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Revolutionary Setup for Power and Consistency

Why is a flat wrist so important to your swing? As it turns out, you may already be setting up with a flat leading wrist for your irons, hybrids and woods. Unfortunately your forward teed up ball position for your driver forces you to cup your leading wrist. Pros have no problem changing that cupped leading wrist to a flat or bowed leading wrist but it’s not so easy for recreational golfers. If you are having problems creating a flat leading wrist in your backswing why not do it BEFORE YOU START YOUR DRIVER BACKSWING?

Iron, Hybrid and Wood Setup
When we setup with any of our clubs, the grip should run across our the fingers on our leading hand (NOT ACROSS THE PALM). Holding our shorter clubs this way allows us to point the shaft in line with our leading arm and shoulder. It also forces us to setup with a flat leading wrist (not cupped or bowed). This is one of the main reasons why we hit more consistent shots with our irons and hybrids.

Bryson DeChambeau, like most golfers, setups up with a flat leading wrist for his irons as well as for every club in his bag.

Driver Setup
When we setup with our driver, gripping with our leading hand in our fingers, you would think that we would get the same consistent result as our irons. The main difference is that we want to drive up on our teed-up ball so we place the ball forward in our stance. As we place our trailing hand on the lower part of the grip it naturally forces our trailing shoulder to tilt down but the shaft of our driver points at the center-line of our body. That forces us to cup our leading wrist during our setup.

Problems Adjusting Angles During Your Backswing
During your driver backswing your cupped wrist setup needs to flatten and then cock 90 degrees to create lag. Dustin Johnson actually bows his wrist immediately at the start of his takeaway to take advantage of his amazing power and release for more distance. Recreational golfers should NOT be trying to add the extra angles caused by bowing your wrist (according to Leadbetter, McLean and Hank Haney) . Your goal should be to minimize angles and keep your wrist flat throughout your backswing. Bryson DeChambeau flattens his leading wrist in his setup to avoid angles.

Bryson does NOT waggle his driver back to create a flat leading wrist. He setups up with a flat leading wrist and very sloped shoulders. Teaching pros do NOT teach this setup.

New Swing Opportunity
1/ Swinging with a flat wrist will help you avoid coming over the top and causing a slice.
2/ Keeping your wrist flat during your backswing allow you to shallow your club at the top of your swing.
3/ Your flat leading wrist also forces you to bend your trailing elbow to allow you to graze your side (with your elbow) as you swing from the inside and up your target line.
4/ As you swing from the inside you should imagine that you are hitting the inner quadrant of your ball (on the inside of a line running across your ball and up your target line). That also allow you to swing up on the ball to maximize your distance.

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You Already Know the Right Swing Skills. Use them!

It’s amazing when we hit perfect shots and wish that we could capture that swing in a bottle. It seems to be magic but it’s really the fact that you used the swing skills that you already know. You just need to bottle up the right moves in every swing.

My Recent Awakening
After I played 9 holes of golf with consistently poor drives my wife suggested one of my swing thoughts: “Are you swinging with a flat wrist?” I thought “What a stupid question!” Of course she may not really know what I mean when I tell her to swing with a flat leading wrist but she said it as a serious reminder. Sure enough that was my exact problem. I immediately pared the next 4 holes. It was that one simple thought that I forgot during my backswing. I had been cupping my wrist.

Recreational golfers should avoid cupping your wrist in your backswing. You need power like Dustin Johnson to manage a severe bow shape in his wrist. Flat wrist is the best solution. GOLFSTR (used in this image) helps you learn to swing with a flat wrist.

It’s the same thing that a teaching pros will do with professional golfers when they sees a swing mistake during a tournament. I’ve heard interviewers discover after a round of golf why a pro has had an amazing turnaround during a round of golf. There is one small detail in their swing that they tend to forget about as they get frustrated with their game. Their trainer spotted the problem and the fix is instant.

