#1 Golf Strategy Tip: Set Your Intention For Lower Score

Tip #3  from my book, “Break 80! 52 Ways To Lower Your Golf Score Without Practice” is about overcoming all of the temptations golfers face on the course to do things that WILL NOT lower their score. For example, have you ever faced a shot from a difficult lie that would be a very low percentage chance of success and good strategy dictates that you should just pop it back out in the fairway and yet, you can’t resist and take your chances and end up with a blow up hole?  That’s just one example and there are hundreds like that. It’s time to make a real decision about your score and how that is the most important thing to you…unless it’s really not! 😉   Greens and Fairways, Craig   Here’s a common “secret of the pros:” If you want to become as good a putter as a PGA Tour pro you should never practice improving your stroke on a putting green. Here’s why… 5 Minutes To Great Putting Way # 3. Golfers don’t want to score lower   What? How can I say that when golfers everywhere spend billions of dollars on this game chasing the lure of the great feelings of achievement they get when they improve? The problem is that many amateurs are far more interested in things other than scoring lower such as:  big booming drives, making miracle shots, having a pretty swing (rather than an effective one), mimicking their pro idols, keeping up with their playing partner’s club choices, and/or just partying out on the course. All of those outcomes are fine and dandy and I indulge in them too, but many times, they are directly opposed to you scoring lower! Wake up and smell the coffee! It’s time to make a decision that you are interested in lower scores and that you are going to do everything in your power to allow that to happen now- aren’t you? Having said that, sometimes you might still want to go out on the course with the idea of just having some fun, or working on the concepts in this book and not caring about your score. Great! So long as that is your  INTENTION for the day. INTENTION as regards your game.    INTENTION simply means that you are going to make conscious decisions about what it is you are doing.  Decide right now that when you have the INTENTION to score lower, you are going to follow through with that. Just so you know, INTENTION is my favorite word and I’m going to be using it and other important words in CAPS throughout the book because words have meanings beyond the obvious.  🙂 In summary, with everything you do, think or ask yourself out loud such questions as: “Will this _____ help me to a lower score?” “How can I turn this _____ into helping me lower my score?” “What can I be doing right now that will lower my score?” Read more »

Club-buying tips. Avoid Rory McIlroy’s Equipment Problems

9841634_xxl

Changing Golf Clubs? Learn from Rory McIlroy. (by Eddie Shackleford) Thinking about trading in your golf clubs for newer models? You might want to think twice before you make any major changes in equipment. Although the latest and greatest clubs on the market promise longer drives, a smoother swing and targeted aim, switching sticks can sometimes have a negative effect on your golf game. Just ask Rory McIlroy. After signing a major endorsement deal, Rory McIlroy switched from his trusty Titleists to a new set of Nike golf clubs. He made the switch at the tail end of the offseason, giving him limited time to break in his new clubs. The result? A less than stellar performance at some of the season’s opening PGA tournaments. He denied any equipment problems in the press, but the scorecard doesn’t lie. McIlroy saw big success in the 2012 golf season. He won the PGA championship by an astounding eight strokes and climbed to the No.2 spot in the World Golf Rankings. So it seems that the only thing that has really changed between this year and last year, is the golf clubs. We’ll see how his new clubs perform at this year’s Masters Tournament, and if he’ll be the next winner to host the Masters Champions Dinner . We can all learn from Rory McIlroy’s experience. If you are thinking about changing golf clubs, consider a few things before you make a big investment: Do your homework. 
Don’t walk into a golf store without doing a little research first. Sure, golf pros and sales people can be helpful, but it’s good to hear from other people who have purchased the same clubs. Read online reviews, or ask fellow golfers for club recommendations. Beware of the Brand Consider switching clubs, but staying within the same brand. If you are still playing pretty decent, and just want upgraded equipment, buying a newer model of the same brand of clubs is a good option. This will minimize any major changes in your swing. Swing before you buy a couple practice swings in the store won’t give you a true read. Ask to take the clubs out to the driving range. Hit a few balls with each club. You might find that the driver swings great, but the irons aren’t connecting as well.  In that case, you can always buy a single new club instead of a full set. Most golfers change out drivers and putters pretty regularly without seeing any major impact in their game. Purchase, Practice, Practice If you a buy a new set of clubs, take them for a test drive before you book a tee time. You don’t want to use a new set of clubs in a high stakes tournament without getting some good practice sessions in first. Start with the driving range, and then follow with a casual 18 holes. Most importantly, give yourself a little time to adjust – but not too much. Once you make the switch, set a deadline for the transition. It will take a few rounds to get used to the clubs. But if after a month or two you start to notice your scores getting higher – take a mulligan and try again! Eddie Shackleford is a Senior Editor at Cable.tv and writes about all entertainment related content. He put this infographic together on the last Master’s winners and the dinner they chose: http://www.cable.tv/masters-champions-dinner/ ************************ Craig’s note:  I bought new clubs last summer that are NOT big name, big advertising, big marketing. I am extremely happy to report that I am playing fantastic with them and have been very surprised at their performance.   I will be telling you more about this as I conclude my testing but so far, I am totally convinced that you DO NOT need to spend big money for great clubs.  I also learned from taking a tour of the manufacturing plant that most all clubheads from all the companies come from the same place overseas…  You can pay more for big name marketing, endorsements, and TV ads…or you can keep that money in your pocket and score lower…. tell you more later! Greens and fairways, Craig Read more »

