Handicaps & You

If you want some advice or even if you do not, get yourself into the GHIN system and get a valid USGA/World Handicap System handicap.

To cut through all the mystery and jargon, you do not have a handicap, per say.

In a valid handicap system, what you are provided with is a handicap index. Your index is a decimal number, like 11.8. This is the basis and foundation for a handicap that you receive in any competition you may enter.

Remember, your index is not your handicap.

A handicap index is the measure of a player’s demonstrated ability calculated against the Slope Rating of a golf course of standard playing difficulty (that is, a course with a Slope Rating of 113) (see Rule 5.2 Calculation of a Handicap Index).

A provided handicap is computed by entering your index (decimal number) into a course handicap table (which is based on course rating, slope rating, and par of the course and tee you are going to play.)

Since most courses and tees are rated and sloped differently, your handicap will be different from most tees and on different courses.

For example, if you play the Championship Tees on Course A in Paramus NJ, your handicap (with an 11.8 index), might be 15. If you choose to play the regular White Tees on the same course, your provided handicap might be a 12. If you decide to play the Gold Tees, your handicap might be a 9.

Remember, it is all based on your individual handicap index. And ultimately the handicap tables from different tees are figured using different course ratings, slope ratings, and par.

A valid handicap system uses an average of the lowest 8 of your most recent 20 Score Differentials. It does not matter what year they are posted in, it is the last 8 of the most recent 20 scores.

If you carry an 11.8 index and have a bad day and shoot a 95, do not expect your handicap to go up 5 strokes at the next revision. The 95 you just shot will count only if and when it figures in the lowest 8 of the most recent 20 scores.

This is why it is very important to post all your scores, not just the high scores. So you can get a true and valid measure of your golfing ability.

In a nutshell, this is pretty much all you need to know. It is not all that complicated if you understand the concept and the “Big Picture.”

If you want some advice or even if you do not, get yourself into the GHIN system and get a valid USGA/World Handicap System handicap.

It will give you a real measure of your playing ability, and give you a fair chance in any competitions you choose to enter.

Good To Play-March 2020

It is good to be out playing again. Mid March 2020. Wind blowing, cool fresh air, golf course in beautiful shape.

I live for these moments.

Moments or stretches during a round when all my practice, hard work, and grinding come together and my muscles work the way they are supposed to work and my golf shots do what they are supposed to do.

The proof is always in the ball flight.

Get out and play golf! It’s good for your health, mind, body and soul.

Right Hip Power Move-March 2020

As a golfer with two really bad knees, a semi-paralyzed left arm and shoulder, and a stiff since childhood, I am always looking for new ways to swing a golf club with more power and control.

Power without control is a useless commodity.

If you look around on golfteacher.com, you will find that I have indeed over the years (since 1995), found many ways to move my body parts to efficiently swing a golf club.

The hips as they are used in the golf swing have always been a source discussion in any real approach to find power and efficiency.

Most “in the know” players and teachers will tell you the left hip is the real power source when you swing a golf club. A fast left hip coupled with rel rotation of the torso, a good pivot, and firing legs will result in a faster arm swing against a strong and solid left side.

Get the left hip moving with speed in conjunction with a connected body movement and you are sure to become a driving range Adonis.

I hit balls and swing a club every day during the winter. Hit balls off the ice and snow and frozen ground. As a PGA trained guy, I like to teach body movement first as opposed to arms, hands, and wrists. I love watching classic golf swings, whether they are old time players or new time modern players.

Most if not all have a few important things in common along the the classical explanation of functional powerful golf swings. Ben Hogan is a god.

But you know what, maybe Hogan is a golf god. But the only thing that really matters is your consistent patterns of ball flight, and the movement of you body that enables you to swing the golf club club with ease and efficiency.

I have discovered that focusing on my right hip before starting my arms down in the downswing actually increases my effectiveness of swing movement and helps to find some added strength in controlling the club in addition to adding power to my swing.

If I focus on turning my right hip toward the target first, it actually feels like the right hip grabs my arms and golf club, and pushes both in a full release at and through impact. Resulting in a more effortless move through impact and a tremendously more consistent ball flight as regards trajectory, shape, and direction.

