What is The Number One Alignment in the Golf Swing

“Demanding that golf instruction be kept simple does not make it simple — only incomplete and ineffective.” ~ Homer Kelley (Author of The Golfing Machine)

Ask any golfer to describe in just one word the one thing that they want from golf more than anything else and guess what they would probably say?…

Consistency.

Yes they want to cure slice problems, and hit their driver longer and straighter, and play like PGA tour pro’s, but fundamentally they all want more consistency in their shot-making and in the scoring.

In other words, they want to find a way to get their golfclub head to strike the ball in the middle of the clubface with it pointing in the right direction as the golf ball departs from the clubface.

The know what they want, they just don’t know how to do it!
In this article I’m going to show you what the number one alignment in the golf stroke is, and how to develop it in your golf swing.

Take a good look at the following photo, and study it carefully.

IMPACT AND ADDRESS ARE DIFFERENT

This photo above is of Australian golfer Steve Allan who plays on the Nationwide and PGA golf tour. If you studied the photo you would have quickly noticed that his address position and impact position are different.

At address your hands are in-line or slightly ahead of the golf club. There is a slight angle between the club shaft and left forearm and in fact we could say that the left wrist is bent.

In the following photo I’m demonstrating the address angle for you and you can clearly see that the golf shaft is more or less in the center of my body. This alignment is helpful for starting your golf swing back on plane. Many golfers have a tendency to push their hands further forward than this so that their hands are opposite their left knee.

This address position can lead to the golf club traveling too much behind your body too soon, leading to a swing plane that is flatter than ideal.

Visually when you address the golf ball the golf shaft should look straight to you, as you observe it from above.

The number one alignment in the golf swing is a flat left wrist at impact. When you strike the golf ball the golf club will have caught up to the hands and if it happened at the correct time it gives the appearance of the golf shaft leaning forwards towards the target.

In the following photo I’m demonstrating the golf shaft leaning forward alignment which is a great routine to practice and incorporate into your practice routine.

In a simple way this is like programming your mind to understand exactly the condition you’d like your hands and golf club to be in when your are impacting the ball.

INLINE ON TIME!

When you go through this routine push your hands forward until the golf shaft appears to have an exaggerated lean on it. In fact all you are doing is moving your golf shaft in-line with your left arm producing the number one alignment in golf -the flat left wrist at impact.

Every great golfer has been able to achieve this alignment in their golf swing and by practicing the address to impact lean consistently you will start to program your golf swing to improve it in your technique.

It’s one thing to talk about impact as being important, it’s another thing altogether to talk about a flat left wrist as the number one principle of a correct impact.

If it was simple every golfer would be able to do it, but since most of the in golf magazines, DVD’s and golf instruction books is focused on “keeping it simple,” keep in mind that keeping it simple doesn’t it doesn’t make it right, but it does make it incomplete and ineffective.

Do yourself a big favor and make it your goal to learn how to achieve a flat left wrist at impact. Build it into your golf swing by beginning with 1/4 swings focusing on the flat left wrist at the completion of the stroke. Then graduate to 1/2 swings, then onto 3/4 swings until finally you can achieve the number one alignment in golf with your full stroke.

It will be the best decision you ever make and will elevate the status of your golf swing from good golf swing to a great golf swing.
And what could be better than that?

Unconditional Golf Confidence, the Key is Mental Toughness

“It’s something you have to find from within. You have to keep pushing yourself from within. It’s not about what other people think and what other people say. It’s about what you want to accomplish, and do you want to go out there and be prepared to beat everyone you play or face.”
– Tiger Woods

Would you play better if you could hit your golf shots without the fear of failure? What if you could stand up to any shot and simply make your stroke without getting caught up in the consequences? Is it possible? You bet it is, and the answer isn’t in swinging the golf club perfectly or something like that. Well known New York golf instructor Mike Hebron once said that ”a good golf swing will lower the highest score you can shoot, but a good mental game will lower the lowest score you can shoot.” Swinging the golf club better will give you confidence, but as you know the mini tours are full of pro golfers who swing the golf club soundly but struggle with their confidence leading to higher score averages and frustration.

A key component of golf confidence is mental toughness. Mentally tough golfers condition their mind to think confidently so they are able to overcome the normal frustration and negative self-talk associated with playing golf.

What are the key psychological characteristics of mentally tough golfers?

