Connect with us

Instruction

Learning golf from the best instructors on Twitter

Published

on

I hate to admit this, but when I first started teaching golf in 1992, golf swing video analysis was in its infancy, and there was no internet, email or smartphones. And of course, there was no easy way to learn about about the golf swing. Sure, we could go this place called a library where we could check out a book on golf instruction, but only if it was not already lent out to someone else. It was a far more difficult time to gather information, and teachers didn’t make it much easier on themselves, as many considered their golf instruction knowledge proprietary.

Nowadays, golf swing information is everywhere, and you don’t need to be a teaching professional to learn about the science of the golf swing — you just need to have Internet access. Personally, I like to use Twitter, and I follow people who know much more than I do about certain aspects of teaching golf. That way, I learn something every time I log on, and I often save the best photos or tidbits so I can recall them when necessary.

What I would like to show you today is show you some of the best things I have pulled off Twitter over the last few months from people such as @felixclubworks, @pinkenterprise1, @trackmanmaestro, @oraclerio, @kirkoguri, @golfgurutv, @andrewricegolf, and @chuckevans. I recommend you follow each of them to expand your golfing knowledge.

So, here are my favorite tips and information I’ve found on Twitter from the last few months. Enjoy my collection… and don’t forget to post your favorite golf Twitter accounts in the comments section below so we can all learn together.

StickneyTwitter1

What a great listing of how different ball speeds need radically different launch and spin conditions in order for you to maximize your distance output. This makes a solid case for getting your driver fit to you swing mechanics. If you don’t, you could be losing serious distance and roll-out.

StickneyTwitter6

This is one of my very favorite photos. It shows how off-center toe and heel hits, combined with gear-effect, can cause the ball to move the opposite direction than it should based on you face to path relationship. When you have a negative face-to-path, the ball should go left and vice versa. However, heel hits cause the ball to want to move more rightward and toe hits are more hook biased. So sometimes your swing is OK, but your off-center hits are causing your problems.

StickneyTwitter2

These ball-flight laws have been proven by the latest science. It’s now indisputable that the ball begins mostly in the direction of the face at impact, and curves away from the path with a center hit. Yes, the ball flight matrix above looks complex, but it becomes easier to understand when keep these two things in mind:

  1. The red arrow is the path.
  2. The black arrow is the face at impact.

Assuming you’re striking your shots in the center of the club face, you should now know why your ball curves the way it does.

StickneyTwitter8

Nothing more needs to be said about this slide; Jamie is a STUD! I have been lucky enough to have known him for many years, and he amazes me every time he hits the ball. In fact, at Vidanta this fall, he put on a show for us. He hit a drive off his knees, and his swing speed was still 113 mph — more than the average Tour professional standing on two feet!

StickneyTwitter5

Here is great insight from a slideshow presentation that shows you how to spin the ball back on the green. It says you need a certain spin rate and a certain landing angle, or the golf ball won’t spin back. This can actually be practiced if you know a teacher with a Trackman. My advice would be to get the mechanics and feel of these numbers down, and from there you can practice it on your own by remembering the feeling!

StickneyTwitter4

For you gear heads out there, here is Kirk showing us that for every degree of loft change you will see a certain amount of distance and spin change with all other things being equal.

StickneyTwitter7

Jordan Spieth is seriously the best putter I have ever seen over the course of an entire the season, and simply brilliant from 20-25 feet. If you want to be a better player, make putting your strength!

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to follow Tom Stickney (@tomstickneygolf) and GolfWRX (@golfwrx) on Twitter. 

Your Reaction?
  • 51
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK11

Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: [email protected]

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Frances Diliberti

    Aug 30, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Home Instruction . Learning golf from the best instructors on Twitter. In Part 1, you learned about several training factors that have been scientifically proven to help enhance any golfer ’s health and performance. This process of picking the right golf instructor for you will ultimately provide the best way for you to realize the maximum return on your investment of money, resources, and your time while minimizing your learning curve.

  2. chris

    Aug 12, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    This is great, I’ll be excited to add these guys later today. Thank you!

  3. Weekend Duffer

    Aug 12, 2016 at 9:35 am

    They need to ban you from here

    • Jim H

      Aug 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      I second that motion.

      • Marty Moose

        Aug 12, 2016 at 1:26 pm

        Third.

      • mlecuni

        Aug 12, 2016 at 1:29 pm

        The comments are reflecting the way this website is.
        May be it’s time to change, to grow. It was good to see some new editors coming, but still, a lot of articles aren’t anything more than sacasm, biased ideas or empty stories.

