Where is your focus? I would bet it may not be where research tells us it should be!
I have to admit I’ve been guilty of this, and I would bet you have been too! Our focus may be on the wrong thing.
As golfers, it is our nature to focus on what our body is doing and what our hands and arms are doing and a whole lot more!
There is considerable research showing us that teachers and players tend to focus too much on the internal and not enough on the external. This research also tells us that external focus is hands down the best way to learn a skill.
“And since golf is a motor skill it makes total sense to shift our attention externally.”
This does not mean that we completely dismiss what else is going on before, during, and after the golf ball is struck. But if I asked you to toss me a ball, would you think about the movements necessary to toss it to me?
Maybe if you had never thrown, or tossed a ball you might not get it to me…or even close! But I would wager you still would not think about the movements!
So what exactly is internal and external focus?
Today’s Players and Instructors spend a lot of time on the Internal parts of the swing. And there certainly isn’t anything wrong with that.
What if you were asked to clear your mind of swing thoughts?
Not all of them, keep the ones that strike the ball.
See ball, see club, hit ball with club!
So you hit it decently but maybe not where you wanted to.
Now you add to the “See ball, see club, hit ball with club….at TARGET!
Check out this study that was done at UNLV by Dr. Gabriele Wulf where participants had no prior golf experience.
They were given some basics such as grip, stance, and posture as well as a demonstration.
Subsequently, two groups of participants were given slightly different attentional instructions.
To read the entire study CLICK HERE.
It’s Thanksgiving time here in the US.
It’s Thanksgiving time and that means we all eat too much and will continue on this “feasting” for the next month and a half!
We’ll gain several pounds this Thanksgiving and a lot of people will make a “New Years” resolution to lose those pounds and start working out or work out harder. The health clubs love this time of year! More and more people sign up/join then after a couple of months they quit going…it happens every year!
Guess what else us golfers do?
We also make a resolution…dammit…this year I REALLY am going to dedicate myself to getting better!
Just like the resolve to working out…this too fades away.
Why do we put ourselves through this every year? Why don’t we actually follow through with our plans?
I think they are a couple of reasons…
It actually takes work to become better.
Your local teaching Pro just can’t sprinkle some magic dust on you and poof…you’re better!
Noooo…YOU have to put in the time and effort to accomplish your goal!
The goal is NOT specific enough.
HOW are you going to get better? Is it ball striking, short game, course management, or the mental game?
Need help in deciding your goals?
Soon, its gonna be cold up north, if it’s not already. Are you putting the clubs up and hoping for the best when comes around?
You’ve got a few choices here too.
Wait until spring, dust off the clubs, and about the time you get your groove on…it’s time to put them up again!
So here’s the deal…
…Nothing and I mean nothing, beats a hands-on-session
Our schools are filling up fast!
So if you are really serious about your game, or even kinda serious, or just want to get out of the cold and snow, NOW is the time to schedule your coaching with us here in the desert!
As a special incentive for you, we’re offering this one of a kind tuition if you book your school before December 15th!
All you need to do is book your time before December 15th, 2017.
You have until April 1 – 2018, to attend. (50% deposit required)
When I was a kid I had NO FEAR of putting…NONE!
Every putt I hit, if it didn’t go in the hole went 3-4 feet by and the majority of the time I made these knee-knockers coming back.
I’ll bet when YOU were a kid the same thing happened to you.
As kids we had no fear, missing wasn’t even an option. But then something happened…
…We got older AND started missing those come-backers!
So instead of putting “freely” we started thinking about NOT 3 putting!
Lots of the worlds best players go through this, even the great Tom Watson. In his career, he ran the ball past the hole if he didn’t make it. Then, he started missing those come-backers and he got a little gun shy!
He eventually worked his way out of it back to the Watson we all know.
If you are always trying NOT to 3 putt I can guarantee you one thing…you’ll NEVER make anything!
The moral of the story…go back to being a kid and putt no fear!
Have You Ever Improved From Game Improvement Tips?
I know a LOT of players that live their life and game by these.
And yep…they are mostly quick tips that don’t apply to me OR you!
I had a player the other day that I had never worked with before.
I asked him what he was working on and he showed me 5 handwritten pages of game improvement tips he had seen from the Golf Channel, magazines, and YouTube videos and of course the all time worst thing you could do…advice from a friend!
I asked him, with all of these tips and notes how many of them have actually helped you. He said, NONE…that’s why I’m here!
Whether you are a beginner or a Touring Professional we will give you the opportunity to take your game to the next level!
This opportunity will be limited so that the quality control will be second to none. I can’t tell you, just yet, what will be included in this opportunity because we cannot let this get out prior to launch.
What I can tell you though is that it will change your golfing life…forever!
Until then, keep it in the short grass!
Throughout golf’s rich history, there have always been great players.
Some were great ball strikers. Others were great wedge players and some great putters.
Which would you prefer to be?
I’ve personally seen, and competed, against them all and let me tell you…I’d rather play someone with a weak short game anytime!
Great ball strikers have full command of their swing. Hit it a ton, stiff the irons but can’t make a putt to save their life!
Let’s look at 2 examples of great ball strikers.
- Moe Norman – rated by some as the greatest ball striker ever. Aesthetically, a swing you would never want to copy! But there were things IN his swing that made him so pure. He didn’t like putting and thought the short game was a waste of time.
- George Knudson – another rated by his peers as one fo the top 5 ball strikers that ever played the game! He too disdained short game and putting. He liked to say he would just take 2 putts and walk off the green.
Now let’s look at a couple of short game wizards.
