ONLY ONE SWING IN GOLF

There’s only one swing in golf. This was confirmed long ago by Jack Nicklaus in an article in Golf Digest.

The same swing you use to hit a 300 yard drive is the swing you use to hit a 1 inch putt, only with the putt, you use less of it.

If you think about it, your clubhead travels in a circle, going back on the back swing and then forward to the follow through. The center of the circle is the golfer’s head. That’s why you are taught to keep your head still. Move the center of the circle, and you move the arc of the circle, and miss the ball.

You can simplify or complicate the golf swing however you like, but the movement of the clubhead the 6 to 18 inches along the bottom of the swing circle when putting, is essentially the same as the movement of the club along those same few inches in the swing for a drive, a pitch shot, or any other swing. You just use less of it, because you only need to move the ball a few feet or inches, not many yards. Less hand action. Less weight shift, less back swing and less follow through.

The natural golf swing I described the past few weeks works for all distances. Use all of it for long drives, and less and less of it as you get closer to the flagstick and convert from distance shots to accuracy shots.

INSIDE TIGER WOODS’ COMPUTER

The human brain is the original computer. We input information, and, we can get that information back at any time. As children we learned the Times Tables. Many years later, we still can retrieve 9 x 5 = 45.

What information does Tiger Woods upload into his computer? Every day, he hits 1000 practice balls so that when he needs the skill and the information to hit the golf ball nearly perfectly to win a tournament, he can retrieve that information and make that shot.

There are many times and ways we can use our computer-brains on the golf course to improve our play and our enjoyment of the experience. For example, if you’re on the golf course in 100 degree heat, use your brain to get out of the sun and into the shade.

If you don’t hit 1,000 practice balls a year, don’t expect to play the same game as someone who practices a lot. Don’t use his strategy or try to hit the shots he hits, for example getting out of the woods hitting the ball between two trees 18″ apart.

Here’s another tip. Before teeing off, go to the practice green. Hit a dozen or so putts to a hole 20-25 feet away, and input into your computer-brain how hard to hit the ball to make it roll that distance. You don’t need to make those putts, just input how hard to hit the ball to make it go that distance. During your round, your computer-brain will furnish the information to your muscles, and adjust to longer or shorter putts, and your first putts will stop nearer the hole.

The reverse is also true. Don’t input the wrong information into your computer-brain. If you have a downhill shot, don’t stand behind your ball , looking at the green and practice swinging across the hill. Practice swing the downhill shot you are about to play. You know what they say about computers…garbage in, garbage out. It’s not smart to input crosshill swing practice just prior to hitting a downhill shot.

Take your brain to the golf course. Too many leave it in the trunk of their car with their street shoes.

 

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale coined the phrase, “The Power of Positive Thinking”. Think positively, and good things will happen.

I have taken a lesson from Dr. Peale and coined “The Power of Negative Thinking”. On the golf course, ask yourself, “What’s the WORST thing that can happen to me here?”  THEN AVOID THAT!!!

If the worst thing is being short in a trap, go around the trap, or make sure you have an easy shot over the trap. AVOID THE TRAP.

If the worst place to be off the tee is in the woods,  AVOID THE WOODS.

Avoid the trouble. Play defensively. Play smart. Keep the golf course from adding unnecessary strokes to your score. Penalty strokes, lost balls, water balls, woods balls, etc. AVOID these unnecessary additions to your score.

BONUS***

On the other hand, think POSITIVELY when hitting your ball, i.e. “Keep your head still” not “Don’t move your head.” “Keep your head still” gives you something to think of doing.

“Don’t move your head” gives no instruction of what to do with your head, only what NOT to do. “If not that…what should I do?”

EXTRA BONUS***

Email fred@weekendgolfpro.com and ask for free pamphlet “Cure Your Slice in 10 Minutes”. We’ll email it back to you…no charge. Many have solved their slice problem with this simple, informative pamphlet.

IMPROVE YOUR PUTTING BY PLAYING GAMES

I play two games on the putting green to keep my putting sharp. Putting is 1/2 of golf. 36 of 72 strokes to par are putts. 2 putts on every green will have you playing 1/2 your round of golf at even par.

GAME 1: AROUND THE WORLD…Select a hole on the putting green. put 4 or 5 balls 2 feet from the hole around 360 degrees, meaning, north of the hole, south of the hole, etc. Sink all the putts. Then put the balls on the same lines as before, now 3 feet from the hole. Do it at 4 feet, 5 feet, and 6 feet. This will aid you in reading and sinking putts going uphill and downhill, and breaking right and breaking left.

 

GAME 2: SOLITAIRE…Select a hole on the putting green. Lay your putter on the ground, blade at the hole. If you have a standard putter, approx. 3′ long, the end of your grip will be approx. 3′ from the hole. Stick a tee in the green at the end of your putter. Now lay your putter, blade at the tee, so that the end of the grip is approx. 6′ from the hole. You now have 2 tees, lined up with the hole 3′ and 6′ from the hole. Guesstimate 4′ and 5′ and stick tees in the same line at those points. You now have lined tees 3′, 4′, 5′, and 6′ from the hole.

Putt  balls from 3′. Your goal is to sink 5 in a row or 9 out of 10. When you succeed, move to 4′. Again 5 in a row or 9 out of 10. If you succeed, move to 5′. If you fail, go back to 3′, From 5 and 6 feet, the goals are 5 in a row or 8 out of 10.

Whenever you succeed, move to the next step. Whenever you fail, go back and start again at 3′. Don’t leave the putting green until you’ve beat the game.

I guarantee, you’ll become a more than adequate putter.

PHIL AGREES WITH ME

This week, Phil Mickelson won his 5th major, and his first British Open Championship. He birdied 4 of the last 6 holes to pull away from the field, but you already know that.

Did you listen, though, to his interviews after the win? He described his thinking while preparing to sink that last birdie putt on the 72nd hole.

Phil said something  like: It was important to seal the win by making the birdie putt, but even more important that he save the par. So he picked the greatest distance the ball could break after losing its momentum, putted to that spot, and when the ball lost momentum, it dropped into the hole.

There are two theories of putting. Stop the ball at the hole, or putt 12 to 18 inches past the hole. The British Open Champion and I agree…Stop the ball at the hole.

Remember, 2 putting every green is playing 1/2 the game at even par.

Have you read my book, HOW SHORT HITTING, BAD GOLFERS BREAK 90 ALL THE TIME? Available on Amazon.com for $8.99 (Kindle $2.99) It will change the way you think about your golf game for the rest of your life.

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF.

Golf is an important thing. But it isn’t the only important thing. Keeping myself svelt and beautiful is also important.

Until 1990, I played golf almost every day, walking and carrying my bag.  Getting all that exercise, I ate anything I wanted and kept my weight down. In 1990, I developed health and business problems, had to stop playing golf, and immediately gained over 20 poinds.

In the time since, I haven’t played as much as before, and I kept the weight on. But in the last year, I learned the secret of losing excess weight and KEEPING IT OFF!

Here’s the secret:

1. As you eat, you’re hearing 2 voices. Your mouth says, “This is fun! Tastes Good! Feels Good! Gimme More!” But if you listen, soon your stomach says, “You know, I’m satisfied. I don’t need any more. Let’s quit eating now.” LISTEN TO YOUR STOMACH VOICE!!!

2. But here’s the kicker, the true secret. Eat what you like the best, first! If all you see on your plate is the stuff you don’t really love, it’s easier to stop.

There’s a law of physics that I’m sure you know. A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. This is also true of human activity. Hold off eating until you are really hungry. Stay at rest. When you’re eating, make a conscious effort to break the body in motion part of the equation.

After a few days, you’ll be surprised how quickly you are able to stop eating, and how little food you want and need. Your stomach stops expanding, and starts shrinking.

This works. I’ve kept the weight off for six months, and have now started lowering my weight even lower than it was when I stopped playing golf regularly.

 

 

IMPROVE YOUR BACKSWING, IMPROVE YOUR PUTTING

I’ve told you how important putting is…it’s half of the game. Two putt every green, and you’re playing half the game at even par.

Knowing this, I’ve practiced putting, a lot!

