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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Nick Clearwater's Doorframe Drill (Video)

This video is an expansion of a small piece Clearwater did in the January Golf Digest.



This video explains why the common advice to "get behind the ball" during your backswing can actually shorten your backswing, and how staying centered over the ball can actually give you a better shoulder coil as well as the spine extension you want during your swing.

Ironically, it seems to me that this drill will also cause you to straighten your trailing knee more during your backswing, which was a standard move for many legendary players like Arnold Palmer. I most recently did a post about that move at this link, and you might want to experiment and see if Clearwater's drill also causes you to recreate a similar position.

As Clearwater says, you can do this drill indoors as much as you want... and we're all indoors a lot more lately, aren't we?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Domingo Lopez on Golf in General

For those of you who don't know, Domingo Lopez was Nancy Lopez's dad and swing coach. In her book The Education of a Woman Golfer Nancy included this quote from her dad, which even she says is an exaggeration, but there's a lot of truth in it. So I post it today for your consideration.
Golf is in its essence a simple game. You laugh in a sharp, bitter, barking manner when I say this, but nevertheless it is true. Where the average man goes wrong is in making the game difficult for himself. Observe the non-player, the man who walks round with you for the fresh air. He will hole out with a single care-free flick of his umbrella the twenty-foot putt over which you would ponder and hesitate for a full minute before sending it off the line. Put a driver into his hands and he pastes the ball into the next county without a thought. It is only when he takes the game in earnest that he becomes self-conscious and anxious, and tops his shots even as you and I. A man who could retain through his golfing career the almost scornful confidence of the non-player would be unbeatable. [p20]
Yeah, it's an exaggeration. But there's a lot of truth there, not only for golf but for life in general.

In times like these, keeping some perspective is critical. So don't get obsessed with the small stuff, and keep the important stuff in its proper place. Life's a lot easier to deal with when you do.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

How to Play a Par-3 (Video)

Last week I posted a Golf Monthly video where Graeme McDowell's coach Clive Tucker gives GW's Neil Tappin a strategy lesson on how to play par-4s. Surprise! That was the first of a three-video series.

Today you get the second video, which covers the strategy for playing par-3 holes. It's nearly 22 minutes long, so grab a drink and settle in for a master class in strategy.



Monday, March 30, 2020

Some Good Golf News (for a Change)

This 7-minute Golf Central update has some Tour business info as well as some practice drills that you can use at home.



This link sums up what the Tour plans to do to help their players and caddies who are financially struggling because there are no events to play.

Plus Brandel Chamblee has a cross-section of social media videos showing drills that have been posted by a number of Tour players, each giving a drill to help you improve different areas of your game without ever leaving home.

While we don't know if we're any closer to seeing "fresh" golf yet, at least we're getting some new golf content that isn't bad news. I'll take that any day!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

How to Use Your Rangefinder

You say you live in an area where you can still play golf but the lack of players on the course hasn't sped up your game any? You say you still aren't hitting the ball any nearer the hole? Betty William from golfershot.com may have just the guidance you need.

No matter who you are, it’s hard to enjoy golf when you hit every green and still have a long putt left. If you want to leave shorter putts, it’s important to know the correct distance between you and your target.

Knowing the correct distance your ball has to carry helps you choose the right iron. When you know which club you’re using, you can plan for the best shot shape. That’s what leaves you a shorter putt.

A rangefinder helps you get the distance from you to the hole and to the front and the back of the green. You can figure out all the options for your next shot with a rangefinder, but you need to learn how to use one.

Types of rangefinders and how they work

Most rangefinders use reflective beams to get the reading, calculate the results and make recommendations. They include the distance to the target, the temperature of the green and the type of club you should use. You can get an in-depth idea of rangefinder suggestions from the golf rangefinder reviews here.

There are three basic types of rangefinders you need to know how to use. They are:
  1. Laser rangefinders.
  2. GPS rangefinder.
  3. Optical rangefinder.

