Archives for 2010

The Proper Golf Swing – The Simple Secret to Successful Swing Patterns!

A proper golf swing is born from successfully fusing all the different phases of the swing pattern into one beautifully choreographed movement.

For many golfers the two most challenging segments of the pattern to blend together are the downswing and follow through. Both these phases represent the extreme ends of the swing arc and, when combined incorrectly, they can potentially disturb the swing patterns natural flow. This natural smooth flow is essential in both creating and executing a proper golf swing.

When a golfer acquires a working command of these two phases, their chances of performing a proper golf swing are greatly increased.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King discusses the integration of the downswing and follow through and their overall importance in executing a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“The whole outline of this swing-shape has been presented with the driver as the club used. For two reasons: It is the longest and most difficult club to control at the top of the swing; secondly, the straight face of the driver makes it simpler to check on the angle of the club-face at different stages.

…Now here is an exercise to help you get the feel of the follow-through and finish. Remember that the first stage of the backswing is confined to the simple movement straight back from the ball of the arms, hands and club head. Do this and extend it partly into the next stage which brings the left heel just off the ground.

Now return the club head through the impact position and into the follow-through and finish. Do this slowly and repeat it until you begin to get the feeling of the various actions I have described.

Assimilation of the combined factors in the swing will develop the shape. But that is not all. You have to apply the swing to the purpose behind the operation sending the ball accurately on its way. Between the two extreme ends of the arc which you have taken in the completed swing, you have to make a timed delivery of the club head to the ball, the crux of the whole business“.

To execute a proper golf swing, the player must learn to successfully integrate both the downswing and follow through into one fluid, natural movement.

Incorporate King’s expert advice to improve your swing pattern and play!

Check back soon for more articles and posts to help you achieve a proper golf swing!

Golf Swing Tip – Put Putting Slumps to Rest!

A golf swing tip that promises to pull golfers out of a putting slump is a tip worth taking!

Reason being, a putting slump is a horrific disease – infecting a golfers game in a variety of ways. Distracted drives and pushed/pulled iron shots are some of the collateral damage that can result from putting slumps.

As the golfer’s game limps along, there’s a tendency to actively solicit others for that golf swing tip possessing the instant remedy to this dreadful disease!

The problem is only a select few truly know how to properly approach and handle this condition. To ensure that a putting slump doesn’t progress into complete destruction of their game, golfers must show restraint and only follow a golf swing tip from a credible authority.

In the book, “The Winning Touch in Golf, A Psychological Approach” author Peter G. Cranford, Ph.D. offers the reader his professional opinion on identifying and addressing putting slumps. His golf swing tip could make all the difference in your golf game!

Cranford writes;

“There is no more demoralizing condition in golf than to be in the throes of a putting slump. When the putting is bad there develops a chain reaction which can cause a general blowup. If our short putts are not going down, we make a desperate effort to get the long putt or chip so close that we “can’t miss.” This adds a pressure variable that brings about flubbed shots. Next we make a great effort to steer our iron shots so that they will land on the green. This results in pushed and pulled shots which make the short game even more difficult. Finally, we try to hit the drives so far that the iron shots will be so easy that we won’t have to worry further. This pressure variable weakens the drive by upsetting our usual timing. The result is golfing chaos. What can be done?

…First, there may be no slump. In this case the putting is not really worse and hence no changes should be made. The “slump” may be due to some temporary forgetting by the muscles. A voluntary or involuntary layoff is the usual cause of this condition. Such golfers returning to play should not change any of their golfing techniques—no matter how poor the results—until they have practiced enough to regain the touch which deteriorated because of lack of practice. Generally, this touch can be regained rather quickly.

A delusion that one’s putting is worse often comes about when course conditions change temporarily. I have noticed that when the greens are in poor shape, many golfers go into a frenzy of experimentation with form and putters. As they do so, their putting goes into a further slump, and this slump will persist even when the greens return to normal, for they now have new techniques which have “bugs” they are unfamiliar with, and these techniques are not as well-learned as the older ones.

False slumps are produced when we do not have objective records of how well we actually are putting and under what conditions. Also, we are apt to misjudge the situation when we play with generally poor putters, or good putters who have deteriorated. Our standards of comparison are relatively affected and we don’t know where we stand. The best measure is how we compare with our own past performances, and this requires records.

Second, the slump may not be genuine because it is a temporary statistical variation. There are times when a coin is repeatedly tossed and only “tails” shows up. With putting, nothing but misses can occur at these times. Examine your records and you will find that this type of “slump” is a regular occurrence. It should be sweated out philosophically.

Third, the slump may not have been a true one to begin with but is now. The slump was originally perhaps just an off day or days. Excessive experimentation then produced a genuine slump. Go back to your old form, and stick with it indefinitely. You cannot prevent the averages from swinging back to normal.