Tiger Woods Comeback – What Did He CHANGE?

Tiger Woods Interview

Tiger Woods Comeback – How did he do it? That’s almost hilarious. There was never anything wrong with his swing or his physical game or talent. We all know exactly what happened to him. Nobody thinks it’s a total coincidence that his game went downhill after his personal problems.He has said in interviews that he rebuilt his swing and his game…blah blah blah… Awhile back, I wrote a post saying that Tiger Woods is not mentally tough. I got all kinds of flack for that from Tiger fans. But, I was just calling it exactly like it was at the time. He wasn’t. His personal life hurt his golf and he didn’t win for quite a long time.  That’s not even debatable. So what about today? Well, since I preach to all the teams and athletes I work with that mental toughness is 50% resilience, then yeah, I have to say that Tiger, having regained #1 world status again, has become mentally tough….and that’s not really debatable either. Whatever you think of Tiger Woods, his recovery in golf brings up an important point for your game…and your life. What did he change and how do you make CHANGE like that? Well, this is exactly what I do…help people CHANGE. If this weren’t the case, people could give up smoking easily, we wouldn’t have an obesity or drug and alcohol problem.  AND, this is the same functionality that creates problems with your golf swing or putting stroke. If you’ve been with me for any amount of time, you know that this is the core of everything I teach here.For starters, in order to make any kind of permanent or long-lasting CHANGE, it has to be done at the unconscious (subconscious) level of the mind. When you tighten up, you have a program at the unconscious level that needs to CHANGE. When you “yip” a putt, that’s your unconscious mind creating that problem. When you can’t stop all of that negative thinking and worrying on the course, that’s also your unconscious. You are in need of CHANGE. In fact, all of your problems out there can be traced to the unconscious mind…and so were Tiger’s.  There was never anything wrong with his game or swing. So…step 1 is just understanding that you have a conscious and an unconscious mind and that you must INTEND to make your CHANGE in the unconscious mind because this is what controls your emotions, and your emotions are the police force for your behaviors and performance. If you get to understanding this, you are 40% of the way to making your CHANGE. Step 2 – Find an antidote thought. This is something that “counters” or directly challenges the problem at it’s core. For instance, you might have the program:  “This hole always gets to me and I never do well on it.” The antidote could be:  “A golf hole is a golf hole no matter where I play and the fact that I know this hole makes it more likely that I can own it.” Do you see how this antidote is really specific to the problem? We’re not just doing a general “affirmation” like:  “I’m a great golfer”  which is supposed to overcome all of your problems. That kind of general antidote doesn’t have near the CHANGE power as one that is specific. You are now 60% of the way there. Step 3 – Mental repetition with INTENTION to go to the unconscious.  Think your antidote thought at least 10 times a day. Take a moment, stare off into space or close your eyes, take a deep breath and think your antidote thought.  Let the antidote thought integrate with the rest of your knowledge of the game and your other beliefs. Process it in. ( I could write a book on just this step but this is the basics) This is probably the most common and simple way to make CHANGE. If you do step 3 with INTENTION, you are basically doing hypnosis. Hypnosis is nothing more than communication with the unconscious mind. Another even more powerful way to make CHANGE is to take advantage of highly emotional states.  Whenever you are in high emotion, you have opened the gateway to the unconscious mind.  When that gateway is open, whatever you are thinking at the time has a very good opportunity of becoming your new program in the unconscious mind. So, going back to Tiger Woods comeback, I don’t know exactly how he rebuilt his mental toughness but somehow, he had to integrate what happened in his personal life with his beliefs as a world class golfer. Clearly he did that. Bravo for him for making this CHANGE. Sure would be nice to hear from the press about any positive changes he’s made in his personal life […] Read more »

