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Discussion in 'Sports' started by Bayview, 22nd Jun, 2015.

  1. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Hi Boys and Girls,

    As some may know (from over at SS) I used to be a Golf Pro in my previous life...30 years in the industry as a PGA Member, Teacher, Coach and professional player.

    I would love to talk anything golf with the forumites, and am offering my services as a sort of online golf doctor and advisor if I can, and if anyone wants it.
     
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  2. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Hi Bayview,

    So many questions...
    I'm not getting much loft on my shorter clubs compared to what I see others getting.
    Especially short pitches.
    What can I do to improve this?
     
  3. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    First, what loft do you have on your pitching wedge and sand wedge?

    Traditional PW loft is 52 degrees. Many of the modern clubs are "ego boosters" - PW at 48 degrees, then they have another one in between that and the SW - called a "gap wedge".

    Next; what position in your stance do you try to play the ball? Many folks play the ball waay too far back towards the back foot...unless the lie is really terrible, play all pitch shots from about the middle of your stance - this is far enough back.

    Next; your swing action may be a factor - a pitching swing is no different to a normal full swing. It is a smaller and softer version of the full swing.

    Here's a simple exercise to test what you do through the swing - and if it feels weird it will tell you that your swing action is not quite correct...

    Using any club - and no golf ball - make swings back and forth, but stop the club head at approx hip-height in the backswing and the same in the followthrough. The speed of theses swings should also be slow enough to see and feel the clubhead.

    At the hip-high point of the backswing and followthrough, the clubhead should be pretty much "toe-up". What this means is that the clubhead has (or should have) a natural opening and closing of the clubface as it travels back and then through - opens in the backswing, then closes during the downswing and into the followthrough....toe-up to toe-up.

    This is all assuming your grip is reasonably correct. However, what often occurs particularly with men, is if they come from a cricket background, they invariably have what we call a "strong" grip - both hands turned too far to the right on the rubber grip. This results in a swing where the club is kept closed all the way through the swing, and this in turn delofts the club and causes low flight.

    If this is you, then you will have to make a grip adjustment first, before any of the above swing movements will ever work.

    Changing your grip position is tough - it feels uncomfortable at first, but you will get used to it.

    The toe-up swings can be practiced anytime and no ball required. You may want to try and do them with a ball too, but because it is a new movement, I recommend teeing the ball up even though you are hitting wedge shots. The swing length will only produce a shorter distance at first - approx 50m metres. Once you get the hang of it, you can go harder and fuller swings.
     
    Last edited: 22nd Jun, 2015
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  4. Hodor

    Hodor Well-Known Member

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    Hey Bayview, you gave me advice on clubs a few years back. Never had time to play much after I got some ap2s and recently an SLDR driver. Now I have time and an injury :mad: since you said you're offering doctor services of some type what do you recommend for bursitis of the left shoulder (confirmed with ultrasound and xray). Played yesterday and struggled due to pain especially on the back swing. Still managed to strike the ball well (putting was actually what ruined my score).

    Anyway, what stretches etc do you recommend? Doing some basic movements but not getting anywhere after a couple of months :(
     
  5. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the tips.
    As I was reading your post I was visualizing my swing and at the part where you said toe-up to toe-up and was thinking, nah, I'm more closed than that and do have a strong grip.
    Then your next line explained exactly what I was thinking, and I did play cricket from 5 till late teens....
    I have played around with bringing my right hand more on top of the grip, even past the centre line, (right handed), and that works really well to get much better flight, but then it wrecks my longer irons.
    Is it ok to play a weak grip for pitches and strong grip for longer clubs?
     
  6. chindonly

    chindonly Well-Known Member

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    OK. I have a golf Q.
    How do you recover if you are Dustin Johnson, three putting the 18th from about 12ft to lose a major - again.
    He must be devastated....
     
  7. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    Every time I tee off with a driver or 3 wood I get reasonable distance but the ball arcs to the right. Is it generally a stance issue or something else?
     
