My Posts

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. 

Golf Lesson Goals

Golf Teacher Goals

My goal here is to relate the information and experience I have gained in the golf business over the past thirty years to help make those who visit golfteacher.com better golfers, better shot-makers, and to enhance their enjoyment of the game. Golf truly is the “game of a lifetime.”

I use both high tech teaching equipment and observation. Watching your golf ball flight in regards to what you are doing in your golf swing is the key to any good golf lesson.

By watching and listening to great golfers, and sitting behind the counter watching countless thousands of golfers tee off on the first tee and hit balls on the range, I have developed a great eye and ear for technique or lack of technique in any golf swing. Being able to see and decipher each individual golf  swing as it relates to itself is the key component to any great teacher of the game.

High tech equipment is great, but only for the student who requires it. Most of us just want some simple, common sense help with our golf games.

I started using video in my lessons as an instructional tool back in the early 1990’s. I have used many video systems that have evolved into taking video with an iPhone using the V1 system. I take and analyze video seamlessly in real time with no interruptions, right at the site of the lesson. It is a quick accurate system that gives, you the student, instantaneous feedback before you have a chance to forget the feel and results of the shots that we have on video. Video training has also helped me as a player, as it is always a new experience seeing yourself in real time on the screen. Pictures do not lie.

I just this week (4/23/2017) purchased a SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor Unit. Its a great piece of equipment. I will probably  only use it for myself but I view it as a very worthwhile investment in my career as a golf teacher and a golf professional; and as a proficient player. The SkyTrak has much the same interface as the old GolfAchiever, only much more refined.

Over the years I have also used the GolfAchiever golf swing analyzer and launch monitor, the Ernest Golf ES12 monitor, as well as my iPhone video camera and iPhone swing analyzing devices and software. I have hit countless thousands of golf balls using this swing analyzers. But one thing I have found is that most golfers want to get better, but do not necessarily have a need for high tech teaching tools or high priced swing aids that just add to the confusion.

If somebody, a golf teacher for example, would have offered lessons and told me 40 years ago when I first started to golf seriously, (and it is ok to take it seriously because I figure everyone’s goal is to play better, to do this you have to have a little interest) that there is one golf swing move to practice that will incorporate and nurture all other moves into a cohesive pattern that would produce good to great consistent golf shots, I would probably have been skeptical at best and figured there was no easy way to make this move called the golf swing. That is why I spent the last 30 to 35 years as a teacher, player, and observer while playing and giving lessons, trying to figure out how to hit consistent golf shots. And again, I never ran across anybody or any body of work as far as golf swing instruction that would lead me down the path to what I call good golf and good to great golf shots, consistently. Anything that is understandable, coherent, and to the point.

I took my first golf lesson and only golf lesson from Mike Pedersen, a world renowned teacher at PGA National in Florida. I learned about my golf swing, and I learned how great golf teachers teach.

I have heard it said that “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.” Taking a golf lesson or two from a qualified golf teacher that speaks to you in common sense language can improve your game and the quality of your shot-making, thereby improving your scores.

Why You Should Play Golf

Why People Are NOT PLAYING Golf:

TOP REASONS

Among the reasons cited for not playing or giving up the game include golf being too expensive, too hard to learn and enjoy, too long to play.

Why People SHOULD BE Playing Golf:

My Take:

Golf is game. Golf is a mindset. Not everyone is going to play on a Top-Level Tour. Golf is lifelong exercise, mental and physical. Golf can keep you healthy. Golf can make you happy. The simple act of swinging a golf club, no matter what the outcome, is a positive investment in your future and your overall well-being. The dividends you collect will far outweigh any bad shots or negative experiences. Golf really is the “game of a lifetime. It is what you make it, and what you want it to be!

Core Golf Swing

Core Golf

Definition of “Core”: The central or most important part of something. When I think of the word “Core” as it relates to the  golf swing, a huge amount of information floods my brain, recalled from both memory and experience. Like the floodgates open and the dam overflows.

A core golf swing is the pathway, the connection to successful easier to repeat golf swing fundamentals.

Core golf is not just swinging with your core muscles. If you think about it for a second or two, the fundamentals of any golf swing are the core values that drive the swing to begin with. Coupled with the action of the physical act of swinging the club with your core muscles, you then gain a new perspective on the golf swing as a whole.

I have been teaching a Ladies Golf Academy for the better part of 30 years, and have believed and still believe that teaching the fundamentals of the golf swing first and foremost is the best way to start with anyone new  to the game. As a matter of fact, fundamentals are a great way enter any lesson.

This year, 2017 on May 3 I decided to take a new tactical approach to my ladies instruction. I decided to jump right into the explanation of how to use the core muscles while swinging a golf club; for the first time in 30 years.

The results were astoundingly positive.

Just the one simple point of trying to get them to keep the golf club and their arms in front of them throughout their swing gave them a radically different starting point on their journey toward becoming accomplished golfers. I talked fleetingly about the grip and setup, and promised them we would fine tune their basic move as the weeks progressed.

But the key point was to keep a functioning core muscle golf swing in the forefront of our lesson plan.

I was able to illustrate before their actual practice session by hitting 4 perfect driver shots long and straight. My driver had been in the bag for the better part of three weeks. I pulled it out and let it fly, using the very explanation and information that I just revealed to my lady golfer/students.

I could not hit a bad shot. I tried to show them what happens when the arms get away from the body but I kept catching up and hitting it with the same trajectory in the same direction. Even better than hitting it bad I guess.

The girls did great. Raw beginners were swinging like they had been playing for years. the basic premise was a success.

It can work for anybody!

 

 

 

 

 

Golf Lesson Primer

Put A Smile On Your Face!

Golf Lesson Preparation.

There are many reasons to take a golf 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.

Being a teacher of the game of golf, golf swing instructor and accomplished player, 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.

 

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.

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.

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.

I recently attended a seminar presented by Michael Breed of The Golf Channel. At one point in the 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.

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.