? Mentally tough golfers have an unshakeable self-belief in their ability to achieve their goals in competition and they also believe that they have unique qualities that make them believe that they are better than their fellow competitors. And their competitors know it!

? Mentally tough golfers have an incredible desire and motivation to succeed. This motivation burns from within them, giving them the ability to continually bounce back from setbacks on the golf course with an increased determination to succeed.

? Mentally tough golfers remain fully focused on the shot at hand in the face of the normal distractions of competition. They are able to switch their focus on and off as required, and are not adversely affected by another golfers performance or their own internal distractions like nervousness.

? Mentally tough golfers are able to maintain their composure which allows them to regain control of their game following unexpected events or distractions. They embrace pressure and thrive on the pressure of a competitive situation by being able to keep their mind firmly in the moment.

? Mentally tough golfers accept that anxiety is inevitable part of competition and they know they can cope with it.

To develop unconditional confidence in your golf game start by learning to acknowledge the importance of mental toughness in lowering your golf scores and having more control over your game.

Understand that your thoughts will affect your feelings which will affect the way you play golf.

Get control over your negative thinking by giving yourself more than one option. In other words you have more choices than you think when you play so instead of getting frustrated or upset over a shot that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, choose to simply accept the result and get on with the next one. This is the beginning of becoming tougher on the golf course. Let go of your old thoughts and behaviours and embrace new ways of acting.

In no time at all you will be hitting your golf shots with unconditional golf confidence leading to lower scores and more fun on the golf course.

Time for You to Come Out of the Shadows to Play

“What I’m talkin about is a game, a game that can’t be won only played.” – Bagger Vance

Have you ever read the book “The Legend of Bagger Vance?” I read Steven Pressfield’s excellent book when it hit the book shelves in 1995 and my impression was here’s a guy who has written a book that gives us a small glimpse into golf’s never world through the eyes of a tormented man and golfer named Rannulph Junah. Maybe you saw the movie adaptation of the book which starred Matt Damon as Rannuph Junnah, a local golf champion from Savannah Georgia who plays an historic golf match against two titans of the golf world at that time, Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones.

Will Smith play’s Junnah’s caddie Bagger Vance an interesting character who provides Junnah with unusual insights into improving his golf game and for that matter his life. Bagger Vance is a teacher of the game of golf and he instructs Junnah on how to access his “authentic golf swing.”

In the movie clip Junnah is faced with a common dilemma facing all golfers and everyone else…choice. Bagger Vance tells Junnah that he has a choice, he can stop or he can play. He can stop trying to play the game of golf and just play it.

“Now play the game, your game – the one that you was only meant to play.”

This golf story reminds me of the dialogue between Alice and the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” said Alice. “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.”I don’t much care where–” said Alice.”Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.”–so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.”Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough…”

We are constantly being asked to make a choice, a decision about which way to go? But do you make it on your own, or do you have a “Bagger Vance” to help you make your choice or decision?

Bagger’s final bit of advice before Junnah exorcises his demons and hits his shot is this; “let yourself remember your swing.”

You have always got a choice…you can stop trying to play golf, or keep trying to play and…

Golf confidence lives outside of the shadows.
Until next time.

This Master Move Is In Every Great Golf Swing

“Is there such a thing as a technically perfect swing? If there is, I have yet to see it.” ~ David Leadbetter (Famous Golf Instructor)
I’ve seen my fair share of good looking pro golf swings that made me wonder at the time why they don’t play better than they do. Putting and short-game aside one of the obvious reasons is that they don’t do a great job at the ‘business end’ of the golf swing.

With so much emphasis on making the golf club look perfect at the top of the swing, they fail to realise that the backswing doesn’t determine the quality of the golf shot nearly as much as the downswing does. In fact it’s fair to say that nothing matters as much as the position of the golf club when your hands are positioned three feet this side of impact.

THE DOWNSWING ‘SLOT’

In the following photo notice how this PGA tour golfers club shaft at the top of the backswing is pointing quite a bit to the left. Certainly not ‘orthodox’ as per many golf instruction books, but it doesn’t matter because the backswing although important is no where near as important as the downswing.

The closer your hands and golf club get to the ball the more important it is that you align the golf club’s direction ‘in plane’ with the golf ball. You can see how Japanese tour player Akio Sadakata has perfectly aligned his golf club very early in the downswing. This guarantee’s that he will hit straighter and longer golf shots, and is the master move in the golf swing

THE MASTER MOVE

Many golf instruction books talk about backswing’s that are inline with the target at the top, but I can assure you that many fine golfer’s have backswing’s that point anywhere other than at the target. The key in EVERY single case is that the most accomplished golfer’s find a way to get their golf club on plane with their golf ball in the downswing.

Now I’m not saying that building an on plane backswing isn’t helpful, because it is. But how many times have you heard or played with a golfer that wished he or she could stop “coming over the top” in the downswing?

DROP AND PULL

The top golfer’s drop the club from top into the slot unconsciously. That is they don’t try to put the club into the slot but rather “allow” it to travel there by keeping pressure out of the right hand. As I talked about in my last post the idea is to pull the golf club down plane with the last three fingers of your left hand and let the centripetal force pull the golf club outwards through the ball.

Practice feeling this move and you will soon discover that the golf club knows where to go. You don’t have to guide it, you just have to trust it.

Can you do that? I hope you can because it will make a massive amount of difference to how you hit the golf ball.

I wish you many enjoyable practice sessions working on this drop and pull move, and if you have any questions regarding this or any article drop me a line below and I’ll reply to you.

The Secret to the Correct Golf Grip

“If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they’d starve to death.” – Sam Snead

Here are some thoughts for to ponder as you develop and improve your golf swing.

Developing heightened awareness in your hands is an amazing sense to develop.

Do you know how amazing your hands are?
It’s so easy to forget their amazing potential because they’re so much a part of what we do everyday.

We can get so caught up in the trivial things that are sold to amateur golfers through the golf media channels.

The trivial things don’t directly affect how your golf ball behaves, like how you move your hips, knees etc.

Your hands and the way they move your golf club have a lot more influence on how your golf ball behaves.

So the bottom line is this:
“Consistently straight golf shots are a product of how you use your golf club.”

Your golf clubs have been designed to help you achieve a sound impact – nothing more – nothing less.

Developing your awareneness of the hand pressure your exert on the grip can lead to amazing insights into how the golf club behaves, and more importantly, what you can do with it.

The golf club is a very useful tool when you understand how it functions to achieve straight and consistent golf shots.

The starting point is understanding what the golf club has to do for you to achieve straighter and more consistent golf shots.

The golf club can do basically three things based on its design.
1. The golf shaft swings backwards and forwards along an inclined plane.

2. The club-face rotates around the cylindrical golf shaft as it travels backwards and forwards.

3. The golf-club head accelerates, reaches peak acceleration and then slows down until it stops, as it travels backwards and forwards.

Can you think of anything else the golf club can do?

It seems to me that the key to developing our golf swing potential is to learn how to move the golf club in such a way that the preceeding three factors are easily controlled.

For example, a golf club that travels too far off it’s inclined plane angle either on the backswing phase or downswing phase requires additional pressure to move it back onto its original plane.

Unfortunately when we do this we also accelerate it prematurely (Isaac Newtons second law of acceleration) which means we now have to manipulate the club-face to control the direction of the golf ball.

Manipulating the club-face slows it down even more, not to mention the fact that our sense don’t react nearly as quickly as the golf club motion through the downswing.

In the golf book “Search for the Perfect Swing” the author and physicist Alistair Cochrane’s research suggested that the first time we beome aware of the feel of the impact, the golf ball has already travelled more than twenty yards from the club-face.

Here’s a simple rule to follow.

Develop your golf swing based on the design of your golf club.
In this case, golf club function follows golf club form.

Pull a 5 iron out of your bag and really take look at it. Rather than admiring its asthetics, admire and understand its function.

Put it on the ground and notice its design. Consider that the design really hasn’t changed much since Bobby Jones was burning up the links.

The ball is on the ground to the side of you and the golf club is swung around your body on an arc that allows the clubhead to touch the ground at the right time in the down-swing with the club-face square to the target as the ball is departing from the club-face.

There are no secrets here, just simple laws of force and motion at play.

The design engineers didn’t get it wrong when they designed your golf club – they got it absolutely right.

Possibly they should have attached a tag on a string to the shaft that described the “basic rules for using this golf club.”

Maybe they should have also attached a tag that read “use with great care.”

The golf club is not a hitting instrument, it’s a swinging instrument.

A hitting
instrument (like a sledge hammer) goes from backswing to impact.

A swinging instrument goes from backswing to finish.
The object being struck (the golf ball) is in the middle of (A) and (B).

In other words a swinging instrument is a pendulum. It travels from (A) = backswing to (B) = finish with the golf ball positioned somewhere at the bottom of the swing arc.

When (B) becomes the golf ball significant problems arise.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a chip, pitch, putt or full swing, the golf club travels from backswing to finish with absolutely no interference from the golfer.

I think that Ben Hogan was right when he said “good golf begins with a good grip,” your grip connects you to the golf club.

If your golf ball isn’t behaving the way you want it to, take a good look at how the placement and pressure in your hands is affecting the “free swinging” nature of the swinging pendulum – also known as the golf swing.

The Most Important Principle of EVERY Sound Golf Swing

“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (Philosopher, Essayist)
Sometimes it can be helpful to see things in a different way. To view something you’re very familiar with, with a slightly altered or skewed perspective.

We can after all become slaves to our daily routines, rituals and behaviours, and as such tend to see our world the same way over and over. Now this can be very useful for things like following traffic laws, which help you to stay safe on and off the road. However for some things it can be like a rope around our neck holding us back from releasing the potential of our golfswing.

In this article I want to shine a light for you on the most significant principle of every sound golf swing from amateur to tour pro; the double pendulum effect.

THE DOUBLE PENDULUM

Picture in your mind for a moment a simple pendulum motion. Imagine it swinging backwards and forwards with a consistent rhythm. Now add another pendulum to the bottom of it, one that has a flexible hinge so that one can swing independently of the other.

The left arm and golf club act like two pendulums in your golf swing. In the following photo you can see the first pendulum (The left arm) and the second pendulum (The golf club) and how one trails behind the other then catches up and moves in-line.

TIMING THE TWO STICKS

The key to hitting your golf shots longer and more consistently is to “time the two sticks” so that the golf club catches up to the left arm just after the golf ball has been struck.

Every golfer has the two sticks relationship, and the timing of these two sticks is different in every single golfer. Inconsistent ball strikers don’t time the two sticks so the golf club catches up at the right time. In most cases it’s much too early.

In other words impact occurs too soon!

Study the photo above of PGA tour golfer David Toms carefully and pay particular attention to the last two frames. Impact with the golf ball occurred in the second last frame when the golf club and left arm were almost in-line. The in-line condition actually occurred as the clubhead passed the left shoe.

This is really, really important!

Now go back to the start of the downswing and study the left arm to clubshaft relationship and notice how the shaft (green line) is accelerating gradually away from the red line? You can clearly notice that the green line and red line angle doesn’t change much until the red line is at about David Tom’s waist. It’s at about this point that the green line (golf shaft) starts to accelerate rapidly, opening the angle up ready for the collision with the golf ball.

This is the key principle to understand.

PULL DOWN PLANE

Now’s here’s how you can do it. Since a simple way to understand a force is to think of it as pulling or pushing something.

The fact that we want the golf shaft to trail or lag behind the left arm at least until your hands are waist high, it makes sense to pull the left arm/shaft angle down the plane line.

When you pull the two sticks down plane (towards the target) you delay the triggering of the second stick (clubshaft) until well into the downswing.

This is NOT what inconsistent amateur golfers do.

They tend to pull the sticks towards the golf ball which sets up impact much too early. The strong impulse to hit the golf ball is the culprit, and this impulse ruins any chance the golfer has of delaying the releasing of the clubshaft at the correct time.

If you tend to release the golf club too early, the next time you’re out on the practice range try to pull the left arm and clubshaft down plane rather than at the golf ball. It will feel different, possibly quite strange, but hang in there because its only by changing your perspective that you can unleash the potential energy of your golfswing.

The Missing Link Guaranteed to Straighten Your Crooked Golf Shots

“Good golf begins with a good grip” – Ben Hogan (Golf Champion)
Virtually every golf instruction book that has ever been published has a chapter on holding the golf club correctly. Some books provide a detailed overview of the mechanics of the grip whilst others simply gloss over it.

In this article I’m going to share with you my thoughts on why it’s vitally important that you fully understand your grip and its influence on your clubface and clubhead in your golf swing.

What if I told you that the way you placed your hands on the golf club determined to a great extent how good a golfer you are, or will become?

You see it has less to do with the look of the grip and much more to do with the specific placement of the hands on the grip and the pressure you apply.