That’s one of the 6 swing fixes that you can discover when practicing with GOLFSTR+. I invented this training aid to remind me to keep my leading elbow straight in my backswing. Teaching pros suggested 5 more uses for GOLFSTR and that’s why we call it “GOLFSTR PLUS”.

1/ STRAIGHT ARM BACKSWING: It’s applies pressure on the back of your arm to remind you to keep your leading arm straight and to limit your backswing to avoid bending your elbow.
2/ FLAT WRIST PUTTING: Forces you to learn to putt by rocking your shoulders and NOT bending your wrists.
3/ FLAT WRIST BACKSWING: Swinging with a flat wrist forces your tailing elbow to graze your ribcage during your downswing and to swing from inside-to-up-your-target-line. That was my recent BINGO THOUGHT and it really works..
4/ FLAT LEADING WRIST for CHIPPING: It prevents you from bending your leading wrist while chipping for better direction control to your target.
5/ MINIMIZE TRAILING WRIST LAG while chipping: It stops your wrist from bending more than 30 degrees as you sweep down into the ball.
6/ LAG TRAINER: Reminds you to bend your trailing elbow 90 degrees during your backswing to feel that you have loaded up a proper lag.

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Are You Optimizing Your Drives?

I started to write this article about hitting straight drives with your driver. In my research I learned about the bulge and roll across the face of every driver that creates a “gear effect” which causes your ball to curve back to the center line of your swing direction. Then my research stumbled on the way to gain 20 to 50 yards with every drive. The pros do this, so why don’t you?

As an over 70 year old golfer, I can hit my drives 220+ yards but I wanted to know how to turn that into 250 to 270 yards. I have limited strength and a limited swing speed. I just wanted to find that magic formula to gain at least 30 yards on 75% of my drives. I found it with a higher launch angle.

I’m not going into all of the theory of the science behind distance but I do want you to know that topspin and too much underspin both reduce the distance that your ball travels. So we need to eliminate topspin and minimize underspin. Gear effect (caused by hitting off center) will draw or fade the ball back into our target swing path so that should not be a major factor unless you are killing your shot by impacting near the hosel or the toe of your club.

Swing speed is another important way to gain distance. Unfortunately if you have a swing speed which is crossing the face of the ball, you can either add a duck hook or a violent slice on your ball. So power and swing speed really have limitations for all recreational golfer.

The Magic Distance Solution [“Strike Plan” by Adam Young]
It’s a combination of swinging to launch a ball at a higher angle about 4 degrees up (plus the angle of your club face) without adding underspin to the ball. You can minimize the spin by impacting exactly on the perpendicular face of your driver launch angle.

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Match Your Muscle Memory with the Right Club

I now realize that when we change to a slower swing speeds for any club, it tends to change our release rhythm. That results in poor directional control for our shots. By this I mean that our muscles fire at different rates during the swing and cause us to push or pull shots. The result can be a DISASTER!

Bryson DeChambeau may be on to something good with his uniquely designed identical iron shaft length for all of his irons. He sets up with the same athletic stance and tilt at his waist so that he can feel the same motion with every iron shot.

Consistent swing speeds are critical for consistent muscle firing. This is why we need to setup squarely along the target line for our maximum swing speed with our DRIVER and possibly with a more open stance for slower controlled swings with our IRONS and especially with our WEDGES. If you know that you have too much club for the distance of your shot, choke down on the club and take a practice swing to feel the different depth of your swing at your NORMAL SWING SPEED. (NOT FASTER AND NOT SLOWER).

Clay Ballard who creates the TopSpeedGolf blog is a real promoter to generate longer drives with faster Swing speeds. [It’s a fact that an extra 1 MPH impact speed increases your driver distance by about 2.5 yards.] In the past I have provided blogs from others who promote “controlled” swing speed or “limited” back swing for recreational golfers to land more drives in the fairway and to hit more Greens in Regulation. Now I personally find that inconsistent swing speeds result in inconsistent direction control.

Include lag in your Launch, Power or Scoop Downswing.

Muscle Memory
Clay is now promoting a cutting-edge technology called Neural Adaptation Practice. I Googled this process and found the following: ‘Muscle memory‘ also known as neuromuscular facilitation, is the process by which muscles become familiar with certain motor skills. Furthermore, when signals from the brain are sent to the muscle, a pathway becomes established and this process becomes semi-automatic.”

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Pick up 25 with Phil

We all love watching Phil Mickelson Bomb It! He loves to do it too, especially when he wants an extra 25 yards. Phil normally plays conservatively with a soft fade to ensure that he can hit the fairway. But when he knows that he needs some extra distance he plans for a lower spin rate and a nice looping draw. Should we be trying to copy Phil?

It was interesting to follow Phil’s drives on his bogey holes in the first 2 days of the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational. He had 6 bogeys. 4 out of those 6 drives were in the left rough but all 6 were short drives of about 270 yards. His most amazing shot was a bomb where he hit a perfect draw around a dog-leg 338 yards to the right. Yes that was his perfect BOMB!

Phil Mickelson Bombing his driver, but this one was a soft fade.

Narrow, tree lined fairways don’t always give you the chance to create BOMBS but judging by the success that Bryson DeChambeau is having we should all put more effort into creating long bombs that land in the fairway. Bryson gained 40 pounds to put more muscle (or weight) behind his drives. On the other hand Phil has lost weight and worked on building up his strength.
Phil’s Fade is his Go-to-Shot
He sets up for a fade when he needs to land it in the fairway (even though it knocked him out of contention at the FedEx St Jude Invitational). He tees his ball lower to cut his ball to create a higher spin rate for more control and a soft landing.

Phil’s BOMB is a Draw
He tees it up higher and a little further forward in his stance so that he can hit up on the ball at about a 5.5 degree angle. He even uses his taller black tees to commit to this shot. His spin rate drops from his fade shots but he picks up well over 25 yards.

If it is difficult for a seasoned pro like Phil to hit every drive the way it was planned, how can we expect the same out of our games? As a recreational players you need to work on a consistent draw or fade so that you know where to aim for each drive. Consistency is so much more important than powering it into Never Never Land.

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Prioritize Your Focus

If golf wasn’t so bloody difficult, we could all be scratch golfers. Each facet of the game forces you to examine so many setups for the condition of the lie of your ball and the target that you are trying to hit. No wonder why this game drives us all crazy. Your analysis and your execution is the reason why we love this game so much. Most of us play for personal self-satisfaction. To enjoy this game, you really need to narrow your focus for each shot to get all of that clutter out of your brain.

Mentally we all set an outcome that we want for every round. Why not set an easy objective to take the pressure off: Break 100, 90 or 80. Success in Golf really comes down to a few decisions. Start with a mental goal, appraise the hole that you are on, plan the right shot and setup to execute the right shot.

A beginner just wants to hit the ball but recreational players with a reasonable skill level know that they can work back from the hole to decide where they want to land their ball on their first shot. If they don’t hit their target, they just rework their plan to layup or go for the center of the green. All of this is obvious for a golfer but it does come down to the club you select, the setup that you need and the swing that you plan to execute.

Ernie Els is the perfect golfer image to keep in your mind to help you swing with controlled tempo. It allows you to finish your backswing and to hold your lag in the downswing.

The Moment of Truth: Your Swing Thought Sequence
Each club demands a unique swing thought so choose wisely by testing out your focused thought during your practice swing. What is your primary thought?
–A mental image of the shape of your shot to hit your target
–Using a waggle to loosen up your body or as a reminder to start you backswing with the rotation of your hips (followed by your shoulders and then your arms)
–Keep your wrist flat at the top of your backswing
–Start shifting your weight to your leading foot during your transition
–Count “1, 2“ during your backswing to add time to cock your wrists at the top
–Shallow your swing to ensure that you swing from the slot to the outside

–Keep your head and eyes focused on the ball location until after impact
–Finish your swing balanced on your leading foot as you marvel at your shot

[The text in red are my 2 key thoughts.]

