I got your attention with that subject line didn’t I?
Listen, I get it. You swing beautifully on the practice range and then when you get to the course, it all goes away like it’s another person out there. I know the feelng and I’ve been there.
Because if you can swing the club, like you know how, for excellent shots… and you’re not doing it on the course, then it only makes sense that you have to make an adjustment with your swing right?
You see, this is the trap us golfers get ourselves in. And that is, coming up with the wrong solution to the problem. We do this because there is mass hypnosis in the golf world. The pros iron out their swing problems by hitting a zillion balls a week and so that’s what we should do too right?
Well, that works, but do you have the time to do that?
As a former manager at Fedex Express, I’m all about being as efficient as I can be at everything I do. I don’t just blindly accept what somebody says is the answer. I take that in, test it out, check it with others, and always keep looking for a better way…that’s called continuous improvement and I know you do that in many areas of your life, especially at your work or vocation.
I’ve found one of those ways to quickly deal with the REAL cause of swing problems.
You might have even heard about this in the past but just shrugged it off as another “tip” like all the rest. You want to really give this one a go and I promise you, it will pay off big.
Before I give you the hot tip, let me set you up just a bit more for success in using it.
When you miss a shot and say that your swing needs a tweak, most of the time, the real cause is due to one or more of the following:
1. Lack of focus
2. Failure to line up properly
3. A fear, tension, or anxiety that interferes with your coordination
If you are at ease, or deep in the zone about your game, and have already hit a good shot with each of your clubs, then your body
will respond just like it does on the range with those beautiful shots.
The hot tip that will solve so many problems, including your swing problems is to…are you ready?
Play 2-pars on the practice green or on your carpet in your house against another player.
This means to go to the practice green at the course or practice facility and you play 18 holes. You start off the green and pick a spot to chip from and a hole to play to. Make sure there is something at stake as this is the real kicker in benefit to you. Play skins or play medal and count each stroke but make sure there is a problem for you if you lose.
I do this with my son before a round. If I win, he has to wash my car for me. If he wins, he gets a ride to the skate park. Injecting that kind of pressure into your practice is EVERYTHING!
I watch golfers at the practice green putting with 3 balls from the same spot to the cup. What are you teaching yourself? That you don’t have to read a green and that you have a second chance after missing the first one. Ridiculous because you never get a second chance while playing….why do golfers do this? Mass hypnosis plus laziness.
We all know that more strokes are lost around the greens. This tip is the 80/20 of all time I tell ya’.
Oh yes, how does it improve your swing you might be asking about now. Well what happens is that when you walk up to the tee or the approach shot knowing you can get up and down in 2, it totally takes the pressure OFF of your swing. It makes your swing 10 times more relaxed, fluid, and rhythmic.
I did this recently with my son as we stayed at the Running Y in Klamath Oregon and played that course. My drives were pretty good both rounds but for some reason (and you know this can happen to any part of your game at any time), my 100 yd approach shots were off. This is usually the best part of my game. I can’t tell you how many times my 2-par practice saved me on the course and I ended up with a 79 from the blues.
By the way, I REALLY had a 78 but on the first hole, I had a 4-incher for a par and I nonchalantly tried to poke it in with the end of my putter. Of course my son made me count it!! Good lesson for me…
If you ever have time to practice anything…practice going up and down on a real green with something at stake. It is the most powerful thing you can do to fix your swing.
Greens and fairways,
I just got back to playing once a week after having a 3-month layoff. I was wondering what my swing would be like after not having struck a golf ball or not even thinking about my own game much over that time. Yes, I’ve been working with others on their games and issues but my own got sort of left in the dust as I used my spare time to research further into the workings of the mind and how it can benefit us busy folks.
I went out to my local home golf course and was surprised to find that my swing was pretty much where I left it! I used my go-to shot off the tee not even thinking about distance and took out more club on approaches than I would have when I was warmed up and playing my best before the layoff. This proved a good formula as I kept the ball in play the whole time. I will admit to a few topped and fat shots but overall, I couldn’t complain.
Did I have a great score? No, but what did I do? I took what was working and forgot about the rest. And then worked my mental magic on what was working until my next round. It’s a simple formula yes, but it does take one word that is quickly becoming my favorite word: intention.
Intention? What the heck is that?
Some of you may call it effort but I don’t. Some may call it work but that doesn’t have to be it either. Is it focus, or concentration? Nope.
It’s a blend of belief, imagination, direction and utilization between your conscious and unconscious mind functions.When working with golfers in my office, I tell them to get used to using the word “intention.” What does it really mean? Simply: “This is what I’m doing” and “this is what will happen for me.” When you put thought energy into something, as long as there are no conflicting beliefs, it must become manifest. That’s the way the universe works. If you want some proof of that, then study quantum physics for the answers. We can do that in another article but the bottom line is, keep your focus on what it is you want.
Decide what you want and be specific. The more detailed and specific, the more likely your mind is to make it happen for you. It’s great to be thinking all day about a perfect swing. It’s more powerful and more effective to be thinking about the fix that your swing pro gave you that will allow that swing to be fluid. Just have the intention to make that swing fix and it can happen like magic. Awareness is the start of it all.