  8. Brady

    Brady Well-Known Member

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    Caddied yesterday for a mate in pennants match, he got up by 1 would like to say it was me but he's a gun player. Next year going to give golf a good go in the summer, try and get out and practice. Try to get into the reserves team, current handicap is 7.5 want to get below 4. Need lots of chipping practice, have the yips.

    Best tips for chipping BV? For someone with the yips. Tend to flub or knife
     
  9. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    To "weaken" your grip position, both hands will need to rotate more to the left on the grip.

    As a guide, stand in front of a mirror or window and then take your grip on a club and hold it up off the ground approx hip high in front of you.
    You should be able to look straight down onto your hands and see only two knuckles on the outside of your left hand (index and middle finger), and see one knuckle (index finger) on the right hand.

    The other check is to look at your reflection, and the two "V"s running up between the thumbs and index fingers should be pointing at approx your right ear.

    People with really "strong" grips will see the left V pointing outside their right shoulder, and more than two knuckles on the left hand visible, and no knuckles visible on the right hand when they look down.

    The bad news is that when you first change your grip, the longer clubs will usually slice more at first. The shorter ones don't slice as much if a t all, so they will probably improve straight away in terms of higher flight.

    The solution is to get used to the awkward feeling of the new grip, and also start to exaggerate the rotating of your arms and hands during the downswing to close the face of the club.

    This movement decreases automatically over time with people who have a strong grip, in a subconscious attempt to stop a hook which a strong grip causes at first. So, it has to be re-learned to a degree with the new grip to counterbalance the change in the grip.

    If you practice this rotation using golf balls, tee up the ball and use a 7 iron to begin with. This is an easier club to handle, and will produce a decent draw or hook if you exaggerate the rotation. Try and swing at about 50% power, and exaggerate the rotation as much as you think you can, until you can consistently produce a strong hook or strong draw.

    Once you get it going at 50% power, then crank it up to full power with the 7 iron and see if you can still get the draw. If you can, then move to the 6 iron, and so on.

    Ex-cricketers find this mentally hard to do, because their brain is conditioned to believe that to keep the face of the bat "square" produces a straight hit.

    But it doesn't work in golf - golf is like a baseball swing with the full rotation of body, arms and hands (and clubface).

    I don't recommend trying 2 different grips, because they require different swings to match the grips. Golf is hard enough with one grip position.

    But try it and see if it helps. I'm happy to be proved wrong.

    I would say you will need to persevere for approx 1 month...if your handicap is closer to single figures, you may pick it up in a few days.
     
    Last edited: 23rd Jun, 2015
  10. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Hi Hodor, sorry; I meant "golf doctor" services.

    For actual injuries, I recommend going to a suitably qualified physio - I only know of one who is more golf related - Ramsay McMaster, who has died recently, sadly.

    But you can see some of his stuff here;

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=...&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=K4SIVZvmIcKC8gXtl4DgAQ

    A visit to your local golf course and ask the local Pro if he/she knows of anyone - they often do.
     
  11. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's heart-breaking and should never be allowed to happen to anyone.

    A choke is when someone loses all control over their emotions and thus their performance; a collapse of form under pressure.

    I don't believe he choked though; here's why -
    I've been watching Dustin play for several years; he's hard to read emotionally because he is very passive, but you get to be able to read the different body languages over time.

    First of all; he hit a sensational drive, and an even better second shot into that 18th green - no signs of nerves there.

    The ball finished above the cup, and Greg Norman made the comment that the first putt was going to be extremely fast back down the hill. Jason Day had a similar putt just before Dustin and slipped it 3 feet past; it was moving really slow when it got to the hole, and didn't slow down.

    Jordan Speith had a similar short putt from roughly the same line just before this, and missed on the left - the putt stayed dead straight. I suspect he thought it may have had a touch of break to the right, but it didn't move. I watched Jason's putt, and it went dead straight as well.

