Trajectory Tricks

The loft on the clubface at impact is largely responsible for the launch of the ball. When it comes to wedge play friction also plays a significant role in determining the launch angle, but the purpose of this article is to share an idea to help you improve the loft you deliver to the ball at impact.

Most of us will either hit the ball overly high or too low. This video illustrates a simple drill to get you to feel what you need to feel in order to grasp what is required to deliver either more, or less, loft.

For the high ball hitters:

  • Using a pitching wedge get set up with a narrow stance
  • Position the ball off the tip of your front foot
  • Feel the handle or butt of the club travel a long way forward into impact
  • It’s not easy but do all you can to hit low launchers

For the low ball hitters like me:

  • Stick with the PW and a narrow stance
  • The ball should be in line with the tip of your back foot
  • In the downswing you’ll feel the clubhead swinging a ton. The clubhead should feel like it outraces the hands
  • This will feel scoopy and that’s a good thing

Notice where my hands are just post impact in the image below - the low ball hitters need the hands less forward while the high ball hitters need to sense how much more forward they need to be…

It’s never easy making changes as they always feel so uncomfortable. Let’s get away from associating discomfort with ‘wrong’ as you work towards improvement. I know this exercise seems like it’s the opposite of what it should be, but as the task becomes more challenging (which this one is) we have no choice but to adapt.

The good news is that this drill applies directly to your long game too, so don’t be afraid to incorporate a few of these drills with those full swings too.

Thanks for checking in and I hope this helps you to enjoy your golf a little more.

Coach Camp London

If you're a coach or a golf professional you may have heard about Coach Camp. If you've been fortunate enough to attend one then you already know what it's about. If you haven't and would like to learn more then this 90 seconds is for you...

When the idea for Coach Camp was hatched I wanted it to be something that made a significant change in the way coaches and professionals helped students improve, operated their business and marketed what they do. It has and always will be "Two days of industry leading coaching information designed to positively enhance the course of your career."

Chuck Cook Teaching at Coach Camp USA

Chuck Cook Teaching at Coach Camp USA

The feature presenters in London will be coaching legend Chuck Cook, putting guru David Orr, biomechanics expert Scott Cowx and myself. We will also have Dr. Scott Lynn share his presentation on ground reaction forces

There will be live lessons, Q&A sessions, putting demonstrations and perhaps best of all - the cocktail party on Monday evening where we can get down to the nitty gritty questions you might have. All so that you can be more successful on the lesson tee!

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

We will be at the Drift Golf Club in East Horsley outside London on September 25 & 26. Our title sponsors: KVEST3DSwing CatalystTrackMan; and True Spec Golf will also have representatives on site. Not only will you be able to see this technology in action, but the company representatives will be able to answer any questions you might have. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity to learn from some of the best in our business.

Sponsor-Bar.jpg

Register for Coach Camp London HERE

 

The Greatest 18 Short Holes in Golf

10th Riviera

10th Riviera

I have often believed that a round of golf should be interesting, enjoyable and challenging at the same time. This compilation of holes are exactly that! Every hole on the list is one that a golfer would eagerly anticipate. The excitement of a possible birdie perfectly balanced with potential for disaster.

Now keep in mind this is my list and as a result it incorporates the best four short par 3's, four short par 5's and ten short par 4's according to me. Please feel free to share your thoughts and which holes you feel would make your list...

7th Sand Hills GC

7th Sand Hills GC

Par 3’s

·      12th Augusta National GC (155yds)

·      7th Pebble Beach GC (106yds)

·      8th Royal Troon GC (123yds)

·      11th Shinnecock Hills GC (154yds)

Par 5’s

·      13th Augusta National GC (510 yds)

·      18th National Golf Links of America (502 yds)

·      9th Muirfield (505 yds)

·      3rd Old Prestwick (535 yds)

Par 4’s

·      14th Secession GC (360 yds)

·      10th Riviera GC (315 yds)

·      13th Harbourtown GL (354 yds)

·      17th TPC Scottsdale (332 yds)

·      14th Muirfield Village GC (336 yds)

·      3rd Augusta National GC (340 yds)

·      14th National Golf Links of America (341 yds)

·      15th World Woods – Pine Barrens (339 yds)

·      7th Sand Hills GC (283 yds)

·      9th Cypress Point GC (292 yds)

11th Shinnecock Hills GC

11th Shinnecock Hills GC

The truly amazing fact about this 'golf course' is that it would only measure 5882 yards in total! There are not many of those of us who call ourselves golfers who'd be caught dead teeing it up from the 5900 yard markers. Now I'm sure some of the par 5's on the list could be stretched a little longer than what I have them listed at, but the fun part is being tempted by these great holes - and if they're any longer I simply couldn't be tempted.

I honestly cannot think of a golf course I would be more excited to play. I hope you enjoyed my list and I'm sure you'd have a few holes you could improve upon. Let me know your picks...

How to Deal with a Headwind

Controlling your golf ball in the wind is one of golf's greatest challenges. For quite a while now I have been asking my junior players to hit a 140 yard approach shot directly into whatever wind might be blowing that day and none of them have ever reached the flag! Now, part of this is ego and another part inexperience, but being a curious coach I wanted to do what I could to help them play these headwind shots effectively. At Savannah Harbor we have a double sided range and in the spring we can experience some strong winds. The double sided range means that I can hit shots into and down the same wind. Having TrackMan is a huge help here as it tracks the ball accurately throughout it's flight. Watch...

After quite a bit of testing on and off the golf course I have found that this formula produces positive results. Please keep in mind that hitting any shot in the wind is not exact science and there will always be a subjective side to selecting the appropriate club and shot.

  1. Determine how many MPH of wind are blowing in your face
  2. If its 12 MPH then add 12 yards per 100 yards of distance required
  3. Determine what club you would need to hit the ball that distance
  4. Take one additional club and play a knockdown type shot

Example scenario: For a 140 yard shot into a 20 MPH headwind. I would add 28 yards (20 yards per 100) to 140 to get to 168 which is a full 7 iron for me. I would thus take a 6 iron and hit a knockdown for this scenario.

You might wonder how you'd come to recognize the wind speed...? Experience certainly helps, but there's nothing against checking a weather app on your phone prior to going out to play to help you gauge wind speed. And remember - there is no such thing as a one club wind!

Thanks for reading and I hope this information helps you better control your ball in challenging windy conditions.

Develop Your Skills

Getting better at golf should be fun! As I become a more experienced coach I'm finally grasping the role that skill plays in lowering any golfer's score. I think of skill as what you can do with your technique. What shots can you hit? How well can you control your golf ball? That's achieved with skill. Check out this drill that I came up with to not only help you become a better golfer, but also to help you have more fun while you practice...

We all need skills. Hopefully wicked skills! By giving yourself ONE opportunity to hit each of the shots required to complete this drill you are continuously challenging your ability to adapt to the requirements of each unique situation. Something real golf requires on every shot! The seven required shots are a big slice, a medium fade, a baby fade, a straight one, a baby draw, a medium draw and a big hook. Don't hit them in order, but mix it up. Real golf doesn't work in a neat and smooth progression - neither should your practice. Keep a score too. It will help you strive to achieve full marks! 

Add golf skills to your resume...

Add golf skills to your resume...

Give this drill a try the next time you go out to practice. In fact, any skill based challenge or drill you can come up with will help you to develop wicked golf skills that you can take out on the course with you to start shooting lower scores.

Thanks for reading.

3 Key Drills for Great Wedge Play

Far too many golfers struggle with their wedge play. I see it all the time! In this article and video I have dug deep and come up with my three favorite drills for you to practice if you'd like to get better from close range. Take a look...

Impact Drag Drill

  • Using an alignment rod in lieu of a club take your normal pitching address position
  • Place the tip of the rod on the ground about 3 feet behind where the ball would be
  • Keeping the arms extended, rotate and elevate the lead shoulder to get the rod through impact

Pitching Draw Drill

  • Tee the ball up and place an alignment rod between the ball and the target
  • The objective is to get the ball to draw around the rod
  • Have the handle traveling up and in while the clubhead travel down and out for draws

9 Ball Trajectory Drill

  • Using nine balls to develop skill and adaptability
  • Hit the first three balls to three different targets with your stock trajectory
  • The second three balls are hit with a slightly higher trajectory to different targets
  • The final three are hit with a lower trajectory to different targets as well

My hope is that these drills will help to upgrade your technique, develop your skill around the greens and ultimately help you become a more well-rounded golfer.

Thanks for reading/watching and if you enjoyed this article please share it with a friend who you feel might benefit.

Fabulous Golf in New Zealand

Terri and I have just returned from an incredible two weeks in New Zealand. I must say that when we departed on the trip I was expecting the golf to be good, but not much more. How wrong I was! I was truly blown away with not only the quality of the golf courses (design and shot-making), but also the scenery and conditioning.

Coronet at Millbrook

Coronet at Millbrook

We started on the South Island at Millbrook. Here we played the Coronet and Remarkable nines as there are 27 holes available. Conditioning and scenery was superb and the consensus was that everybody preferred the Coronet nine. A good idea here is to tee it up relatively early and then drive 5 minutes up the road for a fantastic lunch at Amisfield Winery.

Our second course on the South Island was Jack's Point. This is the most beautiful golf course I've ever played. Not only is it beautiful, but it's a top notch layout too. A true 360º course - look in any direction, on any hole, and you'll see incredible beauty. Our group literally couldn't get enough of Jack's Point and this was the course of the trip for me. 

Jacks Point

Jacks Point

We then moved to the North Island where the next round we played was at the mighty Kinloch Club. Our weather was perfect and we just about had the course to ourselves. A Jack Nicklaus design with a definite linksy feel to it - Kinloch delivered the goods and more. I loved how the fairways incorporated the humps and bumps and the whole look and feel of the course was interesting. The golf course is fantastic, but the Lodge at Kinloch might even be better. Contemporary accommodations along with world-class cuisine is tough to beat. 

Kinloch Club

Kinloch Club

The day after Kinloch we ventured to Wairakei Golf Club. While the weather was a little dreary during our time there, I was pleased to see how many of the golfers in our group enjoyed the course. Wairakei is a "proper" golf course as I like to say and there was not a single hole out there that I wouldn't want on my home course. I did feel it was a little too big for the ladies as the ladies tees were not forward enough. Fabulous golf course that I could play everyday.

The course our group was most excited to play was definitely Cape Kidnapper's. Unfortunately we had horrible weather for our round there, but we all gained a sense of how much fun this course could be on a pleasant day. We caught glimpses of the stunning scenery and it seemed to whet our appetite to return one day and appreciate all this beautiful site has to offer. Beautifully designed by Tom Doak, Cape Kidnapper's allows for the influence of weather and wind without becoming too challenging. I wrote in the guest book, "A very enjoyable and wise design!" Cannot wait to get back.

The back nine at Cape Kidnappers

The back nine at Cape Kidnappers

Each of the courses we played had exceptional practice and warm-up facilities and the staff were always friendly and accommodating. In fact at Kinloch, our lead group finished early and Paul, one of the pros, invited them to go out and play a few extra holes. This spirit of hospitality was everywhere in New Zealand and as a result we cannot wait to get back. Here are a few details regarding our trip next year...

Click the image above to view

Click the image above to view

For information on our trip to New Zealand in February 2018 please email Terri at terri(at)syncexcursions.com

A Long Swing or a Short Swing?

The good news is that either one can get the job done, but we cannot view these two very different golf swings through the same lens. There are certain fundamental differences that we must keep in mind. Watch...

For the shorter backswing:

  • Get the wrists, arms and shaft organized early in the backswing
  • The club should favor being laid off at the top
  • The lead wrist should be flat or bowed at the top

For the longer backswing:

  • There is more freedom in the backswing as player has more time available to organize in transition and on the way down
  • The club should favor being across the line
  • The lead wrist can be either cupped or bowed

I do typically prefer slightly longer swings over shorter swings, but above all else I prefer swings that work. If you look at the greatest players of all time you'll see significantly more long swings than noticeably short swings. I have also found that longer swings will typically produce faster club speeds. Never a bad thing!

Keep in mind that these are generalized ideas that have been found to work on the students I have been fortunate to coach over the years. They have also been verified by other coaches and a scientist or two, but they are not set in stone. The objective is always improved performance.

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Saving Strokes with Science

With so many limits and restrictions being placed on golf club manufacturers these days it's amazing to see what really smart people can do, within the legal lines, to help us save strokes. This is a prime example from the engineers at Ping. Watch...

What the people at Ping found was that the depth of the grooves on the face of a putter played a tangible role in determining ball speed and thus how far the ball travelled off the face. They also knew that off-center strikes tended to travel shorter, so they used the groove depth to actually help maintain the intended ball speeds on off-center strikes.

All of the six balls pictured above were struck with a putting robot and the exact same stroke. The three circled/striped balls were hit with a variable depth grooved putter, with one being hit out the center, another 0.75" out the heel and the other 0.75" out the toe. The three non-circled balls were struck in the same fashion, but they did not have the advantage of the variable depth grooves. Notice the massive difference in dispersion!

We all hit off-center putts. We all despise three putts. The answer seems pretty simple to me! Please know, this is not a sales pitch for Ping putters, but before you go out and buy your next golf club learn about the science behind the design.

Thanks for reading.

My 3 Keys to Great Wedge Play

If you dread any form of pitch or chip shot then this article is expressly for you. If you feel like you could save a few more strokes around the greens then this article is for you. Utilizing better technique will literally make these shots easier. Here are a few straightforward improvements that will get the job done. Watch...

Key #1: Set Up

  • Feet should be close together. The most common mistake I see is a stance that's too wide.
  • Alignment should be square. Yes, square.
  • Ball position is centered to slightly forward.
  • Weight distribution is slightly favoring the front foot.
The Proper Set Up...

The Proper Set Up...

Key #2: Wrist Action

  • Wrists should be relatively quiet in the backswing.
  • Avoid excessive cupping in the lead wrist. The left wrist for you righties out there.

Key #3: Body Pivot

  • Keep the chest rotating through the strike in order to shallow the attack angle.
  • Extend the lead side through impact.
  • Avoid thoughts of "stay down", "hit down" or "pinch the ball".

As you work towards better technique be aware that your results are not going to transition from bad to good instantaneously. Taking ownership of the upgrades will take time and patience. Get the set up correct, use the wrists properly and shallow the angle of attack with good chest rotation. Now we're talking!

If you'd like to learn more about improving your wedge play check out the Wedge Project.

 

 

How to Stop Hooking

There are literally thousands of articles pertaining to getting rid of slicing or fading the golf ball, yet not much sound information to help golfers overcome hooking (and blocking)!

The video clearly illustrates what the primary causes are...

The dispersion drill will not only get you to improve the club path, but also encourage you to get the clubface pointing to the right of the target. Exactly the opposite of what you have been struggling with! With the feel from the dispersion drill you will no longer have the:

  • club path traveling too far from in to out
  • clubface closed to the path
  • have to rely on perfect timing to quality golf shots

Give this simple drill a try if you tend to struggle with blocks and hooks. If you enjoyed this video and article please share it with a friend who you feel might benefit from it.

Thanks for tuning in!

 

Coach Camp Europe

Wow! What a fantastic ten days. Terri and I have just returned from Coach Camp Europe and we could not have been more pleased with the outcome of each event. After the success of the inaugural Coach Camp in South Carolina in February earlier this year we had received numerous requests from coaches in Europe to put on a similar event over there. We were blessed to have all the original presenters, Dana Dahlquist, Martin Chuck, Joseph Mayo and myself make the trip while managing to add brand guru and content creator extra-ordinaire, Mark Crossfield to the line-up.

On September 20th & 21st we kicked off just outside Brussels at Chateau de la Tournette hosted by teaching professional Alan McLean. There were almost 80 attendees with most of them traveling in from Holland. 

The weather was incredible and the outdoor segments were conducted in warm sunshine on both days. A highlight appeared to be the newly introduced 20-minute quick lessons that each presenter gave to golfers of various handicap levels. Or maybe it was the story Joe Mayo told about a porcupine living inside the head of a driver…

After Belgium we moved on to Dublin, Ireland where, on September 26th & 27th Stephen Ennis hosted us at Roganstown. Here there were 70 attendees with the majority being from the UK and Ireland. We did have two coaches come in from South Africa, a handful from Poland and a return attendee from Russia.

Having had some prior experience with Irish weather I was shocked when the sun came out on the first day. The second day might have been a bit chilly and windy but there was nothing we could complain about.

Each of the presenters was asked to speak on a topic of their choosing:

  • Martin Chuck: What I’ve Learned

Martin took us through his approach to giving a lesson and the factors he felt were important in putting the student at ease and developing a relationship

  • Dana Dahlquist: Swing Preferences

Dana shared a variety of swing patterns (CP & CF) with the group and spoke about what to look for from certain players

  • Joseph Mayo: Trail Shoulder External Rotation

Joe regaled us with the value of trail shoulder rotation in the swing and it’s importance in getting the shaft to lay down correctly.

  • Mark Crossfield: Coaching to Your Audience

Mark presented on his business brand and shared a number of valuable points. A highlight was his discussion on ‘exit strategy’ for golf coaches.

  • Andrew Rice: What I’ve Learned

My theme explored what can we as coaches can do to make the game easier for all golfers. I presented on the importance of hand path, the face to path relationship and skill development. 

Dahlquist and Mayo

Dahlquist and Mayo

As per usual at these events the lunchtime and evening banter was second to none as this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to dig deeper on certain topics and swing elements.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the sponsors of both events, Foresight Europe and SwingCatalyst.  They provided the most incredible crew at each site and I do not stand alone in saying that each of the presenters was impressed with both the technology and support each company provided. In fact Dana Dahlquist purchased a SwingCatalyst.

Thank you to the sponsors, the presenters, the hosts and most of all the coaches who attended. Our objective is to make Coach Camp the premier coaching event in the world and we sincerely appreciate you joining us. It really was a blast!

I am currently working towards setting up a fresh, world-class list of feature presenters for Coach Camp 2017. The event will be held on January 30th and 31st at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort in Savannah, Georgia. The line-up of feature presenters will be announced the week of October 24th (or sooner!). We will have 100 available spots for attendees this year, so please block off the Monday and Tuesday after the PGA Merchandise Show if you plan on attending. 

See you in Savannah…

How to Practice: 3. SHOT

In this series on practice I have mapped out a plan to help each golfer take ownership of their technical upgrades (SWING), dedicate a portion of the valuable practice time developing skills by hitting unusual and ‘outside the lines’ type shots (SKILL) and now the time has come to bridge the gap between the practice ground and the course by turning our attention purely towards results (SHOT).

With this mode of practice there should be a constant changing of clubs, targets, lies and intent. Here the golfer should incorporate their pre-shot routine as they hit specific and on-course styled shots.

I’m a big fan of hitting irons to a specific side of a flag or target. Create scenarios in your head as you execute each unique shot.  There’s a deep pot bunker just in front and slightly right of this pin. I’ve got to keep this eight iron about twenty feet left… Drivers should be played down imaginary fairways from Augusta, Pebble Beach and Royal Troon, with trouble invariably looming on one side or both. Get into each shot just like you would on the golf course. Be sure to:

·      Change clubs after no more than two shots

·      Switch targets for every shot

·      Use your pre-shot routine just as you would on the course

·      Be specific with your intent for each shot

Don’t attempt crazy or unusual shots; we’ve already done that in our skill session. It’s time to step back inside the lines and play your go-to ball flight. For an added challenge you could even keep yourself accountable and see how many consecutive shots you can hit to the appropriate side of a target. Everything about this practice mode should simulate real, on-course golf. Play golf!

One final swing and the Open Championship is yours…

Be sure to read my two previous segments on practice:

How to Practice: 1. Swing

How to Practice: 2. Skill

 

How to Practice: 2. SKILL

Boys are typically much better chippers than girls! And it's not because they're more creative or the fact that they're stronger physically which allows them to hit a broader variety of shots. It's because they love to practice 'dumb' and crazy shots! Boys continually strive to outdo one another and I believe it's via this innate behavior that they learn to hit those amazing and skillful shots around the green. Ever seen a female trick shot artist? Hmmm...

My approach to developing skill is that we take this 'outside the lines' approach to practicing the shortgame and apply it to every element of golf. From driving to putting we can develop our skill and our ability to control the golf ball by spending time purposefully hitting 'abnormal' golf shots. Watch...

When practicing to develop your skill challenge yourself to become better at intentionally controlling the following elements of a golf shots:

  • Distance
  • Launch direction
  • Peak height
  • Curvature of the ball flight
  • Where you strike the ball on the face

When practicing 'outside the lines' change your intent after every second shot. Use a variety of clubs, targets and lies. Keep in mind it's really easy and fun to practice these elements when you have a TrackMan, but they are entirely doable without any technology. Here are a few ideas:

The 3 Ball Strike Point Challenge

The 3 Ball Strike Point Challenge

This drill is great fun for golfers of all abilities and ages. All you need is a can of Dr. Scholl's Odor X foot spray. I firmly believe we become better at completing any task when we learn to complete it a variety of different ways. Shot 1 is outside the vertical line, shot 2 inside it and shot 3 is on the line.

The Spin Axis Challenge

The Spin Axis Challenge

When taking on this challenge you want to use a 6 iron and try to hit the biggest hook or slice possible for your opening shot. From there the objective is to progressively reduce the amount of curvature until you get to a straight shot. If you can get 9 shots, as in the example above, you're doing very well.

When practicing to develop skill I cannot encourage you enough be creative, have fun and think outside the box. You can even hit one-handed or one-legged shots! Close your eyes, change your grip, hit it out of divots - anything goes. Come up with your very own, out of the ordinary practice session. Now get out there and start spending some time practicing like a teenage boy...

Here is the first article in my series on how to practice:

How to Practice: 1. SWING — Andrew Rice Golf

How to Practice: 1. SWING

This is the first in a series on how to get the most out of the limited available time you have to work on your game. I'm a big proponent of allocating a portion or your practice time to taking ownership of mechanics and SWING, another portion to SKILL development and finally executing SHOTS to carry the upgrades to an "on-course" styled environment. Each session should be filtered through the swing, skill and shot mantra.

Let's get started with understanding what should be going into the swing segment of your practice. This is block practice and that is a good thing! We need it. Block practice is a necessity as it allows us to get enough technical reps in to start taking full ownership of the upgrades. Block practice only becomes a problem when that's the ONLY way you practice. If you can find a way to incorporate swing, skill and shot into all of your practice sessions I have a sneaky feeling things will start to get better. Check this out...

When in swing mode this is what I'm looking for:

  • I use a 7 or 8 iron and practice off preferred lies or even tees
  • I'll most often use an alignment aid and hit all shots to one target
  • I don't pay much attention to the shot. My focus is primarily on the motion
  • I make a number of practice swings and feels between each shot
  • This is the only time I'll devote to doing swing drills
  • A nice addition to this segment of your practice would be a mirror as it allows you to 'feel' the look you're after

Make sure that to avoid the trap of trying to hit result based shots while you're attending to mechanics - that will come later. Check back next week where I will share my take on how to develop your skills as a golfer.

Trip Update: I have an opening for one more couple to New Zealand in February 2017 and space for a few more couples to South Africa in January 2017. Should you be interested check out www.syncexcursions.com or shoot terri(at)andrewricegolf.com an email. Would love to have you join me!

Predictable Draws

Predictability! A word I use every day on my lesson tee. We don't need perfection, although that would be nice, we simply need to predictably launch and shape the ball and we can play the golf of our dreams.

I have found that when a golfer can get the handle of the club traveling inward through the strike managing the club face becomes less of a challenge. Thankfully this doesn't mean that the clubhead is also traveling inward. Watch....

Obstacles to watch for when working towards getting the handle to travel in while the clubhead travels out:

  • The arms drop straight down and in from the top creating a scenario where they are trapped and can only 'exit' outward through impact
  • The handle AND the clubhead both move outward at the start of the downswing. Now they must both travel inward though impact
  • The hips drive forward too much and the handle has no access to work inward through impact

The following sequence of Graeme McDowell illustrates beautifully how to set up the transition and ensuing downswing for exactly what we are looking for through impact

Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell

To get started with predictable, controllable draws you simply must work the hands in while the clubhead travels out through the strike.

While this is certainly not the only way to get the job done, for slower swing speed golfers (which is most of us out there!) this is the go to game plan. Start in front of a mirror and go from there....

Thanks for reading and if you have a friend who might be struggling with this please share.

If you're interested in join me on a Golf Safari to South Africa this January with your loved one please contact terri (at) andrewricegolf.com or visit www.syncexcursions.com for more details.

A Better Downswing to Reduce Blocks and Hooks

As we all know most golfers tend to struggle with fading and slicing the ball, but there is a large portion of the golf population, typically lower handicap players, that struggle with hooks and the occasional block. This article is for you!

There's a huge correlation between between a golfer's club speed and their handicap. The higher the speed, typically, the lower the handicap. The key is being able to manage the golf club while generating higher club speeds and that can only happen with a proper pivot and more specifically, a proper downswing pivot. Here's how...

As you begin your downswing you want to feel the following:

  • The weight remaining on the trail foot for longer
  • Cast your net! More rotational and less lateral
  • The legs separating slightly
  • The handle of the club working out or in front of you while the clubhead stays behind you

The objective here is to get the clubhead traveling less outward and along a more neutral path through impact. Getting your body to rotate on the way down in more of a 'merry-go-round' fashion and less of a 'ferris wheel' fashion will deter the clubhead from getting too far to the inside.  

Try this feel slowly and with soft shots before working up to full swings. You'll be amazed at how challenging it is to actually stay back and rotate versus driving forward. Stick with it and realize that in order to improve the quality of your shots you're going to have to improve how the clubhead communicates with your golf ball.

Thanks for reading and if you have a friend who you feel might benefit from this information please share! 

South Africa or New Zealand in 2017?

What's it going to be? Once again Terri and I will be headed to South Africa this coming January for our 11th trip and as per usual we cannot wait to get back. We have changed things up slightly from years gone by in that we now start our trip in Cape Town and close things out at the world renowned Makanyane Safari Lodge.

We will spend five luxurious nights at the Cape Grace Hotel which was recently ranked in the top 100 hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure. Of course there is golf at three of South Africa's best, but so many traveler's overlook the country's incredible food and wine scene. We complement the Cape's stunning scenery with private wine tastings at Hamilton Russell and Fairview and our final dinner at Delaire Graf will definitely be one to remember.

