Definition of fundamental: a principle, law, etc, that serves as the basis of a system.
I have always thought that the grip and set up were fundamentals of a good golf swing. But how can they be fundamental if everyone does them differently? Players use strong grips, weak grips and everything in between. Players set up open, closed and square. Other things that people have told me are fundamental to a good golf swing, tempo, alignment and posture. If you can vary all of these things so drastically and still be one of the best players in the world, how can it really be a fundamental to the success of a good golf swing? [Read more →]
Well 2010 is over and I spent a few minutes today reflecting on the past year. More to the point, I have been thinking about my golf game in 2010. This is the first year that I truly kept stats on most (over 90%) of my rounds in order to really help diagnose my game. First let’s look at the numbers and then try and decipher their meanings. [Read more →]
In the last five years, I have recommended one golf book over any other – “Putting Out of Your Mind” by Dr. Bob Rotella. It truly changed the way I think about putting and my putting ability. After spending years thinking I was a bad putter, I now approach every putt positively and I consider myself to be a great putter. That book made me change the way I mentally approached putting which ultimately made me change the way I thought about my putting ability.
Well, I have a new favorite golf book. I recently read “The Golfer’s Mind” by Dr. Rotella and it has changed the way I approach every shot. I can’t recommend it highly enough to all serious golfers, no matter your skill level. This is not a new book, as I think it was published in 2004, and it is available in most book stores or online here.
The nice thing is, unlike making a physical change to your golf swing, making a mental change can lead to immediate results. You don’t need to spend hours beating balls at the range, just spend a few hours reading and you can see great changes in your game. I personally saw the immediate effect this book can have this weekend. I gave the book to one of my golf buddies to read as I thought he would truly benefit from its principles. He was already a good player, carrying a 7 handicap, but he tended to get in his own way on the course, especially if things started to go bad. I hoped that the book would help him to stay in the moment and capitalize fully on his talent. He read it last week while on a business trip. We played on Saturday and he accomplished two milestones during the round. First, he shot under par for nine holes for the first time in his career, and, more importantly, he was able to finish the day even par, another first in his career. He credits the book for helping him focus on every shot and maintain a calm during adversity.
According to Dr. Rotella, he wrote this book because many of his students expressed a desire to have a handbook to refer to once they had stopped working with him directly. For that reason he put together a very easy guide to the ten principles he teaches for his former students, and for those of us who can’t afford to hire him for private counseling, to refer back to as a refresher. An excerpt from the book after the jump: [Read more →]
“Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears.” ~Bobby Jones
I walked onto the ninth tee box having played the first eight holes about as well as I could have this weekend. After an early bogey, I birdied four holes in a row and played the difficult eighth hole just the way I planned. Now the only thing that stood between me and going out in 33 was a 205 yard par three. What I didn’t realize is that I had already made the mistake that would cost me a three under front nine. [Read more →]
Swaying back to shift your weight, or sliding, is a common mistake for golfers. To combat it, think about turning over your feet. On the range, try practicing backswings with your stand bag just to the right of your right hip, then move your bag in front of your left hip and practice swinging through. This will help you get your shoulders and hips turning.
Golf Tip: For soft chips, open the face of a wedge, take it back outside the target line and up quickly, then slice across the ball – hard. The ball will pop up in the air, go a shorter distance and land softly.
This was the tip on my golf hole a day calendar. This is a really good tip and although I believe it is important to understand how to hit a high, soft chip, I think they should have started with a disclosure: USE ONLY WHEN NECESSARY! One of the biggest problems I see with most people I play with is they are constantly trying to hit a flop shot. They don’t understand how to execute the basic bump and run and only try lob shots around the green.
The flop shot is one of the toughest shots to pull off and should almost never be your first option. The basic chip and run is almost always a better option. A bad bump and run will always end up closer to the hole than a missed flop shot. Your chipping priority should always be: putt – bump and run – lob…in that order. Always, always putt the ball if you can from around the green.
How to incorporate the bump and run in your game after the jump. [Read more →]
One of my golf buddies is truly on the verge of a breakthrough in his golf game. I have been playing golf with him for a few years now and in that time he has really made some significant strides in his game. I remember in the beginning I always thought that he had a good swing, but he tended to mismanage his game during a round and would end up costing him a lot of strokes. He inevitably would end up turning a bad shot into a bad hole, or worse, into a few bad holes. He hadn’t really learned how to limit the damage of a bad shot. He also tended to dwell on the bad swings which would always lead to worse swings.
Over the last few years we have played many rounds together and I have really seen a remarkable improvement in his course management. His swing is also better and I think he is hitting the ball with more confidence today than he ever has. He has told me on more than one occasion that his goal is to beat me on the course. Although I took that as a compliment, I think your goals should focus on your game and not mine. He beat me earlier this year for the first time and I think that has prompted him to create a more appropriate goal – to shoot par or better. [Read more →]
Well it worked for Tiger. I decided that since I spend so much time playing golf, thinking about golf and talking about golf, why not add writing about golf.
I am not your average golfer…meaning I can definitely break 100 – more on that in the future. Did you know the average golfer doesn’t break 100? I guess that explains why rounds take so damn long to play. I play in a nine hole company league and the very first week someone shot 82 – for NINE HOLES! Now I love golf, but I am not sure I could continue to play if I shot over 150 on a regular basis.
Lessons…that is what most people need. Stop spending $400 on a new driver and spend it on some lessons. I toiled away at golf for a decade without taking a lesson. Do you know how many bad habits you can ingrain in your golf game in a decade? Lots! It was the first lessons I took that changed my golf game. So all you weekend warriors out there that can’t break 90, please do the rest of us a favor and go take some lessons – even short game lessons would make a drastic improvement.
I am a big fan of GolfTec for lessons. I like the computer modeling they do and the fact that they record your lessons and make them available for you online. One warning about them, they teach the modern swing, so if you want to swing like Tiger, they are a great choice. However, if you have a swing like Jim Furyk, then you might want to consider a different teacher – like his dad maybe.
So my first lesson, is to take lessons. All I want if for us all to enjoy the game we love so much. And I will enjoy it so much more if you are not taking a 10 on every other hole.
More to come.