Working The Ball: Does It Change The T-Finish? | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Working The Ball: Does It Change The T-Finish?

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

Today is your lucky day because I'm going to share a few of my top secrets about shaping shots that I've only ever discussed in my full length instructional video, Working The Ball. I honestly cannot come anywhere near covering everything about working the ball in one daily video, but I thought it could provide a good starting point for you in case you're thinking about taking your game to the next level.

Let's face it, hitting the ball straight is hard enough for a big majority of the golfing public. But, that doesn't mean you can't have the information to begin extending the limitations of your game. A question was submitted by a man who wants to be known only as "SimplyGolf." He wanted to know if his T-Finish position would be altered if he starts working the ball.

Hi Don,

I was wondering if you would talk about how, or even if, the T-Finish will change when you are working the ball.

Yes Surgites, it will change. But, like I said, I really can't go into enough detail in just a daily video because there's so many different variables that can occur when you start introducing different alignment and swing planes. I go into a little detail about how you can work the ball in today's video, but your best bet is to pick up the full length instructional video titled, Working The Ball.

CLICK HERE TO PREVIEW AND/OR PURCHASE WORKING THE BALL with DON TRAHAN

Nevertheless, watch today's video for a couple of secrets that I'll provide in the short window that is the  daily video.

I will leave you with one final thought. Once you learn how to work the ball, you have to understand when to use it and when not to. For the most part, you should only work the ball if you can't get to a target with your normal shot that you hit relatively straight. Only use it when the situation absolutely calls for it and I'm sure you'll start seeing some great results!

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

If you can't view the YouTube video above try CLICKING HERE. You must allow popups from this site for the link to work.

Comments

Juanloyd's picture

Submitted by Juanloyd on

For the past 7 years, since taking up golf again after 55 years of tennis, I´ve never been able to get a good grip on my clubs due to arthrosis in my hands, particularly the left hand where my fingers can barely achieve 60% of a closed fist (age 77). The result was that my game has never been as consistent as I would like it to be. I have been using the Surge swing for 3 years which helped me to analyse every aspect of my swing to try and discover what was wrong. Finally I found that unknowingly I was holding my clubs with only three fingers of my left hand, with my left arthritic forefinger overlapping the middle finger, instead of holding the club.
So I ordered a set of Enlow Big Boy grips designed specially for players with arthritic hands. The results have been extraordinary : I now can grip my clubs using a full grip with all fingers properly placed and have had the satisfaction of playing the best golf I have ever played.
I take this opportunity to thank you Surge for your advice regarding Enlow grips and also your excellent daily lessons which is helping us 'oldies' to play this great game to our full satisfaction !!
Jack Hill (Argentina)

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Jack,

Just catching up on the blog. Great news cobcerning your good play and success with the Enlows. They really do help those with hand/grip issues and i feel would be good for those with healthy normal hands too as are the Jumbo Max grips.
Congratulations on finding a grips that allows you to enjoy this grand game of golf.

Robert Meade (Las Vegas:)

edge's picture

Submitted by edge on

Hey,

Just wondering if any of the regular sugites here can assist me with a problem. first off, I have purchased the vids and love them. I am having greater success than before. however, I run into some difficulty with the initial take away at times.

I have done a search fro dailies and looked at the manual where Surge explains its a one piece takeaway. However, in the manual, i interpret it as surge saying to leave arms passive in first 2 feet into cathers mitt. So my query is, if its a one piece move and in order to keep the triangle intact by moving the torso/club into catchers mitt, do I still lift from the shoulders straight away, into catchers mitt or just turn with passive arms into mitt than lift (which makes it feel like a 2 piece move instead of a arc).

I feel if I lift straight away (from shoulders) while turning it breaks the 'one piece' triangle. Any thoughts would be great and much appreciated as you all seem to be quite up to speed on the PPGS and I am willing to stick with it. Seems like a awesome community here!

P.S- went back to my teacher last week, he is forcing me to cock wrists and lay club off, so no more lessons. Great guy but not good for my development with PPGS. Wish there was a PPGS instructor here on the east coast of Australia. I may have to head back over to the US!!!!

Thanks again :)

E

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Since we all have different feelings about what we are doing in the takeaway the best thing to do is to look at these pictures and practice those positions in front of a mirror. We've filled entire blogs up in the past with our descriptions of what we feel with very little consensus.

All that's necessary is to lift and turn until the club head gets about waist high with the shaft and the left arm on the toe line and then just lift from there. Just like if you had a plate of food and you were handing it to somebody standing behind you on the toe line.