The ‘I’ in team comes in the form of a driver

Golf Practice Range

By Tom Logan Employees often roll their eyes when they hear the phrase ‘team building’. For them it conjures up images of forced fun and a waste of time doing something they do not want to do in muddy fields or embarrassing situations. Whether they like it or not, team building is a huge part of any corporate culture and companies spend a fair chunk of cash on physical activities such as paintballing, assault courses or similar team-based activities. Whilst it may give people a day out of the office, such team building activities can alienate certain people who are not as physically able or willing to partake in particular activities. That is why a driving range is a perfect place for a day of fun and gentle competition with colleagues. More relaxed and forgiving for new players, golf ranges are more accessible for a wider range of personality types and physical abilities. Golf is usually seen as a somewhat exclusive community, with clubs that would not be willing to put up with a large group of people taking too long at each hole. Furthermore, time spent on a full-sized course can become frustrating for new players and may eventually lead to boredom. Golf ranges are a better option as the games are quicker and more relaxed, allowing for larger groups to enjoy themselves with no pressure (apart from some gentle ribbing from co-workers of course). Modern ranges have state of the art simulations that allow users to partake in a selection of different games that everyone can get involved in such as target practice and score attacks. Last, but certainly not least the facilities at driving ranges allow for further enjoyment after the games have ended. As things are all closer together, employees can enjoy food, drink and some down-time after an afternoon of gaming. So, the next time you are considering taking out your workforce to a muddy day of paintballing, consider a driving range for a more relaxed and inclusive activity. ‘Tom Logan works for TopGolf, a driving range with several UK locations. http://topgolf.com/surrey Read more »

How to get confidence in golf

clubandball

Today, I want to discuss Confidence and whatever that means to you.  Recently, I interviewed a 20-year sports psychologist who had taken teams to the NCAA finals in his sport and had coached professionals for years.  I asked him about Confidence and how you get it. I’m not kidding when I tell you he said: “I don’t know any other way to get confidence other than to have success. You get confidence from past successes. Maybe a hypnotist can do some things but that’s been my experience. (he did not know that I do hypnosis…hah!).” Anyway, I began to think about that on my last round when my golfing partner mentioned that he always putts his best when he has confidence stepping up to the ball.  I agreed with him wholeheartedly that it seems that if you have the feeling like a ball is going in the hole, then that is the biggest factor in whether or not it goes in the hole or not, right? Well, to take this further, I thought, well, I’ve made lots of putts when I DIDN’T have any confidence or I was just feeling nothing or neutral. My brain always starts checking on my theories by taking them to the nth degree. In other words, a theory must hold up under extreme situations, it has to be taken to it’s logical end. So, I tested this theory that you get confidence from having success… and it failed miserably. I thought about all the times I’ve had confidence with ever having any success AND, more importantly, I came to the conclusion that you DON’T EVEN NEED CONFIDENCE in order to have success!!! Yes, confidence is a good thing. It certainly helps things…but it’s the cherry on cake! it’s not the cake! Follow me here.  We were all babies at one time, right? And most of us learned to walk from scratch, right?  In other words, we learned to walk (got success) without ever having had any success at walking! Furthermore…we weren’t TAUGHT to walk.  We just learned it by trial and error and modeling grownup humans already walking. Therefore, we created success without ANY previous success!  We had no confidence, just a DESIRE to walk and a willingness to get back up after we fall down. (maybe that’s all confidence really is) I keep hearing from golfers saying that they lack confidence standing up there on the tee box about to hit an important drive.  Or that their last miss on the green was because of doubt. Or, that they lacked confidence about to speak or present to their team or boss at their job. Sooooo, what’s the point of this article?  The punchline? We don’t need confidence to do anything! The sooner you let go of that, the faster you will get confidence! Really what happens when you do that, is you let go of some FEAR about whether or not you have confidence or not and can make this shot or not.  When you let go of the FEAR, that’s when you play to your natural potential. The formula for success is:   Performance = Potential – Interference. FEAR is the biggest interference in your golf game (and other areas of your life). I’m going to get into this formula a lot in coming weeks. Stand by…. Greens and fairways, Craig Read more »

