My close friend Kate Tempesta (www.ktuga.com) is one of the leading child development golf instructors and an inspiration to myself. I wanted to share with you her latest blog post on “Coaching the Child”. I hope you enjoy it.http://www.ktuga.com/category/blog-categories/authored-kate
I remember early on in my golf career speaking with a member at the club I worked at just north of Toronto. I had only begun my teaching of golf, and was still very green in what I “knew” vs what I “thought I knew” . The discussion was the member telling me that my little tip to “take the club a little inside” on the way back helped him to produce a “draw”. I was very happy with this and continued to think this was “the norm” for a little bit…..
Boy was I wrong! Over the course of my 20+ years since this “revelation” I have seen what is the “norm” in the takeaway for the Golf Swing. This movement sets your swing. It controls the delivery, the pace, the ability to sequence it, and most of all can really be an easy fix for those of you “come over the top” At the Focus Golf Group Academy we use our 5 steps to success program to help Build you a Road Map to better golf. The evaluation covers all aspects of your swing and allows a Focus Golf Group Academy professional to pin point the exact place your swing breaks down.
Outside of the setup the TAKEAWAY is the root of most problems. WHY? Let’s go back to my little tip I gave the member oh, 20 years ago or so. Look at this picture of PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley taken from a recent Golf Digest article:
Notice where the club is? This is the most common fault of the TAKEAWAY I find. It flattens out your swing (like a hula hoop) and results in your body reacting by “lifting” the club UP and over your shoulder. This then sets your upper body to start the delivery of the swing, creating that dreaded “over the top” move leading to slices, poor ball striking and errant shots.
Conversely, lets take a look at where the club is on this picture on the right. Notice that while the hand position at this point in the takeaway is the same the club is performing completely different. Keegan has not let the club head get behind his hands as in the first picture. This is going to allow him to lever (hinge) the club in a correct fashion. This will also promote a shaft that will stay on plane (angle in relation to the ball) because his elbows are able to stay closer together too.
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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:
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
– 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.
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:
So when addressing the ball and taking your posture to the ball try to visualize this guy:
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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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.
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.
What a great article online by Golf Digest.
Found this WONDERFUL article through my fellow PGA of Canada Teaching Professional – Jason Helman.
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:
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:
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:
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.