What’s really intriguing is that it does not require willpower. That’s right, according to Maxwell Maltz in Psychocybernetics, willpower actually implies putting up blockages to achievement. A better way to describe how to find your best game, your best shots is to “let them happen”
I know, I know, this sounds kind of spacey right? Especially in light of all the traditional teaching you’ve been exposed to that says you need a swing instructor and you must practice what you’ve learned until your body aches and your hands blister.
I just read in the May 06 an article by Tiger Woods called “I did it. So can you” In it, he basically writes about how he made changes to his swing and then worked his tail off to make them work. He says that you need a strong will. In making his first swing change in 1997, he can remember practicing a single move “swinging the club halfway down – keeping my arms in front of my body – for more than an hour without hitting a ball. I felt like my arms were going to fall off”
Give me a break. Tiger is the greatest golfer in the world, no doubt, but he is on another planet if he thinks average golfers are going to do that for every small part of their swing for a fix, even if they do have access to a top instructor who can break it down like that and monitor their progress and prescribe that kind of detailed help. For a pro, yes, that’s great advice, for you and me, it’s not realistic at all.
Given the realities of our normal life we need another way. This is what I talk about in my program “Without Practice”
The Online Golf Classics library has all the fundamentals you need, your mind already has INTENTION waiting for you to use it.
Greens and fairways,
Have you heard the old saying that we only use 10% of our mind power? Whether it’s 5% or 10% or 20%, you know it’s definitely true as you have experienced times in your life, on and off the course where you have had absolute flashes of brilliance and wondered why you can’t do it all the time…guess what? You can!If you’ve hit a great shot with your clubs just once before, there is absolutely no reason you can’t do it again. What do you do differently when you don’t repeat a great shot? I’ll tell you…you run your mind a certain way that produces those results…simple. Break 80 Without Practice
If you would like to begin to unlock the secrets to the other 90% that you are leaving on the table of your performance, you need to check out:
If you watch the Golf Channel or read any of the magazines and books on golf, it will be very hard for you to miss the basic theme that “There is a perfect swing and you will do the most for your game by trying to get it”. Even when you watch a tournament on TV, you see the commentators participate in this conspiracy by showing us frame-by-frame analysis of the pro and critiquing his/her every move. Now, maybe we can give the TV guys a break because they are just trying for some entertainment value and let’s face it, most of us are interested in the details of the swing because we’ve been brainwashed by years of this theme.
For many years, I too was a “swing zombie” in my quest to improve my golf game. I even participated with a group of golfers that all had our swings videotaped and then we critiqued each other in a classroom setting. The feedback I received from all of us watching my swing ran from “very smooth” to “way off-kilter”. Everybody had a differing opinion of many of the swings that we watched and at least for me, it only confused me more.
In my younger years, I had a typical amateur slice swing that obviously came out of my years of playing baseball and softball. In those days, I would just aim for the left edge of any fairway and I could count on the ball moving left to right, at worst ending up in the right rough but usually hitting the fairway. I enjoyed playing golf those days but I always felt that something was missing. So when I could finally afford it,I decided to take a set of lessons from a pro. Of course I told him that I wanted to get rid of my slice swing and he asked me back “are you sure?”.
This answer kind of shocked me but he was a very good instructor and by the end of the lessons, I was able to hit the ball out of bounds both ways, left and right. I figured that it would just be a matter of time until I “dialed” in to hitting it straight. To make the story short, 5 years later and I was still “dialing” and getting wrong numbers (ob, jail, water,no score improvement, etc.).
Looking back, I honestly believe now that if I had stuck with my old left to right swing and just used the rest of what I learned from the pro, that I would have improved significantly. Why? Because I was a typical golfer and not a 12 handicapper trying to become a single-digiter (a good golfer trying to become a great one). Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of amateur golfers shoot in the 90’s or above for men and it’s over 100 for women.
If you are in that group, then you really should be working on parts of your game that will give you far more efficient score improvement for the time and effort spent. This would primarily be in the area of the short game and the mental game.
This is absolutely true for the average golfer but it may be true for all golfers as well. There is loads of evidence on the pro tours that the ones making the money are those best at chipping and putting. The golf research guru himself, Dave Pelz, actually followed tour players around for years taking detailed statistics and he proved it (see, My Short Game Bible). In addition to that, there are too many pros to list that admit that their swing is not “technically correct” or maybe not even very good…BUT THEY WIN TOURNAMENTS!
Look at Jim Furyk, 2003 U.S. Open winner. He actually has a big loop in his backswing. Lee Trevino always told people that they should not copy his swing. Even Jack Nicklaus says in his books that he wasn’t a very good ball striker. Bruce Lietzke has won tournaments on the PGA and Senior tours playing his left-to-right shot his whole career – And he says he rarely practices! On top of that, the tours are littered with past champions that totally lost their game AFTER they tried to change it for the better. And now they are begging their sports psychologist to help them “find” their old swing.
