Paul is a USPGA assistant professional based in the North Eastern United States. Recently he contacted me to have some online coaching and I thought you would enjoy reading how two professionals communicate about the golf swing. Paul works at a golf resort but also plays local tournaments and loves teaching. He's a very good golfer and we have been working on creating more pressure on his golf shots to produce a more penetrating ball flight and more distance.
I'm using photos of former PGA tour player Hank Kuehne to describe the alignments we're looking to achieve in his golf swing. Also because Paul teaches golfers he likes to ask detailed questions to learn more about the golf swing and how to communicate it more effectively to his students.
Q1/ We discussed the right palm pointing forward and downward as it enters impact, So to take this concept further, this would mean the clubs sweet-spot would also point down and in front of the ball just before impact right?
A1? Yes you’re correct depending of course which club you’re using. For instance shorter irons because of a higher strike angle will point more downwards and in front of the ball compared to the longer and straighter faced golf clubs.
Q2/ To what degree is the proper handle lead caused by the rotation of the torso PRIOR to the delivery the club?
A2/ Another good question Paul. The rate of acceleration of the lower torso affects how much the handle will lead into the impact zone. As the lower body (hips, knees etc) releases towards the target the upper torso resists as it is still completing the backswing phase. The torque that is generated by this transition and the difference in rotation between the upper and lower torso’s determines how much lag is generated in the downswing combined with the degree of wrist-cock angle. This determines how much handle lead you would have prior to delivery of the club.
Q3/ Is there any degree of counter-clockwise rotation of the right forearm through impact as the bent right wrist and elbow straighten?
A3/ The majority of rotation of the right forearm occurs in the lower part of the right forearm through the radius and ulna bones. The right forearm is in a supinated state – right palm facing upwards (radius and ulna parallel to one another) and as the centrifugal throw-out of the club-head occurs the bones of the right arm cross over into a pronated state – right palm facing downwards. There is probably a minimal amount of external rotation in the upper arm bone (humerus) as it rotates in the shoulder socket but nowhere near as much as in the lower right arm. After impact the humerus rotating towards the mid-line (internal rotation) of the body would rotate a lot more than the down swing phase.
Q4/ I am a notoriously bad starter (Is this a true statement of belief Paul?...my comments) but oddly enough seem to play BETTER than usual once I settle down in competition.
A4/ The key is to teach your mind to play the holes perfectly before you actually play the holes. If you play the first few holes just the way you want to in your mind and understand that your unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined then you can perfect the way you play the holes before you actually play them and this will have you right and ready on the first tee.
Hope I’ve answered your questions.
Play well and let me know your thoughts.
When I see Tiger Woods back playing in PGA Tour golf tournaments the one trait that stands out the most for me is his attitude of never giving up on himself or his dream.
Tiger has had his fair share of trials in recent times but he is undoubtebly one of the most determined individuals around and we can all learn a lesson from him about the importance of believing in your ability and striving to tap into a bigger chunk of your amazing potential.
I want to relate a wonderful experience I had recently with a young golf professional ringing me out of the blue to discuss the state of his game and whether I could get him to play better. In my professional life I really couldn't tell you how many times I've similar calls but it is many times over the past twenty years or so.
I met this young professional some years back when he was an assistant professional and was in the area playing a tournament. He came out to the golf range where I ran my golf school with one of my old students to say hello and talk about his game.
At the time he was arguably the most successful assistant professional in the country and endowed with the sort of skills that you need to have to become a successful professional tour golfer, namely super confidence and a low score game. When he rang me last week we talked for an hour about the state of his game and his disappointment at his performances since he became a tournament player. I listened carfeully to all the reasons why he thought he was playing poorly and that he was considering leaving the tour to get a job in a pro shop if he couldn't find the old magic in his game again.
I explained to him that you don't lose the skills you've developed just because you're not playing up to your expectations.
What happens is that you start to use strategies that are not as useful and when you play poorly you employ these strategies continually which get in the way of your performing at your best.
The key is to get back to what worked by replying the successful performances over and over with great detail and to make sure that you're going through this experience from your eyes rather than as a spectator. This is precisely what this young professional did for just one week and the good news is that in the next event he played in he shot 17 under par finishing tied for third and winning a cheque of nearly sixty thousand dollars.
If you've been struggling with your game for some time and you don't seem to be able to find your confidence, don't dispair; focus your thoughts on what you want to achieve rather than what you don't want to achieve. It's easy to sell yourself short but that won't help you in the long run.
Do yourself a big favour and decide from now on to eliminate the negative criticism you have about yourself and your game. Develop the habit of spending ten to fifteen minutes everyday imagining the positive performances you have experienced with all of your senses involved.
See it, feel it, talk it, taste it and smell it. The more time you spend getting into the ideal state to perform the more it will lead you to feel empowered, confident and courageous twget your game back on track sooner.
Until next time,
Have You Ever Had Someone Say to You That You Should Make a Change to Your Golf Swing Technique?
Have you been playing poorly for an extended period of time and you may be at your wit's end with your sub-standard performances on the golf course?
Logically you may be thinking that if you change the way you swing the golf club it will improve your performances leading to lower golf scores and a happy and fulfilled golfing life.
In this article I'm going to shed some light on why changing your golf swing might be a very bad idea leading you to more frustration and helplessness than you could imagine. You might think that this is an exaggeration but unfortunately many a struggling golfing soul has lost his way on the path to golf swing immortality because he or she didn't understand the consequences of changing some aspect of their golf swing technique.
Professional tour golfers are continually striving to improve their performances on the golf course because playing standards on the PGA and LPGA tours are continually rising with a greater percentage of golfers at the top of the golf tree. When they make swing changes they have the time and money to do it. These tour golfers can spend many hours working on their changes with the complete supervision of a competent and experienced golf instructor.
So here's three suggestions for how to go about making the change with a minimal amount of discomfort.
Please remember this advice...do not become the guinea pig for some overly confident golf instructor who wants to dramatically change your golf swing to make it look like a tour stars." Only make the change if you truly believe that you will play a lot better than you currently do and make a change to your technique to play better rather than trying to imitate someone playing well at the moment.
Making swing changes is a lot more difficult to achieve than you might think,so really think about your decision carefully as the majority of big changes made to golf swings don't make the golfer play better.
In other words the failure rate is high, so if you're considering making a big change to your golf swing ask yourself this simple but important question;
Am I willing to pay the price?