The Grip

February 5, 2013
February 5, 2013

The “key” or “building block” of a good golf swing is establishing a good grip. When I teach the grip I always work with each student to find the most comfortable grip for them. Sure there are advantages  to each one, but working with your student to make them understand the correct placement and getting it correct every time they grab the club is the real goal.

The 3 most widely used ways to grip a golf club can be seen in the picture below:

Golf Grip 3 types

 

There are common threads in each of these, as placement of the club in the hands is so important. Why? Well during the Golf Swing  2 major things happen:

1. The swing only takes on average 2 seconds from start to finish. This gives you about .05 of a second to have your brain tell your hands to”TURN” and get it right every time. (Not possible! Go ahead try that conscious thought next time!)

2. The force of inertia emitted on the club during a golf swing creates enough force that a club swung at 100 / mph will effectively weigh 120 lbs, which you cannot possibly move  as the force is increasing. In other words it weighs too much! (no matter how much you go to the gym…sorry!)

When setting your hands on the club there are couple of landmarks to pay attention to when setting your hands that can give you the advantage and when swinging the club the club will automatically rotate and square the club without your conscious thought. This allows you to create less tension and maximize your swing potential.

The landmarks you should look for are the direction of the “V’s” that are made between each thumb when placed on the club and you are looking down towards your hands. These “V’s” when placed correctly will be directed in the following manner:

Right Handed                            Left Handed

Grips  Grips Left handed
– Notice the arrows? This is key to have them placed so that they point to the trail shoulder (bottom hand) and the trail ear (top hand). This placement will allow the club to get back to the ball in the correct way because as the club comes into the ball the club bends, or “droops” which causes the clubhead to pull down to the ground and the hands to move upwards. (There is NO way you can stop this, remember the weight thing?) however when this happens, a proper grip returns the club to straight almost every time.

Posture Makes Perfect

January 19, 2013
January 19, 2013

When teaching the golf posture I have always used a simple routine to show how simple it is to achieve the correct position. Next to the grip, posture is the probably the next biggest fundamental that is key to good golf swings.

How many times have you heard this; “You lifted your head” or “Keep your head down” from your golf buddies? They are trying to impart that somewhere during your golf swing you are lifting your head which changes your body and invariably you miss, top or hit a poor shot. They couldn’t be more incorrect. Sure they are attempting to help you cure your problem but in doing what they ask you are actually building a recipe to create even more swing problems.

Here, let me explain. When in proper golf posture, your body actually stands in a position that it doesn’t recognize. Your butt is stuck out, you’re bent from the waist, there is a slight flex in the knees, you are leaning over towards the ball, and your chin is “up” in a relaxed manner. Your body doesn’t get into this position in any other sport…

Check it out for yourself in this photo:

Sport Posture Labelled x 4

 

So when addressing the ball and taking your posture to the ball try to visualize this guy:

Fake drinking bird cropped

The perpetual motion BIRD?? But of course. Look at where he bends from? See how straight his back is? His legs are just bent a little? Beak is held high and not tipping down! Yes he is a wonderful visual to keep! Don’t forget to ensure your weight is positioned behind the balls of your feet and is located in your arches, equally in both feet.

So don’t forget that your head has nothing to do with your success in striking the golf ball more consistently. I mean how do blind people play golf? It’s all about Posture Makes Perfect!

 

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Hours Of Operation

November 7, 2012
November 7, 2012

Monday – Thursday 9 am – 9 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday – Sunday 9 am – 6 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Academy Hotline: 905-630-7001

Golf Professional 2.0 – Part 3 “New Year…New You?”

January 7, 2012
January 7, 2012

 

 

 

WHAT WAS UNDER YOUR TREE?

Wouldn’t life be simple if you were able to change careers by getting a gift certificate or a gift card under the Christmas tree? This would be easy. Just hop on over to the store and shop for that perfect job!

But what if the job you wanted was out of stock? Or it didn’t fit you properly? What would happen if that perfect job you thought was EXACTLY what you wanted turned out to be completely wrong for you? Made you look horrible and did not co-ordinate with the rest of you? How would this make you feel? Bewildered? Perplexed? Disenchanted? Depressed?

In my first two Golf Professional 2.0 segments (click HERE if you missed them) I spoke about choosing your path and how Golf can really keep you guessing about where you want to focus in the Golf Business. This installment is going to speak about how I found my “Gift Certificate” and how it happened when I least expected it.