I have talked to PGA golf instructors that say it’s their clients that want the swing advice (just like I did) even when they recommend working some other part of their game first. So maybe it’s our own fault in creating the current situation where average scores of amateurs have not dropped one stroke in the last 50 years despite the advances in equipment technology.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you are a total beginner, maybe you should start out with learning the basics of the golf swing with a lesson. But if you’re hitting it solid most of the time, you are good to go for a real scoring quest as more swing advice is not the quickest way for you to drop your score. There is just so much more that you can do, on and off the course, that will pay you back in saved strokes for far less time spent than “fixing” your swing. Most of us have precious little free time that we can work to improve our games so why not work on that which will give us the greatest bang for our (time) buck?
And so, let me be the first to make a pledge to the golf spirit inside me (I always thought that golf is like religion):
“I for one, do solemnly swear that I will not pay attention to any swing advice of any sort until I can score in the 70’s consistently with the swing I have (and maybe not even then)”.
Greens and fairways!
Do you still really think that the only way to get better at this game is to take lessons and then practice until your hands bleed? Does that work? Sometimes for some people. At the beginner level, yes, you need to get the basics down and develop a decent swing. But what of all those millions of golfers around the world that have a decent swing…that have taken lessons…that have had plenty of great shots before.
Why can’t you put together 18 holes of good golf if you can put together 3 or 4?….You can!
Now, go with me here a minute…you’ve produced a great shot before with a given club right?
So you know that the problem is not with your body unless the body has significantly changed since you had that shot right?
So if that’s not the problem, what is? I don’t think I have to tell you. I think your clubs know the answer since they don’t change from shot to shot.
As I write this and you read this, I am reminded of a friend who recounted to me about a story that Jack Nicklaus dad used to tell about young Jack. It seems that Jack never did think he had the best or prettiest swing on the tour. And, he didn’t think he had the most talent.He just KNEW he was going to make a putt…or a perfect swing…or win the tournament.
Would you like to get some of that? Break 80 Without Practice
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.
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.
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 my left foot.
Being relaxed at the address position also makes it easier to shift the weight during my swing I like to take a deep breath and exhale before I start the action, as many baseball pitchers do before they throw. I then make my forward press, kick my right knee and hands a bit more toward target, and follow with the backswing.
Maintenance of good physical condition has helped me hit the ball farther. I watch my diet very closely and follow an exercise routine. Playing golf almost every day, year after year, keeping in shape both mentally and physically becomes not only important, it is essential. I really enjoy exercise. Sometimes after a bad day on the course I come home tired and discourage. But if I exercise before going to bed, I feel clean and strong again. This does wonders for me mentally, as well as physically.
A book on yoga has been a big help. It taught me the benefits of standing on my head at least tow minutes each day. This pumps blood to my brain (the most important organ in the body-even for a golfer!) and makes me more alert for the day ahead. I never sleep with a pillow. I believe a pillow only makes it more difficult for my heart to pump blood to my brain.
I refrain from sweets, pastries, and fried foods. On the course I like to eat dried fruits. Like Napoleon, I believe that an army marches on its stomach and that the fruits I eat during a round of golf help me build energy. They give the acids in my stomach something to work on.
Now that I’ve discussed things that have helped me hit the ball farther, I think I’d better point out a few dangers a golfer seeking greater distance must try to avoid.
First, you may find you are going too high on your left toe when you try a full windup on the backswing. I am somewhat guilty of this myself.
However, if you must lift your left heel high on the backswing, be certain you lower it immediately at the start of the downswing. If you don’t, your weight may remain on your right foot and you will automatically fall back, uncocking your wrists too early. You will find yourself throwing the club out with your hands as if you were casting a fly rod; instead of bringing them in close to your body in the delayed hit position.
Some people trying for extra distance have a tendency to overswing. They take the club back farther than they should. Guard against opening your left hand at the top of your backswing. You cannot overswing if this hand grips the club firmly throughout the swing. (Reverse for lefthander, of course).
In closing, I’d like to talk about hitting the ball hard. Watching me play, you might say I swing hard. This is true. Actually, I feel that I am swinging as hard as I can.A second pitfall in striving for length is a tendency to swing the shoulders on too level a plane. The left shoulder should tilt slightly on the backswing, and the right shoulder should swing well down and under on the downswing.
It’s a funny thing about golfers. Many won’t admit they swing as hard as they can, within reason. But the truth is that all the players on the pro tour hit that ball as hard as they can and still keep it in play.
But swinging hard at the ball doesn’t in itself provide distance. It is the proper weight shift and the delayed hit that gives results as I mentioned earlier.
You must also have good timing. To swing at the ball hard and still maintain good timing, take the club back from the ball slowly. Build your swing up slowly, with a full body turn, a firm grip, and then zoom into the ball. From the day I started golf, I’ve always tried to hit the ball as hard as I could; I would advise that any young boy or girl who is beginning golf do the same. It’s simple to go from a hard swing to an easier one. But, if you have been an easy swinger, it’s difficult to suddenly start hitting the ball hard. More often it goes the other way, and an easy swinger develops a lazy stroke when he gets older.
(end of Driving for Distance)
Hope you enjoyed the article above by Gary Player from his book.
Greens and fairways!
This is an excerpt from a book in the Online Classics Golf Library,
an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of Break 80 Without Practice, a complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do.
At his peak, when Palmer put the ball on the golf tees, there was nobody better. In his own words on his shots off the tees:
I’ve been telling you to hit the ball hard, but let’s pause for a minute and qualify that.
