Before I go into the Open I want to answer a question that I get a LOT! That question is…is there a “secret” to golf?
Well, let me tell YOU…Pssst…come a little closer. The answer is…
THERE IS NO SECRET TO GOLF!
Disappointed? Sorry but there are many ways to move a golf club. If you watched any of the Open you saw two great competitors battle it out for Champion Golfer of the Year.
These two guys could not be any farther apart in how they move a club.
Phil, is primarily an arm swinger and rotates the clubface from open to closed.
(Notice how the clubface is rolling over and closing to the arc.)
This method takes perfect timing and is used by those players who like to work the ball.
Henrik, uses a LOT of upper body motion and attacks the golf ball using his right arm, more of a driving motion.
Now notice the difference in Henrik’s clubface,,,staying square to the arc.
So which one is better? That depends.
Players that have a higher hand location at the top of their backswing, above their shoulder, have a tendency to swing the arms like Phil. They typically move the club down on a flatter plane then they took it back on and swing the clubhead out to the right of target (left of target for Phil).
Players that take their hands to the trail shoulder, or below, typically use the right arm more and DO NOT rotate the clubface. Instead, the use what I call a “wrist throw.” When they do this they also swing to the left immediately after Impact.
On tour they call this going around the corner, we call it a “cornering release”.
Picture Ben Hogan swinging left after Impact, Jordan Spieth, KJ Choi, Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson! They all are going left post Impact.
By using this release type, the clubface remains much more stable, since it isn’t opening and closing, which produces a much more controlled ball flight.
The decision is yours.
Just like the grip you use, your ball position, your swing plane angle, your release type, your posture. You COULD call all of these YOUR Secret, IF they are producing the ball flight you want.
The biggest thing players need to realize is that if what you are doing produces what you want, then you’re good to go! If it isn’t, then maybe you should consider getting with your coach to work out those issues.
Almost every player we work with say they want to hit a draw.
When we ask them, “Why?”
Their response is ALWAYS…it goes farther…WRONG!
If ALL of the “numbers” are EXACTLY the same, a fade and a draw go the SAME distance!
But, if you are insistent about hitting a draw, here is a diagram for you to work with.
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(By clicking on the image above you can see the accompanying video)
Here is another image as well.
A very basic way to improve your golf game is to keep stats every time you play. By using the stats you can pinpoint the area(s) that need improvement, define a practice schedule for these areas, and lower your scores. Click Here to find out more about integrating stats into your game and practice schedule.
Some say the grip is not important…but we think it is! Your hands are the only thing connected to the golf club so the grip IS important. But how should YOUR hands go on the club?
Watch this webinar to see how to find YOUR grip.
Here at Chuck Evans Golf, we don’t make wholesale changes to our players. By using the 5 Simply Keys To Consistency we take what they have and make it better! In most cases this means that we reduce the amount of curve until they hit playable shots whether it be a draw or a fade.
What’s YOUR golf DNA?
The 3 Parts of the Game
Scoring is the ultimate test in golf but there are 3 parts that go into scoring.
There has been a lot of talk lately about ball striking being more important than putting. Let me put it this way, you can be the best putter in the world but when you one putt for a 10 you don’t have to be a great putter!
Let’s look at full swing first.
There are certain elements in the full swing that each player must achieve if they are to play the game. You must have the necessary length to play the course. This doesn’t mean you have to hit 300, or even 250 yards off the tee. The length of the course and the tees you play from dictate that.
You MUST keep the ball in play, NO penalty shots! You approach shots MUST be on OR near the green.
Fairly simple huh?
Short game are all of the shots inside of 100 yards, usually wedge shots. If you miss a green you MUST be able to get it up and down to minimize the damage. This could a greenside bunkers shot, a short pitch shot – from 50 yards and in – or a simple chip from the fringe.
Each of these shots require practice and a “feel” for the particular shot.
I have written extensively how to vary Impact and exit locations with wedges to change not only distance but trajectory. By doing so you can produce 9 different variations with each wedge in your bag!
Once on the green the flat stick takes over. There is no “one way” to putt just like there is no “one way” for full swing. Lots of great putters use different styles. Nicklaus “pushed” the putter with his right arm and Stricker uses more of a pendulum motion using his shoulders.
Find which way works best for you and stick to it! Players that experiment a lot never get a “feel” for what they are doing so they are constantly looking for that “lightening in a bottle.”
To take your game to the next level schedule your time with Chuck now!
There’s a time and a place for lower-trajectory shots, plus you’ll generally get more roll – especially in windy conditions. The key is to simply have your hands and weight more forward.
You still want to achieve a “steady head,” a “flat left wrist,” and a “weight forward swing”. You of course hit down on the ball with your hands forward and this means that you use less loft – which results in more spin, a lower trajectory and more roll!
