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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Kevin Weeks on Body Rotation (Video)

I bet you'll look at this video and say, "Oh, I know that drill." No, you don't -- at least, you don't understand it. Instructor Kevin Weeks has given this drill a twist (pun intended) that you won't believe until you do it.



The standard version of the drill goes something like this: Place a glove or something under your lead arm, in your armpit, and hit balls. It's okay for the glove to drop to the ground when you reach the top of your finish. This teaches you connection.

THAT IS NOT THIS DRILL. Let me explain the Weeks version to you.

You use a towel and fold it up. You want it so that if your arm separates from your chest too much, that baby is going to open up even if it doesn't drop. Then you hold your club in your lead hand ONLY and make swings without dropping the towel at any point in your swing. Why?

Because this drill isn't about connection. It's about body rotation.

You have trouble with slices because you don't finish your rotation during your downswing. You have trouble with chicken wings because you don't finish your rotation during your downswing. You have trouble with weight shift because you don't finish your rotation during your downswing.

Do you understand? Many of your swing problems happen because you don't finish your rotation during your downswing. This drill teaches you what complete rotation feels like.

Weeks says you should only hit the ball around 25 yards or so. That creates enough speed to pull your arm away from your body if you don't rotate completely to your finish, but not so much that your arm goes high and you drop the towel. Your elbow will have to fold and your body will have to turn in order to keep that towel in place.

Learning what rotation to a complete finish feels like is vital if you're going to develop consistency in your shotmaking. This is a great drill that will help you. Give it a try!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Paula Creamer's Early Off-Season

For those of you who haven't heard, Paula Creamer had wrist surgery on Thursday and won't be playing anymore until next year.

Paula Creamer gets medical attention at Evian

Paula's wrist problems have been well-publicized. It was actually pretty amazing that she played so well at the Solheim Cup. Her finishes had been getting progressively worse all year (she only had one Top10) with a number of missed cuts. She hasn't played since she had to WD at Evian and after five weeks of rest without improvement (she also withdrew from the New Zealand event) she finally decided to bite the bullet and get the surgery.

You can get more details from this Golf Digest post. I'm just glad she's taken care of this injury. Michelle Wie's career problems began when she tried to play through some wrist injuries rather than getting them completely healed. I'm glad Paula's not making that mistake anymore.

Friday, October 20, 2017

In Case You Ever Need to Chip a Short Putt (Video Tweet)

In case you missed it, the PGA Tour tweeted this shot from Justin Thomas. His ball was on the 5th green, very close to the hole, but the green in front of the ball was scuffed so badly that he decided putting was out of the question. If you ever find yourself in this position, here's how to handle it with a wedge.


This same technique was used a century ago when a player's ball was "stymied" by another ball between them and the hole. This shot is only three or four feet long! Note that JT either didn't touch the green at all or touched it so gently that you can't see where the wedge's bounce scraped the green.

Learn this shot and you've got a new weapon in your arsenal. It really isn't that hard because you don't need to create power. All you have to do is make good contact.

And yes, a putting grip will work just as well with this shot as a chipping grip will. Use whichever grip works best for you.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

So What's in YOUR Golf Bag?

Golf Digest, as usual, posted an article outlining what equipment the past week's PGA Tour winner was carrying. This week's article concerned CIMB winner Pat Perez, and the list piqued my interest.

Pat Perez in Kuala Lumpur

You'll probably enjoy the short article simply because PXG founder Bob Parsons tells how he and Pat got hooked up. But it was the equipment list itself that really made me stop and think.
  • Ball: Titleist Pro V1
  • Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (Mitsubishi Tensei Pro White 70 TX), 9.5 degrees
  • 3-wood: PXG 0317, 15 degrees
  • Hybrid: PXG 0317X, 19 degrees
  • Irons (3-4): PXG 0311XF; (5-PW): PXG 0311
  • Wedges: PXG 0311T (52, 60 degrees)
  • Putter: PXG Gunboat (a mallet putter, described in detail in the article)
Now, here's what caught my attention. Obviously the ball and driver are the ones he was using originally. And like everything else Pat does, he went "whole hog" and changed every other club to PXG. But let's think about this for a moment...

Pat has only been back from shoulder surgery for around a year. He has changed every club in his bag, except for his driver. Yet, unlike other players who make equipment changes, this complete overhaul doesn't seem to have hurt his game one little bit!

Given that Lydia Ko also changed to PXG but seems to have struggled to adapt, much as Rory did when he changed to Nike back in 2013 and as other players who change clubs seem to do, I have to wonder if Pat simply approaches his equipment with a different attitude from other players.

Perhaps he doesn't experiment as much with his clubs; perhaps he doesn't make drastic changes, in hopes of finding some new weapon; perhaps he simply sticks with what he knows has worked for him in the past. I don't know.

