Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bad information on Golf Fix

      Last night I turned to the Golf Channel and Michael Breed was on with the Golf Fix. He was demonstrating a drill using a coat hanger to help players consciously delay their hand action right to up to impact. He said this "late hit" drill would help players increase their club head speed.

      When I saw this I couldn't help but think of the thousands of weekend golfers now standing in front of their TV's  attempting to "hit late". Unfortunately they will not be swinging faster, but just the opposite. Why? Because of what they are all doing wrong. They are now trying not to hit the ball!

     Yes, I know you're going to say, "but Steve I have seen high speed camera pictures of the tour player's swings half way through the downswing. It shows the hands almost opposite the ball and the club head still up near the right shoulder. I must try and copy this position if I'm ever going to play better."

     You and Michael Breed couldn't be more wrong! To explain myself please consider the following points:

1. Until technology brought us the high-speed camera no one had ever heard the phrase "late hit." There is no reference to it with early accomplished players or in their books or teachings.

2.  The speed of our reaction time ( the brain's message to our muscles ) is such that any deliberate attempt to hold back the club artificially until a certain moment inhibits a natural swinging motion. The delayed release seen in the pictures is the "effect" of the player's lower body action during the transition from backswing to forward swing. It is not "caused" by a deliberate holding back of the hands and wrists. When the weekend player makes a deliberate effort to "hit late" it will have the opposite effect - he inhibits the speed of the club head rather than increasing it.

3. Authors of golf books and instructional articles are accomplished players. They developed  excellent hand and wrist action by learning the game at an early age and playing and practicing their entire lives. Over a long period of time their hands and wrists become so strong and lively that their shots become are erratic if they work independently of their body action. Because their athletic body action helps give them control a sense of delaying the wrist action is often the feeling they have.

4. Most average players do not have the physical gifts or trained muscles to attempt any inhibited or delayed actions in their golf swing. They need to generate more club head speed, not to diminish it. They need all generate all the "swoosh" they can into their swing, and eliminate anything that will reduce the free swinging of the arms and club head through the ball. Leaning to control this speed is important but the first step is to actually develop it. For almost all players any attempt to "hit late" will certainly reduce the speed of the club head at the ball.

     Very few players should try to improve their swing by slowing down the club head. Instead the average player needs to feel that he is moving the club head as fast as possible towards the back of the ball. They should be trying to generate maximum club head speed with their arms. In doing so the hands and wrists will do their part.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Demo Days are here at Golf Rx

     Golf Rx now offers demo clubs and sets of irons for our customers to take to the golf course. We have demo drivers, fairways, hybrids and complete iron sets from Ping and Callaway Golf. Come by to see our complete inventory of demos.

     Just arriving at Golf Rx are the new TRUElinks wear golf shoes for 2015. TRUElinks are the most comfortable golf shoes you've ever worn. We have both men and ladies' models in stock. To learn more about TRUElinks visit www.TRUElinkswear.com . We also have the new Golf Buddy WT5 Golf GPS Watch and BB5 Golf GPS Band. These newest models come pre-loaded with over 37,000 courses, and offer various color options. To see the new models visit www.golfbuddyglobal.com.

      Spring is the perfect time to have your clubs evaluated. Call and schedule a Club Fitting Checkup. Steve will provide a complete club fitting evaluation to make sure you are getting the most of your clubs. Golf Rx also has a full service club repair department offering re-gripping, re-shafting, loft & lie adjustment and frequency matching.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Custom Fit or Off the Rack

Custom Fit or Off the Rack

The next time you go to the golf course or driving range, take a moment to observe how different golfers are in their size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics.  Then stop and think how golf clubs have always been sold to all these different golfers. All the different models and brands are displayed on the wall already built to a predetermined set of specifications by the respective company. It makes about as much sense as a men’s clothing store stocked with all brands of suits, but they are all a size 42 long.
If a sports store sold bats the same way golf shops sell golf clubs, no baseball or softball player would ever buy a bat there. Why? Because baseball and softball players all know to be able to hit the ball to the best of their ability, they need to use a bat that has the right length, right weight, right handle diameter to match the player’s size, strength, athletic ability and swing.
Golf Clubs sold off the rack are built to one series of standard specifications because it would be far too difficult for the golf companies to make all the different combinations of custom fitting specifications that golfers needs. It would be too expensive for the golf retail stores to stock all the different brands in the different custom fitting options that golfers would need to fit their swings. So golf clubs have remained a “one size fits all” business and golfers have been led to never question it.
That’s too bad because within this more convenient business model of the golf equipment industry, golfers are getting the short end of the stick. When custom fitting is performed by a knowledgeable, experienced fitter golfers can feel and see visible shot improvement and play to the best of their ability.
Golf is a difficult game to master. But anyone who was reasonably good in sports when they were in school should be able to hit golf shots with more than a 50% success rate. The problem is that a population of golfers that are very different from each other in their size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics simply cannot play their best using golf clubs which are all built to one series of standard specifications.
During a television interview aired on The Golf Channel, Tiger Woods as asked what he noticed the most about the amateurs he plays with in pro-am events. His response was that he sees very few golfers who are ever custom fit with clubs. In a 2011 interview with Golf Magazine, Nick Faldo made the comment that 98% of all the golfers he encounters do not play with golf clubs that are fit to match their swings. 

Taken for Tom Wishom’s book, Search for the Perfect Golf Club.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Now is the time to improve your game

      What a strange time of the year. Ice and snow warnings for tomorrow and  Daylight Savings Time starts four days later. Believe it or not Spring is almost here so now is the time to get your game together.
       Most players I work with set a goal each year. They want to finally break 90, cure their slice or improve their short game. Having a goal is a great idea, but you need a plan to help you reach it. Otherwise your goal is just a dream. I have been giving golf lessons for 30 years and correcting swing faults is just part to my job. The other is developing a plan to help players reach their goal.
     Let's say your goal this year is to break 90 for the first time. The first thing I will do is find out what part of your game is preventing you from scoring in the 80's. It may be erratic driving resulting in too many penalty strokes. You may get near the green in two or three shots, but then take five or six strokes to get the ball in the hole.
    Once I know where the weak link is we can develop a plan to you improve those particular areas. This will include a diagnosis of what is causing the mishit, explaining it to you in terms you can understand, then demonstrating the correct motion.
     I often use drills that will help you feel the new and correct motion. Finally I will develop a productive practice regiment to help you improve your skills and consistency. A goal is a great idea, but without a well thought out plan it will remain simply a dream.