    Back to the body language; I watched Dustin when the first putt was on its way to the cup, and he was staring it down like it was tracking well and had a chance to go close. He had read it as a left to right putt. Of course; it was travelling too fast to take the break back to the right, but until it got to the hole he was still staring it down like it was a chance. I though his line was good, but too much speed as we now know.

    From my observation, I reckon he thought the speed was good, right up until it wandered another metre past. His facial expression seemed to show he was a bit surprise by that.

    On greens like these, and at the end of the day, warm weather - they become treacherous - even for these top level players. It looks easy to us back in the loungeroom.

    On the second putt, I again watched his body movements and language; he didn't "come-up" out of the putt at impact; he was down and steady, eyes didn't shift too early to follow the ball, and the stroke looked smooth and a nice amount of acceleration through impact - no sign of decel which accompanies lack of confidence or nerves, and the sound of the contact seemed crisp and solid.

    The pace was good as well. It looked to me as though the ball moved slightly to his left about halfway to the hole - after watching Jason's putt he would have seen a straight putt. Even with this movement, the putt still touched the hole, so I think he was a victim of a slightly unlucky bounce offline - enough to make it miss.

    The media will call it a choke because he failed to succeed, but I believe he was just the victim of a treacherous green and a bad bounce.

    I remember years ago, when Tom Watson chipped in for birdie on the 17th at Pebble Beach...everyone remembers that shot. But, only two holes before this, he missed a 3 footer. He was later interviewed by a sports psychologist about that missed putt at such a critical time (he was in contention with Jack Nicklaus for the lead) and Tom's reply was ; "Sometimes I just miss short putts!"
     
  12. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Your stance may be a contributing factor, but not the cause.

    For example; the more to the left you aim yourself (feet and shoulders), the more your subconscious will adjust and create a compensation - a slice or push back towards the intended target.

    But, from my experience as a teacher for many years; the majority of right handed players aim every shot (even putts) further to the RIGHT than they think they are. Hard to believe, but true.

    So, they then have to make an adjustment for that - which is often an "out-to-in" downswing and cut across the ball. The problem with this movement is it should produce a pull or hook to the left. But the subconscious again kicks in and causes the hands and arms to open the face in an attempt to stop the hook or pull - a slice or push is the result.

    In your case; without seeing you swing, I would suggest to first check your aim - it is never what you think - as I said.

    Your feet and shoulders should be parallel to your ball line - which means they should actually be pointing a few yards to the left of your target. This is actually "square". Many golfers mistakenly think they should aim THEMSELVES at the target - feet and shoulders. This is incorrect. if you do this, you are actually closing your body off to the right of the ball line.

    It is perhaps the most common golf myth - second only to "keep your head down" and/or "keep your head still" (more on that in another post).

    The easiest way to check your aiming (on the practice fairway) is to place a golf club on the ground and aim it at a target down the fairway. This represents the line from the ball and clubhead to the target. Stand back behind it to double check it is correct.

    Next, place another club parallel to this, about where your toes would be when you address the ball. You should see that this second club aims slightly to the left of the target...maybe 5 or so metres.

    Now; stand with your toes touching the second shaft, and then look at the target. From my experience, almost every time I get a pupil to do this little drill, they feel as though they are aiming many metres to the LEFT of the target. This is a definite clue as to where they have actually been aiming without knowing - they have been aiming to the right, but their eyes are telling them lies of course.

    Once you practice and improve your aim, you will readjust your vision automatically to the new aiming. At first, it will seem as though your aiming is wrong.

    To get it right when you are playing, simply stand behind the ball on each shot, then picture a line from the ball to the target, and pick out a small object approx 1 metre in front of the ball. Next, aim the clubhead at this spot. Then, set your feet parallel to this line. Your feet and hopefully shoulders will be pointing slightly left of the target. This is the correct way to aim.

