Connect with us

Published

on

Have you ever wondered how great players are able to make their short game shots pull up and spin right next to the cup? In this video, I show you how your equipment and technique work together to create the launch angle and spin that give you maximum control with your wedges. I also share a simple little drill to help make your wedge shots look more like the pro’s.

Your Reaction?
  • 121
  • LEGIT8
  • WOW3
  • LOL3
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP9
  • OB4
  • SHANK39

Zach Allen is a PGA professional in Valencia, CA. He was voted Southern California PGA teacher of the Year, as well as Golf Digest Best Young Teachers in America. And GolfTips Magazine named him a Top 25 Golf Instructor in America. He also has a popular Golf Instruction Channel on Youtube with over 28,000 subscribers, and over 11 million views. His latest game changing project is available at ballstrikingblueprint.com

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Mike

    Feb 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve been playing with this technique and it’s really changed how I pitch the ball–I’ve finally managed to shallow out a bit and bring my trajectory down. Sweet!

  2. Mike K

    Feb 9, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Every single digit handicap golfer I know with a solid short game follows what Zach has provided in guidance and advice.
    If you truly want to get better and consistently bring down your scores with a good short game you’ll find this is solid.

  3. Skip

    Feb 9, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    So, how did they do it before they had all these wedges with “spin technology”? lol. Sorry, this is a terrible post. Past posts talking about ideal spin loft to create spin was better.

  4. Bob Jones

    Feb 9, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Recreational golfers are going to get the ball closer to the hole more often by rolling the ball to the hole instead of flying it up there.

  5. Michael

    Feb 8, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Gotcha so just drop a bunch of cash on gear and I’m good to go.

    • David

      Feb 8, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Not what was said but I guess he used big words.

  6. CB

    Feb 8, 2018 at 2:21 am

    I used a Chrome Soft the other day. It went about 15 yards shorter on my driver than my TP5 ball but around the greens it checked so hard with a lower trajectory I didn’t need any lessons on how to hit those shots, the ball did it by itself and I always came up short because it spun so much like a sponge ball. That’s how they do it

  7. Reeves

    Feb 7, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Ok for a lesson, but I find it amazing how Jack, Arnie, Lee and even Gary won so many tournaments without a flight scope, what did they have to just figure it out by hitting shots on the practice range? What a Prehistoric idea…

    • Tal

      Feb 8, 2018 at 5:24 am

      No one else had one either. They wouldn’t get as far without one today.

Leave a Reply

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

Instruction

Your Body Is Your Most Important Piece Of Equipment; It’s Time For An Upgrade

Published

on

Clubs, balls, shoes, mental training, lessons. Golfers are always searching for the next thing that is going to transform their game. If a product has promise, golfers are like addicts; they must have it… regardless of the price. What’s usually ignored, however, is the most important piece of equipment for all golfers: their body, and how their physical conditioning pertains to golf.

Everything becomes easier by getting in better “golf shape.” You will likely hit the ball farther, have better energy and focus, fewer aches and pains, improved ability to actually implement swing changes and the durability to practice more.

When trying to improve your physical conditioning for golf, it would shortsighted not to mention the following requirements:

  1. Discipline: There will be times you don’t want to train, but should.
  2. Patience: Small, incremental progress adds up to big improvement over time.
  3. A Path: Make sure you use your time and effort efficiently by having a training plan that matches your goals.

If you can adopt these principles, I am confident you will be very happy with the return — even more so than the latest driver, putter or practice aid.

I like to compare having a well functioning body to a painter’s blank canvas. By ensuring you have adequate coordination, motor control, mobility, stability, strength and speed, you have the basic tools necessary for a high-performance golf swing. Of course, you will still need to develop a functional technique and specific skill level that matches your goals. On the flip side, if you are deficient in these areas, you are like a dirty canvas; your options are limited and you will need to make compensations to achieve anything close to the desired outcome. In simpler terms, movements that are universally desirable in the golf swing may be very difficult or impossible for you based on your current physical state.

Earlier, I mentioned the term “appropriate training,” and now I am going to discuss one of the ways to identify what this means for you as a golfer trying to use physical training to support a better golf game. The TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Movement Screen is a great start for everyone. It is a combination of 16 exercises that are used to assess your current movement capabilities, identify limitations and provide you with your “Body-Swing” connection. The “Body-Swing” connection is a term coined by TPI that illustrates the link between physical deficiencies and potential swing tendencies based on its “Big 12” model. The Big 12 swing characteristics that TPI has identified are as follows:

  1. S-Posture
  2. C-Posture
  3. Loss of Posture
  4. Flat Shoulder Plane
  5. Early Extension
  6. Over The Top
  7. Sway
  8. Slide
  9. Hanging Back
  10. Reverse Spine Angle
  11. Casting
  12. Chicken Winging

It’s important to note these as tendencies rather than flaws, as great ball strikers have demonstrated some of them. When done excessively, they make high functioning swings more difficult and may make potential injury more likely. Rather than going through all 16 screening exercises (which would be a very long read), I have selected five that I feel provide a lot of useful information. They can often broadly differentiate the playing level of golfers.