- Seve Ballesteros – a true magician with the short game. Because of his erratic ball-striking, he HAD to have a great short game, and boy did he ever!
- Phil Mickelson – another maestro of the short game. Phil is NOT known for his ball-striking but again, he is never out of a hole due to his wedge game. His putting can be sporadic at times, but you don’t win Majors without great putting.
With all of the stats available today, from the PGA Tour, you can see who is leading – and falling behind, in the Shots Gained categories.
The majority of the world’s best players have coaches to use as a second pair of eyes. To point out some seemingly minute “flaw” that can turn them around, or get them back on track.
Look at the differences in today’s top players.
The set-up is different, grips are different, backswing and downswing are different, alignment is different but the key is that for the most part, they ALL hit the ball the same! It’s whoever has the hot short game that wins it!
Dustin Johnson this past week lead all but one category for Strokes Gained – putting. He was 74th in that category. He would have been much higher but for a couple of days of missed putts.
In this case, I can hear you saying to yourself, the best ball striker DID win! And I agree…in THIS case!
Look, it doesn’t matter what your strength is, keep building upon it BUT look at your weaknesses…THERE is where the majority of the work should be put in.
And hey, if you REALLY can’t figure it out come see me. If you can’t get to Arizona, then contact me for a referral to someone in your area.
Hope to see ya soon,
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher
Devoted KC Chiefs Fan
In earlier articles we discussed the role of the body and that it’s “job” is to provide the balance, arms generate the speed, and hands give the shot direction.
Here are a couple of ways to think about this.
First, every house and every structure must have a firm foundation and the foundation for the golf stroke is what the body is doing. Without this foundation and support from a stable body, or Pivot motion, then the structure will not have any rigidity and a structure can only be as good as its foundation.
Another way to think of this is an air plane delivering a bomb to its intended target. The body is of course the airplane and it is delivering the hands arm and club to its location which is to the golf ball, or aiming point, while still driving down to full extension.
Now let’s take a look at what some of the body parts should be doing during the stroke and we’ll start with the feet.
The feet need to be firmly into the ground with no unnecessary lifting or rolling other than what the body makes them do. If the feet are pulled off the ground because of the Pivot motion then fine. Otherwise they need to stay as firmly planted in the ground as possible without any of that unnecessary lifting or rolling.
The knees start out at address in a bent condition the same amount of the bend as if you were in an Impact position. As you make a backstroke the right knee can either stay flexed or it can be allowed to straighten and in the downstroke this is just reversed. The left knee can stay bent coming into Impact or it can be straightening, again the players’ choice.
The hips work in response to upper body rotation, more specifically the right shoulder, so they have choices as well. They can be free to in turn in both directions, or they can be delayed which means the shoulder turn itself pulls them and turns them.
The primary role of the shoulders is to allow the hands to work on plane. So if the right shoulder is off plane, then unless the hands are well educated, the clubhead will also be off plane. The arms want to follow the path of the shoulders.
Now the Hands can makeup for off plane shoulder movement but this takes tremendous amounts of timing to do so. So the easiest thing to do is to keep the right shoulder moving on plane, down and out to Low Point, just like you’re moving the hands and all way to the finish.
Check out this video discussing how the wrists work during a golf swing.
For the pitching stroke we advocate a square to the target line alignment with the body. With the club out in front of you, adjust your left and right wrist so the left arm and club form a straight line and that the right forearm and shaft are also in alignment. This should align the left wrist so it is flat and right wrist so that it is bent.
Bend/flex the knees and bend from the waist and drop the club behind the ball assuring that the alignments established at setup are not disturbed.
The knee and waist bend would be the same for what you would apply with any other golf stroke. The weight distribution should be 65% on the target side and the head is centered in the middle of the stance. The ball position is centered, with the head over the top of the ball, or slightly back with the head in front of the ball.
Remember, in any set up the head always remains in the center of the feet. So if the ball is behind Center the head would be in front the ball and if ball is forward of center then the head would be behind the ball.
To find out more about how to be involved in the Medicus Player Development Program, Medicus Golf Instructor, attend a golf school, or how to use Medicus Products, please click HERE or contact Tracy Lehnecker at: email@example.com or call 1.800.732.4995
Medicus Golf Junior Development Player Matt Hageman has signed to play golf at Illinois State University.
Matt began his 2007 tournament campaign by winning our own Medicus Golf AJGA Preseason tournament outside of Chicago by firing a final round 66. Matt proceeded throughout the year to climb the junior rankings. This earned Matt several looks at and offers by Universities throughout the country but when all was said and done Matt decided to stay closer to home and become a Redbird.
Matt is looking forward to his final year of high school and upcoming tournament golf season before embarking on his college career. With the recruiting class and returning golfers at ISU, they will be in position to compete at a high level in the NCAA. Matt looks forward in helping ISU to move event further up the NCAA Golf Rankings.
Matt began working with Chuck Evans, Executive Director of Instruction of Medicus Golf at the end of 2007. Besides long distance swing analysis and constant contact by phone and email, Matt has made several trips to Destin to get hands on work.
In February Matt will be making his first trip of 2009 back to Destin where he will be apart of the first weekend events of the upcoming Medicus Golf Player Development European “Bash on the Beach” . While in Destin he will be able to continue hands on training from Chuck Evans and mental coach Carey Mumford.
Matt, congratulations and the Medicus Golf team looks forward to your future successes.
To find out more about how to be involved in the Medicus Player Development Program, become a Medicus Golf Instructor, attend a golf school, or how to use Medicus Products, please click HERE or contact Tracy Lehnecker at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.732.4995