Jeff Ritter discusses the attitudes behind living a high performance life both on and off the course with a group of junior golfers at his Nike Jr Golf Camps in Pebble Beach. http://www.jeffrittergolf.com
Jeff Ritter demonstrates the features of the NEW PING Anser Driver! Click Here for information on how to set up a professional club fitting at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix!
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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In this video is a great tip that Martin Chuck demonstrated during a Tour Striker Golf School at The Raven. Many people make the mistake of setting up too close to the ball on the driver. This is due to the optical illusion of the club sitting on the ground versus when it is up in the air (which is where it will be during the strike). If the ball were teed up at the height of a tee ball tee, it would be necessary to set up much further away in order to hit the sweet spot at impact. This tip will help you get more yardage off the tee and keep your driver in the fairway.
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
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.
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!
There’s a bit of a buzz around the golf world with the news of Hank Haney’s book release chronicling their time spent together as player and coach. Scheduled to release the week before The Masters in, Haney’s book should give great insight on the day to day practice regimen that Woods has been noted for, but never allowed the public to see. Only Hank and a handful of others have ever been inside of Tiger’s inner circle, and it will be interesting to see Woods’ reaction to what Haney feels is a “fair” representation of their relationship together.
There are a few people out there calling Haney unprofessional, unethical, and untrustworthy for breaking the client/patient privacy agreement. Haney claims that he didn’t even have a contract with Tiger regarding their coaching agreement, so no harm done. I for one am very interested to find out what’s in the book, and commend Haney for telling a story that many would like to hear. Is he capitalizing financially on his relationship with one of the most popular figures on the planet? Of course he is, and I don’t blame him for one second. What are your thoughts? Will you read it? Do you think it’s unethical?
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.
Today’s post will focus on two large pieces that I focus on with students who are having trouble controlling their low point, or where the club is bottoming out and hitting the ground. I talked last week about the order in which a player should learn how to play the game, or where a player should look first when they are struggling to make solid contact with the golf ball. The easiest way to check this or practice this first fundamental to playing the game of golf is to scratch or paint a line on the ground, and see if you can take small divots on the forward or target side of that line. If you’re having trouble doing this, or not hitting the ground at all, here’s two tips to get you on the right track.
Where’s the Weight?
Often times golfers shift their lower body, upper body, or their overall weight profile too far back or away from the target in the backswing, and fail to return their centers of gravity far enough forward in the downswing. The golfer on the left in the picture below is a great example of this. He has shifted everything back behind the ball, severely complicating contact. The golfer on the right has kept his weight centered, and turned his shoulders in a circle without moving them back behind the ball. He is poised in a position to make contact with the ground slightly ahead of the golf ball, over, and over again.
Now let’s take these two golfers just past the impact position. Our higher handicap golfer on the left has failed to transfer his weight back to the golf ball, and hasn’t made contact with the ground at all. Although he makes contact with the golf ball and gets this shot airborne, it’s not a reliable way to move your ball around a golf course. Our centered golfer on the right has continued to push his lower body weight onto the target side of the golf ball, helping ensure a correct downward strike, and a nice shallow divot in the green light zone!
Lean it Forward!
We’ve covered the weight portion which helps control the low point of the golf swing, but there’s one other major piece that I look for when a golfer is hitting fat or thin shots and struggling with contact. You can see in the picture above how there’s a nice angle formed between the right forearm and the clubshaft in the lower handicap golfer on the right. He hasn’t scooped, flipped, or tried to lift the ball up into the air like the golfer on the left. Now let’s fast forward a few frames and take a look at the picture below. Our green light divot golfer on the right has maintained that angle, and by doing that helped control the low point of his swing. The scooper on the left has dumped out that angle, and combining that flipping motion with his weight behind the golf ball has bottomed his swing out well behind the golf ball. To combat this move, most golfers will start to lift up or pull their arms apart so they don’t hit it fat.
Armed with a better understanding of these concepts, see if you can better control your low point during your next range session. If you’re one of those golfers who moves off of the ball in the backswing, try to keep more weight on your front foot and make a centered shoulder turn. If you’re a flipper or scooper at impact, setup with the handle of your club leaning a little more forward, keep pushing your weight towards the target, and hit some half shots trying to maintain that angle through impact.
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. Aaron has been fortunate to learn from PGA Tour Instructors Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer. Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Aaron and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.
One thing that I feel separates better players from poorer players is the ability to hit the ground in the same spot every time, and to hit the ground forward enough to ensure solid contact, consistent trajectory, and a predictable curve.
I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from two brilliant instructors, Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, and their way of measuring the golf swing, named Stack and Tilt. Andy and Mike presented this ability to control where the club hits the ground as Fundamental #1, and it’s a great place to start assessing your game. I am also thrilled to be working alongside Martin Chuck, inventor of the Tour Striker Training Aid. Martin’s teachings, along with the Tour Striker, promote a forward leaning shaft, the correct angle descent into the ground, and a consistent low point in front of the golf ball.
At all of our golf schools we test the players ability to do this by scratching or painting a line on the ground, and have the students hit balls to see how their low point control is.
The picture below is from our last Tour Striker Golf School at the Raven Golf Club – Phoenix. This is a divot patch from one of the students at the beginning of the school. Notice how some are back behind the line, in the red light zone, while some are right on the yellow line, and others are in front of the line, in the green light zone. Our goal by the end of the school is to get every divot in front of the painted line, all in the green!
Compare the higher handicap picture above, to the lower handicap picture below. Notice the consistency of the divot pattern in the green light zone! As handicaps get lower, the ability to control the centers of the swing and angle of the shaft at impact lead to consistent contact. To make this point more clear, check out the video at the bottom of the page, and notice where the club is hitting the ground.
Next time you go out to the range, scratch a line in the ground and see how your low point stacks up. You can even do this without a ball in your backyard, just OK it with your husband or wife beforehand! If you’re hitting behind the line in the red light zone frequently, or not hitting the ground at all, then you’ve got some work to do. Check out next Wednesday’s blog where I discuss some important factors in controlling the bottom of your golf swing, so we can move all of your divots into the green light zone!
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.