Warming up your putting stroke before a round (because I never practice)

ballandhole

So why do golfers on the practice green before a round take 2 or 3 balls, drop em and then hit them one after the other toward the same hole without setting up or reading the green? Some people might answer, well, Craig, they’re working on their stroke. I’m guessing what they mean by stroke is the ability to send the ball down the chosen target line. Ok, fair enough, but if that is what they really want to do, that’s got to be the least effective way to accomplish that. If I wanted to accomplish that, I’d go get my putting track out with side guides or just line up a couple clubs as a track to make sure I hit the ball square and follow through square… and I’d do it on a spot on the green where it’s flat and straight so that I could see the results. I would hit 6 or 7 balls in a row and I wouldn’t even be hitting at a hole, I would be aiming at a smaller target than that. I would train my stroke this way. Doesn’t that make sense? Maybe there’s an even better way but certainly hitting 2 balls to various holes is NOT the best way to train your stroke. But hitting your putt where you are aiming it is only a part of actually making a putt. In fact, I would suggest that speed and break are even more important. So, I’m going to guess that the true answer as to why golfers hit 2 or 3 balls from the same spot (like I used to do), is because they’re lazy.   They don’t want to go through the motions of reading a green and going through a routine like they do on a real putt. That would be REAL practice. I’ve asked and found that they actually think they are being more efficient and getting to hit more balls in the same amount of time which they consider “reps” or “repetitions.” There’s this religious-like faith in repetitions in the golf world. But, isn’t it totally logical that if you are repeating an action that isn’t useful that you are ingraining poor results into your mind and muscles? So what’s the truth about lazy practice putting?  You’re getting reps and practicing how NOT to read a green and rely on the feedback you got from your first putt (which never happens on the real course).  On top of that, those golfers are totally relaxed and at ease on the practice green with no pressure to make a putt.  Final result?  They are practicing UNFOCUSED golf and when they need to make a putt under pressure, it becomes extremely difficult. You will not fix playing UNFOCUSED golf by buying more clubs. You can’t become FOCUSED by hitting more unfocused putts on the practice green A new putter or putting stroke will do nothing to reduce your score when your normal game is to play unfocused golf. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with playing UNFOCUSED golf. That’s playing for the pure enjoyment of the game.  Go out there and have a beer, I play this way some of the time for the sheer fun of it. But when I want to go low….FOCUS and INTENTION So what’s my point here?  Whatever you do out there on the practice green or the range or even at home when you want to work on your game, BE INTENTIONAL.  What do I mean by this? I mean, before you hit a ball, have an idea of specifically want you are working on and put your intention on that. Ask yourself if what you’re doing is the best way to achieve my intention here.  That’s how you will develop FOCUS for out on the course when it counts. That’s how you will make your warmups (practice) actually pay off for you out on the course. I’d love to see your INTENTIONAL warmup tips for on the practice green below and why you think it works. Greens and fairways, Craig Read more »

