PGA Show HOT LIST

Last week the Jeff Ritter Golf Tour Striker Academy went to Orlando to take part in the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show.   This event includes the latest and greatest in the world of golf.  Personally, I have gone for the past eight years in a row and each year I discover something new and exciting.   Here is a list of my favorite finds for the PGA Show this year.

BEST NEW GAME

Birdee Golf  (click to view website) –  This is a new product making its first appearance at the PGA show.  It’s a fun game of badmitton golf that is great for juniors and adults.  It even floats in the water!   The founders of the product use it at their lake house in Minnesota.   I can see it being a hit at the Penn State Tailgating parties.

BEST FOR JUNIOR GOLF

Mini Zoo Covers-  http://www.out-of-boundsgear.com/

This was a find that I can’t wait to bring to junior golf.   I actually got one of these for my own golf bag.   They have a large selection of animals and can make ones specifically for you!  The next item I get from them will be an Alligator duffle bag to carry all of my junior golf teaching aids.

BEST FULL SWING TEACHING AID

New Products by Tour Striker  (Click to view Website)

This week Martin Chuck introduced more innovative products by Tour Striker including the Educator, the new Tour Striker Driver and the Tour Striker Impact bag.   The impact bag is not like any you have seen before,  attached to it is a plane board with impact visuals to show the objective of striking it like the tour players.

BEST SHORT GAME TEACHING AID

The New Belly Putter Fitting Tool by Coutour Golf–   I ordered one of these and can’t wait to get it at The Raven in a couple weeks!   Todd Sones has changed the game for many and slowly companies are beginning to strive to meet his standards on putters.   The new belly putter tool will help find the correct length putter for the individual either in conventional length or anchored to the body.

BEST TECHNOLOGY

iPAD/iPHONE APPS for Swing Analysis- There were several new products including the Swing Byte,  Swing Smart and the ES12 (by Earnest Sports) that will give you data of the club or swing and send it to your iPad or iPhone. If you haven’t seen it yet,  the Ping App is great for putting analysis.   These products will revolutionize the game is the data is found to be accurate.

SPECIAL CELEBRITY TRIBUTES

Congrats to MIKE MALASKA for winning the PGA National Teacher of the Year!

It was great to catch up with my old college golf buddy Sara “No H” Brown at the PGA show.   You may have seen her from her appearance on the Big Break.  Now she is playing on the Ladies European Tour and will be playing on the LPGA this year.  I’m proud of her for keeping her bright personality while having such success on the golf course and in the media spotlight!   Keep it up Sara!

These are my new shades from Sundog.  Every year I seek out the latest in the Paula Creamer Collection.   I have a hard time finding glasses that I really like and as golfers we need to protect our eyes and skin.   Click here to take a look at the women’s collection.

That’s only a glimpse at some of my favorite finds from the PGA show.  With hundreds of vendors it is always tough to sort through but I felt very satisfied with the products I came across.  Enjoy these new products in 2012!

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.  

image

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

THE NEED FOR SPEED

On the putting green, what is more important SPEED or AIM?

Most people will answer AIM…  I am going to explain why SPEED is more important.

The thing that separates a tour players from the everyday golfer is their extraordinary talent.  However, the thing that separates the BEST tour players from the rest of the field is their ability to putt.

When a professional is leading a tournament, there are times when it appears as if they are pouring the ball into a bucket instead of a golf hole.  The reason is that, Tour Players putt to a larger hole than amatuers do!  Don’t be alarmed, your greenskeeper is cutting the same regulation cup as the greenskeeper at Augusta National Golf Club.  The following illustrations will explain this speed concept and why speed control is vital to being an excellent putter.

Picture #1- This image represents the diameter of a standard golf hole.  This is the image that we all putt to.   It is 4 inches in diameter.  If the putt is hit at the right speed it will always fall into this portion of the cup.

Picture #2- This is the PROFESSIONAL CUP.   Sometimes we like to putt to this hole.  These are the times when your ball catches the edge and falls in.  Not because you were lucky, it was because it had the right speed.  If you can putt your ball at the correct speed we will get “lucky” a lot more often.  This is called, the PROFESSIONAL CUP because the diameter across is 7 inches instead of 4 inches.

Picture #3- The last image is the HACKER CUP.  Everyone, even the pros can find themselves putting to this cup.  These are the times when your ball lips out of the hole because you hit it too hard.  This significantly narrows the area that your ball can enter.  The diameter of the HACKER CUP is only 2 inches wide versus of the 7 inch PROFESSIONAL CUP.

Next time you hit the golf course, remember that you can decide to putt to a 7 inch cup or  a 2 inch cup! From experience, I found that getting a putter that fit me and had a heavier gram weighted head helped me feel the speed much easier.  The shorter your putter is, the heavier the head must be to balance the club.  To find a Certified Coutour Putter Fitter near you please visit www.coutourgolf.com.  When practicing your speed, do not putt toward a hole, that way you are not concerned with making the putt.  By focusing on speed, you will make more putts guaranteed.

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

What’s the CONNECTION with Belly Putters?

Belly Putters have hit the scene on the PGA Tour.  If the best athletes in the game have made the switch… should you?  

As a Coutour Certified Fitting Professional, I believe in “Fitting Through Instruction.”  This is a process where you first get the golfer in the correct setup by covering the proper fundamentals and then check to see if the equipment is allowing this motion to function soundly.   Fundamentals?  Yes, contrary to this common statement, “Putting is individualized, you can do anything to make it go in!”  There are key lines to look at in the putting stroke.  You can absolutely make the ball go into the hole if these lines are not present, however it will be more difficult and not as consistent.  I don’t know about you… But I like easy automatic consistency.