I thought I knew where I was going. I thought I knew my path. I was wrong. It wasn’t always so clear to me. I was working towards what I thought was my “dream job”, I was going along the General Manager path. When I got there it felt right. It felt like I had achieved everything that I was working for. The interesting part was that all the while I was working on the 1st path I was actually walking along a path parallel to this one. I never thought that the 2nd path was in fact the path I should have been concentrating on.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Tipping Point” wrote about how there is a certain moment where the balance of things spill over and change forever the way it may be perceived, used or grown. I truly believe that this can be said about your career too.

How did I discover this? What was the tipping point for me? It actually came from NOT being hired for a job. A gentleman on the hiring committee had a follow up meeting with me and offered to help me. That would lead to my introduction to a gentleman who would change my life.

“Helping others is not done for self gratification; it’s the right thing to do” – Anonymous

He introduced me to, Jim Carlisle. Jim as been in the Executive search and coaching business for over 20 years. He recently published a book called, “AIM – The Powerful 10 Step Personal and Career Success Program,” which outlines his tried and tested methods to building your pathway to understanding yourself. The introduction and work I did with Jim was incredible. It was like I was reborn. It was the first time I had ever worked with someone like Jim and after only our first meeting Jim enabled me to “See the forest and all of the trees!” Finally I had answers!

So as you can see I had help in finding my way. I didn’t think I needed help. But then again you don’t see yourself the same way others do. Everyone needs some direction. Do you? Or are you hoping that next Christmas that Gift Card or Gift Certificate will be waiting under the tree for you? Don’t wait to find out. Go out and clear that path for your own success.

If you can’t figure it out,  the answers aren’t there, or maybe you think that you need a boost on how to create those ideas for growing, drop me a line at:  Doug@focusgolfgroup.com , follow me @FocusGolfGroup on twitter, or ask to be friends on Facebook.

– Doug

A Networking, Social, Relationship Building, Motivational, Influential PGA of Canada Golf Professional, Coach, Instructor, Mentor and lastly a really great DAD!  Doug Lawrie is the CIO (Chief Influencing Officer) of the Focus Golf Group, and has been a proud member of the PGA of Canada for 20 years. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golf Professional 2.0 – Part 2

December 28, 2011
December 28, 2011

Decisions….Decisions… 

 

It seems that from the time you approach High School the questions start coming, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” or “Are you going to follow in your parent’s footsteps?” Giving you the sense that if you DON’T have your life planned out by the time you hit your final year of High School, then you are pretty much DOOMED to fail!

Why the pressure? Why the necessity? I believe that parents and friends don’t actually think this acutely and equate a lack of planning in a teen as potential DOOM, but there are those who feel there needs to be some type of a discussion about it. This is why the questions are asked and often teens rebel and go against the wishes of their parents, seeking out that journey to “find” out what they truly want to be!

That is absolutely, perfectly NORMAL!

Discovering who you are is a part of life. Some “get it” and know exactly what they want, where some “don’t” and take much longer to figure out the details. A prime example of this happens each year when I speak to the first year class whom have enrolled in the Professional Golf Management Course at a local College here in Ontario. Their class is “Intro to Golf” and a variety of speakers come in and talk about a variety of subjects.

I always ask the class these 3 questions:

  1. How many of you would like to be a Head Golf Professional some day? – to which about 1/3 of the class puts up their hands (out of approx. 35 kids)
  2. How many of you would like to work in the Golf Business after graduation but not necessarily as a professional? – to which about 1/4 of the remaining kids put up their hands.
  3. How many of you have NO CLUE on what you want to do upon graduation from this course? – This always gets the highest amount of hands raised.

In my first post “Golf Professional 2.0 Redux” I wrote about Golf being an alluring sport, dangling thoughts of fame, notoriety and recognition as a reason people enter the profession only to find that it is a business and not all about putting the ball in the cup. So I believe this is why there is a vastly different # of graduates from the PGM programs than those who start them.

However deciding on EXACTLY what you want to be this early is somewhat of a “generational” thing. Let me explain: I once listened to a speaker explain that when I was entering the workforce 25 years ago, my resume showed one maybe two employers typically in the same genre of work. This would indicate to potential employers that this person was dedicated, loyal and a team player. Today the resume you will receive from the starting “the career” search might include five, six or seven different types of work ranging in all type of genres. They call this “EXPERIENCE”.