Golf trip with buddies

GuysInCart

Day 1 and 2 of my annual golf trip with the boys. First off, let me just say that this is one the peak experiences of being a golfer…hanging out with some friends for a long weekend or more and making golf your central focus. It doesn’t get any better than this and you should find some golfers and do it! My 2 brothers and I showed up at our condo and right off the bat, were pleasantly surprised at the golf prints on the wall in the main room.  The golf attitude heats up! We get settled down in our condo, have a beer together and go right to the course! We get there at 3:30pm and plan on playing the short course, 18 holes of par 3s, but it’s full and so we say what the heck and step out onto the 1st tee with no warmup at all.  We just figure we will work out the kinks on the course as a practice round until my son shows up in a couple of days. I step up to the first tee after a couple of stretches and I flick the switch in my mind that sends me back to all those great drives I’ve had in the past. I’ve done my preshot routine so many times now that my zone trigger has become that moment when I’m standing over the ball and just about to start my backswing.   I hit it pretty good and 250 yards down the left side of the fairway. As I walk up to the ball, I’m thinking “Square and Point” over and over.  I pull out a pitching wedge for a  120 yard approach and I’m pin high about 15 feet left with a downhill putt.  Not having hit one putt on the course, I bend down and feel the grass and estimate the speed. I end up 3-putting from a total lack of feel for the putt.  I take a few more practice putts before going to the next hole (yes, that’s within the rules). It’s my first round with a new set of irons and I’m all over the place with them but my chipping and putting game make up for it and I finish 2 over. Now, it’s a pretty easy course but I’m extremely happy with my practice round and go to bed that night replaying all my great shots as I drift off.  It’s a great golf day and here’s the keys to the round that comes from my teachings. 1. Go into a new round ASSUMING you are going to play well. But, it’s not an excited feeling, no, that can turn to tension really easily. What you want is a relaxed, cocky attitude….I thinking thoughts like “I do this all of the time…this is easy…I know I’m going to play well today…etc. 2. Do nothing tricky.  I played extremely conservative not having had any warmup. I used more club and swung the clubs easier. I did everything I could to keep the ball in play. 3. For putting, the key was to ALWAYS make sure I had my eyes directly over the target line.  When I forgot to do that, I missed three putts from inside 4 feet. I now know I need to incorporate that into my pre-putt routine. 4. I noticed that when I took my time on chips and picked my spot and focused like I do on my other shots, they come off well. It’s so easy to be lazy on chips and treat them like longer irons where we just pick a spot and fire away.  You’ve got to walk up and look at the green like a putt. I’m always learning, always observing. I’m constantly going over what goes well and telling my inner golfer that I want more of that. Tomorrow’s another day and another challenge we can all look forward to whether or not we are on the course! Greens and fairways, Craig Read more »

Golf breakthrough – another variable affecting your game that nobody talks about

Wendy Lynne

I played a casual golf round this past weekend with my brother and had a big breakthrough. It was spur of the moment and we were risking getting rained on since the weatherman was predicting 50% chance of rain. Pretty typical for us here in Seattle.  I throw the umbrella in the bag, shrug my shoulders and say “let’s do it!” We show up at the course at 2pm for a twilight 2:50 tee time and it’s pretty quiet so the starter asks us if we are ready to go and we say “sure!” No warmup, no range balls, not even rolling a few balls on the practice green. Get this… both of our first thoughts for going out there on the course were to be able to surprise our women by getting home early after golf. Hah! We figured we could earn some points to be stashed for later cashing in or when we do something stupid that we need to apologize for. Hilarious I know but a lot of people make their golf decisions this way!  That decision did cost me 2 strokes though… 🙂 Ok, getting back on track for something useful for you… I walk up to the first tee, take a few practice swings, step up to the ball, and then proceed to top it and send the ball a whopping 100 yards.  My second shot goes into the trees, I chip up short, 3 to get in and I card a double bogey.  Boom, I’m 2 over after 1 hole….nice. To make the story short, I make par on the next 8 holes in a row.  It’s an easy course but still, even on an easy course, you still have to putt and chip to make your pars and I was doing it! I tell my brother at the turn that I’m going to par out the back nine and finish 2 over…AND I DID! Couple of bogeys and a couple of birdies and yep, I finish 2 over and it’s a darn good day for me! I’m ecstatic! “So what’s the problem Craig?” you might be asking. Being Mr. Analyzer, (for yours and my benefit), I keep asking myself “Why is it that I could go out there today and shoot a 2 over today and yet, a couple months ago on my last round, I shoot a 12 over? I did no practice or any kind of work on my game between rounds. Other than writing to you in my email letter and blog posts, I’ve done no mental work on my game the whole time either. “What the hey? How is this possible?” There is one big difference that finally hit me after I got home and here it is…. Energy…my overall energy level is up from a month ago! Yep, that’s it. Energy. You’ve got to remember something here in order to buy into this:  There is a next-to-nothing difference in muscle movement between a great shot and a horrible one. The slightest bit of improved focus (the brain is a muscle), and the golf shot or putt comes out better. The weird thing about all of this is that IT IS VERY SUBTLE but I am totally convinced that this was the difference.  The way it showed up was that when I stepped up to the ball, EVERYTHING WAS EASY.  My swing was easy. My thoughts were easy. My body moved easily. I was never tired! I wasn’t mister “on fire” or anything…I just had an optimistic attitude that comes from my body working well. A couple months ago, it wasn’t. I’m totally convinced that this was the biggest part of a 10-stroke difference.  Many of us who are getting up there in years have noticed a significant drop-off in energy levels. I’m almost 49 and I can definitely tell the difference from 10 years ago. How did I improve my energy levels from a couple months ago? I went and saw a naturopath! This is a doctor who primarily uses natural remedies as much as possible. A couple months ago, I was struggling with pollen allergies and just woke up many days with low energy. Get this, my body was also struggling with toxins as my blood tests showed.  We narrowed it down to formaldehyde concentration and guess where that came from?  My new car I had bought late last year. True story.  Anyway, she put me on a program to deal with it in a totally natural way and 2 months later, I’m back to feeling energetic again! This is a big area of study I want to learn more about and will keep you apprised. I also have learned of the new science called “energy psychology” and I am very curious. I’m always exercising with my […] Read more »

