Grip It and Rip It

Today’s blog post is for an avid student of the game from New York that sent along some clips of his full swing to me for review.  He also included pictures of his grip.  Thank you Phil, for providing today’s topic,  I hope this tip helps you control the clubface better to hit more accurate shots.

Here is Phil’s Grip for full swing shots in the left hand.

The key to a creating leverage and allowing the face to rotate naturally is to hold the grip in your fingers and under the pad of the left hand.  Phil your grip is very much in the palm of your hand, which means you have a lot of potential to hit it longer, straighter and with ease! In the putting stroke, I would like your grip completely in your palms and the shaft running through your forearms, but this palm position is a killer to the full swing.  The goal for putting and full swing is very different, therefore a completely different grip is required.  The following is a drill that I use with students to get their grip more in their fingers and less in the palm for full swing shots.

In this picture the student is pinching a tee in between the gap of the left hand (for a right handed golfer).  This pinch forces the grip to get more into the fingers.  My preference is to see a slightly stronger left hand and a neutral right hand.  Try taking the grip with your left hand to the side of your body and then hinge the club up.  The up and down hinge motion is like a hammer,  this is the same motion you will use to hit the golf ball.  Finally, add a couple of waggles to loosen tension and get the hands ready to move.  In athletic motion you never want to freeze of the ball,  you always want a little bit of motion to get you started.   Best of luck Phil and please keep those great questions coming.

Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional,  and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Get Better STAT!

I’m proud to say that, I played golf for Penn State in college.  The best golfer to graduate from the Penn State Women’s golf team is currently on the LPGA Tour, her name is Katie Futcher.   My college coach, Denise St. Pierre,  shared this visual with me, it’s the one that Katie uses. Ever since I have used it to evaluate my game. 

If you did not get a chance, my last two postings were titled “the need for speed” and “hit your mark”.
In this visual, the red box represents the fairway and the circle represents the green.  In conjunction with the accuracy/distance blog,  the red line down the middle of the fairway represents the accuracy line (how accurate are you hitting your tee shot?)  The end of the box bisects the middle of the green. This portion of the box will represent your distance control on the green. Since the diagram is a circle, every green will not look like this,measure your statistics as if the center of the circle is in relation to the hole.  From here, plot each shot you take during the round.

This is an example of 9 holes,  the numbers with astricks  *  represent your approach shots.   At the end of your round you can evaluate which area you tend to miss a shot.  

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Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional,  and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Tour Striker Impact Drill Thanks To Ben Doyle And Guest, Dan Gallivan

This is a great drill I learned from Ben Doyle. He uses a shadow to help people understand where the ball line is and how the hands need to pass the shadow and vertical plane (yellow dowel rod) of the ball in order to strike the ball solidly and take a divot post impact.

Special thanks to my student, Dan Gallivan, for participating in this video. He worked really hard on improving his impact alignments and had the courage to change.

Martin Chuck is the Inventor/Instructor of the Tour Striker Training Products and Tour Striker Golf Academy. Click Here to learn more about programs with Martin Chuck, Jeff Ritter and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix!

Trim Golf

2012 is almost here! What will be your new year’s resolution?

With the Trim Golf attitude, You can shave strokes off your game in 2012.

Dropping strokes on your game is a lot like losing weight.   It’s not always easy but if you can take off a little here and a little there you will eventually notice a difference over time.

My college golf coach, created a goal for us by coming up with a group called “The One Shot Club”  it was our mission to be a part of it.   The concept is, if each player could drop one stroke, as a team we would drop 5 strokes and that could be the difference between winning and losing.   There are many different areas where you can drop this stroke.   However, if you could drop one stroke in each area,  you would maximize your improvement.   What if you improved your putting by one stroke this year?  What if you improved your mental game by one stroke,  your  fitness ability by one stroke, your short game by one stroke, What if you saved one less drive from flying out of bounds?   Instead of trying to drastically improve one area of your game focus on how you can get just one stroke better.  

This year, I want you to take a look at what you want in your game, set a goal and make it happen!  Take out a piece of paper, write it down, and plan all the areas that you can trim one stroke.  We know that you can do it!

Megan Padua is a Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional, a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Certified and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Divvy Up!

At The Raven Golf Club – Phoenix, we are very fortunate to have a large grass driving range to hit golf balls from.  The divot etiquette is something that you may or may not be familiar with.  If you can make a small adjustment to the way you practice, you will help keep your course in great condition.  Remember that the goal is to hit the golf ball and then the ground.  This video will introduce the appropriate process for preserving grass while practicing on the driving range.

Megan Padua is a Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional, a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Certified and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

1,2,3… Routine is Key (Part 2)

Practicing your golf game is about a lot more than hitting a whole jumbo basket of balls! The quality of your practice is not measured by the amount that your hands ache at the end.  Developing effective practice is about having a purpose to everything you do.

I believe that some of your best practice is in front of a mirror, understanding how your body works. The pre-shot routine is a series of steps that get the golfer prepared to execute the golf shot.

“Do you want to hit the shot the same everytime? This is how you can measure to the ball and give yourself the best chance of repeating the motion each and every time.”

The pre-shot routine covers many of the fundamental components of the setup and can seem like a lot of thoughts when you are first introduced. However, the pre-shot routine requires practice just like your golf swing does.   Once your routine becomes a repetitive process, you will no longer have to think about any of those components.

This video is an example of a pre-shot routine;  here is a list of the process that this golfer went through.

1. Practice Swings- Take 1-2 swings to loosen up

2. Grip; Check to make sure the left hand grip is in the fingers then place the right and on and it covers the thumb of the left hand.

3.  Pick a Target; Then walk in from three feet out, this assures that you will set up parallel to your target line.

4. Feet Together- This step squares your body to your alignments.

5. Bow to the ball- This sets your posture and distance from the ball (measure to the ball).

6. Set the Left foot- According to the club you have selected, what is the ball position that you want?

7. Set the Right foot for stance width.

8. Waggle to relieve tension.

9.  Hold the finish!

In the great book “Every Shot Must Have A Purpose” by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott,  they talk about a “Think Box” and a “Play Box”.   This is the idea that when you are behind the ball you can socialize but when you cross the decision line, you must commit to your pre-shot routine and all outter influences come to a stop.

These essential components of your setup will effect the way you strike your golf ball.  If you can commit to a pre-shot routine you will be able to commit to executing your golf shot.     The pre-shot routine varies depending on the individual.  Many debate that taking practice swings or having a routine will take too long, however, this routine will actually allow you to commit to your shot and execute it more efficiently.

Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Certified and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Turn for Days!

All golfers want to hit the ball farther, period.  Questions related to gaining distance are some of the most common that golf instructors hear day after day.  Many times the answer to that question is to turn more in the backswing.  In top left of the above picture, 8 of the top 10 players in driving distance from the PGA Tour last year are shown at the top of their backswings.  Notice anything similar about their lower body positions?  Every player pictured has straightened their rear leg to some degree in the backswing, enabling their hips to turn, which helps their shoulders turn as well.  When a young Tiger Woods came on the scene hitting driver past everyone in the 1997 Masters, many golfers and instructors began using his restricted hip turn as a model for more distance.  Straightening the rear leg became a “death move”, and was described as so in golf magazines and instruction shows.  Keeping the flex in the rear knee and restricting hip turn can seriously inhibit the ability to make a full shoulder turn for most golfers, and rob them of extra yards.

If you’re looking to pick up some extra distance, take a cue from the bombers on tour and start letting your knees change their flex in the backswing, and starting turning like you’re a kid again!

Aaron Olson is a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix. In addition, he is Assistant Director of Nike Junior Golf Camps hosted at the Pebble Beach Resorts on the Monterey Peninsula.  Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Aaron and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

Knockout Punch!

Jeff Ritter is a coach, author and speaker specializing in peak performance and life inspiration! In 2010 he was named by Golf Digest Magazine as one of the “Best Young Teachers in America!” Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Jeff Ritter, Martin Chuck and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

 

Hit it Long Like Lefty!

I’m not talking about Phil Mickelson here!  Instead, I’m referring to Jon Bjelland, a good friend of mine, and also one of the longest drivers in the world!  Jon recently finished tied for 9th place just missing out on the quarterfinal round in the 2011 REMAX World Long Drive Championships in Mesquite, NV.  There’s definitely some things to be learned from Jon’s swing which can reach speeds of over 140 MPH!

1.  Crack the Whip

Notice the sequencing in Jon’s downswing.  His lower body and hips transfer towards the target first acting as the butt end of the whip, then his torso and shoulders, arms and hands, and finally the clubhead. Starting down with your shoulders first or early “casting’ of the clubhead can cause serious power leakage.

2.  Extend, Don’t Flex

Contrary to the catch phrase “staying in your spine angle” that you often hear on golf telecasts, Jon’s spine is continuously changing throughout his golf swing.  Notice how steady his head stays in the backswing, and the vertical look his spine has at the .08 second mark.  He has gone from flexed forward at address to extended at the top.  Once again at the .12 second mark Jon extends from the ground up, straightening his legs and extending his spine.  This acts as a motor and lets his body continue to turn and turn fast!

3.  Hit it Solid

Tips on power and speed are meaningless if you sacrifice solid contact to swing the club faster.  Learn to incorporate these along with control and solid contact and you’ll be well on your way to flying it by your buddies!

Aaron Olson is Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix. In addition, he is Assistant Director of Nike Junior Golf Camps hosted at the Pebble Beach Resorts on the Monterey Peninsula.  Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Aaron and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

Corner Pocket

Yep, I am standing on a pool table with a tall cool one in the distance and yes, that’s an elk hanging on the wall!

Part of my lunacy as a coach is coming up with crazy images to help your game! If you are prone to “coming over the top,” realize that a big key to developing more of an inside strike is visualizing what portion of the ball you are hitting. To drive the ball more right to left, imagine connecting with the “inside corner” of your ball, as if you were trying to knock the ball into the right corner pocket on a pool table! With your mind focused in the proper direction, it will be your playing partners who will be paying for that beer!

Jeff Ritter is a coach, author and speaker specializing in peak performance and life inspiration! In 2010 he was named by Golf Digest Magazine as one of the “Best Young Teachers in America!” Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Jeff Ritter, Martin Chuck and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

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