Fourth, the slump may be genuine and, in addition, you may not be satisfied to return to your old level of performance. In order to achieve results, you must combine better form with greater practice. The realistic way of doing this is to seek out a teaching professional who is an excellent putter, and model yourself after them. From then on, persistent practice will accomplish the task. If you relapse, you can always return to your model to iron things out again.

To obtain and maintain high putting skill, one must recall the competitive element in golf. To putt well is not enough. You must putt better than others. You must be willing to make the sacrifices that others cannot or will not make.

Gross muscular skills are easily remembered, but the finest skills of muscular learning require indefinite polishing and are quickly forgotten—almost from one day to the next. Fine singers, pianists, violinists, and billiard players must practice three or four hours daily to maintain and improve their skills. Those who wish any particular degree of skill in putting, must pay the equivalent price in practice. Any other attitude is unrealistic and unproductive“.

A golf swing tip which can help direct a player out of their putting slump is a tip worth taking!

Incorporate Cranford’s professional advice to help you consistently putt to your greatest potential!

Check back soon for more golf swing tip articles and posts!

Golf Swing Mechanics – Understanding the Importance of the Forward Press

Golf swing mechanics both define and shape a golfers swing.

Solid golf swing mechanics provide the golfer with perfect body balance, precise body control and powerful body action – the three elements of a successful swing!

Though the entire system of golf swing mechanics is an interrelated and interdependent set of actions, it can be argued that correctly executing one action in particular is the most important – the forward press.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak offers his expert opinion on the role of the forward press in winning golf swing mechanics. He discusses the importance of the forward press using, as an example, one of his students he refers to as D.M.

Novak writes;

“For those unfamiliar with this term let me tell you that it is as old as the hills, but aptly describes exactly how every good, reliable golfer starts their swing. The forward press is a slight forward motion, a slight forward bending of the right knee. This forward kick with the right knee enables the player to do a “reverse press,” a reversing of the knee positions, whereby the player can balance themselves on their right foot and right leg, so that the upswing of the club can be made with the right side of the body. And I want to say most emphatically that if there is any trick to making a good golf shot, it is exactly this trick of getting onto the right leg and right foot before the club is picked up on the back swing.

After I had demonstrated and proved to D.M. that he had this little forward press as the first move of his golf swing, I told him to never let anyone ever talk him out of that move, because with it he had developed the proper sense of footwork and balance to put himself in a fine position to swing the club. At this point I emphasized the fact that the proper way to swing a golf club was with a sense of body action, a sense of body control. This sense of using the body to swing a golf club is nothing strange or secret. The basis of all athletics is that whenever one wants to throw something, to kick something or to punch something, in fact, anytime one wants to get power into his arms or legs, he does it by getting into proper position to utilize his body to generate the force.

I pointed out to D.M. that this combination of proper footwork for balance and proper body action for power was the basis of every good golfer’s game, and that however he had acquired that little forward press, it had made it possible for him to use his body correctly and gave him the basis of a real good golf game“.

It can be argued that the forward press is one of the most important components of winning golf swing mechanics.

Use Novak’s expert advice to properly incorporate the forward press into your swing pattern!

Check back soon for more tips and posts to help improve your golf swing mechanics!

Improve Golf Swing – Learning to “Feel” the Swing for Better Golf Performance!

To improve golf swing performance a golfer must learn to swing their club using their sense of “feel”.

A golfer’s sense of “feel” is the program of body movements hardwired in their neuro-muscular system. “Feeling” is built from each swing attempt – the summation of these swings becomes the golfers command center from which all future swings are to be subconsciously guided.

To improve golf swing performance golfers must learn to trust their sense of “feel” and use it to properly motive and direct their swing efforts.

Using “feel” to improve golf swing performance is not as difficult or abstract as it may initially sound. With some simple instruction golfers may better understand and apply this concept to their swing and game.

In his book, “On Learning Golf”, author Percy Boomer offers some expert advice to help golfers improve golf swing performance. He explains the sense of “feel” and the important role it plays in a winning golf swing pattern.

Boomer writes;

“After a while by dint of pivoting correctly, not dipping our shoulders (i.e. not lifting with the arms), we begin to play some good shots, nice and straight and reasonably long. We have arrived at this stage by building on the basic trinity—pivot, shoulders up, and width—and by occasionally taking a sly peep at how they are going. So far we have never consciously produced a good shot; we have merely made certain mechanical movements which we have been taught will result in good shots.

But now we begin to realize how we should feel in order to produce a good shot. We are on the other side of the fence. We know now what it feels like to produce a good shot, and now, instead of preparing for a shot by sly looks at our pivot etc., we instinctively get into the position which we feel will produce a good shot. And as we go on, the feeling of this preparatory state comes more and more into the foreground.