Leave a Reply

Cancel 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

Why you are probably better at golf than you think (Part 1)

Published

on

Golf is hard. I spend my career helping people learn that truth, but golfers are better than they give themselves credit for.

As a golf performance specialist, I give a lot of “first time working together” lessons, and most of them start the same way. I hear about all the ways the golfer is cursed and how s/he is never going to “get it” and how s/he should take up another sport. Granted, the last statement generally applies to an 18-plus handicap player, but I hear lots of negatives from better players as well.

Even though the golfers make convincing arguments for why they are cursed, I know the truth. It’s my job to help them realize the fates aren’t conspiring against them.

All golfers can play well consistently

I know this is a bold statement, but I believe this because I know that “well” does not equate to trophies and personal bests. Playing “well” equates to understanding your margin of error and learning to live within it.

With this said, I have arrived at my first point of proving why golfers are not cursed or bad golfers: They typically do not know what “good” looks like.

What does “good” look like from 150 yards out to a center pin?

Depending on your skill level, the answer can change a lot. I frequently ask golfers this same question when selecting a shot on the golf course during a coaching session and am always surprised at the response. I find that most golfers tend to either have a target that is way too vague or a target that is much too small.

The PGA Tour average proximity to the hole from 150 yards is roughly 30 feet. The reason I mention this statistic is that it gives us a frame of reference. The best players in the world are equivalent to a +4 or better handicap. With that said, a 15-handicap player hitting it to 30 feet from the pin from 150 yards out sounds like a good shot to me.

I always encourage golfers to understand the statistics from the PGA Tour not because that should be our benchmark, but because we need to realize that often our expectations are way out of line with our current skill level. I have found that golfers attempting to hold themselves to unrealistic standards tend to perform worse due to the constant feeling of “failing” they create when they do not hit every fairway and green.

Jim Furyk, while playing a limited PGA Tour schedule, was the most accurate driver of the golf ball during the 2020 season on the PGA Tour hitting 73.96 percent of his fairways (roughly 10/14 per round) and ranked T-136 in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. Bryson Dechambeau hit the fairway 58.45 percent (roughly 8/14 per round) of the time and ranked first in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee.

There are two key takeaways in this comparison

Sometimes the fairway is not the best place to play an approach shot from. Even the best drivers of the golf ball miss fairways.

By using statistics to help athletes gain a better understanding of what “good” looks like, I am able to help them play better golf by being aware that “good” is not always in the middle of the fairway or finishing next to the hole.

Golf is hard. Setting yourself up for failure by having unrealistic expectations is only going to stunt your development as a player. We all know the guy who plays the “tips” or purchases a set of forged blades applying the logic that it will make them better in the long run—how does that story normally end?

Take action

If you are interested in applying some statistics to your golf game, there are a ton of great apps that you can download and use. Also, if you are like me and were unable to pass Math 104 in four attempts and would like to do some reading up on the math behind these statistics, I highly recommend the book by Mark Broadie Every Shot Counts. If you begin to keep statistics and would like how to put them into action and design better strategies for the golf course, then I highly recommend the Decade system designed by Scott Fawcett.

You may not be living up to your expectations on the golf course, but that does not make you a bad or cursed golfer. Human beings are very inconsistent by design, which makes a sport that requires absolute precision exceedingly difficult.

It has been said before: “Golf is not a game of perfect.” It’s time we finally accept that fact and learn to live within our variance.

Your Reaction?
  • 25
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

Instruction

Walters: Try this practice hack for better bunker shots

Published

on

Your ability to hit better bunker shots is dramatically reduced if you have no facility to practice these shots. With so few facilities (especially in the UK) having a practice bunker it’s no wonder I see so many golfers struggle with this skill.

Yet the biggest issue they all seem to have is the inability to get the club to enter the sand (hit the ground) in a consistent spot. So here is a hack to use at the range to improve your bunker shots.

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

Instruction

Golf Blueprint: A plan for productive practice sessions

Published

on

Practice range at the Dormie Club. Photo credit: Scott Arden

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

You’ve gotten lessons.  Several of them.  You’ve been custom fitted for everything in your bag.  You even bought another half a dozen driver shafts last year looking for an extra couple of yards.  And yet, you’re still…stuck.  Either your handicap hasn’t moved at all in years or you keep bouncing back and forth between the same two numbers.  You’ve had all the swing fixes and all the technological advances you could realistically hope to achieve, yet no appreciable result has been achieved in lowering your score.  What gives?