In fact I read a statistic that my son (who is 9) will be applying for jobs for occupations that haven’t been invented yet!

Will the business  evolve, grow and learn to change in order to capture the BEST professionals who will be vying to take our place in the positions we have helped create? The golf professional in 2037 will be doing things above and beyond our wildest dreams?  Think about the driver, or the golf ball and how much they have changed in 25 years. What changes are  going to be made in the profession? How can the environment known as the Golf Business improve? Will there be a mentoring / leadership / coaching component offered. How do we engage those to follow in our footsteps? These questions are the ones we should be asking ourselves.

If you can’t figure it out,  the answers aren’t right there, or maybe you think that you need a boost on how to create those ideas for growing, drop me a line at:  Doug@focusgolfgroup.com , follow me @FocusGolfGroup on twitter, or ask to be friends on Facebook.

– Doug

A Networking, Social, Relationship Building, Motivational, Influential PGA of Canada Golf Professional, Coach, Instructor, Mentor and lastly a really great DAD! Doug Lawrie is the CIO (Chief Influencing Officer) of the Focus Golf Group, and has been a proud member of the PGA of Canada for 20 years. 

 

Answer #5 is the KEY!

December 27, 2011
December 27, 2011

What a great article online by Golf Digest.

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/golf-beginners-tips#slide=1

Golf Professional 2.0 – Redux

December 20, 2011
December 20, 2011

I was speaking to a longtime colleague / mentor of mine not too long ago and he made a comment regarding the new crop of candidates who just successfully passed their playing ability tests. He said, “Well they’re one step closer to being OUT of the golf business”. I was floored at first but afterwards I thought a little deeper about this statement. The sad thing was he was exactly right.

Golf is a wicked game. Demanding, hard and almost unconquerable. But her softer side is the real wicked one as she provides a potential or the allure of a career working in & around a game that you love. She teases you with images of wealth, endless supply of golf, and it has a certain  “cool” factor when you say it out loud, “I’m a golf professional”. The dictionary defines a professional as: “Expert and specialized knowledge in field which one is practicing professionally” . So the idea of being an “expert” in an athletic endeavor holds a lot of weight in decisions of young men and women. 

I bet you can name at least 1 or 2 individuals who have left the golf profession in the past 12 months. Don’t worry, there is a wave of young guns ready to take their place. Fresh with PGM graduate certificates in hands they leap into the world of the golf industry to apply what they have learned. Some expect full time positions and because they have spent the past 3 – 5 years going to school in the winter, when suddenly faced with the need to “find a job for the winter” many fall into the pit of despair. Why? This is nothing new. The temperature has not changed here in Ontario or Canada for that matter, our golf season is a limited one.

Well the fingers start pointing: “The Association (PGA of Canada) doesn’t do enough for us”, “My head pro doesn’t do anything to help me find a job”, etc… But the real issue is not waiting for a hand out but working to  get a hand up. Figuring out what it is exactly you want to do as a professional and focusing on creating your career path can create the right method required to achieve what it is you want. The unfortunate part is that a lot of us have absolutely no clue.

But How Do You Find Your Path? 

 

 

Douglas Adams said:

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

This path finding mission is not rocket science. There are individuals / coaches who can help you reach your goals. However they are available at a cost far outside the income of 90% of those who really need it. So who can they turn to? It should be the Head Professionals and General Managers, but rarely do they have time to do this properly. Now don’t get me wrong as there are some terrific mentors and individuals who DO practice this. The sad truth is many do not. Why? Time, effort, insecurity, egos or they don’t know how. This is not me taking a shot at my own profession but more of an exposure of what the Golf Business has morphed golf professionals into. So how do we change this?

I  challenge my fellow PGA of Canada Professionals to make more time, listen more, ask questions, and by all means take genuine interest in those working the front lines for us. They need help in navigating their path. We should be there to help them every step of the way helping them construct the map for their journey. Would you not feel amazing being able to change the stigma of more people leaving than entering the golf business? We are in the “experts” category of our Association, we are looked upon to be the leaders, mentors and spark plugs to ignite the passion in those following behind. Job security is not dependent on how many professionals you can put forward into long lasting careers, but it feels awesome when you do!