What I do know is that Pat has a pretty traditional setup -- two woods, one hybrid, seven irons, three wedges and a putter -- and he's pretty successful with it. Next time you go shopping for clubs, perhaps you should avoid dramatic changes to your current setup unless you know your game has changed enough to make the change worthwhile.

It's worth thinking about.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trent Wearner on the Art of Swatting Flies (Video)

If you've read my blog for any period of time, you know I frequently use a flyswatter as my example of how your forearms and wrists work during a swing. Well, instructor Trent Wearner actually posted a video with a flyswatter drill to help you get more clubhead speed. Of course I'm going to post it!



The drill is self-explanatory. I've posted some similar drills before, but actually seeing this move made using a flyswatter with a golf grip may help some of you get a better feel for how the motion works.

The one thing I wish Wearner had done was make a "swatter swing" using both hands so you could see the actual arm motion of each arm. It may help you figure out the motion more easily if you cock your wrists upward directly in front of your body, with the shaft swinging up and down vertically. Both elbows will bend slightly as you change direction -- the bend will feel bigger than it actually is -- and to get the same feel in your normal swing you'll have to make sure you let your shoulders turn fully in your backswing.

You might find that my post called The Wall Slap Drill is useful for transferring the feel of the "swatter swing" to your regular swing.

This really isn't difficult unless you're dead set on tensing your muscles a lot during your golf swing. A flyswatter-style motion feels a lot more relaxed, and consequently a lot more natural, than most players think their swing should feel.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The New Ko You Need to Know (Video)

The "New Ko" is of course Jin Young Ko, the KLPGA player who won the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship on Sunday. Consider this your crash course on the LPGA's newest winner.

Jin Young Ko with KEB trophy

Korean golf fans are well-acquainted with Jin Young Ko. When you see her, you may be struck by her resemblance to World #1 So Yeon Ryu, although you wouldn't confuse the two. She's 22 years old, been a KLPGA pro since 2013 and had nine KLPGA victories until winning the co-sponsored LPGA/KLPGA event this past weekend. She also won the 2016 World Ladies Championship with partner Jung Min Lee.

Stats-wise, she's 5'7" tall and hits the ball around 250 yards, which is plenty long for most of the women's courses. And she's deadly on the course -- her KLPGA page (this version is in English, but you'll have to pick the 'K' category and then pick Ko Jin Young from the list) puts her Driving Accuracy at 82% and her GIR ar just under 80%. She leads the KLPGA in both categories.

And here is a nice video of her swing -- regular and slo-mo, face-on and down-the-line -- kindly posted this weekend by Golfcast TV.



In my opinion, the only real question at this point is when she'll join the LPGA. She has the option of do it now (so she can play the few remaining events this season) or wait and start fresh in 2018. Because in my opinion, Jin Young Ko definitely has the game to take her place on the LPGA.

And the rest of the Tour should probably be a little nervous about that.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Limerick Summary: 2017 CIMB Classic

Winner: Pat Perez

Around the wider world of golf: Jin Young Ko earned her LPGA Tour card with a win at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship; Tyrrell Hatton made it two weeks in a row as he won the ET's Italian Open; Colin Montgomerie won the SAS Championship on the Champions Tour (playoffs start next week); Rodolfo Cazaubón won the 64º Aberto do Brasil on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and Yuta Ikeda won the Japan Open Golf Championship on the Japan Golf Tour.

Pat Perez hoists the CIMB trophy

There was a time when Pat Perez was regarded as a can't-miss kid (he beat Tiger at the 1993 Junior Worlds) who couldn't control his (mostly angry) emotions on the course, which cost him a lot of chances to win. He won only once, back in 2009 -- nearly a decade after he reached the Tour.

About five years ago, he says he started to change. About a year-and-a-half ago, he had shoulder surgery and his club sponsor dropped him. That was a bad choice on their part -- although not for PXG, who snapped him up -- because he won last November, made it to the Tour Championship for his first time ever...

And then, this past week, the 41-year-old entered the final round of the CIMB Classic with a four-stroke lead, which he stretched to six strokes at one point before pounding the field by that same four strokes. That's two wins in less than a year, for a guy many had written off as done. To be specific, two wins in his past 25 starts versus one in his first 378.

I love these kinds of stories! And I love his approach, since he knows what got him to this point (his short game and putting). As PGATOUR.com quoted him, "I'm not going to change anything. I'm still not going to work out. I'll still have a bad diet and I'm going to enjoy myself."

That's the way to do it, Pat -- your way. And while you're at it, have a beer to celebrate your second Limerick Summary in less than a year. There aren't many players who can say they've done that either!
A bum shoulder isn’t the end.
With both temper and game on the mend,
Pat seems to have found
How to shoot a low round
Without giving his club shafts a bend.
The photo came from the tournament page at PGATOUR.com.