Connect with us

Instruction

How to feel your swing fix

Published

on

I keep a collection of swing images and associated feels on hand to facilitate subtle adjustments for advanced players’ launch monitor data and ball flight. Let us define an “advanced player” as one who possesses a solid setup, consistent face strike and good coordination of in-swing movements. These players generally do not require dramatic mechanical changes and can quickly benefit from the well-defined images and task below.

Shallowing AoA (Angle Of Attack)

CONE UP 600 edit

Advanced players can often struggle hitting down too steeply with their short irons and wedges.

Feel: Most of us have tinkered with our swings while indoors, so I ask the players to take a wedge and make a few rehearsal swings. The players should feel a nice, shallow brush as if swinging on their living room carpet. I remind them, “You can brush the carpet, but you had better not take a chunk out of it!” Feel this, then apply. The angle of attack number will become more shallow and strike will improve.

Players can also hit down too much with their driver. An image that I like is placing an agility cone in front of the ball; then feel as if the club head is ascending along the inclined angle of the cone. Feeling like you are set up and swinging a bit “uphill” is another great sensation to achieve positive AoA with the driver.

Neutralizing an outward path

CONE 3 600 edit

Advanced players can hit hooks and blocks from their path moving too much outward, or traveling too much from inside-out in relation to the target line.

Feel: I place a taller cone inside the target line and about 2 feet in front of the impact area. I then ask the players to make a swing and feel as though they will knock the cone over. Sometimes the image is all that is needed, but sometimes we make practice swings while actually hitting the cone. Swing path and direction will quickly improve.

Tweaking face-to-path relationship

CONE 1 Heel Inset 600

Most golfers tend to be good at making adjustments to their swing path. Consistently controlling the club face, however, is a bit more challenging. I see many advanced players who struggle with misdirected shots that draw too much or too quickly.

Feel: I want you to imagine a race to impact in which the heel of the club wins. “Heel beats toe!” is the mantra. This image works well in conjunction with our cone drill. Rotate the chest open and the hands inward to give the heel the advantage of winning.

Conclusion 

Check your pre-swing fundamentals, then give these fixes a try. For advanced players, a little bit goes a long way, so pay close attention to your ball flight and/or measurement device to determine just the right amount for you.

Your Reaction?
  • 119
  • LEGIT17
  • WOW4
  • LOL6
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK13

Michael Howes is a G.S.E.B. authorized instructor of "The Golfing Machine" - Director of Instruction "Carter Plantation Golf Course" Springfield, La. - Director of Instruction "Rob Noel Golf Academy at Carter Plantation. - Golf Channel Academy Instructor - SPi Instructor of the SeeMore Putter Institute - Featured Writer GolfWRX Teaching philosophy: "We will work together on adding the all-important elements of power and consistency to your game while maintaining the individualism and art of your swing." Work on your swing from anywhere in the world - NO software needed. www.howesgolf.com www.youtube.com/cedarstreetgolf

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. RT

    Oct 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    GREAT stuff, Michael! Keep it coming!

  2. Saevel25

    Oct 1, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Mike,

    You are asking golfers to make swing changes to their path and clubface control with out even talking about the fact that most golfers can’t keep their heady steady enough, or get their weight forward enough at impact for them to even attempt such control. These tips are very much for better golfers since they have a better foundation to actually tinker with the swing path and clubface.

    You also talk about these feels as if they would work with anybody. Golfers come in all different shapes and sizes. One golfer might feel one thing while another golfer might feel another. How would you instruct Phil Mickelson who is a right handed person playing left handed versus Rick Fowler who is right handed playing right handed? See what I mean. Putting out these articles with quote “Feel” of what they should do is not good instruction because it might not even work for a golfer who reads it. Heck it might even damage their swing.

    It’s better to give the commonalities of a good swing and then tell people to go find a good instructor to help them figure out what works for them.

    • Hawk

      Oct 9, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      There is not enough space here to account for every body type.
      That is just silly.
      What of the handicap golfer, (hearing, sight, blind, missing a limb etc.), are the instructors suppose to account for them?
      These are general statements/instructions for the average body type, better player.
      Most instructions are given for the average golfer.
      Golfers who are, shorter, taller, heavier, slighter etc., know what they are and I suspect adjust for it.
      Common sense must prevail.
      Hawk

  3. Kevin

    Sep 30, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Heel beats toe? I did that several times today, shank city. I’m swinging too much out and not enough down and left, I’d like to forget I read this. No offense…

    • Michael Howes

      Oct 1, 2015 at 12:43 am

      Substitute an empty water bottle for the cone drill on the range and start there. Get path under control first. From your description sounds like u started with, and were overdoing the face part. Hope that helps.