Also because we are working from a secure basis we can now begin to notice the nuances and subtleties. We find that we produce purer shots from one sensation than from another only slightly different. We are enticed to arrange our back swing according to the type of shot we wish to produce: an extra pivot if we wish to pull or a restricted pivot if we wish to slice. But please notice that this will not be a conscious, mechanical control—you will not say to yourself, “I wish to slice slightly so I will restrict my swing to an arc of so many degrees,” you will simply alter your swing unconsciously in response to your feeling of what will produce the shot you want.

In other words, the control of your shots has now been placed outside your conscious mind and will. You have built up a feel that a certain swing will produce a slice—so you can produce a slice by getting that feel into your swing. This is only the beginning of control by feel to the very good golfer.

They begin to hit a variety of shots, with little difference in flight or character and yet each subtly different and with its individual feel. They file away in the “feel cabinet” in their unconscious memory all these subtleties. Consequently they never have to “think out” a shot on the course—they see the lie and the flight required, and these produce, by an automatic response, the right feel from their cabinet and so the right shot from their club.

In this connection consider the hanging lie. Now this golfer’s bugbear is a bugbear simply because it is thought that a shot from a hanging lie must be difficult; so the very sight of such a lie produces difficulties in the mind. If you learn to play by feel, no such difficulties will crop up; the sight of a hanging they will suggest the feel of the necessary swing, restricted and slightly from the outside with the face somewhat open in consequence. Because of the lie you feel that this will give you a shot of normal height, though you feel (correctly again) that such a swing played on the tee would produce nothing better than a vulgar slice!

In one sense, when I tell a pupil at their own request how to play from a hanging lie, I am telling them something I do not know. All I know is the feel of how to play off a hanging lie—and I know that well, for when I was at my apex as a golfer I missed fewer shots from indifferent lies than I did from the tee—probably because I concentrated more severely on the difficult shots than on the easy ones. Difficulties help concentration. I would rather have a bunker to pitch over than a plain run up of the same distance to play“.

Improve golf swing performance by “feeling” your way through the swing pattern!

Try implementing Boomer’s professional instruction into your practice sessions.

Check back soon for more posts and tips to improve golf swing performance!

Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – A Simple 5 Step Checklist to a Better Downswing!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs try to teach their students the fundamentals of play using various techniques.

One such technique employed by many beginner golf swing instruction programs is an easy to follow checklist.

A checklist is great, helping to cue the golfer through the phases of the swing pattern.

Below is a simple five step checklist for the downswing. This checklist may help student golfers better apply their beginner golf swing instruction to their game!

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, an Illustrated Guide to Better Golf”, authors Gene Littler and Don Collett provide some beginner golf swing instruction – walking the student golfer through a simple checklist designed to improve their downswing phase of the swing pattern.

They write;

“…some checkpoints to remember about the downswing:

1. Starting the downswing correctly with the left hip and left side will put you in a position to hit from the inside out as you enter the hitting area.

2. The hips lead the downswing with a slight lateral, then a turning movement, followed by the shoulders (about a quarter of a turn behind the hips), arms, and hands, in that order. If the shoulders turn ahead of the hips, your swing will be from the outside in.

3. After the weight has shifted to the left side, a driving action is initiated by the right side, particularly the right knee and hip. This develops early clubhead speed and will give you more power and distance. This also releases all tension from the right leg and hip, resulting in about 90 per cent of the weight being upon the right side at the finish of the swing.

4. Complete the backswing before you start the downswing. Take a full shoulder turn and start into the downswing as smoothly as possible.

5. Keep driving through the ball to a complete high finish. Don’t hit at the ball and quit“.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs use checklists to help their student golfers effectively apply their curriculum to the course!

Incorporate Littler and Collett’s advice into your next practice session.

Check back soon for more beginner golf swing instruction articles and posts to help quickly improve your golf swing and game!

The Proper Golf Swing – The Downswing – Don’t Rush It!

A proper golf swing is created from a smooth, seamless and synchronized integration of all the different phases of the swing pattern.

To the frustration of many golfers however, the proper golf swing is often lost during the downswing phase.

The downswing phase is a tricky stage of the swing. It is the point where most golfers swing patterns fall apart. Reason being – most golfers rush it!

A proper golf swing requires that the golfer slowly begin the downswing phase.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King discusses the golfer’s critical transition to the downswing and its overall importance in executing a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“The backswing has prepared us for the next phase the action of bringing the club head back to the ball with the full uninhibited release of controlled power.

