My Posts

Why I Love Golf

  1. Golf makes you tough.
  2. Golf makes you healthy.
  3. Golf makes you focus.
  4. Golf keeps you sharp.
  5. Golf makes you stronger.
  6. Golf makes you work.
  7. Golf makes you better.
  8. Golf makes you feel alive.
  9. Golf keeps you moving.
  10. Golf makes you happy.
  11. Golf makes you humble.
  12. Golf makes you elated.
  13. Golf makes you arrogant.
  14. Golf makes you helpless.
  15. Golf makes you angry.
  16. Golf gives you courage.
  17. Golf makes you reach.
  18. Golf extends your boundaries.
  19. Golf sharpens your mind.
  20. Golf makes you think.
  21. Golf puts you in the zone.
  22. Golf shows you patience.
  23. Golf teaches you about yourself.
  24. Golf teaches you about other people.
  25. Golf makes you breathe.
  26. Golf makes you sweat.
  27. Golf gives you freedom.
  28. Golf makes you real.
  29. Golf giveth.
  30. Golf taketh away.

Putting It’s How You Hold The Putter

Putting. 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. 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.

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

Weightless Takeaway and Back Swing

A COUPLE THOUGHTS ABOUT THE TAKEAWAY AND BACKSWING

Your first move in your golf swing, after taking your setup, grip and aiming yourself towards where you want the golf ball to go, is your takeaway.

You take the club away from the ball into the backswing to build energy and power that you release into the golf ball at the impact zone, and to get the head and face of the club moving in the right direction when you make contact with the golf ball.

If you feel the weight of the golf club when you start back at the beginning of your backswing, you are probably doing something a little “off kilter” that will figure into your swing equation when you start back toward the golf ball.

I know because I do it myself.

Try to feel a “weightless feeling” in terms of the club as you start away from the ball. This is the beginning of the backswing. If you initiate your swing with a light feeling it will most likely carry over into the rest of the swing.

If you are “weightless” during your takeaway and backswing, you are using your large muscles and core muscles from the very beginning, and using the golf club in balance according to the way it is supposed to be used.

The design of the golf club also contributes to giving you the best feeling throughout your swing. If you feel weightless you are using the golf club properly, using gravity as a positive constructive force instead of fighting gravity, which gives a forced feeling of heaviness.

Simply, the more weight or heavier you feel when you swing the golf club, the more problems you are likely to encounter when you attempt to get the golf ball moving into the air and toward your target.

New Golf Season 2018-Practice

The new golf season 2018 is on our doorstep. Today is March 4, 2018. We had over a foot of snow on March 2nd and the temperature today is about 32 degrees with a stiff wind blowing.

I had cut my practice nets down because the rain before the snow froze and there was about a ton of snow caught on the nets. So Yesterday I rehung the nets after a hard pull out of the snow and today I decided to it balls again.

The sun was bright even though the ground was wet and muddy and the temperature was no conducive to practicing my golf swing. But what the hell its march and I wanted to practice.

I turned on my SkyTrak launch monitor and connected to my iPhone and went to work. i have been practicing hard since the season ended last November and at times have been able to get my driver club head speed up to 96 and ball speed near 140.

A far cry from the old days when I averaged 116 mph with ball speeds in the 160’s and 170’s. Of course I was 20 years younger and have undergone battles with cancer, knee surgeries, torn cartilages, infections and other surgeries and ailments.

Seems like its been 10 years of a downhill energy spiral, although last year 2017, was a relatively good year knock on wood and all sorts of other things to keep the blues way.

So today in the old and sunny weather surrounded by piles of now I managed to get my club speed to about 85 with ball speed about 131. Not too bad I thought for the conditions and by condition.

I have been experimenting with different shafts. I can still swing a stiff shaft but always need a higher kick point due to the fact that I have a fast hard release of the club head and have strong powerful wrists and hands. Swings with a regular lighter longer shaft have produced better numbers and more distance.

Funny thing about practicing. One day last week when it was a little warmer I hit about 80 balls with a driver and was caught in the 85 to 90 mph comfort zone. Then I decided to call on my adrenaline and try to pump myself up to a “game day” frame of mind. The result of the experiment into a raised level of concentration and awareness was 96 mph with balls speeds of a little over 140.

I guess animated practice is more productive than steady level practice, at least in the context of trying to increase distance, clubbed speed, and ball speed. Although I have played my best golf score-wise when I play in a state of steady level headed clear headed detached concentration.

I am hitting the ball pretty straight on a consistent basis, but I am also starting to become aware of a slight tweak in my downswing move that increases my numbers pretty dramatically. The only problem is that the ball goes way right of my usual direction, which is a slight draw of little fad when I want to hit a fade.

As I sit here the 2018 golf season is right on our doorstep. My SkyTrak launch monitor has afforded me hours of really productive practice during this off season. I will continue to work hard and am looking forward to playing some good golf this season.