How to Have More Patience In Golf…Part 1

3526217_xl

Dr. Tom Kubistant, CSP Golf Psychologist Patience is power        — Chinese Proverb One of the few things I can still clearly remember from the turbulent 1960’s was a popular poster depicting two vultures sitting in a tree. As you know, vultures wait to feed on already dead carrion.  In that poster, one vulture said to the other, “Patience, hell, I want to kill something!” Most of us want to “kill” something during a round of golf.  We become tired of waiting.  We feel we don’t have any other options but to kill it. And besides, it seems like more fun just to mindlessly bust a shot.  So we force things…usually with disappointing and disastrous results. Both high level and consistent golf are grounded in patience.  Those who play “all-or-nothing” golf usually end up with nothing.  Beyond that, impatient people rarely improve–certainly not at the rate they expect.  Patience is not only a critical key for maximizing your rounds, but also in guiding your long term progress. Most of us sabotage our rounds by impatience.  To fully understand this, please answer these questions:  how many shots per round do you fritter away by impatience?  How many shots are you not clear and committed in  its decision making? How often do you not include in your planning where to miss the shot?  Do you rush your preshot routine when discouraged?  How often do you try to force a shot into a target? How often do you become mentally dulled during the last six holes?  How often do you let your emotions (both greed and frustration) control you?  How many shots, holes, and even rounds do you give up on?  All of your answers to these questions can be summarized by a lack of patience. In competitive golf, most tournaments at all levels–even the pros at majors–are lost, not outright won.  The player who endures makes the least number of mistakes at the critical times.  Said more positively, the winners tend to be the most patient. Most players do not have the courage, self-discipline, and belief to be patient.  In evaluating Jack Nicklaus’ game, Tom Weiskoph said, “To play the way Jack did required and enormous amount of patience. Most players just couldn’t do it–they’d get too antsy and feel as if they must force the issue.  Nicklaus had more patience than anyone I ever saw. Sure, it is much easier to be impatient under the guises of being natural or fluid. However, one of the great challenges of golf–both recreational and competitive–is that it challenges golfers to be patient.  The Game rewards patience.  As the great Byron Nelson advised, “If you don’t have patience playing golf, the game will teach it to you.” Here is the encouraging thing:  patience can be improved.  Sure, patience is expanded with overall maturity as well as experience from various playing situations. However, it can also be improved upon by consciously working on it.  Patience is an ability and, as such, it can be refined and deepened.  Here is how….continued Dr. Tom Kubistant, Master of the Intrinsic, is one of the leading speakers, researches, and coaches of the mental and scoring games.  He is one of the pioneers in sports psychology working with Olympic, Professional and Amateur athletes since 1973. Since 1984, he has worked exclusively with golfers ranging from tour pros to average weekend golfers. Over the last fifteen years, Tom has been THE most prolific writer on the psychology of golf with three books and over 275 articles and he maintains (and has read) the entire “Bibliography On The Psychology Of Golf;” everything ever written and recorded on the mental game. He trains other sports psychologists and mental coaches and is widely known as the leading authority on all forms of THE YIPS. You can get more of his wisdom and sign up for his free newsletter at: http://www.golfmindlinks.com/ Read more »

