THE GRIP

The golf grip...how we set our hands on the club... is one of the most talked about topics in golf instruction.

His grip is too strong....His is too weak... That's neutral with the V's pointing here or there

I would say out of all the lessons I have given I have probably only ever changed the grips of a handful of people.....a handful!!!

The grip needs to be based on how the arms hang from the shoulders, and so long as the forearms aren't twisted out of position when the grip is taken, most people are in decent shape......to BEGIN with

As history again has shown us...there are all types of different golf grips that the great players have used with outstanding results.

Trevino, Azinger, Couples and Langer- strong grips   Hogan, Nicklaus and Bill Rogers- weak grips    Palmer, Norman, Els, Faldo- neutral grips

This only goes to prove that there really is no standard grip that guarantees success..The grip can come in many shapes and sizes and angles and pointing V's

The only must I teach my students about the grip is we need to start off with a tight knit unit-- the hands need to be close together, whatever grip type you like to use. This is necessary so the hands work as a unit and not independently.

The great professional golfers had such a wide variance in their grips. They had a swing pattern or feel that DICTATED THEIR GRIP FOR THEM....that's what I teach my students. 

I will show you the correct swing motion and how to train it until it becomes second nature and your grip will then find you.... very easy

That's why I don't waste a student's time by trying to tell them within the first 5 minutes of a lesson that they need to grip the club in such and such a way. 

By changing someone's grip in the first 5 minutes ...well....we are then pretty much wasting the next 55 minutes as they will have no chance at swinging properly.

Here's what I do...... I teach them what impact and path mean and what they are meant to feel like. 

They learn this at regular speed with a regular golf club. No tracing plane lines or shining flashlights up a wall. We are playing real golf here.... not searching for marbles under a sofa.

We use a real golf club and we swing it!!

I show them my routine for teaching such a thing and enhancing that motion. What I show them and the way I do it...actually MAKES them change their grip on it's own accord to suit the sensations of the strike that I teach them.

The students almost ALL to the man alter their grip to a much closer ideal on their own with little or no input from me... I show them the how, set them on the right path and then let them learn.

The learning curve is rapid because I teach them things they can feel and utilize daily  when they practice or play and even at home . I force their body to learn rapidly by the way I teach. 

If you know what the golf swing is meant to feel like...then it becomes easier to repeat and also easier to repair.

Too many golfers have excelled with entirely different looking swings. Some not classic looking...BUT...if you know what to truly look for and understand the logic behind their motion well it is not hard to deny why they were so great at the game of golf...even with a swing that people laughed at or thought amusing.

SO....in summary....THE GRIP.... is not as important as most would make it out to be...

Because ....people are different.... we all have different size hands, different finger thickness, different strength of fingers and wrists, different forearm angles that manage which way our hands can or can't turn.

I will let you learn your true grip as we progress along....there is a time and a place for that stuff....but it isn't within the first few minutes of a lesson. !!

 


THE HEAD....keep it still???       SPINE ANGLE......keep it the same???

We always the common response when a golfer hits a poor shot....  "Ohh...I moved my head....no wonder I didn't hit the ball properly"

This is one of the absolute biggest misconceptions about the swing ever made up.

Our head is attached to our shoulders....Our arms are attached to our shoulders..  Our hands are attached to our arms..... Our club is attached to our hands....... If one thing is moving......shouldn't all of them move?

The head IS NOT the center of the swing....It HAS to move....let it move.

If your weight is moving from one side to another and downwards also isn't it only logical that the head AND the spine have to move along with that transfer.

The greatest Major Championship winner in the history of golf- Jack Nicklaus talked about always keeping his head still when he swung the club...DID HE?

 



 ABSOLUTELY NOT - His head goes down and backwards (brown line) and his spine angle changes considerably (blue line) Le Trevino - drops his head considerably into the impact area 

 

Moe Norman- renowned for his ball striking abilities drops his head down and backwards throughout the swing Gary Player- down and backwards increasing his spine tilt into impact

 

Want more evidence? .... How about Ben Hogan and also the great Tony Lema

Lema's head moves backwards as shown in relation to the tree and building in his background...his spine tilt increases considerably through impact. The flat left wrist at impact becomes a result..not from being an objective we strive for.... It happens with the correct swing sequencing and acceleration

So if all these great ball strikers move their head and change their spine angles throughout the swing...WHY would we want to do anything different?

This notion totally disproves the idea of staying centered over the ball and keeping the weight forward to help improve the strike.

One of the greatest photos of a world class golfer showing how the weight should actually be over the right foot on the approach to impact is of perhaps the greatest driver of the golf ball ever in the persimmon age of golf- Greg Norman

Even though we hear all the golfers say they drive towards their left side from transition and get their weight onto their left side into impact......

WHERE do the scales in the background show the weight positioned?

65% of The Shark's weight is STILL on his right side with the club head 12 inches from the impact position.....he has spine tilt and is holding the flex of the shaft into the strike.....it is little wonder he was such an impressive golfer and especially an unbelievable driver of the golf ball.

If the greatest ever all did it in a particular manner...why would we want to attempt anything different?...this is why theories such as stack and tilt are ineffective, especially with the longer clubs....the proof is there for all to see...IF you know what to look for. 

 


 

Tiger Woods recently undertook swing surgery in an attempt to improve his ball striking.

The picture below shows the poor results of mis information about trying to keep the body ahead or on top of the ball...or 'centered' as they are calling it today.

Having his caddie Steve Williams hold a club in alignment with his head to monitor his head movement and try not to move down or backwards is no good.

 

You only have to look at the clubface, which is markedly closed only a a foot or so after impact...and see the right arm thrusting and straightening the club outwards from the body and  'off plane' after impact.

If you think keeping the club on plane coming down is relative...then you are well and truly mistaken....keeping the club 'on plane' through the strike and beyond is the only true relevance to having consistent control of the ball.

A better way to put it is this.....

To keep the club on the "true plane" where it matters,  you need to feel like the club is NEVER on plane.

We can take this one step farther and view a video from the recent Tavistock Cup that was held in mid March 2011.

The result of keeping the body centered and on top of the ball is hindering any opportunity Tiger has of coming in from a shallow path and using his entire body in the correct sequence of events.

The resulting divot here is what you would see at your local public course.

You can stick as many gloves under your right arm as you want and it won't help stop this over active thrusting...because Tigers swing DNA and what he wants to feel and needs to feel are totally against this new idea of swinging the club

 

http://player.vimeo.com/video/21109533

tigerdownimpact031511 from Golf Aus on Vimeo.

 

This new move is not working on a consistent basis....and doesn't work......we now see a huge assortment of popped up drives and huge snap hooks and a few pushed shots also.

The variety of contacts from different angles is vast and the extra work the hands have to do to time this new sequence Tiger is trying to achieve is difficult for anyone, let alone him. Keeping the weight on an already suspect lead leg because of injuries cannot be a good thing for longevity as farther injuries can then evolve in other areas as the body in balance is fighting it's natural movement patterns. We need to work left- we dont want to get left and then have to stop the body for the arms and hands to get by it. Weight has to transfer into the direction of the target. If we are already toward our target we won't have an option to head that direction as we move the mass of the club from the rear of us.

It pretty much becomes 'pot luck' when the face strikes squarely and the ball goes where he wants it to go. 

Add in the fact that tremendous delofting of the club is occurring and we now are witness to large distance control issues for the iron approaches.

This staying centered and on 'top of the ball' also puts more pressure on Tiger's impaired left knee.....as I have shown above the majority of the weight should be on the right side coming into impact.... 

To be keeping the weight farther left puts intense pressure on that leg and we see the steep downward approach and hand flip or steep shoulder thrust upwards with the irons and also up and backwards with the driver to try save the shot.

The pictures below show just how much weight Lee Trevino and Ben Hogan had behind the ball and on their right side at impact. 

 

Why would we want to do anything different?

 

It really irks me that instruction of today claim to have based their teaching methods on the game's greatest- and many use Hogan as their thesis as he has been revered throughout time- .... Yet they teach polar opposites to what the greats did.

Other great golfers below  Steve Jones, Sandy Lyle. Larry Nelson showing the same procedure with weights in the background showing us the ground forces at these stages of the swing and the ratio of them from right foot to left foot. It may feel like the weight moves left...but this shows an entirely different picture and a true one. 

