Improve Your Golf Game Over the Winter

Now is the time to make changes in your golf swing

You should have in place an off-season program for making upgrades to your golf swing and/or game in general.  We’re located in Virginia and the winters really aren’t that severe but if you’re further north you better clean out the garage and get a mat and net.

I would also suggest a mirror and if possible download the V1 home version of their software so you can do an analysis based on the one I did for you originally.  The more you learn to help yourself the better.  I always say, the educated golfer is our best member!

You actually only have two months, (January/February) which is why you should have started back in November.  Players from the Champions Tour rent a house next to the golf course of their choice in Florida for the most part to practice the entire month of December, (taking a short break on Christmas to get back with the family) preparing for the first tournament in January usually in Hawaii.

Nicklaus used to go back to his pro Jack Grout every year and say lets start with the grip.  Even a simple fundamental can make all the difference in your play.

Here’s some tips on making your re-build program successful.

  1. Get professional help in pinpointing the exact movement you wish to re-program or train.
  2. Do drills that focus right on the swing fault you’re re-programing.
  3. Do the drills slowly in front of a mirror and make sure your instructor sees you performing the drills to make sure you’re taking the swing medication properly.
  4. Be patient and don’t rush it all out to the golf course expecting stellar results.  You should film yourself hitting balls on the range vs the movement you are performing in our garage.  You may be very surprised at the difference.

Tiger mentioned that it took him 13 months to implement the changes Butch Harmon was recommending for his game.  Tigers also said, you have to dominate the movement in a drill, carry it over to the range, take it to the golf course, then to a tournament and then a major.  He also said it can all break down all along the way.

Golf is NOT an easy game!  BUT that’s part of the beauty of it all.  You must accept significant failure with a few short moments of shear bliss when for some reason we may never know, you play the round of your life.  Look at Jim Furyk.  Looking at all the golf swings on tour, would you have chosen Jim Furyk to shoot the record 58?

Here’s a our webinar held on January 5th 2017 entitled How To Do an Off Season Rebuild of Your Golf Swing.  If you have never seen your swing on video just get out your cell phone and video your swing and email it to ;”> for a FREE analysis.


It’s 65 Degrees – Open the Golf Course!

It’s 65 Degrees – Open the Golf Course!

Well, it’s just not that easy.  It might be 65 degrees today but it will take today’s weather to melt a lot of the snow that is still out there AND the course is soaked!  The potential damage to the golf course would exceed any potential revenues gained in green fees, lunch etc. so it might not be wise to open the golf course.

Here’s a study from the University of California on how severely damaged a grass area can become from traffic in wet conditions.

location for golf lessons on golf courseThat same golf course that you were annoyed with for not opening on a Saturday on a 65 degree day would be the same golf course you would be yelling at the next weekend when you see it trashed from all the wet play.  Please be patient!  Go to the driving range and work on your golf game.  The golf courses that are NOT open this Saturday are doing the right thing for the over health of the golf course.

Here’s another good article on winter damage to golf courses  Here’s a good article from the Pro at Lakewood Golf Club about cart rules on wet golf courses.

Here’s a great comment from Jason Hooper Golf Course Superintendent, “Some members are suggesting that we are being too overprotective when we close the regular greens and move to temps under extremely wet, or saturated, conditions.  The damage caused by traffic on saturated turf is not immediately visible, so I fully understand how some may feel this way.  In fact, the damage is being done below the surface so you won’t immediately see it, but I assure you that the damage being done will lead to many problems down the road.”

Bottom line is, the temperature on a given day is not necessarily the only consideration in determining to open or close your golf course.  Be patient and let the pros (golf course superintendents) make the right decision for the over all long term health of your golf course.

Bobby Lopez, PGA

Golfing in Cold Weather

One of our valued members John Adams asked a great question.  Thought we would share it with the rest of you.

Hey Bobby,

Happy New Year, hope the next one is good for everyone.
Looking forward to the new clinic format. Waiting for the weather to warm some.

That brings me to a question or topic I have been thinking about during this cold weather:

Ball compression ratings and what you should look for and play with depending on your swing AND the weather temperature.

I have been wondering if you play in the cold winter weather, how much that effects what ball compression you should choose. At what temperature, higher as well as lower, than average should you change balls. Maybe you have some info on this?



You might consider playing with the Wilson Duo 50 compression golf ball. I know that Phil uses the Callaway Chrome in colder weather and he uses the Hex Black under normal conditions. We tried balls on a launch monitor once that were six kept in the refrigerator over night and the other six were warmed up on a stove. The launch monitor showed no difference at all.

I think the lower compression ball feels better in the cold. Plus, I think the heavier air in cold weather has it’s influence. Most average golfers just don’t take the wet and cold into account enough. Conditions like we have now I would definitely hit more iron maybe even two clubs in some cases.

The one thing that can be done, (but I don’t know that it is really worth the expense unless you’re to compete in some local amateur events) have a second club head for your driver. Carry more loft for wet conditions to hold the ball in the air longer.

Here’s an article I dug up on the internet below…

The temperature of the golf ball and the air temperature on the day you’re playing directly affect how your ball will perform during a round. Generally, temperature affects a ball’s resiliency, the spin and the density of the air through which the ball travels. Each contributes to how a ball performs. Knowing this can help your scores.