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

One thing that occurred to me when I was at the golf school a few weeks ago with Don and Dave, while I was talking to another of the students, is that a lot of the actual turn is automatic by the simple physical necessities of your body when you keep your palm perpendicular to the ground and try to lift the club to be roughly parallel to the ground and on the toe line with the toe of the club straight up. I'm a chronic over-turner, so for me, I do my best to think about just lifting the club. The body will turn to about 70 degrees to make room for the club to go up. It simply, physically has to or you're waving the club in front of you and you're likely to fall forward onto your face.

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Hold off going to the states as Surge and his team are trying to get a school
going over here in our next spring, thats 2014. I'll put something on the blog
when I find out the actual period or you can contact Customer Support at
support@swingsurgeon.com

edge's picture

Submitted by edge on

Thanks Steve, for the link. Much appreciated. Hopefully I can get some consistency soon in my takeaway!

That sound good Neil, I will keep my eye out for any news re- school over here!! I am not planning another trip to the states until 2015 anyway, to do route 66.

Thanks guys for your prompt replies.

E

Bri's picture

Submitted by Bri on

Hi Surge and thanks for your terrific web site. I have learned more about hitting the golf ball properly in six months than I have in 50 years.

I'm 5' 10" tall and have very long legs and a very small torso. Would it be better for me to have a wider stance than normal on all my shots?

Thank you very much and I'm already looking forward to to your next lesson.

Bri

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Bri,

Some have a longer torso (and or arms like Surge) and a shorter set of legs (relatively speaking) and some like you have a shorter torso and longer legs. Your relative arm length will effect all of this too.
Rather than change the width of your stance to accommodate your body it may be wiser to have the correct length clubs fit for a proper stance. Surge encourages a narrower stance with this swing than is commonly taught. That may mean longer or shorter than you are currently using. it sounds like (from your description) that you may need slightly longer clubs so as not to have a need to widen or squat down to the ball. I don't know. It would be best to see a qualified fitter. The better your sticks fit you the less you'll need to force any uncomfortable or compromising posture and set up positions to play.

Terry Medley's picture

Submitted by Terry Medley on

It's a one piece take away and bus, only if the movement is continuous. Try thinking of the check points, as intersections we pass through and not as points we stop or pause at. Lift through the catchers mitt rather than into the catchers mitt. It is a continuous lifting and turning blend, from start to the top of the bus. Then, the bing bang (bump) to initiate the fus which occurs simultaneously with the completion of the bus in a smooth transition with no pauses.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Wanted to mention for any of those who haven't purchased the 'working the ball' lessons videos that it is very well made and has been a difference for me hen needed. I agree with Surge that we are better off making fairly straight a goal and using the methods to curve the ball left or right, high or low only when needed. When I hit balls on the range though I will pretend to have a tree or object that requires me to slice or fade it around.

on another note I wanted to share that my putting has improved and I am both sinking more putts and more confident from long and mid range length now. Actually it was a tip from my Brother that recently improved my results. Just that he noticed I seem to over accelerate or stab the ball rather than smoothly roll back and through. In other words using the SAME PACE back and through was key. That has really helped. I'm using my Dad's old blade and have been loving it. The other very helpful thing has been practicing after work at muni on the putting green for about 30-45 minutes 3-4 days a week. Those practice sessions are with ONE BALL only. There are usually 7 holes/flags set up and uphill/downhill, right to left and left to right angles to choose from. I go to a different hole and or angle each putt. It forces me to think and set up just as if I was on the golf course where we only have one ball and either make or miss the first putt and then may have to make a second (if the first misses). This again gives me real results and not other balls to roll on the same line to have a second or third chance to 'make it'. On the golf course we have one ball only too. Playing this must make game with myself on the practice green has really yielded great results on the golf course lately. Just thought I'd share this in case any one wants to try another way to improve their strokes gained putting.

SimplyGolf's picture

Submitted by SimplyGolf on

Hi Robert. Just watched the pre-view of the video you've referenced, and it is some really good stuff. It looks great. And the truth is, I'm really not quite ready for this stuff. (save club face adjustments.) I now understand that.

It resonates when Don speaks of having a go-to shot. For me, that equates to keeping the ball in play. It seems the best use of my limited time would be to develop a really good short game vs. trying to "master" working the ball.

Still, having a slight draw available can be a really helpful thing, and I continue to work on that.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

SG,

Agree that having a go-to-shot and working on short game is a priority. Still his working the ball video can help as you develop and is a real education on ball flight and how to approach uphill,downhill,side lies and when we want to get around/under/over obstacles.