What do I mean when I say “the look of the grip?”…
A lot of golf instruction focuses on the way the hands look on the golf grip to your eyes. They will say that a “neutral” grip shows two knuckles on the left hand and a “weak” grip shows less than two knuckles. A “strong” grip shows more than two knuckles.

This type of information is very common in many golf instruction books.

Strong (S), neutral (N) and weak (W) grips as a concept don’t help you to understand “the hands to clubface” relationship. All the S-N-W concept does is explain that the left hand can rotate to the left or the right on the handle.

The “hands to clubface relationship” explains how the placement and pressure applied to the golf club influence clubface rotation, clubface rhythm and clubhead force.

These factors influence direction, distance and consistency. Is there anything more important?

THE TAPERED CYLINDER (AKA GOLF GRIP)

The hands are basically being applied to a tapered cylinder (golf grip) that has a weight extended off to the side of it. This tapered cylinder wants to rotate because of the position of the weight and its distance from the hands. This weight, called a clubhead has a built in clubface that is designed to strike a golf ball with absolutely no guarantee that it will make it go straight.

Thus the skill of the game is to control the amount of turn and roll of the tapered cylinder so that when a collision occurs with the golf ball, the clubface would be pointing straight to your desired target as the golf ball departs from the clubface.

Easier said than done right?
You see, holding the golf club so that it can perform the function of opening (turning) and closing (rolling) the correct amount is the main function of hand placement. Particularly the left hand’s placement.

How your hands look on the grip has very little to do with how your hands actually function during the golf stroke. Therefore careful placement of your hands so that they can turn and roll the correct amount for youis the key to controlling the direction of your golf shots.

And the amount of ‘squeeze pressure’ that you apply to the grip will have a significant effect on the turn and roll function as well. Some golf books suggest holding the golf club lightly whilst others suggest tight.

The trouble is that the words don’t describe the feeling very well. What is ‘light’ and what is ‘tight’? The level of squeeze pressure you apply, particularly in your left hand should be enough for the grip to not spin in your hand in the event that you hit a shot towards the toe end of the clubface. The clubhead will always try to spin out of control during the collision with the ball because of the inertia (resistance to move) of the golf ball.

LEFT HAND CONTROLS THE CLUBFACE

The placement of the left hand on the grip determines how much the cylinder can turn and roll during your stroke. There are four simple points of reference.

Top: The left thumb/hand is positioned on top of the grip at address

Side: The left thumb/hand is positioned somewhere on the side of the grip

Under: The left thumb/hand is positioned under the grip

Front: The left thumb/hand is positioned on the front side of the grip.

So every golfer has their left thumb/hand somewhere between the front side and rear side of the grip. Golfers who slice tend to have their left thumb/hand from front to top.

Golfers who hit straight have their left thumb/hand from top to side. Golfers who hook have a tendency to place their hands around the side of the grip.

HOW BEN HOGAN CONTROLLED HIS HOOK

All golfers curve the golf ball most of the time. Highly competent golfers can control the curvature so that they can use it to advantage. It is a myth to think that there are golfers who hit the golf ball straight most of the time, however if you control what happens at the very bottom of your golf swing you will strike the ball with very minimal curve which is the best all of us can hope for.

Two primary elements control curvature on the golf ball; the clubface direction at impact, and the path of the clubhead in relationship to your target as it strikes the golf ball.

In this article I’m focusing on clubface angle and how we can gain control of it.

The great golfer Ben Hogan struggled early in his career with a hook that made it harder for him to become a competitive professional golfer. Whenever he got himself into a position to finish in the money, the hook would rare its ugly head and send him packing his bag to the next tournament with a few less coins in his pocket.

Eventually he worked out that a change in the placement of his left hand on the grip would reduce the amount of hook curvature his swing could produce. Basically he discovered that if he placed his left thumb/hand more on top of the grip he could hit it as hard as he wanted without it viciously curving to the left.

This change had a huge impact on his career because the golf confidence he gained allowed him to become arguably the most dominant golfer on the tour in his day.

BEN HOGAN WROTE TWO VERY DIFFERENT GOLF BOOKS

Ben Hogan wrote two golf books on his approach to the game. His first book “Power Golf” was published in 1948. In the chapter ‘The Evolution of the Hogan Grip’ he say’s this about his left thumb/hand.