Ball Temperature
Generally, a warmer golf ball travels farther. The rubber materials used to make golf balls respond better if they are more resilient. Warmth enhances resiliency. A warmer ball will come off the clubface with more velocity and spin than a colder ball, encouraging loft. The ball’s temperature also has an effect on bounce. Heat gives the ball more elasticity, creating a ball that bounces more and travels longer.

Air Temperature
Colder days mean the air density is greater. If the air is “thick,” the ball requires more velocity to produce a longer shot. Conversely, if the air temperature is warm, there is less density, and the ball has the chance to perform better and travel farther. It’s not unlike the human body. Muscles are more flexible and responsive when the temperature is warm than when it’s cold. We are able to move more efficiently. The same goes for a golf ball.

Ball Selection
If you are playing in colder weather (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit), the ball’s compression can make a big difference in performance. Generally, high compression golf balls will not travel as far as lower compression balls in chilly weather. Also, if it’s cold, and you store your golf balls in a cold place, like a garage or your car, the higher compression balls will harden. That makes them less resilient.

Club Selection
If you’re playing in weather where the air temperature is 50 degrees or below, you need to use more club than you would in warmer conditions. For every 10 degrees chillier, calculate about 2 yards of lost distance. So, if you hit a ball with an 8-iron about 130-yards when it’s 90 degrees, you’re going to hit it about 122 yards when it’s 50 degrees. That’s about a club shorter. In colder weather, you may need a 7-iron to hit the ball as far as you might with an 8-iron in warmer conditions.

Golf Ball Warmers
Devices on the market claim they can warm your golf ball and create one that travels farther. Some are plug-in units that electronically produce heat that transfers to the ball. Others are compartmentalized units that allow you to put golf balls in the microwave oven. There is considerable debate about whether this process makes a difference in ball performance, since the balls generally won’t retain their warmth for more than a half-hour.

FREE Special Report on “How To Be A Scratch Golfer By Spring!

FREE Special Report on
“How To Be A Scratch Golfer By Spring!

This is my favorite time of year for two reasons. One, it’s the Christmas holiday season, (of course Chanukah too!). The other, because it is a great time to reflect back on how you played golf in 2010 and what you’re going to do about in 2011. It’s time to take an honest assessment of what you did well, and need to maintain, and what you need to improve on over the winter so that you carve a few more strokes off your average from last year.

Notice I said HONEST ASSESSMENT! Teaching golf all day I see a lot of golfers who do not make an honest assessment of what the true issue is with their golf game. Golfers that gamble excessively like I used to as a kid, (because it was the best to make money when you’re poor like I was) look for the golfer who over reaches in his personal assessment. We used to call them our “sweet roll”.

This holiday season sit down quietly and take an honest look at your golf game this past year. Maybe you’re one of those patient consistent individuals that can religiously enter your stats in one of those software programs that calculates your averages of greens in regulation etc. I’m not, but I should. Of course I don’t play for a living anymore and most likely you don’t either.

I personally try not to get too technical. If you’re honest with yourself you know where your short comings are. Develop a maintenance plan for the things you did well and set up a game plan for improving where you need it most.

If you would like help just call me 804-378-7456. You can get a copy of my Special Report, “How To Be A Scratch Golfer By Spring” right here.

Wet, Cold and Windy and We Still Did the Lessons!

Wet, Cold and Windy and We Still Did the Lessons!

Don’t you love it when golfers care so much about their game that they don’t let a little thing like weather stop them! OK so we had cover…and yes I really enjoyed myself. When my students are really eager to do well I have a great time teaching. It makes it all worth while, (the griping I hear from my wife about why I don’t have a regular job).

I remember when I was getting ready to go on tour and I was practicing my butt off and she said to me, “why do you spend so much time practicing, I thought you already knew how to play.”

Anyway, one thing we learned tonight was that the weight shift was very much over sold over the years. As Chi Chi Rodriguez said, “there is no weight shift in the golf swing.” Well there is and there ain’t.

Bottom line is hurricanes go around, tornadoes go around and electric motors go around. They don’t wobble from side to side. I always say, “do the twist not the mambo!”

Yes by virtue of your body turn your upper body will be more over your back foot and thus you will have more weight on your back foot but you do not “shift” to the back foot your turn on to your back foot. Big, big difference.

Here’s Some Tips For Rainy Day Golf

Here’s Some Tips For Rainy Day Golf

Although there were no lessons yesterday due to the weather it does remind me to give you a few tips from the tour on playing in bad weather. When I first played on the European tour I learned quickly that the British players were far more prepared than I was to play in bad weather. They’re used to it.

Here’s some of the things they would do. 1) They would take their golf gloves, (yes maybe 4 or 5) and hang them below the braces of the umbrella. This way they could alternate gloves constantly. 2) They would spray their umbrella with a scotch guard waterproof spray, 3) Their caddies would also have a towel stuff around the top of the bag so water wouldn’t get down in their bag and get the grips wet. 4) They always had a second towel zipped up inside the golf bag 5) They never ever grounded the golf club at address. I notice amateurs I play with ground the golf club in wet weather and worse yet take a practice stroke brushing the grass which makes the club face wet. You want to keep the club face as dry and clean as you can before impact.

I hope these tips will help you in this wet weather.