  4. Nathan

    Sep 29, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Great article!

    ‘Heel beats toe’ has been my swing thought recently and has really helped my game turn the corner.

  5. luke keefner

    Sep 29, 2015 at 5:45 am

    More of this please!!!!!

  6. Travis Saxton

    Sep 28, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Excellent article! I’m a feel player and 1 handicap and have always wanted instruction that can resonate with me. Thanks for the great article love golfwrx

    • Michael Howes

      Sep 29, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Appreciate it Travis!

      • Regis

        Sep 30, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        I’ve been playing 50 years and never been close to a 1 hcp and never will be. But the heel beats toe is something that is easy to pattern and I will like give it a shot. Periodically (read most days) my swing goes into a funk and one adjustment I’ll fool with during a round is to open the clubface slightly at address. Always seems to work as a stopgap measure but the heel beats toe seems comparable and less drastic of a fix. Thanks.

  7. snowman

    Sep 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Yes, Yes.. More of this and less Swing Mechanics Please. How bout some “Feel” Sugestions or images to cure over-the-top move and Poor Downswing Sequencing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instruction

The 3 best ways to train your golf swing

Published

on

Understanding how to effectively train and practice is critical to transferring skills to the golf course.

In golf, I view training as a thoughtful, deliberate rehearsal of a motion to develop technique. This is better rehearsed away from the golf course. Practicing golf consists of developing your skill to take to the golf course—an example being learning to hit shots in certain winds and shot shaping.

“A lawyer will train to be a lawyer, then he or she will practice law” – The Lost Art of Golf

I find the below examples the best ways to train effectively. These techniques will also help facilitate a swing change and make your training and practice more efficient.

Mirror Work

I like my student to implement what I call “mirror work”. This is done by looking into a mirror from the face-on position.

This is a great way to get external feedback (information delivered from an outside source). Learning by external feedback will help facilitate the required body movement to produce a particular shot. It’s also a cheap and effective way to train. Research suggests observation in a mirror is considered external, so the use of mirrors will elicit external feedback, enhancing the learning process.

I prefer students to only check positions from the face-on view. If a player starts checking positions in a mirror from down-the-line, moving your head to look in the mirror can cause your body to change positions, losing the proper direction of turn.

Train Slow

Learning a new motion is best trained slow. At a slower speed, it is easier to monitor and analyze a new motion. You will have increased awareness of the body and where the shaft is in space. At a faster speed, this awareness is more difficult to obtain.

I often use the analogy of learning how to drive a car. First, you took time to learn how to position your hands on the wheel and position your foot next to the break. When comfortable, you put the car in motion and began to drive slowly. Once you developed the technique, you added speed and took the car on the freeway.

In martial arts, there are three speeds taught to students: Slow-speed for learning, medium speed for practice and fast speed for fighting. Again, the movement was trained slow to start. Once comfortable, the motion was put into combat. This should be similar to golf.

Finding Impact

Use an impact bag to get the feeling of impact and an efficient set-up. If you don’t have an impact bag, a spare car tire, bean bag or something light and soft that can be pushed along the ground can be used.

I like to refer to the impact bag as a “Push bag”. Start by setting up into the bag, lightly pressing the shaft into the bag. You will notice how your trail arm slightly tucks in and as your right shoulder drops below the left with your body leaning forward, an efficient set-up.

To get the feeling of impact swing the club back and down into the bag while maintaining your body shape. Don’t move the bag by hitting it, rather pushing it. Note how you maintain your wrist angles while pushing the bag (not flipping) and the right side of your body moves through impact.

Train your swing with these three training techniques to play better golf.

@KKelley_golf

Your Reaction?
  • 90
  • LEGIT14
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP3
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

Instruction

How posture influences your swing

Published

on

S0 what exactly is posture and how can it alter your swing? Posture is often the origin to a player’s swing pattern. I like to look at posture as the form of the body from the front view and down the line position at address.