If you want to be able to bring the club around your body into impact what foot should the majority of your weight be on to help achieve this?.....correct as shown

   

 


 

THE SWING PLANE.................. What Is It ?......Where Does The Swing Plane Really Matter?

So...we can't watch a golf telecast or the Golf Channel or even read a golf magazine without some reference to the swing plane.

The internet is covered with swing plane theories and ideals based on someone drawing lines from the ball upwards to the shaft, or the hands, or the grip or the shoulders and making the call about whether or not someone's swing is 'on plane'.

I mentioned this earlier on Page 5 about the backswing......The backswing doesn't really matter.

The backswing is a movement of the club allowing us to find the true path down and into the ball. History proves the club head, shaft, or grip does NOT have to be on 'plane' whilst the backswing is in progress.

Yet all we hear today is instructors and commentators talking about keeping the butt of the club pointing at the ball going back and coming down.....WHY?

Anyone who thinks the club has to stay on plane going up and coming down does NOT know about the golf swing....You may think that is a far out remark....                                    BUT...... IT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE

Let's look at a few players of today's era who according to the 'knowledge' of these instructors and commentators show exemplary swing plane based on today's thoughts about the path the club should take. We will look at the downswing first.

Tiger Woods Phil Mickelson Ernie Els

Each of these downswing approaches show an 'on plane' ideal where the butt of the club is pointing at the ball as they are swinging the club downwards from the top.

 

Now let's look at some of history's greatest ever ball strikers and see what they do.

    

   

Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Moe Norman, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tony Lema, Byron Nelson, Gary Player

NONE OF THEM.......have the butt of the club pointing anywhere near the ball

Should we then really believe that today's computer aged golf instruction is well founded and based on fact?

TRYING to keep the club on plane is catastrophic to the main part of the swing    IMPACT and BEYOND

The only time we  'really want the club on plane' is through impact and beyond..being taught otherwise is the ruin of good ball striking abilities for many

That's why we see very sub standard ball striking quality throughout the world these days even with the 'latest and greatest' hi tech equipment

The post impact protocols are  SO important to the swing....it gives us an x-ray of exactly what happened before hand.

Golf instruction has entirely missed the boat on the true demand of ball striking excellence.... There are many factors to improving your ability but if you think the swing is over once the ball has been struck-- you are way off base..

I teach this in an easy to understand and an easy to program manner... ANYONE. can achieve great  ball striking capabilities with the correct information.

You can always keep doing what you are doing now and maybe 'luck out' a few times and play well....but consistency will always be so difficult to find.

I treat students as long term projects.....not just someone I can stick a band aid on and improve them for a few days. However...the harder the worker the quicker the swing changes will allow them to improve.

I look long term and base my beliefs on real great ball strikers shown above and what they did with the swing and my experience as a high level professional golfer allows me to pass these sensations on to my students.

Golf can be as hard as you want to make it.        It really isn't as hard as some think.

 


 

IMPACT AND BEYOND

IMPACT DOES NOT MEAN THE JOB IS DONE

Lets go and look at the impact and post impact region of  the same three players shown on the previous page-- Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson

On the previous page I highlighted today's traditional thought of an 'on plane' downswing and how they had the butt of their clubs pointing at the ball. Let's take a look and see what happens as a result of this..........

  

Is it co-incidence that a steeper 'on plane' downswing gives cause to each player having to  straighten and throw their trailing arm (right arm for Tiger & Ernie) off plane through impact and beyond causing the clubface to turn drastically post impact.

Isn't it painfully obvious that the steeper you come on the downswing the steeper and more vertical your shoulders will be at impact. 

The body stalls slightly, the arms straighten and slap and then we see these beautiful looking finish positions that the player ends up and makes everyone go .."Wow, what a great looking balanced finish" ...BUT....the damage has been done long before that.

Depending on the amount of flip the clubhead can veer right.....OR....the clubhead can flip in a pronounced manner to the inside.

Either way....... Both directions mean a loss of clubface control. And since we see it here at impact or beyond it probably means the loss of control happened even sooner than this in the swing.

The gap between the hands and the body has elongated at a rapid rate...again... showing a lack of control of the end result of the ball because the hands are working independently from the body.

They have to  throw this trailing arm at the ball because the steeper downswing gets them 'stuck' and they have no where to go because of the speed they are wailing away at the ball with.