Practicing a lot brings some solid discoveries to improving your putting. Among those discoveries, the importance of the backswing in putting. Here are a few of my discoveries:

  • Backswing straight back away from the ball on a line 180 degrees from the line you want to putt. When sighting the line of your putts, sight a line from the hole back through the ball, back the length of your expected backswing.
  •  To improve this, find two boards about 30 inches long, 1 x 4′s or 2 x 4′s, and set them as guides for your putter head. practice putting by setting the ball between the boards, and letting them guide your putter head…straight back—straight through.
  • Swing with good rhythm. Always accelerate into the ball. NEVER DECELERATE INTO THE BALL.
  • Adlust your backswing to the length of the putt. Short putt short backswing. Longer putt, longer bacwswing. A long backswing for a short putt causes deceleration into the ball. A short backswing for a long putt causes a “push” or extra forcing the putter, destroying the smooth rhythym of the stroke.
  • And always remember, hands, wrists, arms still. All the movement should be the Magic Move, your shoulders rotating around your spine.
  • An for !@#$’s sake. DONT’ MOVE YOUR HEAD!!!

I’m telling you. This will do it.

PLAY 1/2 THE GAME AT EVEN PAR

On the average golf course, 72 strokes is even par. 36 of those strokes are for putts. So if you can 2 putt every green, you’ll play half the game at even par.

Putting is a function of direction and distance.I’ve already discussed judging distance, so let’s talk about direction, reading the green.

There are two basic theories about putting: (1) Stop the ball at the hole, and (2) stop the ball 12-18 inches past the hole.The reason for #2 is that a putt going straight at the center of the hole may roll offline if it doesn’t have enough speed, and because a short putt, obviously, can’t go into the hole.

I prefer “stop at the hole” because I don’t want to leave my first putt 12 inches or more from the hole if I miss, and because I think ”stop at the hole” makes greens easier to read. Reading the green means deciding what direction to putt the ball for it to go into the hole.

As you approach your ball on the green, look at the overall slant of the green at the hole. Does it slant left or right between your ball and the hole? Of course, your ball will fall whichever way the green falls, but not right away!

The next thing you must remember is momentum. Even a rock thrown hard enough will fly until it loses its momentum. It drops when it slows down. The same is true with your golf ball rolling across the green. Unless you have a very short putt, or a very severe green, the ball rolls straight until it slows down. Then it slides downhill as it rolls.

(There are greens that are so severe that a putt can break 2 or even three ways as it travels toward the hole, but those are usually very long putts and very severe greens, and this is too short a conversation for in-depth discussion.)

So the idea is to judge where that momentum slowing spot is, how far short and how far above the hole, and putt straight for that spot.

The goal is 2 putts, so try to stop your first putt close to the hole, so that your second putt is a no-brain tap-in.

 

USE YOUR BRAINS

Most golfers leave their brains in the trunk of their car with their street shoes and never take them to the golf course. You want proof? How about this: Imagine yourself on the golf course on the hottest day of the year. You’re at the tee of a par 3 hole, waiting for a slow group ahead of you to clear the green. Where do you park your cart? ANSWER: IN THE SHADE!

Most golfers never think of that. They just pull up beside the tee, next to the markers, and roast.

Here’s another. How can you improve your golf game without taking a lesson? If you’ll use your brain, you’ll figure out that the easiest golf shot to hit well; the easiest golf shot to improve; the most important golf shot is the PUTT. 1/2 of the strokes to par are putts…36 of 72 shots to par are putts! Par on every hole includes two putts. If you 2 putt every green, you are playing 1/2 the game at even par!

The first step to par golf is NO MORE THAN 2 PUTTS PER HOLE! PRACTICE YOUR PUTTING!

And it’s so easy. You can do it at home on a rug or a piece of carpet. You don’t have to drive out to the golf course or a putting green. Take a few balls and your putter into the house, set up a target and putt at it.

I have two 1 x 4′s about 30″ long that I use as guides, and a tin can, about 4″ across (about the size of a golf hole) that I’ve cut the top and bottom out of. I lay the boards on the carpet so that they guide my putter head, and set the can on its side about 5-6 feet away. Then I practice putting balls, trying to stop them inside the can. The 2 boards guide my putter head straight back and straight through,  along the correct path.  Stopping the ball inside the can gives me a feel for touch…how hard to hit the ball.

Before teeing off for your next round of golf, go to the putting green and hit several balls at a hole 20-25 feet away to get the feel of the speed of the green. (Don’t worry about sinking these, you just want to feel how hard to hit the ball for it to roll the right distance.) Then hit a few short, 3, 4, 5, 6 foot putts, trying to sink these putts. You’ll be amazed at how well you putt that day.

REMEMBER. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SINK EVERY PUTT…2 PUTTS PER HOLE IS EVEN PAR. USE YOUR BRAIN AND FIGURE IT OUT!