What are the Three Coutour Lines?

  1. Eyes Over the Ball
  2. Hands Under Shoulders
  3. Hips Over Heels

This trio allows the golfer to set up in a tucked-in position with the arms “connected” to the body.  When the arms are connected, speed control will improve along with the path of the stroke that it is now on-plane.  If these three lines are present in the setup then the golfer will have a better opportunity to make a stroke that is on-plane and in a pendulum motion.

The difference between the belly putter and the conventional length is that the belly putter is anchored to the body.  This means that all the same fundamentals shall apply. Many tour professionals will practice with a belly putter and use a conventional putter during play.  The catch is, if the belly putter is not the correct length, the entire setup will be jeopardized.  For a list of certified fitting professionals click here.   If you haven’t had the chance to, I highly recommend the January Issue of Golf Magazine.  The issue is dedicated to the movement of Belly Putters and it includes insight from my mentor Todd Sones creator of Coutour Golf (www.coutourgolf.com).

When choosing between a belly putter or a conventional putter you must first determine the right length (GET FIT-understand the setup) and then figure out which putter makes you believe you are a great putter (GET CONFIDENT-by getting the right club in your hands).   Now you must stick sternly to the fundamentals of your setup and establish a routine that allows you to consistently repeat it.

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

Short Putt Blues

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.

Download the Jeff Ritter Golf App FREE from iTunes!

Jeff Ritter Golf - PunchkinSoft, LLC

Coutour and Conquer

This is a topic that is close to my heart because it literally CHANGED the game of golf for me as I know it!  I want to thank Todd Sones for making a difference in the quality of my instruction and for sharing his passion of putting.

Thank you TODD!  Click Here to Visit Todd’s Site- Impact Golf

Coutour and Conquer

I want to tell you about Coutour Golf because it is the most influential golf product that I have come into contact with and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to share it with others. As a division I collegiate player, my efforts often fell short due to putting.  After years of frustration, It was my quest to find the truth.  When I met Todd Sones, I was putting         left-handed as a right-handed golfer.  I had tried it all; belly putting, a variety of grips, and had purchased every putter that promised to change my game.  My brother Bryan, a PGA professional and Certified Coutour Fitter, introduced me to the system.  Through a series of measurements he found that I should be using a putter 31.75 inches in length with a 365 gram weight head.  You can’t find that on the shelves!  For years, I would buy a “standard” putter off the shelf and cut it shorter.  The problem? When a putter is chopped down, it loses the integrity of it’s weighting.  Now, you still can’t putt and you have a putter head that you can’t feel!  The standard putter length in our industry is 35 inches.  The average height of a PGA Tour player is about 6-feet tall.  Ask yourself this… Why are they putting with 34 inch putters when the standard length is 35 inches?  The best golfers in the world play with clubs that fit them instead of adapting to a club that is made for a giant!

As a Certified Coutour Fitting Professional I have been able to share the love of putting with many students.  Putting is a game of it’s own and since discovering the meaning, it has become the most enjoyable and fascinating part of my game.  The Coutour system explains why things happen in your putting.  It is a process of introducing the proper setup fundamentals, fitting your putter to see the correct length for you and getting the right putter in your hands.   This combination is the key to success!

This system has brought a new joy to my life, sharing my passion for putting with others.   My favorite lessons to give are putting lessons because I love the look in a person’s eye when they discover the game within the game.  This isn’t about selling you a new putter.  It is about finding the one putter that will be golden in your hands.  For me, it’s my Gullane Putter, length 31.75 inches, weight 365 grams, this is the only putter I want in my hands.   Now I can sell the other 50 putters in my garage and get a little return on investment!

To lower your strokes immediately, visit a Coutour Fitting Professional near you and discover the game you’ve been missing!

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

Belly Up!

The buzz in the golf world lately has been around the use of belly putters on the PGA Tour, and the success many players have had using them.  Keegan Bradley (pictured above) and Webb Simpson both have had breakout years on tour by anchoring the putter into their midsection.  Six of the thirty participants in this years TOUR Championship wielded  some kind of “non-traditional” putter.  Even Phil Mickelson has given it a try in competition and says he will continue to practice with it while switching back to his traditional length putter for tournament play.  If the belly putter can help the best players in the world, how can it help the everyday golfer?

1.  No Push, Pull, or Drag

By anchoring the putter into your belly, you automatically take any pulling or dragging of the grip end with your left hand (for a right-handed golfer) out of the equation.  Conversely, the right hand and any pushing action through impact can also be eliminated.  This frees up the putter head to swing freely or “release” into the follow through.  Tiger Woods has often talked about this feeling of “release” throughout his career, and Stan Utley’s putting teachings talk about the grip end of the putter moving very little while the putter head swings back and through.

2.  Setup for Success

Assuming you have a belly putter that is the correct length for you, setting up to the golf ball consistently becomes easier.  Just take your setup standing up straight, anchor the putter, bend from the hips, and let the putter head fall to the ground.  Your distance from the ball should be the same every time, as well as the location of your eyes.

3.  Ignore the Clichés

For a long time, long putters and belly putters were associated with “old guys” and golfers who had the proverbial “yips”.  They are now associated with major champions and good putters.  If you struggle with your putting, or are just looking to improve, give the belly putter a shot.  Stop by the Raven Golf Club Phoenix after Christmas and get yourself fit for a new belly putter!

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.

First Down Drill

 
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.

Download the Jeff Ritter Golf App FREE from iTunes!

Jeff Ritter Golf - PunchkinSoft, LLC