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The Missing STEP in Your Swing

We all look for a trigger to make our swing feel like a knife cutting through butter. You know that feeling when everything clicks and your ball just take off with unexpected power and your friends ask you if you have been working out. Sure I work out but it’s timing that creates excellence in my swing. Get the panic out of your swing by feeling the STEP that makes your swing effortless.

I got this idea when watching a few videos about the rocking motion from your trailing foot to your lead foot. Be happy with a 90 mile per hours swing and just let your arms go for the ride. As you feel your swing reach the top, take that moment to feel the momentum of your club shifting more body weight to your leading foot. YES, that’s the STEP that I’m talking about.

Start your STEP forward at the top of you swing during the change of direction for your club. If you rush your swing, you will miss the weight shift STEP. Baseball batters STEP forward as they lung into their forward swing. You may even notice golfers who turn their foot forward (or STEP forward) as they transfer their weight to the leading foot at the top of their swing.

It’s a strange feeling if you have never PAUSED for your weight shift at the top of your swing. You will feel like you are delaying your swing but that momentum shift to your leading foot actually allows you to start opening the leading side of your hip and pressing with your trailing foot as your arms drop.  Then release your wrist through the bottom of the swing.

If you don’t rush at the top of your swing, you can feel your weight shift forward as your LAZY arms let your club lags from the top of your swing and then whip through the release with more power through impact. MAKE SURE YOU FINISH YOUR SWING or you will leave the face of your club open for a push or a slice.

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Swing to Launch, Power or Scoop

Each type of club requires a unique approach for your setup and swing. Unfortunately many recreational golfers attempt to use the same swing for every club and they pay the price. Actually the sweep of your club across the ground has the same type of arc but your point of impact has a huge affect on your success with each type of club.

You can easily adjust your draw or fade with any club by changing your face direction, your swing path and your trailing foot back or forward. A side hill lie (up or down) also has a huge impact on the success of your shot. Before you can master your swing with any club you need to see the resulting impact of a properly lined-up shot verses a poorly lined-up shot. This blog is primarily concerned with avoiding mishits with your driver, your fairway woods/hybrids and your irons.

Launch your drives as you impact with an upward angle of attack off your trailing foot.

Setup to LAUNCH your Drives
Your driver has a limited angle on its face. It’s really designed so that you can hit up on your ball and LAUNCH it in an upward angle. Of course that’s why you tee your ball up and line up your ball with the heel of your LEADING foot. That’s also why you need to impact your ball as your club arcs upward on an inside to outside path (AFTER it passes the low point of your swing arc).

To help you create longer drives you should setup with your shoulder line tilting slightly down on your trailing side and 55% of your weight on your trailing foot. Give yourself a count of 1, 2 to create time for a full backswing rotation (and count 3 for you downswing). Keep your leading ear behind the ball through-out your swing. Release up your target line as you thrust forward to LAUNCH YOUR BALL UPWARD.

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Center Impact for Distance and Control

All of your golf clubs are made with a wide head face to help you avoid mishits. You can get away with hits off the toe or heel of your driver, woods, irons and putter but you are losing distance and direction control if you don’t impact your ball in the balanced center of mass on your club face. Using tape or powder on your club head is a great way to understand where you are normally impacting your ball on the face of your club.

GolfersRX recently released another video by Gene Parent at Golf Laboratories illustrating the lost distance for driver mishits at 90 MPH (the typical recreational golfer swing speed). At that swing speed you will hit a ball about 200 yards in the air and it will roll out to about 230 yards IF YOUR IMPACT IS ON THE DEAD CENTER OF YOUR DRIVER CLUB FACE.

Center impact is always to best impact to control distance and direction.

