Golfer’s Perspective Video

Using a GoPro Hero 4 action cam to video my golf swing has been an enlightening experience. It became immediately evident that you can see things that are not so obvious using a detached video (from outside your perspective as a golfer).

Using the GoPro is like seeing your setup, stance, golf swing, impact, and how the ball leaves your club face through your own eyes. I guess that is the whole idea.

From a golfer’s perspective I was finally able to see why I have been pulling the ball left of the target for so many years. It is the one key swing fault that has been hindering my scores.

The first thing I saw when viewing my GoPro video was that my shoulders and hips are aligned about thirty degrees or so left of the target and my weight is extremely on the right hip.  This has become my “comfortable setup position.”

Also immediately evident is that this setup position hinders my back swing and shoulder turn causing me to shorten everything going back and then again coming through impact and into the follow through. My swing path was consistently from outside to inside cutting straight across the target line and launching the ball straight left of target. A solid consistent pull shot.

This “golf swing formula” equals shot consistently left of the target. Being a pretty bright guy, I changed my setup position by putting more weight over my left hip which essentially shifted my spine angle to the left and also straightened up my shoulders, going from an open position top square position.

Amazing!

I don’t have to think so much about swinging. The ball goes pretty straight and my shot pattern and direction is much more consistent with where I believe I and aiming. Now I can just swing without having to think about so many in-swing manipulations.

Funny how these things were not really that evident with conventional video swing analysis. Being able to see your golf swing through your own eyes is definitely a huge advantage in individual golf swing analysis.

 

Things To Know About Taking A Golf Lesson

Golf Lessons Primer

When a new or existing student comes to me for lessons, I know I have done something correct in my teaching approach somewhere along the line. Being a golf instructor and teacher, someone skilled in ball striking and teaching, I have a good feeling as to how to approach each lesson. From the initial contact to about 5 minutes into the lesson, I know how to go about relating the important golf information to each student on an individual basis. Feel, intuition, and experience all figure into the equation.

If you are thinking of taking golf lesson, realize first as I am sure you do, that this can be a major investment. Even one lesson at a $60 to $80 price range can cut into your golfing and living budget. In my experience, I realize how hard it is to get by these days on what we have, so if you take a lesson from me, and I can only speak for myself, I can guarantee that you will get the most for your money.

I recently attended a seminar presented by Michael Breed of The Golf Channel. At one point in tthe presentation, Breed asked for 2 key words from the audience. He had a list of words that he had collected from all his previous seminars, and wanted to add 2 words from this audience, made up primarily of PGA professionals. Breed read us his list and got 2 more words from this group. No place on his list were the words I have previously mention, feel and intuition. Most in attendance agreed that it took about one-third to one-quarter of each lesson to figure out how to approach the student. I thought to myself that they are wasting a great deal of time on a part of teaching that they should have figured out in the lesson booking and in the first five minutes of the lesson: how to approach the relaying and relating of information.

My artistic background has given me a great foundation on which to base my teaching method. In the first place, I have learned over the last 40 years how to reduce information to its lowest common denominator, and how to get to the root of most problems quickly. In the second place, I have learned how to relay this information in a timely, simple to understand, common sense, coherent way. I have learned to operate on many levels at once, to get to the heart of the matter and get that information to the student precisely and quickly. No one wants to waste time and money; your golf lesson is no different that anything else.

I could tell you many reasons to take a lesson, from learning fundamentals to the ultimate goal of lowering your scores by hitting consistently better golf shots. This leads to increased satisfaction in your golf game simply from being a better player.

It is my goal as a teacher to first and foremost connect with you as a student, on some level. Then we can go about our business of making you a more consistent and competent golfers.

If you are looking for lessons, find a teacher who will meet your needs. Use email and the telephone to interview your prospective teachers and find someone who first of all cares about what he or she is doing, and second of all who can relate to you honestly as an individual golfer.

Stay away from system or method teachers. What works for one golfer may not work for another. It is more important to relate swing fundamentals, both pre-swing and in-swing, to you particular situation, to getting you on the road to being a better player. Remember the words feel and intuition, and use them to your advantage on your search for a golf teacher or instructor.

Remember once you get on the road, it takes a little work on your part to maintain your knowledge, put it into practice, and keep on moving to new horizons.

Teach Golf On The Driving Range

The hardest thing for most amateurs to realize is how much damage they inflict on a beginner golfer by trying to teach them how to swing the first time they tee off for a round of golf.

The world is paved with good intentions. But leave your teaching efforts for the driving range. Trying to teach a new beginner to play golf right out of the box is a really bad idea. The psychological damage inflicted on their delicate as yet undeveloped golf psyches is irreparable.

Most amateur golfers like to think they know a lot more about the golf swing than they really do. That is fine. golf is a game of egos. And indeed they may know a little about the golf swing. but please leave the teaching end of the game to professionals who do this for a living and who know what they are talking about and how to relay their knowledge and experience to new golfers.

Too often we see a group of golfers going off the first tee with a few groups waiting behind them, when inevitably someone in the group starts to instruct  a novice golfer, right in front of the masses waiting to tee off. Talk about a feeling of being naked on the first tee ! Please realize, if you have ever been this kind of “teacher”, that you are inflicting a great deal of anguish and pain on the person you are trying to teach.

Save it for the  range and for professionals who know how to teach. Do your part to keep new golfers in the game, not drive them away with bad judgement and good intentions.

