than hitting at it. Best of all your swing will feel effortless and your shots will fly straighter.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Custom Fit Clubs?

Players will often ask me if custom fit equipment will help them play better golf. The answer is always a definite "yes". Consider this example.
Bill and Joe are both wanting to buy new clubs. Bill is 6' 3" tall, has a clubhead speed of 105 mph and is an 8 hdcp. Bill is 5' 8" tall, has a clubhead speed of 83 mph and is a 23 hdcp. There is absolutely no way these two players should be playing the same club. If they are neither player will play up to their potential.
Unfortunately this often occurs because players aren't informed by the sales person that custom fit clubs are available for the same price as off the rack sets. Think about it. You wouldn't purchase a new suit without trying it on first. So why would you invest in new golf equipment without first being custom fit for them?


Golf Rx proudly offers custom fit golf equipment from Ping, Callaway, Taylor Made, Adams Golf and US Kids Golf. Steve personally fits each customer to the right specifications to help them play their very best. He determines the correct length, shaft type and flex, lie angle, grip size and set make up for your stature and swing characteristics.
Golf Rx is also an authorized PGA Trade-in Facility which allows you to trade in your old clubs for credit towards your new custom fitted clubs. We also have a great selection of putters and wedges from Ping, Callaway, Odyssey, Taylor Made and Bettinardi as well as bags from Ping and Ogio.
Golf Rx is also a full service club repair facility for re-gripping, re-shafting and loft and lie adjustments.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Teaching Philosophy

Personally I think many players make the game more complicated than it really is. The only purpose of the golf swing is to move the club through the ball square to the target at maximum speed. How this is done is not that important as long as the method allows it to be done repetitively. This is my number one priority and it is the basis on which I teach the golf swing.

Most players of an earlier era were introduced to the game through caddying. By watching and trying to copy the action of better players they developed their own swing. About the only "static" positions early golf professionals would teach were a proper grip and address posture. The lesson itself was demonstrated in one continuous motion emphasizing a steady head and fast moving arms and hands.

Not until new technology came along were instructors and players able to "freeze" the swing at various not before seen stages and positions. Soon players anxious to improve were pouring over books and magazines attempting to emulate the still positions of touring professionals. In my opinion this is where problems begin for many weekend players attempting to improve their game.

Players should realize the cure is not going to be found in swing “positions”. Rather it is in developing a grip and swing that delivers the clubface square to the swing path at impact. Once players accomplish this their natural adjustments become correct ones. If you do one thing right in the golf swing it will lead to another right thing. Do one thing wrong and it will lead to another wrong

My objective is to help players swing the club head so that at impact it is traveling along the target line and facing the target. Their shots are straight and solid and not a word about “slide the hips”, “stay inside”, “hit late” and so on.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What is a correct grip?

I do not agree with the many books and teachers that suggest there is only one way to hold a golf club. Everybody has a correct grip but it isn't found in placing your hands on the club in a "standard" position. Instead it is finding a grip that enables you to square the club face to your swing path at impact when swinging at normal speed.

The basic grip of placing the hands and fingers in a certain manner became widely accepted because it made squaring the club face to the swing path easiest for the majority of players. This is a good place to start but most players will need to experiment to find the right grip for them. Again, that is a grip that delivers the club face square to your swing path at impact with normal speed.

Start with the "Vs" formed by the thumb and forefinger of each hand pointing midway between your nose and right shoulder. If your longer shots curve to the right then your club face is open (aimed right of your swing path) at impact. To square the club face move both your hands further to the right or clockwise. If your shots curve left then your club face is closed (aimed left of your swing path) at impact. To square the club face move both your hands further to the left or counter-clockwise.

You have found the right grip when your longer shots fly straight even though you may still be pulling the ball left or pushing it right of the target. No curvature on your shots tells you the club face is square to the swing path at impact.

Don't be afraid to experiment with finding the correct grip position for your particular physical make up and swing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

If you're confused try two turns and a swing

I often find my students making the golf swing more complicated than it actually is. Although this may sound like an oversimplification the golf swing is really nothing more than two turns combined with an arm and hand swing.