If your impact is ¾ of an inch inside or outside of dead center, you will lose about 10 yards of distance. Impact toward the toe will push your shot about 10 yards to the right of a right hander’s target line and impact toward the heel will pull about 10 yards to the left.

Unfortunately if your swing path is over the top and from the outside to inside when you impact toward the toe you will compound your error and slice away from your target line. An inside to outside swing path, when your impact is near the heel of your club, will create a duck hook.

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Your Brain Controls The Success of Your Game

It’s amazing to read the Monday morning reviews about the changing scores as both the Professional and Amateur tournaments wrap-up ever Sunday. Streaks of birdies or bogies and double bogies seem to happen for no explainable reason. The only way that we can explain these successes or failures is through rays of sunlight or dark clouds that pass over every golfer under pressure. Your brains controls all.

If only we could control our positive mental attitude, even after an unexpected double when we hit into the ruff, sand trap, water or a low hanging tree branch. It’s the unexpected shot that seems to cloud our next few holes, if not the rest of our game. We need to recognize and accept our failures and get back into a positive mental attitude. GET OVER IT!

When Should Our Alarm Bells Go Off  Pay attention to the problems that can throw your game off:
1/ Your playing partners start kidding you about the pressure on your next shot.
2/ You just hit an amazingly long drive on your last hole and expecting to hit even further on your next drive.
3/ The joy of making birdie affecting your next drive (PBSU: Post Birdie Screw-Up)
4/ Hitting the perfect shot only to nip a branch and lose 100 yards on the shot.
5/ When you have 3 other sets of eyes watching you prepare to make a 3 foot putt.

Jon Rahm found that throwing a club was a lot safer then breaking it when he slams the head into the ground.

What Happens to Your Mind and Body
1/ Flashbacks of past failures
2/ Your heart and mind start to race so that you rush and limit your backswing
3/ Your muscles tighten up to limit your flexibility.

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Any Putting Style Works

Why are there so many styles of putters and so many different ways to improve your putting? We are all made up with different body structures, minds and strengths. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another.  Some methods work better than others and stubborn golfers find it hard to change.  As it turns out there are only 3 consistent skills that you need to master for putting success.

You need to understand that every method of putting CAN BE successful. Every different style of putter and putting stoke has won the US Open and The Open (British). You can be successful by swinging your wrists or rocking your shoulders and swing in a straight line or arc. You can also jab at the ball or swing with the consistency of a pendulum or accelerate through the ball. Only you can determine what works best for your physical limitations and ability.

Phil Kenyon training Rory McIlroy (who has a wonderful putting stroke).  He locks his wrists, rocks his shoulders and swings straight up his target line.

I recently read an article by Phil Kenyon, who is now the director and principal owner of Harold Swash Putting in the UK. He has trained many of the top professional golfers and recent winners to the US Open and The Open  to help them hone their personal putting styles. He believes that they must achieve three key outcomes to have success.

The 3 Key Skills:
1/ Control the starting direction of the ball,
2/ Control the speed of your ball.
3/ Predict the break of your ball.

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Putting Success!

Have you ever said “If I could only make a straight putt, I could sink this one”. Then you push or pull or leave your putt short. It’s so frustrating but it happens all the time. Fortunately if you say this to yourself, you are way ahead of 50% of all golfers. At least you understand the critical component of putting: Choose your line and make a straight putt.

Alignment is critical. If you swing your putter directly up your target line and impact the ball dead center on your putter face, you should at least hit the right line. Developing a “Feel for the Break” is the hard part. Getting the right swing speed for the right distance is a matter of practice but the break and slope is different on every putt.

I saw an ad for a putting alignment mirror highlighting steps to hit a straight putt:
-Choose the right target line. The mirror has a line which is easy to line up when you stand behind it and line it up with your target point. [Too bad it’s not legal on the course.]
-Make sure that your head and eyes are directly over the ball to avoid a distorted view of the direction to your TARGET. [Basically, that’s all the mirror is helping you control.]

