Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Golf Advice

Spring is coming! I know you might not believe it. After a winter like this past one, we doubted it would ever come. But it is. How do I know?
The Masters. As an employee of Arnold Palmer during the 80’s and 90’s the Master’s Tournament was, in many ways, the official start of the golf season and a ritual of spring. For Mr. Palmer who was still competing then, much of the excitement and preparation for the upcoming tournament season always revolved around the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Unfortunately, there was so much work and so many demands on Mr. Palmer’s time that, while we hoped for the best, we knew it would be difficult for him to compete.
In many ways, and he would be mad at me a little for saying this, competing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational was not his priority. The tournament is about raising money for the hospitals that bear he and Winnie Palmer’s name in Orlando. From a competitive point of view, it was really a warm up for the Masters. I am not sure when he finally realized that maybe there was a chance he wasn’t going to win the tournament; it is entirely possible he never has. Every spring when he and Jack Nicklaus hit their ceremonial tee shots on the first hole, I am yelling at the television screen for them to keep going and finish the round. Compete in the tournament. It is spring in Augusta; anything is possible! I know for a fact the two of them believe that as well, even though they won’t admit it publically. So while the realist in me says there is no way they will be competitive again, I am willing to be satisfied with the hope and enthusiasm that comes with them symbolically starting not only this golf tournament, but another golf season for the rest of us.
So can the magic of spring and Augusta work for the rest of us? I think it can. Let’s make a pact. Regardless of how much we can get out to play this summer, no matter what we score, this is going to be the best golf season we ever had. We are going to celebrate every good shot and ignore the bad ones. We are going to appreciate being outside and enjoying the outdoors with our friends. We will judge our golf game with the idea that nothing is bad and it all has a chance to be good. I’ve got your back on that one. I am easy to find at the United States Golf Academy. You can email, write, call, text, tweet, Facebook; whichever is your favorite mode of communication. Don’t worry, we can get the little stuff likes slices, chunks and three putts worked out. Next column we will start the discussion about how we can play better. But for now remember, it is springtime at Augusta and anything is possible.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lesson 60

Shaft lean forward reduces loft. Straight line from clubhead to lead shoulder. Then lean body forward not just hands forward.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Most important aspect of wedge play is clubface control! Learn what angles do to the ball. Start with a vertical shaft-square face.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lesson 58

Learn what a square clubface looks like. Set a 2X4 down along the target line. Square the face to the board. How does it look?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lesson 57

Adjust the path to match the target line. We hit down the most with a wedge. The two illustrations show the requirements necessary for the swing path to match the target line and strike the ball with a downward blow.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lesson 56

Wedges-learn distance control in stages. What club do you hit from 100 yards? Learn that shot. Now 85-learn that shot.Then 60 etc.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lesson 54

Wedges- Swing! Don't steer the club head. Move in proper sequence. Find an even rhythm with a symmetrical swing back and through.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upright wedge

Here is an upright wedge swing.

Lesson 53

Wedges-How do you create your speed? Upright swings-shoulders then arms. Flat swings-arms then body rotation. Don't mix styles.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lesson 52

Wedges-Control trajectory to control the distance. Too high? Learn the low trajectory wedge. Square face with correct lie angle.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Chose wedges to help your weakness, not match your strength. High ball flight? Might choose a 52 and 58. Low might choose 54 & 60.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lesson 50

Wedges. Go get fit! Low left or High and short with Nothing in between? Almost everyone plays wedges that are too upright!! No amount of practice can fix the problem.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lesson 49

Irons-Trouble? Play the ball back with a slightly open stance. Ball first-with a descending blow-match swing arc to target line.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lesson 48

Irons-Correct lie and length makes all the difference. Good contact, bad direction? Blame the lie angle until you get it checked.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lesson 47

Irons-Use slower and shorter swings til you learn to hit the ball flush. Add speed under control. Solid contact beats speed only.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lesson 46

If you need more distance chose hybrids. Chose irons for accuracy. Distance control with the irons-not more distance-is our goal.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lesson 45

A golf ball has limited knowledge-only knows what the golf club tells it. Are your clubs speaking the same language as your swing?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lesson 44

Hybrids go farther than irons of the same loft. Watch the yardage gaps between your clubs and try to gap between 10 and 15 yards.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lesson 43

Hybrids are transition clubs. Built to replace irons. Play the ball back in your stance a little and catch them on the downswing.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lesson 42

Using hybrids. Shorter and more upright than fairway metals. Adjust posture and ball position. Flat swing=hit down-upright=sweep.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lesson 41

Hybrids? Fairway metals? Lesson 30! Upright? Try hybrids-built shorter with more upright lies. Flat? Try FW metals longer length.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lesson 40

Advice for fairway metals. Slow down! Stay grounded. Don't overswing! Dance don't wrestle. Rhythm and tempo beats brute strength.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lesson 39

Fairway metals- built to perform best when we sweep them off the ground. Try-driver width stance and a bit more flex in the knees.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lesson 38

Fairway metals with 15 degrees loft or less require fast swings to get them airborne. Think loft and length not 3,5,7 for results. Utilze the str8 technology to find the best farway performance.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Driver technology.

This is an example of a driver we use to help our players find the best combination of driver and swing. Initially, we fit the driver to correct the current ball flight issues. Then we work on the apsects of the swing to be corrected. An example would be if the player hits a slice. We would adjust the Machspeed to correct the slice by closing the face. We would then help the player learn to hit a hook. Why? Because if the club is built to hit a draw. Then your best swing should produce a draw. When it does begin to move in a draw or hook pattern we know the swing has improved and we can adjust the driver to take advantage of the swing improvements.

Lesson 37

Choosing a Driver. Avoid generic advice! Loft, shaft, face angle?All depends on how you swing. Not sure? Buy one you can adjust.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lesson 36

Your driver is like any other club. Finding a consistent swing and distance is better than a constant search for more distance.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Classic turn and lift swing

This is a text book example of a turn and lift move described in our recent posts.

Lesson 35

More Driver. Make a conscious effort to feel the ground with your feet. Maintain contact with mother earth. Improves your balance.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lesson 34

Watch your tee height. You can teach yourself new shots with the driver.Hit up-tee high=longer.Hit down tee low= more accurate.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lesson 33

New Drivers are very forgiving, but they work best when we hit the sweetspot. Check impact. Center hits=longer, straighter shots.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lesson 32

Sequence? Listen to Tiger discuss his old sequence of motion with Butch Harmon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lesson 31

Start the motion in the sequence for your swing. Tempo will take care of itself if you move in the proper sequence. Tempo=sequence

Lesson 30

Club determines posture. Ball in correct position? Time to move. Review the sequence of motion for upright or flat swings then go.

Upright - Shoulders turn and then arms lift to the end of the backswing. Downswing hips slide left as the arms swing down. Left arm and left hip pass the ball together.

Flat - Arms start the backswing and then shoulders turn to the top. Lower body leads downswing with the arms racing to catch up. Right hip and right arm pass the ball together.