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!

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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.

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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!

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Golf Swing Mechanics – The Head & The Swing

There exists some debate among golf professionals as to what constitutes the true role of the head in proper golf swing mechanics.

Some golf professionals argue proper golf swing mechanics mandate that the golfer keep the head totally still during the execution of the swing pattern – allowing the golfer to maintain constant target acquisition.

Other golf professionals take an opposing view, believing that keeping the head still detracts from swing performance – restricting and inhibiting free movement of the body during the swing pattern.

When it comes head positioning and golf swing mechanics, each golf professional holds fast to their own opinion on the matter.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak offers his expert opinion on the proper role the head plays in winning golf swing mechanics.

Novak writes;

“At no time throughout my years of instruction do I remember consciously asking a pupil to keep their eye on the ball. I feel that the player will naturally look at the ball because that is their target, so why bother telling them to do it. Of course, the real reason so much stress is placed on keeping your eye on the ball is that your head will stay still. I disagree with this suggestion, because if one holds their head extremely still they restrict and inhibit a nice free action in their body.

In the natural course of movement in a golf swing, the act of shifting one’s weight to the right foot does straighten that knee. As the diagonal stretch action of the body is used to raise the club to the top of the swing there is an added straightening of the entire right side. In other words, the combination of shifting the weight to the right foot plus using the right side of the body to carry the club to the top of the swing, automatically produces a certain erectness or straightening of the entire right side. Under the influence of this action the head position is raised as the backswing is made. Then as the weight shifts to the left foot, there is a momentary drop of the entire body position, and consequently the head naturally lowers slightly. However, after the weight moves to the left foot and the left side is used to bring the club through, there is a decided straightening of the left side and again the head is raised slightly.

In other words, the head goes higher as the backswing is made, temporarily drops to a slightly lower position as the downswing starts, but again raises as the swing is completed. Any attempt to hold the head absolutely still restricts this natural body action. Hence I have never asked a pupil to hold their head still“.

The head plays an important role in executing the proper golf swing mechanics for a winning swing!

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

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

Improve Golf Swing Performance – Don’t Wrestle with the Wrists!

To improve golf swing performance golfers must properly understand the function of the wrists and their role in the swing pattern.

Using the wrists to improve golf swing performance is easy – just let them be.

The wrists, left to their own devices without any added influence, will automatically perform their duty – providing their unique purpose to the swing pattern, that is, acting as a link.

Understanding to use the wrists in this capacity is crucial for golfers to improve golf swing performance.

In his book, “On Learning Golf”, author Percy Boomer offers some expert advice regarding the true function of the wrists in a winning golf swing pattern.

Boomer writes;

“The fluency of the swing becomes greater as the swing gathers speed, and when the ball is swept from the tee, the flick of the wrists (hateful expression) has become a violent sweep—violent because of it’s force, a sweep because of its fluency.

We are told and have evidence in the “flickers” that the wrists open as we come into contact with the ball, but this opening is not something that the wrists do, but something which they cannot help happening. And the art lies not in making the wrists open but in postponing their opening as late as possible.

As the club head arrives in the region of the ball, our body (because of its comparatively short degree of action) has already got back into its “opposing” position, with left heel back on the turf, left side straight and firm, and right hip twisted into the left one—the whole giving a sense of secure brace to the whole body. By this time the arms are already half-way down, but the wrists are still pulled back. But now owing to the forward pull of the hips and the gathering momentum of the club head, something must happen—and what happens is that we can no longer keep the club head from flying past the ball.

We have done everything possible to delay the club head and to inhibit wrist movement, but finally the club head gets out of control (this is literally true) and flashes through the ball as if mad with rage!

Now this is as it should be. We purposely set up a state that would leave the club head free and unchecked in this region of the swing, and we must see to it that we do not interfere in any way with its ferocious passage through the ball. There will almost inevitably be some tendency to rigidity due to local necessities in this region (as in the initial take-up), but we must not feel the slightest check or guide attempting to control the club head. Let its furious assault die away into a perfect follow through.

Do not hold or check or guide the club head but keep the left side firm and rigid and play on around it. That is the only way of keeping the fury of the club head on the right path. You have unleashed a storm, and all you can do is to control the center from which came its force and from which it will die away. Feel centered and balanced.

If after reading the foregoing you come to the conclusion that the best thing to do with your wrists is nothing at all, my exposition has been successful.

Since probably no one has told you before that your wrists are only a link, you cannot be blamed for not having realized it!

Too many people try to do something with their hands, thinking this to be wrist action. But when you analyze it, there is no deliberately induced action in the golf swing which corresponds to the mythical “flick of the wrists.” Anyway, the word flick is appropriate when we speak of removing ash from a cigarette—but utterly out of place in a movement which sweeps a golf ball two hundred and fifty yards down the fairway.

If you have built up a good powerful central organization around which you whirl your club, the more you leave your wrists to their own sphere of activity the better will be your stroking. And the proper sphere of activity of your wrists is to act as the link in the flail with which you sweep the ball away”.

To improve golf swing performance, golfers must understand the proper function of the wrists in a successful swing pattern.

Try incorporating Boomer’s advice into your golf swing practice routine.

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

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