There it is.....the term... "STUCK"        How many times do we hear the commentators say "Tiger got stuck on that one."

Getting stuck is in reality....... very far from the explanation the commentators give for this terminology.  That's a catch phrase and a lumped on term that doesn't describe what is really occurring. 

This is the VERY reason we see such dreadful driving of the golf ball from players such as Tiger and Phil.

The steep swing, upright equipment, offers little choice but to go hand  and arm slapping around impact and roll the face around with only minimal control of the outcome of the shot.

I can't blame the players one bit....this is what the game has become thanks to the powers that be allowing technology to run rampant with no resistance. They are using equipment that is designed around distance and not control.

They are using equipment that has been designed longer in the shaft and more upright in the lie angle. These changes were made by equipment companies to boost the ego of the average golfer who wanted distance and whose shot pattern was mainly a slice. 

The longer shaft and delofted clubs made players think they were hitting the ball longer.

The upright lie angles made the player throw his hands at the ball in a steep motion to bottom the sole out at impact and it promotes a hand roll and only a quick fix to their  slice problem and brought pulls, hooks, pushes and bigger slices into their repertoire. 

In the process it ruined people's swings and the companies then thrusted the same clubs into the professional's hands so they could market them and sell them to the public.

A classic example of ill designed equipment being used. Professional's have adapted to the " junk " they are swinging and can play decent on occasion, but the swing deterioration has multiplied and this is a major reason we see player's having poor ball striking statistics and less consistancy. 

They are being taught to come down 'on plane' (the wrong plane) and then roll their hands hard through impact also in an effort to match up to this poorly designed equipment.

AND

The golf courses are now longer, with wide open spaces where accuracy isn't as much of a premium as it used to be.

They are even cutting down rough now....saying that this gives the players a "unique opportunity to showcase their escape skills from predicaments".

The players swing skills have all deteriorated based on the combination of all these happenings.

 


 

I would love to see Tiger Woods be able to drive the ball from the tee like he used to. He used to win tournaments by lapping the field because he was in play from the tee. He used a shorter heavier smaller club. He managed to swing it much more along the ball striking guidelines of excellence and he was still very long.

He would very much dominate again. ...as he is quite simply the best at the other facets of the game and has the ideal concentration and temperament to compete at high standards for extended periods of time. He still has a decent iron swing for the most part, but that is eroding with the new philosophy and his stats show he is way down the list in hole proximity and percentage of greens in regulation from longer range iron shots (such as 150 yards or longer)..... 

Because you CAN'T have weight forward on your long clubs....It is only logic. Something these teachers DO NOT comprehend for some reason by telling any golfer otherwise whether it be Tiger Woods or John Smith.

When you continually work on the wrong things with your swing with the wrong set up of your equipment your muscle memory and your muscle tone fades

Tiger is bigger and stronger than ever also from his working out. The longer he goes this route with his mechanics , the tougher it will be for him to come back and dominate the game again.

He pretty much has no feel for the clubhead or for impact and beyond and this new swing stuff, which even started with the one plane business, has slowly but surely taken away HIS FEEL for playing golf.

He is even working on his short game and putting now which were always beyond compare. 

You lose your feel for one part of the game by doing un-necessary motions with your swing then it filters into the finer touch areas. 

As long as he doesn't get too far off track he would actually be a pretty easy fix... It's still in there somewhere but is being buried under the clutter of nonsense.

After all he is Tiger Woods...and you just don't forget what to do

 


 

LET'S SEE HOW THE OTHER PLAYERS WHO DON'T KEEP THEIR CLUB 'ON PLANE' COMING DOWN SIZE UP THROUGH IMPACT.

   

   

Jones, Trevino, Hogan, Snead, Player Nicklaus Venturi & Brewer

Right arm bent and braced......               No hand rolling the club.......Left  Shoulder moving away through the shot with rotation

NO SECRETS HERE......THAT IS HOW YOU DO IT

All these players worked out the true swing protocols and then knew how the swing was meant to feel which enabled them repetition of the motion.  ALSO TAKE NOTE :.....All these players had entirely different backswing

SIX OF THE GREATEST BALL STRIKERS EVER.            They can't all be wrong!!

