Sink or Swim

Check out the latest issue of Golf Infuzion Magazine!

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.

Tour Striker – Rhythm and Timing Drill

This simple drill is a great way to “swing” the club(s) in rhythm with the correct alignments. I do this drill during a round when I have a few moments between shots. Give this parallel club trick a try and I bet you start hitting your irons a little more crisply with better timing.

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!

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!

A Public Split

Hank Haney and Tiger Woods

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.

Stop Shanking Once And For All! It’s Up To You!

Shanking…Yeah, I said it. It’s an eight letter word. To those afraid of the “horizontals” many of you are looking down the wrong path for the fix. Starting looking at your hands. Your hands are responsible for some massive about of the sensory preceptors in your entire body. I guess I could Google the number, but you’ll have to trust me on this one. So, why do your friends not stand to the right of you? You have “Sweet Spot Confusion.” What is that? This is when your hands can’t tell the difference between the center of gravity of the club head and the center of gravity of the hosel. How does this confusion occur? Well, the club rotates when we swing it. The Sweet spot is looking at a point above the horizon and generally toward our target. As we swing that spot rotates clockwise during the backswing and counter-clockwise during the downswing. The sticky part; imagine you were the size of a pinhead and you were standing on the sweetspot. During the backswing, the club would rotate and the hosel would obstruct your view of the ball. This is where the confusion occurs. The hosel takes on the same feel of mass as the sweet spot and thus you don’t know how to redirect the club effectively.

Sure, I could say you are standing to close to the ball, but watch the video. You’ll see that is not the case if you know where the club is during your swing.

No more Shankapotomos….

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!

Hone your Cone

Hone in on your target!

The idea of a shot cone was first introduced to me by PGA Tour instructors Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett.  They often have their tour players practice with a 20 to 30 yard rope extended out towards their target.  Using this rope not only helps you align yourself and visually connect with your target, it also helps determine what kind of shot dispersion, or cone you have.  It’s been said that golfers are only as good as their misses, and players at the highest level tend to have a tighter cone of shots, with fewer outliers, than the average weekend warrior.

Using rope allows you to analyze each shot in terms of starting direction and curve.  Being left handed, and a drawer of the golf ball, I like to see my golf balls start slightly left of the target, and curving back to the target while staying in the green zone of the cone pictured above.  Any shot that begins in the red areas are bad, unless I’m purposefully trying to curve a ball around an object on the course (and I never hit it in the trees;-).  Since we know that the clubface angle is the primary factor in where the golf ball starts, anything in the red zone lets me know that my clubface is too open or too closed for the standard shot I’m trying to hit.

What if I’m starting the ball in the green zone, but it’s curving across the target line and landing in the yellow, or worse yet, the red zone on the right.  Or even worse, the dreaded slice landing in the red zone on the left! (For a left handed golfer, of course).  Since we know that the clubface is fine (because the ball is starting on a good line), the path of the club into the ball must be out of whack.  When player’s ball starts fairly straight and slices off in to outlier land, I often here them say “I didn’t release the toe of the club on that one.”  This really isn’t the problem, as the face of their club was aimed pretty close to where they wanted it at impact.  The correct analysis would be, “My clubface was pretty good, but I cut across the ball with my path putting that slice spin on the ball.”

Hopefully you can start to see the benefits of practicing with a rope, and how it helps you determine what is at fault for some of those shots that don’t fall within your shot cone.  Since golf is a side-on game, determining your shot shapes and starting lines can sometimes be tricky, so bring a friend out to the range with you to confirm what you’re seeing.  And as always, stop out and see us at the Raven with any questions you may have!

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.

Made for TV

Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller in the booth together for Golf Channel coverage.

As the 2012 PGA Tour season is underway in Hawaii, the Golf Channel has added Johnny Miller as part of their broadcast team.  He joins Nick Faldo in the booth, forming a partnership that consists of 8 major championship wins.  When it comes to winning tournaments, describing the pressures that players may be feeling, and sharing their thoughts on how to PLAY golf at a high level, these guys are the best.  They have experiences and stories that very few golfers in the world could ever have, and I hope to hear many of them as they share the booth in 2012.

Notice how I emphasized the word PLAY.  Both of these guys were world class players.  At times, however, I feel that good players can mislead others by describing their feels, or what worked for them as players.  This can be a slippery slope for the viewing public for two reasons.  First, feels can be misleading, and feels in a golf swing are very personal.  My feels in my golf swing are very different than Martin Chuck’s, Jeff Ritter’s, or Megan Padua’s.  And second, things you feel in your golf swing very rarely match what is actually happening, even for the best players in the world.  I hope that given their platform, which is millions of viewers, Miller and Faldo can educate golfers on handling pressure, course strategy, and decision making, all the while making it fun and interesting.

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.

Why We Don’t And Shouldn’t Set Up At “Impact”

Here’s another subject I get asked about all the time, “Martin, why shouldn’t I just set up in the “impact” position?” There are a lot of dynamics that go into impact and artificially setting up in this “position” doesn’t guarantee that you’ll return there.

The video will help you understand how the arms “swing” onto the body during the backswing. This motion, compresses the arms (specifically the left arm, supported by the right arm) against the body. The body then aides in the delivery of the compressed arms.

I think the common mistake with golfers trying to have a forward leaning shaft  and a divot left of the would be that they lose this compression too soon, or feel as though the swing goes down the target line. Our body is basically a hub or axle. Everything must go around us in a circular fashion. Even our divot don’t do straight; they make a left turn after the ball is gone.

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!

New Year, New Game

January is a busy month for us at the Jeff Ritter Golf / Tour Striker Golf Academy at the Raven Golf Club – Phoenix!  Here’s a preview of everything we have going on.  Whether it’s ladies, juniors, tour players, range rats, or beginners, we have you covered!

2012 Programs at Raven Golf Club - Phoenix

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.

Shanking?? Oh My…

Shanking can be a very frustrating and embarrassing event. It certainly doesn’t help your score and I can’t think of a time, except perhaps escaping from trees, where its low squirty  shape is actually welcomed.

This video talks about “Sweet Spot Confusion” and how the club can feel as though it has many “sweet spots.” Please let me know if you have any questions.

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!