“Shape” in posture is the angles our body creates at address. This includes the relationship between the upper and lower half of our bodies. This article will examine the importance of this shape from the face on view.

For an efficient posture that creates a simple, powerful, and repeatable swing, I like a player’s shape to be set into what I call their “hitting angles.” Hitting angles are similar to the impact position. In the picture below, note the body angles at address highlighted in green.

Once we are set into these hitting angles, the goal of the backswing is to maintain these angles, coiling around the spine. When these angles are maintained in the backswing, the club can return to impact in a more dynamic form of our set-up position. This creates minimal effort that produces speed and repeatability—essentially doing more with less.

The further we set up away from these hitting angles, our bodies will have to find impact by recovering. This is often where a player’s swing faults can occur. We want our body to react to the target in the golf swing, not recover to strike the ball.

Think of a baseball player or football player throwing a ball. When the athlete is in their throwing position, they can simply make the movement required to throw the ball at their intended target. If their body is contorted or out of position to make the throw, they must re-position their body (more movement) to get back into their throwing position, thus making them less accurate and powerful.

The good news about working on your posture is that it is the easiest part to control in the swing. Posture is a static motion, so our body will respond to 100 percent of what our mind tells it to do. It’s talentless.

Here is a simple routine to get you into these hitting angles.

To start, tuck in your trail arm making it shorter and below the lead arm, which makes your trail shoulder lower than the lead shoulder. This will give you the proper shape of the arms and wrist angles. Pictured right is Ben Hogan.

With these arm angles, bend from the hips to the ball and bump your body slightly forward towards the target getting ‘into yourself’. You may feel pressure on your lead foot, but your upper half will still remain behind the ball. Note the picture below with the blue lines.

Practice this drill using a mirror in front of you, head up looking into the mirror. Research has shown mirror work enhances motor skills and performance. Anytime you have external-focus based feedback, the learning process will escalate.

There are a lot of different postures on the PGA Tour and many ways to get the job done. There are no cookie-cutter swings, and players have different physiology. However, research and history have shown that an efficient posture gives us the best chance for solid contact and our desired ball flight. Work hard on the areas that are easiest to control: the set-up.

Your Reaction?
  • 178
  • LEGIT18
  • WOW8
  • LOL3
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP2
  • OB3
  • SHANK15

Continue Reading

Instruction

Golf 101: How to chip (AKA “bump and run”)

Published

on

Although golf for a beginner can be an intimidating endeavor, and learning how to chip is part of that intimidation, this is one part of the game that if you can nail down the fundamentals, not only can you add some confidence to your experience but also you lay down a basic foundation you can build on.

How to chip

The chip shot, for all intents and purposes, is a mini-golf swing. To the beginner, it may seem like a nothing burger but if you look closely, it’s your first real way to understand contact, launch, spin, compression, and most importantly the fundamentals of impact.

What is a chip shot? A pitch shot?

Chip: A shot that is hit typically with anything from a 3-iron to a lob wedge that launches low, gets on the ground quickly, and rolls along the surface (like a putt) to the desired location.

Pitch: A shot that is hit typically with anything from a PW to a lob wedge that launches low- to mid-trajectory that carries a good portion of the way to your desired location and relies on spin to regulate distance.

Now that we have separated the two, the question is: How do I chip?

Since we are trying to keep this as simple as possible, let’s just do this as a quick checklist and leave it at that. Dealing with different lies, grass types, etc? Not the purpose here. We’re just concerned with how to make the motion and chip a ball on your carpet or at the golf course.

Think “rock the triangle”

  1. Pick a spot you want the ball to land. This is for visualization, direction and like any game you play, billiards, Darts, pin the tail on the donkey, having a target is helpful
  2. For today, use an 8-iron. It’s got just enough loft and bounce to make this endeavor fun.
  3. Grip the club in your palms and into the lifelines of your hands. This will lift the heel of the club of the ground for better contact and will take your wrists out of the shot.
  4. Open your stance
  5. Put most of your weight into your lead leg. 80/20 is a good ratio
  6. Ball is positioned off your right heel
  7. Lean the shaft handle to your left thigh
  8. Rock the shoulders like a putt
  9. ENJOY!

Check out this vid from @jakehuttgolf to give you some visuals.

Your Reaction?
  • 46
  • LEGIT10
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK8

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending