Stretching Before Golfing

As I turn another age milestone this year, it is apparent that stretching needs to be part of my pre-golfing routine. During the off season, I spend a more time getting limber and this effort definitely pays off during golf season. However, during golf season, I seem to spend less time stretching before golf and I think it is time to change this oversight. I have tried many different types of stretches and I found three by Michael Breed that work for me and I think might work for you. When I use them, I find that my golf swing is fluid and controllable.

Continue reading

Band Aid Solutions For Your Golf Swing

Recently, a friend of mine asked me about a solution he found on YouTube about how to hit the ball more consistently off the fairway. Without going into a great amount of detail about the video he watched, it sparked the inspiration for today’s article. As a progressive golfer, I am always on the look for potential tips that would improve my golf game. I realize that I have limitations and some suggestions are just not in my wheel house, so I try to focus on changes I can actually accomplish. Keeping this in mind, through the years of sifting through the ‘white noise’ I think I have a nose for what suggestions are just band-aide fixes and which are legit swing improvements. Understanding this concept saves me time and frustration as I embark on another season to lower my handicap index.

Continue reading

Quick Fixes Or The Ben Hogan Practice Method – You Choose!

In today’s fast paced, instant gratification society, it only makes sense that many amateur golfers are looking for a quick fix to improve their golf game. I would lie if I did not think this from time to time, but most long-in-the-tooth golfers understand that this approach to improving as a false trail leading to disappointment. However, quick fixes can provide a start point to improvement through only one process. Can you guess what it is?

Continue reading

Really Look to Learn in Golf

How many golf videos do you watch in the off-season? Do you watch the golf videos or do you ‘watch’ the golf video! I look at plenty that show great shots into the green, shots off the tee, and putts made from miles away! But to learn something, it is important to really look at the video!

Watch Jason Day’s swing in slow motion:

Now for an amateur:

What did you see? Did you notice anything that would help your game? There are so many moving parts in Day’s perfect rhythm that it is difficult to dissect anything that might be helpful for you game. The amateur’s swing is less smooth, but something helpful could still be found if you really look!

To break down any swing, I have a system. It is a 5 part process that works well for me and I use it whether I am watching Jason Day’s swing or any amateur. I believe I can learn something from every swing. Here is what I do:

  1. First, determine what I want to improve. As an example, I want to generate more power during contact. I would look at Day’s swing (several times) to find a single point of interest. In this case it would be Day’s hips.
  2. Then, I would only focus on that particular part of his swing. I already know that I am having trouble with my hips not sliding forward in my swing; so I would narrow my focus to Jason Day’s left hip.
  3. Next, I try to breakdown Day’s left hip motion into different segments. Breaking down each swing into segments helps find something I can hopefully duplicate. In Jason Day’s swing, I would break down his left hip into: stance, backswing, top of the swing, down swing, contact, and follow through. I might seem like a lot to focus on, but the process gets easier from here.
  4. I pick out two segments of my biggest challenge. In comparison to my swing, I would focus on Day’s left hip position at the top of his swing and during contact. These two positions, if I could duplicate, would greatly enhance my power off the tee!
  5. Lastly, I practice and practice and practice. I start with movements without a club. When I feel comfortable, I start using a club to develop a feel for my new changes. After I am comfortable, it is time to hit golf balls!

This 5 step process works very well for me! I allows me to focus on small changes of my swing with big results. I can use this process while watching any player at any. It takes practice, but after a few tries, you might be surprised on how quickly you notice small aspects of anyone’s swing that will help your game.

Regardless of who you are watching, if you really look, you will learn something.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


Finding Weaknesses In Your Game

Golf is a simply complicated sport.  Everytime a player hits the links, they have the opportunity to score really low or really high relative to their skill level.  Most think that is the best time to pinpoint what is going right or wrong.  Or is it?

Finding Weaknesses

Keep head Down; Left Arm Straight; Slow Tempo; What did the Grateful Golfer Say…..Oh never mind, just Grip It and Rip It!

If a player consistently shoots in the low 100, 90, 80 or 70, identifying positive and challenging aspects of their game is important.  This process, if the player really wants to improve, is continuous and unrelenting.  However, identifying areas to improvement is specific to each player and it is impossible to use generalities to guarantee a better golf swing. Therefore, which is the best method?  Who can help?  Are there methods?

The short answer is yes, there are methods.  Which is the best…..depends on the player. Who can help….basically it is up to the person to seek and conquer the challenges of improving their golf game.  Having said that, the following are my suggestions on how to improve your game:

BroNet. Sometimes referred to as the buddy system.  While out on the course your friend will notice something in your swing that they believe you should correct.  Generally, it varies on a shot by shot basis.  It has a tendency to cause more confusion that success, but sometimes it is helpful.  The quality of the advice depends on the skill level of the player giving it.

Self-Taught.  This is where a player will research various skills, look for tips, watch others and try to duplicate.  This method can be very good, especially if you use websites like Hit It Solid, Slice of Golf, Gorilla Golf, All About Golf or Mind Body Golf.  And of course The Grateful Golfer site!  (Sorry for the shameless plug….just could not help myself) They offer tips on golf, the challenging aspects of the mental game of golf, course reviews and will allow for interaction via comments/questions to help improve your game.  This method is generally how most players start.

PGA.  Having your local professional, like Dan Garagan at Pinewood Park Golf Course, North Bay, Ontario, Canada, analyse your swing and provide helpful tips on how to improve is definitely a winner.  They have the skill and expertise to help.  The only draw back on this method is that you must be willing to learn from their sage advice.  It is difficult and sometimes causes a player to initially score higher, but in the long run it is probably the best way to learn golf.

Wing It!  The last method is the most fun!  Basically, you have no plan nor want one. Each day is an adventure and you real goal is enjoy the experience.  The million dollar shot you can brag about is what you seek.  There is nothing wrong with this method, however your game will develop slowly if at all.  This is not a problem because you play for the fun of the game.

Finding weaknesses in your game is relatively easy.  Fixing them is usually the problem. For me, the best method to use in order of effectiveness is local professional, self-taught, Bronet, and finally, Wing It!  Ultimately, chose the method that best fits your goals and desires.  I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!