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|I'm here at Port St. Lucie, Florida at the PGA Gol Learning Center and we finished day one of our Peak Performance Golf School. It was a very good day, despite getting rained on two or three times. One time was a torrential downpour for about 30 to 45 minutes. We got a little bit wet. We were under a covered hitting area that kept us from getting soaked. But it was a pretty good day.
We started off instruction with the long swing where I wrote out their prescriptions what we were going to work on and spent about two hours out there. After writing it out we worked on the swings and they all made tremendous improvement. Our key issue here was that all the students are members of the inner circle and they have the videos and they have the manual and they were working on the Peak Performance Golf Swing and were making pretty good strides on their own. We were just fine tuning them and really getting them to understand the swing and what's happening and they really all came through well.
From there we went to the putting green. We had a couple that had some putting issues, setup situation that needed fixing but we did my four step test that we give everybody and they all did pretty good on the test and had average to a little bit above average results. Their putting definitely improved and we helped them with set up and the stroke. One student really had a bad case of ball too far back and was coming up consistently short. We moved his ball position more forward and inside the heel and really improved his stroke. He could stroke through the ball and get a better roll on it.
From there we went to chipping. Chipping wasn't too bad. WE worked on chip and runs, where I believe that we have minimal air and maximum roll and they get a much better roll out. It's rolling like a putt. That's why I like to teach that and that's the best way to chip because you can envision it like a putt and get a stroke and a hit that runs out like a putt. That was pretty good.
But when we got 15 yards off the green and hit to the same two holes where we were now hitting pitch and run with wedges or sand wedges or even a nine iron, that was a different story. We had bigger setup issues and especially swinging. The biggest swing issue was they tended to take too far of a backswing and swing through, then take too long a follow through, like they were going half way to a T-finish.
That's not really the way to swing if I'm trying to hit knock downs. They were letting the club pass their hands and releasing the club too much, so they tended to hit pulls and lower trajectory shots that scooted to the left.
So we had to get them in the same concept at pitch and run, the same set up and swing that you do with a chip shot. It's shorter back and through. It's about, we like to say, 40% of the stroke is backswing and 60% is through. But they were going about 40% and 80% through. They were going up too high and swinging too far. So we had to bring the swing back in to where they were hitting like a chip shot setup and swing. The clubhead never passes the hands. That was the case. They were going so far, the club eventually passed the hands and left them susceptible to eventually now and then throwing the club at the ball where they chunk it, or over-flipping it where they hit a low pull, or they held on too much and hit that squirter off to the right. So it's getting back into good chipping position where the clubhead never passes the hands and the hip, and the ball goes out really nice and runs to the hole.
Then we went into the bunker. Now the bunker was a different story. We had a lot of problems in the bunker because all admitted that was the #1 thing they wanted to work on because they were not good. I mean, in many cases they were burying balls into the lip, sculling them over the green, chunking them. Their technique was bad. Most of them were not open enough. Most of them had the clubface the wrong way, most of them were swinging really hard and sticking the club into the ground.
|So we gave them the concept of understanding the bounce on the club. The club splashes off the sand and that the sand throws the ball out. The swing has to become more vertical. If you were to say chipping and pitching was more like swinging in a soup bowl, hitting bunker shots is more like swinging in a drinking glass, so it's more vertical up and down.|
|I don't believe we do it with write cock. When I swing vertical I do it by bending the elbows a little bit more and coming up with the elbows, but maintaining the firmness in my wrist because if your flicking your wrists at the ball, the sand is going to eat your club up and you're going to get stuck in the sand. So I do more vertical with standing the club up more and swinging in that concept of feeling like your swinging in a drinking or wine glass, so you're more vertical but you're going to splash the club and hit it out.
Bunker shots are really not about power. They're more about finesse, as is the whole short game. The ultimate thing with the short game is that I teach you technique, but I can't give you the touch. When you get better technique, you can develop better touch. But that only happens through practice.
A couple days ago I wrote an article you keep your stats to know what you're doing really good and to also identify what you're not doing so well or even poorly. In all honesty, good practice is what? You have to practice the poor to bad things more, but practice the good stuff to keep it good stuff enough to keep it good. We want the good stuff to stay good, we don't want it do deteriorate. The only change we want is for the bad stuff to rise higher and get closer to the good. That takes proper practice. Every one of these guys admitted that they practice their long game more because they feel it's all about hitting. Yet they all know their short game is weak, yet they don't practice it enough.
I told them, anything you should do from now on is 60% minimum of short game practice versus long game practice. They're all hitting the ball pretty good, but where they're throwing their strokes away is around the green. So practice more what you need to raise that level up to get closer to your good and practice your good enough to keep it good.
That was the main message for today. We helped the short game a lot. We have them better technique. Tomorrow, we'll be out there to fine tune the technique more to help them develop the touch. Only they can develop the touch through practice. Most of you will do a lot better, practicing your short game where, around the green, if you do your stats, you're going to find you're throwing away more of your strokes.
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