Sample Golf Blueprint practice plan for a client.

One could argue that no one scientifically disassembled and then systematically reassembled the game of golf quite like the great Ben Hogan.  His penchant for doing so created a mystique which is still the stuff of legend even today.  A great many people have tried to decipher his secret over the years and the inevitable conclusion is always a somewhat anticlimactic, “The secret’s in the dirt.”  Mr. Hogan’s ball striking prowess was carved one divot at a time from countless hours on the practice range.  In an interview with golf journalist George Peper in 1987, Mr. Hogan once said:

“You hear stories about me beating my brains out practicing, but the truth is, I was enjoying myself. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning so I could hit balls. I’d be at the practice tee at the crack of dawn, hit balls for a few hours, then take a break and get right back to it. And I still thoroughly enjoy it. When I’m hitting the ball where I want, hard and crisply—when anyone is— it’s a joy that very few people experience.”

Let me guess.  You’ve tried that before, right?  You’ve hit buckets and buckets of range rocks trying to groove the perfect 7-iron swing and still to no avail, right?  Read that last sentence again closely and you might discover the problem.  There’s a difference between mindful practice and mindless practice.  Mindful practice, like Mr. Hogan undoubtedly employed, is structured, focused, and intentional.  It has specific targets and goals in mind and progresses in a systematic fashion until those goals are met.

This is exactly what Nico Darras and Kevin Moore had in mind when they started Golf Blueprint.  In truth, though, the journey actually started when Nico was a client of Kevin’s Squares2Circles project.  Nico is actually a former DI baseball player who suffered a career-ending injury and took up golf at 22 years old.  In a short time, he was approaching scratch and then getting into some mini tour events.  Kevin, as mentioned in the Squares2Circles piece, is a mathematics education professor and accomplished golfer who has played in several USGA events.  Their conversations quickly changed from refining course strategy to making targeted improvements in Nico’s game.  By analyzing the greatest weaknesses in Nico’s game and designing specific practice sessions (which they call “blueprints”) around them, Nico started reaching his goals.

The transition from client to partners was equal parts swift and organic, as they quickly realized they were on to something.  Nico and Kevin used their experiences to develop an algorithm which, when combined with the client’s feedback, establishes a player profile within Golf Blueprint’s system.  Clients get a plan with weekly, monthly, and long-term goals including all of the specific blueprints that target the areas of their game where they need it most.  Not to mention, clients get direct access to Nico and Kevin through Golf Blueprint.

Nico Darras, co-founder of Golf Blueprint

While this is approaching shades of Mr. Hogan’s practice method above, there is one key distinction here.  Kevin and Nico aren’t recommending practicing for hours at a time.  Far from it.  In Nico’s words:

“We recommend 3 days a week.  You can do more or less, for sure, but we’ve found that 3 days a week is within the realm of possibility for most of our clients.  Practice sessions are roughly 45-70 minutes each, but again, all of this depends on the client and what resources they have at their disposal.  Each blueprint card is roughly 10 minutes each, so you can choose which cards to do if you only have limited time to practice.  Nothing is worse than cranking 7 irons at the range for hours.  We want to make these engaging and rewarding.”

Kevin Moore, co-founder of Golf Blueprint

So far, Golf Blueprint has been working for a wide range of golfers – from tour pros to the No Laying Up crew to amateurs alike.  Kevin shares some key data in that regard:

“When we went into this, we weren’t really sure what to expect.  Were we going to be an elite player product?  Were we going to be an amateur player product?  We didn’t know, honestly.  So far, what’s exciting is that we’ve had success with a huge range of players.  Probably 20-25% of our players (roughly speaking) are in that 7-11 handicap range.  That’s probably the center of the bell curve, if you will, right around that high-single-digit handicap range.  We have a huge range though, scratch handicap and tour players all the way to 20 handicaps.  It runs the full gamut.  What’s been so rewarding is that the handicap dropping has been significantly more than we anticipated.  The average handicap drop for our clients was about 2.7 in just 3 months’ time.”

Needless to say, that’s a pretty significant drop in a short amount of time from only changing how you practice.  Maybe that Hogan guy was on to something.  I think these guys might be too.  To learn more about Golf Blueprint and get involved, visit their website. @Golf_Blueprint is their handle for both Twitter and Instagram.

Your Reaction?
  • 28
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW1
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending