I have never watched a shortgame or wedge video where I agree 100% with everything that has been said. Here is Jason Dufner and I agree with every single thing he says in this brief video. I am not being arrogant, after all he is the PGA Champion, but I seldom go through an entire wedge presentation without hearing something I want to question. Really good stuff from Duf and his coach Chuck Cook….
I thought the following points were important: shallow angle of attack, quiet wrists, straight right arm
A few of my findings on the shot:
We are all capable of hitting amazing golf shots, yet it is those mind-numbingly bad shots that ruin our day and erode any measure of confidence that we may have been hanging on to. The question we all would like to know the answer to is – why? Why was that shot so far offline when I’ve been hitting the ball straight just about all day? What is the primary cause of my inaccuracy?
My experience is that most golfers tend to look in the same place to find answers to their problems. Just like husbands tell their wives on every bad shot she might hit – “You lifted up!” Well, so to do we tend look towards the same area as a cause for our bad shots. Talking with my students it appears that far too many golfers are of the belief that bad shots are caused by a swing that was suddenly over the top or under plane – in other words the clubpath was different and that’s what led to the offline shot. This is even a favorite for the golf commentators on Sunday afternoons – if a golfer hits a shot left coming down the stretch you are very likely to hear Nick or Johnny chime in with, “Well, he came over that one…”
Teaching with TrackMan has taught me that most golfers’ inaccurate shots are caused by one of two factors:
- An open or closed face at impact
- Or an off center strike (heel or toe)
Golfers tend to be fairly consistent with their clubpath. Keep in mind that this is a general statement and not all golfers are consistent, but my experience has shown that golfers that work at their game tend to have a good measure of consistency when it comes to the direction their clubhead is travelling at impact – clubpath. It may not be an ideal path or what they are looking for, but consistent it is!
Consistency to your shot pattern comes from passive hands through impact and a predictable point of contact on the face (even if it’s not in the center!)
Please note that there is a mistake in my video! The face does not determine where the ball finishes, but rather where it starts! Sorry about that….
If you would like to find out what’s causing your shots to veer offline contact me at andrew(at)andrewricegolf.com to set up a TrackMan lesson or to discuss an online lesson.
I recently attended a two day Southern Ground Music and Food Festival in Charleston, SC put on by the Zac Brown Band. Now you may be asking – “What does this have to do with golf or my game?” Stay with me here, because as you will see, there is so much you can learn from successful entities in other industries.
I came away from the event inspired about what I needed to do to move forward and how I can do a better job for my students. Here is what I learned:
In 2013 ZBB will have been on tour from early January through late October. Once the tour is done they will be recording a new album - talk about getting down to it! They always seem to be stretching their abilities by experimenting with new or different genres of music. Lesson - persistently work hard at being the best you possibly can be – every minute of every day!
SUPPORT and EXPERTISE
ZBB is made up of a motley group of supremely gifted artists where each member is exceptionally talented in one or multiple areas. It truly is a case of the sum of the parts is greater than each individual part. Each band member beautifully complements what the others do. Lesson – specialize, but also surround yourself with experts in each field. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in areas you might be weak in.
The band strives to go above and beyond what one would expect – even above what one would expect from a world class act like they are. Their sets are immaculately planned and nothing seems to be “thrown together”. Lesson – be over-prepared! Let your students see that you are ready and excited to help them achieve their goals.
SHARING and MENTORING
ZBB is always open to lending a helping hand to young up and coming bands. The Festival I attended was evidence of this in that most of earlier acts were younger bands being supported by ZBB. They will also often invite artists, both young and old, to perform on stage with them. This is in addition to their album titled “You Get What You Give“! Lesson - go out of your way to help younger teachers and golfers. It costs you nothing!
I have been fortunate to see the band perform a few times now and they are always very thankful for all the people who allow them to be successful at what they do. Lesson – always let your clientele know how thankful you are for their support and business.
You might think I’m crazy (and there’s a good chance you’re right!) but I took all that from a concert put on by an exceptional country music band! What can you take from this information? And how can it benefit what you do in golf?
What do racing tires have in common with wedge play in golf? Read on because there might be a lot more to this than you might think.
It’s all about traction or friction, or more simply put – grip. The more the tires grip the road, the faster the driver can go and the more our clubface grips the ball, the lower the flight and the more the ball spins. Let’s look at how these tires work and see if we can draw a few parallels to how the specialized clubface on our wedges interact with the golf ball….
On a dry, sunny day day a race car will have tires that are wide, soft and completely grooveless. The tires are wide and grooveless in order to get as much rubber in contact with the road. Any grooves simply decrease the amount of traction the tire exerts on the road. They are softer than normal tires to increase traction. In rainy conditions the drivers will switch to tires with grooves (as seen above). The grooves on the tires channel water away from the road and thus allow the flat portion of the tire to grip the road cleanly. Grooves reduce the amount of rubber in contact with the road, thus reducing traction.
Club manufacturers now make their top tier wedges with a milled, legally grooved clubface. The milling on the clubface represents the softness of the racing tire as it allows the cover of the ball to settle into the mini grooves, even on these partial shots, and friction is increased. Our clubface needs grooves because we encounter many different lies during a round of golf. Many of those lies dictate that matter (grass/moisture) will be trapped between the face and the ball, greatly reducing friction. Grooves are not on the clubface for spin, but primarily as a channel to keep matter from being caught between the face and ball thus decreasing grip. Race car drivers have the luxury of changing tires for rainy conditions, while golfers do not have the luxury of changing their clubface for a variety of lies.
If we hit all our pitch or partial wedge shots off a tee using a premium ball and there was no way any grass or moisture could interrupt friction I actually believe a non-grooved, yet milled clubface would actually spin the ball as much or slightly more than the current grooved clubface designs. Good luck trying to convince your playing partners to go for that idea, but isn’t it helpful to know how the clubface is really designed to interact with the cover of the ball?
A milled clubface will increase friction in a similar fashion that softer racing tires will, but those milling lines also wear out like a softer tire does. If you are a competitive golfer have a practice set and a tournament set of wedges. This way you’ll always have that lower, spinning wedge shot when it matters most….
I have had so many people ask me how to better control where they strike the ball on the face that I had to share this drill. Most golfers display a consistent pattern when striking the golf ball and although the impacts points may not be in the exact same position, after hitting a handful of shots a definite pattern will start to emerge. Many golfers want to hit draws and a slight toe side bias to that strike pattern will encourage draws. The ideal strike point with the driver is above and outside of center. Here’s how to build your strike point awareness and ultimately improve your ability to hit it on the good part of the face.
I spray the clubface with Dr. Scholl’s Odor X foot spray and then divide the clubface into four quadrants. The objective is to place the center of the ball in each intended quadrant.
- The frist shot should be the high toe strike
- Followed by the low heel
- Then the more difficult shots, the low toe
- And the high heel.
The above photo is the first time I have ever seen anyone complete this drill on the first try. The more I learn about the importance of impact location, the better I feel about this quote from my Twitter feed:
I see a higher correlation between quality shots and where the ball is hit on the face, than just about any other factor in the swing.
You may ask why don’t we just practice hitting the shot on the intended location? As my friend and fellow coach Chris Como once shared:
Repeatability does not necessarily come from just trying to be more repeatable. Learn to solve similar ‘problems’ a variety of ways…
In other words – learning to hit the ball in a variety of locations on the face will actually make you better at hitting it in the desired location. If you can learn to better (you’ll never be perfect!) control where you impact the ball on the clubface you will dramatically improve the consistency and quality of your shots. Give it a try and feel free to share your experience and photos.
Any idea which shot went the longest out of the four? Read the link below for the answer…