Mean while, yes the short game is king in this game. I generally get the ball on or around the green in regulation on even the most difficult golf courses. However it is the 90 yard and in game, the chipping and putting that makes that I can save or lose strokes. A close chip and one putt. Making the 10 footer more often (and not missing the 3 footer:). All these little shots add up to pars and birdies or bogies.
Truth is it is all important as far as results and scoring. Learning and growing and hopefully seeing improvement. What a game:)

SimplyGolf's picture

Submitted by SimplyGolf on

Does anyone recall if Don has ever done a daily on putting?
Might be kind of tough from the backyard driving range, but
there are still some principles he can highlight.

And that brings me to the next subject....

Really glad Don mentions his products from time to time.
Did I say that? Mr. Do-not-call and do-not-try to sell me anything?

Yes. Don is never obnoxious or pushy with his products. That's refreshing.
(I still think the Kenny Knox/Don short game video is one the most helpful pieces of teaching I've ever seen.)

Any one else out there have an "All-TIme Favorite" video or daily?

Cowboy in a kilt's picture

Submitted by Cowboy in a kilt on

Hey folks

Hope everyone is doing great. Finally got a chance to sit down and catch up on the dailies and the blogs I have missed. Been a little hectic and trying as we approach this Friday, April 26. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers as we go though the rest of what has already been a pretty tough week. DH thanks for your taking the time to honor Dick at your course memorial. You folks sure do mean a lot to me. Donna and I are going for a drive down to Ft. Sill on the 26th. I think it will do me good to see some of those young folks running around in uniform, and get a chance to spend some time talking with them.

On the positive side, I want to let you know that the results were finally too much in support of the PPSG to be ignored. I know I shared with you that both of the young ladies I have been working with made their high school golf team. In their first tournament, one of them took 2nd place, and had her first ever birdie. The principal finally called the head coach and helped him see the light. I was asked to come on board as an assistant coach, specializing in the short game. I sure do love working with the young folks who are eager to learn. One of my gals made All Conference, and I have the picture of her with her trophy. Our team made it to the regional tournament. If we do well there, then we will get to go to state. Yippie.

I will talk with you all soon. Keep us in your prayers.

Bringing the PPGS to the next generation of Oklahoma golfers,
Dick

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Way to go, Dick! Now you'll need to change your name to Coach-in-a-Kilt.

Semper Fi!

Cowboy in a kilt's picture

Submitted by Cowboy in a kilt on

Robert

That is a great idea. If I play with the girls team, I could wear my kilt. Then we can all play from the red tees.

Dick

Lynn42's picture

Submitted by Lynn42 on

Great idea, Dick. Heading out to play from the red tees in bit. I played the long course Monday for the first time this year...about 50* in a 30 MPH gusting wind. Did NOT break 100. Even the canadian geese were laughing at me.

Fortunately, my Scots/Irish hard head will not let this game we all love to hate beat me down. Now where did I put my skirt? ;0)

Cowboy in a kilt's picture

Submitted by Cowboy in a kilt on

Lynn

One of the guys I play a lot of golf with always says "Hey Alice, you skirt blew up over your face," when one of us comes up way short on a shot.

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

In line with the video after this, I've been discovering that when my knees get active, my skirt tends to blow up and leave me short. When I can hold them steady like I'm supposed to, the skirt stays down. ;-)

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Hey Coach,

So cool to hear of the good and fun work you are privileged to share in Dick.
Some times it's really good to be you pal. Yippie in deed! Living the dream Dick, that's all one can ask. Bringing the PPGS to the Okkie children. Fun. Don't think I ever told you my Mom and grandmom were from Miami Oklahoma (pronounced My yama- short a) and moved to Cali in the 1940's and then to Las Vegas in the 50's. so you know i've had plenty of fried Okra.
still have plenty of kin in Oklahoma City area but I never get back there.

You will be in our thoughts and prayers as we continue to be grateful for you and your son's service too for our freedom. Glad life is giving you joy and you are helping those kids pal. Keep us posted and stop by once in a while will ya? :)

Cowboy in a kilt's picture

Submitted by Cowboy in a kilt on

Robert

You will have to come over here to visit your kin folks some day. Make sure you let me know before you are coming. I will make sure we get in a round while you are here.

I will try to get on here and talk with my Surge Nation family more often.

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

You'd better keep popping by. You have to tell us about your progress, and the girls, and you haven't mentioned the food network in a while. I have a great big pot of Italian sausages for sandwiches, if you feel like a drive down to Dallas.

Cowboy in a kilt's picture

Submitted by Cowboy in a kilt on

Robert

I will keep you up to date.