If you're struggling with your game or are caught up in too many mechanical thoughts I would suggest you play your next few rounds based on "Two turns combined with an arm and hand swing".

Rather than thinking of the backswing as a serious of intricate movements consider it simply as the first turn. Focus only on moving your right shoulder out of the way as your hands and arms swing the club back and up. Do the same with the downswing by thinking of it as the second turn. That is simply moving your hips out of the way as your hands and arms swing the club down and through the ball.

As long as you have a correct grip and set up and can swing around a steady head while keeping your feet firmly on the ground in the backswing this simple mental exercise will clear your mind and could dramatically improve your shot making.

You'll also learn that the golf swing really isn't that complicated a movement. The key in the golf swing is coordinating the the turns with the swinging of the club rather than trying to place the club in certain exact "positions" along the way.

You may think of this as an oversimplification but the one thing I have found out through twenty five years of teaching the game is the less you're thinking while making a golf swing the better you'll play.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tee Shots - Lack of Distance

Obviously length off the tee gives players a huge advantage over their shorter hitting competitors. Longer drives allow you to hit shorter irons into the greens giving you opportunities for more birdies and lower scores. Players often fail to maximize on their distance potential not because of their lack of strength or club head speed, but rather because of their set up with the driver.

In order it hit long, high flying tee shots a player must create a sweeping motion that strikes the ball while the club head is ascending or on the upswing. Unfortunately many players address their tee shots in the same manner as if they were hitting an iron. Their weight is favoring their left side, their hands are forward and the ball is positioned back in their stance. This setup creates a steep, downward angle of attack on the ball in the downswing resulting in a weak glancing blow and a loss of power. Topped or skied shots are often the result.

I recommend making these adjustments in your address to improve your impact and trajectory. Tee the ball higher and more forward so the ball is opposite the instep of your left foot. Widen your stance slightly and put 60 percent of your weight on your right side. Your head and hands will now be slightly behind the ball. Keep your grip relaxed so your arms feel soft and not rigid.

This new set up creates a wide arc and full shoulder turn so that your upper body is fully coiled behind the ball at the top of your swing. The increased coil allows for the natural transition back to your left side and the club to accelerate through the ball on a more ascending path.

Keep your head behind the ball through impact so that you feel you are sweeping the ball off the tee without removing the tee from the ground. Practice this new set up and swing feel, and you'll soon be hitting shorter irons into the greens with more birdie opportunities.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why do we swing so fast ?

I would estimate of the thousands of lessons I have given to amateurs at least 50 percent of them swing the club too fast. I have found there are basically two reasons for this.

First amateurs have not had proper instruction on the mechanics of the golf swing. They haven't learned to properly coil and uncoil the bigger muscles, but rather make an instinctive quick flailing motion with their hands.

The second reason for an overly fast swing would be anxiety. This anxiety causes amateurs to rush their swing in order to see where the shot goes or just to get the swing over with. In either case the results are almost always bad.

Here are few mental and physical exercises to help you slow your swing down and give it time to function properly.

1. Make a slow practice swing. On the practice tee before hitting a full shot make two very slow practice swings at no more than 75 percent of the speed of your normal swing. Then step up the ball and try to hit the shot at the same pace - say 75 percent of your normal pace. You may be surprised by hitting the most solid shot of the day.

2. Keep your backswing and downswing speeds the same. Many players who swing too fast may not be quick taking the club back, but get extremely fast coming down. Therefore their backswings and downswings don't match. When this happens you can't fully utilize your lower body in the downswing. Make an effort to keep your backswing and downswing speeds the same by swinging your arms down and through the ball at the same pace which you brought them back.

3. Hit shots with your feet together using your 6 iron with the ball teed up slightly. You'll quickly learn that you must swing in balance or you'll fall over, and that in order to stay balanced you must make a slow and smooth swinging motion. Don't worry how far the shots go although you may be surprised at their distance because you hit the shots squarely.

Amateurs can eliminate a lot of faulty shots by simply learning to slow their swings down. With practice these exercises will help you realize that by swinging in a more leisurely fashion you are allowing the centrifugal force built up in the shaft and clubhead to release through the impact zone.