Gary Players golf driving for distance tips

gary_player1_thumb

How one of golf’s greatest legends uses the driver ************************************************************ Golf DRIVING FOR DISTANCE by Gary Player Keeping in mind this American stress on the long ball, I hope my methods of adding distance will be helpful to the reader. First, I had all of my clubs made one-half inch longer than the standard length I had been using. Longer clubs naturally give a longer swing arc. If you have a longer arc I golf you’re automatically going to hit the ball farther. Also, with longer clubs it is possible to shorten your grip on the shaft if a shot calls for less distance; with a short club you don’t have enough shaft to grip farther up when you need extra length. A word of warning: the prospective club buyer who wants more length should consult his professional for advice before investing in longer shafts.   A second factor that helped me hit the ball farther was improvement of my weight shift. Like many golfers, I had a problem shifting my weight to my left foot on the downswing. I frequently fell back on my right leg, pulling away from the ball. Your weight should move slightly to the right foot on the backswing and then shift to the left foot immediately at the start of the downswing. ***The one thing I concentrate on during my swing is shifting my weight to the left foot in returning the clubhead to the ball. *** This weight shift to the left adds distance because it helps delay the uncocking of the wrists on the downswing. This delayed hit uncocks the wrists just before impact so that the speed of the clubhead really accelerates as it meets the ball. Too many golfers feel they add distance by swinging harder with hands and arms. They start the downswing with their hands and arms before shifting their weight to the left foot. As a result, they uncock their wrists too early, wasting clubhead speed. ***Uncocking the wrists with a delayed hit is the real secret of long drives***, but you shouldn’t be conscious of hands and arms in the golf swing. By immediately shifting your weight forward on the downswing, you will automatically delay unlocking your wrists. Your hands and arms will follow your hip turn naturally and whip the club through. A proper weight shift brings the big muscles into play and provides a delayed uncocking of the wrists on the downswing. You will find it can do wonders in adding distance. Paul Harney is an excellent example of a golfer who uses the proper weight shift. Paul is slight, weighing about 140 pounds. Yet, he is one of the longest hitters in golf. Here is how I achieve my weight shift on drives: I close my stance, which means my right foot is pulled back farther than my left from along the target line. In this stance, it is easier for me to get a full body turn on the backswing. By taking a full windup and by using big muscles of my body and legs, I add both rhythm and power to my swing. Golfers who start the club back with their hands and arms alone have a tendency to swing at the ball with their hands and arms before the weight has shifted forward. Thus, they never fully employ the back and leg muscles that provide maximum power in the golf swing. The legs are about four times as strong as the arms: why waste this potential by swinging solely with hands and arms? The closed stance also helps me take the club back well inside the line to the target. This prevents me from returning the clubhead to the ball from the outside, thus creating a sliced shot and consequent loss of distance. I also help my downswing weight shift to the left by addressing the ball with my left toe slightly pointed outward, toward the target. This makes it easier for me to turn my hips ahead of my hands on the downswing. Several other features of my address foster this proper weight shift and resulting delayed hit. I like to imagine my right elbow is against my side at address, although physically it isn’t. I want this elbow tucked into my side as soon as possible on the downswing so that what I’m doing at address is what I hope to duplicate at impact. This is also true of my right leg, which I bow slightly forward at address, pointing the knee a bit toward the target. As with the right elbow, this merely advances the position I want to be in when I hit the ball. These actions, the right elbow in tight, and kicking the right knee toward the target, help me transfer my weight to […] Read more »