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.
Well, it’s another New Year and you’re probably saying some of the same things you said last year!
For those of us that play golf that usually means, “This New Year I’m REALLY going to work on my game and get better.”
“The big questions are HOW are you going to do that?
Have you set up a realistic goal?
Do you have a plan?
Do you have someone you can work with to help you reach your goal?
How much time are you willing to put in to achieve your goal??
For this New Year, you may want to consider trying to DO LESS in your golf swing! Yep, quit trying to do things you’ll NEVER be able to do and simplify your golf game!
Golf is both hard and easy.
The easy part is hitting a golf ball. The hard part is hitting it effectively!
For elite players golf is easy. They’ve spent years and years honing their skills and getting to the top of their game. For the mere mortals, golf is HARD! Unfortunately, too many players give up because they don’t enjoy the game anymore.
They’ve watched every video they can find, they’ve tried putting themselves into contorted positions and they just don’t get any better!
I’m not saying that ALL mortals don’t get better, a lot DO! But your average high handicapper actually doesn’t even care if they get better, they just want to play golf with their buddies…and that’s OK too!
We’ve all done this one time or another. We’ve looked at videos, tried things that we’ll never be able to do, and then just flat give up!
How about you try something easier…like focusing on the thing that hits the ball…
…THE GOLF CLUB!
IF you swing the club your body will generally follow it, unless your body STOPS it!
I define the golf swing as a hands and arms movement transported by the body. That does NOT mean it’s a body swing!
The hands and arms will move almost perfectly UNLESS the body does something to disrupt what they are doing.
For instance…if I start the backswing by taking the club “straight back” my body has a tendency to sway away from the ball. But if the hands move on an arc – back, up and in…simultaenously…the body will have a tendency to move on an arc too.
If the hands stop moving, generally the body does too.
Look at a player that strikes the ball then stops/quits. What is their body doing? It usually stopping too!
Learn to educate your hands, learn to swing your arms…just like the legends of the game did. It worked pretty well for them!
IF you are young, strong, and flexible, then, by all means, do the “modern” swing…moving the club by primarily using a body motion and with the club following.
One more thing…
…take a look at this image to the left. Does that reflect what you’re doing? There is an old saying in the south…
…”If ya keep on doin whatcha been doin, y’all git whatcha been gittin!”
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)
Did you know the golf swing is a version of the flail?
A flail was first used by the ancient Egyptians as a means of speeding up the way they threshed crops.
Later, the flail was turned into a weapon.
As a golfer, we use these same principles. The lead arm acts as the “rod”, the wrists as the leather thong, and the golf club as the end that creates the speed. In golf, we start with these 2 pieces and as the lead wrist cocks, ( radial deviation as the medical professionals call it) it creates an out of line condition.
As the lead wrist uncocks (ulnar deviation) this out of line condition rapidly starts getting inline. As the lead arm and club get inline they rapidly start getting out of line again. This is the flailing action we use in golf.
(Submitted photo Golf Tips Todd Elliott)
By NOT allowing this action to happen you are actually slowing the club down!
Here is a clip from Peter Allis with a little more explanation.
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!
Congratulations to Sergio Garcia, 2017 Master Champion!
This year the Masters started with conditions they have rarely had…wind, cold and rain!
The often a bridesmaid, but never a bride, finally won his first major and on a very special day! Today was Seve’s 60th birthday and what a way to celebrate!
In 1999 Sergio was the low amateur and Jose Maria Olazabal was the winner. Seve always said Sergio would win the Masters but he probably never dreamt it would take this long.
The duel between Justin Rose and Sergio was a classic and turned around at the 13th where Sergio had pulled his drive. His next shot was a punch out, up the fairway, and left him a great angle to the pin.
After his pitch shot, he had about 10 feet for par…and he made it! That may have been the par of the tournament for Sergio.
Both players are “class” people and they’re good friends.
As you watched them all day they rarely talked, they stayed focused on the task at hand! At times they would acknowledge one another’s shot but their focus was on winning the tournament.
Sergio said that a calm came over him today before he teed off. A calm that he had never experienced.
What can we, as golfers learn from today?
Stay focused, be determined, stay calm! Hit the shots you KNOW you can hit and make a few putts.
For the week, Sergio hit over 80% of the fairways…that helps!
For more help on strengthing your game, check out our instructional videos.
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
What Release Type Are You Using
A few weeks ago I told you we would discuss different release types and ask you what release type are you using.
Well….I’m back baby!
My definition of release types are rolling release and non-rolling release.
The rolling type of release has 3 variations;
- Full Roll
- Half Roll
- Reverse roll
The first 2 types of release create curvature. 1. Over draws and 2. Draws The 3rd one is generally a “push” cut to a “push” slice. This one is very usable for higher – less than full power shots…greenside bunkers and flop shots.
The first 2 are generally used when the player has the club coming from the “inside” on the downswing. IE…inward to outward.
Phil uses this one. Check out the clubface and the amount of “roll” at the early stage of follow-through.
This type of release requires PERFECT timing but is taught to a lot of amateurs as a means to draw the ball.
Henrik Stenson uses a non-rolling release. Look at the differences in these two release types.
The non-rolling release has a much more stable clubface and does NOT require PERFECT timing! Players that use this type of release generally are more of the “swing left” group (for right-handers). The majority of these players keep the clubhead and clubface more “square” to the arc.
So what release type are you using?
Does it match your swing path? Does it match what you are TRYING to do?
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher
Chuck Evans Golf offers golf lessons, golf schools and junior golf development in Phoenix Arizona