Donna made some really great tuna salad. Then I washed it all down with a great root beer float.

Oh yes, life is good,
Dick

Terry Medley's picture

Submitted by Terry Medley on

Congrats on making assistant coach Dick. Good luck wishes as your team moves toward taking state and congrats on past accomplishments.

I'm rather busy myself of late, but still squeezing in 3 to four rounds a week. I'm still not scoring very well, mid 40's and high 80's, but enjoying the ride. I could use some of your short game coaching as I'm not long enough off the tee and fairway to hit many greens in regulation. I used to could be able to, but no more. I do seem to be able to keep it in the short grass most of the time though. That's a little easier when you only hit it 175yds from the tee and 160 off the turf though.

Heading out now for my Thur morning league. It's 32* now and will be 36 when I tee off, burrrrrrr, You gotta love this game to play in that temperature.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Cold and tough you are Terry,

It's been a long cold winter for you but you are out there any how. Golfers are a nutty bunch aren't we. Sounds like you're getting out and playing regularly again.
I'm sure the short game will come back to you soon. Down the middle is better than long and wrong so hit 'em straight pal and have some fun too. I know you will.
Happy golfing again you are:0 Oh boy!

Cowboy in a kilt's picture

Submitted by Cowboy in a kilt on

Coach

Sounds like you are making up for lost time. Sounds like fun to me.

I am really having a ball with the kids.

Hope you game went well today,

Dick, the other coach

edge's picture

Submitted by edge on

Thanks for the advice guys.

Starting to get cold here in Canberra Aus.... Headed out to range last night, took a swing with my driver, as I went up too the BUS, my clubs fell from the side and snapped my pw with driver in the FUS. Oh well, this could be a good excuse to get fitted for everything! I dare say my driver may be too long at 45" as well.

Cheers,

E

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Hope you all watched closely as we got some helpful nuggets that actually add to the 'working the ball". JC Sneed was a good PGA pro and i recall; he would really work the ball and putted well. That was especially neat to see how the elbow points to assist a fade/slice. I don't recall Surge sharing that one before. i have seen it before elsewhere but he really detailed it nicely. Thanks Don.

Looks like DJ is playing this week in New Orleans. Hope we see him on TV. We'll be watching:)

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

I'm looking forward to seeing some great play out of him. I was a bit worried two weeks ago when his second round at the Web.com Tour event went off the rails. I didn't see any of it in action, but I had a feeling that his back injury flared up. I hope either I'm wrong or he got treatment and is feeling better after a week off.

ldeit163's picture

Submitted by ldeit163 on

Don,
From your video today, it appears as though you are indicating that the aim line (path) is the starting direction of the ball. (We know that the curve is the result of the face to path relationship.) This seems to differ from current ball flight laws, that the clubface has more influence over the ball's starting line than the path. Would you please explain.
ldeit

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Ideit, that's a question that we can wonder a lot about.

The classic idea that I believe Don is working from was that the direction of travel of the club was where the ball would start out and the way the club face was angled relative to that determined the amount of side-spin imparted. Then came modern explorations in controlled environments telling us that, for the most part, the ball's path starts at a right angle to where the face of the club is pointing at impact, and the relative difference between the path of the swing and the direction the club face is pointing determines the spin (and thus curvature of flight). For us humans in the uncontrolled environment of a golf course, the reality is somewhere in the middle because we don't always return the club face exactly as we set it up, and don't always swing along the path we think we're swinging along, and so on. In general, the ball will start out MORE toward the direction the face of the club is pointing at impact, so we need to be sure to aim sufficiently wide of any obstructions to allow for that. But Don's technique, with practice, will get the results he promises. Believe me, I spend 10 minutes of my range time every session doing what Don teaches in the Working the Ball videos, both these techniques for controlling the flight path horizontally and his other techniques for controlling how high or low the ball travels. Here in the winds of north Texas, it comes in very handy to be able to control just how high the ball flies. :)

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Ideit,

Robert F gave some great thoughts concerning path and as he said we need to aim where we like to start the ball in order to get around the tree or obstruction first. Only those with the freaking talent of Bubba can manipulate their bodies and swing path and harmonize their club face angle to curve the ball as they do.
Honestly, most of us have much less talent or time and youth to develop those crazy skills and are better off following Don's formula for curving the ball when needed. He does explain how to most efficiently and consistently get both the path and face angle (and shaft plan) to yield results in his working the ball video. All are important and this 10 minute daily video cannot fully explain it as he said. I have had some really cool results using it and can highly recommend it for you and anyone else.