No good player ever swings as hard as he can; that is, he doesn’t throw everything at the ball. Rather, it’s a matter of timing, not of overpowering the ball off the tees.
Some people can turn farther than others. The bigger the turn, the longer the arc of the club head and the better the chance to speed it up.
Every player has to stop his turn at some point. When further movement back will affect the grip on the club or alter the stance, the limit of the turn has been reached. Each player has to find this point for himself.
With my left foot pointed slightly toward the hole and my right set at a right angle to the intended line of flight and slightly behind the front foot, I have room for the turn. My hips can rotate along with my shoulders, and my head will remain fixed without impairing my vision of the ball. My feet are almost exactly as far apart as my shoulders, and my knees are Hexed slightly, giving the impression I’m about to sit down.
If I can get back to this same position at impact, I know I will hit the ball right off the tee. If I position myself wrong at the start, my chances of hitting the ball properly are reduced, unless there is some compensation in the swing. Compensations create bad habits. You cannot do the same wrong things the same way all the time because they are unnatural. But you can get in the habit of doing the right things most of the time.
Golf clubs are constructed for different distances by changing the loft of the club. The face of the driver makes almost a right angle to the ball and propels it the longest distance. The brassie or two-wood is cut with more loft and so on down to the wedge, which lies almost flat on the ground.
The feet are spread farthest apart in the stance for the driver and get closer together as the club loft increases. The stance opens, too, to the point that the wedge is hit with the feet barely apart and the left foot well behind the right.
The ball is positioned from the front toward the back. With the driver, the ball rests on the tee opposite the instep of the left foot. When you get to the five- iron, the ball rests halfway between the feet. And when you reach the wedge, it is opposite the instep of the right foot.
On my drives I concentrate on moving the left shoulder under my chin with a slow, deliberate action until I reach the top of my backswing. Now is the time to turn on the power. I have the feeling that my left hand is pulling the club down.
You should be able to feel the weight leaving the right side before you start thinking about hitting the ball off the tee. This prevents a quick uncocking of the wrists at the top of the swing and the resultant loss of all power. It also helps avert a slice, which takes all the distance from the hit.
Few things give a greater feeling of accomplishment than striking the ball with the middle of the clubface and watching it go straight and far. And there are few worse feelings of despair than those when the ball is hit with the heel of the club or with the top half of the clubface and dribbles away or shoots off into places where it was never intended to go.
It’s no disgrace to hit a golf ball crooked. There are so many things that can go wrong off the tee that even the best players have their bad days. Sam Snead, who is recognized as a picture swinger, occasionally hits the ball with a hook that makes a pitcher’s best curve ball look dinky.
Ben Hogan, who holds four Open titles and record scores in both the Open and Masters, was a notorious hooker and ready to quit the game until long hours of labor on the practice tees got the ball moving in the opposite direction-from left to right. With few exceptions, most power hitters produce hooking action, which I believe is the correct way for the ball to fly.
In 1958, when I first won the Masters, I hit a drive on the seventeenth hole that hooked a little too much, smacked into a tree, and almost put me in the land of bogey.
Fortunately it bounced back into the fairway and I was able to reach the green with an iron and get my par. I was lucky there since all players make mistakes. The idea is to reduce these mistakes to a minimum.
Until you get a slight hooking action, you aren’t coming into the ball right. The average player, I mean.
At most courses, there are four par-five holes and par is 72. When you can hit the long ball consistently off the tee, the par fives are reduced to par fours and par for you is 68. The shorter hitter is at a disadvantage most of the time. When the long-baller is on the green or mighty close, the shorter hitter has almost a full pitch shot.
He’s playing an easy par-five hole with this shot, but the long hitter has only a chip or two putts for his birdie-and is within eagle range.
One of the most important factors in setting yourself up for the long hit is the grip. You must hold the club firm, and use the strong position. That is, have the left thumb alongside the shaft on the right side rather than on top. The right hand will fall in line if you overlap the right pinkie be tween the first two fingers of the left hand and place it firmly in the valley there.
I’m convinced that most players who slice take the clubhead back outside the line of flight the first six inches from the ball. Concentrate on moving the clubhead straight back. This will force you into the correct hitting position at the top. There is no breaking of the wrists until the hands pass the right hip.
Use a driver with a medium to soft shaft in the beginning. The softer shaft with more whip will give the ball a longer flight with less physical effort. The stiff-shafted club must be swung much harder to produce an equal amount of force.
The length of the driver is a factor in hitting the long ball, too. The longer the club, the bigger the arc and the more speed. It is harder to control the longer driver but, once you get the feeling of the long ball, it is easy to move back to a club of average length.
Many times I have been accused of swinging so hard that my eyes bulge. No doubt I have slashed at the ball on occasions when the heat was on and my temperature was a few degrees higher than normal. For the most part, though, I think it’s the last-second release of the club as it comes back to the hitting position that gives this impression.
I hit down on the ball more than most because I believe that the club- head and the ball should meet at the bottom of the arc of my swing. The more popular conception is that you hit the ball on the upswing. When you do hit the ball on the upswing, the ball gets a higher flight. This shot is more difficult to control if there is any wind; it does not have as much roll and thus costs you distance.