Prove to yourself that you can hit a straight putt on a flat surface. Build CONFIDENCE in you ability to putt straight.

-Swing so that the putter will impact directly on the center point of your putter. [That’s your primary thought during your swing.  [Test your putter on a perfectly flat surface to build confidence in your putting stroke and your swing for a straight 4 foot putt.]
-Limit your backswing so that you can accelerate through the ball and continue your swing directly up your target line. (Don’t jab at it and quickly return your putter.)

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Shallow Your Driver

That may seem like a pretty strange phase for a golf training solution but stay tuned and I guaranty that it will turn your drives on.  Yes, shallowing your driver in the backswing will be a key for your future power and consistency with your driver. The length of your driver is actually messing up the swing that you have honed with your irons. It’s easy to make your downswing from the inside with your iron and not as easy with your much longer driver.

We are all watching the pros swing their driver on TV and it appears so easy. They seem to swing back on one plane and then swing down on a slightly lower plane. Well as it turns out for recreational players it ain’t so easy.

Webb Simpson shallows his driver in the downswing so that his trailing elbow almost grazes his rib cage for Power and Consistency.

David Leadbetter and Jim McLean both talk about swinging from the inside or from the slot. It’s easier said than done.
Top Speed Golf Blog gave us 3 areas to focus on at impact (for right handed golfers)
1/ Your left bicep should be squeezing against your left chest or peck muscle,
2/ Open your hips first (as you are rotating them toward the target)
3/ Your swing is to the right of your target line or you may feel that way as you shallow your club in the downswing.


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Are you a “Trigger Finger Golfer”?

Too many golfers pull the trigger too early in their swing. I’m an active recreational golfer and I watch a lot of other golfers (as well as myself) who get so frustrated by their ability to hit a golf ball perfectly 100% of the time. They would even be happy with 50% or any improvement but they can’t seem to calm down and execute the shot. I know the secret.

Unfortunately golfers love to watch the pros on TV executing every shot perfectly. We rarely see the duck hooks or the fat shots or the topped balls, but the pros do it too. The program producers just make sure that they only show the best of shots unless they happen to be following one of the tournament leaders who happens to make a poor shot.

My point here is that the pros have an amazing ability to start the transfer of their weight from the trailing foot to the leading foot during their swing transition at the top of their swing. They have no problem doing this with amazingly fast swings. We see this and our minds think we can repeat it on the golf course.

Ernie Els is a great image to remember your weight transfer starting during your transition. And he holds off on the wrist release.

In the Heat of Battle on the Golf Course
We are always wondering where our bad shots are coming from especially when we do them on the golf course. It seems so simple to repeat great shots on the driving range. But on the course it all changes. When our minds are caught up with our last amazing drive or our last disappointing flub, we tend to internalize our feelings and release them by pulling the trigger too early in our next shot.

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Discover Perfection with Irons

The different length and style of each club has a major impact on the way that you swing that club. Past Swing Tips have focused on swinging up with your driver off a tee. For an iron the point of impact is just before your swing arc bottoms out. The face is actually dropping and causing a reverse spin. When hit properly your ball will actually climb before it drops to the ground.

You may have seen a training video on the proper way to swing an iron by using a towel. When you swing with an iron, your goal is to impact the ball before you impact any turf (before your swing arc bottoms out). Practice your iron shots by placing a tee or a bottle cap or towel flat on the ground about 2 or 3 inches behind your ball. Shifting your weight to your leading foot during your swing will allow you to impact your ball before the arc of your swing bottoms out.

Impact you ball first before the bottom of your swing arc.