“In folding the left thumb around the club the thumb of my left hand is slightly on the right side of the shaft. Looking down on my left hand I can see the first three hand-knuckle joints. Also note that my left hand is well over the shaft. The V formed between the index finger and the thumb points approximately over my right shoulder.”

By the time his second (and most popular) book was published “5 Lessons – The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” published in 1953, his left hand grip had moved much more on top of the grip. In the chapter entitled “The Grip” Mr Hogan describes in great detail how he applies his hands to the golf grip. He mentions his change in thinking when he say’s “When a golfer has completed his left-hand grip, the V formed by the thumb and forefinger should point to his right eye.“

Unfortunately this best selling golf book which is considered a classic in sports literature was purchased by thousands of amateur golfers who for the most part would have benefited much more from his lesser known book ‘Power Golf.’ Why? Because his suggestion to point the ‘V’ over the right shoulder would produce straighter curvature on their golf shots, instead of big slices, which is what happened to many golfers applying his advice of pointing the ‘V’ to the right eye.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO CONTROL ‘TURN AND ROLL’
Try this test for me. Hold your 7 iron in your left hand with your left thumb directly on top of the grip in the ‘red zone’ Hold it out in front of you so that it is parallel with the ground. To make it easy to do this rest the head on the back of a chair or something similar.

Now simply turn the clubhead clockwise to the point where it is uncomfortable to turn it any further. Now roll it the other way until you cannot roll it any further.

TURN IT MORE THAN YOU CAN ROLL IT

When I do this test I can turn my clubhead clockwise to almost 2 o’clock, and when I roll it I can reach 11 o’clock comfortably. Now more turn than roll (’2 to 11?) is fine if you want to hit slice shots, but it is not helpful if you want shots with a draw or even a hook shape. This combination suited Ben Hogan because he couldn’t roll his clubhead closed enough to produce the hook shot.

ROLL IT MORE THAN YOU CAN TURN IT

When I apply my left thumb in between the top and the side (green zone) I can turn my clubhead to about 1 o’clock and roll it to about 10 o’clock. So in other words I can roll it more than I can turn it. This is the favored position of many competent strikers of the golf ball. Because the clubface can roll more than it can turn, it is far easier to achieve a ‘squarer’ impact and decidedly straighter ball flight.

NO TURN FULL ROLL

Finally you can place your left thumb/hand in the blue zone and when I tested this position I couldn’t turn my left hand at all, but I had the most complete roll of all the colours. So my turn was to 12 o’clock and my roll went to 9 o’clock. For any golfer with a severe slice this is the place to start with your left hand position.

You should test this out for yourself and see what results you get. If you tend to slice, you might find that you slice less if your left hand is in the blue zone. If you hook too much more your left hand towards the red zone and test the results.

Always remember that the your left hand controls the clubface, so learning the correct left hand position for your golf swing will definitely improve the direction of your golf shots leading to more golf confidence and consistently more satisfying golf shots.

The Keys to Building Your ‘Pro Golf Swing’

“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein (Physicist)

There is a multitude of golf instruction books published every year by authors eager to share their knowledge and experience to a thirsty crowd of amateur golfer’s searching for the elusive secrets to unlock their golf swing from its shackles.

Still others enroll in golfing school to learn how to control their badly behaved ball flight. With all the golf books and golfing schools you’d think that golfer’s would be starting to get on top of their game and reap the rewards of their efforts.

But you would be wrong.

Nope, sad as it is, most golfer’s just aren’t improving, even with all the information available to them. Do they care? I believe they do care a lot. I also believe that if the average golfer could develop a better understanding of what’s important in a golf swing from what’s not they would make consistent progress… in the right direction!

In this article I want to share with you the some of the critical alignment check points that I use when working with PGA tour golfers and LPGA golfer’s. These alignments are just as important in your golf swing as those of pro golfer’s so I hope you gain some new insights into what makes your golf swing more reliable and in turn you increase your golf confidence.

The following set of photographs is of one of my professional students He Yong Choi (Pronounced ‘HayYong’) who is one of the up and coming stars on the Korean LPGA tour. I have helped He Yong to increase her distance from the tee and develop a more penetrating and straighter ball flight on her irons by focusing on three important aspects of her golf swing.