If you don’t know how to, or maybe you think that you need to set your path, drop me a line at:  Doug@focusgolfgroup.com , follow me @FocusGolfGroup on twitter, or ask to be friends on Facebook.

– Doug

A Networking, Social, Relationship Building, Motivational, Influential PGA of Canada Golf Professional, Coach, Instructor, Mentor and lastly a really great DAD! Doug Lawrie is the CIO (Chief Influencing Officer) of the Focus Golf Group, and has been a proud member of the PGA of Canada for 20 years. 

Stack & Tilt is the New California Condor

December 19, 2011
December 19, 2011

Lets dig into the back issues of Golf Digest for a second and pull out the June 2007 issue. The cover headline: “Hit it Flush Every Time: 20 Tour Pros switch to a Radical New Swing”

Inside you’ll find the original Golf Digest Stack & Tilt article. Since that article was published, reactions from all corners of the golf world have been mixed to say the least. Strong opinions have surfaced on both sides, both in favor of the swing system and against it. It’s no longer debatable that the system works. Stack and Tilt principles have helped golfers the world over to hit the ball better and lower their scores.

To me, what’s interesting is how Stack and Tilt …..Read More by clicking here: http://mdiederichs.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/stack-tilt-is-the-new-california-condor/

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

December 13, 2011
December 13, 2011

Found this WONDERFUL article through my fellow PGA of Canada Teaching Professional – Jason Helman.

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

 

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

The Best Path to Golf Improvement

December 13, 2011
December 13, 2011

How do I get Better? 

See this reprinted blog post from http://golfprogress.net/?p=870#disqus_thread

 

What a great answer to a great question!

 It is the ultimate question any player should be asking all the time, “what is the best path to improvement?” and John points out that there isn’t much focus in the magazines on the journey of golf improvement that the player experiences and how to continue along a progressive road to betterment. Everything is focused on quick tips which have never proven to impact golfer’s level of skill.
A framework I developed in recent years to assist me in how to think about this process with the Golf Progress Pyramid, which involves the following four elements of performance:
1. Physical
2. Technical
3. Strategic
4. Mindset
The model is illustrated below:

The Golf Improvement Pyramid

All four elements are involved in every aspect of our golf, but different areas are critical for a player’s development at various levels of abilities. I see the physical element as the base because you can only do what your body is capable of doing. You then apply a technique with the physical capacity that you have developed. Next up the chain is the decisions you make as to how to apply the technique, and at the peak is the mental game, which I see as developing the capacity to bring out the best in your ability when it matters, and also having the attitude and mental approach to training and practice that allows for the improvement of the other three elements: your body, golf technique, and strategic thinking.
The irony of the pyramid structure that I have in mind is that in the long term, the pyramid is best built from the base up, with improvement layered on top of the level below. But in the short term, such as when you have a 175 yard shot over water with bunkers to the right of the green, the tip of the pyramid proves most influential on the outcome of the shot.
Why is Physical at the base of the pyramid? Because no matter how good my decision making is, if I’m unable to bend at the hips and establish rotary stability in my swing, I won’t be able to make the club do what I want and my choice of shot becomes irrelevant if I’m not hitting the golf ball solidly. Touring professionals have embraced golf fitness in recent years, in great part due to the work of Dr. Greg Rose and Dave Phillips at TPI. Golfers on the tour are playing for a lot of money so staying free of injury and improving their conditioning can really make a difference. But I don’t believe golf fitness is something that’s ‘for the pros’. I believe the opposite is true. The reality is that the mid handicapper has much more to gain from implementing a program that addresses physical limitations because he is very likely to have them.
To get back to the question at hand, my answer would be that answer we all hate to hear:

IT DEPENDS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My perception of the path to golf improvement is as not a mountain to be climbed but a series of gates to be unlocked. This is why some players get to scratch in two years and some spend forty years unable to break 100. Here is a common ‘locked gate’ that prevents progress in each of the four areas.

1. Physical: Hip and Upper back restriction

2. Technical: The lead wrist is bent, leading to a glancing blow on the golf ball

3. Strategy: Lack of Self-awareness of ability and of what equipment to use

4. Mental: Stuck thinking, ruled by fear

Try unlocking these 4 areas and you will find your golfing success will become easier.