You still have to turn and pivot, but the order of firing body parts in unison with each other feels remarkably different than the classical meothod of golf swing operation.

What is most important here is that firing the right hip first as described above saves on pain and discomfort, and lost effort during and after my swing. I have developed a certain smoothness as I turn through the ball, as opposed to a labored, tired, aggressiveness.

I feel a calm powerful control as I swing the club head through impact into follow through. What is most important is that my ball flight mirrors this feeling.

The ball appears consistently in my ball flight window. It feels good and right. And I find a certain happiness and satisfaction as I watch to golf ball fly through the air toward its eventual target.

In other words, this right hip movement just allow my golf swing to happen. I don’t have to work at it so hard.

Your Ball Flight Window

When you hit a golf shot, make the ball through your optimum window. After impact, pay attention to where your eyes are looking when you try to find the golf ball in flight.

Where you are looking is your optimal window. The process is a simple one.

Before your attempt to hot a golf shot, visualize your flight window. then hit the ball through that window. It leads to consistency and better golf shots.

Putting Insights

Putting insights.

As a result of my deteriorating knee problems, I am unable to practice the full swing much so I decided to devote my practice time to the short game.

Putting has always been a fascination, so I set about paying attention to what I was doing when I putted. I found quite readily that my biggest problem is not seeing the line correctly.

Most of my putts miss left. It is the result of the way I set up to putt and the level and angle of my eyes in the ball/hole continuum.

So I invested in 2 Scotty Cameron putters. Same problem. My setup is faulty, or flawed in the eye/ball/ hole relationship.

After hours of careful deliberation, new putting insights on a personal nature, and countless trials and errors I discovered the ideal length/lie putter that putts my eyes and head in the correct position to see a good line from the ball to the hole.

I lengthened a Scotty Cameron putter to fit my new set up, put a thick Flatso 13 3/4 inch length grip on it, and ran the longer shaft through my left palm and up my left forearm like Matt Kuchar.

The results were not surprising in that putts started going in the hole. Once I started seeing the line to the hole (and stopped guessing) my putts started to drop. All this time I though I had a bad stroke when the real problem was I could not make the eye/ball/hole connection correctly.

Making adjustments (in this case length and grip only) to my brand new Scotty Cameron putters was easy. I saved the original grip and went to town. These putters are made to hit good putts.

When you are constantly guessing as to the direction of your putts it is hard to make them go into the hole. More to the point if you cannot see the hole in relation to your ball, that is a real problem.

Do anything you have to do to get your eye/ball/hole continuum in tune. I guarantee you putts will start to drop. Once you figure it out, the results will be astounding.

Still using the same right hand position on the putter (under the square bottom of the SuperStroke grip). The only change I made was using the reverse over lap grip as normal.

I hole these putting insights help you along the way to more holed putts and lower scores. Remember the 3-8 foot putts are the ones that will make you or break you!

Putting Insights Modified Scotty Cameron Putter-45" Long|Superstoke Traxion Plus 13/3/4" Length Grip
Putting Insights Modified Scotty Cameron Putter-45″ Long|Superstoke Traxion Plus 13/3/4″ Length Grip

Play The Ball As It Lies

I decided to play the ball as it lies and got two holes in before the heavy rain came.

As spring is a busy time for a golf pro in the northeast, I was out on the golf course placing penalty area stakes the other day, and decided to play a few holes when the task was finished for the day.

I loaded up my clubs and teed up from hole #1. Hit a real good drive down the left center. I was pleasantly surprised. I had a good lie for my second shot so I pulled out my 5 wood. Something didn’t feel right as the club didn’t fit the shot. But since rain was coming I went ahead and hit it anyway. hit a low liner left but still got with wedge range for shot number three on a par 5.

What ever happened after that with my score really does not matter. The important thing is that I have been playing the ball as it lies since I first took up the game. It is really hard for me to set the ball up all the time.

As I played more this day, I thought about what a great game this is if you play the ball down. Every shot and every lie is different. The game, when played this way, demands that you learn to put the club face on the ball in many different situations and many different ways. As a matter of fact, the possibilities are endless.

Every shot is different and every day is different. There is no better life trainer than that.

