Is There A Perfect Golf Back Swing?

Well, who knows?  There does seem to be a common path that a lot of the young successful players are following.  Doesn’t mean that Tommy “Two Hands” Gainey doesn’t do it and he’s very successful.

If you can get the golf club back to square or hit the ball where you’re looking, the ball is not going to complain.  The ball can only do exactly what you tell it to do! 

We look in this analysis how three different players are taking the golf club back in exactly the same manner.  It must be working?  I can show you more than only these three but in today’s busy world, who has time for that.  Look at these three: Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Zack Johnson.

Again it doesn’t mean you have to do this to be successful or consistent.  Jim Furyk, put away the razor blades!  It’s OK.  There is so much more to being a successful tour player than a perfect swing.  So much of it is in your head.

I once asked Vincente De Vincenzo what it took to make it.  He said, “you either had to have a great swing or great faith.”  He then said, “great faith will be a great swing every time!”

Here’s the analysis.  Hope it helps your game.

How About The Flat Golf Swing of Mattt Kuchar?

I hear about Matt Kuchar all the time when giving lessons.  Matt as been around longer than you might know, (graduated from Georgia Tech in 200 but also played some tour events as an amateur) and after doing a slow motion analysis of his swing for you I believe his swing is far better than you might think!

How much money has he won with this crazy swing of his…..Mucho!  I tried to add it up from PGA Tour.Com and got disgusted and stopped.  Mucho Dinero!

For driving distance he’s 128.  There goes your excuse that you have to hit it far to win. Driving accuracy he’s 43rd.  So it isn’t that he hits it short and straight.  Greens in regulation he’s 85th!  But… scoring average he’s 5th!!!!!!!  Sand saves he’s 9th.  But that still doesn’t solve the puzzle.

Yes I had to dig deeper to better understand why his numbers were far worse than his performance and earnings.  Got it!!!  He’s 9th in approach shots from 75 to 100 yards.  He’s 8th in putts from 10 – 15 feet.  Hello!  Don’t they say you make all your money from 80 yards and in?

Maybe you need to adapt your practice habits to concentrate on 75 to 100 yard shots and 10 – 15 foot putts.  Up and in from 100 yards out.  Oh yea, he’s also rated 3rd in scrambling from the rough.

Here’s the video analysis.


Is Your Golf Swing Picture Perfect? Does It Need To Be?

The answer is…..only on the way down!  Having a picture perfect back swing only makes it easier to accomplish that very necessary picture perfect down swing.  However, this is only in theory.

Too many golfers spend years working on trying to make all the perfect swing motions shown in golf magazines and on TV, only to waste valuable years that you cold have been spent enjoying the game.  There are no points for technique here.  This is NOT the Olympics!

What about Lee Trevino, Jim Furyk, Tony Lema, John Daly, and yes even Sam Snead did NOT have a perfect back swing.  I remember seeing Sam for the first time in Miami at the Eastern Airlines Open and thinking, holy cow, he’s over the top on the down swing!  Not really, but I was only 14 then and learning.

Here’s an analysis of a very successful player, Jay Haas.  His back swing is certainly less than perfect.  It might be that one needs to have better tempo and balance to repeat a back swing that is not perfectly on the swing plane.  I have always said that great balance, rhythm and tempo will overcome swing faults.

Take a look at this analysis and see what you think.



Will Your Golf Swing Work Under Pressure?

OK, so it wasn’t the US Open, but having the honor and opportunity to do a “beat the pro” day for the Richmond Henrico Rotary Club was fun and adds that element of pressure you need, to see if you’re swing will perform under pressure.  The pro has to hit about 30 shots in a row of the same shot, (with the buys back there watching probably hoping you will top it so they feel better about themselves) and of course no one can hit 30 in a row close to the hole.  You have some close ones, some really bad ones and a bunch in the middle.