Golf Swing Change-Great Results

2015. Another summer of golf is starting in the northeastern United States, the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, Owasco, NY, Dutch Hollow CC in particular where I am located.

As a golf professional, I do not get to play much golf especially in the start up time of spring and the close down time of autumn. But I do get to practice a lot of wedge shots when I get home in the evening. Recently I put a 12 x 20 foot net up in my back yard so I can hit full shots using my Ernest Golf ES 12 launch monitor. At least I can get a read on my ball speed and carry yardage, and using the app on my iphone 5s I can get a read on the direction of the shot.

This year I am incorporating a new move of sorts on the take away. It helps to set the club face at an advantageous angle at the top of the back-swing, and really helps the face square and the head release at impact.

I am starting to gain confidence in this move. Hitting balls in my backyard toward our vacant lot with houses and windows all over the place requires some control of both distance and direction. This new move helps in both regards.

I hope to get hold of a GoPro and start putting some videos on this sight to illustrate the things I am talking about.

You can always email for a further explanation.

Golf 2015

What Was True Last Year Is Still True This Year

Golf is a very general term. The game itself covers many aspects. Playing, health benefits, the social environment, tournament golf, professional tournament golf, golf lessons, golf teachers, equipment, The PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, The PGA of America, friendships, business, money, just to name a few.

As a PGA trained and certified professional, I deal in every aspect of the game. If you start at the beginning, playing and hitting better golf shots is what every body is after. Playing golf requires a golf swing and golf equipment. While equipment can make a difference in your shot quality, good equipment together with good golf swing technique is the easiest and best way to lower your scores.

Once you learn to strike the ball, you have to learn to get the ball in the hole. That is the goal of the game of golf as proposed in the original rules of golf written by the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith on March 7th, 1744 according to Wikipedia. They were entitled “Articles and Laws in Playing at Golf” and consisted of 13 rules.

While getting the ball into the hole is no easy task, hitting better quality golf shots that get the ball closer to the hole on a consistent basis is a good way to start. This is where you as a golfer can benefit from finding some golf swing keys that will work for you as an individual. You have many avenues to follow to reach this golf. You can read books and articles, you can practice, learn by trial and error, hit thousands of golf balls, use video training, swing analyzers, or get some help by a trained teacher of the golf swing, either using high tech equipment or using the trained eye, a simpler and much more effective method.

I for one have used and taught with high tech equipment, and own many devices that will help you learn about your swing. But over the years it has become evident to me that most regular golfers, recreational golfers, just want to hit better shots and make better swings. I have come to this conclusion by teaching, listening, and talking to my students and by interacting with the thousands of golfers who pass through our golf shop every season.

I love high tech equipment, both for playing and for analyzing the golf swing. I own and have used the GolfAchiever swing analyzer for many years. The GolfAchiever is a surprisingly advanced piece of hardware accompanied by a great piece of software that can give views of you golf shots on your computer screen. I know it works.

One instance or thousands of one lesson remains clear in my mind and illustrates the accuracy of this machine’s measurements. The student was hitting shots and became interested in seeing the results on the computer screen all the numbers along with a view of each shot, a line indicating the shape and distance of each shot. If you take all the lines as a whole a pattern emerges, which is quite helpful in indicating a golfer’s tendencies and what the golfer needs to work on.

Watching the shots on the range in reality and seeing accurate results on the computer screen lend great validation and validity to the analyzing capabilities of the equipment you are using.

After many shots the veered to the right, and were recorded and registered as such by the GolfAchiever and registered as such on the computer screen by the software, the student popped one shot up, straight up in the air over his head, and the shot landed about ten feet in front of us. this one shot could be called a “pop-up” over home plate. When I looked at the computer screen, there it was, a line indicating a “pop-up” straight up and down, among all the slice lines, the left to right shaped lines of the shots he was hitting. It was a poignant moment in my career as a golf instructor, a golf teacher, a teacher of the game of golf and the golf swing.

The only problem with the GolfAchiever is that it is hard to setup, it is cumbersome and a bit clumsy, and the way you hit balls in order for the machine to register your data is a little intimidating. If it were a simpler more user friendly design it would sell by the thousands.

Modern golf is an entirely different animal than golf of the past. Modern equipment requires an entirely different approach to swinging the club and hitting shots. I am not saying you can’t, but it is quite difficult to hit quality golf shots using modern equipment and an old style golf swing. That is why Tour Pros, the best players in the world, are always tinkering or overhauling their golf swings. They need to adjust their muscle firing sequence and muscle structure to the requirements of modern golf clubs and golf balls.

While I am very familiar with high tech equipment and like I said, I have invested in many models and versions, I learned from the beginning to use my eye, instincts, senses, and communication skills to teach golf students to improve both their games and the quality of their shots. Call it “old school” but it is still the best method. Many golfers are intimidated by high tech devices and really don’t want or need all the information. They actually prefer the “old school” naked eye method.

What matters just as much as being able to judge and see ball flight and its how it correlates to what the individual is doing with their golf swing is being able to communicate the information to the golfer in a coherent, timely, clear and concise way, in words and feelings that the individual student can understand.

Every golfer has different swing requirements that cannot be categorized or lumped into one or two or three categories. Every golfer is different. A great teacher of the game of golf and the golf swing knows how to make each student feel comfortable and secure, as secure as anyone can feel while trying to hit a golf ball and swing a golf club, with the knowledge and with the results.