Try to play it down for a few rounds. Play the ball as it lies and experience the true meaning of the game. I don’t mean to say that your should do it all the time, but when you play the ball as it lies for a few rounds here and there, you discover the true spirit of ball striking and the true spirit of what makes, and what has made the game of golf the great game that it is.

Every changing and always the same. Greatness at its best!

Bobby Jones and the real nature of golf.

New Golfer Alert

New golfer alert!

New to the game of golf?

Want to learn and improve?

Golf is the best exercise regimen ever invented. Golf keeps you mentally keen, mentally focused, physically strong,  and mentally and physically balanced and in tune. You have to be balanced in order to play well.

Golf is an emotional roller coaster. You experience every up and down possible during the course of a lifetime of golf.

Take some lessons from a competent teacher of the golf swing and the golf game to learn the fundamentals of the swing as they apply to your own unique set of requirements. I say competent because not all teachers are created equally. Invest your money wisely.

Then go out and play on a course as often as you can to apply what you have learned. Playing the game of golf is just as important as learning the fundamentals. Play play play! Once you learn how to swing and get the ball moving, playing as much as you can is the surest way to improving.

Why I Love Golf

  1. Why I love golf!
  2. It’s the game of a lifetime!
  3. Golf makes you live longer!
  4. Golf makes you tough.
  5. Golf makes you healthy.
  6. Golf makes you focus.
  7. Golf keeps you sharp.
  8. Golf makes you stronger.
  9. Golf makes you work.
  10. Golf makes you better.
  11. Golf makes you feel alive.
  12. Golf keeps you moving.
  13. Golf makes you happy.
  14. Golf makes you humble.
  15. Golf makes you elated.
  16. Golf makes you arrogant.
  17. Golf makes you feel helpless.
  18. Golf makes you angry.
  19. Golf gives you courage.
  20. Golf makes you reach.
  21. Golf extends your boundaries.
  22. Golf sharpens your mind.
  23. Golf makes you think.
  24. Golf puts you in the zone.
  25. Golf shows you patience.
  26. Golf teaches you about yourself.
  27. Golf teaches you about other people.
  28. Golf makes you breathe.
  29. Golf makes you sweat.
  30. Golf gives you freedom.
  31. Golf makes you real.
  32. Golf giveth.
  33. Golf taketh away.
  34. Golf makes you experience every emotion known to man.
  35. Playing golf keeps disease and illness away from you.
  36. Why I Love Golf
    Why I Love Golf

Putting It’s How You Hold The Putter

Putting It’s How You Hold The Putter

Neurologically speaking, your golf swing and putting stroke is a reflection of you and the way you do things.

After many years of putting mediocrity and experimentation and no feel or idea or impulse going from my brain to my putter and back to my brain, I found myself on the practice putting green holding my putter shaft wedged between my index finger and middle finger of my right hand just swinging back and forth as I walked toward my three golf balls to attempt more putts.

I looked down and saw my two fingers under the square bottom of a Super Stroke 3.0 size non-taper putter grip. The putter was wedged securely in my right hand so I said to myself  “what the hell I’ll try this.”

I put my left hand on the top of the putter grip without even thinking about it and stroked a 30 foot put that went right into the middle of the cup with perfect speed. Stroked another with the exact same result then another that stopped a fraction of an inch from going in.

I pulled the balls out of the cup and hit three six-footers that went right to the bottom of the hole.

Hmmm. Something felt right. Putting It’s How You Hold The Putter.  I looked down and my right arm was parallel with the shaft of the putter and every practice and real stroke I took felt exactly the same. What was more important, I had a great feel for speed and direction as each putt whether 60 feet or four feet was exactly the same.

I have been putting this way now for about three months. Nothing has changed. The results are still excellent. I am making more putts than I have made in years and getting the ball up and down on a regular basis.

Finally some feedback, some direction and some idea translated into reality. The neurological synapse between brain and execution has been bridged.

I putt the same with any putter that finds its way into my hands: from relic 8802’s, Bullseye’s, Anser’s or whatever I happen to use.

Putting It’s How You Hold The Putter.

It is not the putter “it’s in the way that you use it!”