I have the feeling of starting back to the ball from the top with my left hand. At one time I was a bad hooker, but I always managed good distance and gradually learned to control the amount of hooking action. I still have a tendency to hook because I’m hanging onto the club for dear life with the left hand.
I love this article by The King, Arnold Palmer. I have always been one to swing hard naturally and then work on accuracy through trusting my unconscious mind. My height is 5′ 5″ and I am able to sometimes hit it 300 yards. More often, it’s about 260-270. This comes from my fearlessness at going at the ball with most of what I have in this body! I don’t think you get more accuracy by swinging easy as Arnold says.
This is an excerpt from a book in the Online Classics Golf Library, an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of
A complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do. One payment, continuous books on golf sent to you to read on your computer or print out and read while sitting on your couch or easy chair.
Arnold Palmer teaches how to hit the driver
Excerpted from the book Golf Swing Eureka by Jon Barrett
Why do we find a move that seems so easy to the professionals so incredibly difficult to perform?
Recently I discovered that psychologists believe that we learn differently as adults than we do when we were children. And I believe this may be the key to explaining why we have such a difficult time of it.
The large majority of professional golfers will have taken up golf when they were kids – Tiger Woods was swinging a club well at 3!
But, I would imagine the majority of amateur golfers took golf up when either in their late teens, early twenties or even later in life – as adults.
The psychologists believe that as children we learn from repeating the model that we see – we know that kids are very trusting of what they are told. Yes, they ask lots of questions but they trust the answers given. They see, and are told, and DO.
Now as adults we learn differently. We have already formed opinions about how the world is and how things operate. So when we learn something new we actually test it against the rules that we have already built up in our heads as to what is right and wrong.
Unfortunately for us, the golf swing is actually illogical. That’s where the problem stems from. In our heads we can’t actually accept or believe that that is how the golf swing works. We then trust our instinct and test it against our rules and go back to what we believe is logical.
Here is what is illogical about the golf swing:
A Golf Swing without Effort = A Powerful 300 yard drive
It’s been said before that the secret to the pros swing is that it achieves `Power WITHOUT Effort – how illogical is that!
It’s a bit like saying we’re going on a 200 mile car journey, but we’re not going to turn the engine on! No ones going to believe you.
That’s how our brains interpret it – we think there’s no way you can hit a golf ball 300 yards without LOTS of effort.
So next time we coil up on the backswing our brain tells our muscles `right guys we need plenty of effort if we’re going to send this ball long and straight’.
Pro’s do actually put effort into their swings to get the ball to go that far (look at Tiger Woods face just before impact and you’ll see what I mean) BUT they put it in at a completely different point in the swing to amateur golfers. They also know the technique that allows them to produce such great results – and it doesn’t involve power, certainly not how the amateur golfer understands it.
Amateur golfers think you need to start the golf swing powerfully BUT the pro golfers know that you put the effort in at the bottom of the swing.
If you try and take this point on board this will start the process of adjusting your mind.
Over the next few pages I’m going to OPEN your EYES to how the golf swing actually works – much of which us amateurs don’t appreciate.
Understanding is the 1st key to unlocking your golfing potential.
Towards the end of my book I’ll show you where to get a piece of software that will by-pass your conscious mind and reprogram your sub-conscious mind to believe what you will see and start to understand about how the pro golf swing works. How YOU can swing powerfully without effort.
EYE-OPENER No. 2
What part of the body contributes the most to generating the maximum speed of the club head?
This single answer allowed me to make a huge leap in my understanding of the golf swing, and in everything I had seen and read about the golf swing none of it emphasised it enough.
I carried out a survey on the Internet over several weeks and asked visitors to my web site the question:- What part of the body contributes the most to generating the maximum speed of the club head?
Only 20% got the answer correct – That’s only 1 in every 5 golfers! And these golfers had a wide range of handicaps down to single figures.
Interestingly this figure corresponds to another golfing statistic – Did you know that only around 20% of golfers have a handicap of less than 18? It made me wonder whether the misunderstanding of the fundamental aspect could be the one thing that is holding so many golfers back.
Which part of the body do you think creates the maximum speed of the club head?
(Graphics and explanations ommitted here)
….So the answer to the question that I posed above is that it is the hands (or wrists) that contribute the most to generating the maximum club head speed. The club is moved through over 180 degrees whilst the arms move through less than 60 degrees – all of the rest of the movement of the head of the golf club is generated by the movement of the hands. Unfortunately the large majority of golfers think that it is with the shoulders and arms. I’ll come back to this point later as even when you get everything else right in your swing this can be a real good swing killer!
Find out the details and much more in Jon’s Eye Opening ebook: Golf Swing Eureka
Jon Barrett WAS a frustrated golfer and has studied the golf swing for 5 years in search of the information that would make his scores tumble but without success… UNTIL he discovered what only 1% of amatuer golfers know about the Pro’s golf swing… Read all about his eye opening concepts you won’t find in standard swing advice now, including THE MAGIC MOVE… Golf Swing Eureka
Without a doubt the most common fault in golf is slicing.