I do not propose, at this stage, to deal further with the crucial transition which takes place at the top of the swing. You have learned…that the feeling of a slight pause helps in affecting the change of direction, but you must beware in making this pause not to turn the back-swing and the downswing into two entirely separate actions. I am no believer in prefabricated golf swings. The ideal is a smooth blend of the fundamentals, free from stops and re-starts.

In fact the experienced and accomplished player is sensing the start of the downswing as they reach the top of the back-swing, much as a bowman, smoothly and unhurriedly drawing back, senses the release.

…For the present let us consider solely the downswing, and let me stress at once that it starts slowly and smoothly. That is the way you let in the clutch of your car after slipping it into gear. An agitated jerky foot on the clutch pedal and the engine is stalled. It is even easier to stall the golf swing and turn it into a heave. For your own sake make it slow and smooth at the start.

Give yourself time and room in which to hit the ball. Only in this way will maximum acceleration be reached at the right time that is, at and through the ball.

You commence the downswing by DRIVING DOWNWARDS with the hands and left arm simultaneously with the return of the left heel still with left knee flexed to the ground. At the top of the swing the extreme operative points are the hands and the left foot. By synchronizing the movement of these two extreme points you are set to move into a lateral shift of the lower part of the body. Most important this, but I will come to it in due course.

I have used the term “driving downwards”. But in the same way as the engine of your car takes up the drive slowly as you move away, so the left arm and hands come unhurriedly into the first movement of returning the club head to the ball. Make it smooth all the time.

Don’t rush it.

With this combined initial movement the hands and left arm (still extended but not rigid) driving down and the whole of the left foot returning firmly to the ground you now have the whole of the left foot and the inside of the sole of the right foot on the ground with both knees flexed. This is keeping you DOWN to the ball and this is how we want it. Only the heel of the right foot has begun to rise.

Do not fall into the common error of stiffening the left knee as the heel returns to the ground and of rising up with the body. This only locks the movement“.

A proper golf swing necessitates that the golfer slowly and smoothly begin the downswing phase of the swing pattern.

Use King’s professional advice to improve your swing pattern and play!

Check back soon for more articles and posts to help you achieve a proper golf swing!

Golf Swing Tip – Working Out the Golf Bugs!

Many a golf swing tip originates out of imitation, not innovation.

There is a good chance that a recent golf swing tip you’ve heard is nothing more than a poor attempt at reproducing the successful movements of a professional golfer.

Following a golf swing tip which replicates the actions of another golfer may not necessarily be the best advice for your golf swing or game.

In the book, “The Winning Touch in Golf, A Psychological Approach” author Peter G. Cranford, Ph.D. offers his opinion on the value of imitating the movements of successful golfers. His golf swing tip could make all the difference in your golf game!

Cranford writes;

“The basic fundamentals of golf are well known and provide no problems to beginners. Yet, within the framework of these principles, there is enough variation of form among top notch golfers to confuse us. If we become tempted to model ourselves first after one player and then another, we are headed for disaster. The inherent trouble lies in the “golf bugs.”

Many golfers of equal ability have easily recognizable differences of form. For each of these different forms, there are adjustments and modifications that must be made. We call these modifications “golf bugs” and no swing is without them.

You see then the danger of modeling ourselves after more than one person. The over-all swing may be fine, but we have to be shown or find out for ourselves what these new “bugs” are. (“Bugs” are also apparent to a degree in different sets of clubs, particularly with putters.)…

…Some methods of play have more “bugs” than others. In such cases a swing may have to be rebuilt from the ground up, or the golfer will play in a blind alley. Therefore, as many good teaching professionals know, if you already have a heavy investment of time in a swing, it is more efficient to stick by it, working the “bugs” out one by one.

One of my golfing friends changed from a fair putter to an excellent one when he abandoned a number of compensatory adjustments and simply eliminated two variables. His problem for some time had been that of direction. Ostensibly there was nothing wrong with his putting stroke. He had adopted the form of a golf professional who was quite good and had had considerable instruction from him. Something minute was apparently occurring during the process of the stroke, a random variation that caused some putts to go to the right of the hole and some to the left. I suggested that he set up an experimental putting situation on a carpet. After a number of sterile putting sessions in which there seemed to be no consistent pattern, he noticed that, on occasion, when he appeared to “get in the groove,” he would make a very nice run of putts.

Suddenly he had a flash of insight.

He realized that after those occasions when the putting device did not return the ball properly and he had to retrieve it himself, he would generally miss. He concluded that his trouble lay in a change of stance or grip or both. He became considerably more accurate by simply marking his feet positions on the carpet and his thumb position on the grip during a “good run“.

Following a golf swing tip which imitates the patterns and movements of a successful professional golfer can be detrimental to both your swing and game.

Incorporate Cranford’s professional advice to help you play to your greatest potential!

Check back soon for more golf swing tip articles and posts!

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