Let the games begin!

Golf Training Aids

Golf training aids. The first thing you have to realize is that the people who come up with these things are in business to make money.

Once you understand this, you can understand that no training aid in the world will give you any lasting improvement regarding your golf swing. You can achieve temporary results, no matter how many repetitions you do.

Reality says that once you get on to the golf course you will do what you do naturally, no matter how good you feel about your training aid. Sooner than later your natural authentic golf swing will surface.

There is no substitute for good practice; practice that incorporates a solid understanding of grip, setup, and takeaway fundamentals. Solid fundamentals yield solid golf shots. Solid fundamentals as applied to your own, unique, individual, authentic idea of what in reality powers your golf swing.

You cannot do what you cannot do. No matter how hard you try. Your move is your move. Your golf swing is your golf swing. No training aid in the world can teach you this, it is only yours to discover through understanding a few things about your own golf swing framework.

Strength golf training aids are great. Build up your golfing muscles. It takes strength to swing a golf club. Even a little improvement in strengthening golfing muscles will yield good results.

Practice rhythm and timing which becomes a good tempo. Learn to release the club head at and through impact.

Understand your alignment as you set up to your golf shot. Pay attention to where your shoulders and hips are aiming. Then take the golf club away from the ball parallel to your set up lines at address.

Then go ahead and swing!

 

Playing Real Golf

Playing Real Golf

playing real golf
Playing Real Golf
Keys to teaching the golf swing
Ball Flight All That Matters

Played Shore Gate Golf Course down near Cape May New Jersey today, 11/12/2017. Played the white tees at about 6700 yards, 45 degrees, cart paths only, course was wet and played long.

What I shot is not important. What is important is that I was playing real golf.  I played one ball, and tried to grind it out as if I was playing in a championship. Counted every shot, penalties, no take overs, putted everything into the hole.

The numbers themselves are not important; they are what they are. What is important is that I write down on the scorecard every score for every hole. This brings the reality of what you shoot into focus. It brings the abstraction into the what is in the here and now.

Playing golf this way may not be a championship, but the mindset becomes the same. I put my head into a tournament situation and played every shot as if it meant something. I played the ball down, played like I had to shoot a score. I felt as if I was playing tournament golf, playing real golf.

We as PGA professionals make so many concessions on an everyday basis, as regards rules and trying to get patrons to enjoy the game, that is is becoming vitally important to me personally to revisit the true roots of the game, the true spirit of the game, and to play golf the way it was meant to be played.

I need this experience of playing golf the way it was meant to be played to replenish my sense of duty to the golfers who I meet on an everyday basis, whether members, guests, tournament players, or green fees. Playing real golf, no matter where it is, can only enhance my experience as a golf professional, and can only make me better as a player and a better professional.

It was a struggle today, but it felt good. I may not have a US Open game anymore, but calling myself out and putting that pressure on myself every time I go out on the course to play is worth the effort. Since golf is 99 percent in your head anyway, why not play in my own reality. Make the entire picture a tournament picture. I am playing real golf.

Every round I play from here on in will be a tournament round. Every shot I hit on the course will be a tournament shot. I have to learn to play real golf again. It is very important to me to do this. I have to revisit that sense of goodness, well-being, and continuity that comes from playing one ball into the hole.

No more practice for me. Just grinding it out as if every shot I play is in the US Open. No one else has to know what I am trying to accomplish. All that matters is that I am pitted against myself as I experience a round of golf and as I experience the golf course.

 

First Great Golf Shot

FIRST GREAT GOLF SHOT A LIFELONG SEARCH FOR A FREE, REPEATABLE, CONSISTENT GOLF SWING

I still remember the first time I made real good solid contact in the middle of the club face, one of those times when the ball just jumps off the face and flies straight high and true with no effort. I was playing a course in Auburn with my two brothers, Mike and Lou. They must have still been in high school and living at home, since we were all together on a summer morning. It was early morning the sun was warm there was dew on the grass and very few people were on the golf course. I played with a set of my father’s old irons, some kind of very thin blades with brown steel shafts of some sort. They were the lightest clubs I ever felt in my hands. I still have them here in the house.

I could not have been more than six or seven years old when I hit this first great golf shot, or somewhere in that neighborhood age wise. We were walking down the first fairway. I remember going over to the right side probably in the rough and taking out the old 4 iron from the set. I remember setting up to the ball, taking the club back on the backswing, then letting the club head release through the hitting area. I saw the dew on the grass splatter and I can still see the divot flying straight in front of me as I looked up and saw the results of my first perfect contact. The sun was off to the left a little and brightened the flight of the ball as I watched it sail high and straight, then descend onto the green. I can still see the ball mark on the wet surface as the ball landed, and the ball as it spun backward on the short grass. I can still see it and I can still feel it. Here it is probably over 50 years later, and it is all finally starting to make a little sense to me.