    Now that the aim has been sorted out, we can look at the swing - woods and longer irons will accentuate a slice, or a push, but is usually the exact same swing as a 9 iron or 5 iron. A 9 iron will usually fly straight, a 5 iron might fly straight or slice a small amount...but the swing is the same, and so are the faults.

    In both cases (slice or push), the clubface is OPEN at impact., making the ball spin left to right and fly that way.

    The simple solution is what I have described above in the post to Chindoly - lots of practice swings making CLOSING actions during the downswing with the arms and hands.

    Hold a club and make swings around yourself at about hip height as a baseball player would. You should immediately feel a more exaggerated arm and hand rotation in this drill. You will need to exaggerate it at first to feel the change, and then practice it with teed-up balls using easy clubs like a 7 iron, with less than full power.

    If you want to make it a more advanced version; try to do the same thing with your feet TOGETHER. This will inhibit your body, and force you to over-use your arms and hands to hit the ball. It is a very effective drill for giving you the feeling of arm and hand rotation during downswing and follow-through.
     
    Last edited: 23rd Jun, 2015
  13. Hodor

    Hodor Well-Known Member

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    No problems, thought you might have had experience in your 30 years. I am planning to follow up with doctor and physio. No harm in asking. Where do you play now?
     
  14. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Without seeing the action it is hard to pinpoint, but from experience I have seen most people play chipshots with far too much "hand action" - even more advanced players such as yourself.

    It is instinctive too, which makes it so common - give folks a stick to swipe at a rock, and they will use a lot of hands and a bit of arms at first. In chipping this also happens, but it is very hard to get consistency and solid contact generally.

    Or, they are the opposite - as stiff as a board in their action and hand pressure, with no softness and feel. You want your arms to feel like a dangling pieces of rope, or an elephant's trunk dangling and swaying back and forth.

    The correct method is to use a combination of arms shoulders and hands - but very little hands.

    Try these;

    First; check ball position - many golfers make the mistake of playing the ball too far back in their stance, and feet too far open. It is an over-exaggeration of what should be a slight adjustment. Very common in folks who have read lots of golf instruction books and watched videos.

    Start by standing a lot squarer with feet aim, and then place the ball in the middle of your feet. This will feel weird if you have been over-exaggerating feet aim and ball position.

    The fact that your feet are closer together will automatically bring the back foot closer to the ball - giving the effect of a ball played back in the stance.

    Next, your action should be mostly arms and shoulders, with very "soft" or "dead" hands - even-paced speed back and through, or slight acceleration in the through swing with your arms and shoulders/chest ...still with dead hands. No tension or tightness, clubhead feeling heavy.

    A good drill to feel this is to place a club under your arm pits and make an imaginary swing without dropping the shaft. You are forced to use more arms and body to move. Keep the hands soft while doing this little drill. If the shaft is too difficult to hold in place; try a large towel under the armpits - this towel drill is also excellent for full-swing as well; and can be done hitting balls...made famous by Nick Faldo.

    As in a full swing; the chipping action is an "opening and closing" of the clubface, but done at a much slower speed and smaller degree than a full swing. You may not feel this opening and closing action due to the slowness and softness of the swing....a miniature version of the full swing.

    A very simple drill to test yourself and to improve your impact/followthrough action is what I call the "bucket drill".

    Place a normal 10 litre bucket (or any object of similar size) approx 1.5 clublengths out in front of where the ball you are trying to hit would be. DO NOT USE A BALL for this drill.

    Next, take up your chipping position where the imaginary ball would be, and make small chipping swings towards the bucket. It should be slightly out of range so that you can't actually hit the bucket with the clubhead, of course.

    The object of the drill is to pretend you are trying to hit this bucket - with the TOE of the clubhead. Stop the clubhead at the bucket and look at the clubhead - the toe of the club should have already turned and be pointing roughly at the bucket. The appearance will be that the clubface is pointing to the left of the target by this stage - this is the correct position. Mnay folks try to keep their clubface pointing at the target into the follow-through...not correct.