1. That her golf club maintains its relationship to the plane it started on

2. That the maximum force is applied at the right time in the downswing

3. That the clubface rotates the correct amount in the backswing and through swing

Under each photo I’ll describe the instruction process to you and offer helpful advice on how you can develop and improve your golf swing technique using these pro golf swing keys.

BODY IN BALANCE

In the address position you need to establish a sound base of support so your golf swing can remain stable during the backswing and forward swing phases. I teach my students to build a balance triangle formed from the inside ankle bones to a central point just below the navel. I want them to keep their upper body mass over this triangle as much as possible during the golf swing. I explain how a ferris wheel can only operate if it has a stable base of support.
The other important relationship to understand is that the centre of the shoulders should maintain their position in relation to the centre of the pelvis durng the backswing and forward swing.

GOLF CLUB IN PLANE

I explain to my students that “the swing plane gives force a direction.” In the mid-backswing phase of the golf swing the goal is to get the handle end of your golf club to point as close to the base of the inclined plane as you can. Since a golf club is built on an inclined plane it should maintain its relationship to its plane angle throughout the golf swing.

ALIGNED AND READY

At the top of the backswing two things are common in a pro golf swing. The first is that the upper body is still on top of the balance triangle, and two, the golf club has maintained its relationship to the base of the inclined plane. (white line)

THE MYSTERIOUS RIGHT ARM

The right arm’s participation is very misunderstood in the golf swing. Pro golf swing’s use the right arm skillfully because it provides the golf club with direction and supplies it with the energy to drive the golf ball powerfully down the fairway.

There are two thing’s to focus on in the photo above. In the left photo notice how the right forearm is in plane with the golf ball? This alignment is critical if you want to hit longer, more powerful golf shots. In the photo on the right notice how the right elbow has advanced the hands past the golf ball? This ensures that the angle of attack of the club head will be steep enough to produce a divot in front of the ball, and that the energy in the club head is released as late as possible.

IMPORTANT POST IMPACT CHECK

Just after impact the golf club ideally aligns itself with the left shoulder as the left photo displays. The key here is that the left arm and club shaft are in line well beyond impact. He Yong is at least 60 centimetres into the follow through and has maintained the club head to left shoulder relationship. The other thing to keep in mind is that the golf club has maintained its relationship to the base of the plane which is displayed in the top left photo.

FULL ROLL IT

As the golf club travels towards the finish it must maintain it’s relationship to the plane it started on. To do this the golf club rotates or rolls over until the club face points towards the ground. The centipetal forces involved in the golf swing keep it on its track and at right angles to the middle of your chest.

THE FINISH

At the end of your golf stroke you should finish with your upper torso positioned over your front leg to reduce lower back pressure. Also notice in the upper left photo how He Yong has maintained the postural angle that she started with? This suggests that she was able to maintain her balance throughout the stroke by swinging at a tempo that allows her to maximise her timing whilst minimising excess motion.Finally she has rotated her body completely to where she would be pointing well left of where the golf ball ended up.

The Best Golf Lessons I Have Ever Had

The only kind of learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered or self-appropriated learning – truth that has been assimilated in experience. – Carl Rogers (Psychologist)

Like you, I have had my fair share of golf lessons. When I played golf for my living I took golf lessons to improve my game, and when I decided to make a career out of teaching other’s how to play golf, I took lessons in how to become a more effective golf instructor/teacher and coach.

The best golf lessons I have ever had have come from playing golf and teaching others how to play golf. This is what makes golf such a great game, the lessons it teaches you everyday, and it’s the reason why golfers from every walk of life are attracted to the game.

When I took golf lessons to improve my game I often struggled to come to terms with the information I was receiving and then to make it worse I struggled to get my body to do it. Sound familiar? It should; golf is not an easy game to learn, improve and play whether you’re a novice golfer or an accomplished amateur or pro golfer. The good news is that the adversity you endure can teach you great lessons if you’re open to them.

Following are five of the most important golf lessons I ever had the pleasure to learn. Maybe you have had similar lessons taught to you by the game of golf.

Lesson #1. Think First

Golf has taught me lot’s of lessons that I remember nearly every day. For instance golf reminds me tothink before I act so I can give my self a chance to generate positive thoughts when I’m confronted with a challenging or stressful situation. It is so easy to react first, because we forget that there is a space between cause and effect. I can think before I act every time.

Lesson #2. Be Patient

Golf has taught me to be patient, because improvement can be slower than we would like or expect, and without patience the game is a lot less enjoyable to play. Be patient of other’s. Some golfers get very angry when they are held up by the golfers in the group in front of them and it makes me wonder whether their poor attitude on the golf course affects the way they live their life in general. It probably does.

Lesson #3. Be Tolerant

Golf has taught me to be tolerant of my poor performances on the golf course. The best golfers in the world are the most tolerant because you simply can’t reach the heights of this great game without having to pay a hefty price. Accept the fact that golf is a game of mistakes not good shots. The best golfers know this and accept the consequences of golf shots that don’t go to plan.

Lesson #4. Be Tough

Golf has taught me to be tough when things don’t go as expected. Many times in rounds of golf I could have easily given up but something inside me would say “keep going,” or “don’t give up on yourself.” The hardest thing to do is hang in there when things are crashing down around you. Remember that you have to ride through the storm to get to the sunshine on the other side…It’s always there.

Lesson #5. Be Confident

Golf has taught me to be confident in my skills and ability to get the results I’m striving for. Confident golfers expect to play well, and golfer’s who lack confidence don’t. Expect the best of yourself in every occaision and never settle for less than your best. The only thing that gets in the way of improved performances is thinking that you can’t do it.

So there you have it, the five best golf lessons I have ever had.
If you have lessons that golf has taught you, why don’t you share them with us. I’d really like to know what lessons golf has taught you, about yourself, your life and anything else.

The “Game” of Golf

We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origins. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the footprint. And lo! It is our own. Sir Arthur Eddington – English Astronomer

In the golf matrix (Golf culture) there are established rules and accepted practices for those entering and living within its domain.

Sadly for many who live within this matrix (Called golfers) they are often sad and frustrated and lack confidence in themselves because they do not play golf like the superior golf beings who also inhabit the matrix. Also, they do not even know that they are in the golf matrix, they simply believe that the only reality that exists is there’s.

The superior golf beings, like the gods of Mount Olympus control what the lowly golfers do and need to know within the matrix through their scribes, which are called the media.

The superior golf beings hold the sacred golf scrolls that only they believe they can fully comprehend. The sacred golf scrolls have been around since time in memoriam and the writings are a closely guarded secret. It is believed by the scribes and superior golf beings that the sacred golf scrolls hold the eternal secret for attaining golf enlightenment.

Now, it is the purpose of the scribes to confuse and complicate the message from the superior golf beings, so that the golfers within the matrix always live with hope, but never rise to become superior golf beings themselves.

The superior golf beings and the scribes love to frustrate the lowly golfers by convincing them that the ultimate secret to golf enlightenment is “the perfect golf swing.” They laugh and laugh when they share clues to the secrets of the pro golf swing with the golfers inside the matrix for they know that this is the greatest deception of all.

The lowly golfers, superior beings and the scribes worship “the chosen one” (Called Tiger Woods) and the scribes write and observe everything that he says and does. The chosen one plays a game with which the superior golf beings are not familiar, and they are very envious of his obvious powers. The superior beings and the scribes know that the chosen one has mastered the teachings of the sacred golf scrolls and has the ability to move in and out of the golf matrix whenever he so chooses. He is the only one that can do this as far as we know…

But the chosen one keeps the information about how he mastered the teachings of the sacred golf scrolls to himself and feeds cryptic clues to the superior golf beings and scribes. The superior golf beings want to know “the ultimate truth,” but alas they too are frustrated and disappointed that they cannot know the ultimate truth. So they must satisfy their hunger by spreading false truths and misleading concepts to the lowly golfers to feed the ever growing delusion that exists within them.

In the matrix there are those who once held elevated positions within the superior golf beings hierarchy, but decided that they were on the wrong path. Now they sit on the edge of the matrix and observe the goings on within. They are called golf seekers, and they know who they are. The golf seekers search for the true meaning of the spirit of the game of golf. It is their quest in life to teach the lowly golfers the pathway towards achieving golfing enlightenment without becoming a superior golf being.

The pathway to becoming an enlightened golfer is a challenging one.

Many lowly golfers travel the path of least resistance, rather than the road less travelled. They are comfortable in the matrix and they don’t realise that they have the power to alter their perception enough to play a much better version of their current golf experience.

But wo betide the individual who tries to remove himself from the clutches of the deluded scribes and superior golf beings.

Are you up to the challenge?
Do you want to follow me down the rabbit hole?…