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.

 

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.

Golf Lesson Advice

Golf Lesson Advice

golf lesson advice www.golfteacher.com

If you are considering taking a golf lesson, think about this.

Find a teacher that can communicate to you in a way that you understand.

Golf lesson advice 101.

Great teachers are able to find your one key swing fault, the fault that leads to every other fault that affects your game. It is like chain reaction where one mistake compounds another. If you fix the first one, the cause of the other trouble, you eliminate the symptoms.

But remember this too: the rest is up to you. Some teachers teach method, others teach what you need to know for your own game. But you have to practice and work hard to make changes. Good golf lesson advice. They do not happen just because someone tells you something that you think is the holy grail of golf swing technique. There is is no easy way around this.

Practice what works and learn to repeat it. this is good golf lesson advice. If you do not practice, you will never make a change or get better. All the golf lessons in the world will never help you if you are not willing to put in the time and effort to make yourself a better striker of the ball and a better player.

The cost of a golf lesson should be irrelevant up to a point. The truth is that some golf teachers are better communicators that others; but the important thing is to find a golf teacher who can relate to you in the way you most easily understand.

Ask questions, listen and ask more questions. Find a PGA professional. talk it over before you make a commitment, but by all means after finding the right teacher for you, make the commitment. Your game will improve and the satisfaction and happiness you find in playing the game a little better will grow by leaps and bounds.

Many Ways To Swing A Golf Club

Many Ways To Swing A Golf Club

“Line Up The Parts”
Many Ways To Swing A Golf Club

You can never get it back, except in golf!

One thing to remember is that your basic swing does not change. What changes is your physical and mental response to your golf swing as you attempt to hit shots and to shoot scores. By giving yourself a place to go, to get to, your physical response can be productive and consistent. No matter what kind of shape you are in, if you learn to line a a few key body parts, you can hit good golf shots over a long period of time.

To hit good shots you have to get your body and golf club in a good position. What I have learned over the years is to start at the finish so to speak.

There are many ways to swing a golf club effectively and to hit functional golf shots that allow you to score better. As a matter of fact, it has always been my intention to learn to swing a golf club, and to hit good to great golf shots, in a consistent manner that does not get too involved in the shot process. This good intention has become a life-long journey.

Due to the passing of time and to changing physical conditions as regards my body and muscles, I have had to learn to swing the golf club in many different ways. It is a matter of necessity. If you want to play good golf, better golf, and do it consistently as the years go by, you have to learn to adjust solid fundamental golf swing technique to your own changing muscle and body requirements. You cannot do things now that you were able to do just a few years ago.

Being a PGA professional, I have also had to learn to play golf on a moments notice without warm-up, or without having played in many days. It is a tough proposition. When I was playing everyday it was easy. I always shot between 67 and 74, without fail. Whether I hit 16 greens or 3 greens in regulation my scores were always the same. I practiced a lot and played even more.

As job requirements as a club professional changed over the years, I began to play less and less, and was able to play less than that. To be honest, my game suffered greatly for many years. Kind of like when a well trained professional athlete retires and loses that edge that kept them in the pros.

Golf truly is the game of a lifetime. As the years went by I had to learn to play and play effectively again. Many years and many injuries later I have come to realize that there are certain moves that are common to all good great golf swings. There are certain ways to line up your body body parts and let them move in a sequence that allows great golfers to hit great golf shots over long periods of time, over a lifetime. While solid pre-golf swing fundamentals never go out of style, there are simple in-swing keys, ways of getting our body parts in the correct position, that can allow you go hit consistently good shots.

With good shots come good scores.

One of the greatest players and ball strikers I have ever encountered once told me to learn to do simple things and learn to repeat them every day. While adjustment is the life-blood of every golfer and golf game, you still have to get yourself, your body parts, and the golf club, in the right place to make solid contact with the golf ball.

As a golf teacher and PGA pro, I try to get my students to understand the importance of executing consistent and solid fundamentals within the confines of their own unique golf swing requirements. Our goal is to get the club face on the golf ball, to hit the ball out there a way, and to make the ball go reasonably straight. As a golf teacher and instructor, and player, I have had to learn to intertwine all these aspects of golf, and to learn to incorporate them as a player and to communicate these simple swing ideas on the lesson tee. You have to be able to make a useful move at the ball and get a useful result to get someone to buy in to what you are telling them. You have to see the results and see the results now in order for an idea to take hold.

The move or moves I am offering here are just as common to Ben Hogan and Sam Snead as they were to Old Tom Morris and are to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

 

Release The Club Head

Release The Club Head

 

“True Release And Squaring The Face”

By: John Lombardo PGA Of America
I seem to have come full circle. In a nutshell, I am now swinging the golf club with a true release and squaring of the club face at impact, at the bottom of the swing.

Like all true meaningful discoveries, this one kind of happened by accident.

To re-trace a bit, I have spent the last five or six years learning to swing the golf club with my core muscles, learning to keep the club in front of me throughout the entire swing. Keeping in tune with the huge growth of big strong Tour players, I have tried with great success to follow their example of swinging with the large muscles. Much of my views and teaching approach is described on www.golfteacher.com.

Last week after work I wanted to hit a few balls on the range so I grabbed an old six iron that we had lying around in the bag room. It turned out to be an ancient Powerbilt iron with a stiff shaft. I hit a few good shots then went into a funk trying to swing this club with the modern method. So I just decided for some reason to grip the club extremely lightly with my fingers, and just let it swing using gravity and golf club design as my guiding light.

The results improved dramatically as my shots started to fly high and straight with very little effort. It seems I actually tapped in to a distant memory of how I used to swing a baseball bat. While my body played a huge role, the ultimate power came from a strong free release of the bat head through the hitting zone. This could only be accomplished with a very light grip, letting the wood do the work so to speak.

So I decided the next time I played golf I would grip the club so lightly that the grip actually moved around in my hands as I moved into my back swing. This has become my only swing thought: a grip so light the club feels like it is moving around in my fingers. My body seems to coil so much easier into a compact, full turn with the club fully loaded and ready to swing.

But when it comes time to change direction, my coil uncoils and I just, to put it simply, “throw” the club head at the ball, letting gravity and the design of the club square the face at and through impact. Yes, throw the club head at the ball. The results have been astounding. I am hitting my 9 iron 145-150 regularly and my ball striking and accuracy have improved.

What is more important is that this swing feels totally natural, spontaneous, and un-rehearsed. It is a free and tension free approach to swinging a golf club, that works in all kinds of weather, and repeats itself of its own volition and free will. My only swing thought is to grip so lightly that the grip moves in my hands. My body gets involved naturally without me thinking about it, I take straight deeper divots again, and am able to get my full body involved without thinking about it.

I finally came to the conclusion that I am not a Tour player, and while the modern approach to swinging, large muscle ultra contolling motion, woks for the big strong and well conditioned it is not going to work for me over the long haul.

It feels so good to actually “know” what I am doing with a golf club without actually controlling or knowing what it is I am doing.

Letting gravity, force and my nature swing the club is what will carry me through. I do not have the physical prowess of the big strong swingers, but have gained distance, and control of my trajectory and shot shape. All my previous hard work is not in vain. There is so much more going on that I could not have accomplished without my previous training. But the thought and process has become a matter of simplicity, trust, and talent.

It is a winning proposition.

Drive It Farther!

DRIVE IT FARTHER

1. About 20 years ago I was playing in the State Open with Dennis Colligan and noticed Dennis was hitting driver-8 iron farther than I could hit my driver-3 wood-pitching wedge. I began the task of trying to regain some of my lost distance. It was a real awakening to realize that the subtle awareness over the years that I was losing distance had become a reality. I was suddenly “early old.” I needed to be able to swing again without thinking about what I was doing on every shot.

2. Solution Process:
A: Bought a $4000 launch monitor, state of the art back then. Used it measure to club head speed, launch and face angle, etc. Hit countless balls in back yard and on the range. Started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Got club head speed to over 120 mph once again and the ball went straight. One swing can mean a lot in the learning process.
B. The swing process constantly evolved working around medical problems and knee injuries.
C. Kept working on a “connected golf swing”: keeping the club and my arms in front of me throughout the entire swing. Core and arms swing together. It does not matter how fast or slow I swing, if I stay connected I hit good golf shots.
D. Worked to increase my shoulder turn and still maintain the connection principle.
E. Finally figured out that my left hip was getting in my way, so I moved it out of the way to start with.
F. Feel the sensation that I am moving back solid on to my right leg, then hit into a solid left side, avoiding my dreaded slide of the upper body past the ball, which causes my left side to breakdown, gets me over the top, and adds mucho strokes to my score.
G. Most of all, I try to release the club head on every swing, (instead of trying to hit it harder) leading to a feeling of increased lightness, freedom, and flexibility.
H. Do not be afraid to experiment to find out what works for you. With an understanding of proper fundamentals, you can learn to swing within multiple frameworks.

