5 Layer Golfballer

  Sports psychologist, Dr. Bhrett McCabe’s great new book, The Mindside Manifesto, is a fantastic resource for you if you want to, as I like to say, “get your mind in position to score.” I have used some of his info here in creating the 5 Layers of the Golfer’s Mental Game and combined it with my own coaching twist. At the core of this ball is your Self-Image – your view of YOU. Be honest and realistic. Who are you as a golfer, and better yet, who do you want to be? I want you to KNOW in your heart, “I GOT

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5 Layer Golfballer

  Sports psychologist, Dr. Bhrett McCabe’s great new book, The Mindside Manifesto, is a fantastic resource for you if you want to, as I like to say, “get your mind in position to score.” I have used some of his info here in creating the 5 Layers of the Golfer’s Mental Game and combined it with my own coaching twist. At the core of this ball is your Self-Image – your view of YOU. Be honest and realistic. Who are you as a golfer, and better yet, who do you want to be? I want you to KNOW in your heart, “I GOT THIS!” The first layer is your Self Talk – the “mind chatter” you have going on that either builds or tears down your self-image. “What’s your story?” What kinds of things do you tell yourself about your golf game? Are they true? Do you really miss ALL

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The Journey

You may believe that the path to your goal will look like this: I really do wish it could be so, but it won’t. It will look very much like this:   You will improve rapidly. The wind will be at your back. You’ve “got it.” Then you’ll falter. Sometimes you’ll feel like your head is barely above water and that you “just can’t do it.” Then you’ll come out of your lull, most likely when you stop trying so hard, putting so much pressure on yourself, and worrying about your results rather than the process of improvement. When you’ve had about enough, you’ll concentrate on improving your skills rather than feeling bad about your scores. You’ll remember why you play the game: for FUN! You’ll gain new insights, and then your game will be on the upswing again. People will tell you how wonderful and talented you are. Don’t

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Get a Grip to Make More Putts

High Performance Golf Master the game! This is a screenshot of SAM Puttlab from Science and Motion Golf. It’s the equivalent of an MRI for your putting stroke. Yep, it’s my stroke, and I am using a 10 foot putt. My goal for all my students is to give me “green across my screen.” That means that the stroke is better than 32% of the PGA Tour. I’ll take that! Now, you know full well that there’s more to putting than the stroke: you have to control your speed and read greens very well, but this report is telling me a lot about the consistency of my stroke itself. When it comes to short putting, the flaw I see over and over again is the initial aim of the putter and the impact aim. I don’t care how well you control your speed and read the greens, if you don’t

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What’s Wrong with Tiger?

You, like many others, may have been left scratching your head while watching Tiger’s return to golf at the Waste Management event this past week. It was dismal. He hit the ball all over the place. He chipped and pitched like a bad 30 handicapper. He shot the worst round of his career—an 82—and came in next to last before the cut. Yikes! He looked lost… With all the conjecture out there, I thought I’d add some sense to the non-sense about what’s going on. A return to Step One Golf In trying to return to his old swing, Tiger is effectively learning a new swing. This is Step One Golf, folks. And it’s uncomfortable. Although it is sometimes necessary to reside on it, Step One is not a good place for a competitive golfer. Why? Step One is the place for a great deal of conscious effort—thinking about what

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Hit Up to Kill the Driver!

The driver is unlike all the other clubs in your bag—you really don’t want to hit down on the ball at all. In fact, the average Angle of Attack (AoA) on the PGA Tour is 1.2 downward, but Rory McIlroy hits up 2-3 degrees and Bubba Watson hits up 5 degrees and they KILL it! The AoA is simply a measurement of whether the club head is moving upward or downward through impact. In the photo, my student is working on the Towel Drill to help him stop hitting down on the ball. The driver doesn’t work well when you’re hitting down on the ball with it—just ask Tiger how that’s going. This student was hitting down as much as 7 degrees, causing all kinds of problems with ball flight control. But there’s more. You can lose as much as 5 yards of carry for every degree you hit down

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Let the Club Do Some Work for You!

You paid all that money for those clubs. Let them do some of the work in your swing! On the left side, you can see this student’s left arm starting to bend at the elbow as the club enters the impact zone. You may have heard this called ‘the chicken wing” motion through impact. He was fighting right shots that take off to the right of the target and then go farther right. When the left elbow flexes and moves away from the side of your body as in the left photo, it causes the face to open and resist squaring up through impact. With a smile, I told my student, “you’re doing it to yourself!” The fix was to have him learn to release the club, as in let go of it—loosen the grip pressure as the club comes into impact, and this is the key, let the clubs

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Drop it in for Longer Drives

To the right is a before and after comparison of a young golfer who was mightily struggling with his game. On the left, he was moving his hands and club almost horizontally, out toward the ball at the start of his downswing. This move is known as swinging over-the-top. You can see that his club path was 7.4 degrees left of the target through impact. He was slicing the ball to the right because his club was moving across the back of the ball to the left. Remember, the ball takes off toward the face and curves opposite the path (relative to the face). What’s more troublesome is that with his irons, his club was getting far enough outside the target line just prior to impact that he was hitting shanks. A shank occurs when the hosel- the part of the club head into which the shaft is inserted-makes contact

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Shoulder Down-Hit the Ground!