Turning Point
Practicing with a towel is wonderful but when you are on the course, your mind goes into autopilot and your arms take over. My wakeup call came on the course while hitting my ball out of the rough. I knew that I had to swing down to hit the ball before catching any of the fluffy grass behind the ball. Thinking about my downswing, I impacted with the ball before I swung through the rough and nailed the perfect shot. BINGO, EUREKA!
1/ Setup properly with the ball midway between your feet depending on the iron that you are using.
2/ During your swing transition at the top of your swing, allow your weight to shift from your trailing foot to your leading foot.
3/ Weight shift is caused by what some pros call “the bump” as hip rotation starts your down swing (and weight transfer).
4/ Don’t rush the start of your downswing or your swing will be all arms with your weight still on your trailing foot. Another way to feel this is to keep your wrist weak as they hold their lagging position from the top of the downswing. The combination of weight shift and whipping your wrist release through the ball will generate surprising power. Let your club do the work. Don’t try to muscle your arm through your swing.
5/ Impact on the ball should be just before the bottom of your swing arc which is directly below your leading shoulder.
Practice with GOLFSTR+ by letting your straight leading arm control the consistency of your swing while your wrist release generates the power. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #11: It takes 17 holes to really get warmed up.

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The New Normal for Golf

In our weekly Golf Swing Tips I typically minimize humorous comments as some may be offended. I just wanted to provide some interesting thoughts. I suspect that COVID19 may mess up our lives as well as our golf for the next year or 2 as I hear that the vaccine may not be developed for up to 3 years.

I know that President Trump continues to pump the positive comments to keep our spirits as well as the stock market up. Unfortunately the common cold is a Virus similar to the Coronavirus and how successful have we been in eradicating the COLD?   Scary isn’t it?

Please golf responsibly so that governments don’t reverse their thinking and decide to close it down. I’m hoping that these rules will help you keep your spirits up.

You may only understand how important this is when you lose a friend.  Please Play Safe and apply Social Distancing at all times.

The New Normal Rules of Golf:
Hazmat suits are permitted. As an alternative, one can wear a college mascot costume or big bunny pajamas.
Masks are not permitted, because we would look more like stagecoach robbers than a foursome. (Social distancing is critical.)
Leave the flag in. And to avoid retrieving balls from the hole, any putt shorter than Lebron James is good.
Ride in separate golf carts and don’t come closer to another player than a fully extended ball retriever.
Don’t touch another player’s balls. This is always good advice.
• No high fives. Fortunately, we seldom have a reason.
No petting the geese or the cart girl.
• Don’t use the Porta-Potty. More disease in there than Wuhan China.
No excuses. Slicing or hooking are not side effects of COVID-19.
Make an online bank transfer to pay your bets. No cash allowed.
Straddle the sprinkler on the 18th hole before getting into your car. (Chilly but refreshing.)

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Crazy Quirks Can Help

If a crazy quirk works for you, Just do it!  COVID19 forced me to take a break from golf. In my first round back on the course I learned a few things about my game as a result of my physical limitation. My inspiration started when I watched Rory McIlroy partner with Dustin Johnson in a skins game against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole Golf Club, Florida, Why was Wolff using that crazy quirk in his pre-swing motion?

By now every passionate recreational golfer has either seen Wolff in that first live broadcast since the start of Covid19 or winning his first tournament in 2019. He looks like a freak of nature when he incorporates his pre-swing motion into his swing. As he explains it, he is just duplicating the turn of his body that he wants to feel at the point of impact. He just includes that “motion and feeling” instead of a waggle at the start of his swing. It works for him so why not learn from his quirk.

He also includes a major leading heel lift and a huge Furyk type of loop at the top and shallowing of his downswing.   All of this extra motion must have some effect on his consistency which must cause good and bad rounds of golf.

Matthew Wolff adds about 10 moves to his swing that no other golfer tries. It’s mind boggling. Klick image to see the video of his swing.