Connected Swing

Golf Feel The Rush!

Feel The Rush !

 

“Get Your Adrenaline Pumping!”

By: John Lombardo Golf Teacher

This is a simple one for you. If you are new to golf or even if you are an experienced player, here is a great reason to play.

Feel The Rush!!!!!!

When you hit that great shot, did you FEEL THE RUSH?! Did your feel your blood pumping through your veins? Did you feel alive?

You did something well, you worked as you. You were alive, truly alive, your heart was pumping, and what is even better you for an instant knew that you were alive.

There is nothing more exhilirating or powerful than a rush of adrenaline. All athletes feel it when they are performing well, doing what they want to do with their sport.

I am talking about positive adrenaline. Not the adrenaline of fear or flight, but the powerful adrenaline of positive accomplishment and true performance.

While most of us will never be race car drivers, professional football players, boxers or NBA Stars, all of us can certainly play golf.

Golf is the sport of accomplishments. You play a little work a little pay attention to what you are doing then the gears begin to mesh, the pieces begin to fall into place and your golf swing begins to click.

Even if you are just out there in nature playing golf you are bound to hit a great shot sooner or later. It just happens, the more swings you take, your chances of hitting that great shot are better and better. You will never hit a great shot if you are not out there playing.

When you hit that great shot, did you FEEL THE RUSH?!

Did your adrenaline get to pumping?

From my viewpoint there is no better feeling while engaged in golf as an athletic endeavor.

Good shots lead to better shots. It just works that way. There is nothing boring about an adrenaline rush. It is you at your best doing something and feeling good about it. It hapens in golf, even to a greater extent than with other team sports.

Because in golf, it is you and you alone doing the deed. You are the master of your fate. You did something well, you worked as you. You were alive, truly alive, your heart was pumping, and what is even better you for an instant knew that you were alive.

How about that feeling over and over again, or even once in a while over a round of golf. Breathing fresh air, your heart pumping, watching that great golf shot, and knowing that you are indeed alive!

All Golfers Read This Letter

 

Ladies Golf Academy Week 2016

Thanks for participating in our annual Ladies Golf Academy Version 2016. We hope you will gain some knowledge of the golf swing in general, and how to get the ball moving toward the green and into the hole.

Remember that proper swing fundamentals can never be replaced. However, since everyone has a different approach to the golf swing, these fundamentals must fit into the framework of each individual swing.

How you hold the golf club (the grip), how you stand and set up to the ball, and how your body moves in relation to the “circular” motion of the golf swing itself all have a profound effect on the quality of your golf shots.

We encourage you to play as often as you can, and remember that even a little practice of some of the things you have learned in this Academy can go a long way toward making you a better golfer.

Just repeating your grip or club takeaway using slow motion swings in the backyard can help you become a better golfer.

The old saying was that “golf is the game of a lifetime.” Like all fundamentals, this statement is still very true. Golf is probably the only game you can play as long as you are able to swing a golf club.

Please make every effort to enjoy and “stay in the game!”

“Get Golf Ready” is the new standard for bringing new golfers and keeping golfers in the game. The foundation for this program is one simple word: “FUN!”

When you play golf enjoy it, relax, take satisfaction in your good shots and keep trying to improve on the not so good shots. The important thing is to keep playing.

There is no better “total well-being exercise” than the game of golf. It is played outdoors in the fresh air. It is total mental and physical relaxation and exercise. But the bottom line is that golf is just plain good for you.

Thanks for your help in making us better teachers, and for your participation in our program Dutch Hollow Country Club. We hope to see you on Wednesday evenings once the Academy is finished playing in the Ladies Scramble League.

Keep Swinging!