1. How to use a Laser rangefinder

A laser rangefinder uses a laser beam locally from the device to calculate your next shot. Here is how you get it to work:
  • Get the rangefinder and switch it on. The power button placement varies from one manufacturer to another. Search for it and press the button.
  • Set the parameters to take the slopes into account and adjust the laser frequency if necessary. You're ready to rock!
  • Now, point the rangefinder towards the flag you're targeting and hold it still. The laser beam travels the distance and bounces back to the sensor inside the rangefinder.
  • Once the rangefinder has a reading from the sensor, it will calculate the travel distance and let you know with the display and sound.
You might need to get the reading more than once if you don't hold the device steady.

2. How to use a GPS rangefinder

GPS rangefinders use the Global Positioning System and the advancements of satellite technology. Here is the process for using a GPS rangefinder:
  • Most golf courses have their map and blueprint on their server to help golfers use their GPS rangefinders.
  • Turn your GPN rangefinder on and connect it to the golf course online feed.
  • The blueprint and the map of the golf course will help you locate the flag and calculate your next shot.
  • Point the rangefinder to the flag and it will calculate the coordinates, map the geo-location of the hole, and measure the distance.
Make sure you keep the rangefinder up-to-date, so it can connect to the maximum amount of satellites available. Also, update the maps regularly to get the best reading for the slopes.

3. How to use an Optical rangefinder

Optical rangefinders aren’t as advanced as Laser or GPS rangefinders. They use basic optics to calculate distances. You use an optical rangefinder by looking through lenses and adjusting a knob to focus on the target.

Once you can clearly see the target, the distance given is more of an educated guess rather than a calculated accurate reading. However, you can increase your accuracy if you have some knowledge about the course.

Final thought

Rangefinders are great when it comes to determining your next shot and getting closer with your next putt. They also help you choose the right club for your shots by giving you an accurate reading of the green. Rangefinders even suggest the right club if you have the right device in your hand. You can rapidly improve your bunker shot accuracy and putting with a rangefinder.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Debbie O'Connell's Frying Pan Drill (Video)

This is a great drill to use while many golf courses are shut down.



I want to explain some things about this drill, things that I think make it useful but that many instructors wouldn't mention.

First of all, when you watch this drill head-on it really does look like you're rotating your forearms a great deal... but that's an illusion. If you were standing erect -- that is, with your spine vertical as you swing -- the 'face' of the frying pan would stay vertical to the ground all the way through your swing. From head-on it would look as if your forearms were rotating, but from your viewpoint you would see that both arms remain straight and there's no rotation at all.

But you're actually bent at the hips as you swing, so there's a minor bit of rotation during your swing. HOWEVER, there's only enough rotation to keep the 'face' of the frying pan vertical to the ground. From head-on it looks as if there's a lot of forearm rotation but from your viewpoint you will only see a slight bit.

And most of that forearm rotation comes from your lead elbow staying close to your side throughout the swing. (If that elbow moves away from your side during your followthrough, you're chicken-winging.) This is where it can really help if you're swinging a cast iron frying pan, as the weight of the pan will help pull your trailing arm straight while also helping you feel the effort of keeping your lead elbow close.

Please note that even when you don't chicken-wing it, your lead elbow still bends a little on your followthrough. That's the mirror image of what your arms do during your backswing.

Again, this is a great drill for doing inside, especially if the golf courses near you are closed and you can't play because of COVID-19. It doesn't take much room to do and the weight of the frying pan gives you great feedback on whether you're doing it correctly or not. A month spent using this drill for a few minutes daily can really make a difference in your swing once you can hit the course again.

Friday, March 27, 2020

In Case You Haven't Heard Yet...

The New York Post is reporting that the USGA has finally postponed the US Open.

The clock at Winged Foot

It was just a matter of time, you know. The June date is looking less and less feasible, especially since Governor Andrew Cuomo basically shut down the state last week in hopes of slowing down COVID-19. New York is one of the USA's main hot spots for the virus.

The Post says that although the USGA hasn't made an official announcement yet, they intend to delay the event and hopefully still play it at Winged Foot, perhaps in September.

That's now four of the big events that COVID-19 has affected. THE PLAYERS was cancelled, of course, and now the Masters, the PGA and the US Open have been postponed. Will THE OPEN, scheduled for mid-July, also be postponed?

With the Olympics also being postponed until sometime next year, some spots have opened up on the calendar for these events to be rescheduled if the virus will just cooperate. Hope springs eternal...