1. Static Setup Posture

There is a lot of debate in golf instruction about what is the correct way to assume posture for the golf swing. Some prefer more rounded shoulders akin to what was common in years gone by: Jack and Arnie being good examples. Others prefer a more extended thoracic spine (less curved upper back): Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott are good examples. I’m not a golf instructor and clearly both types can hit great golf shots. I am more concerned with the lumbar spine (the lower back, which doesn’t seem to get as much attention when the setup is being discussed).

Note the difference between the spinal curvatures of Jack and Rory. I’m OK with either as long as the lower back is in a biomechanically sound position (explained in video).

An overly extended or arched lower back (which I demonstrate in the video) creates too large a space between the alignment rod and my lower back. This is a common issue I see, and it can lead to a lack of pelvis rotation, a lack of power due to the inability to effectively use the glutes and abdominal muscles and lower back discomfort. Cueing a slight posterior tilt (tucking the tailbone underneath you) often makes a noticeable difference in pelvis mobility, power, and comfort.

 2. Pelvic Rotation

Pelvic rotation is essential for X-factor stretch, the ability to increase the amount of separation between the pelvis and torso during transition (moving from the backswing into the downswing). This is often referred to as starting the downswing with the lower body/hips (while the torso is still rotating away from the target or is paused at the end of the backswing). It is critical for effective sequencing and power production. Increasing the separation between your pelvis and torso on the downswing increases what is known as the “stretch-shortening cycle” of your trunk and torso muscles, which is like adding more stretch to an elastic band and then releasing it. If you cannot separate pelvic rotation and torso rotation, it will be extremely difficult to be a good golfer.

In the video below, watch how Rickie Fowler’s pelvis rotates toward the target independently of his torso. This increases the elastic energy stored in his muscles and tendons, allowing for big power production.

 3. Lower Quarter Rotation

The Lower Quarter Rotation Test shares some similarities to the Pelvic Rotation Test, but one key difference is that it doesn’t require nearly as much motor control. Many people fail the pelvic rotation test not because of a mobility limitation, but because they can’t control the different segments of the their body and perform the action they want (motor control issue). The Lower Quarter Rotation Test, on the other hand, does not require anywhere near as much control and therefore looks more directly at the internal and external rotation mobility of the lower body. People who struggle with this test are more likely to sway, slide and have reverse spine angle.

DJ Top of backswing.jpg

I’m confident Dustin Johnson would do OK on the Lower Quarter Rotation test. Look at how well he can turn into his right hip.

 4. Seated Thoracic Rotation

This one usually resonates with golfers, as “getting a full shoulder turn” is something that golf media and players like to talk to about regularly. I think most people understand the concept of a sufficient shoulder turn being important for creating power. Restricted thoracic spine rotation can stem from a few different causes. A common one is excessive thoracic flexion (rounder upper back). To test this for yourself: 1) try the test in the video hunched over and 2) with your spine as long as possible. You should notice you can rotate farther when you sit extended.

5. 90/90 External Shoulder Rotation  

Many popular golf instruction pages on social media talk about the importance of shallowing the shaft in transition and trail arm external shoulder rotation. I understand the reasoning for this in terms of swing technique, but something that needs to be taken into consideration is whether golfers actually have the ability to externally rotate their shoulders. This is often not the case. Two interesting trends I have noticed with golfers and external shoulder rotation:

  1. A larger percentage of U.S. golfers compared to Irish golfers (the two countries I have worked in) tend to have much more trail arm external rotation available. This is mainly due to throwing baseballs and footballs in their youth, which doesn’t happen in Ireland.
  2. Shoulder external rotation, shoulder flexion, and thoracic extension really seem to reduce as golfers get older compared to other movements. Please take note of this and put some exercises into your routine that promote mobility and stability in the thoracic spine and scapula, as these are the foundation for sound shoulder mechanics. Thoracic extensions on a foam roller, relaxed hanging from a pull-up bar and wall slides with external rotation are some exercises I like to use.
MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Toronto Blue Jays

I think this pitcher would have enough external shoulder rotation in his golf swing.

I hope this article gave you some more understanding of how learning about your body and then working on its limitations might be beneficial for your golf game. If you have questions about the TPI Movement Screen or are interested in an online evaluation, please feel free to e-mail me.

Your Reaction?
  • 37
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

Instruction

Let’s Talk Gear: Frequency and Shaft CPM

Published

on

When it comes to fine tuning a golf shaft and matching clubs within a set, frequency and CPM play a critical role in build quality and making sure what you were fit for is what gets built for you.

This video explains the purpose of a frequency machine, as well as how the information it gives us relates to both building and fitting your clubs.

Your Reaction?
  • 24
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK8

Continue Reading

Instruction

How to Deliver the Club Better With Your Trail Arm

Published

on

The vast majority of golfers want to be consistent. The reality is that they are… the consistency they have just doesn’t produce the outcome they want.

In this video, I share a simple drill that will improve the way you deliver the club with your trail arm and give you a more consistent delivery from the inside to promote more consistent outcomes.

Your Reaction?
  • 38
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW2
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP3
  • OB2
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Trending