 


 

TODAY'S SWING MISHAPS

I can show you pictures all day long of poor swing mechanics based around ill designed and ill fitted equipment.

I am in no way saying these are bad golfers. They are in fact some of the world's best players we have on offer today.

The problem is they are only scratching the surface of their abilities by swinging in such a manner. 

IF they could learn what I have to offer and feel the true protocols of the golf swing, they wouldn't have to make golf a day to day proposition based on timing the clubhead into the ball.

They would enhance their shot making ability and ball control with much more regularity and not have to try to fix timing issues in their swing every few days in the hope of finding their ball striking again.

    

    

It is an all too common theme of over acceleration too soon in the swing because of too light equipment....combined with too steep a downswing... just giving way to the arm thrust and the stiffening of the legs and the hand slap and clubface roll that give these players limited control on a daily basis. 

Some days they have it.... most days they don't. The key is too eliminate that possibility and bring the percentage rate into your favor of playing well more often and for longer periods of time.

My swing training and ideas will point anyone in the right direction to better ball striking on a more consistent basis.

If some of these players hit the ball more consistently and had overall better control of the ball day in and day out ... .then the sky would be the limit. They are leaving SO MUCH on the table by doing what they are doing with their swing.

They have the instinct and the ability to play exceptionally well.....but if they would abide by the true swing protocols they would then have straighter drives.... closer iron approaches....and the opportunity to shoot lower scores more regularly and evaporate the higher scores from their score card.

The cherished ball strikers of days gone by (see below) all had the common theme of retaining their knee flex....and swinging on a shallower plane into impact....which allowed the right arm to stay quieter UNTIL well after impact.

This bred the consistency of their ball striking and allowed them to play much more flawless, easier hassle free  golf without having to conjure up miracle shots and have to hole 25 foot putts on every green to salvage a score. 

   

   

Shoulders open...right arm bent and in close...knees bent and used as a brace...shaft returned to almost identical impact position

 


 

The Finish and how it can dictate the swing.

The final part of the swing that tells us something and brings an insight into everything that happened previously is the position indicated below.

   

   

This is the point of the swing that shows all the incredible forces and correct sequencing throughout the golf swing that brings the shaft into a vertical upright position at this point in the follow through

From here we just fold into our finish---- whether it be a lasso style like Seve or Arnold Palmer......or a drop and slap of the club on our back like Jack Nicklaus or  Greg Norman did. 

The finished product of the follow through then becomes personal style from this point on... we don't have to look like we are posing for the cover of a golf magazine at final finish.

When I look at the modern golf swing and style it shows a different club and shaft position at this point and is a clear indication of over acceleration too soon with the hands.

    

   

All wonderful stylish looking finishes to the swing but unfortunately absent of the correct swing intentions that assist in ball striking prowess.

We see the club slowing down and folded at this position because of the energy of slapping the ball with our hands on the downswing and impact.

The acceleration process is out of sequence for all the reasons mentioned previously and all these players are relying on is a slap timing of the hands to try square the club at impact. 

 

Here is a photo of my finish point hitting my 3 iron second shot on the 72nd hole of the 1993 Australian Masters to 20 inches from the hole

And also a photo of one of my students who now hits this position because of his drill training- just like the best ball strikers ever!! Nice Work


Conclusions:

The golf swing is a complex timing of events that all lead to a farther chain of events occurring. It's a chain reaction of one thing leading to another --

You can't stick the club in any of these positions without the correct forces being in position. They all need to blend.

That's why I teach the swing in segments so they become second nature without having to necessarily try or think about the last or the next sequence. 

You learn - You train- You work- You reap the rewards

This is NOT a made up thesis about the golf swing. It is proven beyond a doubt based on the great ball strikers of history and also based on my very own feels of the dynamic swing I once had and the mechanical position swing that came along later on based on a false plane and faulty equipment.

Once one part is out of sequence the golf swing train can be derailed quickly and can cause a huge variation of shots that are indiscriminate in their nature.

My job as an instructor is to explain and teach and allow you to feel the correct sequencing.  This will bring more of the desired results of your shot selection on a more regular basis.

Once my swing feels are entrenched in your system through purposeful training and understanding then ....the mystery of golf will slowly disappear.

The images on this page should really show that the swing IS NOT over once club strikes ball.