As with any golf shot, hitting the sweet-spot is key to having a good solid shot, all good players hit the sweet spot with regularity.
If you choose to have a lower trajectory shot, then keep your head centered, maintain a flat left wrist, keep the pressure on your left (weight forward on downswing) and keep your hands in front of the ball!
Hit Lower Trajectory shots for more roll!
After researching the games greatest players we have found that there are only 5 things they all do on a consistent basis. No matter that they do it differently, have different swing styles, swing planes, grips and the like…they still have these commonalities.
Here is the first of the 5 Simple Keys…Steady Head.
Here it is August already…time really flies! There was so much to do this year that it’s hard for me to realize that we may actually get it all done!
In this months tip I’m going to talk about the biggest difference between great players and average players.
Sure some of what great players takes talent but they ALL do one thing that most players do not. A correct downswing sequence! You can look at all of the swing styles out there, Ernie Els versus Jim Fuyrk for example, and they all differ in some respect. But the ONE thing that they ALL have in common is the proper downswing sequence!
Here’s what happens.
From the top of the backswing the first move that initiates the downswing is a movement of the left knee. This movement is then followed by a lateral hip motion, then the shoulders unwinding, then the arms swinging, and finally the club moving.
Poor players get this sequence incorrect. For example, I recently saw a 30 handicapper that had a sequence like this. Club, shoulders, arms, and finally hips!
Holy cow Batman!
As you can see, and probably vividly, this golfer had a hard time being consistent. A huge loss of distance, couldn’t get the ball to start in the same place twice and wondered why he was having issues.
He was hating golf…and I don’t blame him…I would too!
The big question is though, can YOU change your downswing sequence to that of the best players in the world.
Of course the best way would be for you to come and visit me in the desert, but very soon we will have some drills that you can do at home too. In the next webinar I will be demonstrating how all of this works.
Fat and Thin shots…causes – changes in the radius, off plane motion, and ball location.
Changing the radius in the golf swing can, and usually does, change the delivery angle – angle of descent – into the golf ball. The radius can be changed by bending the left wrist, the left elbow, raising the upper thoracic – which in turn raises the head.
Other causes of these types of shots can be the angles of approach into the golf ball as well. Too far under plane shallows the angle of descent and too far over plane steepens the angle of descent.
Another cause, although less predominate then the above two, is ball location. Too far back can lead to thin shots and too far forward can lead to fat shots.
So let’s examine how to “cure these malfunctions.
Changes in the radius, the left wrist bending for example, can cause BOTH fat and thin shots. If the left wrist bends too early it can create fat shots and if it bends later thin shots.
The right wrist bend controls the flat left wrist so the more bend a player has in the right wrist at impact and separation the less chance the player has of bending the left wrist which causes the club to move upward and the clubface to close.
Here are a couple of drills that are extremely effective in learning how to maintain a bent right wrist.
Hit shots with the right arm only while maintaining the bend in the right wrist. Place a 2×4 8 inches behind the ball while using a short iron. Make a swing and miss the board. The board increases both the angle of ascent and the angle descent. Another drill, using a short iron, is to address the golf ball in its normal location for the player then place a second ball in line with the right ankle. Address the second ball with the club head, but without changing your original setup position with the body. Make a swing and strike the front ball without hitting the rear ball.
And finally, have players hit punch/knockdown shots. This has proven to be one of the most effective ways to learn to hit shots with the handle leaning forward.
The other most common way to lose radius is a shortening of the left arm. This is most common with players that swing across the ball from the outside. Lee Westwood loses his radius through the bending of the left elbow. He manages this though by changing his body height, getting lower, through Impact and maintaining a flat left wrist.
A drill for this is once again hitting punch shots while keeping the body turning. If the body doesn’t turn sufficiently the player essentially “runs out of right arm.” The player should feel like they strike the ball and then continue turning the torso until the clubshaft is parallel to the base of the plane and on their heel line.
Plane issues: As described above plane issues can also cause fat and thin shots. In an ideal situation the player should work more on their swing plane but some players simply have inherent tendencies that probably will not change.
For example, better players have a tendency to come into the ball from underneath plane. These players must play the ball farther back in order to strike the ball solidly with this shallow angle of attack. The higher handicapper has the tendency to come into the ball from outside the original plane. These player must play the ball more forward with this steep angle of attack. My advice is to give the student options and then see which one they can more readily relate to. If they are having a difficult time with staying on plane then make a ball position adjustment, as well as a clubface adjustment, to get the ball going where they want it to go.
Now let’s say their plane is pretty good and they have a flat left wrist but are still hitting it thin or fat. Start adjusting ball location until they hit it solidly. Remember however that any change in ball location also requires a clubface adjustment to hit the ball to target.