I remember many, many years ago, a British golf magazine relating the story of such a discussion. To prove how the club actually traveled a flaming material was attached to the clubhead and pictures of this flamed path were taken in the darkness of night. I vividly recall the utterly black background with a picture of the club’s lighted path. The club did not go back and forth on the same line.
About the time that Bobby Jones was at the peak of his game, high speed motion picture cameras were being improved and perfected. One company, anxious to demonstrate the efficiency of its product, took pictures of everything that traveled at high speed and eventually they came around to Bobby Jones’ golf swing. With this high speed camera they had pictures of the club at every point of the swing, so they charted the path of the club. Much to their surprise they discovered that Bobby Jones’ golf club did not go back and forth on the same line—as a matter of fact, it did a decided loop. The club traveled inwardly at the start of the backswing, then straight up,
and as it reached the top of the swing it went to the out- side slightly. As the downswing started, the club dropped to the inside again and it remained on that path until the ball was met. At this point it went straight up and over— the club actually traveled through a figure eight pattern. The evidence was undeniable.
In presenting the pictures to the public a great hurrah was raised to the effect that Bobby Jones, the peerless champion, had a flaw in his swing. No one wanted to study a defect, so there was no interest in the films.
It is regrettable that the pictures were not regarded for their true worth. Subsequent study of the golf swing has proven that the club cannot and does not travel back and forth on the same line.
But as most players do not understand the need or the mechanics of shifting their weight, they are forced to use their left side in a sort of turning motion to take the club away on the backswing. This left side action of the body carries the club to the outside of the line of flight.
Add to this the common suggestion of a tight grip with the last three fingers of the left hand and you have a hand action which will throw the face of the club open. What can the player do but pull the club across the line of flight as the club is brought into the ball? After one or two such slices, everybody in the foursome becomes a coach and the routine advice offered is this: “You are pulling your club from the outside in—you are coming across the ball from outside in—now what you must do is to swing from the inside out.” They continue: “Imagine that the ball is sitting on home plate and you are driving it to second base—but don’t try to swing straight through the second base, swing from inside out—swing out towards first base.”
And I see many golfers doing exactly this—and they have cured their slice but they have the most annoying, sickening hook you ever saw because they just replace one error with another error.
All this brings up the subject of just where the club does go as it travels from the ball to the top of the swing and down again into the ball and the follow through. Many golfers feel that the club should go back and forth on exactly the same path. Whether it goes back and forth on the same line has been the subject of many debates.
Bobby Jones swing is HIS swing. You have to be your own swing doctor and see if this doesn’t answer a question or two that you might have but don’t take it totally literally. I like Novak because he tells it like it is. This is his method of teaching and it could be fabulous for you. Any swing instructor method can work for you. Funny that now we have technology so that we don’t need to put a flame on the end of a club. This is about having a two-plane golf swing and being ok with it. As you know, I always advocate being ok with your swing!
This is an excerpt from a book in the Online Classics Golf Library, an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of
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Nick Bayley is the author of the highly successful “Draw” System which has been used by over 5000 golfers to hit the ball further, straighter and more consistently. And Nick was recently interviewed by The New Zealand Golf Gazette where he shared his secrets to fixing the dreaded golf slice.
Golf Gazette: Hi Nick, and thanks a lot for agreeing to do this Interview. So let’s get straight into it. Why did you create a system to fix golfers slice and how long did it take to put together?
Nick: The reason I created The “Draw” System was because one day I was surfing the web and I saw a statement that said “85% of golfers slice the ball.” Seeing that statement stopped me dead in my tracks and I decided right then and there to do something to help as many golfers as I could to fix this problem. Because being able to consistently draw the ball is easy, BUT it’s only easy if you’re shown how. Like anything, if you don’t know how to do it, or have never been shown then of course it’s hard or difficult.
From the point of seeing that statement on the web it then took me 3 solid months to create and test what I believe is the best step-by-step “How to Fix Your Slice System” in the world.
Golf Gazette: So what does a golfer need to do to hit consistent draws?
Nick: From all my testing and research it has become very clear to me that all that is required to consistently draw the ball is the following three things.
1. A golfer needs setup for a draw, and 2. Swing from the inside while contacting the ball with a slightly closed clubface, and
3. Have equipment that encourages a draw.
And although it’s possible for a golfer to draw the ball with only two out of these three things being correct, I’ve found that if a golfer wants to consistently draw the ball then they must combine all three perfectly.
Golf Gazette: Clearly you think it’s so easy to fix a slice so why do so many golfers suffer from this problem?
Nick: I believe the main reason is because most of golfers are only ever shown a fraction of what is needed to hit consistent draws. As I’ve said, a golfer needs to setup for a draw, swing from the inside while contacting the ball with a slightly closed clubface and have equipment that encourages a draw. And my system teaches each of these elements in great detail. In essence, my system is giving golfers the complete solution rather than just tips that may or may not help.
Golf Gazette: Apart from the obvious advantage of hitting the ball straighter after fixing a slice is there any other advantages?