I like it because it gives me a chance to meet the guys and gals personally and shake their hand.  It is the amateurs that make this game great not the pros.  If folks didn’t like the game so much, that they are willing to part with their hard earned cash to play the game, I wouldn’t have a job.  Or maybe I would have to get one!

Every golfer has several swings.

Swing 1: Your swing on the driving range practicing
Swing 2: Your swing when playing a casual round of golf with a friend
Swing 3: Your swing when playing in a Captain’s Choice tournament with your buddies watching you, praying for you to hit a decent shot and take them off the hot seat.
Swing 4: Your swing when playing in a real golf tournament such as a State Golf Organization like the VSGA we have here in Virginia.

Tiger said that you have to work on a swing change on the range.  Then prove you can take it to the golf course.  Then use it in a golf tournament and then use it in a major.  There is a significant difference in each step.  Questions is: “Why does it fall apart under pressure?”

I might have the answer.  Yes, I say might.  Who really knows?  My contention is you can only think about one thing at a time.  Your focus should be on the shot you want, picturing it in your mind, seeing it happen before it does.  You should NOT be thinking about a swing motion position.  You must nag your swing change into submission so that it is natural to you, (your body wants to go there) before testing it on the golf course.  Nothing wrong with testing it on the golf course while you’re working on it but don’t expect consistent results until it’s second nature.

Like Arnold Palmer used to say, “if you don’t bring it with you when you come, you ain’t gonna get it while you’re here!”

Of course confidence is a big factor but confidence comes with consistent performance, so which is first?  One can be falsely overly confident in their abilities only to be disappointed.  In my old gambling days we searched out theses individuals and called them a sweat roll.  An over analysis of one’s self which leads to a great payday for those who know how to exploit it.

Every golfer has to have their own pre-shot routine and thoughts which meld with their personality.  Here’s what I do, which may or may not help you.

Step 1: I read the defense.  The golf course is the defense.  Is there trouble on the right or left, short or behind the green that I MUST avoid.

Step2: Choose the shot pattern I want.  Let’s pretend the trouble is on the right. Maybe I’ll set the golf club face about 2 degrees closed at address as an insurance policy to make sure the ball doesn’t go right, (you move the ball with your golf club face, not your swing).

Step 3: Picture the shot you want in your mind’s eye.  Actually see it fly in your mind and feel what the shot will feel like when you hit it.  That doesn’t say you will always pull it off.  Golf is a game of miss-hits.

Step 4: Get behind the golf ball and align yourself, the ball and your target line, all in a straight line.  Set your golf club face where you want to go, (then close it two degrees).  Align the rest of your body according to the path you want to hit the golf ball.

Step 5: Now go hit it and only think about the shot you wanted and perform.  Your golf shot should be an instant reply of what you already envisioned.

If you do NOT even come close to what you hoped for make a note.  Do NOT try and fix it on the golf course!  Keep taking notes, keep trying to perform what it is you want to perform, make the assessment after the round.

This seems like a lot to do but once it’s a habit, it’s not.  Keep in mind that there might be some golfers behind you pulling their hair out, so please keep that in mind.  Get a rhythm going during your pre-shot routine so it becomes repetitive.

Hope this helps and please consider this. Once you set up a plan give it time to take effect.  Be patient!  It took Tiger 18 months to implement all the changes Butch Harmon added and Butch is NOT one to change much.

Eric Thompson Makes Significant Improvements In His Golf Game.

Eric Thompson Makes Significant
Improvements In His Golf Game.

There seems to be one very obvious common element among all our students that improve.  They show up to the semi-private lessons and they work on their drills.  It’s not an accident that they improve.

Eric has taken advantage of his membership and not only applied the lessons learned but also included bringing his son to the lessons as well, building a lasting impression through his positive example that dedication and effort pays off.  Not only did Eric improve his game, but he also wins Father of the year award in my opinion.

Thanks for your very kind testimonial Eric.  The pleasure has been all mine!