A good thought is to swing the clubhead through the ball rather that hitting at the ball. Try these drills and you'll soon be surprised how solidly you strike the ball and how much farther you hit it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Effective practice is about quality not quantity

So you just finished hitting 150 balls to improve your game and lower your scores. Well think about this first. An average golf swing takes 1 1/2 seconds. 150 X 1.5 seconds = 225 seconds. Divide that by 60 seconds and you just practiced for a little over 3 1/2 minutes. In my opinion that's not much time to learn a new skill.

Learning proper swing mechanics is essential to play good golf, but you'll master those mechanics faster if you work on them without a ball. If golf were simply about knowing rather than doing wouldn't the teaching professionals be beating the touring professionals?

The only way to permanently learn a motor skill is through repetition, you can't do it without a lot of practice. But it needs to be the right kind of practice. Standing on the practice tee hitting a pile of balls and trying to learn to make a good golf swing simply doesn't work.

Students learn faster if they work on mechanics without the distraction of trying to hit the ball at the same time. With a ball in front of them students worry too much about performance and not enough about learning, seeing and feeling their swing.

As an instructor I have learned to use various props to enhance students visual feedback and develop feel in their swing. These tools help students develop sound fundamentals and to learn by feel without the distraction of trying to perform at the same time.

Students are then able to work on their swing without going to the practice range. Rather they can work on their swing mechanics during a coffee break or in their hotel room when traveling.

Quick fixes may offer you instant gratification but you'll suffer long term consequences. Making a long term commitment may require temporary inconvenience but the benefits are permanent improvement.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh, and just one more thing...

On a recent wintry Sunday afternoon I dropped by a bookstore to do some browsing, and as usual decided to scan through a golf magazine. This particular one was the February issue of Golf Digest highlighting the "hottest" clubs for 2011.

I was also happy to count no less the 24 (yes, that's right, twenty four) swing tips in the issue. I say happy because these magazines keep my lesson book full. I can't tell you how many times I have a student arrive with a very confused look and newly contorted swing due to their recent reading of a golf magazine. The first thing I do is hit the "delete" button in their brain before helping them get their swing back on track.

If you enjoy the game with a desire to improve (and who doesn't) the absolute worst thing you can do is read golf magazines, watch the Golf Channel and listen to "Helpful Henry" who is hitting balls next to you. Here is why:

1. Most magazine articles are written by touring professionals who are trying to not hook the ball. Most weekend amateurs are trying to keep the ball from going right.

2. Your body can only carry out so many commands from your brain within a given time period. The average golf swings takes 1 1/4 seconds. Think about it..

3. 90 percent of the articles or topics have absolutely nothing to do with what's causing your shot problems.

Find a PGA Professional in your area with a good reputation. If you don't already know one ask around at your local courses or golf shops. Believe me if a teacher is worth his salt their name will come up repeatedly. Let your instructor determine what areas of your game need attention. He will set up a lesson plan based on your individual needs and goals.

There is no quick fix when it comes to the golf swing. The best formula for long term improvement is a competent instructor, properly fitted equipment and an effective practice regiment. And oh yes, stick to People or National Geographic.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Now is the time for a Winter Check Up

Winter is a great time to get a check up of your golf game and your equipment. Golf Rx offers a private and comfortable learning environment during these cold months when outdoor activity is limited.

You can have your swing reviewed using our V1 Digital Video System. The saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" is certainly appropriate in regards to improving your swing.

We also offer a free winter check up for your equipment. We'll evaluate your clubs to insure they are properly fit for your stature and swing characteristics. Factors include length, shaft material and flex, loft & lie angle,grip size and set make up.

If adjustments are needed they can be done with same day service on re-gripping and loft and lie adjustments, and next day service on re-shafting.
If you simply want to get in some practice on our Full Swing Golf Simulator call us at 288-4539 and make a reservation. You can also choose to play a variety of golf courses in a comfortable 72 degree environment.

If you're in the market for new clubs this year we proudly custom fit Callaway, Taylor Made and Adams Golf Clubs. We also accept trade-ins.
If you have any questions give us a call or better stop by Golf Rx for a cup of coffee and we'll discuss how we can help your game for 2011.