As it turns out, every professional golfer has their own quirk, even though it may be hidden to the viewers:
-Dustin Johnson: His takeaway has an early wrist break and his transition has a bowed wrist.
-Jim Furyk: He loops his golf club at the top of his swing.
-Bubba Watson: He loves to hit a huge draw or fade on every swing of his club
-Matt Kuchar: His light practice swing is from the outside and across his ball to avoid his duck hook. He also hovers his club behind his ball before he swings.
-Phil Michelson and many golfer love to press their shaft forward to initiate a swing or putt.

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Attitude is Everything in Golf !

The more I read about golf the more I realize that our Positive Mental Attitude is the reason why we have streaks in our games. That’s right streaks of great shots and pars or streaks of poor shots and bogies or doubles. Poor shots happen. The winners in this game know how to block the bad shot memory and move on to the next shot. Ben Hogan said that “the most important shot in golf is the next one”.

I realize that I am a temperamental golfer so I rationalize why I made a poor shot before I can move on to the next shot. I notice that some pros like Jim Furyk will execute the perfect practice swing after they make a poor shot. They know the swing required to execute every shot so they use their practice swing to build that mental corrective action.

Moe used a single plane swing with both arms straight.  He also used his cocked wrists to create lag and power.

Moe Norman’s Philosophy of Golf
There was a wonderful Golf Digest article about Moe Norman, the autistic Canadian golfer. He used a full hip and spine rotation in his backswing but with both arms straight from setup to impact. It limited the arc of his club head but it gave him and amazing accuracy. He looked like a windmill. It was not a pretty swing and not extremely long but it was perfectly accurate.

I’m not suggesting that we should duplicate Moe’s swing but I do believe that if we limit our backswing, every recreational golfer will improve accuracy. As an autistic person he was noticed for his shy nature and his seemingly silly quirks.

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Golf is NOT Natural: Take Notes!

Golf is not a sport that you learn without putting a lot of effort into the game. Anyone who learns to play golf tries to apply the basic motion learned with a baseball bat or a cricket bat. Unfortunately that swing does not apply for the ideal golf swing and its different with each of your golf clubs. That’s why golf can be frustrating for so many golfers.

Ideally you can start playing golf with any strength and equipment that you have. If you try to learn golf by watching others at a driving range, hitting some balls and heading for a golf course, you will most likely end up frustrated and never become a good golfer. If you missed any of the following steps I highly recommend that you go back to the basics:

This is definitely not a baseball swing. Controlling your backswing and your downswing requires new patience and skills.

1/ Take lessons from a PGA Golf Pro: You will never appreciate how poor your swing is until you get instruction for the basics in swinging a driver, an iron, a wedge and a putter. A group session will be helpful but one-on-one instruction will help you progress much faster.

2/ Practice at a Driving Range: It will help you understand how difficult it is to hit a ball consistently with each of your clubs. Knowing the different setups and the distance that each club hits is critical for your success.

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Some Pros Bend their Leading Arm

Over the past few weeks I have been emailing with one of our subscribers about professional golfers who bend their leading arm in the backswing. Gilles allowed me to share our discussion as it is so relevant for many recreational golfers.

Gilles’ Email: “I am writing an e-mail rather than using the “comment” section so as not to pass for the “smart ass” who attempts to bust your theory.” About the “straight leading arm” concept, which I must say I fully endorse. I saw Corey Conners (who swings with a bent leading arm) win a recent PGA tournament and place 2nd and 3rd in 2 others tournaments in 2019. He has a

Cory Conners won his first PGA tournament in 2019 with a bent leading arm in his backswing. It works because is able to straighten his arm in the downswing.

smooth, simple and efficient swing. He hits it pretty long too. Yet, he BENDS HIS LEADING ARM in the backswing up to about 45 degrees. How can he play so well?”

Will Curry’s Response: I also saw his bent leading arm. He is amazing but you will notice that his bent arm actually straightens as his lagging wrist releases. BTW Lee Westwood also has a slight bend at the top of his swing. However most pros play with a straight leading arm so it must be the ideal way to swing. However, I have seen many of the senior pros add a slight bend to their leading arm.

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