Nick: I read some interesting research that Golf Digest did back in 1981 to find out the difference between a fade and a draw. They setup a driving machine to hit draw and fade shots and from their scientific tests they found that on average a draw goes 17 yards further than a fade shot. And it doesn’t take a genius to work out that a slice is going to go even less distance than a fade shot! From the golfers who have tried The “Draw” System this 17-yard increase in distance is conservative, very conservative. Because I’ve found that when a golfer changes from one who slices the ball to one who draws the ball they get a huge increase in confidence. And this huge increase in confidence combined with the change in ball flight from a fade/slice to a draw is gaining most golfers an extra 25-30 yards more distance!
Golf Gazette: Your system has a pretty amazing guarantee but could you explain in more detail what exactly it is.
Nick: Sure, I guarantee this system will fix any golfers slice in 90 days. If it doesn’t then the golfer can send it back and they’ll get their money back with no questions asked plus I’ll pay them an extra $35. That’s how confident I am that it works. And through my follow up with golfers who have tried this system I’ve found that it generally takes most golfers about 30 days to consistently draw the ball. But having said that, the other day I received an email from a customer in Palmerston North, New Zealand who had never, ever drawn or even hooked a ball in all his 7 years of playing golf. And just 10 days after getting my system and following the instructions I recommended he was drawing his shots 70% of the time. And this helped him to win a prize for longest drive, nearest the pin and lowest gross in the first competition he played in after receiving the system. As you can imagine he was pretty excited about all of this and it was a great start for my day getting an email like that.
Golf Gazette: Do you have any other success stories you can tell us about?
Nick: On my website I have over 140 customer comments from golfers in over 21 different countries. And I have more success stories and more coming in daily. But one of the success stories I like the best is from the manager of the Two Under Club here in New Zealand who has been playing golf for some 31 years now. And like many golfers he has sliced the ball since starting to play this great game. He tried my system and is now consistently drawing the ball, which he is both amazed and delighted about.
Golf Gazette: So what exactly do you get people to do in this system of yours?
Nick: On the first four days of the system I teach golfers each element of the setup needed to consistently draw the ball. Then on day five I get the golfer to combine all these elements into one simple setup position that encourages them to draw/hook the ball. Then for the next 14 days I give golfers drills that teach them each stage of the swing from the take-away to the follow-through. You see I’ve found that getting golfers to do drills that force them to do a part of the swing correctly is the quickest way to change a golfers muscle memory. Theory is all well and good but if a golfer can’t feel what they should be doing then all the theory in the world will be of no use to them. After completing all the drills the golfer is then given advice on little things they can do with there equipment to encourage a draw. Plus they are given simple tests that quickly show if their equipment is encouraging or hurting their chances of hitting consistent draws. Most golfers find that they have to do very little if anything to their equipment to help them draw the ball. But for others their equipment will never allow them to hit consistent draws and learning that this is the case can literally save golfers years of frustration and heartache. And finally on day 21 the golfer is shown a setup position that encourages a consistent, powerful draw and given advice on what they should keep doing on a consistent basis (drills etc.) to reinforce what they have done over the past 21 days.
Golf Gazette: It sounds very detailed. How much are golfers meant to practice this to ensure they fix their slice?
Nick: I recommend that golfers spend at least 15 minutes on each daily exercise to fix their slice after 21 days. Also 90% of everything in the system can be done at home so there’s basically no need for practice facilities other than a place to hold and swing a club.
Golf Gazette: Are you serious? With only 15 minutes a day for 21 days someone can fix a slice they may have had for 30 years or longer?
Nick: Absolutely. It’s not the time so much as the sequence that a golfer learns all the steps. It’s like building a house. You don’t start with the roof, but instead you build a solid base and foundation. The same is true in the golf swing. Start at the setup, then the swing, then the equipment. And if golfers are given a simple plan to follow that is based on sound fundamentals, then there is no way anyone can fail.
Golf Gazette: Sounds great. How can golfers get more information about this new golf system?
Nick: Any golfer who is interested in this golf system can get more information at my website: The Draw System
Greens and fairways,
I was reading in another Arnold Palmer book that his Dad always taught him that he could swing as hard as he wanted to but that he had to keep his head still during the swing.
Here’s an exerpt from his book: “Hit it Hard”
The position of your head is an important part of the stance. The head must stay in a fixed position behind the ball. You can keep your eye on the ball and still move your head. Many players have found this out by topping a ball, hitting in back of it, or over it. This is caused by moving the head up or down when drawing the club away from the ball. If the bead is moved from side to side, severe hooking or slicing results.
A With the head fixed, the left shoulder moves under the chin on the backswing and the right shoulder comes back under the chin on the downswing. The head moves only after contact has been made with the ball.
In the National Open at Toledo’s Inverness Club in 1957, I was driving the ball badly, straying into the rough, which is always deep in Open championships. It’s always disastrous to scoring. One time I would drive to the right rough, the next time in the left rough.
The reason improper placement of my head. In trying to get the ball to go straight, I was concentrating on the grip and the swing, when, in fact, it was all in the stance.
Gene Littler, a fellow pro, noticed that my head was moving and told me about it on the practice tee. My straight drive came back automatically when I fixed the position of my head, but by that time I was too far out of contention to make a run for the title.
There are many things that can go wrong with a golf swing, but, if you take a proper stance, you can find out what’s wrong by conducting a little investigation.4
Relax. Don’t stand at attention. Comfort is the key at address. If you can’t be comfortable standing still, think how much tougher it’s going to be when you swing at the ball.