Say hello to my uneven lie station. I love this thing! How many level lies do you get on the golf course? Well, at White Manor, maybe 2 shots from the fairway will be on level lies. All the others will be uphill, downhill or sidehill. You just can’t get enough repetitions on these varied lies on the course, so I had to make one of these babies. Here, my student is working on shots below her feet: 1. That’s probably the toughest lie for the wide majority of golfers. 2. She tends to top a lot of shots generally, so I’ve put her on a lie where topping the ball is far easier to do than hitting it solid. I know, you’re thinking, “what a rotten coach.” What I’m really trying to do here is get her to strike the ball more solidly and more consistently on all shots

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The Nature of the Game

I’m due for another Mental Game article, so here we go. “Bad shots are coming!” “The bad shots are coming!” “So are the good shots.” “So are the average shots!” A good friend of mine just gave me an audio recording by Bobby Cole, contemporary of Jack Nicklaus, in which he spoke of Jack’s iron clad mental game. Bobby said, and I paraphrase, “Jack knew that one of three shots was coming, bad, good, or average, and that he almost welcomed the bad shot because he “got it out of the way.” Jack knew the nature of the game: In a normal round, you will likely hit 50% of your shots average. 25% better than average. And 25% worse than average. That’s the game. That fits in perfectly with a very normal round. If we are going to go onto the course with expectations, that’s what should be expected. We

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5 Steps to Making a Swing Change

By now, you might have had enough of missing golf shots in your usual way, and you may be considering making a swing change to eliminate the flaw that causes that miss. It is my standard practice to let my students know the process of learning a new move and taking it to the course, because, quite often, golfers approach learning in a way that doesn’t help the process. The 5 Steps are as follows: 1 Do it right on the range! 2 Do it right on the range with a target. 3 Do it right on the course. 4 Do it right on the course with a scorecard. 5 Do it right on the course with scorecard when the heat is on. Let me explain. Step 1 The world is full of good practice swings! Have you ever seen an avid golfer with an un-golf-like practice swing? Of course

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Make an Action Plan for Better Golf

Let’s assess your golf game. How’s your golf season going so far? Grade yourself in the following facets of the game. Driving____________________ Approach shots______________ Long Wedges________________ Finesse Wedges near green_____ Short Putting_________________ Lag Putting__________________ Mental Game_________________ After you’re done grading your performance in these areas, you are ready to set some goals. Let’s say you want to improve your driving. Be specific. Make a clear goal to improve your fairways hit (for instance) by a certain number, let’s say 2 per round. Give yourself a time limit. Perhaps a month will do. Maybe two. Then it’s time to take action. How are you going to reach your goal? It might be to take a lesson and find the how’s and why’s—the cause and effect—behind your driving performance. But that’s not enough. You may have to improve your swing motion. Improving your motion is difficult because we golfers are often more

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Steady Your Head for Solid Contact

The photos below show what might look at first glance like a small difference, but to golf, this difference makes all the difference in the world. On the left, we see Dave’s old backswing, the one he showed up with. His problems with ball control skill were that he hit far too many fat shots. So we looked at his motion and found the first error in his motion that would contribute to fat shots. You can see on the left that his chest is leaning over his right foot somewhat, while his head is also positioned over his right foot. In the after photo on the right, Dave’s chest and his head are very much centered. One thing for sure, whenever the head and or chest lean back like this, away from the target, fat shots are coming! In the new backswing, Dave felt like his was not turning

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Break 90: The Formula

High Performance Golf Master the Game! Last week, we talked about the formula for breaking 100. So lets talk about how to break 90 this week. If you break 90, you’re better than most golfers who play the game. I like the sound of that! The fact is that if more golfers would play the game in a strategically sound manner, the national average score would lower immediately. But they don’t… Recall our discussion from last week: put yourself in position to always hit the green in 1+Regulation, and pitch and putt respectably, you’re in the hunt! I’m not going to rehash that discussion here, but I hope you get the point. Keep your drives in play and strike your first approach shots solidly to a good position from which to pitch, and you’re on your way. Here’s the additional info needed to break 90. Red, Green and Yellow Here’s

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Break 100: The Formula

Break 100: The Formula  Have you ever wondered how to make easy work of breaking 100? Well, I have the formula for how you can do just that. The photo shows a 400-yard hole. You might take out the driver and bust it right down the middle and make easy work of hitting the green and having two putts for a par. You might. Of course, you might bust that driver deep into the trees and fuss around trying to pitch the ball out so that you can effectively restart the hole and scramble for a double bogey. Notice that at the 200-yard mark, the golf course designer has given you the widest area to drive the ball into. No, the fairway isn’t any larger there, but you have more area between the trees that line the fairway. At 250 yards, area between the trees narrows considerably. The fact is

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