We then head to the northern part of the country for the safari leg of our trip. Here are private air charter lands at the Madikwe Eastern Airstrip and our 5 day bush adventure kicks off. Your life will never be the same again after your time here! The staff, food, accommodations and customer service are all simply world class. And then there's the game viewing! We have often seen the magnificent seven (lion, rhino, elephant, leopard, buffalo, wild dog and cheetah) on our previous trips and almost expect to see all the members of the Big 5.

We currently have space for four additional couples on this incredible life-changing trip. Please contact Terri at terri(at)andrewricegolf.com should you have any questions. Also visit www.syncexcursions.com for a detailed itinerary.

In February we head to the southern hemisphere again - this time to New Zealand! It is kinda nice to trade two weeks of winter for some summer sunshine. We will spend time in all the best spots on both the north and south island visiting Auckland, Queenstown and Millford Sound, Napier and Lake Taupo. You will have the option to play five spectacular rounds of golf at courses that include Cape Kidnapper's and the top-rated Kinloch Club.

For those seeking adventure we have included a charter flight and cruise on the Millford Sound and jetboating on the Shotover river. Everybody loves great food and wine and New Zealand has plenty to offer. We will enjoy private tastings and culinary delights at Amisfield, Craggy Range and Mission and Church Road wineries.

We currently have space for three additional couples on this Kiwi excursion. Please contact Terri at terri(at)andrewricegolf.com should you have any questions. Also visit www.syncexcursions.com for a detailed itinerary.

Thanks for reading and if you cannot join us in 2017 we hope to have you come along in 2018!

Is Your Swing Built on Timing?

We've all played those rounds where we have 14 solid holes and 4 holes where it seems as if we've never held a club before. This is a classic indication that your golf swing is reliant on timing. A situation where the face angle at impact is determined by the golfer "manually" inputing clubface closure through the impact zone

Here's Sam Snead taking the handle "around the corner"....

Here's Sam Snead taking the handle "around the corner"....

While there is no one method or technique that allows us to position the face correctly through impact on a consistent basis there are certain elements in the golf swing that will allow us to do a better job of managing the clubface. Watch...

If you can work towards making the "motorboat" curve around the corner you'll become much better at getting the "tube" to fling around - this way positioning the clubface appropriately through the strike will start to become more automatic and your swing will be less reliant on timing.

Here's a clip to illustrate what the hands should be doing as they pass through the strike...

Ideally the handpath should be traveling inward and upward. Get to work on the proposed drills and you'll start to see a decreased reliance on timing and improved consistency out on the golf course. Thanks for reading...and watching!

How to Shallow the Attack Angle

I teach far more golfers that hit down on the ball too much more than those that don't hit down enough. If you are one of those golfers that typically takes big divots and hits a low ball flight then stay with me....

I have found this sequence to work nicely with all golfers looking to shallow their attack angle and improve the crispness of the strike. Try the following (with either irons or driver):

  • PHASE 1 - 5 drags over the top of the ball
  • PHASE 2 - 5 low to high pitch style shots, keeping clubhead low in the backswing
  • PHASE 3 - 5 half speed and half size swings sensing an ascending strike (even with irons)

(all shots are struck with the ball on a tee)

Another drill I like to use to help golfers learn to deliver an ascending strike with the driver is what I call the Box Drill pictured below...

Place an empty sleeve box between a teed golf ball and the target as indicated. The box should be approximately a grip length ahead of the ball. On a windy day it might be necessary to use tees to anchor the box in place. This is a costly addition to this drill!

If you can hit shots without running the clubhead into the box then chances are that you're no longer hitting down on the ball and you should see an increase in both distance and the altitude of your tee shots. Keep in mind that as you "upgrade" your attack angle, should you have an adjustable driver, you might need to alter the loft.

Thanks for reading and I hope these ideas are going to help your game. Cheers!