And now an opposing viewpoint…
Holding the head still from the book “Golf Can Be An Easy Game” by Joe Novak
At no time throughout my years of instruction do I remember consciously asking a pupil to keep his eye on the ball. I feel that the player will naturally look at the ball because that is his target, so why bother telling him to do it. Of course, the real reason so much stress is placed on keeping your eye on the ball is that your head will stay still. I disagree with this suggestion, because if one -holds his head extremely still he restricts and inhibits a nice free action in his body.
In the natural course of movement in a golf swing, the act of shifting one’s weight to the right foot does straighten that knee. As the diagonal stretch action of the body is used to raise the club to the top of the swing there is an added straightening of the entire right side. In other words, the combination of shifting the weight to the right foot plus using the right side of the body to carry the club to the top of the swing, automatically produces a certain erectness or straightening of the entire right side. Under the influence of this action the head position is raised as the backswing is made. Then as the weight shifts to the left foot, there is a momentary drop of the entire body position, and consequently the head naturally lowers slightly. However, after the weight moves to the left foot and the left side is used to bring the club through, there is a decided straightening of the left side and again the head is raised slightly.
In other words, the head goes higher as the backswing is made, temporarily drops to a slightly lower position as the downswing starts, but again raises as the swing is completed. Any attempt to hold the head absolutely still restricts this natural body action. Hence I have never asked a pupil to hold his head still.
– The most outstanding exponent of this perfectly natural rise and fall action of a golf shot was Byron Nelson, who carved a record in professional golf contests that will be difficult to match.
Another exponent of this natural rise and fall action of the correct golf swing is Cary Middlecoff, all-time money winner in professional golf.
After a period away from competition, it was quite noticeable that Middlecoff’s swing was tense and restricted due to a very fixed bead position, but in a short time he got into the rhythm of his swing and the slight rise and fall of his bead position during the swing was readily noticeable again. Therefore, don’t freeze arid tighten up your swing by trying to hold your head still.
If the action of your body is correct it will operate within the gyroscopic pattern of the two-way diagonal stretch that all good golfers acquire. If you are within that pattern you won’t have to worry about holding your head still. Don’t do anything to disturb a natural body action.
A complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do.
I certainly can understand the camp that says “allow the head to move.” However, physics says that it is easier to have accuracy and power when the fulcrum of a lever is at a fixed point. Meaning, I always focus on keeping my head still ESPECIALLY during a chip or putt. If you allow it, the swing will pull the head up out of the still position by natural momentum.
golf swing instruction or whether or not to allow head movement is all so very subjective. The golfer ultimately has to decide what is best for him/her.
The third basic fundamental, the swing’s plane, is a much misunderstood, highly controversial aspect of the game. This aspect of the golf stroke is influenced most strongly by the degree that the player bends his trunk or torso. The more upright the player stands the more vertical the plane of the swing will generally be. However, the height of the player also has a strong influence on the swing’s plane with the shorter player having a flatter plane and the taller one the more upright plane.
The girth of the player is another factor influencing the swing’s plane. Of necessity the stout person uses a flatter swing than his thinner fellow player. The short stout golfer will need a flatter plane than the tall stout, and the tall stout will generally have a flatter plane than the tall thin.
The short stout golfer needs a flat swing, first to allow the arms to clear the body during the swing, and second, to produce an arc of sufficient circumference to produce adequate power. This type of golfer needs clubs with a flat lie and shafts of medium to medium-long length to aid in executing this wider arc.
Tips for the golf swing plane
The short thin player could clear his body with his arms while swinging in a somewhat more upright plane, but in doing so he might dig under the ball. To eliminate this digging, such a player would have to use clubs so short as to cut down the swing’s circumference and greatly deplete power. Thus the short thin player should also use fairly long equipment . with flat clubhead lies, and he should also swing on a flat plane to produce more power.
From what has been said about the swing plane one may deduce that I feel a flat swing produces more power than an upright one. This is not true if the upright swing has as wide an arc as the flat one. It is simply a fact that the flatter the plane the wider arc one can use without digging the clubhead into the ground behind the ball. And the flatter plane allows the arms to have greater body clearance, a major necessity for the stouter and shorter player.
Of course the length and lie of the various clubs within a given set, say from the driver to the 9-iron, have a bearing upon the angle of swing plane. The longer driver requires a relatively flat plane. Each succeeding club throughout the matched set to the 9-iron requires a microscopically more upright swing plane because the shafts become shorter and the player stands closer to the ball.
In all cases care must be taken not to become so upright in swing plane as to cause arm friction with the body, clubhead collision with the ground, or power depletion through shortening of the swing’s arc.
In summing up, a player will obtain maximum directional control and maximum power if his swing plane is as upright as possible but still not so upright as to produce arm-body friction during the swing.
Craig’s take on swing plane:
Listen, I’ve provided this page and others like it because I think there might something here that will help you. It may not be the obvious thing about trying to get a perfect swing plane or a one or two plane swing. If nothing hits you as useful, ignore this. Every golfer is different. I personally have never worried about my “swing plane.” I just square and point, that’s all.