    The head of the club should be approx the same height above the ground as the bucket - or even a little bit below the height of the bucket of possible....closer to the ground.

    The purpose of this drill is to keep the hands passive, to allow the clubhead to close through impact - like a full swing - and to keep the clubhead low through impact and stop any flipping or scooping up of the club with the hands.

    The result is a slightly closing clubface through impact - as it should be - and a very "deep" position with the clubhead after impact. Flippers and scoopers always have a very high position with the clubhead by the time they get anywhere near the bucket, and the clubface is usually open (clubface facing up to the sky).

    When you have mastered this action, try doing it with a ball, and use your pitching wedge so the ball will rise into the air quickly and fly over the bucket.

    The temptation to try and help the ball up over the bucket with your hands is strong at first, but at least now you will be able to identify the different feeling and reproduce the correct one. After a while you will find that the deeper you keep the clubhead after impact, the better the ball will fly and the better the contact will be.

    I also recommend to use a nice thick, fluffy patch of grass in the easily stages so it is easier to slide the clubhead under the ball. Make the lie oif the ball in the grass as good as you can get it as well for ease.
     
  15. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Before buying the workshop I was still working in golf, and I was the teaching Pro at Rosebud Country Club.

    I stayed on as a Member after I bought the workshop, and only relinquished my Membership at the end of last year due to infrequent play. I now play mostly at St.Andrews Beach - it is a public access golf course, it is fantastic, and one of my mates runs it, so it is easy for me to get on without too much fuss.

    There is no shortage of fantastic golf courses down my way - and I play them all, but very infrequently these days.
     
  16. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    I touched on this in a previous post, and I thought I'd follow it up... The old sayings; "Keep your head down" or "Keep your head still".

    I'd bet my house that every golfer here will have heard both sayings, and have either tried to do them, and/or are still trying to do them.

    They are the two biggest myths in golf, and from my experience as a coach, I saw more damage done than they did good, to golfers' swings by trying to do both of the above .

    In a nutshell; you don't ever need to consciously try to keep your head anything at all - except maybe UP!! But noone ever tries that. (of course; you can have your head up but still be looking down at the ball)

    When you see an elite Tour golfer swinging the club in slow motion, their head actually does move - but not much. (Tiger Woods currently has an enormous amount of head "drop" currently - but I'll leave that for another post).

    These players are focusing on other things; not on staying down, or still, etc.

    That visual you see of their head being down after impact is a bi-product of good technique in other areas.

    In a slow-mo camera shot it appears as though the players are keeping their head down well after impact, but it is distortion of time and movement due to the camera speed.

    You can actually play very well with more head movement than less - Curtis Strange won 2 US Opens in a row with a good 6 inches of head movement off the ball in his backswing, then the same amount of movement back to the original position upon impact..

    The point is; you need to let go of this thinking about your head. It won't help you, and can in fact hinder a full and correct body rotation during the back and through swings.

    The hardest part is to stop yourself thinking about your head, and to believe what I have said.
     
  17. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    YAY! British Open this weekend!!

    St.Andrews again.

    Can't go past Jordy Boy as favourite - but watch out for Jason Day and Adam Scott...proven performers on links layouts.

    Wildcard tip is Tiger - he won there by a mile several years ago, and shot a bogey-free round of 67 a few weeks ago, so there might be a bit more snarl left in him yet.

    My advice to him; keep his 1 iron in his pants for a change.
     
  18. chindonly

    chindonly Well-Known Member

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    Hey Bay - have you played the Old Course?
    I was luck to play there back in 2003, very memorable, but not really a difficult course.
     
  19. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Never been to Scotland unfortunately.

    Only British course I've played was La Hinch on the west coast of Ireland.
     
  20. WilliamB

    WilliamB Well-Known Member

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