Is Golf Instruction Really Improving?

It’s been 7 years (back in 2008) that my book “The Negotiable Golf Swing; “How to Improve your Game without Picture-Perfect Form” was published. I’m actually considering doing a review on it on Amazon (and no it won’t be a 5 star review).

So I’ve been thinking what the current state, and how much has changed with golf instruction/coaching in that time, and how different do I approach my students now versus then?

10 Things Golfers Do That Guarantee Higher Golf Scores

1.  Get to the tee 5 minutes before your tee time. This will ensure you are tight, muscles are cold, no feel for the greens, and mentally rushed. You can change your shoes in your car, get your bag, and head right to the first tee. This usually will help you get off to a rough few starting holes.

Why You’re Still Not Improving at Golf

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve blogged. I just can’t write down mindless tips that to me have little value – there are plenty of them out there – just watch the Golf Channel, pick up a golf magazine, watch a golf tournament, or search the net – golfers are inundated with tips. Not to mention the ones you get from your friends who are plumbers, lawyers, doctors, electricians, etc (all well meaning tips). So a lot of information has been traveling around, including more technology, so what is the result? No improvement. But for the first time student I see, it’s still the same story, they are generally lost and clueless. They’ve gone through their Rolodex of swing thoughts, tried random ideas which are akin to trying to catch lightning in a bottle, and are spiritually broken down to the point  they finally give in and come see me.

Will Tiger Break Nicklaus’ Major Championship Record?

There had to be a lot of people that had Tiger Woods as the odds on favorite to win the PGA Championship, after blowing away the field with a brilliant performance at Firestone.

But as you saw, his performance was far less than brilliant at the PGA Championship.  Now any golfer knows that golf can be a very fickle game and one week you got it, and the next week you don’t, and may be that was just the case for Tiger at the PGA.

But I have different thoughts on why I no longer strongly believe that Tiger will dominate the world or beat Nicklaus’ major record. The reason? His current coach, Sean Foley.

Why I Don’t Send Videos to My Students Anymore

Last year, I would send videos of their lessons to my students. It would just be a couple of minutes of a review of the lesson and what we worked on. My students really liked it, and of course, I guess it was a way that made me and the experience of taking a lesson, more professional.

But, at least for now, I stopped doing it. Why? Because I felt it was hurting my students more that it was helping them. The reason is that during the review of the lesson I would use a lot of slow motion and try to give the student a solid visualization of the lesson in hope that it would help them process the information more clearly, hence making the lesson more productive.

Golf Swing Video App Analyzers

As you can see I haven’t been writing much lately.  Part of it is inspiration (or should I say lack thereof), but the predominant reason is I hate to write unless I think what I’m writing is worth reading. Of course our opinions may vary on that one. 

Technology is running rampant in our society and in golf it’s no different. One of the products that have been available for awhile, and more versions keep coming out, are the Apps you can get for your phone or handheld device that allows you to video your golf swing. Then you can play it back in slow motion, overlay planes lines, and such, and analyze what’s wrong with your swing. Sounds good? And they cost 5 bucks or less! I’m not endorsing any brand of these Apps. Any search of the App store will give you plenty of choices.

Master’s Ruling on Tiger’s Drop

Of course over the past week or so, I have been asked my opinion on the ruling with Tiger Woods’ drop at the Masters. I have to state – at the risk of not making fans – that I’m not really a Tiger fan, although I believe he is a tremendous player, and great for the game and ratings.  I always want him to be there on Sunday – I just hope he comes in second.

The USGA’s Ban on Anchoring the Belly and Long Putter

I’ve been asked my thoughts on the “anchoring ban”, both from the standpoint of a golf professional and as a player who uses a long putter (I go back and forth between standard and long – not a fan of the belly).

First let me say that I believe that anchoring the long putter, once you get used to it, is an easier way to putt. The primary reason for this is it is much easier to control the clubface and keep it on line – and getting the ball along the right line (along with the proper speed) makes for better putting. This would be especially true of golfers who struggle with the “twitches” or “yips”.

What You Can Learn from Kevin Na’s Excruciating Pre-Shot Routine

Did you happen to watch The Player’s Championship on Saturday? If so you witnessed Kevin Na’s per-shot routine, which was at times was tortuous to watch, is something you can learn from. The first thing is I have to give Na credit that he didn’t hit a shot until he was ready to swing. Whatever doubts were in his mind, he wouldn’t pull the trigger till they were gone. And that’s an important lesson to learn. If you are not committed to your
swing, target, and club selection, you are dramatically reducing your chances of hitting a good shot – which is why a pre-shot routine is so important. Most golfers think the pre-shot routine is just the number of practice swings you they take, the number of waggles, etc. But that’s just the physical part. The mental part is just as important – probably even more important – getting yourself set and committed to the shot before you start the physical part of your routine.

Bubba Watson’s Win at the Masters Shows the Golf Swing is Negotiable

It was an exciting finish to this year’s Master’s and watching Bubba swing the club is obviously evidence that the golf swing is negotiable – it may not be pretty or a move you can teach someone, but there is one thing you can learn from it. Bubba said he never took a lesson – so we can consider him a self taught player. And I don’t think there is anyone on tour that curves the ball – while playing normal shots – as much as he does. What Bubba learned is how to make the club (clubhead path/clubface) work to make the ball do what he wants it to do and the degree he’s looking to do it. He obviously has a great command of the ball flight laws – something he learned on his own, but certainly it’s something everyone can learn. And once you learn them – and practice them through self discovery – you will be much closer to mastering and controlling your ball flight.