Monday was a Great One Day School

We had a great time during the One Day Golf School at Pendleton on Monday.  The weather was perfect.  The group of guys were very enjoyable and eager to learn AND I had a hot hand with the irons.

Like I’ve said on many occasions, the first thing on my mind when I tee it up is, “getting the ball within the six foot circle”. Of course once I get there I have to make it.  That’s why I spend most of my practice time six feet and in.  While in Tampa, I am going to video some putting drills so stay close.

OK I get to brag now.  I hit it within six feet on hole #1,2,4,5,6,and 7.  The best compliment I’ve had in quite while was when one of the golfers in the group said, “you’re making me sick!”

Yes golf can be fun when you’re playing your best but you still have to learn how to enjoy yourself on bad days too.

Playing Golf Under Pressure

Playing Golf Under Pressure

Whether it’s the US Open or a $2.00 Nassau with your buddies everyone feels some kind of pressure when they attempt to perform. An entertainer experiences pressure before starting a show, as does a concert pianist etc. How about Doctors about to perform a major operation…now that’s pressure! Somebody could die…this is only golf.

Let me give you a few tips that helped me. Please understand that we are talking about the mind and individual personal conditions that each of us carry along with us. Differences in personality and mental makeup. Also consider that sometimes the pressure is strictly psychological.

The first hurdle I had to climb was to NOT care what other golfers think. A touring pro I would used to take lessons with would make me rip up my score card after the round whether the score was good or bad. He would say…”it’s over and nobody cares.”

It true…can you remember who finished third in the US Open in 2005? You might not remember who won! I don’t…and yes I don’t care.

You’re not out to impress anyone and if you are concerned that you are going to be looked at in a negative manner just because you had a bad day on the golf course then you need to NOT play competitive golf.

My son Brandon was a football place kicker. I think the pressure place kickers experience is far greater than that of a golfer. You have 40 guys who are sweating on the side line after working their tails off all day and you are asked to make a 35 yard field goal to win the game. You have to face those same guys in the locker room after the game and during practice all week long.

What I taught my son I will now share with you. I always told him, “if you are busy enough trying to accomplish your pre-kick routine then you won’t have time to get nervous.”

I believe you need a very good pre-shot routine before you hit a golf ball. First you decide what club to hit and how the shot will look once you hit it…all in your mind’s eye. Then you start your pre-shot routine of approaching the golf ball the same way every time. Taking the same number of waggles before you hit every time…then let her go. What ever happens…..happens! No use worrying

You have to believe in your practice habits first…believing that you practiced the proper things and that you did them the proper way. Then you need to believe that you’re making the right decision in club selection and shot selection. Then believe in your pre-shot routine and again let it go. Don’t second guess yourself.

Stay focused on these tasks and you won’t have time to get nervous.

Jimmy Demerit gave me a tip once. He said whenever he would get a little tight on the golf course he would just say to himself. “well they can’t electrocute me if I play bad”. He said he would relax and do fine.

Relax and enjoy the game. They won’t electrocute you if you play bad but if I find out I might water board you!

Bobby Lopez, PGA

“Taking Your Swing From the Driving Range to the Course”

“Taking Your Swing From the Driving Range to the Course”

Transferring your perfect consistent driving range warm up swing to the golf course is a typical dilemma and a frustration of many a golfer. You’re killing it on the range, everything seems perfect. You’re convinced that you will have your best round ever and then right on the first tee you yank it out of bounds! Some golfers can play well for the first three or four holes, only to loose their rhythm on the fifth hole and throw away a great start. Others play like a dog the first four holes, finally relax and start to play better. Does this sound like you? If so there’s help.

Before anything, you do need to see your swing by way of slow motion video analysis with a recognized PGA golf professional to see if there is a major swing fault in your swing that might be making it difficult for you to control your swing on the golf course. I offer lessons with video analysis right over the internet. All you need is a camera and your home computer. For details go to www.bobbylopezgolf.com. With that said, there is a technique or sequence of events that help a golfer control their swing tempo and emotions on the golf course. Of course nothing in golf is “always”, but if you’re doing the right things you’ll have your share of success.

First off I like to begin my day with the short game warm up first. Most golf courses are not designed for my kind of warm up. They have the putting green near the first tee and the driving range across the way.

After doing my short game work, (see my special report on golf game warm up) I head for the driving range with about 20 minutes to spend.

I try to end my last swing with my Driver with just enough time to get the first tee comfortably, (make sure it’s a good driver shot or hit another one until you do). I want my last swing to be, the first thing
I can relate to when I tee it up.

You need to understand that when you hit a good shot, all the mechanics of your swing must have all come together at just the right time or sequence at impact, at the specific rhythm or swing speed you had on the range. Once most golfers get to the golf course, they begin to increase the RPM on their swing so that the synchronization of your swing falls apart. Resulting in a club face that is out of alignment with the path, or maybe your body out of position from swinging faster and harder or even slower.

At the first tee, picture in your mind that exact swing speed or rhythm you had on the last great tee shot you hit at the range only moments ago. If anything attempt to swing the golf club a notch or two slower than on the range. Don’t over do it, I said a notch or two. Swinging way too slow will have the same poor result as swinging too fast. Remember, having the arms and body out of sync is the problem. Your swing operates at a specific speed where all the parts seem to fall into place. Find that swing speed or rhythm and you got it made.

As the game progresses you may be in further risk of swinging harder or slower. Having a couple of bad holes can affect your swing speed tremendously. Depending on your personality some golfers get angry and swing harder. That only leads to further damage and a totally lost day.

One common flaw is mixing target golf with swing mechanics. Concentrate on swing mechanics on the driving range not on the golf course. I’m referring to driving range work for your swing, not the driving range warm before you play. Driving range warm up before play is for flexibility, tempo and rhythm not swing mechanics.

When working on swing mechanics on the driving range do not concern yourself with accuracy. You may experience erratic ball flight when making a swing improvement for 20 to 30 days or more. Once you head to the golf course let the practice on rebuilding your swing melt in to your golf game without having to think about it on the golf course.

Develop a pre-shot routine. Maintaining a consistent pre-shot routine on your range warm up and carrying it over to the golf course is key to your controlling your tempo and rhythm on the golf course.

I use breathing exercises to try and keep myself level minded and level thinking throughout the round. Stay away from coffee, anything with sugar like orange juice, sodas, even diet sodas because of the caffeine. What you eat or drink can greatly effect your swing tempo, rhythm and all around attitude.

Be patient on the golf course. What difference does it make if you bogey the first hole or the last, it’s still a bogey. Forget it. Keep playing, stay within your rhythm and hope for the best. Don’t force your game, like a young quarterback trying to force a ball in coverage and getting intercepted.

Getting emotional over a bad hole will only make things worse. Ben Hogan was probably the greatest at controlling his emotions on the golf course. Controlling your emotions doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Stay relaxed, concentrate on your swing rhythm not your mechanics, (that’s for the driving range) and enjoy the day. After all that’s why you play golf!

You may want to consider taking advantage of our One Day To A Better Golf Game Program. We do it all in one day! Short game, video instruction on the range, lunch with the pro, on course instruction with a PGA pro covering everything from club selection to alignment to controlling your swing on the golf course.

Any questions? You can reach me at 804-378-7456 or send me an E-mail to bobbylopez@bobbylopezgolf.com.